4 Team Collaboration Trends Easing Email Overload

Information overload can dilute employee engagement, drop productivity and raise turnover rates. Easing this burden requires having the right balance between communication, collaboration and technology without contributing to overload. Here are some trends to adopt that can ease the burden for your business…

  • Trend #1: Integration of Team Collaboration Tools – Rather than stretch email as a “one-size-fits-all” communications channel, it’s more productive to use team collaboration tools. From instant messaging and team workspaces to audio/video conferencing and desktop sharing, collaboration tools will transform the way you work and enable your teams to be more productive, whether they’re in the office or off-site.
  • Trend #2: Shared Calendars & Presence Capabilities – Many emails are from people trying to coordinate schedules. A better way to organize meetings is to adopt shared calendar functionality and integrate presence features. That way, colleagues will know instantly who is currently in a meeting or on the phone. Everyone will be more productive when group interactions are centralized into a single, synchronized workspace.
  • Trend #3: Document Collaboration – Shared document collaboration systems store and organize documents in a central online location. Team members can log into the system and edit, comment or review documents whenever they need to. With only a single instance of every document stored online, there’s no problem of multiple versions floating around or multiple emails causing confusion and delays. This makes teams more productive and businesses more efficient.
  • Trend #4: Unified Collaboration for Project Management – Projects don’t have to get bogged down with a disconnected array of messages and tools. Collaboration technology makes it easier than ever to keep up to date on projects, assign to-dos with deadlines and track the progress of team members within a single application. The entire team can have a common view of where the project stands and everyone’s roles and contributions.

Embracing one or all of these trends will reduce employee stress and lead to better, faster decision-making.

Email isn’t going away any time soon, but the deluge of information created by disparate systems is a factor you can control. Contact us today: (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Simplify & Secure Your Wi-Fi/Wireless Networks with Our Cloud Managed Service

Your business depends on having a reliable network infrastructure that is continuously monitored for proper operation. Wireless connections are a critical element of today’s network infrastructure and one that consumes a growing share of IT resources to secure and manage.

To support your wireless connections TCI has launched a cloud-managed solution – powered by Cisco Meraki – that enables you to streamline switching, routing, and security tasks via the web – all delivered in one comprehensive package.

When it comes to protecting your Wi-Fi networks, for example, you can arrange to dynamically grant or restrict network access to a device based on its security status, location, installed software and OS version, and more. And when a user fails to comply with a set security measure – such as disabling the antivirus program, jail-breaking a device, removing a pass code, or leaving a given territory – that person’s access to your Wi-Fi networks will be automatically revoked.

Combining Cisco Meraki’s cloud management and TCI’s certified network expertise, we optimize and manage hosting of your entire Wi-Fi infrastructure by offering:

  • Immediate implementation and expansion of Wi-Fi, switching, and security to new sites.
  • Upgrades, patches and maintenance, which become the responsibility of Meraki Cloud and TCI Managed Services Teams.
  • Support to allow mobile and remote workers to become as productive on the road as in the office.
  • Tiered services to suit the needs of any sized organization.

Our Managed Meraki Service relieves the 24×7 monitoring and management burden of Wi-Fi networks from your IT shop so it can focus on delivering greater value to your business.

Ready to open more doors to converse with your customers? Contact us today: (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Ice & Snow Season Arrives… We Make Connecting Your People from Home Easy

‘Tis the season when bitter cold, gusty winds and snow storms can pop up at any time. This means weather-related office closings can be expected too.

DC-area businesses cannot afford weather-related shutdowns. Now is the time to review snow emergency plans to ensure your people know how to respond. And if your business does not have a Disaster Recovery plan in place, make time to formalize that too.

TCI makes it easy to set up Voice and Data Mobility for your staff. This keeps your customers happy, while you obtain immediate productivity and efficiency benefits. Plus you get disaster protection when you need it.

With “plug and work” access to your office network, your team can use all of the features and functionality of the company’s phone system while at home or on the road, allowing your business to keep going in spite of the snow. While other businesses are sputtering after a storm, your business continues on course without skipping a beat.

