KPMG US and Canada launch metaverse collaboration hub

KPMG’s US and Canadian member firms have together launched a metaverse collaboration hub to support employee and client journeys into Web 3.0.

The hub’s dedicated teams will explore opportunities in Web 3.0, co-create new tools and solutions, and launch immersive learning and development platforms that harness the projected power of the latest technological buzzword. Offerings will span strategic and technical support for metaverse design, NFT use cases, cryptoassets, community engagement, and Web 3.0 integrations, according to a press release from the Big Four accounting and consulting firm.

Facebook last year rebranded to Meta, shedding the snakeskin of its tainted former name and refocusing attention on the metaverse – a blended physical and digital world powered by advanced virtual and augmented reality technologies.

A commonly explored touchpoint in science fiction, the metaverse proposes “what if YOU were in the internet?” For employees, this could mean exciting applications such as sitting in a conference room with the avatars of their co-workers and being truly immersed in a quarterly sales meeting; consumers could look forward to visiting a virtual clothing store and trying on outfits on their similarly proportioned avatar – and then buying those clothes with same-day shipping. Buying digital items for in-metaverse avatars is another avenue, and one that is already well-established in the video game industry.

“The metaverse and Web 3.0 represent the next generation of the internet and will reshape the way businesses and consumers engage, transact, socialize, and work,” said Cliff Justice, KPMG US ‘leader of enterprise innovation. “Business leaders are looking to move quickly past exploratory phases and deploy solutions to train employees, engage customers and extend their brand in this new market.”

The metaverse could be worth up to $ 13 trillion by 2030, according to research from Citi.

The hub launch follows other recent Web 3.0 and crypto initiatives from KPMG US and Canada. The Canadian firm earlier this year added Ethereum and Bitcoin to its corporate treasury and acquired a World of Women NFT. KPMG US, meanwhile, has integrated NFT experience and crypto training into onboarding programs for new hires.

“The metaverse is making it possible for us to experience the ‘phygital’ world, where physical and digital worlds collide,” said Armughan Ahmad, president and managing partner of digital at KPMG Canada. “Our first immersive metaversal experience will take our people, clients, and communities beyond the traditional two-dimensional virtual environment and offer new levels of social connection, mobility, and collaboration.”

The hub’s US team includes Cliff Justice, leader of enterprise innovation; Anu Puvvada, managing director of innovation; and Kevin Bolen, head of advisory strategy and investments. The Canadian team includes Armughan Ahmad, president and managing partner of digital; Katie Bolla, metaverse services co-leader and partner of customer experience and innovation; and Kareem Sadek, metaverse services co-leader and cryptoassets and blockchain services co-leader.

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