Now more than ever customers are switching from a traditional PBX to an IP PBX.  3CX has stamped its mark as a leading provider in the VoIP space. With the launch of version 16 last week, the product introduces much longed for features.

3CX is well known for its support for both Linux and Windows.  It is easily adopted due to its shallow learning curve.  Along with its flexible hosting options (on an appliance or a server; on premise or in the cloud) – this assists with its ongoing growth in popularity. 

A key focus in version 16 is ensuring that there is an edition to suit every customer’s needs – this has seen a distinct shift in which features are available within each edition.  Most 3CX partners will focus on selling the Professional and Enterprise editions and with new features just for these editions. This is the perfect time to ensure that you are delivering the right edition for your customer’s needs.

Why 3CX?

  • Everything in one comprehensive and feature rich package.
  • Productivity gains – desktop and mobile softphones included.
  • An easy to understand licensing model – priced by the number of Simultaneous Calls (SC). A SC is any call between point A and point B. This includes internal calling, calls on hold, calls in queues etc. Consider how many calls at one time an organisation handles and scale the solution accordingly.
  • Software based – Linux or Windows.
  • No learning curve – if customers can use a phone and windows application they can use 3CX it’s that simple.
  • A focus on productivity with ease of mobility and functionality.
  • Easy IT management.
  • Over 250,000 installations worldwide.

3CX New feature sets

All editions (including Standard) now have:
  • Website Live Chat & Talk.
  • Web based WebRTC Softphone.
  • WebMeeting – now hosted on Amazon and Google by 3CX for superior reliability.
  • For IT admins:
    • Multi Instance Manager – manage all customers from your portal.
    • Improved security – global IP blacklist.
    • Reduced memory and processor usage.
    • A “Copy Extension” function for improved admin usability.
Standard Edition:

A reduced feature set marks this edition as the entry level solution for small businesses who do not require any queues.  Key features removed between version 15.5 and 16 are: call queues, call recording, call reporting, bridges and Office 365 integration.

Professional Edition:

This is the most sold edition of 3CX.  It includes all the above features no longer in Standard, plus:

  • Enhanced Office 365 integration.
  • Improved call centre functionality.
  • Increased reporting functionality.
  • CRM integration.
  • Hotel PBX features.
  • Call flow designer.
  • Hot desking.
  • Scheduled restore.
Enterprise Edition:

This adds core functionality for larger deployments:

  • Skill-based routing for queues. This is a much-awaited feature and enables a better customer experience for callers, with calls distributed based on agents’ skills.
  • Call recording restrictions.
  • Inbuilt failover (Active/Passive).

3CX Trial licenses

Customers downloading the free trial from 3CX’s website get the first 40-days as a Professional edition 16-SC annual license.  At the end of 40-days, this drops to a Standard 16-SC annual license and continues until the end of 12 months.  After 12 months, this drops to a Standard 8-SC annual license.

Partners can arrange a trial license directly from within their Partner Portal so that their customer is linked to them.  They can arrange this at the Simultaneous Call count required – 40-days at Professional and then it drops to Standard if a purchase is not completed.

Upgrade information for technicians

Upgrades to version 16 are easy to complete:

  • Linux – inline upgrade, simply update feature and activate.
  • Windows – due to the infrastructure, you’ll need to backup, install v16, restore then activate.

Pricing and licensing

In March, 3CX introduced a new pricing model with in general price reductions across most licenses. This reflects the features and functionality available within each edition of version 16.  3CX offers two licensing models:

  • Annual Subscription – this is the way most people license their software. They purchase a 12-month subscription and have the right to use that software within that 12 months and access any updates that are released.  They must renew the subscription to continue to use the software.
  • Perpetual License – the older more traditional software license where customers have the right to use the software in perpetuity, but need to renew annual maintenance to ensure they keep their systems up-to-date. This is so important with constant security updates.

In version 16 Perpetual new licenses are no longer available to purchase at 4-SC or 8-SC levels but maintenance renewals remain available.  Overall Perpetual’s up-front costs are about 30% more expensive than Annual Subscription and 3CX see the Annual model as the future of software licensing.

New licensing levels have been introduced for Annual Subscriptions only. This allows greater flexibility in sizing opportunities. The new levels are: 24-SC, 48-SC, 96-SC and 192-SC.

For customers with existing Standard editions

For those that already own a paid license of Standard, when they upgrade to version 16 and connect to the activation server their license will be updated to Professional free of charge.  Ongoing subscription renewals or maintenance renewals will be at the Professional price.  With the price re-alignment, pricing in most cases will be about the same as what they previously paid for their Standard license.  Customers have 30-days to request a downgrade back to the Standard Edition.

For customers that have a free license of Standard (via the initial 12-month trial or the 4-SC annual subscription license after the trial) will need to purchase an upgrade to move to the Professional Edition and access the additional functionality.

In summary, 3CX have outdone themselves with a major upgrade release, reduced pricing and increased feature sets. They’ve included key features that have been asked for by the community.  They’ve put a key focus on productivity and enabling people to work more effectively.  Why would you not partner with them for your IP PBX solution?

For any queries please reach out to our VoIP team.

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