Microsoft own metaverse is coming it

microsoft own metaverse is coming it

The onboarding process typically involves gathering new-hire cohorts and senior leadership in an office to go through a series of experiences that help people understand and personally connect with the Accenture culture, plant the seeds of professional relationships and set them up for success starting from their first projects.

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Now, new hires meet together on Teams where they receive instructions on how to create a digital avatar and access One Accenture Park, a shared virtual space that enables immersive experiences during onboarding.

Microsoft’s own metaverse is coming and it will have powerpoint

All of a sudden, you’re looking at an avatar representation of someone, but you’re having these deep conversations about, like, ‘How is that big deal you’re working on? How is the family?’” he said. “You forget that you’re in a VR space. To me that’s the most magical part of what we’re doing here.”

On the spectrum of engagement

Mesh for Teams will roll out with a set of pre-built immersive spaces to support a variety of contexts, from meetings to social mixers. Over time, organizations will be able to build custom immersive spaces like the Nth Floor with Mesh and deploy them to Teams, noted Microsoft’s Teper.

Whatever the device, the mixed-reality technology will give each user an avatar that provides a sense of presence, that allows them to be their expressive selves when they don’t want to be on camera.

These avatars, Kelly added, are just the start. They’ll follow users from the Teams meeting to other Mesh-enabled experiences including immersive spaces within Teams, such as Accenture’s Nth Floor. “The idea is that you aren’t locked into this 2D interaction with your avatar,” she explained. “After I’ve formed a relationship with you, I know your avatar, I go into an immersive space that maybe has 20 other people in it.


The futuristic amusement park-like space has a central conference room, a virtual boardroom and monorails zooming off to different exhibits that each new-hire cohort goes through together.

“Right from the very start, you’re understanding what it’s like to work with this group of people who may be fully remote, trying to get something done,” Warnke said.

To date, tens of thousands of new hires have onboarded at One Accenture Park. Thousands more Accenture people have attended dozens of other events using laptops and virtual reality headsets in other virtual Accenture offices including a digital twin of Accenture’s recently opened One Manhattan West office in New York.

Learning to navigate the immersive spaces takes a few minutes, and then users are off and running, Warnke said.

It’s a future many have often dreamed of, even if the dream didn’t involve showing off PowerPoint slides in VR.

In an age where virtual meetings dominate the workspace for those that work from home, Mesh looks like it could be fun, even if only as a gimmick. With that being said, it’s hard to imagine a world where users can easily use the technology. For instance, think how often technical issues like operating a microphone and webcam can be a large hurdle for some.
Now throw a mixed reality headset at those users. It’s not exactly a recipe for success.

Despite Microsoft Technical Fellow Alex Kipman’s statement: “it’s something that customers are really asking us for…, “a cursory browse through comments sections on articles for any metaverse outside of comics will show that potential users are skeptical at best.

Teams. The feature combines the mixed-reality capabilities of Microsoft Mesh, which allows people in different physical locations to join collaborative and shared holographic experiences, with the productivity tools of Microsoft Teams, where people can join virtual meetings, send chats, collaborate on shared documents and more.

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Mesh builds on existing Teams features such as Together mode and Presenter mode that make remote and hybrid meetings more collaborative and immersive, according to Jeff Teper, a Microsoft corporate vice president whose responsibilities include the Microsoft 365 productivity tools Teams, SharePoint and OneDrive.

These tools are all ways “to signal we’re in the same virtual space, we’re one team, we’re one group, and help take the formality down a peg and the engagement up a peg,” Teper said.

Today ISPs, cloud providers, device manufacturers — even industry rivals in these markets — recognize the need to work together on security issues.

Sitting now at the gateway of a new dimension in technology, it’s critical to align on key priorities to help secure the metaverse for generations — and identity, transparency and a continued sense of unity among defenders will be key.

Identity is where intruders strike first For years fraudsters have claimed to be deposed princes with fortunes to share, or sweepstakes hosts desperately trying to reach you, but the advent of email and text messaging re-franchised these schemes for the digital world.

Play this forward, and picture what phishing could look like in the metaverse. It won’t be a fake email from your bank. It could be an avatar of a teller in a virtual bank lobby asking for your information.

When Wi-Fi was first available on laptops, corporate security teams were wary of embracing it. Before long, you could not buy a laptop without Wi-Fi –whether your organization accounted for wireless in security policies, or not.

When the iPhone and Android phones exploded onto the scene, they became a massive catalyst for BYOD (bring your own device) policies in the workplace. Almost overnight, personal devices became a new category and organizations had to catch up.
We can logically expect metaverse-influenced features and experiences to arrive at enterprises in much the same fashion.

Let’s learn from these lessons and stay ahead of the curve We’ve long known that security is a team sport, and no single vendor, product or technology can go it alone in protection.

Trust cannot end at the doorway of a virtual meeting space, for example – it must extend to the interactions and apps within – otherwise security uncertainty will hobble people wondering what to say or do in a new virtual space and create gaps that can be exploited.

Which brings us to the importance of these early days for the metaverse: We have one chance at the start of this era to establish specific, core security principles that foster trust and peace of mind for metaverse experiences. If we miss this opportunity, we’ll needlessly deter the adoption of technologies with great potential for improving accessibility, collaboration and business.

This is why solving for identity in the metaverse is a top concern. Organizations need to know that adopting metaverse-enabled apps and experiences won’t upend their identity and access control. This means we have to make identity manageable for enterprises in this new world.

Constructive steps include making things like multi-factor authentication (MFA) and passwordless authentication integral to platforms.
We can also build on recent innovations in the multicloud arena, where IT admins can use a single console to govern access to multiple cloud app experiences their users rely on.

Transparency and interoperability will be key There will be many providers of platforms and experiences in the metaverse, and true interoperability can make the gaps between them seamless and more secure — while enabling exciting new scenarios.

Before the pandemic, for example, Accenture built a virtual campus where employees from anywhere could gather for coffees, presentations, parties and other events.

“We started to call it the Nth Floor, this magical, mythical campus that could only be found in virtual reality,” said Jason Warnke, senior managing director and global digital experiences lead for Accenture. His favorite feature, he added, is the ability to bump into colleagues from around the world and have deep and meaningful conversations. Jazzed after each event, he’d have ideas for five more.

Soon after the pandemic hit, the ultimate use case emerged: Onboarding new employees.
Accenture hires more than 100,000 people each year.

Beneath the buzz, the metaverse is arriving in both predictable and unexpected ways.

Some new experiences using headsets and mixed reality will be in your face – quite literally – but other implications will be harder to spot. As with all new categories, we’ll see intended and unintended innovations and experiences, and the security stakes will be higher than we imagine at first.

There is an inherent social engineering advantage with the novelty of any new technology. In the metaverse, fraud and phishing attacks targeting your identity could come from a familiar face – literally – like an avatar who impersonates your coworker, instead of a misleading domain name or email address.
These types of threats could be deal breakers for enterprises if we don’t act now.

Because there will be no single metaverse platform or experience, interoperability is also crucial.

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