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Contact Centers 101… Understanding the Basics So Your Business Won’t Miss Out

The contact center world of 2022 is filled with business opportunities and the chance to better meet your diversifying customer needs. Worried you might be missing out? Don’t be. Below, we formally open the doors to the contact center world and invite you to confidently step inside.

Why Does Your Organization Need Contact Center Technology?

If your organization handles and manages daily phone calls, then you can benefit from new contact center technology that can quickly and efficiently route calls, spot calling trends, and build an effective overall team.

Call center technology can accelerate reaching customer experience goals set by the managers and decision-makers of your organization – from increasing first call resolution to honing your tracking and reporting intelligence.

What Kind of Call Center Technology is Out There?

There’s a wide spectrum of call center solutions available to help maximize your business operations. The first step in determining which technology is ideally suited for your business is determining the size and classification of your contact center.

For example, are you a small business and just getting started exploring your options, or do you already run a small but “full-fledged” contact center? Are you an enterprise-class contact center? Establishing your requirements leads to the end goal – investing in the right technology to take you there.

Today’s call center solutions can cover all of the bases – from driving productivity to streamlining operations, to simplifying tool management, to call bursting for handling sporadic high call volumes. A sampling of customized contact center solutions available include…

  • Contact Center Enterprise provides a powerful toolbox of applications to transform dated, voice-only call centers into an omnichannel customer experience.
  • Cloud-based Contact Center services offer a multi-channel interaction center for the way customers communicate today. 4 Minute Video Demo: MiContact Center Business – Customer & Agent Experience
  • Boosting your team’s performance with Workforce Optimization applications and tools. Learn more
  • Proactively reach your customers and prospects with Outbound contacts to improve loyalty and uncover new revenue opportunities.

The contact center world isn’t so scary once you take that first step inside. Take the next step with TCI. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Keeping Up with Data Security & Privacy Regulations… They’re Complex and Changing

Because larger enterprises are highly visible, serve a large customer base, and typically have deep pockets, they need to adhere to the highest standards of compliance. But that becomes more challenging when policy and regulations are a moving target.

To avoid penalties for non-compliance, enterprises must thoroughly research the data privacy and security laws of each market they operate in before placing sensitive and critical data in the cloud. The more geographically distributed they are, the more research they need to do, and the more requirements they must comply with to avoid ending up on the wrong side of regulations.

The TCI and Mitel Solution

For example, TCI’s Mitel-powered solutions allow enterprises to deploy their unified collaboration and communication solutions in their data center, in a partner-managed data center, or via a dedicated instance private cloud environment that uses data center companies like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, Azure – or any combination – to achieve compliance with local data privacy laws.

Selecting a serverless private cloud option using AWS, Google, or Azure enables the enterprise to keep control of its data without owning its hardware. This option also removes the complexity of maintaining hardware, simplifying management, and reducing costs. Finally, using the private cloud option increases flexibility to grow or reduce capacity, based on changing business needs.

Our customers can also leverage hybrid cloud scenarios, where the on-premises solution can be deployed using a private cloud in combination with cloud applications. This approach provides the ability to either remain on a current on-premises solution using dedicated hardware, use a private cloud while taking advantage of cloud applications, or migrate or expand a part of the business using a public cloud solution.

It’s All About Choices

When the stakes are high and complexity looms large, many enterprises are turning to TCI and Mitel. Talk with our experts about how to find the right communications solution deployment for each market and how to ensure they all work together.

Learn more about how TCI can help you successfully navigate the complex data security and privacy environment. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

8 Reasons to Upgrade to RingCentral MVP

As of June 30, 2020 no new contracts were accepted onto the MiCloud Connect platform. However, if you are currently a Mitel cloud customer considering an upgrade, replacement, or realignment of your current infrastructure, here are 8 reasons why making the change to RingCentral MVP is going to be good for your business in the long run.

