RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • Accenture believes the future of meeting, learning and working together will combine physical and virtual experiences to transform the enterprise.
  • Advancements in 3D, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) enable companies, including Accenture, to create immersive experiences that are shared and equal.
  • Accenture’s Nth floor metaverse is enabling employees to meet, learn and collaborate in new ways.


Transcending the real world

As more people are embracing the virtual world to better connect, a continuum of technologies and experiences are growing in popularity—and offering huge potential for future ways of learning and working. Accenture is recognized as an early leader in this space, applying technologies, such as extended reality (XR) and digital twins, to deliver breakthrough solutions for more than a decade.

With the belief that physical and virtual experiences will co-exist in future ways of working, Accenture is moving boldly into the metaverse to create workplace experiences, where our people can participate, contribute and feel like they belong, regardless of where they work.

Working closely with Microsoft, Accenture started this journey pre-pandemic by building a virtual campus called the “Nth floor” for people to gather and participate in community events. Soon after the pandemic hit, Accenture began building on these capabilities for onboarding new employees and then extended them to serve learning and collaboration needs within the organization.



Accenture’s metaverse: The Nth floor

A new era of digital change is being ushered in by the metaverse—a convergence of physical and digital worlds that enables people to move beyond “browsing” to “inhabiting” in a shared experience. Enhanced by advancements in 3D, AR and VR, it’s where people can meet and where digital assets—land, buildings, products, and avatars—can be created, bought and sold.

Accenture’s enterprise metaverse, known as the Nth floor, refers to the virtual environments we have created to bring Accenture people together to meet, collaborate and learn. Whether hosting meetings or socializing, the metaverse is a versatile, scalable solution for bringing a geographically distributed workforce together.

In addition, Accenture has created digital twins of many of its physical offices, from Bangalore in India to Madrid in Spain and San Francisco in the United States to provide familiar environments for its people to meet, collaborate and network.

Digital twins: Our virtual offices

Onboarding new hires

The first few days as a new employee are crucial to talent retention. However, a Gallup poll found only 12% of employees reflected favorably on job onboarding experiences – and that was prior to the pandemic. These experiences crucial to shaping the path forward for an employee.

Within our Nth floor metaverse, a virtual campus called One Accenture Park is helping new employees personally connect with the culture and plant the seeds of professional relationships. This type of immersive experience enables new hires to experience “orientation” in a more personal way and meet many more people doing so. This year, 150,000 new hires are working from the metaverse on their first day at Accenture.

Learning

As we continue to invest in our people, this VR program enables us to use new ways of connecting with each other to practice soft skills, such as sales conversations and orals, giving and receiving feedback, as well as coaching and mentoring. There’s also growing evidence to support immersive VR instruction. In the latest Accenture report, Meeting the New Reality: Immersive Learning, we found that a majority of learners (70%) forgot training content within 24 hours and virtually all (90%) forgot after a month. Interestingly, a study also found immersive VR instruction offered a path to achieve 33% higher learning retention when compared to video.



Taking this idea enterprise-wide, Accenture has started introducing new learning content in VR this year. For example, our new “VR Cybersecurity Adventure” course provides a gamified experience that takes users through an immersive journey set in both real and fantasy environments. The training asks users to defend themselves against hackers, scammers, fraudsters and cyberbullies as the user’s knowledge of safe cybersecurity practices is put to the test using select VR headsets.

Virtual events

Since the pandemic began, Accenture has held hundreds of community gatherings in immersive spaces where people can connect, learn and better collaborate because they're in the same place together. For example, at an annual strategy meeting with our client account leaders, we created a virtual lounge using a combination of avatars and realistic meeting spaces to provide a deeper sense of connection. The result: more than 150 managing directors in 25 countries enjoyed face-to-face time from their own locations.

"XR helps our people go beyond in-person experiences to discover the art of the possible and reach new levels of workplace innovation."

— JASON WARNKE, Senior Managing Director – Global IT, Global Digital Experiences Lead, Accenture

XR excellence foundation

Our strategy is grounded in using XR to develop a sense of community and enhance our culture. It focuses on three foundational pillars: experience, adoption and infrastructure.

  • Mobilize the Accenture metaverse where our people can learn, onboard and collaborate.
  • Explore new ways to engage our people, both professionally and personally.
  • Create meaningful content that delights our people.
  • Innovate and iterate with our ecosystem relationships to provide the best experience for our people—making it a seamless experience from reality to VR.
  • Manage user acceptance of XR across a variety of countries and diverse populations.
  • Fuel adoption with a strong strategy that ties to daily ways of working and user needs.
  • Weave XR into the fabric of Accenture and create opportunities for our people to continue to innovate and discover.
  • Create a strong change network to enable our people to be experts and inspire others to create consistent usage.
  • Determine our device strategy and key components needed to be effective.
  • Determine how to roll out headsets across the globe and use our extensive user base for feedback.
  • Engage our IT support teams to add new devices to their support scope.

As we look to the future, the introduction of new platforms—such as the platform Microsoft Mesh that’s designed to make app creation easier—offers the promise of new forms of mixed reality collaboration in the metaverse.

Virtual Reality (VR) is a three-dimensional, computer generated environment that can be explored and interacted with by a person.

Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user's view of the real world to provide a composite view.

Mixed Reality (MR) is the merging of real and virtual worlds to produce new environments and visualizations, where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time.

Extended Reality (XR) includes virtual reality (VR), mixed reality (MR), augmented reality (AR), haptics, holograms, and immersive tools and diverse worlds that use and enhance our natural senses.

View All

Jason Warnke

Senior Managing Director – Global IT, Digital Experiences Lead


Allison Horn

Managing Director – Human Resources, Global Head of Talent


Ashwin D’Silva

Managing Director – Global IT, Extended Reality


Amanda Clevey Brown

Senior Manager – Global IT, Technology Vision & Strategy

MORE ON THIS TOPIC

Are you ready for close encounters of the virtual kind?
Meeting the new reality: Immersive learning

Subscription Center
Stay in the know with our newsletter Stay in the know with our newsletter