The program was created as a means to accommodate thousands of geographically dispersed new employees who work or reside in remote areas that are significant distances from centralized IBM facilities. According to IBM, one of IBM@Play’s chief goals is to take advantage of the internet and its ability to bring people together as a social network, thus breaking down the barriers of distance and satellite office environments. IBM notes that it plans to expand the program next year with the ability to train new employees across the company’s global workforce.
Jason Dobson and Chris Oltyan recently outlined the IBM@Play program and its strategic importance to IBM. It was interesting to read Keith Stuarts piece and its accompanying comments on the initiative. As with all things IBM does well it is utilizing its scale and reach to learn by doing internally first. Another player looking at this space is Seriosity who recently emerged from stealth mode.
Plays role in the work space is only now starting to be entertained. Providing products and services which enable organizations to integrate play into the work space will be one of the fastest growing sectors to emerge over the coming decade. These products and services will be built upon the virtual worlds platforms currently in development. If you are interested in learning more on this topic I recommend reading the new working paper on MMO’s by John Seely Brown and Douglas Thomas.