The Enterprise Metaverse: Definition, Benefits and Opportunities

What is the Enterprise Metaverse, and What are its Use Cases?

7
The Enterprise Metaverse Definition, Benefits and Opportunities - XR Today New
Mixed RealityInsights

Published: May 24, 2024

Rebekah Carter

Rebekah Carter

The concept of the enterprise metaverse has been gaining increasing attention in recent years. Initially, when the hype around “metaverse” experiences began to rise, many innovators were focused on the consumer market and the opportunities people would have to experience new digital realms.

However, as metaverse technologies have grown more accessible and advanced, business leaders are beginning to discover new use cases. The metaverse has begun to split into different segments, from the industrial metaverse, powered mainly by digital twins, IoT, and XR, to the retail metaverse used for marketing, customer service, and revenue generation.

In the years ahead, evolutions in metaverse as a service platforms, artificial intelligence, and extended reality headsets designed for business users should drive the growth of enterprise metaverse solutions.

Here, I’ll introduce you to an enterprise metaverse and what it can do for your company.

What is an Enterprise Metaverse?

An enterprise metaverse is essentially a metaverse that unlocks opportunities for businesses. It combines the various technologies used in metaverse environments, from extended reality and AI to IoT, to help companies achieve a range of goals.

Companies can create their own metaverse ecosystems, designed for everything from immersive collaboration and remote work, to product development and engineering. Compared to the consumer metaverse, the enterprise metaverse is still in its relatively early stages. However, many market-leading vendors are beginning to recognize the opportunities in this landscape.

Meta, for instance, known for its Horizon Worlds solution, has now opened its mixed reality ecosystem to developers worldwide, to help more creators produce metaverse-style experiences for different use cases. Other vendors in the metaverse as a service (MaaS) space are giving enterprise leaders the low-code tools they need to build metaverse assets for specialized use cases.

The Rise of the Enterprise Metaverse

Metaverses built specifically for enterprises are still a work in progress, but opportunities are beginning to develop at an incredible rate. In 2023, a PWC report revealed that 82% of executives believe the metaverse will be part of their business processes in the next 3 years.

It makes sense when you consider the majority of organizations are already experimenting with the underlying technologies that power the metaverse, such as extended reality, digital twins, artificial intelligence, and blockchain. The rise of more innovative solutions for connectivity, immersion, and data management has made the metaverse more accessible than ever.

What’s more, not only are companies creating metaverse experiences specially designed for enterprise users, but extended reality innovators are beginning to focus more on the enterprise, too. Apple’s spatial computing headset, for instance, is clearly designed with a focus on business users.

Even Meta’s latest Quest 3 headset, with its advanced mixed reality and spatial computing capabilities, is specially tuned to the needs of enterprises.

The Enterprise Metaverse: Use Cases and Opportunities

Though we’re still in the early stages of exploring the potential of the enterprise metaverse, countless opportunities have begun to emerge. On a global scale, workplaces are changing drastically. Remote and hybrid work is growing more common, and companies are looking for more ways to boost productivity and efficiency with immersive technologies.

This means enterprise metaverse solutions could potentially transform every part of the workplace and the way businesses operate. Let’s look at some of the key use cases.

1. Engineering and Product Development

The industrial metaverse is essentially a “sub-section” of the enterprise metaverse landscape. It’s also one of the fastest-growing areas in this landscape, particularly with the rise of more advanced IoT solutions, 5G connections, and generative AI.

Many pioneering companies are already using digital twins (a core component of the industrial metaverse) to improve engineering and development. Digital twins can help businesses with everything from risk management to product development, predictive maintenance, and remote monitoring. The wider metaverse landscape also presents additional opportunities here.

Extended reality can empower engineers and professionals in the AEC industry, allowing them to interact with customers, share product demonstrations, and render photorealistic representations of tangible objects. In this landscape, the metaverse can drive faster innovation cycles, decentralize production, and enhance immersive product testing strategies.

2. Immersive, Global Customer Engagement

Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of the enterprise metaverse is that it allows companies to expand their global reach and form deeper connections with customers. Already, the internet has helped companies overcome various geographical environments, but there’s still a clear gap between virtual and real-world experiences.

By producing interactive, immersive, and 3-dimensional experiences at scale, metaverse solutions can fill this gap. They enable businesses to access clients and customers worldwide, and allow them to experiment with products and services like never before. With the metaverse, and extended reality, businesses can visit the same digital spaces as customers in real-time.

