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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.

 

Want Productive Meetings? Follow These 4 Simple Steps & Use the Right Collaboration Tools

Unproductive meetings cost U.S. businesses $37 billion a year – and countless hours of exasperation.

When you follow these 4 simple meeting rules, while using the collaboration tools included in our Mitel-powered Cloud Voice service, your attendees will leave meetings informed, engaged, and ready to get the job done.

1. Prepare with agenda-planning tools

A little bit of prep work goes a long way. Ask yourself what you need to accomplish and create an agenda tailored to this goal. Do you need to provide some additional information upfront? Should attendees do some prep work beforehand? What are next steps?

Once you’ve defined the points of discussion, create an agenda and add it to your invite. Be sure to set time limits for each item. Stick to your plan during the meeting by using a collaboration tool with a built-in agenda capability.

2. Determine who needs to be in the meeting

Most meetings aren’t productive because there are too many people involved. Often organizers tend to invite colleagues who “might” have something worthy to contribute.

A better way to determine who should join is to use your freshly created agenda to select the right people to invite. Choose attendees who are essential to the decision-making process or who have a key role on this particular piece of the project. If your invite includes more than 8 people, perhaps it’s time to rethink the meeting. To avoid duplicate conversations, make sure to use a collaboration tool with calendar integration and presence to ensure you’re scheduling the meeting at a convenient time for everyone.

3. Take advantage of virtual workspaces

People find it too easy to get distracted. The trick is to engage attendees throughout the meeting. Collaborate in real-time on documents with screen sharing. See each other eye-to-eye using video conferencing. With Cloud UC services, it’s easy to move seamlessly between desktop sharing and video. Any attendee can share a document or start a video conference with a single tap.

Beyond curtailing the impulse to multitask or daydream, these tools also make communications clearer. It’s easier to grasp the true meaning behind a comment when you can follow words appearing on a page or see the speaker’s facial expressions.

4. Don’t leave ‘em hanging

Aim to end your agenda with five minutes of “wrap up.” Agree on next steps and who is responsible for each one. Ensure nothing gets missed or forgotten by assigning follow-up tasks in your collaboration tool. Mitel Teamwork has the option to build tasks right into the workspace.

With a little planning and a smart communications tool, you can save your business money by making your meetings more structured, more productive and more actionable.

See for yourself how an all-in-one service like MiCloud Connect can bring integrated connectivity to your meetings: Watch the Video (1:35 min.).

TCI is ready to connect your teams with better meeting tools. 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.

 

How On-Site, Wireless DECT Phones Offer SMBs Cost-Effective VoIP & Flexible Communications

Smaller companies need mobility and flexibility. Employees have to be reachable by customers or colleagues from any location in the office or in the building. But your resources are stretched thin and you’re juggling a lot of balls. What should you do?

Going with VoIP DECT phones from TCI and Mitel provides an on-site wireless communications solution. Using a DECT mobile handset or headset, your people can transfer calls, set up conference calls, access the company directory, and more.

With one-touch speed dial everyone can communicate easily and quickly no matter where they are in the building. And because VoIP DECT phones use encrypted technology, you can be confident that all conversations are secure.

Quality, Security and Reach

Cell phones are great, but you can’t depend on them for a clear connection in every setting. With DECT mobile phones you get high-quality sound with no crackling or drop-offs. Both handsets and headsets include an ambient noise filter – essential when you’re calling from a busy environment. DECT’s use of encrypted wideband voice technology provides an extra layer of security to ensure conversations are confidential.

Ease of Use and Installation

VoIP DECT phones are intuitive with user-friendly features, applications and softkey prompts that will enable your people to manage calls with little or no training.

Systems are configurable via a web-based interface. A base station can support up to 20 cordless phones. The unit fits in a small enclosure that can be mounted on a wall or placed on or under a desk. You can expand the system by deploying additional base stations and add more lines without running more cable.

Although the phone’s range from the base station is 150 feet (50 meters), if you need a little more room you can simply add a repeater in another part of the building to boost the signal.

Everything You Need

Just because you’re a small business doesn’t mean you can’t have all the bells and whistles the big guys enjoy. For example, using VoIP DECT phones with a cloud communications solution, your people can access a company directory, transfer and forward calls, use call waiting and hold functions, and conduct conference calls.

When choosing a VoIP DECT phone, ease of use should be a priority. Look for features such as a color backlit handset, intuitive menus and navigation, and a speakerphone option. A long-lasting battery should be a requirement, so you don’t have to worry about recharging mid-day.

If your small business is ready to sound like a big player, contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

TCI’s Customized Cloud Voice… Deployed Anywhere, Any Time, on Any Device

TCI specializes in industry-leading unified communication solutions for businesses of all sizes. And because we give you the option to run these powerful solutions on our hardware or on your servers through software, you can expand on your terms and your timing.

