I have written extensively in the past about how businesses can globalise quicker today than ever before. Something as simple as having a website makes a business globally visible – driving interest and business from countries around the world.
As our company name suggests, we are a global operation. However, it is critically important to me that globalisation does not come at the cost of local support, which is why I am proud of our announcement of a new office in Milan, Italy. This brings the total number of CPA Global offices to 22 in 12 different countries.
According to the European Commission, the Milan area has the third largest gross domestic product in EU metropolitan areas, behind only London and Paris. The Italian market is becoming increasingly important to our business so it makes sense to provide on-the-ground in market support in Milan.
Local support is an important part of CPA Global’s delivery for customers. Many of the issues that IP professionals face – such as increasing demands on their time; delivering improved insight from IP data; ensuring the accuracy of IP information – will be similar around the globe. However, the needs and requirements of a corporate IP lawyer in North America could be very different to that of a research and development department in China. Recognising this and providing appropriate resources to support our customers is a commitment our company is happy to make.
As the business world gets smaller it is still important to recognise and respect local cultures, time zones and languages. A notable example of this came from one of our regular departmental meetings held earlier in the year. There was a discussion about how we could change our practices to improve the working environment for our people. One of my colleagues pointed out that he was regularly asked to attend a conference call that took place at 9pm local time for him. This impacted significantly on his home life and was extending his working day. Simply by rearranging this call to suit the needs of all participants we could improve things for an employee.
We may live and work in a global economy, but it is important to remember our products and services are not “one size fits all”. Delivering a relevant and culturally effective local service is and will remain high on my agenda.