The TCI Advantage of All-in-One Communications, Networking, Infrastructure, Security and Support

There are a lot of companies out there selling standalone communications solutions. What sets our approach apart is TCI Advantage, a holistic suite of capabilities combined with a fully-trained, customer-focused and experienced staff of professionals. We bundle all that with a Discovery and Assessment Process that ensures EVERY engagement exceeds your expectations.

A Comprehensive Portfolio

The comprehensive portfolio of TCI Advantage is designed to cover every aspect of Business Communications, Networking, Support, Infrastructure, and Security…

  • TCI Host – This enterprise-class cloud communications solution provides UCaaS, which brings together feature-rich software into a high-availability Cloud environment, delivering the flexibility, reliability and advanced UC features you need to connect your business. Learn more
  • TCI Connect – Provides a multi-pronged approach that combines our comprehensive Net360 Network Assessment, Remediation & Onboarding Process, plus SLA-based Maintenance and Network Monitoring, to ensure your network infrastructure is not only ready for deployment but will operate as expected for years to come. Learn more
  • TCI Secure – We manage a broad array of Next-Generation Firewall and Management products from Cisco Maraki, SonicWall, and Watchguard as well as Patch Management, Wireless Security, and Backup/Recovery from industry leaders. Learn more
  • TCI Manage – We release you and your overburdened teams from day-to-day network monitoring, backup, reporting, and management tasks. We’ll also increase the performance of your network while uncovering savings too. Learn more

Find out how TCI Advantage breaks down tech silos and brings everything together to simplify your life and empower your teams. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Best Practices… Taking it Step-by-Step to Your Smooth, Resilient Cloud Migration

With more companies moving to the cloud to support remote work requirements, due diligence is essential. Moving to the cloud is a major undertaking, but it has to happen. There’s not only a pandemic to deal with, but legacy systems are expensive to maintain. To ensure your cloud migration is smooth and resilient keep these three principles in mind…

1. Plan for Now, Plan for the Future

Doing your homework pays off in the long run. First, identify all the relevant stakeholders – those who will be most impacted by changes in applications and accessibility – and discover what’s most important to them. What are their key workflows? What applications and tools are essential for them to do their work? What’s most likely to be impacted by the migration? After completing this process, you will be better able to develop a detailed deployment plan that takes each stakeholder’s unique needs into account.

Next, decide what will go to the cloud. Examine each application and determine if it makes more sense to migrate it, keep it local, or upgrade it to a native cloud application or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) application. Evaluate how each decision will impact your overall infrastructure. The discovery and evaluation process may also help you to project future needs.

2. Actively Manage Change

When designing your cloud migration, identify each significant moving part that could create problems, and develop a plan to mitigate the issues.

When you shift applications to the cloud, will you have the IT personnel with the skill set you need? If not, you might have to hire new team members or retrain current employees. Workflows will change. Responsibilities and roles may change. Think ahead and assemble the players you need. Consider forming a dedicated team just to manage the migration.

3. Test for Resilience before Migration

Because resilience is so crucial to the business, it pays to prepare and test your systems before deployment…

Ask your vendors for demonstrations before you go live. They should be able to walk you through every step in the process.

Because there will be bumps along the way, make sure you’ll have access to real-time data in case you want to step back and change your plan.

Preparing for cloud migration is a good time to reevaluate your back-up and recovery solutions to make sure they’re strong and aligned with the company’s business strategy.

Moving your communications to the cloud shouldn’t be intimidating. With a strong partner like TCI on your side, you and your stakeholders can rest assured that the migration will go smoothly. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Adding Staff? Deploy UC Apps & Mobile Tools on Day One so They Can Hit the Ground Running

Assimilating new employees can be a slow, cumbersome process for any business, especially during COVID. If things don’t go well, new employees can take longer to reach their full potential, which can negatively impact your bottom line. If new employees get frustrated, they might even quit, forcing you to start all over.

