In January last year, Johnson & Johnson’s MedTech business in Australia dipped its toes into the metaverse.
For its Annual Sales ANZ Team Meeting, it used a virtual platform to merge live broadcasts with pre-recorded video and self-guided sessions all navigated via a bespoke, branded metaverse built for the event.
The data suggests a strong engagement with 750 delegates completing more than 15,000 self-guided learning sessions over four days. That's on top of the event’s 130 scheduled sessions across the event, as well as meetings social rooms and exhibitor booths.
According to Johnson & Johnson’s head of communications Joanna Stevens, the virtual model is better aligned with employee and customer needs since a significant portion of the company's medical devices sales team is required to attend the operating theatre.
"The feedback we received is they were able to better manage their caseloads due to the virtual format; logging on at relevant times rather than taking four days off work to attend in person," Stevens said.
“We have the opportunity to continue adding content to this software and expand its potential as a permanent learning resource.”
That move into virtual reality driven by the necessity of the pandemic at the time, also makes the business an earlier pioneer in the metaverse, a commercial ecosystem that Boston Consulting Group says will be worth $US1.3 trillion by 2030.
Accenture research found that 42 percent of executives say they believe the metaverse will be ‘breakthrough or transformational’ and businesses are ‘racing towards a future that is very different to the one they were designed to operate in as technologies converge to reshape human experiences’.
While tech vendors such as Microsoft, Adobe and Meta are making increasing noise about their shift to the metaverse, a corporate investment beyond the IT sector is also rising.
Alpha Romeo Formula 1 team ORLEN for instance has invested in the metaverse to create what it describes as an enhanced audience experience for fans.
The Sauber Motorsport AG owned team has partnered with the Everdome metaverse to create a realistic web3 experience for fans and the racing community.
According to Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN, “We are taking a massive step to enter the metaverse, and Everdome has the expertise and technology we need to create a new sports-viewing, immersive experience."
An Australian tech innovator which helped bring the J&J event to life says a ‘plug and play’ version of its metaverse platform, will enable enterprises to engage audiences in the metaverse within hours of purchase, rather than having to spend months of expensive developer time on the move.
According to Curiious managing director Michelle Schuberg, “Some brands are already announcing they’re entering the metaverse, while others are figuring out if they need it yet and then there are the enterprises who are somewhere in-between.
"What any enterprise needs to know right now is that the metaverse is here. Any brand can get started with a branded, immersive experience within hours - whether their audience is their global employee base, clients needing to understand a new product, or consumers wanting to engage in the brand’s community."