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- Florin Rotar, Chief Technology Officer, Avanade
The metaverse offers enticing opportunities and the prospect of shiny, new immersive and virtual experiences, but how do you get beyond the hype and uncover the art of what’s both possible and useful in the digital workplace?
In this episode of Digital Workplace Impact, Nancy Goebel is in conversation with Florin Rotar, Chief Technology Officer, and Patrik Löwendahl, Global Head of Metaverse Service Hub, from Avanade, a leading provider of innovative digital, cloud and advisory services. Avanade has adopted a client zero approach*, so that in-house learnings can inform the work it delivers to clients as well as the industry perspectives it shares more widely.
In this candid conversation, Florin, Patrik and Nancy explore the power, purpose, uses and early learnings around the metaverse inside Avanade’s own digital workplace. They examine real-life experiences of immersive training and inclusive recruitment via the metaverse, revealing interactions and ways of working that have not previously been possible.
In so doing, they also uncover some useful truths about collaboration and ‘watch-outs’ to avoid, such as creating digital divides. With opportunity comes a definite responsibility and they encourage those venturing into the metaverse to take a deliberate and thoughtful approach to digital ethics – using metaverse technology to encourage trust and make the experience humane.
So, for a conversation full of insight, advice and honest reflections grounded in real-life metaverse adventures, take a listen today.
Show notes, links and resources for this episode:
* Client zero – where an organization tests, introduces and scales innovations in-house with its own workforce, before offering a new service to clients.
[00:00:00.460] – Florin Rotar
Somebody being able to do a job interview or just have a discussion with us as an avatar really yielded some very high quality candidates, more diverse candidates. And just actually for some people, it gave them a sense of feeling safe and being able to project a side of them that they wouldn’t have been able to project otherwise.
[00:00:27.360] – Patrik Löwendahl
People is pulling this into something kind of this is doing your workplace in VR, and when you look at from that, of course, it looks a lot like a hype and it looks like the next shiny thing. And people are thinking, does that mean I’m running around with a headset all day at work? But that’s not what it actually means. It’s much broader than that.
[00:00:49.140] – Nancy Goebel
In conversations with DWG members and practitioners across our industry, I’m often asked about how to get beyond the hype around the uses of the metaverse for the digital workplace. To explore this topic, I turned to a longtime partner and mentor, Florin Rotar. Florin is a Chief Technology Officer at Avanade and is responsible for the innovation and incubation function worldwide. And through this podcast, I was also introduced to Florin’s colleague, Patrik Löwendahl, who is global head of Avanade’s Metaverse Service Hub. And together we three explored the power, purpose, uses, and early learnings around the metaverse inside of Avanade’s own digital workplace. Some years ago, they adopted a client one approach such that inhouse learnings inform how they deliver work to clients and of course, share industry perspectives with our wider circles. Join me now for a fascinating and insightful conversation with Florin and Patrik. Happy listening.
[00:02:03.070] – Nancy Goebel
So, Florin, of course we’ve had a longstanding relationship and it’s always a great pleasure to come together with you for interesting and intelligent conversation. But I also know that you’ve brought a colleague along and of course we’re meeting for the very first time. So I want to welcome not only you, Florin, but also Patrik, to the Digital Workplace Impact podcast studio.
[00:02:28.750] – Florin Rotar
Thanks for having us here, Nancy.
[00:02:30.840] – Patrik Löwendahl
[00:02:31.560] – Nancy Goebel
And so where are you both joining us from today? Because I know sometimes you’re on the road.
[00:02:37.690] – Patrik Löwendahl
I’m joining from Seattle, which is sunny Seattle this morning. Beautiful autumn base.
[00:02:44.400] – Florin Rotar
Yeah, I’m calling you from Stockholm, which is not that sunny, it’s in Sweden so cold and windy.
[00:02:50.020] – Nancy Goebel
And certainly into your evening hours. So thank you for joining us late in the day. And in terms of our topic of conversation, we are going to explore the metaverse with a specific focus on the digital workplace given our audience. And we know that this is an area that’s relatively new for digital workplace professionals. And so sometimes I think it’s important to think about conversations like this with a fresh audience in mind. And so Patrik, maybe you can lead us off with a frame up around what the metaverse is and why digital workplace professionals need to be thinking about and leaning into this space now.
