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How TCI Ensures Your Building’s Wi-Fi is Moving as Fast as Your Business

Whether you need Wi-Fi coverage for a new building – or you just want a faster network in your office space – TCI has the experience and expertise to get your connections moving as fast as your business…

With the proliferation of Wi-Fi enabled devices, every business is adapting to keep up with more devices, access points, bandwidth, and the latest IEEE 802.11 standards.

The newest Wi-Fi standard offers a giant leap in performance to better support current and emerging business applications. Wi-Fi 6, also known as Wi-Fi 6 (ax), delivers nearly four times the capacity of Wi-Fi 5 (ac), while offering more efficient operation, tighter security, easier self-deployment, and long-term compatibility. It also provides a more reliable user experience in areas of high demand.

High-speed Wireless LANs allow your employees and visitors to work anywhere in your building or campus, with convenient, worry-free access to the Internet or your local IT resources.

We Make Wireless Easy  

TCI delivers WLAN projects on time, tested and ready to support seamless mobile access. Our experts manage all the details to ensure your office Wi-Fi infrastructure is keeping up with your high-speed business…

  • Wireless Site Surveys and Heat Maps
  • RF Testing & Coverage Optimization
  • Access Point Placement & Cabling
  • Wireless Security
  • Testing and Certification
  • Migration assistance to Wi-Fi 6

Simplify with Wi-Fi as a Service

With TCI you can skip the hassle and complexity of buying and managing your own Wi-Fi infrastructure. Rather than paying a big upfront capital expense, our affordable monthly subscription scales up and down based on what you need. TCI sets up and manages everything for you.

Contact TCI today to discuss improving your Wi-Fi speed and coverage: (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.

 

Supporting DC Metro’s Non-profits & Associations with Technology Planning, Assessments & Bid Consultations

TCI is your local, go-to partner for IT strategic planning…

Our experts will analyze your entire IT infrastructure including software, systems, processes, networks and applications. We then provide you with a comprehensive project plan that contains our recommendations. It is our goal to help you exploit the best technology to move your organization ahead and make managing IT easy.

Providing you with Assessments & Audits

Our technical assessments and audits help you better understand your organization’s current IT systems. An audit will let you know whether your network is operating at peak performance, what systems are hogging resources, whether your current IT strategy fits your business and more. We perform health checks for all of your systems while proactively searching for hidden problems. We’ll work with you to establish the kind of technology your organization needs and propose an IT budget to help you better understand all costs in advance.

Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery

We know the damage that can be done to an organization when disaster strikes. Our goal is to save you from headaches resulting from lost data, time and resources due to recreating a corrupt or missing database, disrupted systems and networks, and more. Accordingly, we identify risks, threats and exposure, and determine appropriate responses for systems and networks. This may include recommending data protection measures, off-grid power sourcing, and secure off-site storage. We also check the feasibility of implementing telework programs to keep your organization functioning during an emergency.

Procurement & Bid Consulting

We work with you to make sure you are getting exactly what you want from your telecommunication providers. We offer you improved savings through innovative price reduction and/or quantity discounts, speedier contract negotiation, reduced miscommunication, less chance of unexpected costs, and better outcomes. Our experts handle all the details from bid consulting and procurement to implementation and ongoing support.

Third Party Vendor Management

Our experts work to leverage well-established vendor relationships to secure prompt response to technical issues. We get your issues resolved quicker and your systems and networks back to proper operation faster. We’ll manage escalations, track progress, monitor vendor performance, and report changes in status to you. Most importantly, we maintain a line of communication with you to avoid misunderstanding and proactively address any issues at their onset.

Project consulting and services you can rely on

Our team of consultants will learn about your organization and work with your team to plan projects and ensure that we meet your IT goals. We take away the stress and problems that can be a direct result of poor project planning by defining project success criteria along with major milestones and target dates for each. You get a clear statement of project objectives, costs and deliverables. Our negotiation and communication skills help keep projects moving forward and within budget.

TCI makes managing technology easy. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

We’re Ready to Manage Your SD-WAN Deployment or Support it “as a Service”

Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) technology can help overcome the bandwidth, scalability, complexity and cost concerns common with legacy network services.

With legacy business WAN links – such as MPLS – rapidly exceeding the capacity for which they were originally designed, a software-defined network lets you take advantage of broadband and fiber links to significantly save on WAN costs and deliver the desired level of performance you need.

Ideal for multi-site deployments and critical cloud applications like Voice, Data and Video, SD-WAN also enables you to offer the highest level of performance to your locations without sacrificing security or data privacy.

There are many ways your business can benefit from an SD-WAN…

  • Platform unification – Combines SD-WAN, firewall, segmentation, routing, WAN optimization and visibility, and control functions in a single platform.
  • Backhaul elimination – The traditional router-centric model that backhauls traffic from the branch to headquarters to the Internet and back again no longer makes sense and is no longer necessary with an SD-WAN.
  • Increased throughput & reliability – Application-aware routing protocols let your network adjust to demands in network traffic.
  • Performance optimization – Features like a scalable pipeline and intelligent path selection can improve network performance enterprise-wide.
  • Performance tracking – Monitor critical web applications traveling through VPN tunnels or directly through the public Internet.
  • Problem identification – Easily pinpoint the cause of poor application performance at LAN, WAN, or server.
  • Time & travel savings – Handle tasks like pushing policies to branch locations and launching new sites remotely from a central location.
  • Cost reduction – With intelligent software substituting for hardware functionality, you can save as expensive hardware options are consolidated or phased out.

SD-WAN adoption can be a gradual process…

There’s no need to scrap existing investments in traditional networking infrastructure. No matter what kind of network solutions you may have in place now, TCI can ease your transition, help you select from the best Carriers, provide SD-WAN as a Service and manage all the deployment details.

Let’s talk about how SD-WAN can improve the way you connect your business. 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.

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

Is Your Building a Barrier to Your Smartphone’s Cellular Signals?

Suffering from weak or intermittent cell phone coverage in your building?

You’re not alone… Businesses everywhere are looking for ways to ensure that on-the-go employees and visitors can stay connected in every corner of their buildings. At stake are productivity, customer service, and corporate image.

When mobile carrier signals can’t penetrate your building’s glass, metal, concrete or other obstructions, you can expect poor signal strength or dead zones. Which means more dropped connections, wasted time and a lot of frustration.

What’s needed is a carrier-neutral, in-building Distributed Antenna System (DAS) that allows you to take control of your wireless communications. DAS covers anywhere mobile connections may be a concern, including…

  • Offices in high-rises
  • Parking garages
  • Warehouses and manufacturing facilities
  • Arenas and entertainment venues
  • Hospitals
  • Campuses

TCI offers DAS solutions that have the flexibility to accommodate any space or floor plan. Our network infrastructure experts will design, configure, install and support the latest DAS technology from the industry’s leaders to increase the voice, text, 4G LTE and 5G signals of all carriers and service providers – including Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile.

Your DAS project team manages all the details from site survey to configuring the equipment that gets the carrier signals into your building. They will also deploy the antenna systems and cabling that provides the coverage you’ve been missing.

Don’t let spotty in-building cell signal coverage put your business on hold. 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.