In an article published this week by Network World, and relayed by the Association of Virtual Worlds, two 3DXplorer customers talk about their experience with the platform used for web conferencing. Here is one of them, through an excerpt from the mentioned article:
… Global cosmetics giant Avon Products had a problem. The teenage girls who were the primary salesforce for its “mark” brand of youth-oriented cosmetic products had a hard time sitting through Web conferences composed mostly of PowerPoint presentations. But the need for online meetings was unavoidable – the girls were located all over the country, and needed to participate in training and attend sales meetings.
“When you’re sitting in a Web conference, it’s easy to be distracted, check your email, watch TV,” says Natalie Wood, assistant director for the Center of Consumer Research at Philadelphia’s St. Joseph’s University, which was asked by Avon to help solve this problem.
The Center for Consumer Research had experience working in various environments that were more engaging than watching slides on the Web while on a conference call. The most popular of these was Second Life, but this platform wasn’t appropriate for Avon, chiefly because of its steep learning curve and technical requirements.
The platform the Center for Consumer Research decided on, 3DXplorer from Altadyn, is a Java-based online meeting space where companies can fully customize the virtual environment and hold meetings similar to the ones they would have in Second Life.
“It’s Web-enabled,” Wood says. “You don’t need a fancy computer, and you don’t have many firewall problems. And you do not need to be highly competent to use 3DXplorer. Second Life definitely has a steep learning curve.”
The Center for Consumer Research has already begun holding virtual meetings for Avon’s young sales agents in the 3DXplorer environment, and the feedback has been positive.
“One of the things we’re finding is that the girls no longer feel anonymous,” she says. “Girls are commenting to each other, ‘It’s wonderful to finally meet you!’ – even though they’re not actually meeting, they’re meeting the avatar.”
They also felt that the meetings were more serious and legitimate, she adds.
Avon’s virtual meeting space in 3DXplorer is modeled after its headquarters in New York City, and visitors can actually see the New York skyline when they look out of the virtual windows.
“It gives them the feeling that they’re really in the ‘mark’ offices in New York,” Wood says….
Read more here.
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