Managed Infrastructure Solutions… We Make Connecting Your Business Easy

Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is an IT environment that is provisioned and managed by TCI. With IaaS, you simplify your life and avoid the complexity of buying and managing your own IT and network infrastructure. Rather than paying a big upfront capital expense, your affordable monthly subscription covers everything you need.

TCI’s experienced experts handle all of the details

We design, build, test, certify and support…

  • Structured Cabling – Inside & Outside Plant
  • Managed Wi-Fi
  • LAN/WAN
  • Mobile Devices
  • Endpoints
  • Server Rooms
  • Data Centers
  • UPS
  • Security

We’re flexible

You can own any aspect of your IT environment and subscribe to IaaS for the elements you’d like us to manage. IaaS offers…

  • End-to end setup, implementation, and testing
  • Ongoing monitoring and support, including a 24×7 help desk
  • Upgrades that include new equipment as technology evolves/improves

With over 40 years of certified networking experience, TCI’s trademark craftsmanship offers the expertise and project management you need for today’s technology infrastructure. Contact us today: (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

 

Hybrid, Public or Private Cloud Deployments… 5 Questions that Lead to the Right Choice

The cloud is a proven platform for deploying and managing all-in-one Voice, UC and collaboration capabilities across every location in your enterprise. Of course, every business has its own needs. As you consider which cloud environment makes sense for your company – public, private or hybrid – asking the following questions can help you choose the best path for you…

1. What level of privacy and security do you need?

If you’re in a highly regulated industry, like financial services, government or healthcare, consider which data should be kept on-site versus a private cloud. A hybrid solution enables you to keep control of some parts of your communications infrastructure while still reaping cloud benefits like scalability, resiliency and cost management. If privacy and control are essential to your business, this route may provide the flexibility you need.

2. How important is reliability?

If your workforce needs immediate and reliable access to complex data like large multimedia files, consider either a private cloud or storing the data on site. If you operate a contact center, consider a hybrid solution: a private cloud combined with on-site back-up. Such redundancy protects you from costly downtime; if you lose your on-site system, the cloud is there. Likewise, if a network failure hits your cloud provider, your in-house infrastructure becomes your safety net.

3. Will the communications system grow and flex with you?

For organizations with fewer than 500 users, the public cloud environment is the most cost-effective. For one thing, your business can pay on a user-per-month basis. In addition, even though you still use a public Internet connection, it can be combined with private network solutions. A hybrid solution using the public cloud via a secure private network gives you room to scale up when necessary and allows you to maintain reliability and control.

4. How can you connect to the cloud?

  • SD-WAN (software-defined wide area networking) uses one or multiple network connections to prioritize applications, using a mixture of Internet and/or Internet with MPLS services to review and evaluate all network traffic. To ensure data and call quality are optimized, it can switch circuits quickly.
  • MPLS (Multiprotocol label switching) uses high‐speed networks to efficiently transport packets over virtual links. It also provides high call quality and a secure connection.
  • Public Internet Access Services like business-grade broadband connections are used for voice and video services. This is an economical choice for small and growing organizations.

5. What goes in the cloud? What stays?

Start by identifying the applications that really matter and checking for redundant functionality across applications; then focus on the key business and technical reasons for moving to the cloud. Use those decisions to shape the specific criteria for determining which applications should move to the cloud. Start with an overall digital strategy and work backwards, evaluating each offering against your value proposition.

TCI can help you refine your cloud deployment strategy and implement a solution tailored to your specific needs. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

8 Ways to Ensure Your Remote Workers Feel Like They’re in the Conference Room

Because remote employees are not physically at the conference table, they miss the non-verbal cues and side conversations, while those attending in person often forget who’s on the other end of the speaker phone.

To make your remote colleagues feel connected and valued, here are 8 ways you can help them feel like they’re in the conference room along with everyone else.

1. Make it mobile-first.

The first step toward changing this dynamic is to provide remote employees with the right tools. They need the ability to join meetings from any device with a single click – mobile, tablet, desktop – and any operating system.

2. Set a clear agenda.

A UC solution with a built-in agenda capability enables you to send the meeting plan with the invite. This way, remote employees aren’t at a disadvantage. Everyone is on the same page from the get-go.

3. Establish meeting ground rules.

For instance, one person speaks at a time with no interruptions. Have everyone say their name before speaking to help remote colleagues who are not in the room. This also serves to remind everyone that remote colleagues are on the call.

4. Start with introductions.

Have everyone say “hello,” give their name and role, and explain why they’re on the call. Small talk can help make everyone feel included, especially remote colleagues. If it’s a video call, make sure everyone is on video – not just audio. If someone can’t be on video, ask them to post a photo of themselves.

