Posts

Strengthening Collaboration in the Evolving Workplace

Today’s pandemic has changed the way small and medium businesses perceive the workplace. Responding to stay-at-home mandates, SMBs with existing remote work programs have expanded them, and those that lacked work-from-home options prior to the pandemic started implementing them.

The Hybrid Workplace

Some employees will eventually go back to the office full-time when the pandemic subsides. Many will continue to work at home full-time, while others divide their work between home and office. The workplace is also likely to remain fluid, accommodating changing business and employee situations on the fly.

People who had turned off their cameras for online meetings started turning them on. In the process, everyone has become accustomed to the occasional technical glitches and security breaches, or scenes of family life playing out in the background. But video conferencing is not the only online tool that has helped sustain businesses…

Cloud to the Rescue

Cloud applications – remote IT and access, real-time collaboration, file sharing, backup, security, and identity management – have proven their value in supporting remote work and keeping businesses operational.

Integrating a mix of old phone systems, web and video conferencing, SMS, file-sharing and other tools often cost more – in terms of both time and money – than it does to move to a unified solution where the applications work together.

Unified, cloud collaboration solutions pull all of the things you need to do every day into one place. Many cloud solutions offer integration with key business applications, such as email, CRM, human resources, and other solutions to help streamline business workflows and help remote workers thrive. For example, your communications can be arranged to integrate with G Suite, Salesforce, SugarCRM, Microsoft Office or Microsoft Dynamics. Unified collaboration solutions also offer enterprise-grade security and reliability safeguards that businesses need.

Making the Transition

As your business transitions from meeting immediate needs to long-term planning, taking a more holistic approach can help you bring people and processes together, and put your business on the path to sustainability and growth as the workplace continues to evolve.

Collaboration in the evolving workplace can be a big challenge. TCI can help make it happen. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

4 More Reasons We Built TCI Host on a Mitel-Powered Business Cloud Platform

Mitel is #1 in Cloud Communications Worldwide… This is good for TCI-delivered Cloud services and better for you…

When it comes to communications and collaboration, the DC region’s fastest moving businesses choose solutions that give them choices.

TCI’s flexible, easy-to-use cloud service is powered by Mitel, making us the choice of public and private sector customers across the region. Supporting ‘anywhere’ connections, our TCI Host service supports their office-based, remote and hybrid workers across the country.

Industry experts and customers of all sizes are reinforcing our choice of a Mitel-powered platform over any other provider for our clients:

  • Synergy Research – Mitel is the #1 market leader in total cloud seats for the 7th consecutive year
  • Frost & Sullivan – Mitel named leader in UCaaS growth and innovation
  • Newsweek – Mitel named Best Business Communications Tool Provider
  • Tolly Report – Mitel was compared to 8×8 and RingCentral and emerged superior

Just 4 more reasons to choose TCI Host – powered by Mitel – for all your communications needs… Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

 

Remote Work is Here to Stay… Keep Your Staff and Customers Well Connected over the Long Haul

Only a year ago, the typical business provided voice and IT support on-site, from within the company’s offices. With the pandemic, things changed suddenly, requiring your IT team to deliver more support to everyone at home.

The concept of work as an activity primarily done within a company’s office has been completely transformed. Many employees now prefer the ability to work remotely for greater flexibility and to minimize health risks. Many companies are responding with a hybrid approach enabled by new technologies.

Reliance on the Cloud

The need to support remote and dispersed working scenarios will only grow as more organizations develop an appreciation for their flexibility and efficiencies. Defining a cloud migration strategy with your trusted technology partner should be among the top priorities of every business.

Artificial Intelligence  

AI has proven extremely helpful in responding to fluctuating demand during COVID-19. A company’s cloud contact center, for example, can make it easy for staff to work from home and easily manage the influx of orders and support requests by leveraging an AI-based chatbot that helps offload higher call volumes. AI can also be exploited to better manage network traffic and access, and perform data analysis so you can refine your operations with better information.

Supporting Flexible Work Arrangements

Additional requirements that will need your IT team’s attention…

  • Ensuring that there are enough devices for all remote employees and that users are adequately equipped for multiple work environments
  • If any employees will be using personal devices, IT will need to confirm that each employee’s setup supports encrypted communications
  • Securing remote devices to meet data privacy and compliance requirements when they are in an open environment

Some organizations were caught flat-footed last March because they never imagined a scenario in which all their workers would be remote. Since then, many have adapted, but we recognize that deploying and managing remote work and hybrid arrangements will always be a big challenge.

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

Your Business Isn’t “One Size Fits All”… How TCI Customizes Every Cloud & UCaaS Deployment

Powered by technology from global leader Mitel, our Hosted “Unified Communications as a Service” (UCaaS) solution fills a crucial gap in the DC Region’s fast moving Cloud Voice market.

