North America

  • Over eleven different processes to raise an IT support ticket
  • Lack of a cohesive ticketing system meant that teams had little to no visibility into the status of a ticket
  • Each resort had its own SLAs and processes creating operational complexities
  • Standardized internal service delivery across 15 resorts with Freshservice
  • Over 400 different workflows were configured
  • Dismantled operational silos to enable smoother inter-departmental collaboration

About Alterra Mountain Company

Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, Alterra Mountain Company owns a range of recreation and hospitality businesses across 15 destinations in North America. The company prides itself on reflecting the unique culture and character of every location, with no two ski resorts being the same. Right from the recreational activities on offer to the cozy decor of the lodging rooms, each resort offers a one-of-a-kind experience to its guests.  

While individuality was an excellent USP for the customer-facing side of the business, the IT department at Alterra needed a single uniform service desk to manage its operations across all 15 locations. We spoke to Christy Cooper, Senior IT Operations Analyst at Alterra, to understand how Freshservice streamlined the company’s ticketing system.  

Reimagining resort-wide IT operations and processes

Each Alterra ski resort had its own unique ticketing system and process that employees within the resort followed. While this system would work as long as the ticket remained within the local resort, the real challenges became apparent when tickets had to be escalated to the external enterprise team. “We had over eleven different processes to raise an IT support ticket!” says Christy. “If we had to transfer a ticket, we couldn’t do it through a single integrated solution and had to use chat, email or phone.” The lack of a cohesive ticketing system also meant that teams had little to no visibility into the status of a ticket. This was especially an issue for urgent high-priority tickets, where employees would have to keep following up manually to get updates on the ticket progress. “You can imagine how stressful this was during the busy ski season. Our IT resources and time were not being used efficiently and we knew we had to break this silos”, she says.

When Christy was given the opportunity to revamp the ticketing system for all the resorts, she immediately envisioned an integrated service desk that would standardize processes across Alterra. The hunt for a new solution boiled down to two main contenders, Freshservice and ServiceNow. For Christy, what ultimately clinched the deal in favor of Freshservice was the team’s willingness to listen. “The onboarding team from Freshservice really paid attention to what we needed. With the other solutions, it was more along the lines of them telling us, ‘Okay, this is our implementation process and we will not deviate from it.’ Freshservice, on the other hand, catered to each of our requirements and customized the solution for us. They made us feel special.

“Freshservice is so intuitive and user-friendly. Our end-users find it very simple to raise a ticket and support agents are able to easily transfer tickets within departments. It’s also very easy to configure. I don’t need four developers helping me each time I need to make a change, I can just do it myself.”

Christy Cooper

Sr. IT Operations Analyst

Alterra Mountain Company

Standardizing operations with an integrated service desk

Implementing a unified service desk across all 15 resorts was never going to be a simple, overnight operation. There were close to eleven different systems that had to be replaced and employees from each resort needed to be trained on how to use the new solution. Each resort also had its own SLAs that now needed to be replaced with a standard company-wide process. Despite these challenges, however, the implementation was successfully completed within a relatively short period of time. Christy credits this to the responsiveness of the onboarding team. “Our onboarding specialist was outstanding. Together, we collaborated with every single resort to ensure that they retained their uniqueness and that all of their needs were met.”

Alterra now has over 400 different workflows for all of its resorts combined. The IT team remains the primary user of the solution, but the expense management, accounts payable and facilities management groups are gradually being brought onto Freshservice as well. As the solution becomes more entrenched within the company’s internal operations, Christy envisions even more departments onboarding to Freshservice. “All of our resorts are brought together by one company and our internal ticketing solution needs to be representative of that. We are moving towards a common core system and we want Freshservice to be a one-stop portal where employees can raise all of their requests. This will be an important step towards us becoming more productive and efficient as a company”.

Delivering fulfilling agent and guest experiences

By dismantling the operational silos within which each resort was previously working, Freshservice has enabled smoother inter-departmental collaboration. Christy describes this as a fundamental culture shift. “Our IT team is interacting more and we have so much visibility into the work other groups are doing. Freshservice has really brought people closer together,” she reflects. Any time an agent from a local resort needs to escalate a ticket to corporate headquarters, they can easily tag the concerned department, add a note to the ticket or initiate a chat conversation. In this way, resorts are able to maintain their autonomy while simultaneously working closer with headquarters on complex requests.

For Alterra, the ultimate measure of Freshservice’s success lies in the improvement of overall guest experience. By resolving customer issues quicker and more efficiently, the team aims to surpass the expectations of their guests. As Christy points out, however, the best indicator of guest satisfaction doesn’t just lie in numbers on a report. “We want to see our guests smiling when they’re skiing or when they’re having a beer after going down for a run. We want to see the kids having a wonderful time and families making unforgettable memories at our resorts. That’s what we pride ourselves on.

“Implementing Freshservice has really been the highlight of my career at Alterra! The team makes you feel special and you have the assurance that you’re always a priority. I just don’t know how you can get a better vendor than Freshservice.”

Christy Cooper

Sr. IT Operations Analyst

Alterra Mountain Company