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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.

 

Tips for Team Success… 4 Types of Meetings You Want to Avoid in 2022

Today, it seems like everyone is dialing in from their home office. Up to half of the workforce plans to work from home at least part-time, according to new research by Frost & Sullivan, so yet another evolution of meetings is on the horizon.

Given this new work environment, here are 4 types of meetings to avoid in 2022 – and tips to make your meetings more effective in our hybrid world.

1. The “Can Everyone See My Screen?” Meeting

The problem: Broken video and muted microphones may have been par for the course at the beginning of remote work, but with video usage 350% higher than pre-pandemic days according to Frost & Sullivan, meeting-goers expect more. Nobody wants to wait for their host to figure out how to share their screen or load their own presentation. Failed breakout rooms leave everyone feeling like their time has been wasted.

The fix: Make sure you’re using collaboration applications that effortlessly support the functions you need. Improvements like adaptive lighting, sound bars for better audio, and adjusted camera angles help make it feel like everyone is in the room together. It’s also important to ensure everyone involved can use these tools effectively. Spending time training your team means less precious time wasted during their actual meetings.

2. The “This Could Have Been an Email” Meeting

The problem: The entire team has gathered together to discuss the latest project, only to spend an excruciating hour going over a single document, line-by-line. Or the “update meeting” just to learn that there haven’t been any changes since the last time you met. If your meeting doesn’t require in-depth discussion and distracts people from their day, it probably could have been an email.

The fix: This might seem obvious, but sometimes emails really are better than meetings! Emails allow participants to respond at their own pace, provide complete records of the communication and give updates in real-time. Of course, nuance can sometimes be lost over text or ideas that need to be explained. In cases like these, having the right technology makes it easy to transition to a quick call, but only for long enough to clarify the point. Just be sure to follow up with an email to keep everyone on the same page.

3. The “What Are We Talking About Again?” Meeting

The problem: Absent agendas, rambling tangents, and discussions that are more like digressions – these are all signs that a meeting has gone off the rails. Without a focused plan and a dedicated leader to guide the discussion, the overall quality of work and satisfaction can suffer.

The fix: Unified communications technology makes it possible for a team leader to create and share an agenda ahead of time, along with any files needed for the discussion. Action items can be assigned and tracked in a collaborative workspace, so everyone is on the same page, during and after the meeting.

4. The “Gang’s All Here” Meeting

The problem: When too many people are required to attend a meeting that they have little practical involvement with, engagement rates plummet. Some studies show that less than 50% of meeting time is effective and engaging. The rate of engagement is even lower for remote participants, meaning that most meetings aren’t just boring, they’re ineffective.

The fix: The best meetings have a maximum of 5 or 6 participants, but the smaller the better. This allows everyone on the call to feel included in the discussion, leading to more innovative, productive dialogues. Make sure the collaboration tech for your meeting allows for each participant to easily communicate so that everyone’s voice can be heard.

Better Meetings in 2022

These are just four types of meetings we’d all like to put behind us this year, but there are so many ways to make meetings better. With hybrid work on the rise, it’s time to adjust our approach.

It’s time to embrace new ideas and technology to create an inclusive meeting culture that makes collaboration easy for everyone. TCI has the solutions. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Strong Storms Are Rolling In… How Business Continuity Planning with TCI Helps Protect Your Business

TCI’s cutting-edge Disaster Recovery solutions are tailored to help protect your entire technology environment – from data and applications to office computers, mobile devices, networks, and phone systems.

Will your business continue to operate when disaster strikes?

Here are just some of the ways TCI’s comprehensive approach helps you safeguard what counts:

  • Determine appropriate risk reduction strategies, remedies, and alternatives for critical systems and networks, including affordable ways to address voice and data protection measures like off-grid power sourcing and secure off-site storage.
  • Enable a remote work program that can keep your business open when your office is shut down during an emergency.
  • Avoid critical data loss or recovery delays dealing with missing databases, disrupted systems, networks, and more.

If you’re considering moving to the cloud, remember you don’t have to do it all at once.

