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A Message from the President
As we emerge from pandemic lockdowns, organizations are looking to open their offices and resume operations. But things may not be entirely back to normal for some time to come. In this issue, we take a look at some of the ways to expedite this transition as well as some of the opportunities this transition presents.

  • Your aging on-premises communications system will eventually reach the end of its life. You’ll be faced with two potential paths to follow - another on-premises system or a cloud-based service. We cover the ramifications of each.

  • Many firms are offering more flexible work arrangements where employees split their time between the company's facilities and their home offices. We offer some tips on leading a more productive hybrid workforce.

  • Pairing your Mitel-powered services with Microsoft Teams can save time and improve your calling experience with integrated telephony, conferencing, and contact center. We show you how.

  • When it comes to video meetings, whether you’re new to working remotely or have been doing it for some time, it’s easy to fumble the basics. We step you through some best practices.

  • Many offices have IP phones and they can be hacked, enabling criminals to hear everything that's going on in the room - whether or not you are on a call. We reiterate the importance of implementing system patches immediately. 

Contact me today to discuss how TCI’s products and services can help your organization get more out of its technology investments – now and in the future.

Tom Cornbrooks, President
(703) 321-3030 |

Is an Aging Phone System slowing your business? Adopt a Cloud-first Mentality to boost your communications
It’s going to happen… After years of faithful service, your premises communications system will eventually reach the end of its useful life. Maintaining and upgrading the hardware may become difficult or just won’t make financial sense. Updating the software may no longer be the path to all those advanced features you need to maintain efficiency and productivity.

Charting a New Path

The reality of diminishing returns will kick in and you’ll find yourself considering a new system. You’ll be faced with two potential paths to follow. You could replace the aging communications system with a new premises solution and go through all the deployment, configuration, and adjustment processes that go with it. Or you could chart a new path with a cloud-based communications solution.

Flexible and agile cloud infrastructure makes it easier to adapt to an ever-changing market environment. The pandemic has demonstrated the ease of access and speed to activation that cloud technologies provide. Enterprises that were already leveraging cloud-based communications systems were able to easily make the transition to remote work. Those without some form of cloud technology were left playing catch up.

A cloud-based communications system streamlines interactions between employees and partners and suppliers. With unified communication and collaboration tools, it can increase efficiency and improve customer service. It can also be the anchor of a digital technology strategy that leverages a variety of Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings.

Look Beyond Immediate Requirements

Consider the big picture by looking beyond immediate needs and factoring future evolution into your thought process:

  • A purpose-built cloud solution provides unified and scalable communications to anyone, anywhere, and on any device. 

  • It enables more mobility, rich enterprise and team collaboration, and exceptional customer experiences.

  • The cloud can provide the flexibility and scalability to integrate with a variety of SaaS business support and productivity tools to further transform business processes.

TCI can help you migrate to a cloud communication solution that is customized for your business needs. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or
Leading a Hybrid Workforce? 5 ways you can help your team succeed
In the coming weeks and months, companies will reopen their offices and allow employees to return – with a few key differences. Many firms expect to adopt a hybrid approach in which employees split their time between the company's facilities and their home offices. Here are five effective strategies for leading your teams…

1. Build a Healthier Culture 

Blending time in the office with work at home, employees may benefit from a better balance, finding it easier to log off on remote days and finally getting that social connection on in-person days. Managers can improve workplace culture by actively fostering positive connections and relationships with and among team members, further helping to reduce stress levels.
 2. Eliminate "Proximity Bias" 

Managers and employees are both at risk of falling into the same trap of relying on or trusting those they see most often. This "proximity bias" can be overcome in several ways:

  • Create and set expectations about how team members will communicate with each other. For instance, set guidelines for who should be invited to each meeting. 

  • Pay attention to how you spend your day and be sure you give all team members a fair shake. 

  • Set a basic rule that all meetings should be held on videoconference - whether employees are in the office or not. 

3. Ensure the Right Tools are Available 

Videoconferencing, webchat, and other collaboration tools will retain their importance in the hybrid environment. Some upgrades to the company's office space will be required to manage the needs of both types of workers. Businesses may need to improve the video and sound quality of conferencing technology, as well as provide the right resources for hoteling. Remote working technology should enable employees to switch between the company's workspace and their home offices seamlessly.
4. Reconsider Productivity Metrics 

In the pre-pandemic world, managers often drew a direct line between an employee's time in the office and their productivity. A better approach post-pandemic is to manage productivity rather than measure it. Strategies include:

  • Inspire your team by focusing on your organization's mission and purpose. 

  • Support and care for your employees, and they'll go the extra mile for you. 

  • Communicate more, and when you do, be more transparent.
5. Focus on Mentoring

Coaching and cultivating employees can be achieved by holding more one-to-one meetings and using the time to discuss both work and personal issues. As it becomes harder to separate work from personal life, creating an understanding of individual pressures can lead to collaborative solutions that help relieve stress. In addition, using tools like screen-sharing will increase efficiency, effectiveness and buy-in.

