Local students in Guernsey proved their tech savvy innovation skills in an exciting project with KPMG in the Channel Islands and the Digital Greenhouse in August. The project, designed to develop local digital talent, was part of the Discover Digital Summer Internship scheme.
Over 40 students applied for the project, with six being selected to work with KPMG in the Channel Islands. They were set an open brief to develop a business proposition demonstrating how technology could inspire and enable the way leisure is managed and consumed on the Island.
The three week project saw seasoned innovators mentor students through an innovation process to design a target customer experience, supported by the use of apps, iBeacons, virtual assistants, and augmented and virtual reality. On completion, the students presented their business idea – a unique, immersive experience to drive tourism expansion, deliver benefits to local residents and businesses, and establish Guernsey at the leading edge of technology.
Their ideas included an app, designed to allow the user to personalise their visitor experience and to discover information, events and businesses in ‘real time’ with the use of iBeacons placed throughout town; virtual displays that superimpose key historical events over real world objects and locations, such as the Harbour and Castle Cornet; a visual diary to share experiences on social media; and a virtual assistant to help with bookings.
Student James Smillie says: ‘At the start of the project we explored and brainstormed what leisure meant to people, what the Island had to offer, and the way existing and emerging technologies were being applied elsewhere. This included how technology was being used to help people discover and learn about new things, and to deliver what we called the brilliant basics. For example; look up information on events, book somewhere to eat or catch the next bus.’
Student Lillian Woodall added: ‘We had to think hard and make a decision on what area to focus on in order to bring our ideas to life. We created a vision for our business, which was “To deliver a personalised experience that immerses you in our rich culture and heritage and creates a long lasting experience” and decided to use Guernsey’s harbour as a location for telling the story of what this could be like.’
Student Nathan Pinchemain, who has just completed a BTEC in ICT at the Guernsey College of Further Education, says: ‘We had lots of ideas about the experience we wanted to design and the ways technology could be used. The vision helped us to link these ideas in a clear way and to develop concepts to assist customer experience. What excited us was how we could see the same vision and ideas being used for other reasons, including elsewhere in the world. Of course, not before being launched in Guernsey first.’
Student Sophie Baudains, who has a background in design, says: ‘We all brought different skills and interests to the project, ranging from design, technology and analysis. This was of huge value. We worked together, but also played to each other’s strengths, seeking guidance from the KPMG digital team when needed. As the project progressed, we continued to brainstorm how our ideas fitted together and how they would result in experiences that would be both brilliant and unique.’
Student Anthony Nel says: ‘Some of us concentrated on wire framing and exploring app development; others researched and mapped out the use of virtual assistants, and virtual and augmented reality; another looked into the importance of data management and security; one of us used design skills to storyboard the customer experience – all coming together to work through the business model.’
Student Nathaniel Jones added: ‘The project took us from researching the brief, to brainstorming ideas, creating a vision, making decisions, exploring different technologies and developing a business. It was intense at times, especially when we had to create and present our pitch at the end of the project. Although it would be hard for anyone to invest in everything we have suggested, we believe we have come up with some truly innovative ideas that will excite people.’
Matej Jurkic, Digital Team, KPMG in the Channel Islands, says:
‘The students worked exceptionally hard. They combined imagination and research to develop a visionary business proposition based on a relatively open brief. It’s been fascinating to watch them dive into this project with so many areas to consider: from what leisure means, how different technologies can inspire and deliver a compelling experience, personal data and security, to creating a business model for delivery. Seeing them then pull this together and pitch to the KPMG directors was very impressive.’
Tony Mancini, Executive Director, KPMG in the Channel Islands, says:
‘KPMG Channel Islands were proud to be asked to support this fantastic initiative. We hope the students have enjoyed exploring how our firm approaches problem solving, innovation and the use of new technologies to develop new business models. We’ve been impressed by how well they have worked as a team, their creative energy and focus. Digital innovation is at the heart of our strategic plans and an area we are investing in to grow. It’s essential an opportunity to learn and develop skills is available to young people on the Island.’