When 3CX came on the scene less than a year ago with its software IP
PBX (News - Alert), it was an instant success, primarily for one reason — it is a Windows-based software IP PBX that enables SMBs businesses running Windows servers to easily deploy IP-based communications systems. Since then, 3CX has seen its free version downloaded more than 1,000 times.
The quick growth of the 3CX product is a result not only of the growing deployment of VoIP
, but, in this case, the fact that users are required to neither invest in nor become proficient in running Linux servers. In addition, its SIP compatibility and interoperability with most major SIP
endpoints, gateways, and service providers makes it a viable alternative for most businesses, regardless of any previously existing hardware (including auto-provisioning of snom and Grandstream handsets).
Despite its quick success, 3CX has not watched idly as its product reaches new user communities. Instead, it has been steadily enhancing its capabilities and support for additional products and services that are increasingly being demanded of even the easiest to use systems. In particular, among the driving forces behind the adoption of many an IP PBX
is the ability to add remote extensions.
The latest version of 3CX, v5.1 includes a new 3CX Tunnel, simplifying firewall configuration for remote VoIP extensions. Quite simply, the 3CX Tunnel channels all VoIP traffic over a single port, which naturally simplifies work for IT managers, whereas traditionally, remote VoIP extensions require separate open ports, which can present significant challenges with firewall configuration.
By doing so, both remote extensions can be easily connected to the corporate IP PBX, and multiple remote PBXs can easily be interconnected to for a single contiguous communications network. The system administrator picks a single incoming port, and remote employees then can connect via their IP phone or softphone from any location without having to modify settings.
Now, in addition to providing an easy to deploy, easy to administer IP phone system, 3CX also makes the integration of remote workers easier than ever, including use of the system’s built-in presence feature.
“We know how important it is for businesses to have remote workers and branches seamlessly integrated to their phone systems; the addition of the 3CX Tunnel to 3CX Phone System for Windows facilitates this process,” explained Nick Galea, CEO at 3CX. “The 3CX Tunnel, unlike other similar tunneling protocols, is not proprietary and can be used with popular VoIP softphones and hard phones.”
In addition, 3CX has also recently enhanced its software with support for the G.729 speech codec, highly useful in VoIP applications due to its low bandwidth requirement. It also has added Fax integration, another key feature for many SMBs still relying heavily on hard documents.
With its many features, combined with its hardware flexibility and ease of deployment, 3CX for Windows brings the most necessary elements of a communications platform for SMBs, at a price that is appropriate, and without requiring new servers or expertise.
Erik Linask (News - Alert) is Associate Editor of INTERNET TELEPHONY, IMS Magazine, and Unified Communications. Prior to joining TMC (News - Alert), he was Managing Editor at Global Custodian, an international securities services publication. To see more of his articles, please visit Erik Linask’s columnist page.