Led by a recruit from the startup world, Nationwide Insurance is combining collaboration and APIs to reinvent the way it creates applications.
Now Nationwide is gearing up for its third hackathon on Feb. 28, when the focus will be on human resources apps. The largest gathering yet is expected--as many as 100 developers may attend--and there's been advanced buzz about a couple of planned apps. One team will attempt to use APIs to consolidate the company's three-system gauntlet for requesting time off into a single app, while another team will work with PeopleSoft APIs to simplify employee access to paycheck data.
The success of Nationwide's hackathons has convinced Schumann that even the largest companies can behave more like startups with the right encouragement.
"We can be agile as a company," Schumann says. "I don't think just because we're an insurance company with 45,000 employees, that's a reason for us to be slow."