The key to successful onboarding is making sure new employees get up to speed quickly by equipping them with robust, intuitive tools and capabilities…

  • Unified Communications – With real-time presence technology, new hires can instantly see which colleagues are available for a call. Immediate, real-time collaboration with group calling and chat allows new hires to get their questions answered in real-time.
  • Mobile communications app – Built on top of UC, new hires can instantly have everything necessary to meet customer needs and the ability to see all colleagues on a single screen within the app. With an intuitive app, they can quickly master its features, becoming instantly productive.
  • Platform Integration – To keep employees connected there must be seamless integration with either iOS or Android mobile devices. The ability to answer incoming calls supporting one or multiple company locations means new hires can be accessible and productive wherever they work.
  • Single User Interface – The UI must be designed to offer a single look and feel across ALL hardware and software deployments. Once new people learn one, they can use them all.

Need relief from the pain of onboarding? TCI solutions boost confidence, productivity and job satisfaction. Learn more today: (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

The Challenge of Remote Work & Maintaining Financial & HIPAA Compliance

With millions of people working from home in response to the pandemic, many businesses have embraced remote work as the “new normal.” This arrangement looks like it may permanently change how many leaders approach how they work, manage employees and structure their organizations.

But some things will not change…

Enforcement of regulations such as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA), which deals with the security of consumers’ personal financial information, and the Health and Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which deals with the security of patient records, does not stop just because people have shifted to working from home.

No matter where your people work…

Businesses that rely extensively on distributed workers cannot use just any cloud-based solution without incurring risk. So it is critical to verify that your technology supports customer teams working from home with the same levels of compliance as when they worked in the corporate office.

This is especially important when recording interactions and transactions, including any internal consultations that take place when a financial or healthcare professional is seeking clarification or guidance from a colleague. This also extends to those organizations whose teams continue to handle payments over the phone.

Whether your business is in the financial, healthcare or retail sector, TCI offers secure, reliable cloud communication services. We’re ready to assist your business maintain regulatory compliance no matter where your people work. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

5 Ways to Safeguard your Business from Cyber Threats

One thing that has been fueled by the pandemic is the increasing frequency and greater scope of IT cyber attacks. And still, many businesses remain ill-prepared. Over one-third of small business owners recently surveyed admit they were at risk of falling victim, and a third said they were not confident that their business would recover if attacked. Only half believed they were well prepared.

Although there are new cyber threats every day, here are five measures that can help protect your business from the threat of imminent attacks:

  1. Schedule Annual Risk Assessments – Before taking any steps to prevent cyber-attacks, you need to understand the threats that are out there and your organization’s vulnerabilities. Risk assessments need to be thorough and conducted at least once a year.
  2. Monitor Your IT and Phone Systems – Keep a close eye on all critical IT systems to mitigate imminent threats. Consider hiring a trusted partner to monitor your network traffic, phone systems, server environment, and data processes around the clock.
  3. Back Up and Encrypt Your Data – Team up with trusted Voice and IT experts to set up a reliable cloud-based backup infrastructure system. Encrypted and safely backed-up data can protect against a range of eavesdropping and ransomware attacks.
  4. Manage Admin Privileges – Ensure that employees have access only to the IT resources and data they need to complete their tasks. Limit IT privileges across the board, especially for installing new software and accessing or manipulating sensitive data. Restrict admin privileges to only a few individuals and immediately revoke privileges when people leave the organization.
  5. Train Your Team – Regardless of the cybersecurity measures you have in place, it’s crucial to ensure that your workforce is on board with security protocols. Schedule routine staff training sessions to establish cybersecurity awareness, responsibilities, and accountability across your business.

Defense is the Best Offense

It makes more sense to invest in preventive solutions now rather than scrambling to act after an attack. Keep in mind that a majority of businesses never recover from successful cyber attacks.

With all the dangers lurking out there, you can’t afford to take chances with your security posture. Contact TCI to discuss your Voice and IT security challenges: (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Looking Ahead… Evolving 2021 Cloud Trends

The vast majority of businesses are now utilizing cloud services. But just because the cloud revolution has already happened doesn’t mean it has reached an endpoint.

With the cloud still evolving in 2021, it is worth examining how three emerging trends will impact businesses, and what business owners can do to prepare.

1. Artificial Intelligence

AI is going to be making a big impact on the world of cloud computing, as machine learning and automation create new efficiencies for decision makers and users. The arrival of AI will bring opportunities for some restructuring – many labor-intensive tasks will now be automated. This will leave your teams with additional working hours and resources that can be deployed to more strategic initiatives to grow your business.

