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A Message from the President
In this edition, we discuss the changing nature of work and some of the issues to consider as we head into a future where working remotely will remain a central feature of the business landscape…

  • Is your business connected to maintain efficient operations as your workforce becomes more dispersed? 

  • Are you leveraging your communications system as a strategic asset that can enable your business to keep pace with tomorrow’s changing demands?

  • As we spend more time staring at our screens and webcams, video conferences can be draining. We offer tips on how to stay focused and energized.

  • Amid the economic challenges, we show how AI-driven chatbots are being used to fill the current resource gap and enable businesses to operate at scale. 

  • In today’s connected workplace, optimizing your broadband and network services will lower your costs, increase speed and improve staff performance.  

Contact me today to discuss how TCI solutions and services can help you make a successful transition to new work styles while continuing to exceed your customer expectations.

Tom Cornbrooks, President
(703) 321-3030 | cornbrookst@tcicomm.com.

“Remote Work” is here to stay… Keep your staff and customers well connected over the long haul
Only a year ago, the typical business provided voice and IT support on-site, from within the company’s offices. With the pandemic, things changed suddenly, requiring your IT team to deliver more support to everyone at home.

The concept of work as an activity primarily done within a company’s office has been completely transformed. Many employees now prefer the ability to work remotely for greater flexibility and to minimize health risks. Many companies are responding with a hybrid approach enabled by new technologies.

Reliance on the Cloud 

The need to support remote and dispersed working scenarios will only grow as more organizations develop an appreciation for their flexibility and efficiencies. Defining a cloud migration strategy with your trusted technology partner should be among the top priorities of every business.

Artificial Intelligence  

AI has proven extremely helpful in responding to fluctuating demand during COVID-19. A company’s cloud contact center, for example, can make it easy for staff to work from home and easily manage the influx of orders and support requests by leveraging an AI-based chatbot that helps offload higher call volumes. AI can also be exploited to better manage network traffic and access, and perform data analysis so you can refine your operations with better information.

Supporting Flexible Work Arrangements

Additional requirements that will need your IT team’s attention…

  • Ensuring that there are enough devices for all remote employees and that users are adequately equipped for multiple work environments

  • If any employees will be using personal devices, IT will need to confirm that each employee’s setup supports encrypted communications 

  • Securing remote devices to meet data privacy and compliance requirements when they are in an open environment

Some organizations were caught flat-footed last March because they never imagined a scenario in which all their workers would be remote. Since then, many have adapted, but we recognize that deploying and managing remote work and hybrid arrangements will always be a big challenge.

Need help? Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

Stay Competitive… Ensure your Communications System is a Strategic Asset in 2021 & Beyond
Today’s business reality is that you can’t be competitive without a fully optimized communications system. That’s why it’s important to regularly take a hard look at what you have and what you should have.

Many communications system features that may have seemed unnecessary a few years ago are now table stakes. Likewise, features you thought would improve operations may no longer be delivering the benefits they should be providing.

  • Efficiency – Research shows that 85% of small businesses agree that efficient communication between different teams is fundamental to staying ahead of the competition. But a poor technology strategy can have serious repercussions on a business and even affect a company’s ability to compete. For example, inefficient communications can cost upwards of $6,000 per employee per year to a small business, even more for an enterprise.

  • Integration – Systems that aren’t integrated with core applications, like CRM, that don’t provide a single unified view of all communications options and that don’t enable team collaboration, video conferencing and anytime, anywhere access to email, text and chat are no longer adequate. 

  • Software Updates – Likewise, systems that offer all those things but are two or three software updates behind are not operating at peak efficiency and may, in fact, be reducing productivity and increasing the IT threat surface.

  • Reassessment – Organizations that don’t view their communications system as a strategic asset, reassess their investments regularly and optimize their systems at every opportunity can find themselves in situations where their communication technology mix does not meet today’s demands.

Keeping pace with ever-changing communications technologies will position your business for success when an unexpected crisis arises.

Schedule a technology consultation or site survey to ensure your Business Communications are ready for 2021. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.
Stay Energized… 5 Tips to combat Video Conferencing Fatigue
Many of us are relying on video to stay in touch with friends and colleagues. As a result, we're spending both work and personal time on camera, and these hours add up fast. It's no wonder people have come to find video conferences draining.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to reduce video fatigue, while still interacting with team members and getting work done. The five tips below will help recharge your video conferencing batteries…

1. Ask yourself if video is really necessary – If you're scheduling a meeting, think about how important it is to see the other participants. Client meetings and brainstorming sessions are often better with video, but routine check-ins and status updates may be just as effective with the camera turned off.

