Corporate Governance

Corporate governance primarily reflects the element of the management quality. The shareholders, creditors, customers and other direct and indirect stakeholders develop confidence in the company based on their impression about the ability of the company to place proper systems of management accountability and incentives in place. (Moodys). “Different parts of the telecom industry (manufacturers, carriers, software developers, system integrators, and more) play different roles in VoIP implementation. ” (Inclusive) “Established in 1997, World Discount Telecommunications, Inc.

is the leading provider of international long distance for ethnic communities in the United States. The company is built upon experience and continuous growth in serving the telecommunications needs of Central and Eastern Europeans in the United States. WDT offers the most competitive rates and high quality service in telecommunications. The company focuses on providing responsive and helpful customer service in the customers’ native languages. ” (Przoom) Providing the best available technology is considered as critical.

But the reality is there are other serious issues which affect the usage of such modern technologies especially in the area of telecommunications. “Computers and connections are insufficient if the technology is not used effectively because it is not affordable; if people do not understand how to put it to use or if they are discouraged from using it; or if the local economy cannot sustain its use. These are the determining factors in whether or not people have Real Access to ICT — access that makes it possible for people to use ICT effectively to improve their lives. ” (Bridges)

Thus the societal environment plays a critical role in the expansion of the telecommunication industry with new products. The environment prevailing in the society with the inherent socio-cultural factors, the legal framework, the local economic conditions, macro economic issues, affordability, capacities of the people to handle technology will greatly determine the expansion in to new vistas of technological improvements. The several factors that may affect the business expansion plan of WDT are presented below for the information of the readers. The Socio-cultural factors often exclude people from using technology.

There may be factors like ethnicity, gender or other inequalities based on socio-cultural factors often discourage people in using advanced technological gadgets. Fortunately in the case of Russian Americans being a technologically advanced community with 95. 2 percent having cellular phones with the same percentage owning computers and laptop (based on Global Marketing Survey) introduction of VoIP to this section of the people will not pose a problem for WDT. Moreover the general life style of this community is more modern and comprises of over 53 percent of them holding a Bachelor’s degree or higher.

The local economic situation does have a say in the introduction of any new technology and the level and frequency of the technology is often dependent on the economic conditions of the targeted population. In the given instance of the introduction of the VoIP to the Russian American community WDT do not foresee any issues on the economic front, as the present Russian American community has a large buying potential to the extent of $ 20 billion indicating a highly potential target market group with economic affluence.

VoIP being an innovative technology should catch up the market and the attention of the target customer with the potential advantages in terms of cost and flexibility to use the computers for other purposes at the time of conversation. Being a proven technology with the added advantage of making the international conversations free VoIP does not pose any technological issue as far as the introduction to the target customers.

It is often the case that the legal and regulatory frameworks that govern the industry can either facilitate or hamper the use of advanced technology depending on the nature of the regulations and the modality of their implementation. Though Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proclaimed that the Internet and the Internet service providers are outside its purview, since the time VoIP is introduced in the US it had to take the regulation of the VoIP in its hands as the technology predominantly use internet though local telephone service providers.

In their “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” on February 12, 2004, the FCC declared that it would “initiate a Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement (CALEA) rulemaking proceeding to address technical issues associated with law-enforcement access to Internet-enabled services” (Balmoris, 2004). This has in fact strengthened the position of the VoIP service. With a pro-technological advancement policy of the government there is no threat to the provision of VoIP service from a political angle.

“Simply looking at the number of competitors goes a long way in understanding the competitive landscape for a company. Industries that have limited barriers to entry and a large number of competing firms create a difficult operating environment for firms. ” (Cory Janessen) Thus the presence of a large number of competing firms and technologies really present a threat for any decision to extend into new markets and products or services. Before such decisions are taken an analysis of the competitive forces becomes necessary.