It’s no small feat scaling a successful business to new markets. It takes a great deal of planning and investment to create a sustainable presence. At the heart of this planning should be a sound strategy for cloud-based business communications.
In this blog, I want to go through some of the regulatory, operational, and supplier obstacles you are likely to face going forward if you choose to do so.
If you haven’t seen it already, check out my recent webinar where I take a look at some scaling success stories and explain how APIs and integrations help with navigating those challenges.
The Main Challenges
First and foremost I want to look at where many companies face challenges when trying to scale their comms globally.
There are 3 main areas of this:
Compliance – Legal and regulatory challenges you face
Operations – How you’re working with your teams to roll out capability into different marketplaces
Handling Multiple Suppliers – How you would go about this if you needed to use multiple providers to achieve that goal
Compliance and Legal Requirements
So if we look at compliance in a bit more detail, the first thing we really need to look at is the regulatory side of things. And as most people are aware, there are compliance requirements for telecoms use, and these vary quite significantly as you move around the world.
Some of the challenges that people have at the front of mind, even today, are things like the STIR/SHAKEN operations that North-American marketplaces are bringing in, and the new emergency numbers being added for coronavirus hotlines.
What you will need is local expertise to handle new and ongoing compliance requirements. There is a constant stream of changes that are happening around the world and some of those things are even related to trade deals and protectionist requirements of different countries. So it’s good to keep in mind that there are these challenges that you are going to encounter further down the road.
If you don’t conform to these requirements, you do risk the penalty of having these services removed in these countries, which is an increasingly common sight we see in the comms space these days.
Operations and Product Development
Next, we have to look at how operations can keep pace with product development.
What we often find is that the issues businesses find with their comms expansion is down to the pace of change between departments. Product development in a business can accelerate quite quickly, but getting communications capabilities and infrastructure set up globally can actually take an awful lot of time. You’re going to have big challenges with things like:
- Physical connection setup
- Shipping comms equipment
- Managing IP addresses and numbers
These things can take a long time to get up and running, especially as you get further away from the traditional western marketplace and to places where infrastructure isn’t as well-developed.
So it’s very much the case that you want something that can provide the management of these aspects as you develop your product to avoid bottlenecks.
Working with Global Suppliers
The last thing that we often see customers struggling with as they try to get services rolled out across the world is that there are very few options when it comes to getting a single central contract.
Because of this, you find yourself trying to get hold of providers in various countries to facilitate what you want to achieve. When you’re then connecting that to your UC platform, CPaaS platform, or Contact Center platform, you will likely see problems when trying to connect with those providers in a unified manner.
And lastly, your billing or finance team will have an awful lot more contracts and paperwork to sort through and your IT team will have a lot more due diligence when it comes to making sure security is looked after in these regions.
So ultimately, having that requirement where you need a lot of suppliers can often harm your ability to set up global communications.
What can you do about it?
Well, we’d recommend taking a look at bringing your own carrier (BYOC).
BYOC is what allows you to ‘unbundle’ your communications stack, and separate the top two layers – your application or UI and your call logic – from the bottom layer; your underlying network.
If your platform of choice doesn’t have international numbers, you can simply ‘plug-in’ a carrier that does (Voxbone for example). That lets you scale to new markets overnight without having to port numbers or find a way out of your existing contracts if you don’t want to, or simply aren’t ready to make that change yet.
Taking advantage of BYOC also means that coverage doesn’t have to be the only variable you look at when picking a comms supplier: you can also make a decision based on quality. This is likely to be particularly useful if you’re offering a contact center or contact center solution, where clear, clean lines of communication are one of your best assets as a business.
So with one blow, BYOC can remove all the hassle of scaling your operations and clear plenty of obstacles that are likely to arise from handling lots of different suppliers all at once.