Monday, 23 April 2007

UGS PLM in SL with ESC

UGS a "global provider of product lifecycle management (PLM) software and services, today announced the launch of its UGS Innovation Connection within Second Life." But it was a complete fluke that I happened upon the island. I was looking in the general vicinity of STA Travel, which I had opted not to blog because others have already just done that, when I spotted the interesting shape of UGS Innovation Connection island and thought I'd give it a go. It lies in a group of islands that have been built by Electric Sheep Company, and so it came as no surprise that this, too, is an ESC creation. albeit in partnership with UGS. It certainly has that unpredictability and flair I tend to associate with the Sheep.

The bulk of the build is given over to a display area that loops around an inlet. The area is split into zones relating to different type of customers: aerospace, automotive, hi-tech etc. Each of the zones has a video, some build samples and links to appropriate web pages. At one end of the display area is an auditorium, while at the other end is a meeting space.

I spoke with Solar Raymaker about the build. He gave me details of today's press release and told me: "UGS is about openness and interoperability. We are still learning about SL and how it fits with our vision and mission... We opened today. We are open to all and would like to involve all in different ways. Time will tell what works best. We see lots of opportunities and want to pursue many of them." When I looked this up in my I Spy Book of Marketing Terms, this translated as: "UGS see potential in SL and want to build something - but they don't really know what that 'something' is yet." Which is fair enough, most of the other companies here are in the same position - early adopters looking to see what works.

For the freebie-chaser there is a T-shirt, and there is a comments and suggestions clipboard, for visitor feedback.

For me I'm not sure they've quite latched on to the need for the "human touch" in SL - but then, it is only Day 1. I would suggest they start putting a schedule of events in place, and get some life injected into the place. Also, some inworld promotion would not be a bad idea.

Also, I know they are looking "to see what works" - but it is a good idea to have a plan before going too far into the build. At present, attractive as it is, it is largely a giant showroom. If that's the plan, then so be it. But if they find they have other requirements - employee ad hoc team creation, training, developer forums, recruitment - then they could find the current shape overly constricting.

ALSO: Can anyone enlighten me about the island of Falling Water? It is in the same island archipelago - and includes this little corker (though you need to get to c.500metres up to see it)

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