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Unified Communications as a Service… 8 Ways it Makes Teamwork and Your Job Easier

Collaboration doesn’t have to be a complex undertaking. With UCaaS, you get an end-to-end service that puts all your communications tools in one place. Here are 8 ways UCaaS simplifies collaboration – and will make your job easier…

  • Never lose your place with one-stop communication. UCaaS makes all your communications available from a single hub on your desktop. Keep an eye on every call and message and never lose sight of important details.
  • Be as productive on the road as you are in the office. With a mobile app, employees can take the office everywhere and get the same experience on the road as they do at their desk. Whether in the office or on the road, they can join a meeting with a single click, without the need to enter those cumbersome participant codes.
  • Take the conversation smoothly from text to voice with ad-hoc meetings. UCaaS helps you connect with the one person who has the information you need – at the precise moment you need their help. With one click, start a meeting and follow through by assigning tasks.
  • Respond to important messages faster with visual voicemail. Nothing ushers in a greater sense of urgency – and stress – than checking your voicemail after a long morning of meetings. With visual voicemail, messages are transcribed and sent to email so you can scan and prioritize who to call back first.
  • Get to the right person at the right time. With presence, colleagues make their whereabouts known to everyone in the organization. So, when a customer calls asking the question only a subject matter expert can answer, everyone knows where and how to reach them.
  • Stay on-track by setting agendas up front. When you create a meeting invite, you have the option to create a timed agenda. Attendees know up front what will be discussed and how much time will be spent on each item. Your meetings stay on track and are more productive.
  • Live in your CRM. When you integrate your phone with your CRM application, salespeople never have to switch between the two. They stay in the CRM to make and receive phone calls. Just by answering their phone, items are automatically added to their to-do lists.
  • Or live in Outlook or G Suite. Your UCaaS can also integrate seamlessly with Microsoft Outlook and G Suite, easing adoption of your new phone system throughout the organization.

With UCaaS supported by TCI, you can have seamless communications designed precisely for your collaboration needs. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

How Data Center and Collocation Services Simplify Your IT… Offsite. Secure. Scalable.

At TCI we make IT easy. As your trusted technology partner, we can transform your data center from outdated onsite hardware to cyber-secure virtual storage in the cloud.

By offering the best in alternative third-party collocation facilities, we take away the headaches and risks associated with managing your own data center.

Imagine no more…

  • Crashes and unreliable backups
  • Viruses, hackers, and network intrusions
  • Unpredictable service outages
  • Costly equipment room expansions

Everything you need to support mission-critical business applications…

  • Reliability – All data centers are equipped with full UPS-protected power and system redundancy for continuous uptime.
  • Power Density – With robust heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, data centers exceed the requirements of even the most power-hungry deployments.
  • Security – Each data center utilizes an array of security equipment, techniques and procedures to control, monitor, and record access to the facility, including individual cages.
  • Recovery – There’s always room for system expansion and extra storage space when you need it. You get 24-hour access to qualified technical support, enabling you to maintain your mission-critical operations and systems under any circumstance.
  • Cost Savings – You get up-to-date infrastructure and access to cloud providers and carrier services, often at a lower cost than keeping your data center in-house.

Ethernet connectivity enables an off-site data center to function like a high-speed node on your company’s WAN. By leveraging end-to-end protocol uniformly and eliminating the variability of the Internet, your files and critical systems are always available when and where you need them – including remote offices, call centers, and teleworkers.

If managing your own data center is becoming too expensive and burdensome for your IT staff, let’s talk about our affordable managed services. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Mitel Delivers More Advantages with Expanding Google Cloud Partnership

Our strategic partner, Mitel has broadened its partnership with Google Cloud to provide greater security and reliability for businesses looking to move more of their collaboration tools and communications to the cloud in order to accelerate their Digital Transformation…

  • As part of the expanded partnership, Mitel will now leverage the Google Cloud Platform to support its public and private cloud solutions and deliver more innovative artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and reporting capabilities.
  • Google Cloud Platform supports Mitel customers with some of the highest levels of security and availability with dedicated operational practices and 24/7 data center monitoring.
  • Google Cloud Platform is also certified as meeting Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) standards and Service Organization Control Type II (SOC 2) compliance, addressing the stringent requirements of heavily regulated industries like healthcare, government, education and finance.
  • Google Cloud Platform will initially support new MiCloud Connect and MiCloud Flex customers. New MiVoice Business customers will also have the option of deploying on the platform.
  • With this latest announcement, Mitel gains further access to Google Cloud’s AI analytics, as well as integration with Google’s popular G Suite productivity and collaboration tools.