5. Invite participation.

Since it’s easy to forget who’s calling in, it’s the job of the facilitator to make sure everyone contributes. Keep track of who has spoken – and who has not. Ask direct questions to those who haven’t contributed.

6. Speak clearly.

It is important that the facilitator speak clearly and slowly, with more pauses to make sure everyone is following.

7. Make it visual.

Use collaborative conference software that allows anyone on the call to share their screen. Use visuals to keep everyone engaged. Ask different participants to share documents.

8. Break it up.

When planning the meeting, be conscious of keeping it interactive. For instance, stop after three slides to ask questions. Assign different items on the agenda to each participant. In this way, the remote worker feels like an important contributor to the meeting.

Conference calls have always been challenging, but with more team members working remotely, it’s essential for businesses to make sure they contribute and feel included.

Let TCI help you choose a cloud business communications solution that gives you the tools to create an inclusive, collaborative workspace. Contact us today: (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

 

 

Remote Work Considerations as the DC Region Prepares for Coronavirus/Covid-19 Impact

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst… The Covid-19 outbreak is moving fast and you’ll need to be flexible in the coming weeks to minimize disruptions to your business.

TCI is Ready

At TCI, our staff’s welfare and your need for support are top of mind. Rest assured that our customer and tech support staff are equipped to work remotely as necessary and will be able to continue to support you without interruption.

Preparing Your Business

You’re likely thinking about how your business will stay connected to continue operations and serve customers. If your employees need to work at home, there are several teleworking options available. Depending on the licensing and system levels of your phone system or service, TCI experts can help you coordinate…

  • Softphones – implemented via an app installed either on your desktop/laptop or smartphone
  • Twinning – having desk phone and cell phone ring simultaneously
  • Teleworker Phone – a physical phone that can be used at home and programmed with the same features and apps as the business phone at the office
  • Conferencing Services – enables virtual face-to-face meetings to complete projects and make decisions
  • Mass Notification Solutions – broadcasts information to teams, groups or the entire organization via text messages, phone calls, and email.

Arranging Call Forwarding 

In many cases, you may want to forward your main business telephone number to a primary point-of-contact’s extension. As a full-service provider, TCI can get this done quickly.

You can also Call Forward your desktop extension to your teleworker phone prior to leaving the office or set call forward to your smartphone. Make sure you have a way to cover any incoming faxes.

Do Not Delay

News about Coronavirus/Covid-19 is developing fast, so now is the time to arrange your contingency plans and test your solutions in case your main office has to close to protect your employees and customers.

Let’s talk more about safeguarding your business. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Get to Know the Mitel Teamwork App – and Cool Ways to Use it in Your Business

Mitel’s collaborative Teamwork app is designed for mobility. It transforms the way you work and enables your teams to be more productive and collaborative, whether they’re in the office or on the go.

Watch the Mitel Teamwork video

Here are some of the cool things you can do with Mitel Teamwork…

  • Stay organized: The personal Dashboard allows you to stay organized by delivering a single source for you to view your tasks, @ mentions, and new items.
  • Manage projects: Keep your projects organized by creating virtual rooms for your teams to collaborate in. Workspaces can be private or public to ensure the appropriate team members or anyone within the organization stay engaged.
  • Share files: Upload files directly to a workspace so team members can easily find and access documents from anywhere.
  • Assign tasks and due dates: Provides a holistic view of a workspace’s to-do list to determine workload and appropriate timelines – all within a single app.
  • Conferencing: Join and create conference calls directly from a workspace. With a single click, members can quickly join a conference and automatically launch the call from within their team workspace.
  • Messaging: Chat with all team members within a workspace or one-to-one through direct messaging. Users will be notified of unread messages and any messages they are mentioned in if they are away when the message is sent.
  • Mentions: Get users’ attention by tagging them with @mentions so they are notified of questions and comments within workspaces. The @all mention makes it easy to get the attention of every team member within a specific workspace to quickly address timely questions or concerns.
  • SMS Texting: Incorporate Short Message Service (SMS) texting into the business with one-to-one texting with clients and customers from any Teamwork app that is linked with the sender’s business identity rather than their mobile device number.

When you combine these capabilities with an all-in-one Cloud Voice service, you can increase cross-team productivity and unite your employees to communicate and collaborate effortlessly.

Improving your teams’ communication can improve your business… Contact TCI today: (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

Managing Your Multi-Site Enterprise Voice & UC is Easy with TCI Host

Now you can simplify managing your enterprise phone systems. Join the wave of Multi-site businesses replacing their mix of vendors and outdated phone systems with a centralized, seamless UC as a Service.

Reduce costs, increase productivity and improve customer service 

Our TCI Host service is built on a powerful, scalable cloud platform. It’s a proven solution for deploying and managing all-in-one Voice, UC and collaboration capabilities across every location in your enterprise.