[00:03:43.240] – Patrik Löwendahl
The metaverse is actually an evolution of Internet and interaction with technology. It’s not really a technology by itself or a place. It’s a convergence of many technologies that we’ve seen evolving the last couple of years. So we see how immersion like VR and AR is really evolving. We see how the centralizations of identity and value is evolving with blockchain and data is really becoming the core of everything that we do. And the convergence of all of this becomes the concept of metaverse. And in the consumer space it means things like Roblox and Fortnite and games where stuff are happening and there’s really exciting stuff there. But for digital workplace professionals, it means things like having a more emerging collaboration with your colleagues, exchanging values in new ways and really interaction having other kinds of interactions that wasn’t possible before in layman’s terms.
[00:04:52.760] – Florin Rotar
And I would just add here, to be honest, this is obviously super topical and I’m sure many of you would agree it’s kind of hyped up as well. Like literally, you can’t open a technology publication nowadays without seeing the word metaverse in it or business publication for that matter as well. So there is despite all of the excitement and hype, I think it’s fair to say there is not a standard definition. So your definition is as good as anyone else’s. I think the bit which you mentioned, Patrik, which is personally for me, I really believe in, and I think it’s important, is the words you use around value exchange because I think we’re sometimes over-focusing on metaverse as this sort of you have your headset on and it’s a fantastic experience, but sometimes it can be a little bit of how should I put it? Putting lipstick on a pig. So for me, it’s the core theme of metaverse is the value exchange. When there is something happening, value being created, and that value can be in different types and different mechanisms. But the value exchange I think is really important and we’ll maybe come to it later on.
[00:06:18.430] – Nancy Goebel
I think that’s really critical, understanding the opportunity and the impact and the need as a way of paving the direction for what is to follow. How many times have we seen organizations gravitate towards the next shiny object without necessarily understanding how it’s going to have relevance for the business?
[00:06:44.890] – Patrik Löwendahl
Yeah. If I can say something there. I think this is one of the biggest confusion of why it feels a little bit high pitch is what Florin said as well. Where people are pulling this into something kind of this is doing your workplace in VR and when you look at it from that. Of course it looks a lot like a hype and it looks like the next shiny thing and people are thinking. Does that mean I’m running around with a headset all day at work. But that’s not what it actually means. It’s much broader than that. And I think that’s what Florin is also alluding to. It’s how do we exchange value, increase value by all of these new technologies that we have, where VR is, of course, a part of that, but it’s not the thing.
[00:07:26.850] – Nancy Goebel
I think that’s well said, and I think the way to really bring this to life is to start to think about some of the common scenarios that are coming up. Florin very often we have two lenses to the conversations that we have. There is the client lens, and then there’s also the Avanade as a provider of a digital workplace to the employees, your colleagues. And so maybe we can explore both angles as part of these common scenarios.
[00:08:01.320] – Florin Rotar
Yeah, sure thing. If I can maybe start with the external lens and maybe share with you a couple of sort of an overview of the scenarios and the use cases that we see our clients are focusing on. And I’ll cast a rather broad lens here in case our audience is interested in what companies are doing both inside the digital workplace, but also a little bit outside their digital workplace. So if I start with the outside bit, we see retail and commerce in the metaverse becoming a really important element both in B 2 C and B 2 B scenarios. So imagine scenarios where you are looking to buy a car, and the whole experience around how you experience the car, how you interact with somebody who’s helping you make the right choices, how you make the purchase and so forth is done in a much more immersive and interactive way through the metaverse. We’re seeing big brands focusing a lot on sort of digital marketing and digital goods. I’m sure you’ve read all the newspapers around $100,000 digital snickers. Personally, I’m having a bit of a tough time digesting that, but it is happening. The bit where we see tremendous uptake actually is on industrial metaverse around digital twins, whether they’re physical digital twins of complex pieces of equipment or process twins for complicated processes like payments, receivables or whatever it may be.
