Corporate Training & e-Learning Blog


IBM Takes Online Corporate Training to New Heights

By Susan Jacobs (Guest blogger)

In an effort to provide its employees with extensive online training via virtual worlds, IBM has just announced that it will soon set up a private area of Second Life that is solely devoted to company personnel.

This is actually the beginning of an unprecedented partnership with Linden Lab, offering an enterprise-class version of the popular virtual world to IBM employees. Users will be able to effortlessly cross over from the mainland Second Life into the private area devoted to the company.

With IBM putting so much stock into the future of online corporate training and revenue-building virtual worlds, small to medium-sized companies are likely to follow suit. Big Blue has a reported 5,000 employees already in Second Life and the company wholeheartedly believes that virtual worlds will only grow from here.

According to a press release from the company:

This [partnership] marks the first time a portion of the Second Life Grid will be deployed behind a corporate firewall, with the goal of creating a solution that businesses can quickly deploy to get work done in a new way.

This blog has already mentioned that virtual worlds
could become as important as the Web itself. In fact, Linden Lab and IBM have been discussing this very subject for quite some time. According to a report from CIO, the two companies wish to "develop open-standards based technologies and methodologies to enhance the Internet's various virtual worlds and build interoperability between them."

This could very well lead to a massive network of different virtual worlds, all available to users who wish to seamlessly cross from one area to another. Indeed, it will also be a boon to professionals who are participating with online training and virtual boardroom meetings. It seems that every business professional in the world may have his/her own avatar before long.


Susan Jacobs is a freelance writer as well as a regular contributor for, a site helping students to learn more about
distance learning colleges. Susan invites your questions, comments and freelancing job inquiries at her email address


  • thanks

    By Anonymous Lazer kesme makinas─▒, at 5:41 AM EDT  

  • I've been seeing more and more about this strategy recently and am very curious to see how it develops. Engaging the learner is the key objective for all training and I've always felt the best way to do this for an e-learning course to replicate the learners actual work environment, ideally creating a narrative that continues throughout the course with plot and characters.

    I have not explored Second Life but was always under the impression people used it to escape their day to day activities - including work. However, if the other option is to sit in a all day seminar, most learners would probably prefer the virtual world environment. Rules would probably need to be set though, in an environment where the users aren't used to there being rules. I'd also wonder about the seriousness people will approach the strategy with if they show up to a virtual meeting and Bob from accounting walks in as a Centaur.

    By Anonymous Jim Drummond, at 8:30 PM EDT  

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