Posts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Moving Beyond Band-Aid Collaboration Tools

The impacts of the coronavirus on business culture have forced a critical need for unified business communication technology that goes well beyond commonly used band-aid solutions.

As we all continue to grapple with social distancing and lockdown protocols, everyone is searching for innovative ways to get back to “normal life.”

This has prompted business leaders to rethink customer interaction and strengthen remote collaboration in their B2B and B2C environments – while making it all work seamlessly.

  • Incorporate everything your team uses to connect and be productive in one system.
  • Choose technology that supports all of your collaboration needs with these three features – Dedicated Workspaces, Task Management, and Shared Files for each project.
  • Create an ideal environment that allows for quick responses with features such as Messaging, Telephony, and Video – no matter what your system includes, it’s important to keep it Unified.

Ready to make the switch from your emergency solution to a long-term solution? We’re here to help. Contact TCI today: (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Frustrated by a 40-Minute Limit on Your Video Calls? Get 6 Months Free Access to Unlimited Business-Class Video Collaboration

MiTeam is an easy-to-use, secure remote meeting solution that can help any size organization stay connected – and you don’t need to be a Mitel customer when we set it up for you.

We’re extending TCI’s provider license to all of you because we want to help you get through these difficult times.

And unlike other providers’ service trials, you won’t be limited to 40 minutes or less. You can stay on a MiTeam Meetings call as long as you want (up to 20 Hours).

Check out this 2-minute Video to see MiTeam Meetings in action

Here’s just some of the capabilities you’ll get with MiTeam Meetings…

  • Schedule meetings in advance with calendar integrations
  • Start live video sessions in seconds from a chat or call
  • Get a complete view of everyone in the meeting with 16-person multi-pane viewing (up to 100 participants total)
  • Grant center stage to presenters with active speaker windows
  • Display and whiteboard ideas in real-time with screen sharing
  • Send important meeting documents through file sharing
  • Keep track of important discussions with persistent chat logs

If you’d like to get MiTeam Meetings for 6 months free, we’ll get you up and running. Contact us at TCICustomerService@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.

 

 

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.

 

It’s a New Decade… How to Leverage Smart Workspace & UC Technology in Your Business

Today, the term “workspace” no longer refers to employees sitting at their desks in cubicles, pecking away at their keyboards from 9 to 5. Workspaces have evolved, and today’s “smart” version allows employees to get their work done from any location, at anytime, using any device.

Millennials now make up more than half of the workforce. That number is expected to hit 75% by 2025. This generation is tech-savvy, demands flexibility and thrives on collaboration. Organizations that let workers choose their own style of work increase retention rates by more than 10%. This means businesses that want to attract and retain top talent have to embrace smart workspaces.

TCI’s unified communications systems enable smart workspaces for your employees and provide a suite of collaboration tools that offer…

  • A single application for voice, video, messaging, audio conferencing and more so employees can easily switch between channels on the fly.
  • A consistent experience across devices.
  • Mobile-first design that supports both iOS and Android.
  • Audio conferencing and web sharing to promote collaboration.
  • Single number reach, making employees accessible on any device.
  • Individual and group chat to keep the lines of communication open.
  • File and screen sharing, which make it easy to keep team members up-to-date on projects.
  • Secure remote access so employees can work from anywhere without having to worry about confidential company information.
  • Multi-region and multi-language support to provide employees around the world with access to the same unified experience.

By keeping your employees connected on-the-go, you’ll also break down silos between departments and locations. In other words, smart workspaces are just as good for the bottom line as they are for employee satisfaction and retention.

Interested in details about smart workspaces and how they can help your team and business excel? Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.