What is your name and your organisation?

Jamie Ward, Gradwell Communications

What is your role at Gradwell?


How long have you been working for Gradwell/been in the industry?

I’ve worked in the telecommunications industry for nearly 20 years, joining Overline in 2005 and moving to Gamma in 2010. I joined Gradwell as the Sales and Marketing Director in 2019, and recently took on the role of CEO. I’m now responsible for ensuring the continued growth of the organisation, both organically and through M&A activity.

What is Gradwell’s USP/key focus areas?

Gradwell has always been a pioneer in the sector. The business was conceived with a cloud-first mentality, which is impressive when we’ve been around since the late ‘90s. Gradwell has never sold ISDN, so we’re not burdened with a legacy customer base. All our customers are cloud-based.

The business is built on our own proprietary platform in AWS. Our own in-house development team has built market-leading VoIP products such as our own SIP network and highly regarded UCaaS product, Wave.

We are also extremely proud of the service we offer to both our partners and our direct customers. Our Trustpilot rating of 4.8 is testament to the excellent work of our customer support teams.

What achievement is Gradwell most proud of?

As of July 2022, our in-house developed Wave phone system earned accreditation from the leading technology magazine PC Pro. It was one of only four solutions that earned the highest possible rating and has ‘PC Pro Recommended’ status. Outside of our technology achievements, we also continued to deliver growth throughout the pandemic. In recent years, we have grown our recurring revenue to above 90%.

What are the key trends that you are experiencing currently in the market?

The acceleration away from on-premise PBX solutions to UCaaS and Microsoft Teams is moving faster than ever. This presents an exciting opportunity for cloud-first suppliers like Gradwell to lead the way in meeting the demand. We do so through the development of solutions like Wave Teams+, which is a tight integration of our Wave platform and Microsoft Teams.

What do you see as the main industry challenges at present?

Due to the pressures of inflation and many SMEs now having to repay loans taken to survive the pandemic, it’s a challenging market for SMEs to operate in right now. Suppliers need to find innovative ways to support customers with these challenges. The use of voice technology has changed dramatically over the last 3 years and consumption revenues are being rapidly chipped away. It’s important for organisations like ours to have more focus on recurring revenues to stay profitable.

If there was one thing in the industry you would change or want to resolve, what would it be?

An issue that must be addressed sooner rather than later is antiquated porting processes. This makes switching suppliers more difficult than it needs to be, causing pains for the customers and providers alike. Unlike the process to switch broadband provider or mobiles, there are still a lot of manual processes involved in switching over a voice solution, and it’s restricting the speed at which the industry can support customers.

What benefits do you get out of Comms Council UK membership?

Comms Council UK helps suppliers like Gradwell to demystify the regulatory changes as they come, providing manageable and easy to decipher updates. This means that we can be more agile and responsive to changes in the industry and minimise any impact on our customers and suppliers. And of course, we are always delighted to be part of the annual celebrations and awards events!