What is 3CX Hosted and how can it help our business?
With the pandemic and the increase in remote working generally, businesses are utilising software to assist them and their staff’s productivity. Many people are now working from their homes, and cloud-based phones and software are becoming a significant part of remote working.
3CX is one of the leaders in the hosted phone systems market. They offer reliability and functionality across mobile and desktop devices as well as more traditional phone handsets.
So what or who is 3CX, and can they help your business and remote staff?
What is 3CX Hosted?
Based on the SIP standard, 3CX is a software-based phone system. It operates with various phone hardware and features mobile apps and browser extensions for the web. 3CX’s cloud PBX also includes combined mobile apps for iOS and Android, video conferencing, website live chat, Facebook messaging and many more features.
A significant benefit of the software is that it can be hosted on-premise, on a remote server. It’s considered an excellent IP PBX for small start-ups and expanding businesses because of its flexibility and cost-effectiveness.
What is the distinction between IP PBX and PBX?
The acronym PBX stands for Private Branch Exchange; it’s a private telephone network within a business or organisation. A conventional PBX system is configured of standard telephone lines, meaning it can connect to the PSTN through devices like phones or fax machines.
A business is restricted to a maximum number of outside telephone lines and many internal devices and extensions with a traditional PBX.
An Internet Protocol Private Branch Exchange (IP PBX ) is a PBX system with IP connectivity that gives extra communication features such as instant messaging, audio and video.
IP PBX provides an unlimited number of lines and extensions on top of complicated functions that are hard to complete with traditional PBX.
Simply put, IP PBX adds IP VoIP support to the more traditional PBX systems.
IP PBX systems use IP tech to create and maintain communications; alternatively, a PBX system deals with conventional and physical lines of communication. The IP PBX can assign and manage calls, audio, data and video, as well as that; an analogue PBX can just manage the switching/managing of phone conversations.
More and more businesses are moving from analogue phone systems to modern IP-based versions. On top of that, the ISDN switch-off is fast approaching, and businesses are starting to move from ISDN to SIP Trunks.
Setting up 3CX
Initially, you’ll require a 3CX licence to unlock 3CX and a SIP Trunk to be connected to the phone network. An internet connection is also required either via a phone or desktop to be able to download 3CX.
To make a call, you’ll need a licence, and you’ll also need to connect 3CX PBX to your VoIP service provider; you also require a SIP Trunk to do this.
3CX itself is available on mobile, desktop and tablets, and you can download the 3CX app for free. The great thing about the app is that you are connected to your business set up and can take your company communications with you on the move, where ever you go.
3CX also supports several SIP handsets and phones, and we highly recommend Yealink phones.
A SIP Trunk gives the ability to start and end connections for voice and data transfers via the internet. 3CX is on the SIP standard; it operates with SIP Trunks to create and maintain connections efficiently.
The use of SIP Trunks allows SIP providers to connect channels to your PBX; this means you can make long-distance, local and international calls via the internet. SIP Trunks are seen as the virtual connection between the VoIP telephone service provider and 3CX system, and it all works over a standard broadband connection.
To use 3CX, you require a licence, otherwise, you won’t be able to perform calls. 3CX has a popular subscription-based model which renews annually. The types of licences are configured on the number of concurrent calls required that routes through the system.
What are the benefits of 3CX for your business?
Integration and set up is easy and straight forward:
As mentioned, the setup of 3CX is relatively simple; all you need is an internet connection and a SIP Trunk licence to use 3CX. Installation of 3CX is a simple process using a browser and SIP Trunk provider; Teleproject can help with all aspects of the setup we make it as straightforward as possible, supporting and advising along the way.
Other systems can also be integrated; such as CRM’s or different setups, options are possible.
Time is money, so a Unified Communications solution is essential; 3CX is more than just a phone system; it can also include: CRM management, calls, messaging, web conferencing, live chat, and iOS/Android mobile apps, email and much more.
3CX Hosted comes without the expense and management problems of a traditional phone system or the constraints of shared cloud PBX solutions. Business is demanding enough; 3CX keeps it simple, powerful and integrates these features in one central place.
CRM or Customer Relationship Management integration
A CRM manages business contacts and interactions with clients/customers and prospects that are in the pipeline. They have become essential for businesses to pull all their data on their customer base together – they detail contact details, products purchased, communications, interactions, and much more.
3CX knows the importance of this and enables businesses to simply integrate PBX and a CRM system so calls can be logged and made whilst keeping track of client interactions and recording for training etc.
Live chat – engage with web visitors
Live chat enables companies to interact and engage with website visitors when buying or enquiring in real-time. Website visitors can chat to sales teams within a website browser.
Live chat from 3CX is available and ready to use for any website or CMS. The 3CX live chat is located in the corner of your websites page and can provide people with information, support and suggestions.
With the event of COVID 19, there has been an explosion in web conferencing platforms and apps. These have been used for online meetings, webinars, presentations, training and have become an essential business tool. This technology truly has transformed communications for business and made collaboration and remote working fully accessible.
3CX has made it very easy to set up a web conference or call; you log in to the Web Client, click on ‘Schedule Conference’, select the type of conference you want to have and choose a date and time or commence the meeting straight away.
The 3CX Web client
The 3CX Web Client is a dashboard that connects the features that you need to communicate with your staff and customers from inside your web browser. This gives comprehensive functionality and access to video calls, audio, transfer, call hold, conferencing, access to IP phones, chat, file transfers and much more.
3CX Mobile Phone apps
Working on the go is easy now with the 3CX smartphone app for Android and iPhone. With easy access to your companies phone book and contacts, you can make phone calls and send messages all from your device.
The app means you can make calls to customers and clients using your work phone number rather than your personal mobile or home number and so retaining your companies professionalism. With the rise of remote working, this has become essential when working from home.
3CX Hosted system features exceptional 3CX security protocols and tech that is protected and reliable. With a secure SSL login, backup and restore function, meaning all files and data are protected.
3CX also allow an SBC (Session Border Controller), this is a device launched in SIP-based VoIP networks to regulate and protect communication systems and ensure network security and efficiency. The 3CX SBC allows for greater security as it uses 3CX’s own tunnel ports.
We will be writing more about how 3CX Hosted can help you thrive in a competitive and ever-changing business world.
Teleproject UK are always happy to review your business telecom requirements; get in touch today!