Select the best deployment model

Delivered from our VMware-enabled data center in Ashburn, VA, our TCI Advantage services offer the flexibility to deploy UC your way – Hosted, Premises, Hybrid, Virtualized, or as Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS). When your needs change, we can change your deployment platform.

Enjoy unequaled scalability and selection

Work from the office, home or road. Handle calls from the desk or mobile device of your choice. TCI can provide your phones, or you can source your own.

Choose the level of support you need

TCI can manage everything end-to-end or you can manage your own changes and only call us when you need help. Either way, easy online management and reporting is included. Choose your service plan – from traditional break-fix to fully managed.

Customize to fit your business needs

  • Full integration with Salesforce, Outlook and other CRM applications
  • Deploy a world class Contact Center with agents working from anywhere
  • Seamless office unified communication on a desktop, laptop or mobile phone – or all at once!
  • And much more…

Mitel-powered… TCI-delivered

TCI’s business-class communication solutions can be deployed in any configuration, with tailored financing options to meet your budget requirements. TCI makes Voice easy – all for a budget-friendly monthly subscription.

Talk to our experts or schedule your demo. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

How Real-World AI is Transforming the Fast-Paced World of Contact Centers

Thanks to Hollywood, it’s easy for many people to think of artificial intelligence as a sentient, self-learning technology that inevitably runs amok with the intent of wiping out humanity. This makes for fun movies, but what about the practical applications of AI in the real business world?

AI enables a computer or application to perform tasks commonly done by human beings – such as carry on conversations, discover meaning, and generalize or learn from past experiences. So, it should come as no surprise that AI is becoming a valuable tool in Contact Centers where such tasks have traditionally been carried out by human Agents to assist customers.

With more businesses looking to leverage AI’s capabilities, Mitel has partnered with tech leaders like Google to deliver AI-driven improvements across their core contact center solutions…

AI-enabled Chatbots accelerate Implementation

With a traditional chatbot, a contact center team is responsible for predicting what their customers are going to ask, and painstakingly scripting each interaction. With AI in the mix, the customer is connected directly to your company’s knowledge base, simplifying and shifting chatbot implementation time from months to days.

Natural Language Processing enables Virtual Agents

Using natural language processing, an intelligent customer experience solution understands what your customers are saying, chatting or texting – without requiring specific phrasing – and a virtual agent responds in real-time – whether a human agent is available or not.

Whenever the virtual agent reaches a question or situation it cannot handle, it can involve a human Agent in the conversation and feed its conversation details directly to that Agent.

Machine Learning improves the Customer Experience

Leveraging machine learning, the AI solution will continue to observe the customer-agent interaction, suggesting relevant options or content to the Agent and monitoring which responses come to a successful conclusion. This real-time coaching from AI Agent Assist results in more accurate, more responsive follow ups and an improved customer experience.

Webinar recap: The Intelligent Contact Center [57:30]

This in-depth webinar will show you how AI provides valuable insight into customer behavior so your contact center can deliver the best customer experience every time.

Among the topics covered:

  • Utilize IVR and CRM data to intelligently route incoming calls, offer predictive recommendations and drive up first call resolution
  • Save time and money by automating responses to common queries, improving resolution time and customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores
  • Identify trends, monitor performance and unlock deep insights into agents and customers

Video Demo: AI in the Contact Center [4:56 min]  

This video overview shows how Google AI & Mitel technology…

  • Uses the virtual agent chatbot and AI analytics to respond to common customer issues
  • Stays with each call, SMS or chat to find the best information for each customer
  • Learns what works and what doesn’t to improve future customer interactions
  • Simplifies agent workflows with smart virtual agent assist

New use cases will continue to emerge as the technology becomes more advanced. That means the definition of AI will continue to evolve, and you’ll want to keep pace to reap future business benefits.

Ready to improve your customer experience with real-world AI now? Contact TCI today: (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

 

Webinar Recap… Supporting Your On-the-Go Workforce with Mobile-Ready Cloud Voice Services

Workers today are no longer tied to their desk. They’re working in the field, traveling, and balancing time between office and home – proving that how work is done is more important than where it is done.

In this Mitel webinar, you’ll learn how you can better support your free-range workforce with cloud communications and collaboration tools. Among the topics covered:

  • How the workplace is shifting and creating new demands for a mobile workforce
  • Ways collaboration tools increase business efficiencies and user productivity
  • Why providing employees with the right tools will make your business more successful

Watch the webinar now [28:22]

TCI mobility experts enable work anywhere, anytime, on any device. Support your on-the-go team… Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Performance Analytics Keeps Your Communications Network Running at Peak Efficiency

Through our partner Mitel, TCI offers you the ability to monitor the performance of your entire communications network – identifying real-time issues and rapidly alerting IT administrators about adverse conditions.

