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TCI Host Cloud Voice Service… Locally Designed, Deployed and Supported

Our TCI Host Service is all about flexibility… Add new cloud-based tools to your existing business phone system, and when you’re ready, migrate your entire platform to the cloud to reduce your overall telecom costs.

Cloud communications isn’t an all-or-nothing endeavor

There are several deployment models to choose from depending on your business’s unique situation, and you can shift from one approach to another over time. Managing a multi-site business? TCI Host can bring your offices closer together.

Unified Messaging and Integrated Apps

With access to these Mitel-powered tools, your team’s work can be tackled on more devices from any location:

  • Integration with business applications from tech leaders like Microsoft and Google
  • Presence Tools
  • Softphone App on Mobile Devices
  • Unified Messaging
  • Remote control of desktops
  • Outlook client plug-in
  • Message retrieval from one synchronized message store

Powerful Collaboration Capabilities

Explore some of the Mitel-powered team building and conferencing tools your users can tap into with their mobile or desktop phones…

  • Virtual workspaces for team meetings, conversations, content review, and project management
  • Team Video Conferencing and Recording
  • Participant management
  • Desktop application sharing
  • Team and private chat
  • Web-based file sharing
  • Document management

In and Outbound Contact Center / Call Center

Whether you’re a small or big business, you can support omnichannel queues that let customers contact you the way they prefer. Track your customer contacts and get real-time metrics for informed decision-making and better team coaching.

  • Integrate with your CRM, like Salesforce, Microsoft, and others
  • Offer Live Agents, Web Chat, Email, Text Messaging / SMS
  • Monitor and respond to Social Media feeds (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.)
  • Automate and access Full Reporting on Your Customer Interactions
  • Improve Customer Experience
  • Become more efficient

Empower your people to serve your customers better

For a single, low monthly price, you can upgrade their old phones to advanced mobile-enabled, desktop phones and use Mitel’s award-winning capabilities to dramatically improve your Customer Experience.

Contact us today to schedule your TCI Host demo: (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Enabling Innovation & Productivity in Your Hybrid Workforce

Innovation and productivity are key factors in the growth and success of any company. When workers were suddenly forced home in March 2020, many thought innovation and productivity would plummet during the pandemic lockdown. Against expectations, by November of 2021, productivity had increased.

A study by Microsoft showed that 82% of company leaders felt their companies were at least equally if not more productive than before the lockdown. Now, after two years, some experts predict productivity across the economy will rise by 5% as a direct result of remote or hybrid work.

What Factors Contribute to Productivity?

Productivity now hinges on employees’ adaptability and ability to function independently in non-traditional work environments. Here are three important elements that play into productivity…

  • Tech Savviness: Getting all employees up to speed using video calls, text messaging and file sharing may take time in the beginning but pays off in the end by ensuring that everyone is seamlessly connected to the workflow and that communications occur naturally.
  • Time to Focus: Some workers feel less distracted when working from home, while others desire the structure of the office. The challenge for managers is to find the balance between giving employees the independence to work on their own and making sure they remain integrated with the rest of the team, no matter where they’re located.
  • Employee Engagement: Employees who are deeply connected to their companies are 55% more productive than those who don’t have the same feelings. Listening to employees’ needs is important, as well as ensuring that those who choose to stay remote feel integrated into the community.

What About Innovation?

Innovation happens best when teams come together and create solutions. Companies that encourage creativity stay ahead of the curve, while those that don’t make the same investment will quickly fall behind. Structures that support innovation include…

  • Effortless Communications: Teams that have free and open conversations with each other innovate on a higher level. The creative energy that arises from the ability to iterate ideas is what drives companies to develop new products and stay at the top of the field. Apps with shared documents and instant communication features allow coworkers to collaborate easily without getting bogged down by slow connections or switching between applications.
  • Time for Teamwork: Whether employees are in-person or remote, prioritizing structured time for everyone to come together is important for fostering new ideas. Creating an intentional schedule specifically for brainstorming sessions ensures coworkers have the time to build trust and feel comfortable sharing ideas. Using screen sharing and video chatting apps can facilitate innovation by enabling everyone to feel like they’re in the same room.
  • Community of Trust: Fostering an environment where it’s safe for ideas to fail as well as succeed is important for innovation. Finding ways to establish connections is always a challenge – even more so without the nuances of personal interaction. Being able to seamlessly switch from text messaging to video chatting removes some of the barriers to communication between coworkers and helps everyone feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts.

It’s clear that investing in communications technology and ensuring that everyone is up to speed will be key factors in supporting productivity and innovation in 2022. For example, communication solutions with integrated collaboration and team meeting apps help bridge the gap between remote and in-person work, providing ways for everyone to feel confident and connected.

Your local TCI team is ready to support your innovation and productivity initiatives with customized technology solutions. Contact us today: (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

4 Team Collaboration Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to encourage team collaboration. When successful team skills are absent, your business can end up as a collection of competing silos and individuals.

Collaboration Challenges

  • Poor Engagement – Developing a collaborative group starts with the team itself. This includes buy-in concerning process, direction and expected outcomes. If teams aren’t engaged, they won’t be able to identify problems or find solutions.
  • Competition – Turf wars discourage collaboration. In fact, one of collaboration’s main benefits is that people, even those with vastly different skill sets, can mentor and teach each other.
  • Lack of Transparency – When you have team members whose work depends on others, they need to share their progress, concerns, and obstacles. Without transparency, teams can’t establish trust.
  • No Team Governance – People tend to resent collaboration when they aren’t given clear objectives and key performance indicators or don’t understand what their teammates bring to the table.

