Global Business Communication: Conveying the true meaning within a conversation <Column 1st of 3>

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Hello, this is Miura. I am a sales representative in charge of handling global businesses at UNIADEX, Ltd.
ICT infrastructures such as e-mails and other communication tools are now mandatory to broaden a company's businesses and to provide any kind of services. It is now more common to connect a network between Japan and other locations outside of Japan. Despite such changes in the requirement; however, many companies are still using the same system and the management method used domestically in Japan to their overseas locations. As a result, many are facing issues with the way the network is used and its management.

I therefore would like to present 3 columns as titled to talk about the experiences I had in communication especially with others with different cultural backgrounds: [Global Business Communication: Conveying the true meaning in a conversation]

I will write from my experience for anyone currently having issues, anyone involved with global business opportunities and/or for anyone interested in multi-cultural communications. I hope it will be a good "trigger" to solve any issues you may be facing by providing a little push on your shoulder.

Overcoming the cultural differences

The very first "global" business I got involved with was back in the 1990's when I made a business trip to Chicago in the U.S. 
I then started working in Silicon Valley in 1999. The 9.11 incident in 2001 was very shocking. I can't believe it's already been over 20 years.
I was involved with multiple projects since then and collaborated with staffs from various countries with different cultures and natures. Here is my most memorable experience I had.

I received a message from an engineer residing in Atlanta, Georgia.
He said "Sorry, I must attend a Christmas party with my family for 2 hours. I promise I will be back."
That was when we were deploying an optical transmission system between Tokyo and Nagoya using a Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) unit. The system deployment was facing its most critical phase when that American vender engineer was remotely testing the system's functionality and making adjustment.

As the cut over time was approaching, the client was also at the site watching the work we did. The client was so unsure and asked, "Is the engineer really coming back??" We knew how special of an event Americans considered Christmas. We were also aware that the nature of many Americans prioritized family matters over work. However, I trusted that he would come back despite a small anxiety I felt.

My boss back then had strongly taught me the importance of communication. Especially for those of us who worked in the Telecommunication related industry, we had to focus on conveying the words correctly by using expressions that can be understood.
Of course, necessary arrangements and even an adequate human relationship can be made using only the e-mails and by making phone calls. However, whether or not if that person will go the extra mile to make the appropriate actions at the time of emergency will depend on the quality of the communications we build up to that moment. I believe that the actions and the priority to be given by a person will clearly differ if you met him or her in person.

For this particular project, I clearly explained the situation to the engineer in advance. I asked him to arrange the schedule by telling him, "The system deployment and maintenance tasks in Japan are generally made on the weekends and during holidays, and that included the New Year, summer holidays and Christmas."
It was probably an irrational cultural request for him to accept; however, he came back 2 hours later that day as he promised to complete the system deployment as a success.

He made a special arrangement to cater to the conditions Japan side requested. I strongly believe that this is due to the fact that we were able to build a trusting relationship by having face-to-face meetings and interactions since the beginning of the project.
The client had also commented, "The trusting relationship and the collaboration Uniadex had with the overseas vender is supreme." That client appreciation was a very satisfying feeling for me more than anything.

This experience was about 17 years ago already. But it taught me how important a good communication is especially when handling any projects globally.

As I would love to have the same satisfying experience again, I am currently working hard on system deployment and project implementation opportunities in China and Southeast Asia region.

Due to COVID-19 situation, more and more communications are being made by having web meetings and e-mails only. Are you conveying the true meaning and the passion in such a situation? Are you getting the responses that you wish for? Maybe, it is a good opportunity to objectively ask yourself these questions.


Netmarks is the subsidiary/related companies of UNAIDEX, Ltd. in China/Southeast Asia. Members of Netmarks entities can immediately cater to the incidents by providing the perfect cabling.

Newly built plant IT infrastructure deployment in Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Newly built plant IT infrastructure deployment in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. A new plant was being built in an open lot where there was no street address being assigned yet. We provided the IT infrastructure for the new buildings being built. I wore a helmet and a pair of safety boots for 2 months at the site to manage the project.

Beer after work with the colleagues. The best!

Beer after work with the colleagues. The best!

Masahiro MIURA

Joined Netmarks Inc. (currently, UNIADEX, Ltd.) in 2002. Sold transmission units for the communication carriers and provided project management under Service Provider Business Division. Managed ICT infrastructure deployment projects for the Southeast Asia region under Global Business Division in 2008. Also managed outsourcing projects for IT management of the global locations and PC unit deployment project management for China and Southeast Asia.

masahiro miura