Your guide to cross-border communications

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Everything you need to know to create seamless and powerful communication between the US and Canada.

Doing business in a global market is no longer optional for the enterprise—it’s essential. As teams expand across borders and customers demand products and services outside their geographies, companies increasingly need simple solutions to power their enterprise without hampering business.

But doing business across international boundaries brings questions and challenges, even along a border as friendly as the one between the US and Canada. How can companies create seamless service and connection without creating legal, administrative and technical problems?

Here’s your guide to implementing a US-Canada cross-border, cloud-based communication solution that will keep your business running smoothly, avoid compliance and regulatory issues, and maintain a top-notch customer experience.

“Cross-border expansion doesn’t have to be complicated. Allstream has the infrastructure and resources to create seamless connection across geographies.”

—Don Thorsen, UC Cloud Product Manager, Allstream

Don Thorsen, Allstream

Communicate across boundaries

Doing business across the US-Canada border may seem relatively easy at first glance, but in reality, the cross-border organization faces a variety of challenges. Though there are many surface similarities between the two countries, the business and technical environments are very different. In addition, cultural distinctions among the populations lead to different expectations for employees and customers. 

Having the right communication solution is the anchor to cross-border business success. As you consider expanding your business or unifying your communication solution, here are some questions to consider:

Many telecom providers operate only in the US or Canada, and for companies that only operate in one country, those providers are sufficient. But as companies expand or look for ways to improve collaboration through a unified solution, it’s important to know whether the current telecom provider operates across the border.

A telecom provider with a cross-border presence can provide:

  • Consistent service and quality on both sides of the border.
  • Familiarity and compliance with regulations in both countries.
  • Simplified budgeting and billing in local currency.
  • Local technical support for a variety of environments—from urban to rural.

Any company expanding across the border must become familiar with and adhere to laws and regulations surrounding telecommunications, data and privacy. In addition, regulations around imports and exports can hold up business if equipment isn’t readily available.

Your telecom provider should be able to operate easily and in full compliance on both sides of the border. Ask your provider:

  • What happens to data generated across the border? How do you ensure data security?
  • Can you provide equipment from either side of the border to reduce the risk of import and customs hold-ups?
  • Do you have access to local warehouses and technicians to ensure prompt support and service in the event of a disruption?
  • Do you have the infrastructure to provide security and uptime on both sides of the border?

“Executives say that data protection and privacy are their biggest compliance concerns when looking at international expansion.”CFO

An experienced solution provider will take the time to evaluate your unique needs and situation.

Typically, you’ll be asked to join a personalized “discovery call,” where an expert can answer your questions, assess your needs and propose the right solution for your business.

Here are a few features to look for:

  • Expertise in telecommunications in both the US and Canada
  • Familiarity with relevant data, security and privacy laws and regulations to ensure compliance
  • Scalable solutions to meet your growing needs

Learn why you must adopt communication and collaboration strategies that include web and video conferencing.

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Cross Border Solutions

Just as there is no single solution that’s perfect for every company that operates in a single country, there is no single solution that meets the needs of every company operating across the US-Canadian border.

As your company looks at adopting a cross-border communication solution, consider how your solution can anchor your organization for future success.

  • Share resources: With a cross border SIP Trunking provider, you can pool call capacity across all business sites to optimize trunk utilization, saving you money and optimizing call management during peak hours. With advanced failover protection, your business can remain operational and available, even if one location’s phone lines are disrupted. 
  • Security options: From VPNs to content filters, security has to be top-of-mind for companies expanding across borders. With different compliance and regulatory environments in Canada and the US, the solution needs to accommodate relevant data, security and privacy laws.
  • Communication and collaboration tools: If you are currently operating with a premise-based system, now could be the perfect time to move to a cloud-based communication platform. Cross-border expansion will necessarily require improving collaboration tools for employees on both sides of the border. Whether employees are in an office or working remotely, tools such as internal chat, shared drives and web and video conferencing will take on greater importance.

Choosing a total solutions provider (such as Allstream) can help you power your cross-border expansion. With our expertise in everything from communications like SIP Trunking to networking and connectivity solutions like SD-WAN, you can take care of your whole setup in one place.

Companies that are considering cross-border expansion for the first time may be in the ideal position to consider moving to a cloud-based communication solution. If your current solution is premise-based, and if your current provider operates only in your country of origin, making the transition to cloud with a cross-border provider (such as Allstream) could give your expansion the foundation it needs for long-term success.

For more information about moving to cloud, download our e-book The Case For Cloud.

As customer expectations increase, contact center solutions become more important than ever. But for the cross-border company, implementing those solutions requires an extra layer of scrutiny to ensure that customer data remains secure. In addition, laws and regulations that govern how companies interact with customers are different in the US and Canada.

Allstream offers robust contact center solutions that protect customer data and create a great customer experience. For more information, visit our guide to contact centers.

“Only 47% of executives in international markets feel prepared to handle international customer support; only 43% feel prepared to handle legal compliance.” – Visa

As companies plan for future business operations, global economic crises, national emergencies, natural disasters or even a typical data outage can derail your company. Are you ready for the next emergency? 

> Download now

Why Allstream?

With Allstream’s wide array of cloud communication and collaboration solutions, you can expand across the border without undue disruption.

With over 170 years of experience, Allstream has deep roots and firsthand experience with expanding across borders. Our depth and breadth of experience means that you get a consistent experience on both sides of the border while ensuring that you are always in compliance with relevant regulations.

Allstream offers a full array of telecommunication options to fit your business’ needs. We have the experience to help you find and implement a setup that will power your cross-border expansion, now and into the future.

  • Resources: Allstream’s broad reach means you get the resources of a North American telecommunication firm with the feel of a local provider.
  • Insights for managers: Provide your managers with real-time information about how your employees are using remote work tools, whether they are in Canada or the US.
  • Flexibility and adaptability: Work and collaborate from anywhere, on any device.
  • Budget control: By leveraging all or part of an OpEx model, you can eliminate potential surprises related to legacy or on-premise components.
  • Continuity: Avoid disruption with cloud solutions built on a robust network.

Whichever direction you want to expand—north or south—Allstream has the experience you need to make sure that your company can maintain seamless communication across the border. Contact us today to learn how we can help your business.

Success Story | Metro Supply Chain Group

Metro Supply Chain Group, provider of third-party logistics and supply chain solutions to enterprises in both North America and Europe, offers customized solutions that span the length of the supply chain. Allstream helped uncover operational efficiencies, starting with communications, as well as reduce the overall costs related to their ICT infrastructure.

> Read More

Ready to get started? Learn how Allstream’s array of solutions can power your cross-border business.

Call Sales at 1-833-603-6600, or let us know more about your needs and an Allstream expert will be in touch. Our experienced representatives can make a personalized recommendation for you, based on your business’ specific situation and requirements.