As remote work became a reality and unquestionable part of life, VR took shape as an enterprise solution that helps organizations maintain high collaboration productivity without needing an in-office presence. Are you wondering, “Wait! But I thought VR was more than gaming”? Yes, VR did find its early use in gaming, but it now finds applications in many other areas. On the business front, virtual reality allows people to operate their companies, recruit and train talent, interact with customers, and sell their products. So, in today’s world, VR is used by companies and individuals for varied purposes, from business to leisure.
One of the core advantages of VR which has enabled its business applications is that it gives its user a 3-dimensional space where one can meet with people as if they would in real life. In its essence, a user’s feeling in a virtual meeting is much like any other normal meeting except for the use of a VR headset to bring participants from various locations into the same space. That said, there are many other advantages.
Advantages of using VR for enterprises
“Physical” Presence - Presence can be described as the feeling of having a person around you. Photorealistic avatars coupled with spatial audio replicate the feeling of physical proximity and engagement. Such a setting generates a physical and mental response similar to in-person social interactions. This 3D immersion increases engagement within your team.
Hybrid workforce - Solely in-person work is going out of trend as more and more employees now prefer to work from home. This has led to many companies having to deal with more geographically dispersed teams and managing a hybrid workforce. Adding VR to your company’s communication tools would provide your team with a better communication medium for remote working without losing the in-person feeling completely.
Sustainability-conscious solution - Virtual Reality can help you conduct an engaging experience, reduce your costs and become more environmentally friendly at the same time. With just a VR headset and an internet connection, everyone around the world can attend a VR meeting. This allows companies to greatly decrease the costs of traveling and organizing meetings and drastically reduce carbon emissions.
Security - Meetings in Arthur enjoy an enterprise-grade level of security. Arthur employs end-to-end encryption and multiple-factor authentication. Arthur is SOC-2 Type 2 certified. The platform ensures complete security and privacy of customer data. So, the productivity and collaboration benefits come without any compromise in security.
Features built to enhance enterprise experience in VR
Pinboards in Arthur work quite similarly to real-life pinboards except that with digital pinboards, the possibilities increase manifold. Not only can you add sticky notes flexibly but you can also pin presentations, whiteboards, photos, and videos to your pinboards. The sticky notes are available in a range of colors which allows our clients to color code and structure their thoughts. Digital pinboards allow you to add a wide variety of data and create a more composite presentation of the topic at hand. Furthermore, you could place as many pinboards around the room as you need, which would be a difficult proposition in a physical office. Pinboard can be used as a kanban board, mind mapping tool, brainstorming and ideation tool, or for other creative uses.
The private Audio Zones feature is one of the productivity tools that is immensely popular with our clients. It helps users create a separate space in the room to conduct private discussions or discrete and engaging breakout sessions within the same space. It allows them to converse exclusively with the people inside the private audio zone. The most popular use case of the audio zones is facilitating breakout sessions in a workshop setting. Our clients say they appreciate the no-distraction setup wherein each group has their private audio zone to brainstorm, discuss or even build with shapes without ever needing to leave the bigger space and step out of sight into smaller rooms.
Photorealistic avatars and Spatial audio
As we mentioned in the introduction, Arthur’s virtual office gives you the feeling of in-person presence. But, how does VR achieve that? It’s the photorealistic avatars combined with the spatial audio. Photorealistic avatars make sure your virtual avatar looks as close to your real self as possible. If you got a new haircut and want to flaunt it to your colleagues, just click a picture, upload it to the Arthur portal, and then regenerate your avatar. Using real-life photos instead of caricature avatars makes the person’s virtual presence more impressionable and life-like. Along with a photorealistic avatar, Arthur also has spatial audio. This means, unlike the 2D audio system, in VR you will know the direction the sound is coming from. This feature takes you a step further to feel as if all your team members are in the same room.
Presentation, Whiteboards, and Videos
In Arthur’s virtual office, you can use various types of visual aids including presentations, whiteboards, and videos to your VR meeting room. Our clients use presentations for various types of meetings like town halls, client presentations, brainstorming, workshops, etc. Spawning a whiteboard is also just a click away. In the VR room, you can spawn as many whiteboards as possible. These whiteboards come in handy when you need to hash out some ideas and want a clean canvas to start. You can use a pen or pencil in various colours as per your needs.