Whether you’re a small or large business, we custom design and manage every solution specifically for your unique requirements. Every TCI UCaaS client is provided a fully-featured, dedicated arrangement that doesn’t share resources with any other customer. Unlike “One Size Fits All” offerings, our solution will not restrict access to features or limit your deployment options.

Flexible Deployment & Acquisition Options

Exploiting the flexibility of today’s technology, your virtualized UC platform may be deployed on your premises, in a public or private cloud, or any datacenter location, including TCI’s. You can Rent, Lease, or Purchase and we offer Fully Managed or Self-Managed support.

A Seamless, Easy Transition

Unlike other Business VoIP providers, TCI takes care of all the important details for you, from delivering phones to network testing and set-up, feature programming, training, and ongoing support.

Learn more about The TCI Advantage

Proven & Experienced 

  • TCI has been providing service and solutions for 40+ years
  • More than 3,500 systems installed – local, nationwide, globally
  • Over 40,000+ lines under service contracts
  • Mitel-certified Voice & Data Technical Engineers
  • 24 x 7 x 365 Live Answer Customer Service

Ready to simplify and improve your Business Communications? Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Work Arrangements for Reopening… Supporting Hybrid Workers at-Home and in-Office with UC

COVID-19 has become a global orientation session for remote working and opened the eyes of many to the productivity advantages of working from home.

As some employees start returning to the office while others remain at home – some permanently – it’s time to consider the best technology solutions for supporting this new hybrid work arrangement.

Unified Communications (UC) delivered from the Cloud offers a straightforward way to bridge your home and office workers. The cloud makes it easier to access company resources, like documents and spreadsheets, as well as meet and collaborate using built-in audio and video conferencing and messaging tools.

Mitel CMO David Silke sits down with Zeus Kerravala, founder and principal analyst of ZK Research, to explore the technologies and practices that will support the emerging hybrid work environments many businesses will adopt…

Watch the 27-minute Video

When it comes to customizing technology for your business or non-profit, we can map out the best mix of cloud, on-premises and hybrid deployments to connect your workforce at the office, in the field and at home.

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

 

What’s Driving Adoption of Hybrid & Cloud Computing?

IT systems and data networks should move a business forward, not hold it back. That’s why companies in every industry are looking to the cloud. By using a network of remote servers to store, manage and process data, rather than the traditional local servers they might have on-site today, businesses can reap the advantages of high performance, reliability, affordable prices, easy collaboration, and secure data access.

And that’s not all… Hybrid and cloud arrangements offer a number of practical bottom-line benefits:

  • Deliver secure remote access to employees: Ensure your employees receive a consistent, high-quality user experience to rely on for secure access to the apps and data they need – no matter what type of network connection they use.
  • Provide employees with flexibility to work anytime, anywhere: Work is no longer a place – it’s something you enable with the greatest security and flexibility. Use app and desktop virtualization to embrace workforce mobility and empower your employees to work anywhere, anytime, on any device.
  • Empower mobile users without compromising security: Having sensitive business data stored on employee devices increases vulnerability. By virtualizing your apps and desktops to keep data secure in your datacenter or the cloud you don’t have to worry about lost or stolen devices.
  • Make managing desktops easier and more efficient: Implement app and desktop virtualization to automate and centralize management. You can stop patching and updating your employees’ desktops on an individual, manual basis – saving you time, money and frustration.
  • Get new employees up and running in minutes: Use any available devices – aging legacy PCs, thin clients, laptops or mobile devices – and reduce new employee time to productivity.
  • Keep employees productive during business disruptions: Empower your employees to work remotely during business disruptions – anywhere, anytime, on any device – with secure access to the apps and data they depend on.
  • Reduce IT costs: App and desktop virtualization significantly reduce your IT costs, management time, and complexity compared to traditional desktop management.

Many businesses are still under the impression that the Cloud is a one-size-fits-all solution. That’s why having a trusted technology partner who can work with you to develop a cloud roadmap and strategy is so important.

Have questions about what IT platform and cloud deployment option is best for 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.

 

 

5 Cloud Contact Center Trends to Watch in 2020

With 2020 upon us, it’s safe to say the cloud contact center has arrived. Over 70% of businesses already have their contact center in the cloud or at least have plans to start the migration this year.

What follows are the most important trends you need to know to ensure your cloud contact center stays on the cutting edge. The technologies supporting these trends will help you create the most engaging experience possible for your customers.

1. A real omnichannel experience provides even more ways to communicate.

A true omnichannel experience allows customers to move seamlessly from one channel of communications to another without skipping a beat. Achieving this requires working with a provider that offers true omnichannel support. TCI’s implementation of Mitel’s MiCloud Connect Contact Center, for example, allows your customers to communicate effortlessly with your agents as they navigate between voice, web, text and other options without losing any of their information or having to repeat themselves.

