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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to take advantage of the latest technology incrementally as new needs arise, without feeling forced to stay locked into outdated infrastructure until you’ve wrung every last ROI dollar out of it.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.

 

Chatbots Are helping Small & Mid-Sized Firms Compete With Big Businesses

Small and midsize businesses are regularly challenged to compete with enterprises that have deeper pockets, larger contact centers and more options to serve their customers.

By embracing chatbots, smaller firms can improve their Customer Experience and compete head-on with larger companies. Here’s how…

  • Basic question-and-answer functions. When customers start an online webchat they can get routine information such as overnight mailing addresses, product information, links to knowledgebases and physical location hours. Customers get their information faster – via their preferred device – and your business doesn’t need to rely on more costly employees to answer basic questions.
  • Addressing complex, customer-specific inquiries. These include looking up account balances, linking to extended warranty terms and scheduling service calls. The chatbot asks for information to confirm customer identity and then accesses the appropriate database, knowledgebase or apps to complete the request.
  • Delivering scripted information. By directing a customer to a chatbot, companies can ensure there is no human error that may result in potential industry compliance and regulatory liabilities.
  • Making recommendations. By asking customers a few questions, the chatbot can make product or service recommendations, thereby increasing sales. Further, analytics tools can track customer preferences and make proactive recommendations in the future.
  • Assisting human agents. Chatbots also can listen to conversations between agents and customers, offering real-time suggestions on upsell opportunities. Or, if a customer becomes upset, the chatbot can summon a supervisor to join the call.

Once trained and implemented, chatbots cost roughly 10% to 20% of a human agent, and leading AI platform vendors like Google, IBM, Amazon and Oracle are teaming up with contact center providers like Mitel to make chatbots even more intelligent.

Looking for more innovative ways to improve your customer service? Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Wi-Fi as a Service… TCI Makes High-Speed Office Mobility Easy

TCI simplifies your life by helping you avoid the complexity of buying and managing your own Wi-Fi infrastructure. Rather than paying a big upfront capital expense, our Wi-Fi as a Service covers everything you need for an affordable monthly subscription…

  • Wireless Site Surveys and Heat Mapping
  • Access Point Cabling
  • Wireless Security
  • Coverage, Signal Strength, Channel Testing, Data Throughput
  • Ongoing Management

Whether you want to add wireless to your office or light-up an entire campus, TCI will design, deploy and manage your Wi-Fi network to keep your business moving forward.

Let our experienced experts handle all the Wi-Fi implementation details for you. Contact us today: (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

Using Contact Center Metrics to Boost Customer Experience in the Real World

No surprise… Your customers want personalized service and consistent answers when they speak with multiple reps in your business. Further, they don’t want to wait on hold or repeat themselves when transferred. Here’s how three organizations are leveraging the Cloud today to benefit their customers…

  • A Medical Supply Company, which serves its market with 45 agents, gains actionable insight into call center operations. By monitoring system performance in real time, managers can identify heavy call-volume periods, so staff can be allocated in ways that keep wait times to a minimum. Historical reporting reveals patterns so managers can determine if they need additional staff at certain locations or during specific days or times.
  • A Non-Profit that provides temporary assistance to those struggling to pay their energy bills can now move representatives from one queue to another based on call volume. That reduces wait times for customers during peak hours. Call monitoring allows managers to review calls for quality and service levels, improving training and accountability. Call recording comes in handy when a customer and agent have different recollections of a conversation, allowing any miscommunication to be resolved quickly.
  • A Government Contractor implements a nationwide energy efficiency program with a new always-on cloud contact center, allowing 24/7 support to be offered to customers. While remote access had been an issue with the old system, now remote agents have seamless access from satellite offices. Improved call quality translates into fewer dropped calls, which makes customers happy. Real-time call handling metrics let managers analyze the level of service customers receive. Issues can be identified immediately and lay the foundation for future training sessions.

New technology is providing the tools and insight you need to turn your call center into a well-oiled machine.

