Electrical Courses Ltd are a private education and training centre specialising in electrician and installation courses. Founded by Neil Phillips in 2013, Neil saw that there was a lack of training courses and opportunities for adults looking to start a career as an electrician. Seeing this gap in the market, Neil opened Electrical Courses. Since then, they have expanded their business with more lecturers, courses and in 2019, they opened a second assessment centre.
Based in Cambridgeshire, the team at Electrical Courses are all fully qualified electricians and teachers. Their courses are aimed at people who aspire to become an electrician and for qualified electricians looking to update their knowledge and skills. Their aim is to offer all electrical courses required for someone – specifically adults looking for a career change – to become a fully qualified electrician. Electrical Courses are one of the few centres in the UK that offers full training from start to finish.
With the ever-growing nature of the business, Electrical Courses started to look for new telephony services in 2020. The main reasons for this were so the team could make and take more calls, communicate between their two assessment centres and be able to contact and be contacted while away from the office.
We spoke to Henry Wright, work-based learning NVQ Assessor, who has had the full Electrical Courses experience. After a successful career in IT, he had a complete career change and studied with Electrical Courses to become an electrician. He then joined the team in 2019. When asked how important telephony is to Electrical Courses, Henry said:
“Telephony is vital to Electrical Courses – it’s our primary means of sales and contact. It’s hard to convey what’s needed to become an electrician over email so we feel the phone is vital for us to speak to those who are interested in our courses. We like the ability to talk to someone and explain what’s involved and answer any of their questions – the phone is the best way to do this.”
Henry was tasked with looking for a phone system for the business due to his extensive knowledge and experience within the IT industry. Henry approached Gradwell, looking for help setting up an on-premise 3CX system. Electrical Courses approached Gradwell due to our status as a supported 3CX Titanium Partner and chose 3CX for its ability to have bundled calls for both landlines and mobile devices.
“We reached out to the Gradwell Sales team for their 3CX services. They immediately took ownership of this deployment and got everything going. The process was impressive and seamless. We kept asking questions and they were very helpful, always willing to answer and explain to us.”
After hearing their requirements, we set Electrical Courses up with an on-premise 3CX system with a 2 simultaneous calling licence and 5 SIP-enabled phones. Early on in the onboarding process, Henry identified a few risks which he asked for help with:
“We didn’t have SIP before but instead had a broadband line. I was fearful of losing the business line number in the migration to 3CX or that there would be a gap between the old line being terminated and the new one becoming operational. I explained these fears to the onboarding team at Gradwell and they arranged for the broadband lines to be installed earlier.
The great thing about this was that we got to parallel test the 3CX system with a temporary number and we managed to get all settings worked out for incoming and outgoing calls. This really gave me reassurance and when the switch happened, it was a seamless transition and worked very well!”
Once 3CX was installed, Electrical Courses began to experience the benefits of the system and see improvements to their communications. In addition to the smooth onboarding process, Henry remarked that they were pleasantly surprised by the licensing and upgrades.
“Once we got 3CX up and working, it just sits there and does its thing! It’s helped keep our business and internal communications as normal as possible while working from home. The constant 3CX upgrades are great and it allows us to make changes when we need to. We love the multiple lines so we can answer multiple calls. We’re no longer missing calls and can make outgoing calls while someone else is talking on the phone.
We have 2 units that are across the road from each other. Now we have 3CX, we have the freedom of dialling each other’s extensions so we’re not holding up the lines. Now that we’re home-based due to the pandemic, we’re happy that we can still use the business phone line. I simply plugged my SIP phone into my home router and I’m connected to work while away from the office.”
Electrical Courses also liked how 3CX’s presence features allowed them to see when colleagues are available and where they are, whether it’s in the offices or working from home.