People are ready, business / Europe is not
Stories / possible developments
- Premature elections in France under pressure of student protests over the proposed liberalization of labour laws bring a socialist government in power
- Blackberry wins the RIM trial, and is en route to become the new business standard for European mobile solutions.
- Historical loss of the labour party in the UK, rumours about the new anti-European policy of the conservative government start immediately
- Socialist governments in France, Italy (Prodi), and Spain (Zapatero) vow to put a halt of the entrance of cheap labour from Eastern Europe and succeed in passing a European bill on this topic.
- Microsofts’ Origami system finds its first large European client: Deutsche Post starts to use it for parts of its DHL subsidiary. This will enable better planning of package delivery.
- Mobile office solutions are being used more and more. Vodafone succeeds for the first time in history to roll out a product simultaneously across Europe: its new 3G UMTS 2.0 PC connect card, bundled with an unlimited data bundle for €100,- per month.
- After the European adoption of one GSM standard (instead of three), negotiations start for the adoption of one 3G (and possibly 4G) standard across the EU.
- German car manufacturers suffer from the policy of the Christian Democrat government and start to plan the movement of manufacturing facilities further east.
- Windows Mobile 6 is released, which offers a single platform for PDA’s and Smartphones while integrating Exchange and 3rd party software applications. It offers advanced 3G support and comes in the European package with built in Galileo support for sophisticated Location Based Services.
- The use of PC data cards takes off as T-Mobile and Orange come with pan-European solutions to compete with Vodafone’s offer.
- Strikes and strong opposition enforce premature elections in Germany where the socialist coalition achieves a big victory over Merkel.
- After walking away from negotiations regarding the discount the UK has on European monetary contribution the UK announces it will strengthen its Anglo-Saxon ties.
- Europe announces it has come to a 3G standard: UMTS, while it opts to accept (a variation of) HSUPA as new 4G development standard.
- Eastern European governments officially lodge a protest against the limitation of labour movement.
- The 24/7 worldwide economy demands more flexibility from many people. As organisations are not ready for structural changes they introduce of virtual communities to the workplace.
- Microsoft buys a license on all Blackberry services and patents. This enables the offer of a complete, windows based, mobile office.
- Employees are complaining more and more about the 9-to-5 mentality of many large corporations.
- Strong contradictions are starting to become clear between the blue and white collar workforce. As the knowledge workers seek increasingly more mobility and flexibility the blue collar workers, backed by the socialist governments, frantically hold on to the past.
- People can get finally rid of the multiple devices they carry around. Since UMTS has become the standard and blackberry and windows are integrated multiple sophisticated PDA’s and Smartphones are available. Samsung manages to introduce the first 10 megapixel camera in a phone, which also incorporates a 25gig microdrive.
- Major phone manufacturers (even Nokia) start to adopt Microsoft’s mobile platform.
- The European socialist movement limits the will and opportunities for companies to change and become more flexible.
- Minimal investments in public transportation start to become visible as traffic congestion reaches an all time high. This results in office workers more and more trying to avoid rush hours, which leads to more teleworking from home and other public places like libraries, as wireless internet at fast speeds is now widely available in a lot of large cities.
- Microsoft integrates Blackberry services in its Origami 2.0 system. This system is en route to become the de facto standard for all kind of businesses in the need of using mobile computer technology, such as railways (conductors), express services (couriers), and etcetera.
- Developments in the workplace seem to come to a standstill as investments are slowing down and government agencies refuse to change basically anything at all besides the standard modernization.
- Heavy competition forces Philips and other electronic giants to do major layoffs.
- Vodafone is once again the first mover, as it starts investing in an advanced HSUPA based 4G network, starting near the large cities in the UK and France.
- Microsoft acquires Blackberry
- Office workers increasingly value their life similar to their work and demand more free time and flexibility choosing their own working hours, which is now theoretically possible due to the multinational character of a lot of businesses. However, this is virtually impossible as socialist governments block any liberalisation of the labour laws that may also affect their support from the blue collar workforce.
- Developments in the flexibility of European major businesses seem to come to a standstill due to the policy of the socialist governments and the limp EU government as they struggle with the economic situation and try to avoid bankruptcy.
