Preparing for the PSTN switch-off: Pennywell Farm’s Journey with Gradwell’s Wave Phone System

Customer introduction

Pennywell Farm, a leading tourist attraction located in Devon, embarked on a mission to modernise their business phone system ahead of the 2025 PSTN switch off, partnering with Gradwell to implement the Wave phone system. The farm is nestled in the heart of Devon, UK with a focus on creating unforgettable family-fun experiences for visitors of all ages. Like many rural locations, the previous setup was rooted in legacy technology, and the business knew that the time had come to modernise the setup.

Key achievements

  • Successful migration from traditional PSTN to modern hosted VoIP system
  • Implementation of IVR messages to reduce unnecessary call volume and enhance customer interactions.
  • Enabled hybrid and remote working capabilities for increased flexibility among staff.
  • Strategically utilised IVR setup to guide customers to the website, boosting ticket sales and minimising staff distractions.
  • Streamlined communication setup with a mix of technical abilities, emphasising simplicity in setup and management.

The challenge

In order to future-proof their operations and adapt to the changing telecommunications landscape, Pennywell Farm knew they needed to migrate from traditional PSTN to a modern hosted VoIP system. The transition would ensure better adaptability to the forthcoming PSTN switch-off but also facilitate hybrid and remote working arrangements. When comparing the costs of managing the legacy infrastructure against a future-proofed, hosted VoIP solution, it didn’t come close. The expensive copper line system also hindered flexibility in managing calls on the move and facilitating remote work.

Adoption of a new system would also enable them to address some operational challenges in the business. For example, there was a need to reduce the volume of unnecessary calls through the strategic use of Interactive Voice Response (IVR) messages. This would not only streamline customer interactions but also allowed staff to focus on more critical tasks. The IVR function needed to direct customers to the website, optimising ticket sales while minimising disruptions to on-site employees. This translated to a more efficient use of their time and resources, allowing them to focus on tasks that demanded a personal touch.

Pennywell Farm also sought features such as call routing, hunt groups, and recording. Without features such as these, they knew they were missing out on opportunities to better manage inbound call volumes and effectively train staff. In an industry like tourism, where time is of the essence, these capabilities would be invaluable in maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction and service quality.

Why Wave was a great fit

The decision to adopt Wave was backed by a variety of reasons. Crucially, Wave helped to address the operational challenges, and more, by providing cost-effective access to a range of hosted voice features. The simple user interface of Wave meant that Pennywell Farm they could be agile and easily adapt to changing opening hours and call routing requirements. They also sought to implement hunt groups and diverting systems to ensure important calls were never missed.

Due to the highly competitive nature of the tourism industry, it was crucial that the new system could ensure maximum reliability. Any missed call by a customer could result in lost sales, and any challenges with supplier engagement could easily impact the team. Wave met this need, and more, with the AWS hosting delivering excellent levels of reliability and security.

Seb Murray, Farm and Project Manager, who took the lead on the project, knew that with a mixed range of technical abilities within the organisation, simplicity in setup and management was crucial.

“The user interface is so easy to use. Once I had gone through the initial setup, I was confident enough to train others and manage all the settings myself. Although whenever I have needed further help, the Gradwell support team have been on hand”.

Seb Murray, Farm & Project Manager

How Gradwell helped

Assistance from Gradwell proved pivotal in the successful implementation of the Wave phone system. The Gradwell sales and support teams offered seamless communication and guided Pennywell Farm through the straightforward setup process.

The outcome matched expectations, delivering the promised “plug and go” setup. In addition, the rapid support from Gradwell was beneficial, preventing system downtime that could have impacted ticket sales. The user-friendly interface of Wave empowered the farm’s team to independently manage settings and train others. This self-sufficiency, combined with Gradwell’s available support, created a highly functional VoIP phone system.

“I would recommend Wave to other SMEs who are looking for a good value for money phone system”

Seb Murray, Farm & Project Manager

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