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Mitel Delivers New Tools for Users of Microsoft Teams

One of the most startling statistics to emerge from the pandemic had nothing to do with communicable illnesses but rather with communications between businesses.

In 2020, from March to June, the use of Microsoft Teams grew by 894%. And, between 2021 and 2022, the number of Teams users rose from 145 million to 270 million. Microsoft Teams has become the de facto communications platform for over one million organizations in just a few years.

This is, of course, good news for Microsoft. And it’s also good news for businesses already paying for Microsoft Office who essentially got a business-class collaboration platform for free, at least initially. But for companies who continued to rely on traditional telephony and vertical industries where video collaboration wasn’t the norm, Teams had some feeling left out.

Fast forward to today, and these customers face the prospect of evaluating Teams phones, taking on E3-E5 licensing and SIP-trunking costs, and they are finding that Microsoft Teams is not free anymore.

It’s a significant incremental uplift in expense for existing capability. Simply put, there isn’t an excellent way to tie legacy voice systems and Teams together without spending more money on additional phone licenses or introducing extra layers of complexity. Until now…

Mitel Delivers New Tools for Teams

For clients who have previously decided to adopt Microsoft Teams, Mitel recently announced a series of tools and applications that seamlessly integrate Mitel’s enterprise-class telephony features with the MS Teams platform for a single, robust communications and collaboration solution.

For example, suppose Teams users choose to activate the phone licenses available on Teams. In that case, they can now enjoy direct routing that connects with Mitel endpoints through certified session border controllers (SBCs), providing a unified telephony framework (albeit with fewer features) that can be controlled from the Teams environment.

What if Teams users don’t want to purchase Microsoft phone licenses? In that case, they can still integrate their telephony system with Teams through Mitel’s Telephony-only client available in MiCollab and enjoy all the robust telephony features that Mitel offers.

This is part of Mitel’s MiCollab offering and can be turned on with a simple toggle switch. In addition, Mitel Assistant is available for free on the Microsoft app store and delivers Mitel softphone capabilities to Teams users’ desktops as a floating app. Mitel Assistant allows you to make and transfer calls, search directories, set speed dials, import contacts, activate three-way conferencing, and more – all from your Teams screen.

Mitel also offers presence integration between Teams and Mitel telephony users, allowing Teams users to see whether a colleague is on a PBX-based phone call – even if that colleague doesn’t have a Teams client. A user’s phone status is visible from their Outlook emails and can help determine direct routing of calls to the next available user.

With these Mitel tools co-existing with Microsoft Teams, a uniquely elegant hybrid solution evolves, taking advantage of premises or private cloud solutions from Mitel’s MiCollab with a cloud-based collaboration solution in Microsoft Teams.

Making Teams More of a Team Player

Microsoft Teams is great for many things, from video meetings to sharing documents. But many businesses still need high-quality telephony applications to run their business.

Schools and universities, for example, rely on mass notification via mobile devices to notify students, staff, and parents of emergencies. Financial services companies must maintain inbound contact centers supporting call recording and other advanced telephony features. Retail businesses need to connect workers on the sales floor to customer service applications via telephone to help customers in real-time.

Let’s look at two more industries to see how Mitel plus Microsoft Teams can help businesses run better.

Healthcare – Consider a network of healthcare facilities. They use Teams for video collaboration between facilities, but what about emergencies where a doctor or nurse needs to respond when they’re not near a laptop? Telephony services can provide the critical link to life-saving answers in seconds. Or what about mobile service workers who are responsible for things like security and cleaning? Telephony apps keep them connected to colleagues with maximum efficiency.

Hospitality – Another sector that can benefit from a telephony-enhanced Teams environment is the hospitality industry. Hotels may use Teams for internal meetings or drive customer engagement, but telephones still play a critical role in their daily life. Guests rely on in-suite phone services to contact staff and receive messages. Cleaning staff can use those same phones to indicate when a room is clean and available for new guests. Combining those communications with Teams enables hotels to stay connected to colleagues and customers from one platform.

Phone calls, SMS notifications, and contact centers still play a vital role in many organizations, but most businesses don’t want to manage two separate communications and collaboration platforms.

With Mitel solutions, they don’t have to because the telephony functionality can be integrated with their overall communications experience, whether they’re collaborating in Teams and need to make a phone call from their laptop or desk phone or browsing the web and want the simplicity of click-to-dial automatically from any phone number.

Contact your local TCI experts to learn more about integrating your Mitel solutions with Teams: (703) 321-3030 or GetHelp@tcicomm.com.
 

Connecting Healthcare Providers with HIPAA-Compliant and Cloud-Based Communications

As a local technology leader, TCI is committed to delivering the best HIPAA-compliant healthcare communications tools for your facility.

The entire healthcare industry underwent a rapid digital transformation due to the pandemic and continues to evolve as the world changes.

Telehealth, remote treatments, and virtual patient services have grown in popularity, enabling patients to receive care outside the traditional clinical environment.