[00:09:57.810] – Florin Rotar
But using metaverse to get a much richer cognition and understanding of a process, or the digital twin to be able to manipulate that digital twin in real time and to simulate and get a real understanding and cognition of it, which you wouldn’t be able to do otherwise. So that is a really rapidly developing area. Now, if I sort of switch to the topic which is closer at hand for perhaps many of you in the audience, which is the digital workplace. So I think most organizations are now experimenting with meetings and events, so big all hands or CEO sessions where the CEO is looking to make a bit of a splash and to try something new that is certainly getting it’s quite prevalent nowadays. We’ve also seen companies which are doing their annual reports and the engagement with analysts. The analyst stays in the metaverse. The bit which I am really excited about is, and it’s a little bit more nascent, is immersive training. So really using the meta verse to help people gain new skills and experiences in a way which is much more durable mentally than you would be able to do otherwise.
[00:11:33.400] – Florin Rotar
There’s actually a lot of research being done on how a good quality metaverse experience triggers more parts of the brain than just staring in front of your screen and that makes for much more meaningful training. So that immersive training is a hot area. And then I could go on, but just to pick another example, it’s remote collaboration, which is very topical. Right now Microsoft is making some really great headway here to enable hybrid work with their Mesh platform. So basically using the combination of virtual spaces and physical spaces to streamline the way people are collaborating, designing, building, thinking and working together.
[00:12:26.770] – Nancy Goebel
Yeah, and that’s very much in sync with what I’ve been sharing early days with the members around the applications that we’re seeing from a digital workplace point of view. So, you know, boiling down to collaboration, learning and engagement, if you will. And so one of the things that I find important is that there’s a perspective that you bring for in around Avanade’s own digital workplace. And of course, we had a chance to dip into the focus around the employee experience when you and your colleagues came into one of our executive circles as hosts. And there was a great deal of talk about adopting a client zero approach for a number of things inclusive of the internal digital workplace program. So of course I have to ask you whether or not that concept has been extended to your in house metaverse workplace strategy as well.
[00:13:30.490] – Florin Rotar
Yeah, it has. I mean, we make a point of drinking our own champagne, so to say, or eating our own dog food, as some would say, but really for us to practice what we preach ourselves. So we are using metaverse quite a lot actually in different scenarios. Let me just try to give you a sense. So obviously we’re doing our sort of all hands calls and kickoffs and the big events. We just had our big fiscal year start a few days ago announcing our refreshed branding and so forth. And a part of that session was done in the metaverse with our CEO very proudly doing the session, partially in the metaverse and partially in the Munich office, which I think went down really well with a lot of people. The bit which personally I’m a little bit surprised about how good results we’ve gotten with is recruiting. So we’ve been hiring actually tens of thousands of people over the last few years. Most of that recruitment obviously during the pandemic was sort of remote and the onboarding was remote as well. So in a number of regions we’ve started to use metaverse to arrange job fairs and to actually interview and hire people and then once we’ve hired them to onboard them as well.
[00:15:08.860] – Florin Rotar
And then the third dimension I mentioned is events we do with clients. So when we have we literally conducted a multi week-long school of innovation for some of our most valued clients and a part of that experience was done in the Metaverse which the clients really seem to appreciate actually. And then the last bit we’re experimenting with is looking at Metaverse to map our more well to help our operations as a business. And obviously we have a services business with some pretty complicated and complex processes all the way from the way we do selling, the way we budget, the way we forecast, the way we build sort of capability with our people, the way we deliver. So we are experimenting a little bit with can we use Metaverse to create digital twins of certain business processes? We have to understand our business better. Those would be the four scenarios we’re using ourselves with various levels of success and a fair amount of lessons learned and a mix of the good, the bad and the ugly.
[00:16:33.190] – Nancy Goebel
Well, certainly I would love to get a window into those lessons learned with you Florin, whether it’s thinking about the adoption side of things or what’s worked well versus not. Because I think that’s where we do our deepest learning in conversations like this and can take things down to a practical level for the digital workplace professionals who are trying to anticipate what it’s going to be like as organizations get deeper and deeper into utilizing all of these different capabilities and ones I’m sure we haven’t even imagined yet.