Contact TCI today for more tips on beating Old Man Winter: (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

 

 

Mitel & VMware Bring Voice, Data and Cloud Together

Imagine being able to manage Unified Communications and Collaboration solutions like any other business application in your virtualized data center…

Working closely with VMware, Mitel unites Voice and Data applications on the same shared servers, enabling you to achieve:

  • Faster system deployment
  • A common management platform for voice and data
  • A single business continuity plan

Combining voice and data increases efficiencies and offers significant savings:

  • Minimizes server hardware
  • Lowers real estate needs
  • Reduces power consumption and server provisioning costs

Mitel Virtual Solutions for the data center shrinks IT resource requirements through:

  • Reduced complexity
  • Centralized administration
  • Fewer skill sets, less training

Call TCI for your Cloud and Virtualization solutions…  Our experts will design a cost effective public, hybrid or private communications cloud solution tailored specifically to the needs of your business.  Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or CustomerService@tcicomm.com.

 

Download Your FREE Copy of ‘Team Collaboration for Dummies’ Today

The biggest investment and competitive advantage in any business is often your employees. Maximizing employee productivity has a significant impact on the bottom line.

Today’s employees use mobile devices and mobile apps in practically every aspect of their lives  ̶  that includes the business world. These devices and apps influence the way your employees collaborate and interact professionally.

Now is the time to embrace the mobile lifestyle and find innovative ways to adapt these productivity enhancing tools to a professional setting for effective team collaboration and communications.

Click here for your FREE ebook

Team Collaboration for Dummies, Mitel Special Edition, explores ways to…

  • Impact your business  ̶  strengthen your collaboration skills
  • Evolve your team dynamics  ̶  improve team productivity, competitiveness, agility, and decision making
  • Become a collaborative enterprise  ̶  find out what it takes
  • Discover the Mitel MiTeam solution  ̶  a work stream communications and collaboration tool that provides a highly collaborative, persistent workspace for team-based meetings, conversations, content collaboration and project management. Reduce organization silos, and increase your speed to market with one converged collaboration application that extends beyond your company walls to mobile employees, partners, and customers.

Start the conversation about Team Collaboration with TCI.  Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

Desktop Phone Hacks Happen… Here’s How to Protect Your Business

Many offices have IP phones, but unknown to most users is that hackers can actually listen to everything that’s going on in the room – whether or not you are on a phone call.

Hackers from a remote location have been able to exploit some IP phones’ vulnerable software and firmware to gain access – even phones sitting behind a firewall.

Here’s some of the mischief hackers can do when they ‘tap’ your IP phone:

  • Listen in on your phone conversations and identify who you’re calling.
  • With access to the phone’s microphone, hackers can feed the conversation into a speech-to-text engine and post the transcript to social media.
  • Since the microphone never shuts off, hackers can listen to everything the phone hears, such as conversations in a company’s board room.

IP phones are basically computers and manufacturers periodically issue software and firmware updates to plug security holes. The trouble is that smaller businesses – and many larger ones – are still lax about keeping their systems updated with the latest patches.

The most effective way to stop hackers from taking control of your IP phones – or any other computer – is to keep the software and firmware current with the latest patches from your phone manufacturer.

Ignoring these patches – or waiting too long to implement them – could leave your business exposed to hackers bent on doing it serious harm.

Concerned about possible IP phone vulnerabilities at your location? Reach out to TCI today… We have communication solutions that can protect your business. Contact us today: (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

Get to Know TCI Host and How You Can Add Cloud Power to Your On-site Phone System

With the complex pricing models and cost of communications infrastructure today, it’s hard to know what the best solution for your organization may be… Stay on-site? Jump into the cloud? Or implement something in between?

While many businesses are already reaping the advantages of moving their voice communications to the cloud, for others replacing phone systems across all offices in favor of cloud technology may not be the best way to go.

With TCI Host, we can add the Unified Communication (UC) functionality you need by integrating your on-site hardware with cloud applications that will better connect your employees and customers.

Our experts enhance your on-site deployment with cloud services to provide what you’re looking for… collaboration tools, mobile connectivity, team meeting capabilities, call center with CRM integration, and much more.

