Microsoft Teams Rooms for Bringing People Together Safely
Silvera for Seniors needed a way to bring residents and staff together safely during COVID. Not only that but sharing media, classes, information, and meetings across locations in a seamless and modern way was a challenge they were looking to solve. This case study will outline the challenges Silvera faced and how Microsoft Teams Rooms carts ultimately provided a solution that resolved their challenges.
Our Client: Silvera for Seniors
With nearly 60 years of service, Silvera is a trusted leader in providing a diverse selection of safe, affordable housing and important services to independent older adults.
Silvera is a non-healthcare organization serving Calgary seniors with differing levels of income. Many communities have rents geared to low and moderate incomes. A mixed-market, mixed-rent model is followed in some communities.
Silvera is home to more than 1,400 residents in our 25 supportive living and independent living communities located in neighborhoods across the city. Silvera is a non-profit organization with more than 400 caring employees.
SysGen spoke with Fred Burrill, Silvera’s Senior Manager, Service, and Operations. His responsibilities include preparing service models for new buildings, defining the staffing model, and focusing on new developments and renovations. Fred focuses mainly on the strategy aspect of service and operations while making sure the managers are aligned with the goals of the department.
Silvera recognized that a technology upgrade would enhance the resident experience. TVs on carts had been the default way to share content with residents. However, a Wi-Fi-enabled option with the possibility to share content across Silvera locations would ensure that residents could have the same experience and build community, despite not physically being in the same location. Additionally, with COVID measures in place, and in-person events and experiences curtailed, having a way to share content while physically distancing residents was important.
Another challenge Silvera experienced was the need to accommodate a hybrid work environment, with some staff working from home and others being on location. A mobile conference room with Wi-Fi and 3G-enabled capabilities would enable staff to meet in a physically distanced way while connecting with remote employees and those in other locations through Microsoft Teams and Zoom.
SysGen worked with Silvera to understand their needs, which included deploying a mobile Wi-Fi-enabled device for easy video-conferencing and digital content sharing for both residents and employees. Microsoft Teams Rooms carts proved to be the ideal solution with a simple setup, easy connection to digital content, ease of mobility, and compatibility with the internal use of Microsoft products, such as Microsoft Teams.
After implementation, Silvera has experienced several benefits. With COVID, residents have experienced limits on how many individuals can safely gather with social distancing. But Microsoft Teams Room carts have served to boost morale. Silvera mentioned that the carts have brought a sense of togetherness to residents. For example, by using MS Teams Room carts, residents in different locations who have never met have been able to share in music therapy, mindfulness sessions, gardening talks, and lunch and learns. Before the pandemic, Silvera had experienced logistical challenges with programming and gathering groups of residents across locations, but with MS Teams carts, the sharing of sessions and information has become easier.
The MS Teams carts have been used for meetings and virtual activities and resident doctor’s appointments and consultations. Appointments can take place without the hassle of the resident leaving the building and with the privacy they require.
Soundbars have also been incorporated into some of the carts so they can be used in larger open spaces (e.g. atriums). The carts were used in this capacity for the two-day employee virtual conference in early June.
Silvera employees have also benefitted from MS Teams carts by saving time and increasing efficiency. For example, when managers across locations are performing an interview, they can log in via the MS Teams Cart to participate, no matter their location. This ensures physical distancing and quality candidate interviews are achieved.
Employee training is another feature of the MS Teams carts. After scheduling a session at each location at a determined time, an engaging learning module for employees across a variety of topics can occur.
Silvera is optimistic about the future with MS Teams Rooms carts. Fred is working on more opportunities to bring people together safely, and he believes many programs can be shared across locations. While the main purpose of the carts is to bring people together, he sees the potential for individual needs too, such as the previously mentioned virtual doctor consultations. The carts bring great virtual conversations with visual and audio elements and make it easy for anyone to use – even those who aren’t technologically inclined. In the future, Silvera hopes that their residents will have more mobile devices and tablets that can open further access to the MS Teams Rooms carts.
SysGen Solutions Group
Our Digital Advisory team is not just about installing the technology and leaving your workplace to figure out how to use it. We offer end-to-end deployment of Microsoft Teams as well as full training for your team to ensure that everyone is fully utilizing the application. SysGen’s Digital Advisory team helps your organization drive complete adoption to fully realize your investment. We implement change management practices to guarantee that adoption is sticky and that users can’t dream of any other way of doing their work and collaborating.