2. Be selective about invites – The more people on a video call, the more tiring it can be. There are more faces to watch (and interpret) and it becomes difficult to constantly adjust your attention from one person to another. Staying focused becomes a challenge. To overcome this, carefully review the invite list and limit attendees to only those who need to be there.

3. Use a reliable and secure video conferencing provider – A reliable video conferencing solution reduces worry about potential technical issues. A powerful solution should also include additional features that make video calls more productive and engaging. Some providers include persistent chat logs and file sharing, so you can keep track of important decisions and share information.

4. Schedule breaks between video conference calls – With remote work continuing for many, video conferences aren't going away. A short break between calls gives you time to stretch, grab a snack and freshen up if you're feeling drained. A walk outside can also do wonders. It will help you to refocus and gear up for the next call.

5. Leverage other unified communications technology when appropriate – Persistent collaborative workspaces are a unified communications tool that allows team members to work together efficiently and effectively. Colleagues can share files, chat and exchange ideas in real time. You can even create and assign tasks to people, making it easy to track progress on projects and to stay on top of your own to-do list.

Sometimes we just don't want to be on screen. Remote work and video conferences will be part of our new normal, so take steps now to keep them in check and you energized.

Make sure your video meeting solutions are helping your team meet its potential… Contact TCI today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.
Adapt with New Technology… Fill your resource gap with Conversational AI / Chatbots 
The COVID-19 pandemic is transforming the way we connect, communicate and collaborate. One powerful tool helping to close the social distance gap between customers and businesses is the chatbot, a software application designed for human-like conversations.

Personalized Interactions

Amid the pandemic, chatbots are being used to fill the current resource gap and enable businesses to operate at scale.

The technology uses customer data to personalize interactions, answer questions and route requests to the right person. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) enable the bots to recognize common words and phrases as well as gather information to resolve issues or assist agents once a call is transferred.

Conversational AI is adept at helping businesses manage heavier workloads created by the competing demands of shrinking workforces and higher call volumes. With chatbots handling routine questions and transactions, employees can spend more time building relationships with customers or working on problems that require creativity to solve.

Customer Acceptance

Customers value chatbots as much as businesses do. According to a recent study, 62% of U.S. consumers say they like using chatbots to interact with businesses. While they still prefer a human agent's help with complex matters, customers are more willing to accept AI help for simple tasks, such as relaying an account balance.

Consumers are more likely to engage with chatbots if they feel they will save time and money. In a Gartner survey, 58% of respondents said they personally would use AI if it saved them time, compared to 53% who said saving money was their top reason. Nearly half (47%) say easier access to information would make them more likely to interact with a bot.

The trend toward more chatbot interactions is likely to continue as businesses rely on innovative ways to get work done and provide fast, efficient customer service.

Reach out to TCI to discuss new solutions that can help your business exceed customer expectations. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

Your One-stop-Shop for Better Broadband & Network Services
Broadband, network and carrier services are no longer just a ‘required’ cost of doing business, especially when the workplace is being re-imagined during the current pandemic. In today’s environment, optimized network services translate into competitive advantage.

As your trusted IT and Telecom services advocate, TCI helps you select, source and implement what you need at the best prices.

  • Broadband Internet Access
  • SIP Trunking
  • MPLS, SD-WAN, Dedicated WAN Services
  • Local & Long Distance Access 
  • Audio, Video & Web Conferencing

The Best Solutions, Pricing and Support 

TCI thoroughly reviews your services, invoices, agreements and providers while evaluating your spending to find better deals and uncover savings. We stay current on the service providers and what they offer. To help you avoid service problems, we act as your representative and work with only the most dependable carriers and providers.

At TCI, our top-most concern is you. 

  • Save Time – Comparison-shopping can be time consuming. Contacting various providers and working through the quoting process can be overwhelming. Let TCI do the work for you so you can focus on your core business.

  • Single Point of Contact – We can be your 1-call for both hardware and carrier services.  

  • Reduce Costs – We can secure the best pricing when shopping for new or existing services

  • We are Carrier Neutral… We recommend the best providers and services for your unique requirements.

Contact us today to schedule a complementary Broadband and Carrier Services consultation: (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

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