Summit App Challenge Demonstrates Ease of Building Voice & SMS Apps

    ShoreTel recently hosted a Summit App Challenge for our employees to gain hands-on experience building voice and SMS applications on our Summit CPaaS solution. Participants had one week to build an app and team members from every department and skill level got involved – including both experienced developers and employees who had never coded before. Several members of our executive team even rolled up their sleeves to submit apps! It was fun to see the ideas employees came up with and the creativity and problem solving used throughout all of the submissions.

    The Summit team broke the winners into six different categories: Best Idea, Best Code Structure, Most Enterprise-Ready, Best Integrated Solution, Most Creative and First In. Here are the results:

    Best App Idea: 

    Our favorite app idea came from Fontana Fluke, who is a Desktop System Specialist located in ShoreTel’s Rochester, NY office. He created a fitness challenge app that delivers app users a daily challenge and allows users to pledge how much they are going to do. At the end of each week, the app determines a winner and emails them a congratulatory email. Fitness can be challenging with our busy work days so having a daily reminder and weekly encouragement would certainly get us motivated!

    Best Code Structure: 

    Food and clean code are two of our favorite things. Ken Hertzog, a Tech Lead Software Engineer, won our hearts with his application’s pristine code structure and ability to solve a real need for our Rochester office. His Rochester food truck hotline app allows users to call into the app when trying to decide what to have for lunch and determine which food trucks are nearby. The application detects food truck locations by connecting to the Twitter API and reading through tweets from the trucks.

    Most Enterprise-Ready: 

    UX designer, Demetrios Costoyiannis, created an enterprise-ready app that integrates Microsoft Outlook with the Microsoft Graph REST API to read the Outlook calendar of a specified user and speak the title and time of the events occurring in the next seven days. The app also has limited ability to create events. With a little more time, we think this could be a solution enterprises would love - especially with the rising popularity of solutions such as Amazon Echo and Google Home.

    Best Integrated Solution: 

    Speaking of Amazon Echo, best integrated solution went to an Alexa integration app that came from Greg Rowe, Sr. Tech Lead Software Engineer. This "app" is an Alexa skill that uses Summit to send text messages. You can say things like, "Alexa, ask Summit to text Greg that I'm running late." This application not only shows the flexibility of Summit, but also demonstrates how you can extend an existing solution with a Summit application.

    Most Creative: 

    Creativity is key when the possibilities are almost endless. Dale Tanghe, QA Engineer, caught our attention with his shossages app. What is a shossages app, you ask? Dale combined ShoreTel plus messages to create his app that allows you to call in, record a “shossage” and send it to one of your contacts. Your contact will be able to listen to the shossage and respond with their own shossage if they so choose.

    First In: 

    Being first in and funny is no simple task. Kevin Conroy, Engineer, managed to do both with his Chuck Norris app. Kevin was able to complete his app in mere hours while making us laugh with daily Chuck Norris jokes.

    Being our first Summit App Challenge, the Summit Team was thrilled with the results and level of participation. Not only did we have a good time, but we were also able to illustrate a variety of use cases for Summit that demonstrate the flexibility Summit can deliver and show how easy it is to develop apps no matter your skill level.

    For more information on how you can build custom voice and SMS app, visit

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