Seamless Migrations

Cloud communications isn’t an all-or-nothing endeavor. There are several deployment models you can choose from depending on your business’s unique situation, and you can shift from one approach to another over time. Our project teams handle all the details for you.

TCI Host brings your offices closer together, providing award-winning customer experiences, and closing the gap on activity with a powerful feature set. Your communications will never be the same.

More Mobility and Collaboration

TCI Host users can access team collaboration tools from their mobile devices and laptops. Designed for today’s workforce, your work will no longer be a location but an activity that can be tackled anywhere.

An All-inclusive Monthly Subscription

TCI Host eliminates the upfront costs of investing in an expensive on-site system. Your low monthly price connects you to a flexible selection of IP desktop phones, integrated mobile apps, award-winning call control features, and outstanding local support delivered by TCI.

Bring it all together

When you combine business communications, mobility and the cloud, borders disappear, barriers collapse, your costs drop, and productivity rises. If these sound like the kind of results you want, it’s time to move your voice, collaboration and customer service to the cloud.

Let’s talk about how TCI Host can centralize and simplify your enterprise communications. Contact TCI today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

 

How TCI Ensures Your Building’s Wi-Fi is Moving as Fast as Your Business

Whether you need Wi-Fi coverage for a new building – or you just want a faster network in your office space – TCI has the experience and expertise to get your connections moving as fast as your business…

With the proliferation of Wi-Fi enabled devices, every business is adapting to keep up with more devices, access points, bandwidth, and the latest IEEE 802.11 standards.

The newest Wi-Fi standard offers a giant leap in performance to better support current and emerging business applications. Wi-Fi 6, also known as Wi-Fi 6 (ax), delivers nearly four times the capacity of Wi-Fi 5 (ac), while offering more efficient operation, tighter security, easier self-deployment, and long-term compatibility. It also provides a more reliable user experience in areas of high demand.

High-speed Wireless LANs allow your employees and visitors to work anywhere in your building or campus, with convenient, worry-free access to the Internet or your local IT resources.

We Make Wireless Easy  

TCI delivers WLAN projects on time, tested and ready to support seamless mobile access. Our experts manage all the details to ensure your office Wi-Fi infrastructure is keeping up with your high-speed business…

  • Wireless Site Surveys and Heat Maps
  • RF Testing & Coverage Optimization
  • Access Point Placement & Cabling
  • Wireless Security
  • Testing and Certification
  • Migration assistance to Wi-Fi 6

Simplify with Wi-Fi as a Service

With TCI you can skip the hassle and complexity of buying and managing your own Wi-Fi infrastructure. Rather than paying a big upfront capital expense, our affordable monthly subscription scales up and down based on what you need. TCI sets up and manages everything for you.

Contact TCI today to discuss improving your Wi-Fi speed and coverage: (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Enable More Agile Teams with Technology – Plus 6 Communication Habits that Drive Success

An agile team is “marked by ready ability to move with quick, easy grace; having a quick, resourceful and adaptable character.” Sounds good, doesn’t it? Who wouldn’t want their teams to be agile?

But creating a truly agile team is no simple feat. How do they behave? What qualities do they possess? In other words, what does an agile team really look like on a typical day?

Of course, there are numerous communications habits that characterize agile teams. But some habits in particular can be enhanced with the right technology.

Consider, for example, how hosted phone systems and solutions help teams collaborate, share ideas and get more done in their workday…

Here are six communications habits of agile teams – and how technology enhances collaboration.

  • They’re always reachable. You can’t be agile if you’re disconnected. A hosted collaboration and communications solution provides a single experience across devices and lets workers seamlessly move from one device to another. Team members are always “on” and thus more responsive. Agile employees work best when they have access to all communications features, even on their mobile devices, so they can keep working no matter where they are.
  • They share information in real-time. Hosted phone systems and solutions that mirror conversations across all devices in real time allow team members to keep their finger on the pulse of all projects and discussions. Single-click audio, video and web conferencing, in addition to individual and group chat, keep the lines of communication open at all times. Team members make smarter decisions based on the latest information and on collaborative discussion of all issues.
  • They keep team members informed. Persistent workspaces foster collaboration and allow users to chat, share files and even create tasks. Everyone has access to the information they need to do their jobs, and people know what they’re responsible for. The tasks performed by each team member complement those of their colleagues, with everyone working toward a well-understood solution. Time is not wasted searching for information or making decisions that have to be undone after the fact.
  • They’re organized. Organization is a critical quality of responsive and adaptive teams. A hosted phone system makes it easy with task management and file sharing. Consolidate conversations and activities into one space for quick access to anything you need during the workday. Calendar and email integration take organization to a new level, keeping team members on top of events, client meetings and messages.
  • They’re mobile. A communications solution is nothing if it doesn’t offer full mobile support. Features such as a mobile app for Android and iOS, Siri integration and Bluetooth support provide teammates the hands-free experience they need to stay connected without being tied down.
  • They track progress on projects. Agile teams reach the finish line faster by knowing exactly how far they’ve come and what they still need to do. A virtual workspace app such as Mitel’s Teamwork lets them know what activities still require attention. A personal dashboard makes it easy to see project status, propelling each team member toward their ultimate goal.

