Consumer-friendly technologies like Web-based e-mail and instant messaging, Twitter and Facebook have all brought compliance challenges, with companies typically reacting after something has gone wrong. With virtual environments and meetings, however, companies can get ahead of the trend, setting guidelines and preferred platforms before employees start adopting their own. Enterprise-class platforms like Teleplace and ProtoSphere allow companies to control when new users are created and what areas they can access, and set such rules as dress standards for avatars and how to decommission avatars when employees leave the company. In addition, all content in the virtual environment is approved by the company, and often can be integrated with corporate directories, document repositories and work flow systems.
Web-based teleconferencing platforms for business users, like Cisco Systems' TelePresence for face-to-face meetings and WebEx for desktop sharing and telephone conferencing, offer advantages over consumer alternatives.