Unified Communications is a Key Element of any Successful Businesses Overall Operations, Sales, and Support

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Tips for Working From Home

Earlier this month, we shared tips for keeping your video conference professional while working from home. But, what about the hours or days where you don’t have meetings scheduled? How do you keep yourself on-task when working with all of your home comforts just a few steps away from your workspace? Take a look at these tips for working from home: 

Set Boundaries

When you’re working at the office, do you go into work at whatever time you choose? Work in a different office every day? Creating time and space boundaries can help you stay focused on the tasks at hand, rather than putting work off to the side to complete later that night, or on the weekend. It also means that family time will be for family, and weekends will be for relaxing or honey-do lists, instead of trying to get extra work done well past your to-do list. 

Stick to Your Routine

While getting up early and putting on a pair of slacks may not necessarily make you more productive, it can help you stick to a routine and feel a sense of normalcy, despite the changes in your work environment. 

Take breaks

Once you are sticking to a routine, it can also become easy to get sucked into work and continue through lunch. Though you may not be able to run out for a coffee or sandwich right now, taking regular breaks to walk outside and get fresh air, or read a book while you eat lunch can be incredibly beneficial for your mental health. 

Check In

If you’re accustomed to working in a larger office around a lot of coworkers, remember to check in with them. Sometimes even a short conversation with your officemate can inspire a new idea, or help you solve a problem in a way you hadn’t thought of before.

If you need assistance transitioning your workforce to remote connections and network access, the experts at BCS Voice & Data are here to help. 

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What To Be Thankful For in Your  Business Phone Provider 

Finding a great business phone system provider is difficult, especially with the overwhelming amount of options available. How do know if you selected the right phone system, and more importantly, the right provider?

In the spirit of the holidays, we’re outlining the top five qualities that all good providers should have and why you and your office should be thankful when you find this combination!

1. Confident and knowledgeable about the products they sell.

Many business communications companies leave it entirely to the consumer to research, compare and learn the ins-and-outs. Choose a provider that loves what they do and is passionate about what they’re selling. You should partner with experts who are willing and able to guide your decisions.

2. Offers reliable support.

What’s the use of investing in a new phone system if installation and training is sub-par? This commonly happens when providers are headquartered across the country or overseas. System installation, training, maintenance and repair should be a breeze. Choose a provider that is geographically close and makes IT support top priority – or one what has stellar support, including video conversations.

3. Provides knowledge and expertise.

These days, a company’s communication strategy is anything but simple. The phone system is often tied to the internet service and ultimately to the cloud. A good provider understands the complex mechanics of the latest advancements in information technology, and can help guide you to the right solution for today and the future.

4. Understands local challenges and circumstances facing your business.

We recommend partnering with a local or regional company to manage your communication needs. They will know what you’re up against, including any unique access or service limitations, and can integrate that knowledge into your technology recommendations.

5. Invested in your company’s success.

Choose a provider that does more than drop a phone system in your lap and collect their money. A good provider wants to see your company grow, evolve and come out on top. A great provider partner will help you get there with proactive advice and support.

At BCS Voice and Data Solutions, we’re thankful for our clients and we make sure to provide top tier services. If you are looking for a reliable partner you can be thankful for, contact us today.

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Common Business Communication Fears

What’s the biggest fear in running your company? For many entrepreneurs and executive teams it’s the potential of losing clients or prospects  due to simple communication issues. Even though these issues are easily avoidable, it happens all the time, and is incredibly frustrating for all involved. Nothing annoys business owners more than easily preventable issues that cost them business.

Here are some common problems that can scare clients away:

  1. Never reaching a real person.


    If your phone system is too complicated and your employees can’t be reached quickly, or the call is dropped, clients can’t communicate efficiently. It’s important to be available at all times, especially if your company distinguishes itself by providing stellar customer service. Make sure your phone system can handle your business needs. It’s also important that employees are trained on how to use it effectively. Also, double check to make sure your connection is solid.

  2. Being out-of-date.


    No one wants to work with a company that uses out-of-date tools. Not only will it hurt efficiency when working together, but gives the appearance of a low-budget and lack of knowledge. From conference room equipment to shared file storage and business phone systems, having outdated equipment means your impression with current clients falls flat — and certainly won’t impress potential clients. Always have a backup method for storing information and consider updating any tool that’s no longer serving its purpose. If you aren’t sure, contact BCS Voice and Data for a consultation.

