Saturday, November 7, 2009

Serious Games Support Business Continuity


Serious Games to work from remote locations



Via: Forterra Systems Inc. - 3D Business Continuity Solution for Swine Flu Workforce Disruption

Forterra Systems issued a press release earlier this week announcing the availability of RemoteOperations™ for organizations that need to continue normal operations in the event they are directly affected by the H1N1 flu outbreak.

The solution, based on 3D Internet technology, allows users to work from remote locations and be as productive as they would be in live settings without the risk of spreading or being exposed to the potentially fatal virus.

The full press release is available below.

PRESS RELEASE

FORTERRA SYSTEMS ANNOUNCES 3D INTERNET SOLUTION FOR WORKPLACE DISRUPTION FROM THE H1N1 FLU PANDEMIC

SAN MATEO, Calif. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — Forterra Systems, A market leader in private virtual worlds for business, government and educational institutions, today announced the availability of RemoteOperations™ for organizations that need to continue normal operations in the event they are directly affected by the H1N1 flu outbreak.

The solution, based on 3D Internet technology, allows users to work from remote locations and be as productive as they would be in live settings without the risk of spreading or being exposed to the potentially fatal virus.

Using existing compute and networking technologies found in most businesses, academic or government organizations, the solution allows users to use a PC to log into a secure virtual environment where they are represented as a fully-animated avatar.

Through this avatar-based computer interface, users are able to perform a broad range of communication and collaboration tasks in an immersive, three-dimensional environment that maintains the sense of actually being together. They can share and present a variety of media and documents to other participants with just a few clicks of a mouse. The avatars breathe, move naturally, and perform a broad range of hand and body gestures — just as people do in the real world — which creates a more natural and compelling environment for the participants. The results of all interactions are visible and audible to all participants logged into the environment.

Avatars can easily be customized to look exactly like the real users instantly creating recognition and trusted bonds between users in the virtual setting. Users are able to talk to each other naturally through the use of integrated VOIP technology using a headset. A telephony feature is available so that remote users without PCs or Internet access can call into the virtual environment and communicate with in-world users. A session record-and replay capability is available that collects all actions and communications performed by the users and allows full playback of meetings for review, analysis, debrief and compliance – and to support those who might not have been available at the time the meeting took place. Best of all, the solution can be expanded to support communication and collaboration between a practically unlimited number of users and physical locations — all each user needs is a computer and Internet connection.

Available as a custom installation within an organization’s existing IT infrastructure, as an external hosted offering or even via Software-as-a-Service, RemoteOperations can be rapidly deployed on a small scale as a risk reduction pilot, or across a large-scale organization that is already facing serious losses in productivity due to the inability of employees to come to their offices. The hosted and Software-as-a-Service versions are designed to minimize impact on existing IT organizations. Custom installations can be configured to operate strictly within an enterprise’s existing VPN infrastructure to maximize security, or to enable contractors, customers and business partners to interact with employees over the open Internet. All of Forterra’s solutions can start small and scale to cover the full enterprise, as required.

“Immersive technology has great applicability in continuity of operations,” noted Erica Driver, Principal of ThinkBalm, an analyst firm focused on work-related use of the Immersive Internet. “The socialization and community building capabilities this technology provides enable remote workers to stay connected and productive with their on-site colleagues. This use case is a natural extension of the training and collaboration use cases already being pursued by leading organizations.”

The solution offers the following features and benefits:

Stay Connected and Productive. Users can work from home or any other location and remain connected to the rest of the organization or external parties as if they were physically co-located, enabling them to stay productive.

Rapidly Deployable. RemoteOperations is usable “out-of-the-box” with all essential functionality and a wide array of practical 3D content included. RemoteOperations is a client-server software solution that uses standard pc’s and servers, and runs on LANs, WANs or the Internet — so no special interface technology or video equipment is needed. Depending on the deployment strategy, users may simply download and install the application over the Internet and establish an account — typically without the need to interact with outside personnel — or the solution can be pushed to an organization through a corporation’s IT staff.

Reliable and Secure. Whether hosted by your IT organization or a third-party of your choice, the solution provides a private, secure environment where you can be assured that your data and communications are fully protected. A range of authentication systems are available to ensure that users on the network are who they report to be. Integration with corporate LDAP systems can be used to rapidly set up accounts and to ensure user authentication.

Scalable. Forterra’s solution can start small with a basic pilot installation for a small number of users and can be rapidly scaled to support full enterprise operations as needed. By increasing the size of the server infrastructure using commodity hardware and adding bandwidth, additional users, groups, and
departments can be brought on-line until the entire enterprise is enabled.

Expandable Outside Your Organization. The solution can be configured to operate only within your organization for enhanced security, or can provide access to outside users who are essential to business operations. The ability to bring your employees and your entire business ecosystem together in a familiar setting where they can collaborate as they would in the real world is critical to support continuity of operations.

Reduce Risk. In these uncertain times where the H1N1 virus has the potential to cripple your business, this solution offers a simple and effective way to maintain continuity of operations by allowing employees to work remotely.

“The wide-spread outbreak of the H1N1 virus poses a real risk to continuing operations for many corporations, government agencies and academic institutions — it’s not just a warning this time,” said Dave Rolston, CEO of Forterra Systems. “The solution we’re offering is a tool that allows your employees to work remotely, stay connected and remain productive. It does not require new equipment or infrastructure. You can start easily and grow, as needed. If you don’t have an effective plan for continuity of operations with the current pandemic you need one — and it should include this solution.”

About Forterra Systems

Forterra Systems is a leader in providing online distributed virtual world technology for the corporate, healthcare, government, and entertainment industries. Forterra’s software and services enable organizations to deploy their own virtual worlds to meet, train, plan, rehearse, and collaborate in ways previously considered impossible or impractical. Using the OLIVE (On-Line Interactive Virtual Environment) platform and industry standard PC hardware, customers can rapidly deploy realistic, collaborative, 3D Internet solutions that easily scale from small group applications to large scale simulated environments supporting many thousands of concurrent users.