1. More Flexibility

The RingCentral MVP platform complements our leading UC on-premises, subscription, and private cloud solutions. With RingCentral MVP, Mitel cloud customers now have more choice and flexibility in how they evolve their current communication and collaboration infrastructure to enhance efficiency, improve productivity, and deliver better customer service experiences.

2. Full-Featured Phones

RingCentral MVP rounds out its communication and collaboration options with full-featured phone capabilities built on a global calling footprint in over 44 countries, local and toll-free numbers across more than 110 countries, and customization settings in 17 languages. Mitel’s 6900 IP Phones are now officially certified with RingCentral’s MVP platform, making it easier for existing Mitel cloud customers to scale operations quickly with employees who can work from anywhere.

3. Seamless Integration

RingCentral MVP streamlines all communication and collaboration into a single, unified, collaborative, cloud-based hub for team messaging, HD video meetings, and telephony. This intuitive solution makes it easier for employees to work efficiently on mobile or desktop clients, so they can interact with each other, partners, and customers whenever they need to and from wherever they are.

4. Higher Capacity Video Conferencing

RingCentral MVP optimizes the virtual meeting room and makes it easier for you and your team to stay connected. Enjoy HD audio and video, and screen share with up to 200 interactive video participants. Easily schedule meetings with calendar integrations with Office 365 and Google Calendar. Get in-meeting chat, virtual backgrounds, closed captioning, cloud recordings, and powerful background noise reduction technology for a great participant experience.

5. More Powerful Messaging

Messaging is still one of the best ways to stay connected with team members when a video meeting is not needed. RingCentral MVP’s integrated messaging features make messaging a more powerful tool for all instant interactions:

  • Set a custom status to indicate availability.
  • Create teams around projects, specific topics, and departments.
  • Assign tasks to individuals or project teams.
  • Share links and files with no size or storage limits.

6. One Place for All Your Tools

Too many independent tools keep employees bogged down with managing technology rather than doing their jobs. RingCentral MVP eliminates communications silos and technology gaps with over 275 pre-built integrations and more than 500 open APIs you can leverage to enhance business applications and workflows.

7. Reliability

RingCentral MVP has a proven record of providing service to small, medium, and large businesses in a variety of industries. It’s a secure and reliable platform with 99.999% call service uptime. This ensures your communication system is always running whenever your employees need it.

8. Simplified Management

With so much riding on the capabilities and performance of your communication and collaboration system, it’s important to keep tabs on how it’s performing and how it’s being used. RingCentral MVP is delivered with a simple, centralized web-based user and system administration feature that makes it easier to structure rich analytics and real-time reporting.

You now have an opportunity to leverage the market-leading UCaaS capabilities you need to prepare your business for whatever the future may bring.

Talk to TCI today to make your transition seamless and get the features you need with no hassle or disruption to your business: (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Strong Storms Are Rolling In… How Business Continuity Planning with TCI Helps Protect Your Business

TCI’s cutting-edge Disaster Recovery solutions are tailored to help protect your entire technology environment – from data and applications to office computers, mobile devices, networks, and phone systems.

Will your business continue to operate when disaster strikes?

Here are just some of the ways TCI’s comprehensive approach helps you safeguard what counts:

  • Determine appropriate risk reduction strategies, remedies, and alternatives for critical systems and networks, including affordable ways to address voice and data protection measures like off-grid power sourcing and secure off-site storage.
  • Enable a remote work program that can keep your business open when your office is shut down during an emergency.
  • Avoid critical data loss or recovery delays dealing with missing databases, disrupted systems, networks, and more.

If you’re considering moving to the cloud, remember you don’t have to do it all at once.

Create a plan… Identify what should stay in-house and what should go to the cloud. Focus on what you’d need to operate if a major interruption or disaster occurred. Determine the connectivity your employees need to do their jobs remotely. Also, work toward consistent and seamless end-to-end communications. TCI can help you build a hybrid or full cloud solution that meets the needs you’ve identified.