Create a plan… Identify what should stay in-house and what should go to the cloud. Focus on what you’d need to operate if a major interruption or disaster occurred. Determine the connectivity your employees need to do their jobs remotely. Also, work toward consistent and seamless end-to-end communications. TCI can help you build a hybrid or full cloud solution that meets the needs you’ve identified.

The cloud gives your company the agility it needs to respond to any disruption, be it a natural disaster, pandemic, a security breach, or a failure of your network or hardware.

Schedule your Business Continuity Planning meeting. Contact TCI today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

eBook: What Post-Pandemic Life May Look Like for Your Business

Flexible Work from Home arrangements may not end for many organizations in our region.

Digital Transformation has become comfortable and familiar, and many employees have fully embraced remote working – even when their managers haven’t.

The business world is transforming and adapting with new technology. Video meetings, Digital proximity, and Hybrid workforces are here to stay, and it’s important to have a post-pandemic plan for your business too.

Check out Mitel’s eBook:
Life on the Other Side of the Pandemic

Change can be a challenge, but the good news is that TCI is here to help. When it comes to business communications, we make it easy.

We have decades of experience and the tools and technology that can bring your employees, teams, and business together.

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

 

TCI’s Wi-Fi Service Offers High Speed In-Building Broadband Connections

TCI’s Managed Wi-Fi Service… Simplify and speed up your day-to-day operations. Our Managed Wi-Fi puts intuitive yet powerful tools in the hands of your network administrators:

  • Add wireless capacity in minutes with fully automatic provisioning
  • Manage complex, dynamic environments using Auto RF
  • Throttle bandwidth and block unauthorized applications
  • Streamline device onboarding with built-in Mobile Device Management

Wi-Fi 6 Support… TCI supports enterprise-class Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) access points to solve density and throughput challenges. With up to 8 transmit and 8 receive antennas, your applications will always operate at peak performance. In addition to 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz radios, many APs offer a dedicated security radio that:

  • Continuously scans and protects against security threats
  • Senses the RF environment and adapts to interference
  • Automatically configures RF settings to maximize performance

Wireless Made Easy… From growing offices to large corporate enterprises, TCI designs, implements and maintains the wireless networks that keep local businesses connected and running strong. Our expertise includes:

  • Wireless site surveys
  • Wireless coverage testing
  • Access point cabling
  • Wireless security
  • Wireless network management

Whatever your environment and business goals, TCI can design, deploy, and support a cloud-managed wireless solution for you.

Our certified infrastructure experts will ensure your mobile workforce has access to the connections they need to stay productive… Contact TCI today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Schools, Non-Profits, Gov’t… Are You Exploiting Sourcewell’s Discounts for Telecom Solutions?

Sourcewell is a municipal contracting government agency serving the public sector.

Who qualifies for Sourcewell membership?

  • Educational institutions – both public and private, including K to 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

How does Sourcewell work?

First, Sourcewell goes out to competitive bid nationally on a wide range of products and services that would benefit their members. 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, resulting in accolades like this from a school district:

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

Significant Discounts

Working with TCI as your local technology partner, Sourcewell members can purchase Mitel telecom solutions without issuing an RFP, including:

  • Public Cloud
  • Private Cloud and On-site Systems
  • Contact Center
  • Team Collaboration
  • Mass Notification
  • Business Phones
  • Devices and Accessories

Mitel is the exclusive Sourcewell telecommunications equipment vendor based on its record of innovation, product quality, customer service, pricing, and overall market leadership.

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

 

Why More CFOs Are Shifting IT Investment From CAPEX to OPEX

Traditionally for technology investments, CFOs most often preferred capital expenditures over operating expenses because they could take advantage of the amortization and depreciation of those investments over an extended period. There’s a growing argument, however, that operating expenditures (OpEx) have distinct advantages over capital expenditures (CapEx).

Operating expenses are used for the day-to-day costs of running a business and can be more stable. But technology developments are occurring faster than companies can digest and are the reason many CFOs are shifting from capital expenditures to operational spending.

