Multilingual Business Communication

April 9, 2009

The difference in distribution, only at Tech Data

Filed under: internship, Wouter Deconinck — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 1:44 pm

tech_data11Tech Data corporation is one of the world’s largest distributors of technology products. This American multinational was founded in 1974 and is present in the USA, Latin-tech-data2America, the Caribbean, the Middle-East and Europe. The corporation has more than 100.000 resellers in more than 100 countries. In Belgium, Tech Data is located in Aalst, where they have their distribution centre, and Ternat.

Tech Data offers its resellers an extensive array of components, networking products, peripherals, personal computers and software products from the industry’s leading IT hardware and software producers.

I informed about an internship at Tech Data because of my interest in technological material and IT. Luckily, they have given me that opportunity and in two weeks’ time I will begin my internship at Tech Data Ternat, where I will work on business development. My tasks will mainly involve analyzing IT-competitors and investigating what products they offer. Furthermore, I will be allowed to attend several meetings between Tech Data and new suppliers who would like to distribute their products via Tech Data. Finally, I will also help in the startup-process of new products, which will require some collaboration with Tech Data’s marketing communication division.


April 7, 2009

More job losses at Royal Bank of Scotland

Filed under: employee communication, Wouter Deconinck — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 7:57 pm

The Royal Bank of Scotland, one of Britain’s biggest banks, has announced that on top of the already earlier announced 2,700 job cuts another 9,000 people world-wide will have to rbs_logo leave the bank. RBS is still facing problems due to the credit crunch that started in 2008, even after it has been nationalized.

RBS seeks to reduce costs and repay government funds. Therefore, jobs will be cut in the “back office” or administrative divisions. The new chief executive, Stephen Hester, has announced that the new job losses are unfortunate but essential if RBS wants to regain its strength as an independent bank.

Furthermore, discussions with unions have only just begun. Rob MacGregor, Unite national officer, made the appropriate remark that “Unite is appalled that thousands of people, who form the backbone of the RBS operations, are to be made redundant. These employees are totally blameless for the current position which RBS is in, yet they are paying for the mistakes at the top of the bank.” I must agree with the unions’ opinion that the bank, since it has been nationalized, is now indirectly owned by the tax payer and that RBS should not run out on its employees. However, I also believe that the management wants nothing else but as few job losses as possible as well. Therefore, I am confident that both parties will collaborate to find other options to decrease the number of job cuts than the 9,000 that were announced.

Hop on the Coffee Bar on Wheels!

Filed under: company, Dorien Heiremans, Frauke De Graeve, Séverine De Ryck, Wouter Deconinck — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 1:52 pm

In a few months, the festival season is starting again. To create a cosy festival atmosphere, you do not only need good music vibes and nice weather, but also tasty food and drinks onlogo-coffeebar1 the spot. Apart from the traditional beer and coke, festival visitors sometimes feel like having a warming cup of coffee.

We have hit upon a mobile coffee bar that deserves to get more attention: the eXpresso Coffee Bar on Wheels. This project was started by Jan and Frieda Markey from Bruges, when they observed the lack of delicious coffee at festivals and corporate parties. They offer a wide variety of flavours, like ristretto, cappuccino and caffe latte, from a vintage, eye-catching ’61 Airstream Globetrotter.

Last year, the Coffee Bar on Wheels was invited to Jazz Middelheim and Cactus Festival and the success was immense.

To convince festival organisers to hire the Coffee Bar on Wheels, we have written a sales letter and created a brochure, in which we gave more information on prices and the story behind the Coffee Bar. Hopefully you will spot them at the next festival you visit.

