LeadingAge CAST has released a new case study showing how LeadingAge CAST Supporter ProviNET Solutions and LeadingAge CAST Patron Cypress Living utilized Microsoft Teams to support and assist communications with Cypress Living's COVID-19 response.
 
Increasing Efficiency and Engagement through Microsoft Teams” shares the experience of Cypress Living, the architect of innovative senior living solutions in Southwest Florida. Cypress Living sits as a central support organization for Cypress Cove, a continuing care retirement community, and Cypress at Home, which includes aging life care management, home care, and home health.
 
As Cypress Living and its affiliate organizations continue to grow, the organization was looking for a forward-thinking platform that would allow it to effectively and securely communicate with staff members in a timely and relevant manner. Cypress Living sought to leverage an emerging tool that was already built into the Microsoft Office365 suite called Microsoft Teams.
 
As a unified communication platform, Teams provides voice, video, and instant message capabilities within a single app. It also includes dozens of integrations with commercially available apps.

Implementation

To obtain a successful project outcome, Cypress Living partnered with ProviNET Solutions, a certified implementer of Teams. ProviNET Solutions worked with Cypress Living to develop a plan to fully embrace the connected tools within the Microsoft Office365 suite. ProviNET Solutions assisted in the deployment of Teams to all workstations within Cypress Living at the same time that the legacy digital phone system was replaced.
 
The organization was able to port existing phone numbers to the Microsoft cloud PSTN service and route external calls to internal recipients and auto-attendants. In addition, Cypress Living leveraged ProviNET Solutions’ expertise to replace its conference room phone with the Logitech Meeting Room system, which was designed to work seamlessly with Teams.
 
Initial adoption of the Teams platform was gradual. The biggest challenge was to adopt a new mindset around basic functions. While Teams has every capability the legacy phone system had, the process for completing tasks looked a little bit different.
 
Today, Cypress Living is fully bought into Teams. The organization has continued to find new ways to leverage the Teams platform for a host of capabilities. “We’re using Teams for way more than instant messaging and phone system,” said Joe Velderman, vice president of innovation at Cypress Living. “Teams has allowed our staff to effectively stay connected while working remotely. We host daily Teams meetings using voice, video, and screen sharing. We’ve also started offering telehealth services through Cypress at Home based on the Teams platform.”

Outcomes

Cypress Living has experienced several positive outcomes from Teams. 

  • Increased Staff Efficiency and Engagement: During the implementation, and after the project was completed, Cypress Living saw staff efficiency and engagement rise. “Our people want to feel like they are ‘in the know,’ and Teams gives us the ability to communicate with them through a means that they are familiar with. I’m totally impressed with how well even our front-line staff members are using and embracing the Teams platform,” said Velderman.
  •  Lower Phone Bills: Cypress Living and Cypress at Home have reduced their monthly telephone expenses after migrating to Teams.
  •  Support for COVID-19 Response: “Our organizations would not have been prepared for the COVID-19 situation if we didn’t have Teams,” said Cypress Living CEO Troy Churchill. In just 90 days, the Cypress enterprise exchanged nearly 30,000 Teams messages with one another, made more than 3,500 1:1 phone calls with fellow associates, and hosted nearly 200 virtual Teams meetings. “Teams has been a platform that we’ve come to depend on through COVID-19. It’s been a tool that we’re using to fight against this menacing virus,” Velderman explained. 

To learn more, read the full case study.