Sunday, May 10, 2009

Implementing Virtual Worlds in Business

I occasionally cover stories on enterprise focused virtual worlds technology because I believe that it shows some promise and could, therefore, become a relevant trend. Last week, I attended an event in Second Life hosted by Nokia on this topic.

This event had a question oriented talk show format in which representatives from IBM, Linden Labs, Nokia, and Remedy Communications promoted their respective company's efforts in enterprise virtual worlds.

I hope that I don't have to explain who IBM and Nokia is and why they might be interested in enterprise virtual worlds. IBM hosted their own two day conference on the subject not too long ago. Their representative at this event was Zha Ewry who is a male using a female avatar in a professional role.

Linden Labs is the company behind Second Life. They host a public grid and sell the platform to companies who want a virtual world behind the firewall.

Remedy Communications is a marketing company who specializes in developing marketing collateral in virtual worlds. They have recently become a reseller for Rivers Run Red who competes with Linden Labs in what they brand as the immersive enterprise collaboration space. Their representative at this event had an avatar named Dusan.

Someone from Sun Microsystems was supposed to be here too but never showed up. Considering their recent change in leadership, I can only assume that there was a sudden and last minute change in plans.

One of the biggest things I learned at this event is that there are now several video sites devoted to enterprise virtual worlds. Metanomics takes on an education based approach to fostering corporate appreciation for virtual worlds. will be launching later this summer. They have both an entertainment and a business focus and are a spin off of SLCN. All of these Internet video broadcast sites feature shows exclusively filmed in Second Life.

One of the advantages to a virtual world event is the presence of a back channel in which the attendees can comment amongst themselves while the event is taking place. The presenters get to monitor the back channel in real time. I learned in the back channel about an European conference called MetaMeets about the present and future of virtual worlds (also called the 3D web).

I go into more details on the content of this talk in my blog at the Toolbox for IT Knowledge Sharing Community.

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