Craigdarroch Castle is the largest home museum attraction in Victoria, BC with 20,000 square feet of exhibit space. The national historical site is the definition of a modern late Victorian-era home, packed full of opulence and emerging technologies from the period – with dual electricity and gas fixtures, a telephone, and burglar alarm, to name a few. The Castle continues to use modern technology today, including 3D augmented reality virtual tours, to enhance the experience for the 160,000 guests that visit each year.
Executive Director John Hughes had two technology challenges to solve.
Behind the scenes Castle staff use the Microsoft Office 365 apps to deliver tours on time and with consistency. Unfortunately Microsoft planned to retire the instant message chat and conference call tool, Skype for Business, in July 2021. The Castle had to transition to a new communication tool to keep service uninterrupted.
John knew there was room to improve the way the Castle worked and communicated information internally. Staff didn’t have an easy way to find out what other people in the same department were doing. He saw the need for a space to communicate out loud and have conversations as a group.
Additionally, staff shared that continuously switching between the different Office 365 apps to get work done was frustrating. It overshadowed the value of having the productivity apps available to them. They wanted one place to work and find everything to do their job.
The constant jumping around to perform tasks and find information became tiresome.John Hughes, Executive Director, Craigdarroch Castle
- Staff were switching between at least five different apps dozens of times a day to perform basic tasks. (e.g. email, instant messaging, phone calls, calendar meetings, and document storage.)
- Files were isolated in different locked locations and not readily available when they were needed.
John discovered that the Microsoft Teams app unified all the Office 365 apps in one centralized work space. His piqued his interest. Next he learned that the Teams Voice service would eliminate the Castle’s need for a separate phone provider. Now he was ready to make the switch.
The Office 365 Teams Voice unified communications tool is how we deliver tours on time and with consistency. I can chat, phone, book meetings, and find files all within one interface.John Hughes, Executive Director, Craigdarroch Castle
John began the process of filling out the paperwork to release phone numbers, setting up phone ports, wrangling companies to cancel billing, and locating Teams-compatible handset devices.
He brought in Regroove to provide leadership with the project.
Making the switch to Teams Voice is a complicated dance, with multiple steps needing to happen in a specific order to get the desired result.
Outcome and Benefits
Castle staff work with greater ease now that complicated processes have been simplified. The Microsoft Teams app allows staff to access neatly organized project files beside the corresponding project conversations.
Everyone can put on a headset and setup a meeting with audio, video, screen-sharing, and recording functionality in a couple clicks.
Directors that can’t make meetings in person can phone into the meetings through the Teams App on their mobile devices.
This solution was built using:
- Microsoft Office 365
- Microsoft Teams
- Teams Admin Portal
- Teams Voice Audio Services