Q&A: CEO Stefan Walther on the benefits of ‘Hosted by 3CX’
3CX Phone System v16 continues to evolve and improve with its newest update
Update six of 3CX Phone System v16 features not only a list of improvements, but a new “Hosted by 3CX” option that could prove transformative for some businesses. The first year of hosting is also available for free, allowing organisations to easily trial the benefits of the service.
3CX CEO Stefan Walther spoke to IT Pro about the company’s thinking behind Hosted by 3CX and some practical considerations regarding the use and implementation of the new service.
What problem is 3CX trying to solve by providing the hosting?
We’ve always been a channel-focused vendor, and that’s not about to change. Our new hosted solution will allow resellers to leave the dirty work of hosting, maintenance and updates to us while they focus on what they do best – selling to and supporting customers. With more and more companies in favour of cloud services for their businesses, it’s something that has been highly requested by our partners and now we’re happy to fill that demand.
Are you targeting any particular type of business? For example, by complexity or size?
Like anything 3CX, it works for any kind of business of any size. SME’s shouldn’t feel that 3CX is out of their league and similarly, larger enterprises can be confident that a Hosted by 3CX PBX is secure, reliable and will cater to their businesses’ communication needs. 3CX is flexible, with plans and hosting to suit all requirements and budget.
What are the key benefits to Hosted by 3CX?
We’ve always boasted about 3CX being a “zero admin” solution. And now with Hosted by 3CX it really is just that. A Hosted by 3CX solution eliminates OS admin, provides automatic updates and enhances businesses’ remote capabilities – we’ve made it extremely easy to set up and support remote teams. It will free up time usually spent on maintaining the PBX for both the end-user and reseller so that they can spend time and resources on more productive tasks. What’s more, it’s absolutely free for one year.
You say that you can “eliminate OS admin” but is that really possible? Surely business owners must need to do something?
When it comes to updates, maintenance and performance optimisation, no, they don’t need to do anything. We’ll take care of all that. Of course, end-users or their resellers still have control of their PBX so they are the ones that will configure, customize and set up new extensions.
How will Hosted by 3CX help businesses with remote workers?
I’ve already mentioned how Hosted by 3CX enhances businesses’ remote capabilities by making it extremely easy to set up and support remote teams and merge remote PBXs. But 3CX is great for businesses that employ remote workers as a whole. All that’s needed is to create their extension and set the necessary permissions. The user can then easily access the web client or quickly provision their smartphone with the 3CX app via QR code to use their extension just as if they were in the office.
Why is 2020 the right time for this product?
Unfortunately, for everyone, 2020 equals COVID-19. It’s had such a huge impact, particularly on the way businesses are run. Flexible working is not something new but now instead of just a perk, business owners are seeing it as a necessity. They need to remain agile. A Hosted by 3CX solution offers this. It can be set up in minutes remotely, run remotely, used remotely. And to make things even easier, we’re taking care of maintenance. This is also helping to take the pressure off of our resellers who have also been impacted by the events of 2020.
What should existing customers do if they want to take advantage?
Existing customers can get hosting free until the end of Q1 2021. It’s easy to switch, they just need to talk to their 3CX partner. If they don’t have a partner, they can find all the relevant documentation about migrating on our website. And migration is easy, they can simply login to the customer portal and select Switch to Hosted.
Are there any limitations people should note compared to other methods of implementing 3CX?
As of now, it’s not available in every country – but it will be soon. The Hosted by 3CX solution offers the same level of features, functionality, service, reliability and security that our other options do – just with added convenience. At the moment Hosted by 3CX is available for 24SC licences and offers 250MB backups for migrations.
What advice would you give a small business that’s still using conventional phone services but thinking about switching to VoIP for the first time?
Don’t sit on the fence too long. Change doesn’t have to be scary, and once you do make the switch you’ll soon start seeing the benefits. Cloud solutions are excellent, especially for small businesses that might not necessarily have the resources to implement or manage an on-premise solution. The future is in the cloud, so you’ll also be future-proofing your business. Make sure you choose a vendor that is transparent. So many advertise features such as video conferencing, voicemail, live chat, call centre… but these all come at a price as add-ons. Not so with 3CX.
What would you say to businesses that have been thinking about switching to 3CX for some time but have been put off until now?
Give us a try. Test out our free Standard Edition with free hosting – what do you have to lose? We’re confident in our product, which is why we offer the free edition perpetually. If you decide it’s not for you, that’s fine. There are no commitments.
The first year of hosting is free, but how much is going to cost after that point? Are we paying a premium for 3CX hosting the service instead of another supplier?
We’ll be announcing pricing shortly, but it is going to be competitive; customers won’t be paying more to host with us.
For businesses that are new to 3CX, what are the next steps to take if they’re interested?
They should try out the free version on our website and then get in touch with a reseller who will be able to assess their needs and discuss options to tailor a solution for them. All of our approved resellers are listed on our website, so they can easily find one in their area.