Training in the metaverse: Accenture's new VR strategy

Updated: Aug 23

INTERVIEW: Information technology company Accenture is using the metaverse and virtual reality (VR) for across the board employee training at the enterprise level.

Gastón Carrión, Managing Director – Talent & Organisation, Asia Pacific lead, says the company sees physical and virtual experiences co-existing together in the future of work.

Carrión highlighted the company's new VR Cybersecurity Adventure course, which provides a gamified experience taking users through an immersive journey set in real and fantasy environments. The training asks users to defend themselves against hackers, scammers, fraudsters and cyberbullies with the user's knowledge of safe cybersecurity practices is tested using select virtual reality headsets.

Carrión says continuous learning and upskilling is an integral part of Accenture, which is committed to offering its teams opportunities to consistently acquire new skillsets to strengthen their readiness for new roles.

According to Carrión, the company invests nearly US$900 million annually in professional development and continuous learning programs, delivering more than 31 million training hours every year.

"For instance, as part of our Talent Quotient learning problem, we have added a new learning module to train all our workforce on the topic of Metaverse," Carrión tells Chief of Staff Asia. "We are constantly updating and building out our learning resources and our materials around the Metaverse and its related technologies are similarly being updated."

Entering the metaverse

The metaverse aims to augment people's working experience through the use of deep multimodal interaction, such as virtual avatars and immersive video. It paves the way for interactive possibilities, such as having a coffee session among co-workers who are all in different time zones.

Accenture forayed into the metaverse even before the pandemic, with the building of a virtual campus called The Nth floor. This is being used as a virtual space for Accenture employees to gather and take part in community events.

The company also created digital twins, or virtual copies, of many of its physical offices, from San Francisco in the US to Madrid, Spain and Bangalore in India, to provide its people with more familiar environments in a virtual setting.

After the pandemic broke out, Accenture started building on capabilities for onboarding new employees and used The Nth Floor as a platform to serve learning and collaboration needs within the organisation.

"This year alone, Accenture has hired 150,000 people, and with The Nth Floor, we were able to transition seamlessly into the new hybrid work model. New hires can meet together on teams and engage in immersive experiences virtually during their onboarding process," Carrión said.

"By doing so we're creating workplace experiences where our people can participate, contribute and feel like they belong, regardless of where they work."

Capitalising on the potential of the metaverse

Saying that there are "endless" opportunities within the metaverse, Carrión is optimistic that business leaders in the Asia Pacific region will capitalise and take advantage of its potential to enhance their organisations.

Almost four out of five, or 79%, of Asia Pacific executives say the metaverse will have a positive impact on their organisations, Carrión said, citing Accenture's latest Technology Vision 2022 report. Nearly half, or 46%, believe that this impact will be either breakthrough or transformational for their organisations.

Accenture brings about 800 of its metaverse-skilled professionals and market-leading capabilities to help design, execute, and accelerate its clients' metaverse journeys.

Carrión pointed out the company's work with The H&M Foundation.

"We helped the team develop and launch a virtual collection of five different looks. The Billion Dollar Collection was brought to life using Accenture's diverse skills," he says. "We created a digital avatar from scratch as well as brought the designer sketches to life using digital twin and (computer-generated imagery) technology. This enabled the H&M foundation to showcase their ground-breaking impact in a new and innovative way.

"With these technological advances, the H&M Foundation was able to change the face of the fashion industry through the use of sustainable and innovative practices."

This feature was extracted from Chief of Staff Asia's exclusive interview with Gastón Carrión, Managing Director – Talent & Organisation, Asia Pacific lead at Accenture. For further coverage, please see any of the below links:

Accenture looks to combine the metaverse with its workplace

Hybrid brings "best of both worlds" for Accenture

Training in the metaverse: Accenture's new VR strategy

Getting to know: Gastón Carrión

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