The cloud gives your company the agility it needs to respond to any disruption, be it a natural disaster, pandemic, a security breach, or a failure of your network or hardware.

Schedule your Business Continuity Planning meeting. Contact TCI today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

TCI’s Wi-Fi Service Offers High Speed In-Building Broadband Connections

TCI’s Managed Wi-Fi Service… Simplify and speed up your day-to-day operations. Our Managed Wi-Fi puts intuitive yet powerful tools in the hands of your network administrators:

  • Add wireless capacity in minutes with fully automatic provisioning
  • Manage complex, dynamic environments using Auto RF
  • Throttle bandwidth and block unauthorized applications
  • Streamline device onboarding with built-in Mobile Device Management

Wi-Fi 6 Support… TCI supports enterprise-class Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) access points to solve density and throughput challenges. With up to 8 transmit and 8 receive antennas, your applications will always operate at peak performance. In addition to 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz radios, many APs offer a dedicated security radio that:

  • Continuously scans and protects against security threats
  • Senses the RF environment and adapts to interference
  • Automatically configures RF settings to maximize performance

Wireless Made Easy… From growing offices to large corporate enterprises, TCI designs, implements and maintains the wireless networks that keep local businesses connected and running strong. Our expertise includes:

  • Wireless site surveys
  • Wireless coverage testing
  • Access point cabling
  • Wireless security
  • Wireless network management

Whatever your environment and business goals, TCI can design, deploy, and support a cloud-managed wireless solution for you.

Our certified infrastructure experts will ensure your mobile workforce has access to the connections they need to stay productive… Contact TCI today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Why More CFOs Are Shifting IT Investment From CAPEX to OPEX

Traditionally for technology investments, CFOs most often preferred capital expenditures over operating expenses because they could take advantage of the amortization and depreciation of those investments over an extended period. There’s a growing argument, however, that operating expenditures (OpEx) have distinct advantages over capital expenditures (CapEx).

Operating expenses are used for the day-to-day costs of running a business and can be more stable. But technology developments are occurring faster than companies can digest and are the reason many CFOs are shifting from capital expenditures to operational spending.

The cloud is a perfect example of how to apply OpEx for technology expenditures. As an operating expense, the cloud allows a company to:

  • Pay only for the capacity it needs now and scale as requirements change
  • Ease and speed up the budgeting process because short-term spending requirements are lower
  • Make multiple investments across the business since capital isn’t tied up in large upfront expenditures
  • Fund expenses faster through operations rather than needing to borrow money or divert money from other projects to pay for large, upfront technology costs
  • Smooth out cash flows over time instead of requiring lumpy outlays

Cloud Offers a Path to the Future

If you’re looking to reduce communications costs, the cloud can save you money:

  • No costly, upfront investments in servers, switches, and PBXs
  • No budget “surprises” – consistent, predictable calling plans
  • No costly, across‐the‐board software upgrades as new features and versions are released – you get the latest versions immediately, automatically
  • No wasted money on over-provisioned trunks or underutilized hardware
  • No high energy and cooling costs to run a roomful of equipment, and rent to house it all

The cloud offers a better path for growth. It not only saves you money through economy of scale, but also scales cost‐effectively as you grow. You never have to worry about adding more servers and switches as you add more employees. You simply add more seats in the cloud at a fixed monthly cost and have the assurance that new employees are connected to all your business communications from day one.

Ready to talk about your path to the Cloud? Contact us today: (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

The 9 Most Important Call Center Trends of 2022

We’ve seen a lot of changes to the call center and customer experience landscape over the years, from cloud communications and virtual agents to more strategic thinking around analytics, more flexible social media interactions, and innovative ways to involve artificial intelligence. And when the pandemic pushed businesses to modernize their business communications overnight, we’ve seen even more shifts in how businesses meet the evolving needs of both customers and their employees.

