The recession has trimmed patience for Web 2.0 experiments at the Westpac, such as inducting staff in Second Life.
The Australasian bank had been trialing the use of online virtual world Second Life (pictured) for employee induction training.
Westpac says it got great feedback from the experiment
But at the Enterprise 2.0 Executive Forum in Sydney yesterday (presentations online here), Westpac GM of application development David Blackely said the bank was abandoning Second Life: "Failures can become expensive. We do massive systems rollouts and we expect huge paybacks."
Westpac is also scaling back other online initiatives like desktop video over IP, and reviewing more meat-and-potatoes Web 2.0 (that is, interactive) experiments such as employee blogs.
Spokesman Craig Dowling says that, locally, there is no virtual world to disconnect. “We’ve been a bit slower in adopting Web 2.0 in New Zealand.” There are a number of limited projects, such as a staff blog for discussion about sustainability.
Reporting from the Sydney conference, IT News quotes Mr Blackely asking the audience before his speech:
“Anybody ever got fired over Web 2.0?
"Well, I was a CTO, and now I am GM of application development. Read into that whatever you will."
Many Web 2.0 initiatives are still going strong. And software companies continue to incorporate more and more social networking features into their business software (see Oracle gets down with the kids). But Second Life has fallen badly out of favour, and even been put on Deathwatch in some quarters.
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