Communications service provider Telus is using 3D virtual-world software to help its employees learn from each other and share information. According to Dan Pontefract, a Telus representative, the technology reduces the company’s training costs and helps new workers feel more engaged.
It’s been a few years since Telus started investigating virtual reality to educate employees, but today the company seems committed to online 3D collaboration as a learning tool.
Back in 2009, Pontefract – head of learning and collaboration at Telus in Vancouver – was investigating platforms such as Second Life, perhaps one of the best known virtual hubs, as a way to enhance education across the service provider’s many offices.
Second Life is a digital meeting place in which people, participating as avatars, can get together, converse and take part in activities. It was just the sort of system that Pontefract figured Telus could use to make its employee-education services more interactive and engaging.
“Whenever there’s a new technology that we think could have an impact… we’ll look at it,” he said.
While intrigued, Pontefract was concerned about Second Life’s reputation as a place where anyone and everyone could gather for just about any purpose. Was this the best platform for business learning? “At times it’s viewed – rightly or wrongly – as the three-headed-fish avatar world,” he said.
Then came word that Avaya had a potential solution. The network technology manufacturer offered a new 3D virtual world system designed specifically for businesses. Known as AvayaLive Engage, the technology offers virtual boardrooms, conference areas and collaboration functions such as screen sharing and video. (AvayaLive Engage was formerly called Avaya web.alive. For more information on the product, see “Avaya releases game-inspired collaboration system…” http://www.itincanada.ca/index.php?cid=0&id=13917.)