The Opera Open...Opens!

Posted by Todd Higginson on Fri, Oct 14, 2011

The Opera Open is an annual tradition at Opera Solutions, one eagerly awaited by the company and employees alike.

As an innovation competition that sets out to find the latest and greatest ideas from our personnel, the Open’s purpose is three pronged: to spur innovation and exchange new ideas within the company, encourage junior personnel to collaborate, and nurture our colleagues’ growth so their business acumen becomes even more enriched.

“One of the things that makes Opera one of the leading Big Data analytics firms is that we have great people with great ideas and energy,” said Arnab Gupta, CEO and Founder of Opera Solutions.

An aspect of the Open that makes it so important to Opera is its track record with many of the competitors’ ideas becoming real business opportunities for Opera.

The 2011 Opera Open kicked off in September, with more than 55 teams – the largest number ever – participating. Considering Opera Solutions employs just over 600 people, the pre-qualifying round’s participation rate was just under a quarter of the firm’s employees.

From there, pitches were whittled down to 27 teams that presented in this week’s semi-finals.

To get a better idea about what makes the Opera Open tick, we caught up with the Operaite coordinating this event, Katharine Bierce:

"I started at Opera Solutions as a Business Analyst in January 2011. I feel very lucky to be working here because I have a lot of freedom as an employee to share innovative ideas and see them implemented. I knew that when I started as a new hire that I wanted to submit an idea for the Opera Open, until I was tasked with running the event [employees running the competition are barred from entering the event].

As the coordinator of this competition, I have been thoroughly impressed by the creativity and originality of my colleagues’ ideas. I wish I could talk more about specifics, but then I’d have to make you sign a non-disclosure agreement!"

Topics: Big Data, Machine Learning, Competitions