Arm your team with a hosted phone system that makes it easy to talk, chat and share ideas and information easily and quickly. Create an environment that makes collaboration a breeze and completing projects a snap.

Turn your team into a well-oiled machine whose information and ideas flow freely. Contact TCI today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

Get More Done… Tips for Delegating Project Work with Teamwork & MiTeam Apps & Collaboration Tools

Delegating work to other people sounds great in theory, but let’s be honest… it can sometimes be a struggle to release control. It takes time and effort to send out assignments and follow up on progress, but the reality is you can’t do everything yourself.

The good news is that better technology and mobile apps are helping teams bridge the gap to project success with tools that work…

  • Workspaces – Delegating is much easier with apps like Mitel Teamwork & MiTeam, where you can create focused group workspaces based on projects or teams. Accessible by PC as well as the mobile app, team members can be updated from anywhere, at any time. Send messages and track conversations, share content and files plus add new members to workspaces as required. Working as a team is made simple, keeping information flowing through your organization seamlessly, in one place, so that work can get done faster and smarter, without getting bogged down by email chains.
  • Messaging – Equipping employees with virtual workspaces, Teamwork & MiTeam provides a place where employees can come together to work closely and communicate effectively from anywhere. Send group messages to announce updates to team members, as well as alert specific users with @mentions, even start a conference call, if necessary. The mobile app for iOS and Android enables teams to always stay connected, with conversations mirrored across all devices.
  • Tasks – Virtual workspaces allow teams to collaborate from anywhere, to create and assign tasks, set priorities, check progress, and ensure everyone is kept up to date, from anyplace, at any time. Personal dashboards for every user ensure they are always in the loop, alerting them to what activities require immediate attention. Data can be stored or archived by project, subject or person.

Teamwork & MiTeam apps bring together messaging and collaboration tools into a single solution, empowering your teams to be productive from anywhere. The seamless flow of information throughout your team makes delegation easier and ensures that all tasks stay on track to ensure the success of any project.

Equip your teams to manage projects more efficiently and get more work done. Contact TCI today: (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Supporting DC Metro’s Non-profits & Associations with Technology Planning, Assessments & Bid Consultations

TCI is your local, go-to partner for IT strategic planning…

Our experts will analyze your entire IT infrastructure including software, systems, processes, networks and applications. We then provide you with a comprehensive project plan that contains our recommendations. It is our goal to help you exploit the best technology to move your organization ahead and make managing IT easy.

Providing you with Assessments & Audits

Our technical assessments and audits help you better understand your organization’s current IT systems. An audit will let you know whether your network is operating at peak performance, what systems are hogging resources, whether your current IT strategy fits your business and more. We perform health checks for all of your systems while proactively searching for hidden problems. We’ll work with you to establish the kind of technology your organization needs and propose an IT budget to help you better understand all costs in advance.

Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery

We know the damage that can be done to an organization when disaster strikes. Our goal is to save you from headaches resulting from lost data, time and resources due to recreating a corrupt or missing database, disrupted systems and networks, and more. Accordingly, we identify risks, threats and exposure, and determine appropriate responses for systems and networks. This may include recommending data protection measures, off-grid power sourcing, and secure off-site storage. We also check the feasibility of implementing telework programs to keep your organization functioning during an emergency.

Procurement & Bid Consulting

We work with you to make sure you are getting exactly what you want from your telecommunication providers. We offer you improved savings through innovative price reduction and/or quantity discounts, speedier contract negotiation, reduced miscommunication, less chance of unexpected costs, and better outcomes. Our experts handle all the details from bid consulting and procurement to implementation and ongoing support.

Third Party Vendor Management

Our experts work to leverage well-established vendor relationships to secure prompt response to technical issues. We get your issues resolved quicker and your systems and networks back to proper operation faster. We’ll manage escalations, track progress, monitor vendor performance, and report changes in status to you. Most importantly, we maintain a line of communication with you to avoid misunderstanding and proactively address any issues at their onset.

Project consulting and services you can rely on

Our team of consultants will learn about your organization and work with your team to plan projects and ensure that we meet your IT goals. We take away the stress and problems that can be a direct result of poor project planning by defining project success criteria along with major milestones and target dates for each. You get a clear statement of project objectives, costs and deliverables. Our negotiation and communication skills help keep projects moving forward and within budget.

TCI makes managing technology easy. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.