Posts

Wi-Fi 6 Delivers More Range & Speed for More Devices

Whether you need improved Wi-Fi in a new building, across your campus or to support a growing number of mobile workers, TCI’s experienced network infrastructure team has the know-how to get the job done right. Give your staff and visitors the freedom to work on-the-go with a fast, flexible and secure Wireless Network.

Must-Have Technology

Also known as 802.11ax, Wi-Fi 6 nearly quadruples the speed offered by the previous standard 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5), while delivering more efficient operation, tighter security, better ease of use, self-deployment, and long-term compatibility. Wi-Fi 6 also provides a more reliable user experience in areas of high demand.

Benefits of Wi-Fi 6

  • Consistent data throughput in dense environments
  • Wider coverage range
  • Increased reliability and reduced disconnections
  • Additional frequency spectrum for IoT and other monitoring devices
  • Power savings for wireless devices
  • Improved outdoor performance

With the advent of the latest Wi-Fi 6 standard, wireless technology has taken a huge leap in performance. It’s ideal for connecting your current and emerging business applications, along with more devices and users.

Wi-Fi 6 is a must-have technology for today’s fast-paced businesses. Our experts manage all the details. Contact TCI today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

 

Work Arrangements for Reopening… Supporting Hybrid Workers at-Home and in-Office with UC

COVID-19 has become a global orientation session for remote working and opened the eyes of many to the productivity advantages of working from home.

As some employees start returning to the office while others remain at home – some permanently – it’s time to consider the best technology solutions for supporting this new hybrid work arrangement.

Unified Communications (UC) delivered from the Cloud offers a straightforward way to bridge your home and office workers. The cloud makes it easier to access company resources, like documents and spreadsheets, as well as meet and collaborate using built-in audio and video conferencing and messaging tools.

Mitel CMO David Silke sits down with Zeus Kerravala, founder and principal analyst of ZK Research, to explore the technologies and practices that will support the emerging hybrid work environments many businesses will adopt…

Watch the 27-minute Video

When it comes to customizing technology for your business or non-profit, we can map out the best mix of cloud, on-premises and hybrid deployments to connect your workforce at the office, in the field and at home.

Contact TCI today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

What’s Driving Adoption of Hybrid & Cloud Computing?

IT systems and data networks should move a business forward, not hold it back. That’s why companies in every industry are looking to the cloud. By using a network of remote servers to store, manage and process data, rather than the traditional local servers they might have on-site today, businesses can reap the advantages of high performance, reliability, affordable prices, easy collaboration, and secure data access.

And that’s not all… Hybrid and cloud arrangements offer a number of practical bottom-line benefits:

  • Deliver secure remote access to employees: Ensure your employees receive a consistent, high-quality user experience to rely on for secure access to the apps and data they need – no matter what type of network connection they use.
  • Provide employees with flexibility to work anytime, anywhere: Work is no longer a place – it’s something you enable with the greatest security and flexibility. Use app and desktop virtualization to embrace workforce mobility and empower your employees to work anywhere, anytime, on any device.
  • Empower mobile users without compromising security: Having sensitive business data stored on employee devices increases vulnerability. By virtualizing your apps and desktops to keep data secure in your datacenter or the cloud you don’t have to worry about lost or stolen devices.
  • Make managing desktops easier and more efficient: Implement app and desktop virtualization to automate and centralize management. You can stop patching and updating your employees’ desktops on an individual, manual basis – saving you time, money and frustration.
  • Get new employees up and running in minutes: Use any available devices – aging legacy PCs, thin clients, laptops or mobile devices – and reduce new employee time to productivity.
  • Keep employees productive during business disruptions: Empower your employees to work remotely during business disruptions – anywhere, anytime, on any device – with secure access to the apps and data they depend on.
  • Reduce IT costs: App and desktop virtualization significantly reduce your IT costs, management time, and complexity compared to traditional desktop management.

Many businesses are still under the impression that the Cloud is a one-size-fits-all solution. That’s why having a trusted technology partner who can work with you to develop a cloud roadmap and strategy is so important.

Have questions about what IT platform and cloud deployment option is best for your business? Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Adjusting to Work at Home… Small Changes Can Help

Many of your employees and managers are still adjusting to the new challenges they face while working at home. These are unchartered waters for everyone.

Some of the folks you lead may have little or no experience working remotely.

Add in some young children who can’t go to school or daycare, or the need to provide care for an elderly parent, and you can begin to appreciate the stress of trying to balance work and family responsibilities.

