Saturday, 31 May 2008


German ERP software giant, SAP, have had a low-key presence in the virtual world of Second Life for quite some time, thanks to the sterling efforts of Craig Cmehil (well I've only ever seen it written like that, so that's what it must be!). I spotted the island of Sapland a long time back, and had always assumed it was owned by SAP - being their next logical step in terms of growth in Second Life. When I last checked, many months ago, the island was not accessible to the average rambler, but at some time in the long intervening period it appears to have opened. I happened upon it by chance, when I was actually looking for somewhere else.

My initial surmise about the sim turns out to be wrong. The island actually belongs to Dutch IT consulting and systems integration company, Uphantis. However, I was not badly wrong, since Uphantis make much, if not most, of their income from SAP consultancy, development and integration work. According to their website "Uphantis provides services and products that smoothen the integration of business processes within medium-sized to large companies." The name is Greek for ‘weaver', with the implication that they "weave and integrate the various technologies that still exist next to each other within organisations, designing a completely new and innovative IT landscape that offers a new functionality and new possibilities for business success."

Evidently they are not without a sense of humour - as this YouTube vid reveals:

And so to the sim.

The sim is rather less zippy than their YouTube contribution, being a fairly run of the mill company sim. It has the inevitable lighthouse... I have to confess, even I have succumbed to this and built one on our corporate island. I don't know why... Anyway, back to Sapland. Aside from the lighthouse (oh, btw, light cones should really be phantom, you fellows), which appears as an afterthought in any case, the main feature of the island is an office building. There are plenty of links back to the company site. and along the two main walls you can find a list of their job vacancies, again with links to relevant pages on their website. I declined the freebie - I have enough company T-shirts already. At the far end of the building are 2 presentation or lecture theatres. At least one of these is set up to tell you all about SAP. Upstairs there's offices, and on the top floor, a boardroom. And that's basically it. It's a handy site if you are looking for a job, and I can see that the company could derive some benefit from holding the occasional meeting here. But although competently put together, it lacks warmth, humour or - in a nutshell - a sense of engagement. Judge for yourselves:

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