[00:17:16.310] – Florin Rotar
Yeah, so let me try to give you a sense of the lessons learned and the things we wish we would have known a year ago. So maybe I’ll focus on the scenario around job fairs, recruitment and onboarding. So maybe obvious, but I would say some people can just not deal with the headsets. So motion sickness is very real. About 10% of the candidates and the people we engaged in job fairs and for onboarding just couldn’t deal with it. So we had to have a meaningful fallback alternative for those people. And we just also recognized that you can do metaverse without headsets. One doesn’t absolutely require the other. I also think that we recognize that change management is a must. So you just can’t take a process which you’ve been doing in a certain way and lift that and drop it and copy paste it into the metaverse because it will just not work. So a silly but still meaningful example is how the people who are doing the interviewing, we’re taking notes, there isn’t an obvious way to take notes when you have a headset on. So how do you remember the key points that you wanted to jot down?
[00:18:54.810] – Florin Rotar
That’s not obvious. And then we sometimes like to do a bit of the job fairs talk about who Avanade is and maybe showcase some of the best work, the coolest work that we’re proud of and so forth. And just again to lift and to copy paste that content into the metaverse. It just does not work. You can’t just use a boring old PowerPoint slide. Well, you could, but it’s not very effective. So taking a boring old PowerPoint slide and using it in the metaverse and hoping that you get a differentiated and meaningful experience that didn’t work out or the standard videos or whatever. So we realize that we need a new content creation mindset and a new type of content which needed to be created. The other point I would make is and more on the positive side actually. So we got access to candidates who would have been hesitant to interview with us because they might have been. I don’t know, self conscious about how they show up so that somebody being able to do a job interview or just have a discussion with us as an avatar really yielded some very high quality candidates.
[00:20:28.320] – Florin Rotar
More diverse candidates and just actually for some people it gave them a sense of feeling safe and being able to project a side of them that they wouldn’t have been able to project otherwise.
[00:20:43.170] – Nancy Goebel
I have to say all of these insights are fascinating, whether it’s from a change management point of view, a skill-building point of view, honing in specifically on this whole new content creation mindset that you talked about. But I’m also struck by your very last point and organizations are trying to think about how to broaden the mindset around equity and inclusion and you’ve spotlighted a powerful takeaway from dipping into the universe, the metaverse rather for recruitment purposes and so that feels like a significant impact point. Have there been any others that you can point your finger on when you move into, say, the onboarding arena, Florin?
[00:21:38.890] – Florin Rotar
Yeah, we’re all human and most of us are very social creatures by design, whether we are introverts or extroverts. So it surprised us again, or maybe I’m the cynical person who got surprised, but I was surprised about the power of community building and sort of connection that you could get in the Metaverse. And especially as again. There are literally thousands of people who might not have put their foot in an Avanade office ever or met a colleague in real life. So to say. For them to get together and do a celebration. To function like a starter group. To build a community. A sense of the habits and the fun sort of things you do when you’re a group of people starting together in a new company and being able to bond a little bit with each other or much more than they would have been able to do otherwise. I personally was surprised about how effective that was effective that was. But I would also say that we underappreciated the effort required to build quality scenes and worlds so it takes time to build realistic scenes. It requires time, it requires resources, it requires skills.
[00:23:13.160] – Florin Rotar
You need to think about model and data formats and how you do the cross-interaction between different spaces and different events. So we had initially some ill-fated events around trying to cut corners and sort of do out-of-the-box scenes and worlds with ALDR and what have you without putting a lot of effort into it. And then that sort of defeats the purpose. Maybe that’s another lesson learned I would have around the importance of doing it in a qualitative way and not cutting corner, but then also the effect, the good effect it has and how efficient it can be.
[00:23:55.840] – Nancy Goebel
And Patrik, of course I have to bring you into this part of the conversation because not only are you in a client-facing role, but you’re also an employee. So within your employee context, what has surprised you most about the organization’s early work in the Metaverse for your own digital workplace?