2. Cloud-hosted Desktops

Cloud-hosted desktops will become more prevalent with the increase in hybrid and remote work. With a ‘Virtual’ desktop, the workstation is delivered directly to a remote computing device – laptop, tablet, smartphone – via a broadband connection through the cloud.

With Cloud computing technology, you’ll be able to securely deploy remote teams, and provide the tools they’ll need to handle collaborative tasks with their colleagues. To prepare, define hybrid and remote work policies within your organization, and make sure your teams get the technical skills training they’ll need.

3. A Unified Cloud Environment

Despite the best efforts of cloud providers to keep their offerings separate from their competitors, expect more multi-cloud arrangements to break down those artificial silos this year. Look for more cross-platform, cross-provider collaboration – which will benefit businesses and consumers. As these new collaborative services gain traction, equip your team so they can exploit the enhanced tools and functions to benefit your business.

Reach out to TCI today to learn more about how your business can fully leverage the latest technology throughout 2021 and beyond. Contact us at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

How Flexible Cloud Voice Service Can Strengthen Your Business

Over the last few years, Cloud Voice service has quickly taken over old-school landlines and premises-based systems as the preferred small business and enterprise communications solution. With the pandemic, cloud solutions have taken on new importance.

TCI’s Cloud Voice offering is TCI Host, an all-in-one service that supports all of your communications needs – including unlimited calling, messaging, and powerful team collaboration tools. You also get security; automated call screening, forwarding, routing and answering; voicemail-to-email; and user-controlled administration.

With TCI Host, all you need are IP desk phones in the office or any broadband-connected computer or smartphone to connect to the hosted platform through a Cloud Voice app supporting UC service that is customized with all the features your business needs.

Benefits of Cloud Voice

There are several potential benefits of upgrading to TCI Host. Here are just some of the service’s many upsides:

  • Flexible and versatile telephony – Cloud Voice allows you to use convenient call features, such as auto-attendant and advanced call processing. Among many other capabilities, you can also hold virtual meetings and collaborate on remote tasks. The service scales with your business as it grows, and you never have to make tedious and expensive upgrades to add more users or call capacity.
  • Reliable connections – With stable broadband connections coupled with redundant infrastructure backing everything up in the Cloud, you’ll have no worries about dropped calls. Besides service dependability, IP phones also have superior voice and video quality over traditional phones.
  • Complete portability and accessibility – And because Cloud Voice works on the Internet, it’s not limited by distance or national borders. You connect seamlessly regardless of location, allowing you to manage your business on the go and easily communicate with remote colleagues, clients, and stakeholders.
  • One all-inclusive, low monthly price – TCI Host eliminates the expensive upfront costs of buying phones and investing in an expensive on-premises PBX system. For a single, all-inclusive monthly price, you can enjoy state-of-the-art IP phones, Mitel’s award-winning call control features, and 100% lifetime support.

With constant refinements over the years, Cloud Voice has emerged as the most preferred enterprise communications technology. Don’t get left behind – take advantage of this versatile and affordable innovation to boost your business.

Since all businesses have unique communication needs, TCI’s team of experts will help by designing the most suitable solution for your enterprise. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 


What Role Does the Office Play in the Future of Work & What Tools Will Your People Need?

Do businesses still need expansive campuses in a post-pandemic world? With approved vaccines now being administered globally, now is the time to start evaluating what work will look like in the future: fully remote, return to a 100% office environment, or adopt a hybrid of the two?

SMB Group’s Co-founder and Partner, Laurie McCabe, offers some guidance to help you decide…

Evaluating Roles

As you look ahead into 2021, evaluate which roles truly need to be fully in-office, which can be fully remote, and which can be a hybrid. In remote roles, consider which can be worked from different states or even spread across the world. It may be a good idea to avoid recreating what you were doing before the onset of the pandemic. This is an opportunity to see what might work best for your employees and your business going forward.

