Customer Story

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts: Bringing art to a wider audience

montreal museum of fine arts hero image

With its internal servers under pressure, and frequent outages, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts turned to G Suite to provide a fast, flexible, and reliable productivity solution.

Google Cloud Results

No G Suite outages since the migration

• Eliminated outages on the company’s email and calendar system

• Eased pressure on IT infrastructure with cloud-based solution

• Provided flexibility to users with multi-platform capability

With more than a million visitors every year, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) is doing its part to bring great art to as many people as possible. The museum’s original temporary exhibitions combine various artistic disciplines—fine arts, music, film, fashion, and design—and are exported around the world. Its rich encyclopedic collection, distributed among five pavilions, includes international art, world cultures, decorative arts and design, and Quebec and Canadian art.

The MMFA is one of Canada’s leading publishers of art books in French and English, which are distributed internationally. The museum also houses the Michel de la Chenelière International Atelier for Education and Art Therapy, the largest educational complex in a North American art museum, enabling the MMFA to offer innovative educational, wellness, and art therapy programs. The MMFA complex includes Bourgie Hall, a 460-seat concert hall.

In addition to displaying art of all kinds, the museum has a firm commitment to using technology to bring art online and runs a packed events schedule. When its email and calendar management system started to experience outages and day-to-day performance suffered, the museum turned to G Suite for a solution.

“Every day there’s some kind of event. If it’s not renting a space, it’s an exposition. If it’s not an exposition, it’s something else,” says Gaétan Bouchard, Director of I.T. at MMFA. “When the system goes down no tickets are being printed, nobody can see their agenda, and everything has to be done by hand. It’s like you cut off the oxygen. We needed a system that we could rely on, so we turned to Google.”

Multi-platform flexibility

“The migration went very well. Our people were very satisfied with the training from S&E Cloud Experts. There are always going to be some challenges because people have to learn a new way of doing things, but overall, it went very well and they’re very happy.” Gaétan Bouchard, Director of I.T., Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

As Canada’s busiest art museum, MMFA requires a well-oiled machine to keep things running smoothly. Email and calendar management are key collaborative tools for its staff of around 300. By the start of 2017, the museum’s existing collaborative productivity solution was straining under the pressure, suffering frequent outages and disrupting the events schedule. To make things worse, there were very few specialists who could repair that particular system so the museum would often have to extend downtime until the right engineer could be found.

In March 2017, MMFA turned to Canada’s only French-speaking Google Partner, S&E Cloud Experts, to implement a new productivity system. Together, they chose G Suite for its ease of use and cost effectiveness. With Google Calendar, MMFA’s staff can quickly and easily assign dates, check event schedules, and keep track of room availability with one simple interface.

The museum’s employees found the transition to Gmail straightforward, thanks to its clear design principles and small, handy features such as autosaving drafts. After some initial training from S&E Cloud Experts, the museum identified the keenest G Suite users to help out and train the rest of the 300 or so employees.

“The great thing about G Suite is that it’s a solution where you can use any platform. Other systems don’t allow that so people on Macs aren’t used to the same things as colleagues on Windows or Android or whatever,” says Gaétan. “Google is one of the only solutions that runs on all platforms with the same capabilities. So when we show them how to use Google Calendar, they do it the same way on all platforms.”

No downtime, no hassle

“We have been following a strategy to increase the number of visitors to the museum and show our art to as many people as possible. G Suite has been an integral part of that strategy.” Gaétan Bouchard, Director of I.T., Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Since the migration in March, MMFA has not seen a single outage on G Suite, which will help ensure a smooth and successful summer of events. “The migration went very well,” says Gaétan. “Our people were very satisfied with the training from S&E Cloud Experts. There are always going to be some challenges because people have to learn a new way of doing things, but overall, it went very well and they’re very happy.”

With the multi-platform capabilities of G Suite, museum staff are able to access emails and calendar appointments any time, on any device. By transferring its email system to G Suite, the museum’s I.T. department is able to significantly save on infrastructure costs and network resources without compromising on speed. MMFA is now looking at the cloud storage solutions offered by Google Drive to lighten its load even further and help make Canada’s busiest art museum even busier.

“There's been no downtime with G Suite,” says Gaétan. “You remove the stress of the internal infrastructure, and you remove all the stress for the IT department and the network manager of having to shut down servers and explain downtime to the business. You live with a lot less stress every day because you’re confident it won’t go down. You hand all that to Google, and it deals with it so you don’t have to.”

“We have been following a strategy to increase the number of visitors to the museum and show our art to as many people as possible. G Suite has been an integral part of that strategy,” concludes Gaétan.

Deployment Partner (G Suite authorized reseller)

S&E Cloud Experts

S&E Cloud Experts offers customized solutions to clients and partners. Mastering both industrial and small-sized business solutions, S&E tailors solutions implementation to every collaborator's needs and challenges.