Reading Exercise 4
Over the past fifteen years, information technology (IT) has become an essential part of the managerial vocabulary for a great many businesses. Today, however, telecommunications is rapidly becoming as important as the computer industry. This can be attributed to the liberalization of world markets, which has created an explosion in the development and availability of advanced communications services.
In many instances, communications systems are being used to enable companies to implement new strategies. One such strategy is the move towards more globalized business. Obviously, setting up an office overseas is not simply a matter of identifying potential markets. Logistics, such as establishing links for the vital flows of information between a company's head office and its overseas subsidiaries and suppliers, are equally important. Not surprisingly, sophisticated communications systems play a fundamental role in connecting business operations.
One such system, is the Integrated Digital Services Network (IDSN) which enables companies to send and receive high speed data, fax transmissions and ordinary voice calls, as well as images for video-conferences, over international digital telephone networks. The network also enables businesses to offer their services on a worldwide scale. One such offering is the new International Dealerlink. This is a voice-only, private circuit service jointly offered by BT and France Telecom. It can meet the special communications needs of the finance community by providing a fast and cost-effective link between the two financial centres. The service also opened between the UK and The Netherlands at the end of January.