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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.

 

Top 7 Reasons Our Clients are Moving Voice & Collaboration to the Cloud

Business leaders move their communications to the cloud for better mobility, quality, simplicity and reliability. They find it easier to add offices, users and features so they can grow, and they appreciate being able to customize how they connect with customers.

Decision makers are also motivated by their bottom line – they get more and spend less with the latest technology.

Here are 7 practical business reasons to make the switch to TCI’s popular, all-in-one Cloud Voice services.

1. Easy migration

Cloud communications isn’t an all-or-nothing endeavor. There are several deployment models available – Public, Private and Hybrid – and you can migrate your people to the cloud over time or as your business needs change.

2. No hardware, no headaches

Say goodbye to capital expenses, maintenance and service fees with hosted business communications. You get great call quality, industry-leading reliability and an easy-to-manage system with no upfront costs – everything you need for one low monthly price.

3. Free up IT resources

Don’t waste valuable IT resources on aging telecom hardware – we manage the hardware hassles and put your IT people to work on the projects that matter most. With Cloud Voice, you enjoy new features faster, you can add or remove lines in minutes, and you always stay up to date with the newest upgrades automatically.

4. Pay as you grow

With premises-based systems, you pay the price for less-than-perfect call capacity planning by having too little or paying for too much. With Cloud services, you always have just the right amount of call connections to ensure you’re paying for what you need and not a penny more.

5. Enable teamwork and collaboration

Bring all of your team meeting tools into one application – Your people can easily manage video calls and conferences, screen sharing and messaging to connect with in-house teams, partner and customers.

6. Get more done – from anywhere

Your staff can access the same powerful phone and collaboration features from their office phones or seamlessly move with their mobile devices to meet at your clients or work from home offices.

7. Keep your business running

TCI’s cloud-based hosting platform delivers ultra-high reliability and seamless disaster recovery, so you always stay connected to colleagues and customers.

Give your business a competitive Advantage… Get the tools your people need to serve customers better and save some money while you do it. Contact us now to schedule your TCI Cloud Services demo: (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Upgrade Your Old Mitel Phone System with the Latest Cloud Capabilities… TCI Can Make it Happen!

Whenever considering new technology, there is always concern about how previous investments will be impacted. Do you abandon infrastructure prematurely and break the IT budget, or do you stick with the old technology – and its limitations – as a cost-saving measure?

Fortunately, the cloud removes this “rock-and-a-hard-place” conundrum from your decision making. The cloud offers a way to take advantage of the latest technology incrementally as new needs arise, without feeling forced to stay locked into outdated infrastructure until you’ve wrung every last ROI dollar out of it.

With these issues in mind, TCI can enable new cloud capabilities in your current Mitel phone system. Starting with MiVoice Business Release 9, there is a simplified cloud-based process for the deployment of ongoing patches, security updates, and dramatic performance improvements.

TCI & Mitel facilitate the evolution of your business to next-generation networks.

A software refresh and move to native Linux provide a common set of tools for software management, while enabling the integration of new services and enhanced security. This also results in significantly enhanced system performance and serviceability.

Individual software components are now updated without requiring an entire software load. This reduces maintenance time and provides faster response to potential future security issues.

Schedule your Upgrade Consultation

Schedule time with TCI’s local team of Mitel experts to discuss what a successful implementation can mean to the continued success of your business and answer any questions you may have. Our meeting and assessment will have several objectives:

  • Discover any hardware that is unsupported and identify any license changes that may be required
  • Discuss an implementation plan for incorporating Mitel’s new cloud capabilities with your current MiVoice phone system
  • Prepare for a successful transition from VxWorks (the previous Operating System) to Linux
  • Review Mitel’s introduction of Server Manager to all platforms

Ready to schedule your briefing now? Please contact TCI today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

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

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

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

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

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

How Data Center and Collocation Services Simplify Your IT… Offsite. Secure. Scalable.

At TCI we make IT easy. As your trusted technology partner, we can transform your data center from outdated onsite hardware to cyber-secure virtual storage in the cloud.

By offering the best in alternative third-party collocation facilities, we take away the headaches and risks associated with managing your own data center.

Imagine no more…

  • Crashes and unreliable backups
  • Viruses, hackers, and network intrusions
  • Unpredictable service outages
  • Costly equipment room expansions

Everything you need to support mission-critical business applications…

  • Reliability – All data centers are equipped with full UPS-protected power and system redundancy for continuous uptime.
  • Power Density – With robust heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, data centers exceed the requirements of even the most power-hungry deployments.
  • Security – Each data center utilizes an array of security equipment, techniques and procedures to control, monitor, and record access to the facility, including individual cages.
  • Recovery – There’s always room for system expansion and extra storage space when you need it. You get 24-hour access to qualified technical support, enabling you to maintain your mission-critical operations and systems under any circumstance.
  • Cost Savings – You get up-to-date infrastructure and access to cloud providers and carrier services, often at a lower cost than keeping your data center in-house.

Ethernet connectivity enables an off-site data center to function like a high-speed node on your company’s WAN. By leveraging end-to-end protocol uniformly and eliminating the variability of the Internet, your files and critical systems are always available when and where you need them – including remote offices, call centers, and teleworkers.

If managing your own data center is becoming too expensive and burdensome for your IT staff, let’s talk about our affordable managed services. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.