Inflow Communications Hits the Slopes Again Installing an Enterprise-Class, ShoreTel®, VoIP Phone System for Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort

When Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort, located near Bend, Oregon, needed to upgrade their business phone system they looked to Inflow Communications and ShoreTel for answers.

Mt. Bachelor had several needs to be addressed starting with the fact that the existing Siemens® phone system was becoming obsolete making the availability of replacement parts an issue. The current phone system lacked the modern features like mobility integration, Unified Messaging, and intelligent call routing necessary to adequately support their business. The guest services personnel needed more “call center” features like queuing and system-wide presence management to better handle inbound guests calls. And most importantly, since the phone is the primary communication method with guests, Mt. Bachelor needed a VoIP phone system that was robust and fault tolerant under a number of different situations.

Better Management in the Office

To solve Mt. Bachelor’s phone system woes, Inflow Communications installed two ShoreTel®, Unified Communications systems (one at the administrative office in Bend, Oregon and one at the resort on the mountain) connecting the two sites via a microwave radio. All calls enter the system via two PRI voice connections at the office in Bend. Since most of the resort’s guest services personnel are located at the admin office, Inflow equipped these users with ShoreTel® Agent Call Communicator Licenses, which provides the ability to see review calls in queue for longest hold time, position, etc. and status (on the phone, do not disturb, etc.) of all users across the organization.

Better Reliability on the Mountain

Working with Inflow, the Mt. Bachelor IT staff installed ShoreTel® ShoreGear Voice switches in three base stations on the mountain and these stations are connected to each other via a gigabit fiber optic network. The ShoreGear™ switches register VoIP phones throughout the network and connect the analog phones and devices located at the ski lifts. The network is designed so that if any of the switches become unavailable the phone registered to that switch will automatically move to one of the other two switches. (This set up demonstrates ShoreTel®’s unique N+1 call processing redundancy feature.) The system is truly distributed because each voice switch has the entire system’s data burned into flash memory (note, there are no failure prone hard drives used).

To round out the phone system, redundant voice mail and auto-attendant servers were installed at each location. And should these servers become unavailable, the ShoreTel® Director Server will take over automatically. The entire VoIP phone system is administered via a clean, elegant web-based administration tool significantly reducing the ongoing maintenance cost of the system. It also allows the resort’s staff to be “empowered” to manage the system without a heavy reliance on outside vendors.