Search

Custom Search

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Spotlight on........David Vane of 247Virtual.com


The SL London Community has welcomed a new company joining them as partners. The real life company is called 247Virtual.com and they provide online services for businesses. Their website states ‘Whether it is web development, web promotion, managing online marketing, social media marketing, virtual services or training, we offer practical ‘hands on’ support on all aspects of outsourced services.’

I contacted company founder and director David Vane and ask him if he would answer some questions for Virtually London (lite), and David kindly agreed.

Firstly I wanted to know what set David’s company apart from other companies offering similar services. David told me ‘There aren’t many ‘virtual services’ out there at the moment, although there are a lot (of) Virtual Assistants working on their own. I would love to see a team of VAs in every city providing support and secretarial services for small businesses under the 247virtual banner.

As his company has joined Debs Butler’s (Debs Regent) team as partners, I asked David about his opinions regarding 3D environments and business. He said ‘I think it will be difficult to get people to understand how to use it for business. Many businesses have web sites that they don’t understand, so I think this will (take) a little time before we see it adopted properly.’ I wanted to know how he would convince ‘anti’ virtual world businesses that programs like SL can be used as a tool, David said ‘It is part of the reason why I am joining Debs now is to try to show that there is a place for business in this environment. I just hope we can hang in there while everyone wakes up.’

I asked David when and where he had first heard of SL and how he had become aware of SL London. He told me ‘Yes I saw Second Life over 2 years ago at a network meeting in Portsmouth. A chap from IBM was showing us how it worked and I homed and logged on but did not do much more with it. Then I started conferencing on Ozone (Ozone conferencing) this year and met Debs Butler online and we started talking and I thought it would be good idea to get involved again as we offer Virtual services and it looked like it might fit well with my ideas.’

David told me about his background, I was curious to know how he had started his career in technology and if he had any other interests. He said ‘I have a really strange cv – I started off at a teacher training college, finished and went back on the staff teaching guitar and music for 7 years, ran a dance band at top rank in Plymouth and then Pontins in Dorset for 8 years. In 1988 I joined a financial services company and left in1995 to set up and internet cafe in Southampton (first on the South coast) That closed in 1996 (no one understood what the internet was) and I have spent the rest of my time producing, promoting and developing web sites, intranets and helping small businesses to work online as well providing training on MS Office products. In 2003 we started to offer Virtual Services and I am currently offering to help businesses and people to work more effectively using time, technology and training! (see http://www.workzmarter.com/) I have always been amazed at what technology can do and the fact that so few people use it properly. So I am on a sort of mission to drag my customers into the 21st century. Besides playing guitar and keyboards and running a trio called Serendipity that sing music from 60’s - 80s I also enjoy sailing (dinghies and big ones) and I am a Buddhist and do a lot of work with the Southampton Council of Faiths. It just wears me out writing it all! :o)’. I wonder if we can talk David into giving us a live performance with his band Serendipity later on in SL!!

Asking David how he sees his company running alongside SL London and how it would work, was he going to open an Office/shop in the London sims? He said ‘We are opening a workzmarter centre at the moment where you can drop off work for typing, meet other businesses ( I do a lot of real networking) and we’ve even talked about an internet cafe ! He added ‘I am hoping that we can establish a work place where businesses can come to get their dictations and work done and other services. I have Virtual Assistants (working form home) who would be able to work in SL London so I hope it could build into something good in the future. I asked him if he thought SL was a stable enough environment at the moment for such a project and he told me ‘I haven’t had enough experience of it yet. I am anxious to see how it works.’

On a lighter note, I wanted to know what David’s avatar would look like and if he would wear his business suit ‘in-world’. He told me ‘I am not sure about a suit and tie, but I think it needs to be business like. My current one looks like a personal trainer!’ I further asked if we would meet him socialising in SL London, in places like the Underground Club in SL Knightsbridge, he said ‘I have never been a gamer or leisure user and I don’t think I shall be clubbing yet.’ I’m hoping David may change his mind as time goes on, as I would be interested to know what his impressions of the social side of SL London would be!

I would like to thank David for this interview and I wish his company every success for the future, both in real life and in Second Life!

3 comments:

davidv said...

Many thanks to Janey, Debs and Brie for all your help geeting me back into cybersapce!

Janey Bracken said...

I hope you have great success with SL and your new partnership with SL London David. Your story is such an interesting one and I look forward to seeing how your virtual experience develops. Welcome to SL!

Janey :)

Debs Regent said...

Welcome to the community David. I am sure your training and services will be of great use for people and businesses working through Second Life and Virtual Worlds.