• The World of Work has Changed
– Widely distributed teams: co-located people in
offices acting as though they are remote workers
– Recruitment and retention: the demographic
profile - ‘digital natives & digital immigrants’
– Diversity and Inclusion: it’s contribution that
– Current methods of team collaboration e.g. mail,
IM, videoconferencing, are only very partial
– Travel is an environmental issue
Mobile Broadband Use Will Double in 12 Months
1. Efficiency & Effectiveness: resulting from poor distributed co-
ordination due to inadequate collaboration tools
2. Engagement for Innovation: high trust, close proximity teams
perform. Distributed collaboration over distance with poor
communication tools often leads to low trust and poor
3. Carbon: effect on environment from excessive/unnecessary
1. Business: Efficiency & Effectiveness
• Technology has made people more productive but
most IT applications were not designed for
• Dominant model is that people work individually and
then merge their respective efforts
• “Collaboration often means pulling up your chair next
to your colleague so that you can look at the same
‘Mesh Collaboration’ Andy Mulholland. The Economist 25/10/08
1. Business: Engagement for Innovation
• Innovation remains key to growth. Trust is
the key to innovation.
• In distributed organisations technology is
known barrier to developing trust
• Existing collaboration technologies –
audioconferencing, videoconferencing, team
workspaces, document sharing – are only
very partial substitutes to face-to-face
meeting at best
– “Considering air fare, car rental and hotel stay, we expect the
average domestic trip for European companies to increase two
per cent, or €21, to a total of approximately €1,020 - Amex
Business Travel advisory services vice-president Joakim Johansson. October
– ‘For our global distributed mobile professional workforce our
biggest telecoms cost is mobile telephony’ Tier 1 Consultancy.
– “The cost of an alternative that must be forgone in order to
pursue a certain action. Put another way, the benefits you
could have received by taking an alternative action.”
Much Of Today's Technology Leaves Communication
“Today, information workers use technology pervasively to get their jobs done — to
communicate with others, complete tasks, and learn new skills.
– mobile and landline phones,
– conference bridges,
– email and calendaring,
– instant messaging,
– text messaging,
– team workspaces,
– Web conferencing,
– project management software,
– office productivity tools,
– eLearning modules,
– social networking tools.
But the vast majority of organizations deploy just a small subset of these tools. Even if a
broad portfolio of technology is in place, it's usually just a collection of nonintegrated,
And where tools like these are available, widespread suboptimal utilization is common.
Source: Forrester Research, Inc. 2008
Now add in….the Dominant Work Model
• Dominant work model is that people labour
individually and then merge their respective
• “Its not much different from the age of
paper….Collaboration oftens means pulling up
your chair next to your colleagues so that you
can look at the same screen”. ‘Mesh Collaboration’.
2-D vs. 3-D
Characteristic The World Wide Web Virtual worlds
Dimensionality 2-D experience 3-D experience
Organizational metaphor Web sites or Web pages, panels, windows, Rooms, buildings, islands, objects,..
and frames Experience is borrowed from the physical
Representation of the user In most cases, a person's presence on a A person is represented by an avatar. In
in the environment Web site is unknown to others some virtual worlds, the user can also be an
Means of navigating Scrolling to view content not visible Walking, or typing in the name of a room,
around the environment on the screen. object or location and"teleporting" there.
Clicking on links or typing or copying and Zooming in and out and changing camera
pasting URLs to go to other Web sites or angles to view content
Content Primarily text-based, though visuals of Primarily visual, though text (e.g., on virtual
many types are supported (e.g., graphics, signs and on documents) is supported.
icons, photos, and videos).
Interactivity The average user cannot modify content User can create, view and manipulate
on Web sites other than to post comments realistic or recognizable representations of
on forums or blogs objects (e.g., furniture),
Realism Does not simulate real-world conditions… Realistic or recognizable representation and
simulation of objects, space, perspective,
etc. Simulates gravity, day/night cycles,
travel distances, collisions, picking up
objects, and wearing clothes, etc.
