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A Message from the President
It looks like COVID-19 will be with us for a lot longer than many of us initially hoped. This means many organizations will have to continue safe practices to protect employees, including maintaining remote work arrangements indefinitely.

In this issue, TCI addresses some of the ways businesses and the public sector can approach technology to be productive and serve customers despite the pandemic…

  • With in-person events and conferences now impractical, an alternate solution for the long term is to hold “virtual” events. We offer 3 tips for success.

  • In this uncertain business climate, it’s best to conserve resources. One way to do this is to avoid unnecessary spending on outdated broadband and network services, especially those coming up for auto-renewal.

  • If your current phone system wasn't able to handle the exodus of workers to home, that's one sure sign you’re in need of cloud voice technology. We offer 6 more glaring signs.

  • We discuss Sourcewell, formerly the National Joint Powers Alliance, a contracting agency that procures products and services for schools, non-profits, and government agencies - and how members can purchase Mitel telecom solutions without issuing an RFP.  

  • Finally, we offer 10 ways TCI Host Service will connect your mobile teams to make using technology easier than ever.

Contact me today to discuss how our solutions can support your work-at-home and business survival initiatives. 

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

Tips and Best Practices for Running Your Next Virtual Event
When social distancing brought in-person events and conferences to a screeching halt in early March, meeting organizers needed an alternate solution for the long term. Virtual events became the obvious choice, and many companies reworked their calendars and plans to launch digital conferences, workshops and meetings.

3 Essential Elements for a Successful Virtual Event…

  • Content – Plan to offer a variety of sessions that appeal to all levels of your audience. Some attendees may want to hear about the company strategy and attend roadmap sessions, while others want to talk to product experts. Some want to focus on expanding their skill set through training classes. Your content should be broad and deep enough to appeal to all types of attendees.

  • Balance – The second element is striking the right balance between static content and live engagement. You want to create a sense of energy, even though the event is virtual. Announcements and notifications of what's coming up next keep traffic flowing and attendees engaged.

  • Planning – Most importantly, you need a strong project manager. With the exception of live sessions, almost everything is pre-loaded in a virtual environment. This means it's critical to hit deadlines and the project manager plays a vital role in ensuring that everything loads on time.

Successful virtual events also need sufficient bandwidth and adaptable online collaboration tools to get – and keep – everyone connected. Your technology needs to support the different types of media, messaging and engagement options you’ll want to offer in order to maintain your attendees’ focus and interest.

Ensure your broadband and collaboration tools can support the virtual events in your future. Contact TCI today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com .

Auto-renewals Sneaking Up on You? Let TCI Experts Optimize Your Broadband & Network Services
In this tentative business climate, it’s best to conserve resources. One way to do this is to avoid unnecessary spending on broadband and network services. Whether it’s a Broadband contract, VoIP Services contract, or a Maintenance renewal on a phone system, it’s important to be aware of their upcoming renewal dates.

If you don’t track your contracts’ anniversary dates, they could auto-renew without you being aware of it. This means you could miss out on opportunities to save money by negotiating better deals or seeking alternative service providers.

When you work with TCI, our team will be your advocate when it comes to uncovering the best service arrangements and deals for your business, especially when it comes to:

  • Business Voice | Unified Communications 

  • Carrier & Telecom Services

  • IT Services & Support

You can count on TCI for… 

  • Speedier negotiations and contract execution. No more wasted time comparing apples-to-oranges, trying to deal with one-size-fits-all solutions, or getting locked out of better solutions that become available

  • Improved savings and ROI through negotiated price reductions and/or quantity discounts

  • Reduced miscommunication and disputes with suppliers and service providers by leveraging Performance Guarantees and SLAs

  • Ongoing consultation to keep Network and carrier services in line with your business objectives

When it comes to getting better deals on your technology services, we’ve got you covered. Contact TCI today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com .

6 Glaring Signs Your Business Needs Cloud Voice Technology
Almost overnight, the number of remote workers increased dramatically, as businesses mandated "work-from-home" policies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. There's no telling when the situation will change.

If your current phone system wasn’t able to easily handle the office exodus, that's a glaring sign you're due for a change. The good news… A cloud phone solution can deliver the latest in mobility and ensure your employees can work and collaborate from anywhere.

If you've noticed any of the following warning signs, now is the time to make the switch from outdated technology:

  • Traffic – With fewer people working in the office, just about all communications is now handled remotely. Is your current phone system supporting the increased demand? If not, busy signals, dropped calls and low-quality video will impede conversations, frustrating employees and customers. 

  • Security – With more employees working from home, protecting sensitive information is a top priority. But if you're not 100% confident in your communications system, you'll want to ask vendors some hard questions such as: Do they offer Secure Real-Time Transfer Protocol (SRTP), which ensures voice, web and signaling traffic is encrypted? What cloud platform are they using and what levels of security do they offer?

  • Regulation – If you operate in a regulated industry like healthcare or finance, compliance looms large. Violations are expensive and can tarnish your reputation. However, when you work with a cloud phone provider committed to ensuring high levels of security and protecting sensitive data, you can ease your compliance worries.