The Solutions

  • Start with the mission – To create collaboration, team members need to have a convincing reason to buy into the mission. When they’re given a clear cause to engage in, team members naturally become as passionate about team goals as their leaders. When collaboration permeates the entire organization, everyone wins – engaged employees mean increased retention, faster time to market, and improved profitability.
  • Promote positive change – To strengthen a company, create a values-based culture. When you treat employees as people instead of cogs in a wheel, and ensure their managers focus on positive interactions, you remove the stress that can lead to a toxic workplace. When employees are happy and collaboration improves, so does an organization’s ability to handle sudden disruptions.
  • Foster a culture of innovation – For teams to grow, they need to feel they have the ability to be creative, brainstorm, and question the status quo. It’s also important to ask team members for their ideas and reasoning on a regular basis. The more connected and understood they feel, the more motivated they’ll be to perform, think outside the box, and exceed expectations.
  • Leverage technology – Use technology to strengthen internal and external communication via channels such as messaging and video conference calls. Collaboration tools help keep departments and decision-makers on the same page at all times. This is even more crucial as companies become increasingly distributed.

Team collaboration is the main ingredient your organization needs in order for every other element – talent, innovation, productivity, and profitability – to fall into place.

Let’s talk about overcoming your challenges by leveraging technologies that enable collaboration. Contact TCI 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.

 

The Future of Work… Balancing Space, Place and Pace

Many organizations are building on the lessons of the past few years and finding a balance between remote and in-person work. As many companies prepare to welcome some employees back to the building (while others may not physically come back at all), it’s unlikely the workplaces we return to will look or function the same way they did before the pandemic.

A “Space” Where Collaboration is Easy

Regardless of your industry or company size, one thing is certain – creative use of unified communications technology can bridge the distance between remote, in-office, and hybrid workers and create an environment and culture sure to keep employees productive and engaged today, tomorrow, and beyond.

Companies will need to find ways for in-person and remote workers to collaborate in ways that feel natural, using UC solutions to ensure seamless communications no matter where they are.

The Connected Work “Place”

When employees return to in-person work, it may not look like the same place they left. Many companies are imagining adaptable workspaces with shared “zones” for whoever is in on a given day and large screens for videoconferencing with employees working remotely.

With the right technology, the workplace of the future will keep employees productive and happy as they seamlessly shift from one workplace to another. TCI offers solutions that make the line between remote and in-person work virtually disappear, allowing colleagues to seamlessly switch from text to video chat and whiteboard ideas in real-time with screen sharing.

Say Hello to the New Work “Pace”

Until recently, the constant connectivity of email and cell phones meant people were often on call around the clock. Instead of reporting from 9-5, workers will instead build their schedules around collaboration, finding times when teams are available to brainstorm together, before breaking apart to complete their tasks.

The right technology is required to make this vision a reality. With a single app, employees can text, video chat, share documents, and collaborate on projects. TCI’s solutions are flexible and easy to use, so employees will feel like they’re sitting next to their coworkers, even if they are on opposite coasts or even different continents.

The Future of Work

The lessons learned since 2020 will be used to build stronger connections. Forward-looking companies will turn to integrated communications to empower employees with the tools to work together seamlessly, regardless of where their “office” is located.

TCI is ready with the technologies you need for the re-imagined future of work. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Keep Your Workforce Connected with TCI… Your Local Technology Partner

It’s not easy in these challenging times to keep your current Voice & IT systems running – let alone add new technology for more flexibility and mobility during our new ‘normal’ hybrid work arrangements.

To keep your business moving forward, you’ll need easy-to-use-anywhere collaboration tools – delivered on a reliable, secure communications platform. Getting access to these tools begins with having the right local technology partner.

For over four decades, we’ve improved the bottom line for thousands of TCI customers including SMBs, commercial and financial institutions, associations, non-profit, and leaders in the DC region’s public and private sector.

Our customers appreciate the value we provide them, including higher levels of staff productivity, improvements in operational efficiency, increased satisfaction, and strong return on investment. Our solutions and services include:

Voice & Unified Communications

  • Business Phones, VoIP, UC, UCaaS
  • Hosted Voice – Public, Private and Hybrid
  • Conferencing – Web, Audio, Video
  • Mobility, Telework, Remote Access
  • Network Services – Telco, Carriers, ISP

Infrastructure

  • Data, Voice, Video Cabling
  • LAN, WAN, IP Networks
  • Data Center and Collocation
  • Wireless Networks

Managed Services Plans

  • Full-Service Support
  • Proactive Monitoring
  • Prepaid Support
  • Ad hoc Support

Cloud Services

  • Cloud Computing
  • Hosted Services
  • Managed Services
  • Relocation Services

Professional Services

  • Strategic Planning & Policy
  • Technical Assessments & Audits
  • Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery
  • Procurement & Bid Consulting
  • Third Party Vendor Management
  • Project Consulting & Services

TCI is ready to support your organization’s workforce initiatives. Let’s map out a plan for your business… Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 


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.