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Capgemini has become the latest professional services firm to join the clamour for the metaverse. The consultancy has collaborated with software developer Unity, to found a new metaverse lab, to help businesses around the world seize on the much-hyped technology.

“Metaverse and immersive experiences open a whole universe of possibilities for our clients across industries,” said Pascal Brier, Chief Innovation Officer at Capgemini and member of the Group Executive Committee. “We are thrilled to partner with Unity, one of the major engines of the metaverse, to enable our clients to realise its real business value.”

Metaverse technology seeks to build a network of 3D virtual worlds focused on social connection, and is forecast by some as the next iteration of the internet – with the global network finally manifesting a single, universal virtual world. Widely touted as a technology which will transform the way people interact with the world of business, the metaverse apparently presents a host of opportunities; from enabling more emotional connections with consumers, and reinventing employee experience and collaboration, to optimising engineering, manufacturing and operations using digital twins.

Capgemini and Unity to help organisations build metaverse experiences

As with any nascent technology, however, shaping sector-specific use cases and developing them at scale will require expert technical and operational capabilities. Capgemini’s new partnership with Unity will extend and expand Capgemini’s metaverse capabilities to that end, ultimately helping the firm to better enable clients to explore and leverage the business benefits of immersive experiences and the metaverse.

Perhaps best known for its video game software development work, Unity is fast becoming a core operator in the metaverse market, as a provider of real-time 3D and immersive experiences. Its collaboration will enhance Capgemini’s capabilities from customer and employee experience strategy and design to front-end development and integration. Meanwhile, Capgemini’s ability to deliver on large-scale digital transformation projects will help Unity to accelerate the growth of its own technology platform.

“We are thrilled to partner with Capgemini to accelerate the adoption of real time 3D technologies across a number of industries” said Marc Whitten, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Unity Create Solutions. “Unity’s real time 3D solutions will bring many new companies into the next generation of the internet, or metaverse, helping them achieve greater engagement with their customers.”

This new global alliance partnership will focus on sectors and use cases where the digital customer or employee experiences will benefit most: consumer goods & retail, manufacturing, life sciences, telecommunications, media and technology, energy and utilities, financial services, and public services. In these areas, Unity client projects will benefit from Capgemini’s holistic capabilities in shaping business models and strategies, as well as its technology expertise in AR, VR, blockchain, NFTs, 5G, AI, the internet of things and cybersecurity.

The partnership will also bolster Capgemini’s new metaverse lab. To help clients shape and execute their metaverse strategies, Capgemini is progressing its team of senior technology experts from across the group, forming a lab which aims at shaping industry-specific metaverse strategies, and will develop disruptive actionable solutions and platforms with its partners including Unity. Its R&D programs will cover the future of immersive human-machine interfaces and controllers, the future of work in the metaverse, the future of digital twins, and the future of blockchain and Decentralised Autonomous Organisation.

Enter the metaverse

Capgemini is not the only consulting brand looking to utilise the concept of the metaverse, either in training, or its advisory work. Big Four firm PwC has also pushed into the space; with the firm’s Hong Kong wing purchasing imaginary real estate on The Sandbox – a game where digital land has previously been purchased for a fee of upwards from $10,000 – at the turn of the year.

Rival KPMG also launched a new metaverse collaboration hub in mid-2022. It is said to offer a private place where employees, partners and clients can conduct virtual team meetings and share ideas. This includes the use of ‘virtual whiteboards’, for example.

And not to be outdone, former KPMG spin-off, BearingPoint, is working with clients such as Leinster Rugby Club, to help them utilise the metaverse in their global service offerings. Meanwhile, Accenture operates its own metaverse, called the Nth floor, where the company’s people participate in new hire orientation and immersive learning or meet and socialise as teams.