Healthcare providers are embracing the latest communications technology to keep up with their patients’ evolving digital-first expectations – and many are already taking advantage of the Cloud to achieve healthcare benefits.

The Key Benefits of Cloud-Based Healthcare Communications

  • Enhanced Data Security and Compliance – Hospitals and other providers are among the biggest targets of hackers and ransomware due to the sensitive data they must store and transmit. Patient information is more secure in the Cloud, protected by encryption and access controls. TCI offers Cloud-based UC solutions that are updated continuously to comply with the latest privacy and security standards, including HIPAA and GDPR.
  • Scalability and Flexibility – Healthcare systems with Cloud-based UC solutions can seamlessly transition to remote operations and manage increased volumes of patients during a pandemic or short-term crisis.
  • More Cost-Efficient, Effective Processes – Private and hybrid Cloud communications solutions reduce infrastructure and maintenance costs using digital rather than physical storage. Integration with medical apps streamlines complicated processes. Time-consuming administrative tasks can be automated for improved operational efficiency.
  • Advanced Analytics and Insights – Cloud-based UC solutions can use powerful predictive analytics tools for data-driven decision-making.

All aspects of your healthcare communications can be elevated to the Cloud, such as:

  • Contact Centers
  • Patient Portals
  • VoIP Phone Systems
  • Video Calling and Voice Messaging
  • Collaboration Software and Teamwork Solutions
  • Text Alerts and Reminders

Take Your Healthcare Communications to the Cloud with TCI & Mitel

TCI deploys HIPAA-compliant Mitel solutions that empower your clinical staff to spend less time on administrative tasks and more on critical care by supporting streamlined workflows, seamless file sharing, and API integration.

Innovations like AI-enabled automation, self-service tools, and virtual assistants will increase patient engagement, trust, and satisfaction with their healthcare experience.

To future-proof your healthcare communications, look for the deployment model – private, hybrid, or public Cloud – that best fits your clinical needs, data security requirements, and budget.

Contact your local TCI experts to learn more about migrating your healthcare communications to the Cloud: (703) 321-3030 or GetHelp@tcicomm.com.
 

How Mitel Solutions are Making a Difference in Healthcare, Education and Hospitality… And What’s Next for Telephones?

Everyday Mitel Phones Make Impacts Around the World

Over the past half-century, Mitel has contributed many “firsts” to the history of telephones, but they aren’t creating all these world-first inventions just for the sake of innovation.

Mitel develops cutting-edge products so its customers can make the crucial connections they need to move the world forward. Here are just a few ways Mitel phones make a difference in Healthcare, Education, and Hospitality every day.

Healthcare

In a healthcare environment, efficient and timely communications can mean the difference between life and death. Mitel phones can be found at nursing stations throughout hospitals around the world.

One feature that sets Mitel’s phones apart for healthcare providers is their large number of programmable keys for one-touch speed dial and other telephony features. Having numerous dedicated buttons to facilitate vital communications is ideal for nursing stations, where quick access to required personnel and departments is crucial.

Providing a clean environment is also paramount in healthcare settings, and Mitel’s pioneering antimicrobial IP desk and cordless phones are ideally suited to maintaining hygiene standards in every workplace.

Education

Effective communications throughout school facilities have become paramount with today’s heightened concern for student and staff safety. Mitel’s phones are found in some of the largest K-12 school districts in America, including Chicago Public Schools and the New York Board of Education.

Mitel phones provide the tools for administrators, students, and teachers to stay connected from the classroom to the front office. Users in education can quickly sign up for classes, log on for virtual learning, and make important calls during emergencies.

Hospitality

Look behind the front desk of most hotels in North America (and elsewhere around the globe), and you’ll find a Mitel phone hard at work. The front desk of any hotel is the critical point of interaction with guests, whether checking in or answering requests for wake-up calls or extra pillows.

Mitel’s console and desk phones have become the workhorse at many hotels worldwide, facilitating excellent customer service by providing practical communications tools for interacting with guests and fulfilling their requests. They’re also doing important work behind the scenes, helping back-office staff keep hotel operations running smoothly.

What’s Next for Telephones?

The ongoing balance of home and office working will drive the evolution of the traditional desk phone. Companies must address the unique challenges of hybrid work and the resulting change to business settings, which continue to develop even now.

“In the future, we can expect to see a focus on driving higher quality audio with more advanced audio codecs and new background noise filtering capabilities,” predicted Peter Couse, Mitel’s Portfolio Manager of Desktop and Wireless Endpoints.

“Interworking with PC-based video collaboration will also become a key aspect of the future phone,” he added. “The phone will look more like a PC peripheral than a standalone communications device.”

Even phones in on-site settings like hospitals, schools, and hotels reflect the shift to a more flexible work style. With multifunctional apps and cloud connectivity, they may function more like our personal devices rather than traditional office hardware.

TCI offers Mitel phones and other technology solutions that improve daily Healthcare, Education, and Hospitality operations. Contact us at (703) 321-3030 or GetHelp@tcicomm.com.