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For personal health reasons, Matt Carey has decided to step down. Matt has spent much of his near decade tenure at Soft Solutions working in the VoIP space, and will be greatly missed by the team and VoIP community. Stepping into the Technical Specialist role is Kenny Cheung. Kenny has been working in our ManageEngine team, and prior to that, our WatchGuard brand. Kenny enjoys chatting with our resellers and looks forward to upskilling around our VoIP portfolio. Kenny will deliver technical trainings for 3CX later this quarter, along with pre-sales technical advice. Kenny has a good networking understanding, and will support Megan across the brands.
Update 8 Beta is now available. Key changes are around scheduling meetings, with easier calendar options to understand. There’s also much simpler Facebook integration with the process being condensed – read more here. Please remember that Beta updates are not for use on production systems. Update 7 was released along with the new iOS and Android apps just prior to Christmas. Update 7 includes great integrations with Facebook Messenger, LiveChat updates and more. Read more here. Development does not slow down with 3CX, and both iOS and Android apps now have new betas available. They add further functionality particularly around Video Conferencing. More info for both iOS and Android here.
Just prior to Christmas Eve, 3CX released their roadmap and sneak peek version 18 Alpha. We’re expecting version 18 towards the end of Q1, but no specific date has been confirmed. Some of the exciting new features include smoother collaboration via OmniChannel functionality, Helpdesk revisions, and Debian 10 (Buster) support. This is highly anticipated and keenly awaited by Linux users. So grab a coffee and have a read here.
Through a challenging year in 2020, 3CX continued to develop and grow their IP PBX. This has been recognised with major industry awards. They recently won gold at the Comms Business Awards for UC Platform Supplier of the Year 2020. Comms Business is the UK’s largest publication for the ICT channel. You can read the release here. 3CX also scooped the Business Software of the Year (2020) award from the PC Pro Technology Excellence Awards. PC Pro is the UK’s biggest selling monthly IT magazine, and 2020 was the 23rd year of their awards. See more about 3CX’s win here.
All partners now have access to the 3CX Partner Forum – this enables better communication and access to information. The forum is a vast knowledgebase of information shared between partners. Each person needs their own login. Read how to access and what you can learn about the 3CX Partner Forum here.
Key changes to the Partner Programme have now been implemented by 3CX. All partners must reach their targets to hold on to their levels in 2022 but have all of 2021 to do so. Some partner demotions occurred during January, and Affiliate Partners no longer have access to an Enterprise NFR license. New targets for Silver, Gold and Platinum now take into account their recurring subscription revenue, and the net new revenue to aim for during 2021. For a quick overview document please see here. If you have any questions please reach out to Megan Twentyman for further guidance.
The new Essential range of GRP phones from Grandstream have now been announced and are on their way to NZ. These are black and white interface phones with consistent features found in the GRP261X range, including an updated chipset and unified firmware. These phones feature a sleek design, easy deployment and sit at an affordable price point. More information will come as they arrive into the country.
We often focus on the new features of 3CX that are the front end, but 3CX didn’t let the distractions of 2020 stop them from many updates under the hood. They’ve made a raft of changes to ensure that they are prepared for the future of SIP. Along with this, they released the ability to set the Outbound Caller ID in your Outbound Rules – this has been asked for by many and delivered. You can read the full release here.
Sometime ago, 3CX recognised that certifications belong to people, rather than companies. For this reason, each individual needs to create an account before sitting their technical certifications. Accounts are created here and once created partners should link their staff to their Partner Account from the “Users” menu in the Partner Portal. There are three 3CX Technical Certifications – all are available on the 3CX website here. On each topic there is an option to view a pre-recorded Webinar as well as review the materials. Matt Carey our former Senior Engineer recorded the Basic sessions which are available in this playlist of short videos. These certifications show your customers that you are trained in 3CX and can be a great sales tool. We will be scheduling the Intermediate and Advanced Certifications soon, so keep an eye out for an invitation for you and your team to attend.
We add updates to our blog and YouTube channel regularly. This has become a great resource for our VoIP partners. It explores key features and common sales / technical queries around 3CX and Grandstream. You can also subscribe to the blog here or YouTube here.
There is nothing better than a local and relatable case study to help you get a sale across the line. We are looking for more NZ stories to have turned in to case studies. Do you have a success story to share? We have a simple questionnaire you can work through with your customer – 3CX’s marketing team does the rest. It’s a great opportunity to touch base with customers and ensure everything’s working as it should. If you have a customer that might participate, contact our VoIP Brand Manager, Megan Twentyman. We’ll make the process painless.
A number of partners took up the option to have datasheets customised with their logo. This is a service that Soft Solutions offer. We even share presentations that you can adapt for your potential customers. If this is of interest, reach out to Megan Twentyman for further assistance.
Remember it’s vital to keep checking for updated firmware, for your VoIP hardware. Grandstream and Yealink release new firmware as it’s developed. The firmware is available free of charge from their respective websites. If you’re ever trouble-shooting any issue with 3CX, the first thing they will check is whether your hardware has the most up-to-date version. Now is a great time to ensure everything is up-to-date and working optimally.
Our “Soft Solutions NZ VoIP Community” group has been created for customers to discuss VoIP related topics. Keep up to date with upcoming Soft Solutions events, VoIP updates and any other general VoIP news. Join the LinkedIn group here.
Thank you for reading.
The VoIP Team at Soft Solutions Phone: 09 306 0450, Freephone: 0800 733 233, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org