Accommodating a Hybrid Workforce

Examine how you need to digitize your business processes so that employees can do their job anytime, anywhere. Laptops are a must if you want to give your staff the flexibility to work at home as well as the office, of course. The ability to answer work phones securely from personal devices is another essential component of a hybrid workforce. For the office itself, consider flexible workstations to accommodate hybrid workers when they need to be on the premises.

Who Needs to Work Collaboratively?

Investing in collaborative tech is the key for a remote or hybrid workforce. It helps to keep employees connected to each other and to customers. To maintain this level of engagement, access to certain tools is crucial:

  • Videoconferencing – Face-to-face time is always vital, whether it is achieved in person or remotely via video.
  • Chat – Not all communications have to be in person or synchronous. Text-based chat can help your employees avoid videoconferencing fatigue while still staying connected.
  • Collaboration Solutions – TCI offers a suite of collaboration software to help enable the sharing of info via voice, video, and instant messaging.
  • VPN – An encrypted connection to the Internet keeps data secure and uncompromised. A VPN allows a remote workforce to send and receive data as securely as if they were on site.

Securing Employee Well-Being and Engagement

Flexibility is the key for making sure employees’ needs are being met. Instead of forcing everyone into a single way of working, many businesses are looking at ways to promote a hybrid workforce, with workers able to choose the work environment that suits them best. This type of flexibility will also help businesses attract and retain top talent.

Preparing Now for Life Post-Pandemic

Just like we weren’t quite sure what life in a pandemic would look like, we can’t be entirely certain of how the world will look on the other side of the pandemic. But we can use what you’ve learned over the past year as a guide to the next phase.

TCI is ready to assist you in preparing for the next phase of work with innovative communication and collaboration solutions. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Mitel Rolls Out IP Phones Protected with Antimicrobial Technology

TCI has been serving healthcare providers with innovative communication solutions for over 40 years. And the innovations continue…

With the increased awareness of health issues in office and home workplaces, Mitel has launched a series of IP phones built from plastics protected with antimicrobial technology. The phones feature surfaces that are treated with a silver-based compound that inhibits microbial growth by up to 99.9%.

The new Mitel 6920t and 6930t IP phones are designed to virtually eliminate the health risks associated with dirt, germ and grime collection, making the handsets easier to clean. In addition, Mitel removed the ribs on the back side of the handsets, removed crevices from the microphone grill, and hard-wired the cord to the handset to dispense with the jack receptacle.

The new business phones are also engineered with advanced tools for today’s power users. For example, the 6930t IP phone offers mobile device integration, which seamlessly connects mobile phone call audio, contact and call log information to the desktop phone, allowing calls to the mobile phone to be answered on the 6930t.

With Bluetooth functionality, many mobile phone features are also accessible on the desk phone, making the 6930t a great companion to the user’s smartphone.

As organizations continue to modernize and support new ways of working, they’re looking for solutions and devices that can do more, are simple to use, and easy to maintain. The Mitel 6920t and 6930t IP phones were created with this in mind, using antimicrobial technology and packed with features for powering productivity and collaboration, whether that takes place between traditional office walls and shared spaces or home offices.

The Mitel 6920t and 6930t antimicrobial IP phones are available now for installation and implementation by TCI. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Remote Work and Hybrid Workplaces… The Future of Work is Now

Remote and hybrid work is no longer the future of work – it’s the “now” of work. But connecting and collaborating with coworkers can be a challenge. We’ve all had our share of setbacks and lessons learned, but at TCI we’ll make sure your business communications are optimized for your future success. We’ve been designing, deploying and supporting technology for over 40 years.

Let’s talk about your new opportunities and the new ways your teams can work together…

  • Cultivating easier collaboration for improved Customer Experience
  • Migrating to the Cloud for flexibility and growth for the “now” of work
  • Industry-specific solutions and tools, including field service apps and distributed call centers for customer support
  • Leverage next-gen apps, including customized Google AI solutions
  • Improving the security and compliance of remote work

Regardless of what the future holds, it’s clear that hybrid and remote workers are here to stay. It’s up to you to keep your employees engaged, productive and safe, no matter where they’re working.

For insights on building solutions and processes for hybrid work that can scale into the future, arrange a planning session with your local TCI experts.

TCI can help your business thrive in 2021. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.