[00:24:18.710] – Patrik Löwendahl
I must say that the biggest surprise is how easy it has been to develop and deploy things that really bring value quickly to the organization. Looking at this job fair thing, it wasn’t big teams and months and months of development and again, that shows the maturity of the technology. It’s here, it’s taking green value earlier. That’s my biggest surprise around this. I would say it’s quick and it’s easy.
[00:24:50.740] – Florin Rotar
Maybe it’s our team which makes it look easy I’ve had a little bit of sort of insight into the more complicated bits as well. Again, I’m lifting the hood a little bit and exposing a bit of dirty laundry. But just the process of how you deploy and configure the devices to people. The technology is still not entirely seamless around the configuration management, identity management, securing the devices, cleaning them actually both physically and digitally after they’ve been used and shipping them from people. So again. It’s kind of easy to get started but then to do it right in an enterprise level scale. Again. It surprised me and maybe it shouldn’t have. But there is a device management effort to be done here which wasn’t trivial still. But I know Patrik our IT made it look so seamless.
[00:26:08.890] – Patrik Löwendahl
For sure. It’s complex things to solve and we were used to easily configure and send out concerned laptops. When new devices comes out, it becomes a problem, like when the phones came out as well. Right. But my surprise is more connected to the overall experience of we didn’t have to deploy a bunch of big Indian teams and run this for years and years before the value came, even if there were complex things to solve this. I think that’s one of my surprises. The short time frame where we got the value from.
[00:26:42.010] – Nancy Goebel
And so quite a lot of the early efforts have been in the HR arena, although not exclusively. Where do you think Avanade will venture next within its own digital workplace applications Florin?
[00:26:58.610] – Florin Rotar
I may be biased, but I really think that a huge area of opportunities around using metaverse to engage with digital twins. It’s just such a good usage of technology addressing a real business need and a real opportunity. So I can just imagine how more powerful we would be able to operate once we have this better, deeper understanding of a digital twin which models some of our key processes. And key processes would vary from organization to organization, right processes, services and people business. It’s how we find the right balance between, frankly, not having too many people on the bench who are not busy or alternatively having a shortage of people, so we’re not able to support our clients for as long as consulting and services as existed. Finding better find balance has forever been a challenge and you know, seeing a little bit tongue in cheek, but for most of the time it’s out of balance and sometimes for 2 hours every two years we get it right and things are in balance. I’m joking of course. So I’m really, really excited about the opportunity on using metaverse for digital cognition of process twins.
[00:28:41.950] – Florin Rotar
And then I think the other bit which I’m actually quite excited about is for us to use metaverse in a much deeper way in terms of how we engage with clients through all stages of our life cycle, all from doing, frankly, meeting each other and getting to know each other, to building a relationship during the sales process, but also during the delivery process. I actually do think that the time and the world of sort of mindless travelling and everything needs to be face-to-face or emails is going away. So I do think there is a new experience through the entire lifecycle of what professional services means with our clients that I’m rather excited about. But I don’t think it will happen overnight. I don’t think technology is quite ready, especially the devices, but it will happen. And I do believe for me this feels like 1996 and the advent of internet, loads of hype, everybody’s talking about it. There will be loads of sort of crashes and companies which go bust. But fundamentally it is going to change the way that we live, the way that we work with the way that we do business.
[00:30:14.170] – Florin Rotar
It just takes some time for it to mature. The same way that internet needed some time to mature and had its growing pains in those early days of the 90s and the early 2000s.
[00:30:32.590] – Nancy Goebel
Yeah, of course. And it’s not surprising that a lot of the client-facing functions will be a target because that’s where you know, the revenue trail comes from. And so it’s easy to justify the investment when you know that there is revenue that can flow on the other side, relatively speaking. But when you’re talking about digital workplace teams that are largely operating as cost centers, you have to have very clear purpose and payback in mind. And so one thing that you touched upon was this idea of mindless traveling and that can happen across the board in an organization, not just with someone in a client-facing role. So the whole sustainability angle is likely to take on a more prominent role in the business case conversations as we go along by the sounds of it.
