Connecting Geographies for a Global Business Presence in 2017
Companies headquartered in the United States and abroad are identifying regions beyond their borders as the greatest potential growth areas for their businesses. According to the latest Wells Fargo International Business Indicator, a majority of U.S. companies expect an increase in non-U.S. revenue over the next 12 months as they continue to pursue business opportunities in international markets. The report also notes the ongoing value in doing business globally, with 47 percent of U.S. companies expecting profits from international business activity to increase this year, compared to 39 percent in 2015. In addition, 87 percent of U.S. companies agree that international expansion is needed for long-term growth, with emerging markets providing the greatest opportunities (69 percent), according to the report. But with every opportunity comes new challenges.
One primary challenge for multinational businesses is maintaining a connected and engaged ecosystem of both employees and external stakeholders, such as customers and partners. Collaboration, agility, transparency, innovation and productivity are highlighted as the key challenge areas facing global companies, according to data based on more than five million employees worldwide by global management consultancy Hay Group. In order to address these challenges, business leaders are turning to technology. According to a 2016 Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) CEO survey, “Business leaders understand all too well how technology is transforming their relationship with customers as well as other stakeholders. So it makes sense that they see technology as the best way to assess and deliver on changing customer expectations, with 51% of CEOs making significant changes in this area.”
For a long time, businesses have stayed connected to their workforce and external parties through the telephone. Voice and conference calls have been the dominant modes of communication, but the legacy on-premise PBX systems they were using posed great limitations. Aside from being expensive and highly complex to set up, these systems cannot scale. As a result, enterprises today are saddled with the onerous task of figuring out how to deploy their communications infrastructure globally, but in a simple way. The realities of a distributed workforce make this need more prevalent now than ever before. To best suit this global focus, enterprises are increasingly turning to cloud-based technologies for flexibility and scale.
Leveraging the ubiquity of the cloud, many providers have tried to solve the connected business conundrum by providing international phone numbers in various countries, but this does not give global employees a localized experience when communicating with their customers, partners and peers within their respective geographies. Recognizing the enterprise need for a local experience on a global scale, cloud communications solution provider RingCentral launched Global Office, a single global Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) solution designed for multinational businesses, in February 2016. Meeting the global expansion needs of businesses by connecting their workforces across multiple countries, this solution reduces the complexity and high costs of maintaining multiple, legacy on-premise PBX systems with a single cloud solution.
With RingCentral Global Office, enterprises can easily scale their businesses as they grow, keeping their teams connected with multi-modal communications capabilities, including voice, video, conferencing, and team messaging & collaboration. Built upon the RingCentral Global Connect Network, a geo redundant service delivery architecture built from the ground up that is scalable, secure and ensures high-quality service, RingCentral Global Office supports unified communications across geographies, enabling multinational companies to support an increasingly distributed and globalized workforce.
Over the course of just one year, RingCentral’s global solution is available across 32 countries in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific, including: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, US, and UK. RingCentral Global Office customers also now have access to German, French, and UK English language support. With country and specific city local phone numbers, multinational enterprises are able to appear local in-country for their customers in different countries. In addition, worldwide extension-to-extension dialing using a global corporate directory allows companies to act as one integrated business.
Today, over 400 multinational enterprises are using RingCentral Global Office -- more than double the number of customers from the first half of 2016. In order to survive the challenges that come with global expansion, it is business critical to get communications right. As we kick off 2017, I expect we will see more enterprises shifting to the cloud as scalability and mobility become the new metrics of success for what it means to be a thriving business.
By Ritu Mukherjee, Associate Vice President, Product Management, RingCentral