Over the last few years, the number one request and core business requirement of many of our enterprise and government customers has been the need for a behind-the-firewall Second Life solution. The extra layers of security and administrative control in a stand-alone product would allow these organizations to explore virtual work as a powerful and effective collaboration and communication tool—if it was available. We listened. Last year, Mark Kingdon (SL: M Linden), Linden Lab’s CEO, announced that we were working on a behind-the-firewall solution in response to customer needs.
Ready for Work
Today, we’re excited to announce the beta launch of Second Life Enterprise, formerly known by our internal code name “Nebraska” and now known as SL Enterprise. SL Enterprise is the most secure, content-rich, and flexible enterprise-ready virtual workplace solution available today, built on the world’s leading 3D virtual world technology platform–Second Life. The SL Enterprise solution enables large organizations to bring distributed colleagues together into a persistent branded immersive space to collaborate, meet, learn, and prototype new offerings, while cutting travel costs and working greener. Customers including IBM, Intel, Case Western Reserve, New Media Consortium, DefenseWeb Technologies, Northrop Grumman, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, and many others, are maintaining and growing their presence in Second Life while also working in the SL Enterprise environment for certain uses that require higher levels of security and control.
Ok, let’s talk nuts and bolts for a minute. The solution itself runs 8 regions simultaneously while storing over 25 additional regions that you can take up and down in a flash. With 8 regions, the system can support a maximum of 800 avatars. From a user perspective, SL Enterprise feels exactly like Second Life with all of the benefits including a 3D rich immersive environment, spatial voice, text chat, and the LSL building environment. But, you can use real names and connect those users directly to your network directory. Oh, and let me croon about the control panel where administrators use a web-based dashboard to manage users, regions, content, and systems—complete with backup and recovery, LDAP integration, and bulk account creation. The solution comes standard with 7 pre-built regions and 10 multi-cultural SL Work avatars with business attire and accessories included.
Deck Out your Workspace with Content
What about content, you ask? Great question. There are three ways to create or bring new content into the SL Enterprise environment. First, the solution has the same rich LSL building tools as Second Life so creating new content within the solution is easy. Second, if you own the intellectual property rights in content you created in Second Life, then you can transfer that content into the SL Enterprise environment. Now, you’ll need to affirm your IP ownership prior to moving any content—you must identify the Second Life names of your employees who created content for you, and if you wish to transfer any content created by a Resident who is not your employee, you must provide Linden Lab with a signed written permission from that Resident content creator. (So for SL merchants, those who purchased your content within Second Life cannot move it to the SL Enterprise environment without your express written permission. But, keep reading because there’s a business opportunity for you….)
Coming Soon! The SL Work Marketplace
And, there’s a third option that we’re very excited about. Today, we’re also announcing the Second Life Work Marketplace, set to launch in Q1 2010. The SL Work Marketplace will be the first virtual world application and solution marketplace in the world. It will allow large organizations to download entire regions of collaboration tools, meeting and event solutions, training solutions, work avatars, business-oriented environments, and much more, into their stand alone SL Enterprise environment and make enterprise-wide use of that content under an organizational site license. For Solution Providers and content creators, this opens up a whole new market for work-related content. Initially, we’re only accepting content from Gold Solution Providers and Recommended Application Providers, but we will open up the application process to a broader audience soon.
One other important thing to note: The Enterprise Team is not just working on SL Enterprise and the SL Work Marketplace. We’re also hard at work making improvements to the main Second Life environment—to make it easier to use and useful for organizations using Second Life today and for those that will be joining in the future. We’ll have more to share on some of those improvements in the coming months.
In the meantime, you probably have a million questions and we look forward to answering them in future blog posts and in our upcoming office hours (days and times posted to the left). But, before you dive in, I wanted to share some materials that will hopefully anticipate a few.
Pricing begins at $55,000 USD. If you’re interested in learning more about SL Enterprise, then contact us and let’s explore how the solution can dramatically improve your internal collaboration and communication and decrease your travel costs.
Please join us in discussing SL Enterprise!