[00:31:35.290] – Florin Rotar
And I just think we sort of need to rethink the processes and the scenario. So I mean just use a bit of a simple analogy on the customer side, right? Do you remember whatever ten years ago or something. iPads were being launched and then a few years later you started to see iPads appearing in retail stores for sort of the sales associates to do client telling and you know. It was sort of a very basic usage of pretty strong tool but basically just digitizing a sales brochure or using the iPad to show your customer that your .com and sort of go through the e-shopping experiences. You’d be there and just imagine where we are today. Where in many places that the whole experience has changed. When you’re buying something, the process has fundamentally changed. The way you can buy stuff online and drop it in a store or vice versa, the curbside pickups, et cetera, et cetera. The whole process of commerce has changed and I think Metaverse is going to drive the same type of deep, deep process change. I think initially we’re just going to see loads of people experimenting again with putting, in my words, a lipstick on a pig, on just using metaverse for exactly the same thing they’re doing today.
[00:33:14.730] – Florin Rotar
But then as they learn the process, what work means, what engagement with customers and clients mean, are going to much more deeply change. I think that’s the real power of metaverse and frankly, the rest of the sort of web free infrastructure that Patrik was alluding to at the beginning.
[00:33:35.980] – Patrik Löwendahl
I think it’s important to remember the journey we had with internet and with apps and mobile devices. It’s taken decades for us to actually get the full value out of it. Now you have everything in your phone and it’s because of the internet and mobile phones and the apps in it. And it will potentially take a decade for us to get or even maybe faster because technology is quicker, but it will take time for us to really understand what the real value is and not do these skill morphisms and things that Florin was talking about, doing the same thing with new technologies. So to get that value, it will be really exciting to see what we come up with. Some of those things already alluded to like getting a digital twin of a process and being able to simulate and maybe use AI to predict and stuff like that in real time. That’s cool stuff. But how would that impact business? I don’t think we really know yet.
[00:34:34.760] – Nancy Goebel
Well, I think like most new areas, you need time to understand the possibilities. You have to build new skills and then you have to translate your current world into applications in the new in order to gain the confidence to be able to then innovate in this space.
[00:34:57.710] – Florin Rotar
And I also think though, we’ve got a unique opportunity to do things better and more thoughtful than we did with Web One or Web Two because we have some lessons learned. We as an industry around again, topics like accessibility, inclusivity, privacy, security, safety, really embracing the human psychology and making this sort of evolution of technology more trustworthy, more humane, more human. And I think we have a responsibility as an industry in my opinion. And we certainly in Avanade, we take this very, very serious. It’s actually one of the most important things we focus on is around the trust in technology. So this feels to me again a little bit like 1996 all over again. I know I’ve said that before, but with a chance for us to get to do it right, to finally avoid making the same stupid mistakes and silly mistakes we did in the past because we didn’t know better,
[00:36:13.990] – Patrik Löwendahl
I think we need to be very careful with one thing, which is technology and the technology literacy. So one thing that we’ve seen with Web One, Web Two and the apps is that we left people behind. Actually, not only people, but parts of the world has been left behind. And as we now progress even further into technology advancements, it’s going to be super important for us as an industry to make sure that we have that societal impact as well, and making sure that we bring people with us and not only the business. And I mean, we talked about this earlier and the people getting motion sickness and all of that, that’s real things that will keep people out of these experiences.
[00:36:56.980] – Nancy Goebel
In a way you’re thinking about how we avoid creating new digital divides as you move deeper and deeper into these applications, whether it’s internally or with clients. And so we’re quickly approaching our final moments together. So I want to make sure that we walk away with some highlights around your best advice for those venturing into this space for the first time as digital workplace professionals. Perhaps we can start with you, Patrik.
[00:37:35.360] – Patrik Löwendahl
Sure. So I would say experiment. And experiment a lot and often with a lot of different people in the organization to make sure that you both see how it impacts them but also get their perspective so you can get the best out of that technology. Because as we said, we don’t really know what the full value of it is, but maybe people in your organization will help you understand that. So experiment then. Don’t do that in silos, do it with your people.
[00:38:07.540] – Nancy Goebel
That’s great advice. And you Florin, what would you add.
