Enterprise mode? Why Bother?
After I heard 3Di is releasing an Enterprise version of Opensim, I read up on a couple of blogposts about getting the virtual workspace ready for business to prep my blogpost on 3Di (previous post). Most of these blogposts (including my own ramblings about making things fit for business) are very serious about this with all sorts of tea-circles and self-help-group-like things like the Interoperability Forum and groups like Professional Second Lifers, Virtual World Roadmap and Association of Virtual Worlds on LinkedIn and so on.
Don't get me wrong here. Virtual Worlds need serious pondering to make them fit for business. Companies do need privacy in certain areas. Think of what would happen if you could walk in, or eavesdrop on a session between a bank and a wealthy customer on how to invest his money, but every once in a while it would be good to take a step back, look at what you're doing and have a good laugh. Raph Koster did a very nice blogpost in which he wonders why we would have Enterprise VW's. Here's some quotes:
Enterprise VW's - do they suck ?
Second Life technology continues its slow move towards being an enterprise solution with the announcement that the SL-derived OpenSim project is getting commercialized by 3Di. Enterprise was a big buzzword this year at the Virtual Worlds conf in Hollywood. (Of course, in the midst of it, someone had to ask “what is enterprise anyway?” It means “selling VWs to businesses”). The penny has also dropped for some users that SL itself seems to be trending in this direction — as Tateru Nino writes on Massively,
When you look at the hiring of Tom Hale, the ongoing hiring of enterprise sales and marketing staff, and the licensing of the Immersive Workspaces product from Rivers Run Red, this all seems to signal a clear direction for where Linden Lab is taking Second Life. Clearer than anything else we’ve seen in a year, certainly.
Of course, we have also seen Forterra and their OLIVE platform (derived originally from the There.com codebase) continue to focus on this area over several years, with particular success in work for the military.
"So, no, the dream isn’t dead. Consumer virtual worlds are still coming on strong, despite the focus on enterprise lately. It may be that part of the reason why these slightly older worlds and platforms are having to shift is that they are simply the wrong design for the consumer space, and the future belongs to stuff that looks more like Lively, Whirled, SmallWorlds, Vivaty, and yes, Metaplace. I sure hope so, because the very different architecture choices made there can grow back to the big immersive experiences, but I am unsure that the big architectures can shrink down to the smaller needs of the ordinary person."
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