Check out this Mitel-Google Contact Center video [7:30]

Mitel’s decision to anchor their public and private solutions with Google Cloud Platform enables its customers to move forward with confidence, knowing their services are virtually bulletproof and that the latest communications and collaboration capabilities will be at their fingertips.

Let’s talk more about how Mitel solutions – coupled with Google’s Cloud Platform – can give your business a competitive edge. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

5 Ways Mitel’s Seamless Teamwork App Enables More Wins and Project Success

You may think that your team is successful enough with just phone and email. Maybe you think screen sharing’s the ultimate in cool. But true teamwork requires more advanced communications. Specifically, it needs seamless access to robust tools from a single app, one that can be accessed via web, desktop and mobile.

Mitel’s innovative Teamwork App can help you build a more effective and efficient team with the goal of helping you come out a winner on every project and customer engagement. Here’s how…

  • Stay organized with a truly virtual workspace – The Teamwork App’s virtual workspaces allow you to easily send messages and track conversations, keeping your conversations neatly collected by topic or project. Better yet, you can take a conversation from online to conference mode with the click of a button.
  • Roam freely with a mobile-first design – Working from home? Working in the field? Driving from one client’s office to the next? A mobile collaboration app for iOS and Android keeps you fully connected to teammates, no matter where you are or where you’re going. Plus, the app puts your safety first – Siri integration and Bluetooth support allow you to talk hands-free.
  • Stay in one place with an integrated user experience – Teamwork App users can automatically cross-launch features. Have a quick question for a colleague? Get the right answer fast with ad hoc conferencing. Need to switch between devices mid-meeting? Transition seamlessly between desktop and mobile. You’ll have a single experience across multiple devices.
  • Manage projects without interrupting the conversation – With Mitel Teamwork App, you can create and assign tasks, archive data and easily share files. A personal dashboard provides alerts specific to you.
  • Meet colleagues and customers where they need you to be – Whether you’re dealing with team members or customers, being able to respond to an email or answer a phone call is no longer enough. Messaging is easier and faster. In fact, many customers prefer text communication. Teamwork lets you send and receive Business SMS text messages that are linked to your business identity. Your team can respond promptly, using their preferred communications channel, even from a desktop application.

Enable more team wins and project success. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

Improving Customer Service… 8 Call Center Trends You Need to Watch

When it comes to improving the Customer Experience with better technology, 2019 is shaping up to be the year of strategic thinking with focus areas like better analytics, more social media conversations and innovative ways to involve artificial intelligence.

To keep you informed and help you stay on target with your plans, we’ve identified the most influential strategic trends affecting call centers this year.

  • Artificial intelligence integrated into customer interactions – Businesses are getting deeper into predictive analytics, using artificial intelligence (AI) applications to help streamline call center experiences for customers and agents. Early adopters continue to hone AI applications for call routing, and more connections are being forged between various media channels to improve the customer experience.
  • Better contact center analytics – Gone are the days of relying on supervisor skill and know-how to get the most out of contact center agents. Now, even smaller businesses are taking advantage of sophisticated analytics to turn data – like call and screen recordings, chats, SMS messages and more – into truly useful feedback for their agents. More businesses are displaying statistical dashboards on user interfaces, so call agents and managers can get real-time updates on customer experiences.
  • Omni-channel communications for all – Omni-channel communications continues to separate proactive businesses from their more reactive counterparts. This holistic view of the customer experience is helping businesses give customers a more personal feel to resolutions. Unifying customer communications across channels enables businesses to resolve issues faster and helps sales agents identify better opportunities for future sales.
  • Widespread adoption of cloud communications in call centers – Cloud communications has become particularly important for contact centers. With the steady increase in remote call agents, cloud communications are a necessity for businesses that want to take advantage of seamless team communications and collaboration. With the cloud, traditional office-based contact centers can take on new locations, grow and contract workforces as market needs demand.
  • More robust customer satisfaction measurements – Businesses approach customer satisfaction measurement in different ways, but slick all-in-one measuring tools seem to be holding steady. No matter which measurements businesses are using, special care needs to be taken when addressing the customer experience across digital channels. Using effective reporting and analytics tools that are integrated with your communications systems makes this process automatic and valuable.
  • More remote call center agents – Lower overhead, time zone flexibility, and flexible working hours have made remote contact center workers a stable trend for 2019. With constantly improving and unified cloud communications, remote workers have become a permanent and beneficial part of the contact center environment. With collaboration tools, contact center agents can take their work mobile, with access to real-time analytics and customer context.
  • Continued emphasis on self-serve documentation – There is greater emphasis on self-service, problem-solving information on business websites. Giving customers information quickly helps reduce call volumes, and easy-to-navigate FAQs help narrow down calls to those with sufficiently complex issues. Quick access to self-serve solutions to problems also contributes to customer satisfaction and reduces overall call times.
  • Two-way social media conversations – The way businesses approach their social media conversations is changing. It’s not enough to make witty posts or share images. Customers are looking for a two-way social media conversation, and when they interact with businesses online, they expect a personalized and immediate response.

