cate_elder_may_2019

Cate Elder

Lead Consultant

Much has been written about the metaverse in the last 12-18 months, and many predictions made about when it will mature and what it means for us as consumers and citizens.

We see many organisations looking to understand what the metaverse is and define their ambitions and roadmap to the metaverse by identifying relevant use and an associated business case. For many, the metaverse focus is to differentiate through improved employee and customer experience.

 

Differentiated employee experience

Like many organisations, we are exploring use of the metaverse and looking to scale based on its success and adoption. Our Meta Hub, a collaborative environment based on our 20 Fenchurch Street office in London, was built in-house to enable effective onboarding of new employees – our members – across the UK.

We create a supportive and collaborative environment for all our members, and at a time where recruitment of key skills is a challenge across industry, our target outcomes were to differentiate CGI to offer candidates, more effectively onboard our new members and support our position as a Responsible Business by bringing people together without the need to travel.

 

Importance of lessons learned and user feedback

The addition of the Meta Hub as a metaverse environment into our onboarding processes has been welcomed by our members. We deployed the Meta Hub and continue to scale its use with both technical and non-technical members, and as you’d expect we built extensive testing and user feedback sessions into our plans to ensure lessons learned were captured and our plans scale with success.

It's always insightful talking to end users about plans and experiences and understanding their journeys with technology and its use. Across both our technical and non-technical users, feedback has been really positive. Key takeaways and highlights include:

  • Metaverse users want avatars that are recognisable as themselves, and are willing to spend time customising and changing the look and feel until it’s right
  • Accessibility is really important, not just in keyboard and headset controls but also diverse representation in avatars, graphics and the metaverse environment
  • Our members are generally relaxed about the device they use to access the metaverse, whether that be virtual reality headset, PC or mobile. Interestingly, regardless of the hardware used for access all participants report that the CGI Meta Hub felt equally collaborative.
  • Most of the CGI Meta Hub users are very keen to be seen an early adopter and help explore the possibilities of the metaverse and its use cases in a secure environment
  • People are quick to understand the metaverse, once they use it, and sessions rapidly become collaborative and productive

 

Virtual dynamics in the virtual room

As a lead and facilitator of sessions in the Meta Hub, it’s also interesting to observe the dynamic of people as avatars in the room. While the use of the metaverse in a business context is new, many members are used to the type of environment in a gaming context.

We found that the crossover from what is typically a gaming environment to a business one is an attitude switch for some. Setting out a code of conduct upfront, with expectations on conduct, such as ‘personal’ space, avatar attire, asking a question etc helps everyone quickly settle into the session and make the most of their metaverse experience.

 

Get in touch to find out more

It’s an exciting time to be part of the metaverse and explore ambitions, experiences and target outcomes. Get in touch if you’d like to discuss and explore how we can help build your organisation’s pathway to the metaverse, with people at the very heart.

About this author

cate_elder_may_2019

Cate Elder

Lead Consultant

Cate Elder is a Lead Consultant in CGI UK’s Emerging Technology Practice. Cate helps client organisations identify, prioritise and unlock value from strategic digital transformation initiatives.