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UCaaS/CCaaS global push — 6 things to know 

Anagha Ravi Anagha Ravi
Anagha Ravi
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Quick guide: Scaling UcaaS/CCaaS internationally

A quick guide to help UCaaS and CCaaS providers and business VoIP resellers brace for the radical growth opportunities worldwide

Breaking into new markets with your communications offering can be a challenging game.

Steps like obtaining coverage and termination in these markets are only the beginning. Successful international expansion is a result of a series of strategic moves to ensure high-quality communications wherever your customers take you. 

Wherever you scale, growth awaits

The pandemic permanently redefined the enterprise market for cloud communications platforms. Adoption of Unified Communications/UC as a Service (UC/UCaaS) platforms, Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) solutions, and business VoIP resold services has skyrocketed. Only 20% of enterprises used API-enabled CPaaS offerings to compete digitally in 2020, and now, it’s on the route to becoming a business staple with an estimated 90% of enterprises adopting it by 2023.[1] 

With CPaaS, global enterprises now find it easier to leverage talent spread across worldwide locations. This has left open vast opportunities for cloud communications platform owners and products bundling VoIP services to move into international markets. These providers are setting sights on larger multinational enterprises with global offices as well as the rapidly growing mid-market. 

The appeal of global opportunities is evident in the growth trends of multi-regional cloud comms providers. For instance, three global leaders in the UCaaS segment saw growth of 3891%, 1788%, and 1073% respectively over 10 months during the pandemic.[2] Meanwhile, the appetite for services in the CCaaS space is growing too, as 73.4% of contact center executives now prioritize enabling Work-From-Home faster for their agents.[3]

Growth awaits you, but with caveats. 

Grow fast, but get it right

Going global is a game of being locally aware in each of your target markets. Local knowledge, local regulatory expertise, local networks – all add up to a successful blueprint for scaling internationally. These may seem like additional steps but they position you for long-term success in new markets. 

To demystify this for you, we have created a sanity checklist of 6 make-or-break factors to consider before exploring the rewards of new geographies. Take a good look at your scaling roadmap from these 6 perspectives to understand whether global success is achievable with your plan:

  1. Navigate regulations for sustained growth
  2. Assess new market appetite for business
  3. Research local demand for each feature
  4. Prepare your tech stack for flexibility and control
  5. Plan the network infrastructure for quality and cost-efficiency
  6. Pick a growth partner, not just a network partner

Regulations and compliance — Navigate local regulations for sustained growth

Your regulatory landscape will be as diverse as your markets, with every country having its unique regulatory hoops to jump through. This means you are bound by (sometimes widely different) local rules in every country and region. It’s important to understand that regulations protect your customers and ultimately, safeguard your business. 

A good first step in cutting red tape is to find an experienced network partner who supports compliance and to plan your moves together using the regulatory guardrails as your strength, rather than a roadblock.

At Bandwidth, we tackle this for our customers by making compliance a part of our everyday operations and portal workflows, actively implementing these safeguards, and proactively educating our customer base about upcoming regulations. Our dedicated team for operational compliance stays on top of the industry chatter, reinforces relationships with local regulators in 30+ countries where we are national operators, and advocates for our customers’ best interests. 

Want to know more? Get our playbook or as always, we are up for a chat, if you want to talk to our experts

Appetite for business — Understand short and long-term market opportunities

Before you start going around in circles in the new market, it’s worth assessing if that market has the appetite for your long-term growth. Evaluate your product posture by asking yourself:

  • Does my product fit the demands of the new target market?
  • Can it integrate with the most-used local tech stack there?
  • Will it excite customers there in the long run too?

An honest market assessment will help you determine if you can satisfy the unmet needs of the target market across feature innovation and volume, both now and in the future. 

Market insights may also reside in places you aren’t used to looking. Talking to various network providers can give you on-the-ground insights into channel demand. Carriers with a consultative edge can help you orient your feature selection in the right direction.

There are many cautionary tales of how domestic sensibilities have failed in international markets, forcing brands to pull out of their new markets despite how much they’ve invested. Each market is shaped by unique market forces which determine its demand for features.  So, customer behavior is likely to vary dramatically across these markets. 