  • Rapid Response – The onset of COVID-19 was a classic example of the need to be able to rapidly respond to changing demands and requirements. Ask yourself how difficult it is to add or remove lines, features, and users to your current system. If it requires a call to the vendor every time you need to make a change, then it's time for a cloud phone solution. 

  • Client Expectations – A stellar customer experience is more important than ever, but it can be difficult to deliver when employees need to jump through extra hoops to share documents or discuss issues remotely. When collaboration is built into your communications, it's easier for your people to exceed customer expectations. When employee collaboration is easy and seamless outside the physical office, customers get answers faster and satisfaction soars.

  • License Management – When you're trying to run a remote employee workforce and keep customers engaged, you don't have time to worry about managing multiple licenses for your communications system. With a cloud phone solution, you can mix and match license types on a single plan. Need a contact center? Collaboration tools? It's simple to add licenses on-demand and manage each user via their own profile. 

If any of the signs discussed above are flashing red or yellow in your organization, it's time to start exploring what cloud phone technology can do for your business. Contact TCI today at ( 703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com .

Non-Profits, Schools & Government Agencies… Leverage Sourcewell’s No-bid Contract for Mitel solutions
Sourcewell, formerly the National Joint Powers Alliance, is a municipal contracting government agency serving the public sector.

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:

  • Unified Communications, UCaaS

  • Public, Private Cloud, and On-site Systems

  • Contact Centers

  • Team Collaboration

  • Business Phones, Devices & Accessories

  • Mass Notification

  • Professional Services

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

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

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

10 Ways TCI Host Service connects Your Mobile Team and makes managing Tech easier
Without the right tools in place, transitioning from in-office to home-office communications gave a lot of businesses a taste of how difficult it can be to keep conversations going.

In today’s remote working world, don’t you wish your team could be connected seamlessly no matter what device they’re using? 
 
If you are exploring ways to improve how your team communicates, TCI’s Host provides a locally supported, customized service with all-in-one collaboration and mobility tools, so your business won’t miss a beat. 
 
Here are 10 ways TCI Host helps you keep your employees connected - wherever they are - and how it makes your job easier…
 
1. Never Lose Your Place with One Stop For Communication.
How much time do you waste by losing the thread of the conversation? TCI Host makes all your communications available from a single hub on your desktop. It’s always there but never in the way. Keep an eye on every call and message and never lose sight of important details.
 
2. Work From Anywhere, Together.
Gone are the days when teams worked in close proximity and shared a simple project document. In paper, no less. Nowadays, though, team members can be anywhere – at home, on the road, in another country. To stay connected, multi-party videoconferencing, desktop sharing and audio conferencing are key. Everyone on the team can collaborate in real-time.
 
3. Take The Conversation Smoothly From Text To Voice with Ad-Hoc Meetings.
Big deal on the table? Need fast thinking and even faster decision making? TCI Host helps you connect with the one person who has the information you need to close the deal – at the precise moment you need their help. With one click, start a meeting and keep the conversation going.
 
4. Respond To Important Messages Faster With Visual Voicemail.
Nothing ushers in a greater sense of urgency – and stress – than checking your voicemail after a long morning of meetings. With our Outlook voicemail integration, messages are sent to email so you can scan and prioritize who to call back first.
 
5. Get To The Right Person At The Right Time.
The flexibility to work anywhere is a benefit – except when an answer is needed fast. With presence, employees make their whereabouts known to everyone in the organization. So, when a customer calls asking the question only a subject matter expert can answer, everyone knows where and how to reach them.
 
6. Know Your Communications Will Be There.
Communications is the heart of any business. You can’t afford a moment of downtime, especially if you’ve invested in integrating your line of business apps with your phone system. If you’re seeking fail-proof redundancy that’s affordable and easy to manage, TCI Host’s architecture and system redundancy is designed to be reliable.
  
7. Be as Productive On the Road as in the Office.
Working outside the office is often frustrating because employees don’t have access to the tools they have in the office. But TCI Host transforms this experience. With its mobile app, employees take the office everywhere and get the same experience on the road as they do on at their desk. Whether in the office or on the road, they can join a meeting with a single click, without the need to enter those cumbersome participant codes. It’s that easy.
 
8. Live In Your CRM…
Which does your sales team love more? Their phone or their CRM? Please, don’t make them choose! When you integrate your phones with your CRM application, salespeople never have to switch between the two. They stay in the CRM to make and receive phone calls. Plus, it saves them from the dreaded task of data entry. Just by answering their phone, items are automatically added to their to-do lists.
 
9. …Or In Outlook or G Suite.
Sales teams shouldn’t be the only ones who have all the fun. TCI Host also integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Outlook and G Suite, easing adoption of your new phone system throughout your business.
 
10. Do More, Spend Less.
Here’s one last thing you might not know, and it may be the best part… You can have a seamless and reliable communications and collaboration tool without breaking the bank. TCI Host offers everything as an affordable monthly subscription. 
 
The good news doesn’t stop there... Our project team handles all the transition details to get it all going for you! Contact TCI today at ( 703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com .

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