Organizations can guide customers through immersive onboarding processes, help them troubleshoot common problems remotely, and even provide users with unique purchasing experiences. Some vendors, like Helpshift, are already making waves in this landscape. The Helpshift Metashift platform is specifically designed for customer support in the metaverse and offers companies a way to help users shop, interact, and experiment with products wherever they are.

3. Marketing and Sales in the Enterprise Metaverse

Enterprise metaverse technologies, such as extended reality, are already common in many marketing and sales activities. Companies already use AR solutions like Snapchat to connect with customers and promote products. They’re also leveraging artificial intelligence to personalize advertising and sales strategies on a massive scale.

In the enterprise metaverse, companies have an opportunity to create entire marketing events in virtual worlds, which allow customers to experiment with products or “try” products before they buy them. They can connect sales representatives to consumers in the metaverse or give them the support of a lifelike avatar powered by generative AI.

Already, companies like Nike and Coca-Cola have launched their own metaverse initiatives for marketing purposes, with exceptional results. The metaverse transforms marketing and sales initiatives and opens the door to new potential sources of revenue.

Companies can now sell NFTs, digital assets, and experiences alongside physical solutions, multiplying sales opportunities. For instance, fashion companies like Gucci have their own NFT collections, sold alongside physical garments.

4. Employee Onboarding and Training

Rapid technological advancements and skill shortages have made consistent workforce training and upskilling crucial in recent years. Unfortunately, hybrid and remote work also means many companies struggle to deliver consistent training experiences. The metaverse and extended reality technology introduce new opportunities for advanced onboarding and skill development.

With the metaverse, companies can build immersive training experiences that enhance knowledge retention and engagement. They can allow employees to visit virtual versions of real-world environments, experiment with different types of technology, and perform tasks without risks.

Additionally, the metaverse opens the door to plenty of collaborative learning opportunities, as well as the ability to gamify learning experiences. The “educational metaverse” has already begun to earn a lot of attention worldwide, with many companies specializing in solutions specifically designed for upskilling and knowledge development.

As training initiatives evolve with the help of generative AI coaches, and new extended reality solutions, enterprise metaverse training will likely become commonplace.

5. Enhanced Enterprise Metaverse Collaboration

Immersive collaboration is one of the most significant trends in the enterprise landscape, influenced by the rise of metaverse technologies. Though many companies are attempting to encourage more employees back into traditional environments, remote and hybrid work are still common.

Not to mention, many businesses have field workers to consider when it comes to ensuring their teams remain connected. The enterprise metaverse allows companies to create a secondary “virtual office” where everyone can seamlessly share knowledge and collaborate, regardless of their location.

With extended reality, companies can bring teams together in interactive environments where they can work on projects in real-time, and engage on a more “human” level. According to PWC, metaverse experiences can actually improve productivity and collaboration by 30%.

This not only improves company culture and employee experiences, but it can help to reduce overhead costs too, minimizing the amount of office space companies need to invest in.

Additionally, because enterprise metaverse environments can scale globally, companies have the opportunity to source talent from a range of locations, overcoming talent shortages.

6. More Immersive Virtual Events

The enterprise metaverse will almost certainly revolutionize the way companies launch and manage events and conferences. Many businesses have already begun experimenting with more immersive “hybrid events,” which allow users to visit virtual versions of conference floors using extended reality.

The enterprise metaverse can combine the best of in-person and online events into a single platform. With the right technology, companies can access NFT-powered ticketing and registration tools, customizable avatars for digital events, and global networking solutions.

Companies can create truly interactive experiences that replicate the feeling of attending events in person, allowing people to interact with product demonstrations or make purchases. Adding a virtual element to events with the metaverse also eliminates the limitations of some standard events.

Businesses can host unlimited participants in the metaverse, remove the need for travel, and even connect with hosts and speakers who wouldn’t be able to attend an in-person conference.

Looking to the Future of the Enterprise Metaverse

The potential of the enterprise metaverse landscape is growing constantly. As companies create more scalable metaverse platforms and tools, more accessible resources for business leaders, and more advanced headsets, the opportunities are growing.

In the years ahead, we’re likely to see more organizations investing in metaverse opportunities for not just training and onboarding employees but also enhancing collaboration, customer service, and marketing strategies. Of course, there are still challenges to overcome.

While AI and innovative tech is improving access to the metaverse, new risks are emerging all of the time in regard to metaverse governance, and data security. For the enterprise metaverse to become truly commonplace, each business investing in this landscape will need their own distinct strategy.

They’ll need to identify the use cases the offer the most potential to their business, work with leading providers of platforms and hardware, and design policies to help mitigate threats. The adoption of the metaverse may not be simple for the enterprise, but it could be truly transformational.

Metaverse
Featured

Share This Post