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Enterprise 2.0 forum – Business IS getting it

At today’s Enterprise 2.0 Executive Forum at Sydney’s Luna Park, I was encouraged to see that business is actually starting to get its head around virtual worlds as something much more than a brand recognition exercise. There were two events during the day that confirmed it:

Westpac and Second Life

Westpac’s Chief Technology Officer, David Backley, gave a wide-ranging presentation on Westpac’s use of Enterprise 2.0 tools. Part of the discussion was centred on the company’s use of Second Life for the induction of new employees.

The impetus for the move into Second Life was the geographical reality of Australia-based operations and the desire to look at a better way of inducting people into the organisation. Instead of waiting for a large enough group to start employment in Perth and then sending a trainer across, the induction can occur with individuals spread across different locations.

Backley claims that the feedback from the SL-based training was good and there was some amusement around feedback that some avatars dominated the induction process. Sound familiar?

On the future, Backley is upbeat on continuing involvement with virtual worlds. “We want to explore further” was the summary. He also alluded to Westpac questioning whether they would continue on the Second Life platform or investigate an internal virtual world option.

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Roundtable on virtual worlds and organisations

During the lunch break I hosted a roundtable discussion on virtual worlds with five interested business people. I was really impressed with the absolute open minds displayed on virtual worlds and their opportunities and challenges. These were people who work in very large organisations and there’s obviously momentum building toward establishing business cases for new technology approaches to business.

For a perspective on the wider Enterprise 2.0 discussions (Wikis, Blogging etc), check out the forum blog.