London Riding High In The Business World
A recent survey by Think London showed that 90% of overseas owned companies were happy with keeping a base in London. Think London is a not for profit agency which has been set up with the aim of encouraging foreign businesses to invest in the capital. The survey covered the 12 months to March 2010.
A further statistic from the survey had 61% of overseas businesses reporting increased confidence in the prospects for their business in London. Commenting on the survey the mayor of London said “We are working extremely hard to maintain and improve the capital’s reputation as an open, diverse, cosmopolitan city and international companies continuing to locate here plays a crucial role.”
Whilst one of the driving factors behind this level of confidence is undoubtedly London’s continued position as a leading financial centre, the ability of international firms to communicate globally is also a major factor.
Whilst the internet revolution has been heralded across the world, the telecommunications revolution has slipped behind it virtually unnoticed. A European commission report issued on the 17th May included the statistics that six out of ten Europeans regularly use the internet. Whilst the recession has had some effect with a slowdown in the take up of broadband, consumers are increasingly looking to broadband bundles (broadband plus another service) as the way forward. The report states that “As of October 2009, it is estimated that almost 68 % of broadband products from the largest broadband operators consisted of bundles of services, broadband combined with telephone being the largest” at 24.6%.
This telecommunication revolution means that VOIP (phone calls over the internet) is becoming more usual. However, international business is not just making use of VOIP. Many companies now operate virtual switchboards via a PC located anywhere in the world. These virtual switchboards can take global calls and route them either to specified people or to specified locations across the world based on the most appropriate time band (follow the sun).
International conference call systems and the availability of international telephone numbers also help to manage a company’s global presence and keep London at the forefront of world business.