When Virtual Worlds Collide

IBM uses 3-D virtual worlds to help employees collaborate and share best practices.

Computer giant IBM Corp. has a bit of a challenge when it comes to bringing together 80,000 employees spread across 30 different countries. The company realized the only practical way to build transcontinental relationships was through the use of virtual technologies and peer-to-peer connections.

Employees are participating in 3-D virtual worlds such as Second Life and Active Worlds to help them collaborate and share best practices, according to Christopher Sciacca, manager, strategic communications for IBM Integrated Operations in
Europe and Africa. In June, the company hosted a Second Life event during which 40 employees representing 11 nationalities split up into three teams and completed an assignment to identify the key attributes that distinguish IBM's global delivery capabilities from the competition.

"While that was the official assignment, behind the scenes IBM wants to help build a culture that extends outside of the countries the employees work in," notes Sciacca. "The technology helped employees make connections with their colleagues around the world and potentially built relationships that will give IBM an edge when it comes to global delivery."

See Also: Workforce Management -- Worlds of Difference

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