Here are nine technology trends that are helping companies deliver the best quality customer experience. See how far your business has come in building customer relationships that last — or which of these trends may need to be on this year’s to-do list.

1. Artificial Intelligence

As early adopters continue honing AI applications for call routing, we expect to see more connections forged between various media channels and streamlined call center response.

2. Digital Transformation

A forward-looking digital transformation strategy is going to be essential for business competitiveness. And it’s not just about using the right channels to interact with customers where they are; the smartest businesses are integrating technologies to provide full customer context with each interaction and leveraging system data to provide proactive service.

3. Better Contact Center Analytics

Gone are the days of relying on supervisor skills 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 useful feedback for their agents. We expect more advancements in analytics as companies continue to implement more unified communications platforms and strategies.

4. Omnichannel Communications

More businesses are recognizing that while a customer journey may begin on one channel, valuable insight and feedback from the customer can be gained on a completely different channel. Responsive businesses are using this trend to create a superb customer experience by unifying communications across channels into one stream. This helps their customers by connecting them with an agent who knows their purchase and service history and provides valuable context. Most importantly, the two-way conversation is public on a social media platform, so other customers can see how the business solved the problem.

5. Cloud Communications

Many businesses have already adopted cloud communications as part of their communications strategies, but cloud communications have become particularly important for contact centers. The steady increase in remote call agents has made cloud communications a necessity for businesses who want to take advantage of seamless team communications and collaboration. With cloud communications, traditional office-based contact centers can take on new locations, and grow and contract workforces as market needs demand.

6. Employee Engagement

Just as customer expectations have evolved in the last few years, so have the expectations of the employees that make quality customer experience possible. And dissatisfaction in the work environment and culture has led to high agent attrition in the contact center space and beyond. Businesses that want to remain competitive will provide their employees with the culture and technology that empowers an efficient, productive, and flexible workforce.

7. Flexible Working Options

Lower overhead, time zone flexibility, and variable working hours have made remote contact center workers a stable trend in 2022. With constantly improving unified communications, remote workers have become a permanent and beneficial part of the contact center environment. By using collaboration tools, contact center agents can be mobile, with access to real-time analytics and customer context.

8. AI-Powered Self-Service Tools

The high priority on process improvement and self-service since the pandemic has addressed the issue of increasing workload for contact center agents, as well as the difficulties around achieving the desired service levels or Average Speed of Answer (ASA). 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 also provides an emotional benefit to customers (that DIY-fix high!) and reduces overall call times.

9. SMB’s Leveraging All Employees to Support Customers

SMBs are extending traditional contact center agent desktop features to employees that work outside of the contact center to supplement customer-facing employees. Blended UC/CC solutions that bring customer and employee experiences together into a single user experience tear down the silos between traditional contact center agents and the rest of the organization.

If you need more help determining how to apply these trends to your call center, TCI’s local experts are here to help. Contact us today: (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Surviving on Good-Enough Communications? A Guide to Upgrading Your Business Technology

Business leaders have been running in emergency mode trying to adapt to workplace limitations imposed by COVID and the mandates intended to limit its spread. Often, businesses made do with a mix of communications solutions from different vendors – with varying results.

Now is the time to re-assess and refine:

Integrate Communications

Many businesses are working with an unwieldy patchwork of solutions from different vendors, each implemented separately at different times. This Frankenstein-type framework is okay for just getting by. But compatibility and efficiency issues can hamper your capacity to grow and thrive. An integrated platform ensures a seamless experience for management, employees, and ultimately customers.

Adapt Processes to Make the Most of Communication Technology

If you find yourself spending more time on communications tools after a partial or complete migration, you may not be making the best use of them. Define optimal ways of working before you implement the tools. Will you recreate your current processes with your new cloud solutions? If so, go back to the whiteboard. Set up measurement tools before you deploy. You can’t improve what you don’t measure.