  3. Down time.


    No matter what your business does, it’s important that your network is working at all times. Frequent downtime is sure to hurt your bottom line and scare away any clients that rely on you to make announcements, initiate updates or run their services. One of the best investments to make if your company relies on technology, is in IT support and network monitoring that can help your office run smoothly.

If you want to prevent these client and prospecting fears, give BCS a call. Whether it’s remote network monitoring services and IT support, cloud-based phone systems or conference room solutions, our experts are here to improve communication and keep your information safe and accessible. Contact us today at (757) 497-3100 today, or use our online form.

How To Tap Into The Remote Workforce 

New technologies are making it easier than ever to collaborate with teams of freelancers and remote employees. With less overhead, greater flexibility and access to a bigger talent pool, many companies are eager to tap into this modernization advantage. 

Read more

Create Fewer “Out of Office” Days

Your business may thrive more having all of your employees in-office, but what happens on days the weather takes a turn? Winter temperatures are here, which means the possibility of snow days is increasing quickly. Is your office equipped to access the information you need from home?

Even if you don’t plan on having remote workers, making sure your office is ready for a work-from-home day will set you up for success. What does this mean? It’s different for every company, but here are a few suggestions.

1. Easy access to information. Making sure your employees can access the files they need remotely ensures a productive work day, even remotely. This can be done by having a cloud-based network for your employees to save information to and access from any device.

2. Cloud-based phone system. With mobile device integration, calls to desktop phones in your office can be directly routed to your employee’s mobile phones. This means that on days you just have one or two people in the office, everyone can stay connected with fewer missed calls from clients and customers.

3. Video conferencing. The holidays are often the busiest time of year, with lots of meetings to review the year and starting planning for the new one, and time off. A reliable video conferencing system means you won’t have to reschedule important meetings when you have deadlines approaching.

BCS Voice and Data carries a variety of cloud-based phone systems and video conferencing systems, and offers IT Support to help keep your offices running, stress-free. We also complete the set up and installation, and train your users to avoid confusion and mistakes once the system is ready. If you’re ready to improve your office systems to stay connected remotely, contact BCS Voice & Data today at (757) 497-3100 to find out what will work best for you.

New Tech to Make Life Easier

With the holidays approaching, you’re probably already looking for gifts for the office and your friends and family at home. You may also already be stressed out, trying to handle everything in the office before the extra days off this season. Thankfully, these new tech updates can make your life easier, and your workplace more efficient:

  1. Bluetooth headphones. New Bluetooth headphones, like Apple’s AirPods, are updated versions of those bulky over-the-ear headsets. These make great gifts, but also make life easier when you are on the go, or in cold weather when you can’t use your phone’s touch screen easily.
  2. Smart Speakers. These devices are great to have at home, but are excellent for the office as well. For your busiest days, smart speakers can tell you the weather and read news highlights while you’re settling in, or play music during your office holiday party. When you have too many items on your monitor and need to know something fast, you can ask your device for the information you need.
  3. Tablets. These portable devices aren’t just for browsing Facebook and watching Netflix anymore. If you are frequently on the go or meeting with clients, having a tablet is a convenient way to take and present notes without carrying around loose paper, or getting work done when you don’t have an internet connection available. With the great Apps available from Starleaf and other brands, you can connect with your employees access information remotely.

These three tech updates are a great addition to any office, but not if your systems are failing. To learn more about the solutions that BCS offers to keep your office running smoothly, give us a call at (757) 497-3100, or use our online contact form.

What Does a Modern Conference Room Need?

Conference rooms still serve the same purposes they have always served: a huddle room for the exchange of ideas and updates between employees, and a quiet place to communicate with clients. However, with more people working remotely, more companies expanding internationally and more businesses using digital platforms for their businesses, the modern conference room requires technology updates that bring us far, far away from conference rooms of the past.

So, what does a modern conference room need?

