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A Holiday Message from the President
This holiday season offers an opportunity to reflect on many things, especially the people in our lives who support what we do, help us make a difference in others’ lives, and who empower us to build something bigger than ourselves.
I am grateful for our clients, who trust our partnership and constantly motivate and challenge us. 

And, I am thankful for our employees, who take pride in consistently delivering outstanding technology solutions and support.
As the New Year approaches, I want to thank all of you for helping us accomplish so much over the past 40 years. Together, we will make 2020 the brightest year yet!
Wishing You All a Joyous Holiday Season…

Tom Cornbrooks, President
703-321-3030 | .

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 .

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 .

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 .

Cold Weather & Slick Roads… Make Sure Your People Can Work Anywhere
Providing employees with the ability to work remotely - with full access to their office Voice and Data applications - is an essential element of business continuity. This is especially important in our area, where ice and snow can suddenly force streets and buildings to close.
With "plug and work" remote access to your office network, your team can use all of the features and functionality they need to keep working - at home or on the road - allowing your business to keep going in spite of bad roads.
TCI makes it easy to set up Voice and Data Mobility for your staff. This keeps your customers happy, while you get immediate productivity benefits, plus road hazard protection when you need it.
While competitors scramble to find alternatives until the snow clears, it will be "business as usual" for you.
Get started now… Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or .

A New Era… Why Video is Today’s Preferred Meeting Channel
As companies grow, the need for more remote employees to collaborate increases. There are several reasons why video is becoming today’s preferred meeting channel for team collaboration.

Video helps remote employees feel more connected

Ubiquitous high-speed, mobile internet combined with unified communications tools have empowered more employees to work anywhere at any time and on any device. 

But without video, remote employees can feel disconnected from the larger organization and may let issues linger for days or even weeks compared to their office-based colleagues. Left unresolved, these problems can begin to affect performance and job satisfaction. Ultimately, the organization suffers when remote employees quit. 

Video calls and meetings allow off-site employees to join in and participate more fully. They get an improved level of human interaction that may have been missing without face-to-face collaboration. While it may be more ideal to bring remote employees into the office for important meetings, it can be impractical and expensive. Video has proven to be a much better alternative. 

Video can be more useful

Before recent advances, communication channels were often siloed in such a way that users were forced to move from one app for chat, to another device for voice, to another application for video. Technology limitations slowed the ability to connect and wasted time. It also costs significantly more to support three separate applications rather than a single application that does all three. Text, voice, and video can now be brought together under one integrated UC system, leaving behind the hassle of cross-launching other applications to continue a conversation. 

Video is the new meeting space

It’s clear that video brings value like no other to meetings. Participants not only gain a sense of camaraderie, but also new levels of focus, connection, and communication. It is fast becoming the meeting method of choice and paving the way to more seamless and available communications across the enterprise. 

Ready to reap the benefits of video as the new meeting space for your growing business? Contact TCI today: (703) 321-3030 or .

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