Ready to explore how these Contact Center trends can be applied in your business? Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

Unified Communications as a Service… How it Saves Time for Your CFO, Controller & Accounting Team Too

Telecom services can be one of your top expenses, so keeping a close eye on these costs is essential for protecting your bottom line.

Unfortunately, accounting for telecom services can be a very time-consuming undertaking for many businesses, particularly if they manage multiple locations or their telecom arrangements haven’t changed in recent years.

This staff-intensive activity is a burden for CFOs and Controllers too because they have oversight responsibilities.

If your business is still using legacy phone services, every month your accounting team could be wading into service provider invoices – sometimes hundreds of pages long – combing through them for accuracy. Charges have to be assigned to department and project budgets. Never-before-seen line items reconciled.

Even with the aid of software-enabled Telecom Expense Management (TEM) systems, it takes specialized expertise and quite a lot of staff time to make sure a business is not paying more than it should.

Fortunately, times have changed and accounting for Telecom has been radically transformed for the better…

  • With Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), you can arrange affordable, flat-rate pricing – with no need for the internal line-by-line invoice reviews of yesteryear or for keeping TEM software updated to track, manage and report on telecom usage. And with flat-rate pricing, there’s no need to deal with variable LD billing and message units anymore.
  • With UCaaS you not only enjoy all the benefits of communications and collaboration delivered to any location from the cloud, you get consolidated, predictable billing for all the services used.
  • You also get easy-to-understand monthly reports and access to online tools that help you understand every facet of your telecom spend for better decision-making and hard-dollar savings.
  • There’s no need to keep TEM software updated with every service and rate change either… Every time you log into your private management portal in the cloud, you can access a dashboard or detailed view of your system expense.

Simplified accounting… Just one more reason to go with UCaaS implemented by TCI. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Too Busy? How Cloud Phone Systems Provide Time Saving Solutions for IT Managers

Often working with limited resources and a small team, IT managers shoulder an immense set of responsibilities. In addition to implementing new growth initiatives, there are multiple systems to maintain and often multiple locations to support. With more users on the move, their jobs have only become more complicated.

Moving to a cloud phone system can go a long way toward alleviating this heavy workload and give your IT team more time to focus on higher level business initiatives. Here’s how…

  • Reduce Multi-Vendor Management – Managing multiple vendors not only impacts daily productivity, but outdated systems that are patch-worked together typically cannot deliver a consistent user experience, especially when you add different devices to the mix. Troubleshooting problems is more time-consuming, and because the systems may not be integrated, you’re not getting a consolidated view of your operations.
  • Lower Total Cost of Operations – Managing to budget is a core responsibility for every IT leader, and a cloud phone system can help you predictably meet departmental targets. By working with just one vendor instead of many, you’ll lower the total cost of operations by reducing the complexity of day-to-day management and time spent troubleshooting. You can also mix and match the customized features you need without paying for ones you don’t.
  • Future-Proof Your Business – One challenge with traditional phone systems is that the technology ages quickly. With a cloud system, you can always take advantage of the latest features and applications. Plus, there are increased opportunities for integration with other business applications. Employees can leverage new capabilities as they need them, without ever involving the IT team.
  • Headache Relief – By reducing complexity, a cloud phone system will save you time and allow you to focus on mission-critical IT tasks that drive productivity across the business. With easier implementations and uniform deployments, your IT team can spend less time training users and more time working on high-value projects. You might still have headaches, but they won’t be caused by your phone system.

If you’re an overworked and understaffed IT manager, wouldn’t it be nice to stop worrying about at least one of your systems?

If you’re thinking “yes,” then consider transitioning your business phone system to the cloud… Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

 

7 Ways Cloud Voice & Collaboration Makes Your Job Easier

Collaboration doesn’t have to be so complex… With TCI Cloud Voice Services all of your communications and collaboration tools are in one place, which means you can transition from one device or channel to another – and never lose a word in the process.

