Get Ready… Laws Requiring Direct 911 Access from Your Office Phones Go into Effect February 2020

Last year, the President signed into law two statutes intended to improve emergency calling – Kari’s Law and Ray Baum’s Act. Both take effect February 16, 2020 and are intended to protect employees and others with improved access to 911 emergency services.

  • Kari’s Law applies to newly-installed multi-line telephone systems. The law requires that users be able to directly call emergency services by dialing 911 without having to dial a prefix to reach an outside line.
  • Ray Baum’s Act requires that the FCC adopt regulations that would give 911 emergency operators a specific location for the calling party so that appropriate assistance can be dispatched to that location.

FCC Regulations

FCC rules require implementation of the Kari’s Law requirements for telephone systems manufactured, purchased, or installed after February 16, 2020. The FCC‘s dispatch location rules required by Ray Baum’s Act have not yet been finalized. But businesses planning new telephone systems should be aware of these requirements and ensure that their technology providers’ offerings are in compliance.

Compliance Challenges

Businesses seeking to comply with the new 911 rules must consider several factors, including the technology used in their IT environments, network topology and the geographic scope of their phone system deployment. Also, many states have already adopted their own 911 regulations, which could be a source of compliance confusion.

If compliance with these new 911 mandates presents a challenge for your business, TCI experts can help. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

On Schedule & Within Budget… TCI Deploys Certified Infrastructure for Your Broadband, IT, Voice & AV Connections

When you need to manage a new building, a renovation or a campus addition, our experts will design, manage, install, support and maintain the entire infrastructure.

We work with you every step of the way…

TCI has decades of experience building networks you can count on. Our team ensures a successful infrastructure deployment, upgrade or expansion that will support all your Voice, Data, Audio-Video and Surveillance needs.

  • Design-build Solutions
  • Structured cabling: fiber, copper, riser, backbone
  • Network Access: MPLS, Internet, Trunking, Broadband
  • Network Backbone: Switches, Routers, PoE
  • Network Security: Firewalls – Purchased or Managed
  • Wireless Networks: Secure Corporate & Guest Managed Wi-Fi – Purchased, Managed or as a Service
  • Sound Masking / Paging
  • Emergency / Mass Notification: Premises or Cloud Based solutions
  • CCTV – Entry Access Solutions
  • Conference Rooms: AV & Video Conference Solutions

Engage us before your building plans have been finalized. We’ll ensure that all network requirements are included in the plans, saving you money by avoiding change orders later.

Learn more

Ready to speed up your business? Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Complement Your Mobile Work Style with Mitel’s Powerful 6900 IP Series Desk Phones

Mitel’s MiVoice 6900 series desk phones enable you to become more mobile with one-touch Bluetooth pairing and seamless integration with your mobile phone. Not only can you stay productive by easily switching calls between your desk phone and your mobile phone, you can have mobile and desktop contacts automatically sync between your devices.

6900 Series Video Introduction [44 sec.]

Elegant Phones – Choose from expansive models to meet the needs of business users at every level.

Advanced Features – Bridge the gap between the desk phone and mobile devices with Bluetooth and MobileLink.

Rich Accessories – A broad array of add-on accessories enable the phones to be tailored to specific user needs.

Outstanding Audio – Mitel’s Hi-Q audio technology delivers exceptional quality with high definition sound for an unmatched communication experience.

Easy Reading & Interaction – LCD displays are easy to read and large enough to easily find out more about a caller.

Enhanced Call Management – Programmable keys may be used for call appearances or speed dial numbers.

Walk & Talk – The enhanced, full duplex speakerphone allows you to multi-task without a break in the conversation, even with multiple callers.

More MiVoice 6900 Series Phone features…

  • Support for Mitel Teleworker, ACD agent and supervisor, hot desking, MiCollab Client and more
  • Secure encrypted voice communication, IEEE 802.1x authentication support
  • Quality of Service support – IEEE 802.1 p/Q VLAN and priority tagging
  • Dual 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet ports (LAN/PC), powered USB 2.0 Host port, sidecar expansion port, dedicated 4-pin modular headset port convertible to DHSG/EHS capable

Ready for the convenience, productivity and security that come from adding mobility to your desk phones? Contact TCI today: (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

Great Pricing & One-Stop Public Sector Procurement via Mitel’s Sourcewell Contract

Sourcewell (formerly known as The National Joint Powers Alliance) is a contracting agency serving the public sector.

How does Sourcewell work?

First, Sourcewell issues competitive bid RFPs nationally on a wide range of products and services that benefit their members. Following a rigorous competitive evaluation process, they then award the contract to the selected vendor. Sourcewell sets up the legal authority between vendor and member. The member organizations then have access to the vendor’s services at Sourcewell-negotiated rates.

“Sourcewell contracts have streamlined our purchasing process, saving our district thousands of dollars.”  — School District Member

What Mitel products does Sourcewell cover? 