Let’s talk about more practical ways a cloud contact center solution can help your business serve and support demanding customers… Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

Future-Proof Your Data Network with SD-WAN to Lower Costs and Add Flexibility… We’re Ready to Manage Your Deployment or Support “as a Service”

Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) technology allows you to do more with your network. Paired with high speed connections and Wireless backups, SD-WAN can help overcome the bandwidth, scalability, complexity and cost concerns common with legacy network services.

The WAN struggle is real

Branch sites have never demanded as much bandwidth as they do today with global business traffic and SaaS application usage both soaring. This results in legacy business WAN links, such as MPLS, rapidly exceeding the capacity for which they were originally designed.

With a software-defined network you can take advantage of broadband and fiber links to significantly save on WAN costs and deliver the desired level of performance you need for critical cloud applications like Voice, Data and Video.

SD-WAN is ideal for multi-site deployments, offering lower operational costs and improved resource usage. The technology also enables service providers to offer the highest level of performance without sacrificing security or data privacy. Here are some of the ways your business can benefit from SD-WAN…

  • Optimize performance – Features like a scalable pipeline and intelligent path selection can improve network performance enterprise-wide.
  • Increase throughput & reliability – Application-aware routing protocols let your network adjust to demands in network traffic.
  • Save time and travel – Handle tasks like pushing policies to branch locations and launching new sites remotely from a central location.
  • Reduce costs – With intelligent software substituting for hardware functionality, you can save as expensive hardware options are consolidated or phased out.
  • Track the performance – of critical web applications travelling through VPN tunnels or directly through the public Internet
  • Easily identify and pinpoint – the cause of poor application performance – LAN, WAN, or server

SD-WAN adoption can be a gradual process… There’s no need to sacrifice existing investments in traditional networking infrastructure. No matter what kind of network solutions you may have in place now, TCI can help you select from the best providers and manage your SD-WAN deployment to make your hybrid WAN easier to implement and operate.

Let’s talk about how SD-WAN can improve the way you connect your business. Contact TCI today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

It Only Takes One Person to Derail Your Team’s Progress… Tips for Considerate Collaboration

What does it take to be a considerate virtual collaborator? It’s a combination of soft skills, communications and collaboration technology, and an awareness of the new rules of etiquette. These five tips will ensure you’re the team player everyone will fight to work with.

  • Break down silos – A considerate collaborator sets up a virtual workspace that’s dedicated to each specific project. Every project contributor should have single-click access, be able to upload relevant documents and share feedback instantly in one place, using web chat.
  • Don’t waste team time – Use a virtual workspace to tag relevant team members, alerting them to project updates and basic information. In this way, you will use your meeting time more effectively, focusing instead on only the more complex issues you need to discuss as a group. Share the agenda ahead of time and include the time allotted for each item. Then stick to the schedule.
  • Respect the distance – One of the pitfalls of mobility is that collaborators aren’t always aware if a team member is traveling on business or at a resort on vacation. Collaboration tools make it easier for colleagues to check the status or presence of other team members – and know when it’s appropriate to contact them. A considerate collaborator checks presence first, and if their colleague is unavailable, they look for the next person in line who can help.
  • Sharing isn’t always caring – While team members always need access to the right information, they don’t need to be bothered with every little detail. Clean up your team’s inboxes by making use of your collaboration tool to engage relevant team members in one-to-one or group chats. Streamline the conversation further within a workspace with @ mentions, which let you tag just the person you need, or with @all for information that affects the whole group.
  • Stay on track with tasks – With task-oriented collaboration software, team leaders assign individual tasks while also getting a bird’s eye view of all assignments within a workspace. The considerate collaborator adjusts workloads when too many tasks overlap. This helps keep the overall project moving forward.

These etiquette tips, along with the right collaboration software, will help everyone on your team stay on track to perform tasks more efficiently and complete projects faster.

When it comes to the collaboration tools your teams need to be effective, we’re ready to help get them connected. Get started today… Contact us at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

 

What to Know About Communications Security in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Unified Communications enables your employees to communicate and collaborate more effectively through screen sharing, video meetings, mobile apps and more. But adding AI to the mix promises to send productivity through the roof, so it’s not surprising that over 40% of enterprises plan to incorporate AI into their UC systems by the end of 2019.

