Information Systems for Environmental Sustainability

IT, Resource Productivity, Environmental Preservation, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Greening Business Meetings: Are We Ready for Virtual Reality?

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Teleconferencing is often touted as an important approach to reducing carbon emissions in organizations. Cisco estimates that its own use of Telepresence is a net positive in terms of emission reduction: emissions savings are more than emissions increased due to the IT used:

As of June 2008, Cisco had scheduled 120,000 TelePresence meetings. Twenty thousand of these meetings enabled Cisco employees to avoid the time, cost, and emissions associated with travel. Cisco IT estimates that this travel reduction has avoided producing 47,000 metric tons of GHG emissions. [more]

Another way of meeting is via virtual reality environments. SecondLife tried to be all things to all people, including a business meeting environment, but that didn’t gain traction. Will new services  focusing on the needs of business users succeed where SecondLife failed?

From VenueGen CEO David Gardner:

Virtual meetings are used for three things: everyday meetings, training, and events. Meetings and trainings are highly collaborative, and VenueGen provides a highly collaborative platform to meet this need, whereas webinars have been utilized largely for passive events, like watching TV. So, in short, if companies want Webinars where audiences are passive listeners, they can select a passive platform. If companies want a virtual meeting that encourages participation, then they can select an interactive platform. Our view is that webinars and events will become highly interactive – that’s where it’s all heading. [more]

Another example is Avaya’s web.alive platform.

So, are we ready for this form of VR in business?


Author: nigelpm

Associate Professor of Information Systems, Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan - Helping organizations to navigate digital transformation.

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