Consultancies move into metaverse with new client services

PwC and Accenture among the global consultancies launching Web3 hubs, as clients look to stake their claim in the metaverse, a US$8 trillion opportunity

Since the rebranding of Facebook to Meta in October last year, along with Meta’s reveal of the tech giant’s vision of an immersive virtual world where people interact as avatars, an increasing number of businesses have been considering how they can stake their claim in the metaverse.

The metaverse is a virtual world where people can interact, attend events, and explore, as digital avatars of themselves.

No shortage of clients who need advice on staking claim in the metaverse

JP Morgan recently became the first bank to make its metaverse debut, opening the Onyx Lounge on the Decentraland platform, while HSBC announced just this week it too is buying a piece of land, but on The Sandbox, which it plans to use for everything from building a digital footprint to sports, e-sports and gaming. Gucci, Adidas, Hyundai, Disney, Nike and Chipotle are among other firms that have recently entered the metaverse, with many more considering.

There’s no shortage of clients who need advice on how they fit into the metaverse, and to help these businesses work out how they can tap into the metaverse, an industry predicted to be an US$8 trillion opportunity, according to Goldman Sachs, global consulting firms are unveiling metaverse hubs.

Recent Accenture research spanning 34 industries and 35 countries found that even at the nascent stage of metaverse development, 71% of executives believe it will have a positive impact on their organisation, and 42% believe it will be breakthrough or transformational.

PwC and Accenture unveil dedicated metaverse advisory hubs

PwC was the first out of the metaverse blocks when, at the end of last year, the Big Four firm’s Hong Kong office unveiled a Web 3.0 advisory hub with the aim of facilitating a new generation of professional services, including accounting and taxation in the metaverse.

With this advisory hub, which is based in The Sandbox platform, one of four top virtual worlds that have cornered the metaverse real estate market, PwC plans to “leverage our expertise to advise clients” on the metaverse, according to William Gee, Partner at PwC Hong Kong.

Hot on PwC’s metaverse debut heels, Accenture – a consulting firm recognised as an early leader in metaverse-related capabilities with 600 patent filings and more than a decade of experience – has this month announced plans to unveil a dedicated consulting wing, advising clients on their presence in the metaverse, and helping organisations take advantage of the opportunity the metaverse offers.

The Accenture Metaverse Continuum business group, led by Paul Daugherty, group CEO of Technology and CTO at Accenture and David Droga, CEO of Accenture Interactive, combines these capabilities with the creative strengths of Accenture Interactive, with teams of innovators and creators introducing new applications in the decentralised environment of the metaverse.

“The next generation of the internet is unfolding and will drive a new wave of digital transformation far greater than what we’ve seen to date, transforming the way we all live and work,” says Paul Daugherty, CTO. “Our vision of the metaverse as a continuum challenges prevailing, narrower views and highlights why organisations must act today, or find themselves operating in worlds designed by, and for, someone else.”

The Metaverse Continuum – a spectrum of digitally enhanced worlds

Accenture’s vision of the metaverse is as a continuum – a spectrum of digitally enhanced worlds, realities and business models poised to revolutionise life and enterprise in the next decade. It applies across all aspects of business, from consumer to worker and across the enterprise, from reality to virtual and back; from 2D to 3D; and from cloud and AI to extended reality, blockchain, digital twins, edge technologies and beyond.

As the next evolution of the Internet, the metaverse will be a continuum of rapidly emerging capabilities, use cases, technologies and experiences, and will transform how businesses interact with customers, how work is done, what products and services firms offer, how they make and distribute them, and they operate their organisations.

Accenture’s dedicated business group aims to transform how clients interact with their customers, building new products and services to transform how work itself gets done through immersive collaborative experiences.

Accenture metaverse clients include Mars and H&M Foundation

Accenture has already been working with clients on the metaverse, including with Mars, H&M Foundation, and Hardt Hyperloop.

Accenture helped the H&M Foundation to develop and launch a virtual collection of five looks, including the Billion Dollar Collection, which involved developing a digital avatar from scratch and bringing the designer’s sketches to life as 10 3D garments using digital twin and CGI technology.

Meanwhile, Hardt Hyperloop turned to Accenture to help the Dutch transportation network look for a way to make its public adoption a more tangible experience – together, creating the Hyperloop Cabin Experience, a blend of a physical model of the interior of the hyperloop cabin and an augmented reality module that allows the user to experience travel in the hyperloop.

And, Accenture partnered with Microsoft to help Mars embrace digital twins, one of the foundational elements of the metaverse, with the aim of reducing waste, increasing speed and capacity and empowering its associates to make real-time decisions across its supply chain.

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READ Accenture’s Tech Trends 2022: Meet Me in the Metaverse report.



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