Develop Flexibility and Security

Whether your employees are remote, hybrid, or in-person, they’re likely to use personal devices for work purposes. With the right solutions, you can support secure work and promote collaboration regardless of which devices your employees use.

Offer Robust Tools to Avoid “Shadow IT”

Keeping employees from using unauthorized IT isn’t easy. You’ll need to offer modern and agile tools and establish an IT infrastructure that works for everyone. One central, lean IT infrastructure with well-documented interfaces will always scale better – and be more secure – than a hodge-podge of departmental apps and databases.

Invest in Omnichannel Customer Communication

Customer experience is an essential part of any communications upgrade. Customers want flexibility when they reach out. They may start on social media, switch to email, and then give you a call. An omnichannel communications solution removes friction and helps you meet customers where they are.

Prepare for Takeoff

The pandemic accelerated many businesses’ digital transformation, but many were forced to choose between speed and strategy. If your business has been getting by with emergency quick fixes, it’s time to redefine your communications strategy and upgrade.

TCI experts are here to help. Contact us today: (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Migrating to the Cloud… The Easiest Way to Simplify Your Business Communications

Your business has its own needs and distinct workflows, and the path you take to the cloud will be just as unique. Our new e-book will help you discover which path to the cloud is best for you, and how the cloud’s benefits – reliability, agility, and simplicity – and affordable monthly pricing can work for your business.

Learn why migrating with Mitel and our new UCaaS partner RingCentral is your easiest and most effortless way to connect with the cloud.

eBook: You Can Get There from Here, Profiles of a Cloud Migration Candidate

Connect Your Workforce

Migrating to the cloud gives you the best foundation for supporting the growing shift to hybrid work models and driving engagement with both employees and customers. Give your employees the tools to do their work, their way, supported by the best solution out there.

Support Your Customers

Enhancing employee experiences with your technology is a small change that has a big impact on your ability to meet your customers where they are and help set your business apart.

Migration Made Easy

Your TCI, Mitel, and RingCentral teams will work closely to ensure a seamless migration experience so you and your team will be up and running in no time. You will get access to world-class features and functionality with industry-leading 99.999% uptime.

Ready to talk about your path to the Cloud?
Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

We Make HIPAA Compliant Communications Easy for Healthcare Providers

TCI offers healthcare communications solutions that enable more proactive and efficient care to increase patient engagement and satisfaction. We specialize in enabling more proactive and collaborative communications in hospitals, medical centers, and physician practices.

Reliable communications between healthcare facilities – such as between a doctor’s office and hospital – are essential to delivering patients the best care in a timely and efficient manner. Protecting your patients’ right to communications privacy should not be difficult or expensive. TCI and Mitel take the worry out of protecting patient privacy by offering HIPAA-compliant communication solutions.

The need for information to remain secure extends past physical human interactions. The transfer of patient information also needs to be done through secure and regulation-compliant communications methods. TCI’s
Mitel-powered solutions protect your communications on-site or in the cloud.

Connecting healthcare providers…

  • Hosted Cloud Voice Services for Small Healthcare Organizations – Reliable, easy to use, manage, and set up. Get the HIPAA-compliant communications service your healthcare business needs for an affordable monthly price.
  • On-site & Private Cloud for Larger Healthcare Organizations – Truly seamless communications and collaboration lets care providers focus on patients instead of processes. On-site communications solutions and cloud phone systems can make all the difference.

More Efficient Workflow Operations

Our healthcare communications solutions keep on-site nurses, dispersed physicians, and non-clinical staff connected with each other and with patients. When communications solutions are securely integrated into your workflows, you can reduce the chance of bottlenecks and ensure patients get the right information at the right time.

Better Outcomes. Satisfied Patients.

Better patient care means higher satisfaction rates and higher reimbursement rates. Build your business and attract new patients with communications solutions that help you deliver better care to more people.

Let’s talk about how TCI connects the DC region’s healthcare providers and how these solutions can benefit your facility.

Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.