The cloud is a perfect example of how to apply OpEx for technology expenditures. As an operating expense, the cloud allows a company to:

  • Pay only for the capacity it needs now and scale as requirements change
  • Ease and speed up the budgeting process because short-term spending requirements are lower
  • Make multiple investments across the business since capital isn’t tied up in large upfront expenditures
  • Fund expenses faster through operations rather than needing to borrow money or divert money from other projects to pay for large, upfront technology costs
  • Smooth out cash flows over time instead of requiring lumpy outlays

Cloud Offers a Path to the Future

If you’re looking to reduce communications costs, the cloud can save you money:

  • No costly, upfront investments in servers, switches, and PBXs
  • No budget “surprises” – consistent, predictable calling plans
  • No costly, across‐the‐board software upgrades as new features and versions are released – you get the latest versions immediately, automatically
  • No wasted money on over-provisioned trunks or underutilized hardware
  • No high energy and cooling costs to run a roomful of equipment, and rent to house it all

The cloud offers a better path for growth. It not only saves you money through economy of scale, but also scales cost‐effectively as you grow. You never have to worry about adding more servers and switches as you add more employees. You simply add more seats in the cloud at a fixed monthly cost and have the assurance that new employees are connected to all your business communications from day one.

Ready to talk about your path to the Cloud? Contact us today: (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

The 9 Most Important Call Center Trends of 2022

We’ve seen a lot of changes to the call center and customer experience landscape over the years, from cloud communications and virtual agents to more strategic thinking around analytics, more flexible social media interactions, and innovative ways to involve artificial intelligence. And when the pandemic pushed businesses to modernize their business communications overnight, we’ve seen even more shifts in how businesses meet the evolving needs of both customers and their employees.

Here are nine technology trends that are helping companies deliver the best quality customer experience. See how far your business has come in building customer relationships that last — or which of these trends may need to be on this year’s to-do list.

1. Artificial Intelligence

As early adopters continue honing AI applications for call routing, we expect to see more connections forged between various media channels and streamlined call center response.

2. Digital Transformation

A forward-looking digital transformation strategy is going to be essential for business competitiveness. And it’s not just about using the right channels to interact with customers where they are; the smartest businesses are integrating technologies to provide full customer context with each interaction and leveraging system data to provide proactive service.

3. Better Contact Center Analytics

Gone are the days of relying on supervisor skills and know-how to get the most out of contact center agents. Now, even smaller businesses are taking advantage of sophisticated analytics to turn data – like call and screen recordings, chats, SMS messages, and more – into useful feedback for their agents. We expect more advancements in analytics as companies continue to implement more unified communications platforms and strategies.

4. Omnichannel Communications

More businesses are recognizing that while a customer journey may begin on one channel, valuable insight and feedback from the customer can be gained on a completely different channel. Responsive businesses are using this trend to create a superb customer experience by unifying communications across channels into one stream. This helps their customers by connecting them with an agent who knows their purchase and service history and provides valuable context. Most importantly, the two-way conversation is public on a social media platform, so other customers can see how the business solved the problem.

5. Cloud Communications

Many businesses have already adopted cloud communications as part of their communications strategies, but cloud communications have become particularly important for contact centers. The steady increase in remote call agents has made cloud communications a necessity for businesses who want to take advantage of seamless team communications and collaboration. With cloud communications, traditional office-based contact centers can take on new locations, and grow and contract workforces as market needs demand.

6. Employee Engagement

Just as customer expectations have evolved in the last few years, so have the expectations of the employees that make quality customer experience possible. And dissatisfaction in the work environment and culture has led to high agent attrition in the contact center space and beyond. Businesses that want to remain competitive will provide their employees with the culture and technology that empowers an efficient, productive, and flexible workforce.

7. Flexible Working Options

Lower overhead, time zone flexibility, and variable working hours have made remote contact center workers a stable trend in 2022. With constantly improving unified communications, remote workers have become a permanent and beneficial part of the contact center environment. By using collaboration tools, contact center agents can be mobile, with access to real-time analytics and customer context.

8. AI-Powered Self-Service Tools

The high priority on process improvement and self-service since the pandemic has addressed the issue of increasing workload for contact center agents, as well as the difficulties around achieving the desired service levels or Average Speed of Answer (ASA). Giving customers information quickly helps reduce call volumes, and easy-to-navigate FAQs help narrow down calls to those with sufficiently complex issues. Quick access to self-serve solutions also provides an emotional benefit to customers (that DIY-fix high!) and reduces overall call times.