Still, even as AI transforms communications, it also raises new security concerns. Let’s take a deeper dive to understand how AI enhances UC and what you need to do to maintain a secure communications environment.

Artificial Intelligence – Emphasizing the Unified In UC

If you thought unified communications was great for efficiency and collaboration, just wait until you see how AI enhances it…

  • Improved collaboration – Integration of AI chatbots into UC apps opens new doors for collaboration by gathering status updates from team members and even alerting members via an app, email, SMS or push notification. When chatbots keep everyone and everything connected, your teams can more easily troubleshoot together, keep track of each other’s progress on projects and share ideas and information.
  • Easier access and use of data – AI virtual assistants improve access to documents and other information, automatically gathering and distributing data to your team’s devices — whether it be a PDF or a video. If questions on a prior discussion arise during a meeting, the assistant retrieves pertinent emails, messages or documents. Attendees stay focused and engaged in the conversation, with all information at their fingertips.
  • Increased productivity – Chatbots field straightforward calls and online chats with your customers, allowing your customer service team to focus on more complex calls and issues. In meetings, attendees concentrate on the content and discussion rather than on the communications tools. The AI assistant even initiates the conference automatically.
  • Better efficiencies – Wouldn’t it be great to have someone else send meeting notes, assign action items and schedule follow-up calls? The AI assistant handles all of it, allowing human attendees to spend their time on more complex and higher value activities. AI also simplifies scheduling by identifying times that work for everyone.

How To Mitigate AI Security Issues…

While the benefits of AI and UC are many, the security of your communications system will also require more attention. AI technology accesses vast amounts of data on products, processes and customers. If an attack occurs, all of that data becomes vulnerable.

  • New standards and protocols will emerge as AI plays a bigger role in communications systems, so you’ll need to remain vigilant to stay compliant with the latest requirements. You’ll also have an obligation to protect the data gathered about your customers.
  • In addition, there are likely to be security challenges with BYOD, as your employees’ AI-enhanced personal devices enter the workplace. Some organizations are already disabling voice assistants such as Siri in the workplace. But, as employees bring newer devices like the Amazon Echo to the office, organizations will need to assess emerging AI technologies for security threats and establish clear guidelines in a formal security policy.
  • A positive note here is that AI actually enhances data and communications security. It will scan for potential threats and alert IT and security teams when vulnerabilities or possible attacks occur. Security professionals can respond far more quickly with the help of these technologies.

As AI and UC blend, you’ll gain an extremely powerful set of communications and team collaboration tools – productivity will skyrocket and data will be more accessible than ever before. But this architecture must have a stable base, with security as a main priority.

Let’s talk about how your business can reap the benefits of AI and UC, while safeguarding your business from risk. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

MiVoice Customers: Mitel’s Complete Release 9 Platform Refresh Includes Improved Performance & Security

TCI and Mitel are pleased to announce the arrival of MiVoice Business Release 9.0 – a suite of upgrades designed to facilitate a simplified process for the deployment of ongoing patches, security updates, and performance improvements. 9.0 also enables a retooled infrastructure ready to evolve your business to next-generation networks.

9.0 Highlights include…

  • A complete software refresh and move to native Linux, providing a common set of tools for software management, while enabling the integration of new services and enhanced security.
  • A new approach to updating individual software components rather than an entire software load. This will reduce maintenance time, allow faster response to potential future security issues, and provide added incentive for IT administrators to promptly implement updates.
  • Significantly enhanced system performance and serviceability.

Pre-Migration Audit

TCI’s local team of Mitel experts will be in touch to arrange time to discuss what a successful implementation can mean to the continued success of your business and answer any questions you may have. Our pre-migration audit has several objectives:

  • Discover any hardware that is unsupported
  • Identify any license changes that may be required
  • Prepare for a successful transition from VxWorks (the previous Operating System) to Linux
  • Review Mitel’s introduction of Server Manager to all platforms

Again, we’ll be in touch with our MiVoice clients to go over everything. If you’re ready to schedule your briefing now, please contact us at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

 

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.