Browser and screen share
You saw a relevant news article online but don’t have it as a pdf? No problem. You can open a browser in your Arthur VR office and operate any site like in real life. Arthur’s office also allows you to open a personal browser and screen share it with your colleagues whenever you want.
Use of integrations
Most of us use a multitude of applications to conduct our day to day work. Some of those applications are coming to Arthur. We already have integrations for some tools like Miro and others like Jira are in the pipeline. Using the private browser feature, you can use 2D productivity tools like Miro and Trello. Arthur’s office is equipped with direct integrations like google drive, or you can also add files to your personal Arthur Drive and access it in your VR meeting room.
Different ways industries use VR for better collaboration
Societe Generale is one of the leading European financial services groups operating in 62 countries and serving 29 million customers worldwide. As an innovation leader pioneering the use of VR for work, Societe Generale was actively exploring VR adoption and initiated VR projects with Arthur even before the COVID-19 pandemic. Having partnered with Arthur in 2020, Societe Generale has conducted personalized and engaging client presentations in Arthur VR and delivered an unparalleled client experience. Sales representatives sent VR headsets to clients to enable frequent interaction and optimize the client experience. Later, the clients met with the lead analysts in prepared VR rooms to walk through financial market analysis and data visualization. In addition, Societe Generale has made great use of Arthur to build topic-focused rooms for innovative content display supported by customizable room layouts and abundant 3D objects.
Western Digital is a Fortune 500 company known for designing, manufacturing, and delivering hard disk drives and other data storage products worldwide. The company was founded in 1970 and has reached 20 billion dollars of annual revenue and over 70,000 employees worldwide. Since its inception, Western Digital has been at the forefront of innovation. With the onset of the pandemic in 2020, Western Digital sought ways to maximize its multi-enterprise collaboration output. Additionally, their logistics, operations, finance, analytics, and IT teams faced challenges in staying connected internally and externally with their innovation partners in a remote setting. By adopting VR in their regular work schedule, Western Digital used Arthur to engage with partners and customers effectively.
EUSA Pharma is a global biopharmaceutical company based in the United Kingdom. The company is committed to transforming the lives of people affected by rare diseases or cancer. They continuously strive to bring innovative medicines to people with few or no treatment options. Teams at EUSA Germany turned to Arthur’s VR office solution to overcome the limitation of 2D tools and harness the power and immersive nature of VR technology to hold meetings with remotely located healthcare practitioners. VR enabled EUSA to create engaging formats to facilitate expert dialogue.
Top companies like PwC consider VR an innovative opportunity and a chance to stay ahead of the curve. PwC adopted enterprise VR before the onset of the pandemic. Initially, they used their Arthur virtual office to establish connections and build engagement between the team members spread across Europe. Using the customizable virtual spaces, PwC was able to build stadium-size experiences. The focus on the next big thing drove PwC teams to use a virtual office for conducting client meetings and creating an experience that could not have been created in the real world. The virtual meetings resulted in more productive sessions and stronger customer connections. Using VR headsets, PwC is making the most of virtual offices by conducting productive collaboration and building a connected workforce.
PwC, in their research, highlighted that participants who undergo training in VR are better capable of applying their lessons than if they were training in a classroom or on video conferencing. The adaptability of VR also allows companies to build a digital replica of real-life situations and allow participants to learn through practice. The International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization (ITCILO) is the training arm of the International Labour Organization. Multiple teams and organizations within the United Nations use Arthur’s office to collaborate in VR for training seminars and workshops facilitated by ITCILO. The ability to simulate real-life situations helped ITCILO to continue the training sessions even during the pandemic years. The tool provides a better learning experience and retention due to the immersive meetings. Such is the utility that they continue to increase their Arthur use to date.
To conclude, VR use, along with Arthur, is providing a wide range of industries with various use cases and helping them stay at the edge of innovation and ahead of their competition. If you are curious to know more about how your company can benefit, feel free to schedule an intro call with us, and we will work with you to figure out the many ways you can benefit from VR and Arthur.