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Zermatt Bergbahnen AG

Zermatt Bergbahnen AG

Highlights

  • Zermatt skiing resort and largest cable car and lift company in Switzerland
  • Deployed 802.11ac indoor and ruggedised outdoor APs in mountain sites
  • MDM on corporate devices for easy control and access to Skidata system

Nestled in the picturesque Swiss Alps, with the Matterhorn as a backdrop, Zermatt Bergbahnen AG is the largest cable car and lift company in Switzerland providing skiers with access to 200km of pistes. The company prides itself on being able to provide access to the highest and most exciting destinations in Europe to visitors from around the world. Extending world-class service beyond the slopes, IT Director Matthias Amacker implemented the Cisco Meraki solution throughout their resort and transport facilities to provide free WiFi access to guests.


Original Networking Challenges

  • There was no wireless network infrastructure in place to provide access for employee devices or guests
  • International visitors wanted to stay connected on their smart devices at the resort and transport facilities, but high mobile roaming costs prevented this capability

Why Cisco Meraki

  • Fine-grained visibility in the dashboard provides information on users, devices, and apps accessing the network, giving insights into usage and visitor numbers
  • Integrated Mobile Device Management allows simple control over company-owned devices, from enabling device restrictions to providing access to critical resources
  • Rugged IP67 rated outdoor access points provide reliable and fast WiFi in the most challenging mountaintop environments
  • Auto-meshing between APs ensures failover reliability and provides an option, if needed, for delivering WiFi access in hard-to-wire areas


The Deployment

  • After seeing a brief demo, the IT team requested free trial units to begin testing the solution, finding that it exceeded their expectations
  • It took the IT team just 3 months to run cable, install Bluetooth enabled 802.11ac MR32 indoor and MR72 outdoor APs, and set the dashboard configurations for 21 distributed locations
  • The APs are deployed in a star-architecture routing back to central switches, and are broadcasting 2 SSIDs for free guest and corporate use
  • MDM on corporate devices seamlessly pushes apps to specifically tagged devices, enforces restrictions and single app mode, and auto connects to specified WiFi SSIDs


Results

  • Centralised management via the dashboard makes it easy for the IT team to monitor network health and receive automatic notifications if there’s an issue, without having to go on-site
  • Layer 7 visibility has further enabled the team to identify application usage and block specific content, limit bandwidth usage for some, and increase capabilities for others using QoS rules
  • For guest access, the team has limited per-client bandwidth usage and has also enabled SSID scheduling to only offer free WiFi access during operating hours
  • APs have been providing reliable WiFi to visitors and staff, with devices deployed nearly 4,000m above sea level and withstanding temperatures between -30℃ to -35℃
  • As they now benefit from free and reliable wireless access in remote locations, guests have been reporting extremely positive feedback about their network connectivity
  • Automatic firmware updates and new feature releases included in the license will continue to provide a future proof network and significant cost savings
We were looking for an outdoor WLAN solution to provide free WiFi access for our international guests. The Meraki solution convinced us from the very beginning. The performance was great and exceeded our expectations.Matthias Amacker, IT Director