Business

NCB, IBM staging 24-hour digital marathon

Sunday, October 22, 2017

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National Commercial Bank Jamaica Limited (NCB) has partnered with International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) to launch Blue|Hack — a 24-hour innovation marathon that will bring together more than 100 participants from across Jamaica.

IBM is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Armonk, New York, United States, with operations in over 170 countries.

As part of the partnership, participants will work together using IBM technology to write codes aimed at solving industry and societal challenges, including next generation customer solutions, building loyalty in financial markets, blockchains, technology to simplify transactions, learning experience solutions, and transforming learning using Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology.

The digital marathon will be held November 4 and 5 at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston and will see teams of five working to develop a viable prototype that will be considered for further investment by NCB. The event aims to encourage new ideas, build networks, showcase and test new technologies, and develop skills of Jamaicans with a passion for technology.

NCB, in a press release, said participants will also get the opportunity to learn about cutting-edge technology delivered by international experts ahead of the event. Cash prizes and employment opportunities will be awarded to the top participants and team.

“This innovation marathon is an extraordinary opportunity for developers, designers, and entrepreneurs to further advance their skills,” a news release quotes IBM General Manager for the Caribbean Jason Nestor.

“IBM has an ongoing commitment to build digital skills in Jamaica and throughout the Caribbean to help drive the digital economy. This collaboration with NCB represents a significant investment in our collective commitment to provide opportunities and innovation in the region,” he continued.

The event, a first of its kind in the Caribbean, will also provide a unique opportunity to introduce IBM's cloud-based, next generation technologies to the Caribbean.

'Jamaica! AI Nation' was selected as the theme of the event to signal Jamaica's coming digital revolution that has enormous potential to create new businesses and better services.

NCB said the event aligns with its “goal to collaborate with digital technology companies and financial technology to drive greater innovation and growth across the Caribbean region”.

According to NCB, it will proactively identify innovative product and service solutions to help transform and improve customer experience. It added that a chatbot that uses IBM cognitive technology to help NCB customers find the nearest NCB ATM location is under development.

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