Monday, 1 October 2007

Accenture Scales Up

Accenture, one of the world's leading IT consultancies, is taking a well-trodden and reliable route into Second Life. Some months ago (I lose count - 6, maybe?) they established a private island called Accenture Techlabs. This was then followed by a small amount of hullaballoo when Accenture Italia showcased an office on one the Italian sims (reviewed at Kzero). Not long after, this Italian business unit acquired its own island, while the French tried their hand at recruitment in Second Life (covered here).

Now, after all these disparate dabblings, I find that a 6-sim island has appeared on the map, unsurprisingly named Accenture 1-6. At the moment these are closed to ramblers, but this is hardly surprising, as the Map View indicates that they are still in the early stages of development. Indeed, 2 of the islands still look to be in their default, delivered state.

For all I know, there are other islands - not emblazoned with the company name - where they are working with customers. I would be surprised if they weren't.

This approach reminds me very much of another IT company in Second Life. Starting with small, private, regional (or business vertical) sites to test out the feasibility, then ramping up to a significant presence once internal buy-in had been achieved - with a mix of both private and public sites. The boys at eightbar will doubtless recognise this - even if I have over-simplified things. The Accenture build may not (yet) be anything like the same scale - but it does seem to be following a similar track. And very effective it is too.

You have to start small unless you already have top level buy-in - and that would be verging on the miraculous, to put it mildly. The best way to get the necessary buy-in is using a low cost "build and promote" approach. Until your colleagues have actually got their virtual hands on Second Life, they probably will not "get it." So build something privately that gives management or, rather, the key influencers an opportunity to try out the environment. Once they have seen for themselves at first hand, then getting approval for scaling up should be relatively easy. Interest groups with their own agendas spring up, and the build can diversify to encompass a wide range of activities and objectives. However, merely constructing a "field of dreams" is not enough. Internal communication and promotion is vital, in order to spread the word, and to build and maintain the momentum.

Of course, this may not be behind Accenture's ramp-up, but it certainly seems plausible to me.

1 comment:

Jort Possel said...

Hi Aleister - thanks for keeping track :)

Accenture is approaching Second Life in various ways. And yes, we do work in this for clients as well. Accenture Italy (Elisabetta Vernier et al) created Cafe Society for Sanpellegrino. Please see my Accenture BlogPodium posts here
and here for more information on this and come visit the place!