Since the elections for creating a constitution for the European Union has been rejected, Europe has been going through a dissolving process. National governments are out for interest for their own countries. As a result national governments are putting limits to their foreign investments. In France and Germany strong left-wing parties win the elections, while in the United Kingdom the Labour party suffers from an historic loss. This reinforces the nationalistic behaviour within several countries, which gives the unions more power. As a result labour laws remain strict and the socialist are insisting on trade barriers. Eventually the spending patterns and measures of the socialistic movement causes a less flexible Europe and the new Eastern state members are seriously considering to join the Russian free trade zone.
The economical growth is declining throughout Europe. Businesses are struggling to remain competitive in the global market which gives Asian companies with China up front to knock on the porch to enter the European market. Because of the deteriorating economy and the low liberalization of labour laws, European business are reluctant to invest in business innovations. Large global corporations are experiencing fierce competition from smaller national companies, because they’re unable to draw up more competitive contracts with the unions. As a result small adaptive entrepreneurship flourishes on a national level.
The society is getting more flexible. Teleworking has become very popular in European countries. Despite a difference in opinion, some people are now ready for taking it to the next level. While the blue collar workforce is advocating many of the measures of the government, the white collar workforce is becoming increasingly mobile, individualistic, demanding and informed.
The technology is improving at a consistent pace. Technological convergence is enabled, because major technological developments have been standardized. A new wireless network has been developed and in major cities it becomes available everywhere. It also enables stable connections while moving in cars or trains. Despite the many developments and improvements security remains an issue to handle for many companies.
The environment remains as it is. No major developments have been achieved in reducing the CO2 emissions. The European government keeps pushing society and businesses with all kinds of regulation, but it remains ineffective.
Europe is deteriorating. After the French and Dutch nations have rejected the European constitution, national governments don’t foresee a bright future with the way Europe has been planning to move to. Therefore they decide to focus more on their domestic problems and future. The European citizens who seem to have shown a clear sign to the politics with which directions their countries should go with, have started a social movement all over Europe. In the United Kingdom the Labour party suffers from an historical loss and in Germany and France the citizens have elected strong left-wing governments. The new socialists are insisting on putting back the trade barriers into place and despite of the previous developments of opening the labour market it becomes even stricter as before. All the developments in Europe has been the cause of a declining economy. Because of their nationalistic behaviour national governments are putting limits to foreign investments, which only reinforces the declining spiral of the economy. The new East European state members are starting to lobby to enter the Russian free trade zone.
The global business arena is also changing. The Asian markets are flourishing as never before and because the European businesses are struggling to remain competitive, Asian companies, with China in front, are knocking on Europe’s porch to enter the market. Especially the large multinational corporations are becoming the victim of the new developments in the European market. Massive layoffs have been the result of this at Philips, Daimler Chrysler and SAP. The multinationals are being attacked from two sides. Besides the Asian wave, small national companies have been flourishing. These small entrepreneurial companies are better able to adapt to the new circumstances.
The environment is remaining stable. There haven’t been any revolutionary developments in reducing CO2 emissions and governments are continuing to push society and businesses with designing new regulations in order to improve the situation. Investments in public transport are paying off. The trend to move with public transport is increasing and the car usage is slightly decreasing. Especially the high speed rail network is popular with business people.
The mobile market is being dominated by Vodafone and T-Mobile. There have been a lot of technological developments of mobile communication lately. Wireless networks are growing at a high pace, especially in the major cities where a lot of public access points are available. Hardware manufacturers are adapting to global standards. With standardized equipment in place the workforce is becoming more mobile. However companies are still hesitating, mainly because good security remains a big issue to handle for companies.
The workforce seem to pursue different directions. The blue collar workforce is advocating many of the new measures of the government, which leads to a more traditional working environment. On the contrary is the white collar workforce is becoming increasingly mobile, individualistic, demanding and informed which causes a change towards a more flexible society. Where teleworking has been very popular in Europe, the workforce seems to be confident to take it to the next level, but since Europe, businesses and even the unions are preventing this, it doesn’t happen.
The workspace more or less remains as it is. Despite the fact that the workforce is becoming more mobile, companies are not ready for a business innovation.