Whether you are a manager or an employee, we are all called to be more patient and flexible. We’re all looking for ways to manage our converging responsibilities at home. With that in mind, here are some strategies that can make life easier.

  • Keep the focus on getting the work done as opposed to number of hours worked.
  • Take more breaks to relieve stress, improve your health, and maintain a better work-life balance.
  • Get outside and move… You’ll give yourself an energy boost so you can be more creative, productive, and responsive.
  • Consider extending the workday (or week) – start earlier or end later – so you have more time for family matters, chores, and catching up with friends.
  • Resist the urge to watch TV, view social media or shop online – before you know it you can waste a good part of your day.
  • Dress properly… You never know when you’ll receive a request to join a video call with a client or colleague.

Of course, it will take more than changing our behavior to overcome the challenges of working at home. Also essential are having the right technologies, connections, and apps in place to enable work to be performed efficiently and effectively. This is where TCI comes in.

We have proven remote workforce solutions for any size organization. Contact TCI today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

6 Ways to Organize a More Productive Home Office 

For some of us, remote working is nothing new, but COVID-19 has changed working from home from novelty to necessity. These tips on how to organize a home office for productivity will help your teams make the most out of their home office.

Tip 1: Select Your Office Space Carefully 

When selecting a space, keep in mind the amount of daily foot traffic and noise in that area. You want to minimize distractions. Being able to shut the door can be a big help. If you can’t get a separate room, you can alleviate some issues by purchasing noise-cancelling headphones and a standing, foldable screen that separates you from the rest of the family’s movements.

Tip 2: Natural Light

Try to set up your workspace in a room that has a few windows. Studies show access to natural light can have an impact on your overall work performance, mood and wellness.

Tip 3: Invest in Seating 

Investing in a chair that offers adequate back support may well be worth the investment. Since this is where you will be spending most of your day, you don’t want to end up with a bad back.

Tip 4: Decluttered Workspace And Storage

You’ll want all the items you need for work within arms’ reach. Keeping those items properly stored is key to minimizing distractions. If your desk doesn’t have drawers, invest in a rolling filing cabinet to store documents and miscellaneous objects that would otherwise clutter your workspace.

Tip 5: Computer Screen Configuration

Many people use multiple screens at their office for daily work. If this is the setup you’re used to, it’s best to mimic it at home. You can purchase monitors and mounts online that are easy to configure. And, be conscious of what people see in your background when video conferencing.

Tip 6: Customize Your Space 

There are an endless number of ways you can customize your home office for your personal productivity – choose what’s right for you. Printer, shredder, mouse or track pad, external keyboard or built-in keyboard – arrange everything you need to get the job done.

Remember, working from home takes getting used to, but following these tips can help put you on the right track. Providing the communications technology to keep you connected is our job.

Contact TCI today at ( 703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Re-Opening Reality Check… Getting to Know the Public’s Preferences for Getting Back to ‘Normal’

The conversation about the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted from shutting down non-essential businesses to how we can get back to ‘business as usual.’ But until a viable vaccine or effective treatment is widely available, you should expect many customers to remain wary. Based on our conversations, many leaders are privately planning for the possibility of working from home for months or longer. Others will need to come back in some kind of Hybrid mode.

State of the Nation polling reflects a very cautious public [PDF]

We’re in this for the long haul 

The public and private sectors will, of course, continue to adapt to serve their customers and constituents, and how you approach your workforce infrastructure will play a big role in how well you can respond to challenges and opportunities in the months ahead.

TCI can help your business stay connected

We’ve been supporting the DC region with customized remote workforce and business continuity solutions for 40 years. When it comes to customizing technology for your business or non-profit, we can map out the best mix of cloud, on-premises and hybrid deployments to connect your customers and workforce at the office, in the field and at home.

Hosted Voice, Unified Communications & Teleworking 

MiCollab & MiTeam Meetings for remote workers

Customer Contact Center 

Google Cloud AI-powered Virtual Agent and Agent Assist

Let’s talk about the technology you need to keep your workforce and customers connected. Contact TCI today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Rapid Response Success Stories… DC Region Associations Act After Stay-at-Home Orders

Northern Virginia Cloud Voice Customer

When the Governor’s order went into effect, our team had to act fast. Our client had 100+ users in the office. They called us on Tuesday, and they wanted everyone working from home by Friday.

Already subscribed to TCI Host, our flexible, all-in-one cloud voice service, the busy association had built-in telework capabilities, but had always conducted their work in a traditional office environment.

Without missing a beat, our outstanding support team ensured everyone’s endpoints were programmed, tested and ready to support incoming calls from the association’s membership.