For instance, households in  France, Portugal, and Spain have shown high preference (over 50% penetration) for products bundling fixed and mobile telephony services. Whereas, their popularity remains low (below 20% of households) in the UK and the US.[4]

By studying the market meticulously, you can pinpoint which product features are most sought after there and hence, plan your network investment to support them. A network provider with carrier-exclusive insights can help you estimate the demand for a certain channel in the new market. 

Want to know more? Get our playbook or as always, we are up for a chat, if you want to talk to our experts

Technology stack — Empower international customers with control and flexibility

The chatter around cloud and distributed workforces has given enterprises a mighty push to move their communications — both internal and external — to the cloud. But the inertia of their size and the complexity of this change forces many of them to migrate gradually — not all at once. 

Along with this hybrid outlook, enterprises have a few different technological asks for cloud comms software providers:

  • Can your offering integrate well with their business – on prem and on the cloud?
  • How can you help them move to the cloud quickly with minimum disruption?
  • How do you respond to their decision to bring their own carrier (the BYOC approach)?

On the one hand, some enterprises require connections on demand and are happy to opt for the network provider buckled with your communications software. Meanwhile, others want to retain control of their independent relationship with the network provider. Forward-thinking carriers are just as ready as you to innovate and open up new, adaptable partnership options such as DuetSM to offer this flexibility. It would be worth checking out the ways network providers can work with you to accelerate your customers’ migration to your platform. 

Global infrastructure — Plan/Partner for your network infrastructure around quality

End-user experience will determine the success of your communications software in the new markets. As the communications platform provider, you end up being responsible for a large part of service quality assurances. To keep these assurances, you need infrastructure in the markets you serve  — either your own or your network partner’s. 

Quality and reliability of calls benefit from:

  • Point of presence over the two endpoints of your customers’ calls
  • Service consistency through fail-over mechanisms
  • Network or network partners who can offer radical reliability
  • Being as close to direct PSTN (Public Switched Telephony Network) access as possible

Buying channels from a  global network partner has a dual advantage vs. building your own network— you can offload some of the global infrastructure investments while reducing the risk associated with owning and maintaining this infrastructure.  

Want to know more? Get our playbook or as always, we are up for a chat, if you want to talk to our experts

The network partner — Assess for reliability, efficiency, and possible role in your growth

Scaling internationally is a team sport. As a cloud communications software owner, you will lean heavily on one or more network providers to support your growth into new markets. They are likely to be the biggest influencers in the end-user experience of your product, so it’s important to find a good partner who can, at the very minimum, offer —

  • A multinational reliable network that can ‘keep your lights on’
  • 24/7/365 support as you serve markets in different time zones
  • Ability to co-innovate with you to meet new demands internationally
  • Operational efficiency and painless porting, and number provisioning 

A great network partner can do all that and much more:

  • Provide regulations tailwinds and a reliable global network
  • Enable vendor consolidation and new operational efficiencies
  • Open channels up to you in versatile ways to help you offer flexible integration options
  • Bring automation and an API-first approach to channel access and management
  • Share carrier-exclusive insights on the appetite and trends in your target market
  • Offer not just market presence, but also regulatory and industry references in your target markets

Picking the right partner is a critical decision, which is why we have included a seed list of questions for this in our playbook on scaling globally to help you get started. These are the most frequently asked questions when we are approached to assist global leaders in the space of UCaaS, CCaaS, and other business VoIP services with global expansion. 

Read this playbook on how to scale globally to know more about: 

  • Your growth prospects in the global business communications space 
  • The lift you could demand from your network partner in your international scaling plan
  • A deeper perspective on all 6 factors mentioned above

[1] – uctoday.com/unified-communications/cpaas/where-is-cpaas-headed-in-2021-expert-round-table/(opens in a new tab)
[2] – https://www.aternity.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Global-Remote-Work-Productivity-Tracker-Vol-7.pdf
[3] – https://www.talkdesk.com/resources/reports/what-will-your-contact-centre-be-like-post-lockdown/
[4] – https://www.bain.com/insights/fixed-mobile-convergence-is-ready-to-take-off-in-the-us-infographic/