Collaborative Logistics Mashup Wins First Round of Microsoft and BT's Connected Services Sandbox Competition

Cost-cutting transport solution now in assembly phase.

REDMOND, Microsoft Corp. and BT in association with TopCoder Inc. have announced the winner of the design stage of the first Connected Services Sandbox competition. Deepak Sharma's collaborative logistics mashup offers transport companies a revolutionary way to cut costs and streamline logistic operations. This competition has now moved into the assembly phase, where all participants can develop a service based on Sharma's design. The winning mashups will then be demonstrated at NXTComm in Chicago, June 18-21.

Created to encourage the development of innovative new services that merge traditional telecommunications offerings with Web 2.0 applications, the Connected Services Sandbox competition series is being managed by TopCoder, a leader in online programming competitions, skills assessment and competitive software development. Launched at this year's 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, and offering a range of cash prizes, the competition has already achieved its aim of energizing the independent software vendor and developer communities to realize the possibilities presented by the Telco 2.0 environment.

"The three designs chosen by the judges really deliver the promises that mashed-up services can offer -- namely innovative new business applications and better ways of executing existing processes," said Michael O'Hara, general manager of the Communications Sector at Microsoft. "We have a worthy winner in this first round of a competition series created to showcase how developers and our operator partners can work together to take application designs from storyboard through to live trials in the Sandbox and ultimately, commercial availability."

The judging panel, made up of BT representatives, Microsoft customers, engineers and peers from the community, also selected two runners-up. These designs included a guaranteed callback application for capturing potential sales opportunities by linking SMS messages into call-center systems, and a system for sending directions to drivers in the field based on their location and job requirements.

"The winner of the first BT network mashup competition has created an innovative solution which will enable small and medium businesses to gain great business efficiencies using a collaborative communications application," said Bill Murphy, managing director, BT Business. "By exposing software capabilities that allow developers to harness the power of BT's world-leading 21st Century Network, this competition has shown that developers can integrate communications into their applications rapidly to launch exciting new services. The assembly competition starting on April 10 will provide a rapid realization of the winning design."

This is the first of three, two-stage Connected Services Sandbox competitions held jointly by Microsoft, BT and TopCoder. Each competition has a design and a development phase, making for six competition phases in all. The assembly phase of the competition began on April 10. The next design competition begins on April 27. More information is available at Connected Services Sandbox :: Home.

About Microsoft's Connected Services Sandbox

Since its launch at ITU in Hong Kong last year, more than 700 participants have joined the Sandbox and more than 115 registered services and mashups have been developed.

Accessible online, the Connected Services Sandbox facilitates idea generation and integration with publicly available Web services from Microsoft and others. There are thousands of examples of publicly exposed Web services, including Windows Live(TM), Microsoft(R) MapPoint(R),, eBay, Google and Yahoo! In addition, the Sandbox offers a number of Microsoft products and solutions for participants to utilize, including Microsoft Connected Services Framework, Microsoft Solution for Hosted Messaging and Collaboration, Microsoft Solution for Windows(R)-based Hosting and Microsoft Customer Care Framework.

Developers can find more information about the Sandbox competitions at Connected Services Sandbox :: Home.

About BT

BT is one of the world's leading providers of communications solutions and services operating in 170 countries. Its principal activities include networked IT services, local, national and international telecommunications services, and higher-value broadband and internet products and services. BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, Openreach, BT Retail and BT Wholesale.

In the year ended 31 March 2006, BT Group plc's revenue was 19,514 million pounds with profit before taxation of 2,040 million pounds.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

For more information, visit Welcome to BT

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Microsoft, Windows Live, MapPoint and Windows are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies.