Innov8 is a FREE interactive 3D business simulator (Free of charge to universities at least. Registration required!), which takes participants through the entire lifecycle of discovery, collaboration, optimization, and innovation of a fictional company’s business processes. It is designed to teach the fundamentals of Business Process Management (BPM) and bridge the gap in understanding between business leaders and IT teams in an organization.
I have yet had the time to really test it, but according to my readings (and watching a couple of YouTube videos about it. URLs above!), the 3D business simulator allows you to virtually participate in a BPM project derived from IBM’s real world experiences. You can play the game on your laptop or personal computer, and no Internet connection is required (provided you have the installation media already). The game consists of three (3) major stages (or levels):
- Level 1: Process discovery and process modeling
- Level 2: Collaboration driven simulation and iterative process improvement
- Level 3: Real-time business management
Based on my understanding (might be wrong here!), you have to register and become a member of the IBM Academic Initiative (an innovative global program to collaborate with educators in teaching students) to gain FREE access to this 3D business simulator and related resources including courseware, training, teaching tools, books, and more. Membership is open to faculty members and researcher professionals at accredited institutions of learning, all over the globe.
Before making up your mind about educational gaming and simulations, here are some interesting facts worth thinking about (Source):
- Since November 6, over 2,000 universities around the world can download the game from IBM’s website and begin using it in their classrooms.
- According The Apply Group, a research firm, by 2012, between 100 and 135 of the Global Fortune 500 will have adopted gaming for learning, with the US, UK and Germany leading the way.
- 75 percent of CEOs surveyed by IBM cited education and the lack of qualified candidates as the issues that will have the greatest impact on their business over the next three years.
- 56 percent of IBM clients feel that not having the right blend of business and IT skills is their biggest problem.
Universities that are already participating in IBM's Innov8 pilot program, include:
- Harvard University - Harvard Business School
- Duke University - Fuqua School of Business
- Beijing Institute of Technology (China)
- Carnegie Mellon University- Heinz School of Public Policy and Management
- SDA Bocconi (Italy) – Bocconi School of Management
- University of Manchester (UK) - Manchester Business School
- University of Technology, Sydney (Australia)
- Waseda University (Japan) – IT Specialist Program
Are there any Universities from Malaysia or Singapore participating?
Interestingly, there are no weapons in INNOV8 other than sharp wits. So, no, you cannot take drastic actions like shooting your way out of trouble. Have fun being able to fail your innovate business project without any major consequences, except mental stress (and perhaps some physical stress). Finally, let's hope that IBM makes this interactive 3D Business Simulator easier to access with one simple click, 'Download' (No registration required!) :)