Modernising and future-proofing telephony for Pitville School

Pitville School is a foundational secondary school based in the Pitville area of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. The school employs around 140 members of staff and is home to around 890 pupils.  

The challenge

The school had been relying on outdated, traditional phone lines, as Network Manager, Andrew Gamble, says: “We were relying on old and knackered ISDN lines which had very intermittent signal and would often drop in and out.” They knew that this was something that needed to be addressed as it was affecting their ability to communicate internally and with external stakeholders such as parents and governors. To compound the need for new telephony, a thunderstorm struck and cut the power supply which brought about the end for their existing system. 

With their existing system, Pitville School had been experiencing poor cross-office communication which was hampering the ability for different departments to effectively cooperate. The lack of modern telephony also meant that call transferring was exceedingly difficult, with the school often finding that calls were not being transferred to the correct person, and sometimes not being transferred at all. This led to the receptionists having to take messages for everyone in the school meaning that other incoming calls were going unanswered. All in all, communication was suffering greatly. 

The Solution

After having discussions with a number of telecoms companies about a potential solution, SIP Trunks were an option that they explored but ultimately the VoIP features and capabilities of 3CX proved the deciding factor. “I knew that 3CX is a cost-effective solution and has great functionality, as well as offering an excellent remote working solution”. 

The support that comes with Gradwell’s 3CX offering was another aspect that impressed Andrew, “We knew we wanted the customer support aspect that Gradwell provide. It helps knowing that if I, or one of the team, are not available then my colleagues can raise a ticket and the issue can get resolved.” 

“We knew we wanted the customer support aspect that Gradwell provide. It helps knowing that if I, or one of the team, are not available then my colleagues can raise a ticket and the issue can get resolved.”

Andrew Gamble, Network Manager

The Impact

One of the biggest tangible benefits of the 3CX system for the school has been a reduction in the levels of administration for the team: “The ease of management has been a godsend for us, we are able to add people into queues very easily and set up call routing at the touch of a button which has really helped to ease the pressure on our staff and ensure that calls are picked up by the correct person every time, without having to manually transfer calls.” 

Pitville School have also seen a significant reduction in cost when compared to their previous system. 3CX is one of the most cost-effective telephony solutions on the market as customers can save on office phone bills and eliminate inter-office call charges. “The fact that we now have a phone system that has a host of features, including much better call quality and ease of use, which have improved our day-to-day operations, but we are paying significantly less is great.” 

Another big plus was the fact that the softphone is included as standard which allows users to work from anywhere, “With other hosted VoIP providers, you don’t get the softphone included and you would have to pay a lot for it, so to have it included is a big plus for us.” 

"The fact that we now have a phone system that has a host of features, including much better call quality and ease of use, which have improved our day-to-day operations, but we are paying significantly less is great.”

Andrew Gamble, Network Manager

In this recent blog post, we explore in more detail why 3CX is a great fit for education. 3CX enables schools to bridge the communication gap between departments, sites, parents, and external suppliers. We’ve seen amongst many of our education customers, such as Pitville School, that legacy PBX or traditional systems were poorly equipped for the needs of modern education organisations. With 3CX, your school phone system does not need to break the bank and you can easily standardise and simplify your phone system setup to guarantee improved collaboration. 

To find out more about our 3CX offering, please contact one of our team using the button below.