Staying Connected: Technology Improves a Premier Vacation Destination
Trading Places International
Grand Crowne Resort in Branson, MO was experiencing network outages and poor wireless connectivity
Tech Electronics collaborates with Trading Places International to provide voice & data as well as IT solutions for Grand Crowne Resort in Branson, MO.
Grand Crowne Resort now has a unified communications system and wireless network that streamlines day-to-day operations and increases guest satisfaction
From the rolling hills of the Ozarks to the majestic Great Smoky Mountains to the sandy beaches of the Gulf, Grand Crowne Resorts’ vacation units are nestled in some of America’s most scenic and popular vacation destinations. Named a Premier Resort by industry-leading Interval International, Grand Crowne Resorts attract families and tourists from across the country for providing an outstanding vacation experience, with state-of-the-art conveniences and modern features.
Leading up to the 2014 vacation season, Grand Crowne Resort in Branson, Missouri was experiencing network outages. With the busy season just around the corner, and the steady influx of reservations, Trading Places International, the Resorts’ management company needed to find a solution.
“Grand Crowne Resorts’ community of multiple townhouses and condominiums depend on a reliable network to check-in guests, change reservations, and to provide overall great customer service,” said Nick Robbins, IT Administrator for Grand Crowne Resort’s Owner Associations. “Our network would experience one to two outages every week and would disrupt our guest services for up to 24-hours at a time. On top of that, our cable infrastructure was outdated and we found ourselves spending more than $50,000 to repair damages caused by lightning strikes.”
That’s when the company turned to Tech Electronics, a technology solutions provider, with a reputation for providing a vast offering of IT and communications systems along with high-level service to the hospitality industry.
RESILIENT SOLUTION FOR A WORLD CLASS RESORT
Once Tech Electronics was awarded the new network infrastructure project in late-May of 2014, the company was given a turn-around time of 45 days to not only gather materials but implement a network solution for both data and voice services across multiple facilities. The scope of the project would require at least 14 network switches, nine voice controllers, 800 telephone extensions, and new cabling infrastructure.
“Grand Crowne Resorts not only needed a customized solution for both data and voice across numerous facilities, they required manpower to get the job done in time and within budget,” said Steven Huxley, Project Manager for Tech Electronics. “We recommended the Mitel MiVoice Enterprise Class Solution for its business continuity features, seamless integration, and ability to accommodate growth.”
The Mitel MiVoice solution is a highly scalable, proven business communication platform outfitted to deliver voice, unified messaging, unified communications, a 20-party conferencing bridge, call accounting and more. The system can work with any mobile device, over any network, with any carrier in the world, through its system control software that runs on virtualized or non-virtualized industry standard servers.
Tech Electronics needed data network switches for all facilities to begin the transition to the new Mitel system. The systems integrator opted for industry-leading Brocade switches for the high-performance connectivity in storage, IP, and Ethernet fabric network environments. These highly reliable and scalable switches are designed for a wide range of environments, which was the best solution for Grand Crowne Resorts’ network of vacation units and exceptional guest accommodations.
The MiVoice Enterprise system was not the only improvement Tech Electronics provided for Grand Crowne Resorts. The systems integrator also implemented two centralized stations, one at the main town center and another at the townhouse and carriage house property. With the pending influx of reservations, the new centralized stations are resilient to each other to deliver efficient and consistent customer interaction. Disaster planning also came standard with the installation of these new systems. The voice over IP (VoIP) allows Grand Crowne Resorts to start quickly routing calls and reservations through the centralized stations if something were to happen to one of the stations, such as a power outage.
WIRELESS NETWORK FOR TODAY’S TRAVELER
During the implementation of the MITEL IP Telephones for administration and connections of guest phones and network infrastructure, Robbins realized that the Resort was also experiencing issues with the wireless network.
“One amenity we offer is Wi-Fi and when we realized our guests were having issues connecting to the network, that was problem,” said Robbins. “We had been so please with the work Tech had done that it we went straight to them for the solution.”
To optimize coverage, Tech Electronics chose to implement Aruba Wireless Access Points because they deliver superb Wi-Fi performance to a wide range of environments – both indoor and outdoor. This solution also gives guests the ability to access high-speed Wi-Fi while lounging by the pool. To complete the wireless network upgrade, a SonicWALL Firewall was installed because of its high-performance intrusion prevention, malware blocking and content/URL filtering and application. This solution also allows for separate secure guest and corporate access on the same network.
NEW TECHNOLOGY GIVES GUESTS ROYAL TREATMENT
The new unified communications system and wireless network streamlines the day-to-day operations of Grand Crowne Resorts’ community of vacation units. It also provides guests with an outstanding vacation experience with state-of-the-art conveniences and allows the Resort to complete another successful season.
“We no longer experience network outages which used to disrupt guest services and day to day functionality of employees,” continued Robbins. “In addition, the facility’s wireless capabilities have allowed guest to easily connect to the network and increased the speed for both guest and staff.”