Here are 7 ways Cloud Voice simplifies collaboration – and makes your job easier:

  1. Never lose your place – All your communications are available from a single hub on your desktop, so you can keep an eye on every call and message and never lose sight of important details.
  2. Work from anywhere, together – Everyone on the team can chat, share tasks and collaborate on documents within a single workspace, whether team members are at home, on the road, or in another country.
  3. Initiate ad-hoc meetings – Need information fast? Connect with the right people at the precise moment you need their help. With one click, start a meeting and assign tasks.
  4. Prioritize messages for fast response – With visual voicemail, messages are transcribed and sent to email so you can scan and prioritize who to call back first.
  5. Reach the right person at the right time – With presence, employees make their whereabouts known, so everyone knows where and how to reach them.
  6. Set agendas up front – Create a timed agenda so attendees know ahead of time what will be discussed and how much time will be spent on each item. Your meetings stay on track and are more productive.
  7. Live in your CRM – Salespeople never have to switch between their IP phone and CRM application. They can stay in the CRM to make and receive phone calls. Just by answering their phone, items are automatically added to their to-do lists.

You can have seamless and reliable communications and collaboration without breaking the bank. Our service plans and pricing are flexible and designed to adjust to your business needs.

Let’s talk about how TCI Cloud Voice services can transform the way you do business. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

 

Voice Documentation for Your Business… The Benefits of Call Recording

Organizations in many industries are faced with legal, industry and service-level compliance guidelines that require them to record their phone conversations.

With Call Recording your organization can quickly capture, organize, archive, playback, and share voice documentation for valuable insight into customer interactions and organizational performance.

Call Recording can be used to solve these common business problems…

  • Information Exchange – Share information quickly, seamlessly and securely without the need to transcribe. You decide whether you need to monitor all calls or record on demand.
  • Risk Management – Record telephone interactions to reduce the risk and ramifications of miscommunication with customers. Examples include improperly filed insurance claims, business to business purchasing, perishable goods orders, and financial transactions.
  • Dispute Resolution – Sort through “he said, she said” customer disputes, adhere to industry best practices, and ensure compliance with government regulations.
  • Employee Development – Complement training programs and enhance employee skill-sets through the systematic review and evaluation of vital business communications functions, including sales, customer service, and collections.

Another popular and even more valuable solution is Screen Capture… Banks and financial institutions especially like this capability because it enables multimedia interactions to be recorded.

With Call Recording you can affordably create a central call record archive to meet unique compliance mandates, facilitate improved internal collaboration, and improve the Customer Experience.

TCI can help you leverage Call Recording to solve your unique business challenges. To get started, contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Improving Your Customer Experience… Consumers Want More Human Interaction

According to the latest research, 8 in 10 consumers want more human interaction from businesses, yet 64% believe companies have lost touch with the human element of the Customer Experience, especially as they add more technology into the mix.

Here’s some practical advice on how you can humanize the Customer Experience in your business…

  • Create an engaged workforce by investing in more self-serve and automation options for customer service. By using chatbots, for example, to answer routine questions, customers can resolve issues on their own more quickly. Employees are then free to focus on the more unique and challenging customer interactions where their performance can add real value to the relationship.
  • Empower your workforce. Frontline employees know first-hand what irks your customers. Yet, many companies fail to tap this vital source of business intelligence. One way to fix this problem is to empower employees to suggest process improvements. As they become more invested in making customers happy, they’ll become more engaged and welcome opportunities to use their skills and creativity to solve problems and stretch further.
  • Provide tools that help employees succeed. Contact center agents usually bear the brunt of customer ire. And they get hit with a double whammy: Agents who can’t solve a customer issue on the first call find themselves on the wrong foot with the customer and their supervisor. To change this situation, an agent can deliver a more personalized and human interaction when CRM data is integrated with the communications solution.
  • Make collaboration easy by reorganizing the workplace to enable employees to collaborate on demand. They’ll not only be more productive, they’ll have the tools to build stronger internal working relationships with each other and with remote colleagues. Tools like web chat or video conferencing make the distance between home and office disappear.
  • Invest in training by incorporating tools such as personalization and self-service into internal portals and dashboards. Making it easy to access knowledge bases and subject matter experts will improve employees’ interactions with clients.

When employees are happy and engaged, they bring that outlook to every client conversation. Companies that focus on the employee experience first will deliver a stellar Customer Experience every time.

Let’s talk about next steps to improve your Customer Experience. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.