By Friday, the association’s busy office was empty, and every user was connected at home using their preferred device – whether they opted for a laptop softphone, an app on their smartphone, or a desktop office phone.

Maryland Mitel On-Premises System Customer 

Another association just outside of DC in suburban Maryland, had 130+ users all connected in their office via an on-premises Mitel MiVoice platform. Most incoming calls came in on the main number and were distributed across multiple attendant consoles where calls were transferred across the organization.

When the stay-at-home order came down, the staff was able to quickly connect at home using a mix of plug-and-play Mitel Teleworker phones or MiCollab apps running on their laptops and smartphones.

Home-based attendants are still managing the high-volume flow of incoming calls using a completely PC-based call-handling setup with an intuitive graphical user interface that lets them know the ‘presence’ status of every user before they transfer the caller.

The association is delighted with their Mitel system and its teleworking capabilities – their employees are staying productive and their members are getting the support they need.

TCI is Ready to help

Whether your phone system is on-site or already in the cloud, when it comes to supporting your customers, our rapid response team can deploy and support the essential tools you need to work anywhere in these uncertain times.

Contact TCI today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

 

Worried About Staying Connected? UCaaS Has You Covered!

Any number of threats can take your business offline, including floods, road closures, and fires. Add to all that, a pandemic that suddenly changes where and how work is performed. When your people can’t work, your operations can come to a grinding halt and the collateral damage from your unexpected shutdown can be severe.

In addition to the pain of lost revenues, your customers may find alternative providers, your business could lose its place in supply chains, and your employees could experience  stress about their uncertain future.

Paying for expensive redundant services can help mitigate such calamities, but with Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) you’ll get a built-in Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery plan – without the extra cost.

Today’s voice systems and services are more powerful than ever and are designed to safeguard your business from a range of contingencies. As long as your team has UCaaS, smart phones and wireless data, and/or laptops with access to WiFi, they automatically have the essential elements of a DR plan.

Equipping your team members and contact center reps with their office tools and apps – as they seamlessly work from home – will enable your business to withstand virtually any local emergency that threatens to shut down your building.

Let’s get ahead of the next disaster before it arrives and talk about exploiting UCaaS for your business continuity plan. Contact TCI today: (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

 

Migrating to Cloud Voice Doesn’t Have to Wait… TCI’s Remote Deployments Can be Arranged with “Zero Touch”

If you’ve been planning to transition your voice communication to the Cloud, there’s no need to wait out the COVID-19 virus before taking action. TCI can handle all the implementation details for you remotely, so you don’t have to touch a thing.

Your team will be able to work from the office, at home, or on road. They will be able to handle calls from their desk or the mobile device of their choice. TCI can provide the phones, or you can source your own. With our “zero touch” implementation, your teams continue doing business from any location without skipping a beat.

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 make the necessary platform adjustments for you.

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 Cloud Voice easy – all for a budget-friendly monthly subscription.

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

A Video Meetings Guide for Your Remote Workers

Videoconferencing has suddenly become “business essential.” Now more than ever, teams are relying on videoconference meetings on a daily basis so they can get work done effectively and efficiently.

Many of your remote workers, however, may have to adjust to this way of communicating with their colleagues.

Here’s a checklist of what every remote worker must consider as they get up to speed…

  • Visual presence – Since you may be in your home office, or even the kitchen, you will have to pay attention to lighting, visual background and ambient noise.
  • Prepare the content – Take a few moments ahead of time to organize your thoughts. This can make all the difference between a frustrating call and a productive one.
  • Agenda – If you’re the organizer of the call, be sure to send out an agenda at least a day ahead of time. Identify what you expect from each participant.
  • Your role – If you’re not the leader, reach out to the organizer and ask for clarification on your role and how you should prepare. Think through what you’d like to contribute.
  • Other participants – Find out who else will be on the call. Just as with face-to-face meetings, it’s helpful to know beforehand who will be “in” the meeting.
  • Limit side conversations – Keep one-on-one chats to a minimum. Instead, take notes for follow up.
  • Internet connection – Your WiFi needs to be strong enough to handle both voice and videoconference calls. What’s fine for browsing or email may not be robust enough to facilitate real-time communications.
  • Up-to-date software – Make sure you have the latest version of the meeting software. Or use a web-based business videoconferencing solution where you only need to sign on.

The right videoconferencing application makes it easy to assign tasks, send follow-up emails and group messages, share documents and schedule future meetings – all from a single interface.

Need support arranging business-class videoconferencing solutions? Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.