Your conference rooms need to have the technology to communicate with employees and clients who can’t be in the office with you. This means that you’ll need a great phone and video conferencing system, and the tools to support them. For instance, a phone system that just makes calls can’t help you keep up with remote employees. Choosing a system that is fully integrated means you’ll spend less time forwarding calls trying to connect to the right person, and more time on the work you’re there to do. Similarly, a video conferencing system is no good if you don’t have desktop or network sharing to make sure everyone on the call is looking at the right information.

Aside from the technology to make conversation and collaboration easy, your conference room should be comfortable! This means making sure your seating is arranged so employees and visitors don’t have to strain to see each other or the presentation in front of them. Make sure the color and lighting in the room is comfortable, but not too comfortable – you don’t want your clients dozing off because of yellow, dim lighting putting them to sleep.

Your company’s message and goals are the most important part of communication and connecting with new clients, but the way you send out your message can have a huge impact. To learn more about the solutions that BCS offers to update your conference room, give us a call at (757) 497-3100, or use our online contact form.

Staying Connected During Events

Spring has finally arrived, which means warm-weather events are starting to pop up everywhere. It’s the season for home and garden shows, baseball and soccer games, concerts, and festivals. These events are fun for attendees, but stressful for organizers and employees, especially when trying to stay in contact with one another.

We’ve written about the importance of staying connected via office phone systems before, but how do you maintain that same level of communication at an event? Group texts can become confusing and messages can get lost if each employee doesn’t have every contact saved. Emails can create long threads, where scrolling through an email chain becomes annoying and time-consuming when you’re trying to find information quickly.

Systems like the Mitel MiCollab Client merge the call control capabilities of phone systems with contact management, Dynamic Status and collaboration applications, in order to simplify and enhance real-time communication. This means that through a single access point, you can control your communication with everyone in your organization, on or off the premises.

A MiCollab user who also has Dynamic Extension or Dynamic Extension Express can answer an incoming call directed to their desk phone on a device of their choice – for example, on a cell phone or home phone. It’s like having your entire office on hand, no matter where you are or what device you’re using, making for stress-free communication with quick access to contacts and the emails, files and documents associated with that contact.

The experts at BCS Voice and Data Solutions are ready to help your event season run more smoothly with connected employees and easy-to-access, protected information. Call our sales desk today at (757) 497-3100 to discuss your company’s unique needs and how BCS can help!

Download Our Guide to Choosing a Business Telephone System

Selecting the right business telephone system for your company can be a daunting task.  Over the years we’ve helped thousands of clients work through the process and have found there are some consistent questions and functions that need to be addressed, no matter what size the business.

As a result of our experience and expertise, we developed a Guide to Choosing a Business Telephone System, available in PDF format.  Click here to download a copy now.  If you have any questions, please contact us for a no-obligation conversation about your business phone system needs.

Should you work from home?

It’s a liberating idea, isn’t it? Hopping out of bed, walking down the hall and sitting down at a computer to start your work day? For one in five Americans, this is a reality. Working from home has become a viable option in this Work 3.0 culture and made all the easier by the latest business communications technologies like virtualization and unified communications. But working remotely isn’t for everyone. If your company offers a remote option, weigh the benefits and possible drawbacks first.

Pros of Working From Home

  • The ability to make your own hours. 
  • Lack of a commute saves time and money. 
  • More expenses may be tax deductible. 
  • Save money with a smaller career wardrobe. 
  • More time spent with family and possibly fewer daycare expenses. 

Cons of Working From Home 

  • Less structure can lead to more temptation to become distracted.
  • Working in a space that doubles as a living space can become tiresome. 
  • Lack of face time with coworkers can lead to feelings of isolation and an absence of camaraderie. 
  • It’s easy to get too comfortable and then fall into a rut (but let’s be honest…that can happen at home and in a traditional office. 
  • There may be more pressure to “prove yourself” professionally if most other employees are in-office.

The decision to work at home is not one that should be made lightly. Doing business is doing business, but doing that business from home presents some unique challenges.

If you’re a company owner who is considering developing a remote telecommuting program, be sure to read “Tips for Implementing a Telecommuting Program” and call BCS to help you create the most effective strategy. The communications technologies we offer enhance the benefits of working from home and mitigate the drawbacks. In fact, our  Unified Communications and conference room solutions can make it feel as though an employee working from across the country is right there in the office. In the digital age, things like geography are virtually relative. Let BCS streamline communication in and out of your office. Contact us today.