How the metaverse can be leveraged to boost collaboration across sectors

By Sajid Mohamedy, Executive Vice President, Nisum, United States

September 13, 2023

In Silicon Valley and in the tech world, things can change very fast. In the past months, companies like Meta and Microsoft announced they were killing their metaverse teams and focusing on AI. 

But the metaverse is back and leading headlines thanks to the reveal of Apple’s new mixed reality headset, Vision Pro that promises to deliver a revolution of “spatial computing.”

While experts and tech enthusiasts alike wait to see if the metaverse will finally lift off, businesses are revisiting their plans. This time, they have one question in mind: Can the technology be deployed to solve real-world problems for society? The answer is Yes.  

Please don’t call it metaverse; call it serious business  

In March, BMW announced that production in their new EV factory had begun…virtually. But the new BMW factory, built in partnership with NVIDIA Omniverse Enterprise, does not physically exist in real life.

The German automotive leader uses digital twins, 3D, and metaverse technology to take manufacturing to the next level, save millions of dollars, streamline operations, and boost production lines, supply chains, and safety. Initiatives like this could help to boost struggling economies and unlock valuable global collaborations.  

BMW is one of many exploring how to unlock systemic value from the metaverse that supports new growth. Siemens is using the tech to train factory workers, while GE is maintaining jet engines, Rolls-Royce is training its pilots on new aircraft, and Honeywell is designing and manufacturing engines in the metaverse.

These are just a few examples of how the metaverse can be used in business. We expect to see even more innovative and creative applications as technology develops in the coming years that will serve companies, non-profits, governments and educational institutions alike. 

What it brings to the table

The metaverse is still in its early stages of development, but it has the potential to revolutionize how businesses and non-profit organizations operate, helping to improve relationships with customers and stakeholders alike. 

Buyers prefer metaverse sales 

One of the most promising uses of the metaverse for organizations is virtual product demonstrations and sales. A recent Showpad survey revealed that 86% of buyers prefer to be sold virtually. The survey showed that amongst those responsible for more than $12 million in purchases a year for their business, more than half (69%) say there is now no need for the traditional ‘face-to-face’ meeting with a sales representative. 

However, just because buyers don’t prefer face-to-face doesn’t mean they will want to get onto a metaverse platform, especially if the tech is clunky. Companies and organizations must understand that having a metaverse presence should not be the sole focus but delivering experience and value. 

Organizations can create realistic and interactive 3D models of their products in the metaverse. This allows customers to experience products in a way that is not possible in the real world. 

Remote training and collaboration

Another use is remote training and collaboration. Organizations can use the tech to accelerate and improve employee training on-location or remotely via simulations and augmented reality. The same concept can facilitate cooperation between customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders. For example, an organization can use the metaverse to create a virtual workspace where customers and suppliers can collaborate on real-time product design, supply chain management, or engineering projects. This could also be used to support educational institutions and vocational training programs by connecting with a global network of students. 

Metaverse solutions can reduce costs and prevent downtime, supply chain disruptions, and errors. The metaverse can also foster innovation and creativity from organizations and their partners by making international collaboration easier. 

A dive into the challenges 

The metaverse has its challenges. Firstly, there is no standard platform for the technology; this forces businesses to be flexible and adaptable. Additionally, business leaders and government decision-makers often need help understanding how new technology can be used beyond experimentation. Businesses developing metaverse applications will need more talent, hardware, software, and network infrastructure. 

Privacy, security, and ethical risks must also be considered. metaverse technology is known for gathering vast amounts of personal data, including biometrics. The way companies collect, process, distribute, and even eliminate data is governed by laws, and breaching them is not an option. This will require private and public sector leaders to collaborate with policymakers as the technology develops. 

But beyond these known challenges, there are three others worth mentioning: researching and choosing the right technology, investment, and user experience and adoption. 

Researching and choosing the right tech 

This challenge can be one of the most daunting for companies and non-profit organizations, especially when they are not particularly tech-savvy. Metaverse tech is highly innovative and varied. It includes everything from augmented reality to virtual reality, AI, cloud, and edge computing and may even integrate with blockchain. But not only is the tech abundant, the vendors offering it are also diverse. Research is essential to determine which solution, hardware, software, or platform to use.  


From an operational perspective, investment in metaverse projects must be evaluated rigorously before starting. The cost of entry to the metaverse is steep. It involves purchasing licenses, hiring developers, designers, and coders, and buying hardware, software, virtual machines in the cloud, and more. Whether it’s a business application or a public sector project, these costs need to be properly researched before embarking on work. 

User experience and adoption

Finally, your metaverse service or product may be top of the line, but can it target users with the capacity to access and experience it as intended? Because metaverse platforms are so new, user experiences can be inconsistent and challenging. The lack of adoption is also limiting the number of users. For example, metaverse platforms that only work with VR headsets can only attract users who have this device, and that is a limited number. This will also impact adoption figures for any public initiatives. 

Final thoughts 

Despite these challenges, the metaverse offers several opportunities. Those considering taking their metaverse project to the next level should start by developing a holistic plan. The first step is to reflect on your business or organizational targets and consider how metaverse technology can help.

Leaders must look closely into user experience (UX) and its impact on metrics like revenue, economic growth or adoption rates. Like any new technology aimed at reaching a wide audience, these need to be user-centric, easy to understand, highly personalized and innovative.

In conclusion, the metaverse is a powerful new technology that has the potential to revolutionize the way companies and non-profit organizations connect with customers and users. Companies can drive productivity and revenue by combining the power of innovation and technology with best practices while public sector initiatives can ensure these benefits support economic growth. 

Article by Sajid Mohamedy, Executive Vice President, Nisum, United States