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February 19, 2013
Want to Enter the International Market? How About a Virtual PBX?
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
 
The idea that we live in a small world was ushered in long before the arrival of the Internet. The concept took on a whole new meaning when the Internet became pervasive and voice calls could be completed across data lines. As companies began to adopt VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), they enjoyed the ability to conduct business overseas without exorbitant long distance charges. 

A recent Nextiva blog post reviewed this trend, highlighting the findings of a recent Global Trade Survey that found 24 percent of small businesses are actively engaging in international commerce. A number of those businesses are enjoying a positive return within the first 24 months, indicating significant opportunity. Regardless of location, companies can engage in global eCommerce, reaching markets that were once only available to the largest of providers. 

The thought of launching global capabilities can be daunting for any company, especially the small business. The implementation of a virtual PBX can help though, enabling the company to communicate efficiently without the management of an onsite PBX (News - Alert). The cost benefits alone have significantly driven the demand for implementation. As the global market continues to expand, vendors in this space are in a unique position to enjoy growth. 

Communication systems aren’t the only consideration when trying to go global, however. Companies also need to consider how fluctuating exchange rates can impact product pricing and profitability. The strength of the dollar against currency in other countries has a significant impact on the pricing model. At the same time, taking credit or debit cards presents challenges of its own. It may be worth hiring a currency trading firm specializing in eCommerce to assist in the process. 

Variances in time zones will also impact the performance of the online business. Staffing problems can arise if employees need to be available at all hours to assist overseas customers. Likewise, these employees need to be managed, which requires a split in the management team by region. If these employees are not culturally savvy or lack the necessary linguistics to serve the appropriate customer base, it can be very difficult to succeed in that market. 

Different countries will have different laws when it comes to international transactions, making it important to rely on bankers, lawyers and accountants with international experience. Experts in specific regions can also advise on determining shipping costs and anticipated length of time for product deliveries. And, it’s always important to know whether or not the market itself is worth entering. Does the target audience exist there? Will they buy your products? Will they pay a price that still allows you to make a profit?

In the process of expanding your footprint, partnering with proven providers is crucial to not only success, but even survival. Nextiva aims to assist companies in the process, providing virtual PBX solutions that enable footprint expansion at competitive rates. The company’s VoIP call center solutions support businesses of any size with its Call Center Pro and Call Center Enterprise. In conclusion, the virtual PBX provider delivers the right solution to fit nearly any environment on a single, hosted platform to ensure optimal performance.


Edited by Jamie Epstein


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