Working with TCI as your local technology partner, Sourcewell members can purchase Mitel telecom solutions without issuing an RFP.  Mitel is a preferred provider of telecommunications equipment based on its record of innovation, product quality, customer service, pricing, and overall market leadership. The Sourcewell contract extends the decade-long relationship with Mitel for 4 years and spans the full range of Mitel’s product portfolio, including:

  • Unified Communications On Premises
  • UCaaS (Cloud Services)
  • Contact centers
  • Collaboration tools
  • Phones and accessories
  • Mass notification
  • Professional services

Who qualifies for Sourcewell membership?

  • All Educational institutions, both public and private – including K thru 12, special education districts, charter schools, and higher education/universities
  • Non-profits – including hospitals and nursing homes, rural power cooperatives, housing authorities, member associations and groups
  • State and local government agencies – including cities, counties, water districts, and tribal nations

The organization’s 50,000 members currently purchase more than $3.5 billion annually through awarded contracts – an indication of Sourcewell’s success in simplifying the procurement process to save members time and money.

Simplified procurement and savings… More reasons to go with TCI and Mitel. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

Top 7 Reasons Our Clients are Moving Voice & Collaboration to the Cloud

Business leaders move their communications to the cloud for better mobility, quality, simplicity and reliability. They find it easier to add offices, users and features so they can grow, and they appreciate being able to customize how they connect with customers.

Decision makers are also motivated by their bottom line – they get more and spend less with the latest technology.

Here are 7 practical business reasons to make the switch to TCI’s popular, all-in-one Cloud Voice services.

1. Easy migration

Cloud communications isn’t an all-or-nothing endeavor. There are several deployment models available – Public, Private and Hybrid – and you can migrate your people to the cloud over time or as your business needs change.

2. No hardware, no headaches

Say goodbye to capital expenses, maintenance and service fees with hosted business communications. You get great call quality, industry-leading reliability and an easy-to-manage system with no upfront costs – everything you need for one low monthly price.

3. Free up IT resources

Don’t waste valuable IT resources on aging telecom hardware – we manage the hardware hassles and put your IT people to work on the projects that matter most. With Cloud Voice, you enjoy new features faster, you can add or remove lines in minutes, and you always stay up to date with the newest upgrades automatically.

4. Pay as you grow

With premises-based systems, you pay the price for less-than-perfect call capacity planning by having too little or paying for too much. With Cloud services, you always have just the right amount of call connections to ensure you’re paying for what you need and not a penny more.

5. Enable teamwork and collaboration

Bring all of your team meeting tools into one application – Your people can easily manage video calls and conferences, screen sharing and messaging to connect with in-house teams, partner and customers.

6. Get more done – from anywhere

Your staff can access the same powerful phone and collaboration features from their office phones or seamlessly move with their mobile devices to meet at your clients or work from home offices.

7. Keep your business running

TCI’s cloud-based hosting platform delivers ultra-high reliability and seamless disaster recovery, so you always stay connected to colleagues and customers.

Give your business a competitive Advantage… Get the tools your people need to serve customers better and save some money while you do it. Contact us now to schedule your TCI Cloud Services demo: (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

We’re All Human… Why Your Employees are the Greatest Risk to Your IT Security

The greatest threat to the security of any organization is often traced to employees who inadvertently allow confidential data to be accessed and stolen. The latest estimates indicate that more than 90% of cyber attacks can be attributed to human error.

Social engineering attacks such as phishing and spoofing continue to grow in frequency and sophistication at alarming rates. With people’s interests publicly available on social media, hackers often use this information to manipulate an unsuspecting target into handing over or revealing sensitive data.

As attackers constantly employ new and innovative methods, companies are hard pressed to stop them. This is because even with excellent security tools and knowledgeable security teams in place, the weakest link is often a user within the company who has unknowingly fallen victim to an attacker.

The best security intervention is to raise the awareness of staff. 

When your employees understand the mechanisms of spam, phishing, spear phishing, malware, ransomware and social engineering, they can apply this knowledge in their day-to-day job.

Even when you raise cyber security awareness among your employees, they can still make mistakes. We’re all human.

TCI offers expert assessments, mitigation recommendations and innovative IT security solutions to help you better protect your organization. Contact TCI today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

Emergency & Crisis Management… Keeping Your Employees Safe, Informed and Connected

Disruptive events – man-made or natural – unfold quickly, so fast response time is essential for safeguarding people and property. Regardless of the type of disruption, fast response is facilitated by a robust mass notification solution that allows you to communicate with all your employees at once wherever their location.

For example, employees may have to be notified of severe weather conditions, fires, hazardous material spills, IT outages, suspicious people, or an active shooter incident.

To ensure your mass notification system is up to par, make sure all the following functions are present and accounted for…

  • Anywhere, any device, any mode – A robust mass notification solution can notify staff and visitors via SMS, email, voice, landlines, mobile devices, desktops, digital screens in the lobby or cafeteria or overhead public address speakers.
  • Multiple channels – The system needs to integrate with your internal contact database. That way, you can reach employees through multiple channels simultaneously. In critical situations redundancy is a good thing.
  • Different messages, different people – Your system should be able to target different audiences by geography, function and position. For example, one message can go to executives while others are sent to staff, facility personnel, remote workers and others.
  • Confirmation – The system should also ask recipients to confirm they received the notification. In this way, real-time reporting can inform company responders of everyone’s location during an emergency.
  • Collaboration between security personnel – A mass notification solution powered by unified communications (UC) enables your security people to cut through the “wires” and connect to colleagues quickly.
  • Pre-event readiness – A good mass notification solution gives you the option of identifying numerous scenarios and preparing detailed messages and announcements – as well as automatic procedures like notifying first responders – ahead of time.