2. Artificial Intelligence delivers training and assistance. 

Although AI already has begun to transform cloud contact centers, planned investments mean the technology will have an even bigger impact in 2020. The technology brings real-time training and coaching through virtual agent assist. Virtual agents are AI-powered chat bots that monitor interactions between agents and customers – even if the conversation moves between channels – to provide guidance and training for the agent in real time.

3. Analytics play a more powerful role.

Contact centers have long been collecting data on customers, but the information is useless if it isn’t properly analyzed and applied. This is where AI makes all the difference. The use of natural language processing (NLP) interprets data and provides analysis around why customers contact you, ways you can improve your products and services and how you make information available to customers. Since these insights are created in real-time, you can respond and adapt to customers’ preferences quickly, increasing loyalty while staying ahead of the competition.

4. Self-service expands. 

Customers don’t want to get stuck in a queue or wait for a human agent – especially when they have a simple question about a product or service. Chat bots allow customers to get answers to basic questions and FAQs. They also free up human agents to focus on more complex queries and keep wait times down for those who really do need to speak to a live agent.

A key differentiator in 2020 will be the provision of chat bots that create a smooth transition when a customer needs live support. Smart bots route customers to an agent with the appropriate level of expertise and provide agents with a full history of the customer engagement. This saves customers from having to repeat themselves and enables agents to pick up exactly where the chat bot left off.

5. The rise of the remote contact center workforce.

Cloud contact centers have ushered in the ability to maintain a remote contact center workforce, without the need to offshore calls to a third-party vendor. With a cloud contact center, agents can be dispersed throughout the country, putting them closer to your customers. The money saved on office space and other overhead can be applied toward hiring local talent that can provide localized service. “Homeshoring” improves customer satisfaction, and this trend will continue in 2020.

Putting these cloud trends at the center of your contact center plans will help you meet your customers’ expectations for a stellar experience.

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

 

 

Tech Overload? 5 Ways to Streamline all those Apps & Communications Tools

The average employee uses 17 different cloud apps, 3 content-sharing services and 3 collaboration tools.

If this sounds familiar, it might be a good time to consider a unified communication system like Mitel-powered TCI Host, which includes collaborative tools that allow team members to assign tasks, share documents, schedule calls, chat and conduct audio and video conferences at the push of a button.

Are your current systems providing the productivity and customer experience you need for 2020? If not, consider these pointers for re-energizing and remaking your approach to collaboration and communications.

1. Identify the purpose and value of each communications tool

Start by identifying what frustrates people, where necessities fall through the cracks, or how customers could be better served. Then evaluate your current tools in terms of:

  • Does the technology help or hinder productivity?
  • Do your communications tools keep your team’s conversations seamless no matter what device is used – be it smartphone, desktop or laptop?
  • Do they create a common space where team members can easily communicate, share documents and set up meetings?
  • Can employees respond quickly and efficiently to customers?

2. Analyze the costs vs. benefits of your communications software

The goal of any communications system is to aid productivity and bring value to the business. The problem is technology – especially when it’s the newest thing. You have to ask yourself: Is the time spent using that latest app really achieving the outcomes you need?

Spend more time assessing the costs of your existing communications tools, from time wasted swapping between business apps to the monthly costs of separate collaboration tools. If you’re not getting results, use this as an opportunity to find more cost-effective, all-in-one communications tools.

3. Reduce distraction and optimize attention capital

Step back from the whirl of digital life by identifying what’s most important to you, then add / keep the technology that will support your priorities. In business, that means finding solutions to increase productivity by automating simple tasks like setting up meetings and improving workflows.

Start by automating and controlling who can reach you, and when. Need some time to tackle a major project? Use presence technology to tell coworkers you’re not available, or you’re only available via a specific channel, like text.

4. Focus on the customer experience

As you’re evaluating your communications tools, consider how your communications software impacts your customer’s experience with your business. Does your current solution enable seamless communications both internally and externally? Does it easily integrate with other essential systems, like CRMs? Can your contact center agents quickly access the information and internal resources they need, when they need it? The answers to these questions directly impact your responsiveness to customers.

5. Make it convenient to work anywhere

With more team members working remotely – on the road, from a home office or in the field – reach out to them and find out what headaches they’re experiencing. Do your collaboration tools enable them to easily communicate and respond quickly to customers? Can they access information and people easily from their smartphone? Look for a communications solution like TCI Host, TCI’s Cloud Voice Service that allows your staff to access everything they need via a web portal.

Now is a perfect time to take a fresh look at your communication solutions to ensure you’re offering the best customer experience.

Ring in the New Year right… Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.