The new technology and world of hybrid work may seem daunting and challenging, but TCI has the solutions and expertise to help you lead a successful transition. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or
Better Collaboration… Integrate Microsoft Teams with Mitel-powered Telephony, Contact Center & CRM
Now you can improve the productivity of your Microsoft Teams users with Mitel’s advanced telephony, contact center and CRM integrations.

Give your users the calling features they need to be successful with Mitel’s end-to-end suite of communication tools. By pairing Mitel-powered service with Microsoft Teams, you can save time and improve your calling experience with integrated telephony, conferencing, and contact center.
Let Microsoft do what they do best and let TCI and Mitel do what we do best - delivering seamless connections. TCI has over 40 years of industry expertise and Mitel is a global leader in helping businesses connect, collaborate, and provide better experiences for their customers.

Get the Best of Mitel + Microsoft 

  • Click-To-Call - Save time and reduce entry errors by simply clicking on any phone number to place a call. 

  • Contact Center - Improve your customer experience with integrated options for simple or robust contact center capabilities.

  • CRM Integration - Increase agent efficiency with Mitel’s native CRM integrations including Microsoft Dynamics and Salesforce.

  • Outlook Integration - Easily schedule meetings and automate your presence and call routing as your schedule changes. 

  • Single Sign-On - Eliminate multiple logins with our Active Directory integration for a single password across systems. 

  • Advanced Telephony - Enhance your collaboration experience with call routing, hunt groups, presence, call history, call merging, and more. 

Make the most of your collaboration tools without sacrificing enterprise telephony features…Contact TCI today at (703) 321-3030 or

Managing remote workers? Tips for successful Video Meetings
Videoconferencing is quickly becoming “business as usual.” Now more than ever, it’s essential to prepare for your business videoconference meetings to make sure work gets done efficiently. Whether you’re new to working remotely or have been doing it for some time, it’s easy to fumble the basics.

Get the Technology Ready 

Here’s a checklist of things to nail down before the call:

  • Internet Connection - Your WiFi signal must be strong enough to handle both voice and videoconference calls. What’s fine for browsing or email may not be robust enough to support video. 

  • 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. 

  • Lights, Camera, Action - Turn on your camera and take a look at what’s behind you and the lighting. Make sure a light source is on your face – not behind you. Make sure your background is clear and uncluttered. You want other participants to focus on you and not be visually distracted. Finally, find a quiet space, ideally one with a door so that you can block out other noises. 

Prepare the Content 

As you prepare for your business videoconference, consider these elements:
  • 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. 

  • Other Participants - Find out who else will be on the call. Just as with face-to-face meetings, it’s helpful to know ahead of time who’s “in” the meeting. 

What to do During the Call 

Define your role and contribution to the call ahead of time. Here are some ways to stay tuned in:

  • Be Present in Mind and Body - Look into the camera. Keep your attention on whoever’s speaking, just as you would if you were sitting in a conference room. 

  • Take Notes - It’s easier to stay engaged when you’re jotting down thoughts and information. 

  • Fill in the Gaps - When you have to break eye contact with the camera (and the meeting participants), it’s useful to explain what you’re doing. For instance, you may be taking notes or looking up a document that’s pertinent to the discussion.

  • Record the Call - If possible, record important video conference calls. Inexpensive transcription services are available to provide a written record of the call within hours. 

What to do After the Call

Follow-up is important after any meeting - video or in-person. Using the notes you took during the call, reach out to colleagues and partners with next steps. Virtual workspace software makes it easy to assign tasks, send follow-up emails and group messages, share documents and schedule future meetings, all from one web-based application.

TCI has the videoconferencing and collaboration solutions you need for successful online meetings. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or

The Bad Guys are listening… Preventing Desktop Phone Hacks
Many offices have IP phones, but unknown to most users is that hackers can actually listen to everything that's going on in the room - whether or not you are on a phone call.

Hackers from a remote location have been able to exploit some IP phones' vulnerable software and firmware to gain access - even phones sitting behind a firewall.

Here’s some of the mischief hackers do when they 'tap' your IP phone: 

  • Listen in on your phone conversations and identify who you're calling. 

  • With access to the phone’s microphone, hackers can feed the conversation into a speech-to-text engine and post the transcript to social media. 

  • Since the microphone never shuts off, hackers can listen to everything the phone hears, such as conversations in a company’s board room. 

IP phones are basically computers and manufacturers periodically issue software and firmware updates to plug security holes. The trouble is that smaller businesses – and many larger ones – are still lax about keeping their systems updated with the latest patches.

The most effective way to stop hackers from taking control of your IP phones – or any other computer – is to keep the software and firmware current with the latest patches from your phone manufacturer.

Ignoring these patches - or waiting too long to implement them - could leave your business exposed to hackers bent on doing it serious harm.

Concerned about possible IP phone vulnerabilities at your location? We have security and communication solutions that can protect your business. Contact TCI today: (703) 321-3030 or
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