9. SMB’s Leveraging All Employees to Support Customers

SMBs are extending traditional contact center agent desktop features to employees that work outside of the contact center to supplement customer-facing employees. Blended UC/CC solutions that bring customer and employee experiences together into a single user experience tear down the silos between traditional contact center agents and the rest of the organization.

If you need more help determining how to apply these trends to your call center, TCI’s local experts are here to help. Contact us today: (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Live + Digital… Ready to Deliver a Seamless Customer Experience?

There’s no question that the customer experience (CX) has undergone a dramatic shift in the past few years. Consumers are online more than ever. Like the rest of daily life, CX has become a true blend of the digital and “live” worlds.

Most people channel-switch without thinking these days and consumers will only want the process to become more seamless as they return to brick-and-mortar stores. In-person shopping has nearly returned to pre-pandemic levels, while smartphone purchases have undergone a 70% increase since 2019 and continue to grow.

Digital, but Make it Personal

Because so many transactions take place in the digital space first, it’s more important than ever to prioritize investment in technology that supports client engagement. Being able to deliver curated products and personalized customer support goes a long way in making your customer feel like you truly care.

CX is tied directly to Employee Experience; customers are increasingly sensitive to the person on the other end of the line and can tell when a company doesn’t prioritize staff well-being. Equipping your employees to work in hybrid or remote settings and giving them the tools to make informed decisions at any point in the customer journey makes everyone feel empowered.

Tips for Building Trust

A little investment in the CX goes a long way towards building loyalty, ensuring customers will continue to use and recommend your services. So, how can you build trust in this complicated, digital-first world?

  • Lead with digital, finish with personal: Ultimately, customers want to feel that human element. Customize their experiences and connect with them personally to keep them engaged.
  • Discover new customer journeys: Your clients will be accessing your products from multiple channels. Do you know how to meet them every step of the way?
  • Define your values and follow through: Not only do consumers want to understand your values, they also need to know that you see them through. Showing that you care about the same things as your customers will bring them back time and time again.
  • Provide excellent customer service: Employee happiness translates to customer happiness. Give your staff the technology they need to maximize CX.
  • Ensure data privacy: Customers are willing to give more of their personal data if they know it will be handled securely. This data can be used to customize interactions even more.

The Commercial Advantages of Blended CX

Consumers are willing to pay a premium for positive transactions and are increasingly tying their personal values to their purchasing decisions. If you can meet customers on their terms, speak to them on a personal level, and develop their trust, your investment will yield returns far beyond your expectations.

TCI is ready to implement technologies that help your business maximize the Customer Experience. Contact us today: (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

The Next Level of Cloud Voice Flexibility from Mitel & RingCentral… TCI Makes it Happen

Our new strategic partnership with RingCentral makes it easier to leverage one of the best cloud-based UCaaS options available today. RingCentral Message Video Phone (MVP) is an all-in-one solution that can easily meet the changing needs of your workforce.

Upgrading to RingCentral provides everything you need to build a company culture that will position you for long-term success:

  • A unified, collaborative hub for all employees, regardless of where they are working
  • Higher capacity video conferencing, more powerful messaging, and full-featured telephony
  • Enterprise-grade security and unmatched reliability that delivers 99.999% uptime
  • Over 275 out-of-the-box integrations with business apps and open APIs
  • A modular system approach that can grow alongside your business
  • Analytics and real-time reporting that make tracking important metrics easier than ever
  • Seamless integration with any of your existing features

Special Offers for Existing Mitel Customers

For our existing Mitel customers looking to upgrade or replace their cloud technologies, there’s even more to be excited about. For a limited time, Mitel is offering up to three months free of RingCentral MVP. They’re also waiving early termination fees and offering free onboarding and implementation services. Make sure to ask us if you’re eligible for this special competitive pricing, but act fast – these offers end on June 30, 2022.

Your local TCI team will ensure a seamless upgrade experience, so you and your team will be up and running in no time. Contact us today: (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.