Source: Forrester Research, Inc. 2008
Getting Work Done In Virtual Worlds Versus More
Comparison criteria Using more traditional In virtual worlds
Multisite conversations or meetings Conference calls, video conferencing, Build a virtual room as large or small as you
telepresence. need. All attendees convene
Presence Basic (usually self-administered) You can not only see a visual representation
of who is in the meeting but what they are
Non-verbal, non- text communication Can be done well using hyper-expensive Typically use a series of menus for facial
telepresence systems and less well via in- expressions and body gestures.
room video conferencing and Web cams.
3-D model sharing reality mechanisms (augmented reality). Or Put it on the virtual table in the center of
reduce three dimensions to a 2-D the room and walk — or ﬂy — through or
Document sharing Team workspaces, application sharing via All participants in the virtual room can edit
enterprise IM clients. Real-time, in- line that document in real time. When done, the
editing via a good user experience is sorely user can save the document back onto his
lacking in most of today's information or her desktop.
worker tool portfolios.
Voice conversations Torturous teleconference systems requiring VoIP-enabled.. Easy to mix in multiple
voice identification and 15- digit access remote parties. Sometimes tied in with
codes. Some systems don't allow for traditional conferencing systems so
speakers to hear while they are speaking, participants who are not in the virtual world
which prevents them from noticing when (e.g., are on the road) can still participate
others on the call want to speak. by voice.
Videoconferencing Room-based videoconferencing, Web A shared video experience without high-end
cameras (desktop video cameras), and expensive monitors.
telepresence systems like Hewlett- Packard
Halo or Cisco Telepresence at the top end of
the market (for hundreds of thousands of
dollars to outfit a single room).
Source: Forrester Research, Inc. 2008
Audio Web Video
Conferencing Conferencing Conferencing
• Familiar •Familiar •Face-to-face •Face-to-face
• Ubiquitous •Ubiquitous like like
• Perceived to be •Inexpensive •Multiple media
• Poor •Same as audio •Large download •Requires
participant •Single media •Proven visiting installed
attention span sharing effectiveness sites
Challenges • Discussion •Pay extra for •Easy entry for
context audio or VoIP employees
• No display calling
Costs • $500 to • $30 to $100 • $60 to $167 • $1000s
(per person $1000s
Enterprise Virtual Worlds Yield Immersive, Engaging, Interactive
• Replicate with some accuracy the experience of
working physically alongside others
• Allow people to work with and share digital 3-D
models of physical or theoretical objects.
• Incorporate nonverbal communication into
interactions where important.
• Make remote training and counseling a more realistic
“Virtual worlds are relatively inexpensive, don't
require a great deal of startup technology
infrastructure, and provide a naturalistic,
immersive approach to simulating space,
people, and objects “ Forrester 2008
• Shared private workspaces: secure, dedicated, accessible
• Shared immersive and persistent spaces: real-time
engagement; resulting actions and activities remain over time
• Shared access to and control of office productivity applications:
MS Office, corporate applications, video….
• Shared ability to manage and extend the team environment
• Secure: inside the corporate firewall if required
• Integration with corporate networks e.g. Active Directory or
• Trusted: authentication; avatar identity
• Carbon & Cost: cut carbon and cut costs
‘There must be a better way to collaborate’
• Access via any suitable PC with broadband
• Simple to learn: mimics and extends
everyday human interaction
Immersive: Realistic & Persistent
• True persistent world
• Real time voice – via VOIP
• Highly realistic avatars – breathe, facial
expressions and gestures
• 3D asset development in-house or contracted
• Record and replay reviews on demand
• Standard office tools available in-world:
• Custom tools and data streams can be
• Environment is secure not shared – no
inadvertent or malicious access
• In house or own outsourced server attached
to secure network
• Multiple locations ‘in world’ can be used
• Managed access to virtual workspaces
• 2D photos wrap around avatar faces
• Avatar name tags
Source: Euro Atlantic Defense News April 2009
“Creativity is no longer about which companies
have the most visionary executives, but who has
the most compelling architecture of participation.
That is, which companies make it easy,
interesting and rewarding for a wide range of
contributors to offer ideas, solve problems and
- Tim O’Reilly, of O’Reilly Media
Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4
Decide Design Develop Deploy
What is the problem?
What are the best solutions?
How best to deploy?