[00:38:11.230] – Florin Rotar
To that just for the sake of it. I’ll be I’ll be a little bit counter to Patrik. So I’ll put my business hat on and say, you know, know what outcome and value you’re trying to get out of this. And even though it may be difficult, figure out what success metrics and what success looks like. Again, though, I’m saying this half jokingly because I fully agree with Patrik around the nature experiment, but also know how to recognize success and what success looks like, but also be willing to embrace failure and have a way of dealing with it. It’s no big deal if something didn’t go as you wanted to. It’s not something you shuffle under the carpet. You recognize from it, you learn from it, you move on. But to me, the most important bit is to do what matters. So focus and channel the energy and the time. And if there is money involved, focus it on where you think you can make an impact to the organization, but know what success looks like and measure it.
[00:39:32.970] – Nancy Goebel
So it’s not experimentation for the sake of experimentation. It’s experimentation with purpose.
[00:39:41.210] – Florin Rotar
That’s a good way of putting it.
[00:39:43.690] – Nancy Goebel
So what have we missed?
[00:39:47.210] – Florin Rotar
I don’t know. Have we missed anything? The really important bit for me, which both professionally but actually also on the personal level, is, again, the digital ethic dimension of this and being deliberate and thoughtful around how you use this meta verse technology to actually really encourage trust and to make the experience humane and to do it for the right reason and in the right way. I think this if we don’t do that from the beginning, I do believe this risks being just a shiny new object, or even worse, people are not going to trust you because you literally are putting you’re getting very close to people in a way we haven’t been doing before. So I’m sure you’ve all read about cases of sort of literally digital assaults in the metaverse of people who are being abused or bullied, which felt very, very real for the people who are the victims, even if it was virtual. Or imagine how close you get to a person, literally, they’re having a device on their head. And devices are nowadays able to track your head motion and maybe read the what your eyes are doing and your pupil dilation and interpret your mood and what you’re looking at and how focused you are or what you maybe even guess what you’re thinking.
[00:41:42.040] – Florin Rotar
I’m exaggerating a little bit here, but we’re getting really close to people, and I so deeply believe we need to do this in a thoughtful way. We have a responsibility. We really, really do.
[00:41:54.570] – Nancy Goebel
That’s such an important thinking point for everyone. Patrik, anything to add to that?
[00:42:02.740] – Patrik Löwendahl
No, I think Florin covered it. I mean, people are important. Technology is exciting, right? But just make sure that both of them are really working together. I think that’s the only point.
[00:42:15.820] – Nancy Goebel
Well, Florin, Patrik. I want to thank you for taking us through some really unique, inspiring, challenging insights around this space, both with the external point of view as well as looking inside of Avanade for early Metaverse experiences within the digital workplace. I think there are just some really useful takeaways that will help guide the thinking on many levels within this space as we go forward. So I hope that we can stay connected on this topic and come back and chat again as your learnings continue. And in the meantime, thank you for taking time out of your days to chat with us.
[00:43:09.540] – Florin Rotar
Yeah, well, thank you Nancy, for having us. And even though we ended up a little bit on a heavy note there with the risks and the challenges, I really do believe this has the potential to change a lot of things for good and to do a lot of good to people, do a lot of good for businesses. And also I would be really keen on hearing from the people who are listening to this podcast around your own experiences and your lessons learned and your suggestions and your advice, because we’re not saying we know it all. I think this community that Digital Workplace Group is fostering of people exchanging knowledge and learning from each other is so powerful and I think Metaverse is a great example where the power of communities has the potential to really help us all out. So this is just my way of saying thank you for having us and I would love to learn from all of you out there on your thoughts and experiences.
[00:44:19.500] – Nancy Goebel
That’s a perfect ending note for this conversation. Thank you both. And I guess to be continued as we start to hear back from DWG members in our wider circles on this listening post. And so take care for now and to be continued.
[00:44:43.090] – Florin Rotar
Thank you. Bye.
[00:44:44.590] – Nancy Goebel
Thank you Nancy. Bye.
[00:44:51.560] – Nancy Goebel
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