The bottom line… You don’t have to move everything to the cloud to access its benefits. A hybrid, on-site UC solution can offer many of the cloud’s advantages – giving you the flexibility, scalability and control you want. Plus, a TCI Host hybrid architecture is more secure and more reliable than a standalone system, including built-in redundancies and backups.

When you are ready to move all of your voice services into the cloud, you’ll have much of the infrastructure in place with TCI Host. Best of all, we’ll be with you every step of the way. Your local TCI team handles all the details, sets up everything and gets your people up to speed on Day One.

Ready to get started? Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

 

Leverage Virtual Assistants & IoT to Make it Easier to Stay Connected with Your Customers

Customers are conversing with businesses in new ways, thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT). For many consumers, virtual assistants, chatbots and messaging apps are quickly becoming their preferred methods of communication.

CNBC reports that half of consumers will own a smart speaker by the end of the year, and among the top three uses for it will be shopping and ordering items.

Every business should take notice. According to Gartner, more than half of enterprises have already invested in virtual assistant technology, and 25% of customer service centers intend to integrate virtual assistants or chatbots across channels by 2020.

IoT enables businesses to place a greater emphasis on conversation to improve customer engagement. Gartner points out that companies already benefit from using virtual assistants across channels – ranging from a 70% reduction in call, chat and/or email inquiries to a 33% savings per voice interaction.

As these AI-driven services evolve, there’s an enormous upside to use them to create a more intimate connection with customers. Some businesses already leverage location and other profile information to make personalized recommendations.

For these applications to work effectively, businesses need to put the right communications technology in place. Unified Communications provides universal access to applications and data, which removes the typical barriers to successful implementation of AI and IoT technologies.

The time is right to start experimenting with these technologies and to start studying use cases with the idea of improving your operations. The Digital Transformation experts at TCI understand how IoT and artificial intelligence enhance customer interactions.

Ready to open more doors to converse with your customers? Contact us today: (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

TCI Performance Analytics Makes Network & System Management Faster and Easier

The performance of your business communications system and network is important to the success of any organization. Poor service quality will put a strain on your busy IT team as they jump back and forth from strategic projects to find and fix problems.

With Performance Analytics from TCI, the source of problems is easily identified regardless of where they may be on the network – an improperly configured router, for example, or a malfunctioning switch.

Here are just a few of the proactive capabilities from TCI that will improve how your networks and systems are managed:

  • Status Dashboard – Well designed, online dashboards make it easy to identify the most critical issues.
  • Alarms & Alerts – Real-time alerts provide timely, actionable data on network issues, so problems can be resolved more quickly.
  • Alarm Analytics – In a sea of data, alarm analytics ensure that adverse events are prioritized so that the most critical are presented first.
  • Detailed Reporting – Reports demonstrate network and device performance, improving capacity planning and trend identification.
  • Performance Monitoring – The status of Voice quality is continually monitored, as well as the performance of Systems, Applications and Networks.
  • Secure Remote Access & Single Sign-On – Network devices can be accessed anywhere in the world, for more efficient troubleshooting and maintenance.

Ready to optimize your IT team? With TCI Performance Analytics keeping watch, consistently high service quality and less downtime results in satisfied users and an improved Customer Experience.

Learn how TCI’s Performance Analytics service can enable faster problem resolution and improve the reliability of your network. Contact us today: (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

Cut Your Networking & Telecom Costs and Optimize Your Services

Wondering if you’re getting the best pricing, service, and solutions? Need faster broadband, voice or data? A more reliable connection to your data center? Want great customer service when you need it?  The time and effort it takes to identify and compare the offerings and deals of service providers can be a daunting experience for even the biggest firms.

There’s a better way…

We recognize that networks and phone systems are essential to your daily operations. Now you can get all the communications support you need from your single-source technology partner – TCI. We find the best solutions for you and manage everything, acting as your advocate with the service providers every step of the way.

You call us. We do the rest.

Our team of carrier, broadband, and network services experts review your entire IT and Telecom environment – Everywhere we look we can optimize what you have or find you better solutions and better pricing.

You pay nothing extra for our expert advice and coordination, plus you get TCI’s outstanding support.

Get started today! Contact TCI at: (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.