Mitel Performance Analytics (MPA) provides quick resolution tools like secure remote access and active testing capabilities that make it simple to manage locations seamlessly. Whether you have 8 or 800 users, voice quality stays crystal-clear and downtime is minimized.

MPA also addresses the need to know not only when a problem occurs, but where it occurs. Voice quality problems – delay, echo and jitter, for example – can be caused by a variety of events, from congestion to improper configuration. For faster problem resolution, MPA now monitors third-party devices like routers and servers in the network infrastructure, in addition to your Mitel systems.

Your admins can access devices from anywhere, and devices can be moved easily between containers. Plus, data can be consolidated in one central place. Information can also be shared more easily among your locations. And with configurable SNMP device monitoring, MPA can now monitor just about any device, anywhere in the world.

MPA is available as part of the Mitel Premium Software Assurance subscription, enabling you to proactively monitor and manage your entire network and identify voice and network quality concerns before business-impacting outages arise.

Many businesses today are undergoing rapid growth and searching for ways to digitally transform. MPA provides these organizations with ways to grow and still maintain a healthy network to meet and exceed growing customer expectations.

Monitoring and Performance Analytics… More reasons to go with TCI and Mitel. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

 

Complement Your Mobile Work Style with Mitel’s Powerful 6900 IP Series Desk Phones

Mitel’s MiVoice 6900 series desk phones enable you to become more mobile with one-touch Bluetooth pairing and seamless integration with your mobile phone. Not only can you stay productive by easily switching calls between your desk phone and your mobile phone, you can have mobile and desktop contacts automatically sync between your devices.

6900 Series Video Introduction [44 sec.]

Elegant Phones – Choose from expansive models to meet the needs of business users at every level.

Advanced Features – Bridge the gap between the desk phone and mobile devices with Bluetooth and MobileLink.

Rich Accessories – A broad array of add-on accessories enable the phones to be tailored to specific user needs.

Outstanding Audio – Mitel’s Hi-Q audio technology delivers exceptional quality with high definition sound for an unmatched communication experience.

Easy Reading & Interaction – LCD displays are easy to read and large enough to easily find out more about a caller.

Enhanced Call Management – Programmable keys may be used for call appearances or speed dial numbers.

Walk & Talk – The enhanced, full duplex speakerphone allows you to multi-task without a break in the conversation, even with multiple callers.

More MiVoice 6900 Series Phone features…

  • Support for Mitel Teleworker, ACD agent and supervisor, hot desking, MiCollab Client and more
  • Secure encrypted voice communication, IEEE 802.1x authentication support
  • Quality of Service support – IEEE 802.1 p/Q VLAN and priority tagging
  • Dual 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet ports (LAN/PC), powered USB 2.0 Host port, sidecar expansion port, dedicated 4-pin modular headset port convertible to DHSG/EHS capable

Ready for the convenience, productivity and security that come from adding mobility to your desk phones? Contact TCI today: (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

Great Pricing & One-Stop Public Sector Procurement via Mitel’s Sourcewell Contract

Sourcewell (formerly known as The National Joint Powers Alliance) is a contracting agency serving the public sector.

How does Sourcewell work?

First, Sourcewell issues competitive bid RFPs nationally on a wide range of products and services that benefit their members. Following a rigorous competitive evaluation process, they then award the contract to the selected vendor. Sourcewell sets up the legal authority between vendor and member. The member organizations then have access to the vendor’s services at Sourcewell-negotiated rates.

“Sourcewell contracts have streamlined our purchasing process, saving our district thousands of dollars.”  — School District Member

What Mitel products does Sourcewell cover? 

Working with TCI as your local technology partner, Sourcewell members can purchase Mitel telecom solutions without issuing an RFP.  Mitel is a preferred provider of telecommunications equipment based on its record of innovation, product quality, customer service, pricing, and overall market leadership. The Sourcewell contract extends the decade-long relationship with Mitel for 4 years and spans the full range of Mitel’s product portfolio, including:

  • Unified Communications On Premises
  • UCaaS (Cloud Services)
  • Contact centers
  • Collaboration tools
  • Phones and accessories
  • Mass notification
  • Professional services

Who qualifies for Sourcewell membership?

  • All Educational institutions, both public and private – including K thru 12, special education districts, charter schools, and higher education/universities
  • Non-profits – including hospitals and nursing homes, rural power cooperatives, housing authorities, member associations and groups
  • State and local government agencies – including cities, counties, water districts, and tribal nations

The organization’s 50,000 members currently purchase more than $3.5 billion annually through awarded contracts – an indication of Sourcewell’s success in simplifying the procurement process to save members time and money.

Simplified procurement and savings… More reasons to go with TCI and Mitel. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.