Airstream GlobetrotterAirstream Globetrotter

March 16, 2009

Microsoft’s Surface provides a new bridge into the digital world

Filed under: marketing communication, Wouter Deconinck — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 10:05 pm

Microsoft’s new showpiece, called “Surface”, is only two to three years away…if rumours are to be believed. Surface is a multi-touch computer in the shape of a table, with a flat screen that can read multi-touch gestures, as well as content from printed material placed onto the device, thanks to five cameras inside the machine. The possibilities are innumerable: the kids want to paint but you do not like the idea of the mess you will have to clean up; you want to plan your route but that computer is taking ages just to start up; or you want to pay the bill at the restaurant with your credit card. It is all possible with Microsoft’s Surface.

This new technology, which no longer needs mouse or keyboard but only the touch of your fingers, seems to be the next generation device. Contracts have already been made with Sheraton, T-mobile and numerous hotels. Microsoft does not yet focus on the consumer market and has not made any statements yet about when the private customer should expect it to be available. Up to now they only focus on retail, hospitality, automotive, banking, and healthcare industries. However, I believe we should not rush into things. On the one hand, the price will be high, especially during the first years after the introduction, but will eventually level off. On the other hand, I would also question the aspect of mobility, endurance, power consumption and user-friendliness. The Surface is fantastic material, that is beyond dispute, but everything comes at a price. In Microsoft’s Surface case only the future will tell.


February 19, 2009

Jewish leaders outraged by Pope’s welcoming back Holocaust denier

Filed under: crisis communication, Wouter Deconinck — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 1:49 pm

Pope Benedict A few weeks ago the Pope has outraged Jewish leaders by welcoming back into the Roman Catholic Church a previously excommunicated bishop who denies the Holocaust. The British bishop, Richard Williamson, recently told Swedish TV (watch video) that evidence “is hugely against 6 million Jews being deliberately gassed.” He said only 300,000 Jews were killed by the Nazis, “but not one of them by gassing in a gas chamber.”

Pope Benedict was slow to react, a major error to my opinion. Jewish leaders fulminated against his silence and the Pope was eventually put under more pressure to make a stand against anti-Semitism. Even German Chancellor Angela Merkel phoned Pope Benedict about the issue and demanded that the pope firmly reject Holocaust denial. The Vatican reacted by pointing to several statements by Pope Benedict in the past few years condemning the destruction of European Jewry, including his visits to concentration camps. The Pope said he did not know of Williamson’s views on the Holocaust when he lifted the excommunication, which was to my opinion too less a reaction to restore order among Jewish leaders.

Eventually, due to the risen pressure the Pope met American Jewish leaders at the Vatican and made the statement, quite late I believe, that the Catholic Church is “profoundly and irrevocably committed to reject all anti-Semitism” and that the Shoa was a crime against God and against humanity. Jewish reactions to the pope’s speech were broadly – but not uniformly – positive.

Pope Benedict should have reacted faster and should have made a stronger statement, especially because of his own past. After his 14th birthday in 1941, Pope Benedict – then called Joseph Ratzinger – was forced to join the Hitler Youth. However, his biographer said Ratzinger’s family was strongly anti-Nazi. You should believe Pope Benedict would have reacted fiercely as he has experienced the Nazi period himself but this was clearly not the case.

November 2, 2008

Financial crisis clips dba’s wings

Filed under: crisis communication, Wouter Deconinck — Tags: — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 12:14 pm

Air Berlin has announced to stop all operations of its subsidiary company dba as from November 30th. Dba is a German carrier that operates on routes from Munich and Dusseldorf. The aviation sector suffers especially from the recent financial crisis and the high fuel cost. The demand has dropped a lot which has forced Air Berlin’s management to discontinue dba’s flight operations. A spokesman has communicated that the proportional cost of dba in Air Berlin became too high. Dba is not the first to end all operations. In October the Danish company Sterling Airlines filed for bankruptcy as well.
Air Berlin has taken over the former British Airways subsidiary in 2006 to increase its overall sales in the German market and to consolidate its position as third-biggest discount airliner in Europe behind Ryanair and Easyjet. Air Berlin announced that all personnel of dba will be offered a similar job inside Air Berlin. Six of the nine dba aircraft of the type Boeing 737-700 will be taken over as well.

(Wouter Deconinck)

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