Getting urgent messages to your employees doesn’t have to be complicated. With a UC-based mass notification system, you can reach your people no matter where they are and get them to safety.

Let’s talk about how a mass notification system can protect your people and property. Contact TCI today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

Recapping Mitel’s Recent Road Show on Digital Transformation & Contact Center Innovations

The emergence of the Digital Economy has led companies to transform their call centers into omni-channel customer experience centers. Increasingly, companies are finding that they need optimization solutions like Workforce Management, Interaction Recording, Quality Management and Speech Analytics to successfully operate an omni-channel customer experience center. They’re also looking at AI-powered Agent Assist technology to modernize the customer and agent experience.

Many companies struggle to make the transition seamlessly and are looking for partners to help them navigate through the maze of choices. TCI and Mitel can help.

On July 10 in Columbia, Maryland, the Mitel UC Contact Center Roadshow was in town, a platform for discussions and demonstrations of the latest innovations in contact center technologies and applications. Experts from Mitel, Google, ASC, TalkDesk, and others covered these topics:

  • How Google AI can power Contact Center Agents
  • How to Optimize the largest expense in a Contact Center
  • Benefits of hosting a Contact Center via the cloud
  • How to determine which Contact Center solutions best fit your company

We were delighted to see some of our valued TCI clients and guests, including…

  • Burke and Herbert Bank
  • American Physical Therapy Association
  • American Society of Civil Engineer
  • Intensive Care On-line Network

If you were unable to attend this event…

We have compiled a 75-page slide deck that provides a recap of the presentations. We offer it in the hope that it may stimulate ideas on the types of innovations available that you can bring into your contact center to improve the customer experience.

Let’s talk about how innovative technologies and applications can advance the effectiveness of your contact center. Contact TCI today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Upgrade Your Old Mitel Phone System with the Latest Cloud Capabilities… TCI Can Make it Happen!

Whenever considering new technology, there is always concern about how previous investments will be impacted. Do you abandon infrastructure prematurely and break the IT budget, or do you stick with the old technology – and its limitations – as a cost-saving measure?

Fortunately, the cloud removes this “rock-and-a-hard-place” conundrum from your decision making. The cloud offers a way to take advantage of the latest technology incrementally as new needs arise, without feeling forced to stay locked into outdated infrastructure until you’ve wrung every last ROI dollar out of it.

With these issues in mind, TCI can enable new cloud capabilities in your current Mitel phone system. Starting with MiVoice Business Release 9, there is a simplified cloud-based process for the deployment of ongoing patches, security updates, and dramatic performance improvements.

TCI & Mitel facilitate the evolution of your business to next-generation networks.

A software refresh and move to native Linux provide a common set of tools for software management, while enabling the integration of new services and enhanced security. This also results in significantly enhanced system performance and serviceability.

Individual software components are now updated without requiring an entire software load. This reduces maintenance time and provides faster response to potential future security issues.

Schedule your Upgrade Consultation

Schedule time with TCI’s local team of Mitel experts to discuss what a successful implementation can mean to the continued success of your business and answer any questions you may have. Our meeting and assessment will have several objectives:

  • Discover any hardware that is unsupported and identify any license changes that may be required
  • Discuss an implementation plan for incorporating Mitel’s new cloud capabilities with your current MiVoice phone system
  • Prepare for a successful transition from VxWorks (the previous Operating System) to Linux
  • Review Mitel’s introduction of Server Manager to all platforms

Ready to schedule your briefing now? Please contact TCI today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Money on the Line… How TCI Experts Uncover Phone Bill Cost Reductions & Improve Communications

As business phone lines have transformed from old fashioned ‘Plain Old Telephone Service’ to ‘Voice over IP,’ you should know how many connections/talk-paths you need to support the voice traffic in and out of your business and between your locations.

Too many connections and too much capacity and you are wasting money… Not enough, and your customers get busy signals or poor call quality, and you lose money.

Informed decisions

Our traffic studies help you make quick and accurate decisions to better manage voice communications. Among other things, TCI traffic studies and analysis help you…

  • Uncover unused trunk capacity or the need for more capacity
  • Understand daily, monthly, seasonal and holiday traffic variations
  • Identify problems that may be causing poor voice quality
  • Map traffic flows for right-sizing bandwidth between locations
  • Optimize voice with prioritization and shaping techniques
  • Prepare for new, more cost-effective services like SIP and SD-WANs
  • Plan for more flexible services that allow for intelligent routing, traffic bursting, and call overflow alternatives

Our traffic studies pinpoint inefficiencies and identify cost reduction opportunities. Arrange your telecom and network services assessment today. Contact TCI at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.