Business Mesh

Gartner says 80% of internet users will have some kind of meshverse account in 4 years. IBM has developed a virtual world game and Information Week talks about the uses of Second Life in business

Turns out that quite a few Second Life users are network engineers. These are Cisco’s customers, and Cisco is aggressively using Second Life to communicate with them.The conversation really turned my head around. Until now, I’ve been thinking about SL as a consumer form of entertainment and communications — mainly entertainment — sort of like instant messaging was 10 years ago. Now, I see that real-world business discussions are happening in Second Life today.

He routinely encounters customers in Second Life who want to talk to him about their needs and what they want Cisco to do. “I bump into customers and partners multiple times a day in Second Life. In 11 years at Cisco, walking through the parking lot in San Jose, I never get people come up to me and say, ‘I’m a Cisco customer, have a second?'”

Renaud confirms what I’ve seen for myself, and learned talking to other real-life businesses in Second Life. Second Life is a social networking tool, like blogging or Web discussion forums. It’s a way for people to come together and talk. It’s a way for companies to come together and talk with their business partners and customers.

Renaud and I talked about Second Life as a three-dimensional diagramming tool. No, that’s not right — let’s make up a new buzzphrase, shall we? Let’s say Second Life is a tool for holding three-dimensional visual conversations. Just as WebEx allows you to share PowerPoints over the Internet, Second Life allows you to build something you can look at from all angles, with multiple people who can discuss the object in realtime.

Renaud described how Cisco built an entire network diagram for a corporate customer in Second Life. I know from conversations with IBM that they’re doing similar things.

One big liability to Second Life as a business tool: It’s hard to import data from other sources. There’s a couple of projects to build Web browsers into the Second Life client. One day, you’ll be able to import sales data from an Oracle database, create a three-dimensional diagram of that data that changes in near-realtime, and hold a meeting of top corporate executives all over the world in Second Life to discuss the results. You can’t do that today without using a lot of roll-your-own tools.

Using Second Life As A Business-to-Business Tool

As has been noted, Qwaq is a meshverse platform aimed at robust business applications.

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1 Comment »

  1. […] also recent posts – Business Mesh on my other blog and the Simulations Factor […]

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