Connecting teams and customers
3CX V18 brings a host of features, including Microsoft Teams integration that can cut costs and save hassle
3CX never stops iterating and making improvements to its software. This year’s big release, V18, puts customer communication front and centre. Consider it as an all-in-one, integrated solution to communicate internally and connect with prospects – via voice, live chat or video.
If you don’t relish the thought of determining exactly which of Microsoft’s licensing tiers to choose from, or indeed configuring Teams, then 3CX V18 may well be the answer. It natively supports Microsoft Teams – and is easy to use, too. With the Microsoft Teams phone system integration, users can call out via 3CX SIP trunks, taking advantage of low-cost domestic and international tariffs offered by your local SIP provider.
There are advantages for users, too, not least of which is the seamless unified calling experience both for 3CX users dialling Teams users and for Teams users who can dial out through an interface they are already familiar with.
Just as importantly, administrators can benefit from a full-featured PBX. This includes contact centre features such as advanced call queues, reporting, call routing and more.
What else is new in V18? As ever, the focus is on giving users the best-in-class audio quality, performance and reliability, with V18 benefiting from extensive changes behind the scenes to improve audio quality, improve reconnection and strengthen security.
Over Wi-Fi, the mobile apps and web client now use the G.711 audio codec, which provides uncompressed audio and also reduces the need for transcoding. Of course, this isn’t a sensible option on mobile networks, which is why the app then switches to G.729 and its lower bandwidth.
For patchy reception areas, 3CX V18 benefits from yet faster recovery if and when the network drops.
A+ for security
3CX V18 also brings improved security thanks to an update to Debian 10, which uses the latest .NET core, OpenSSL and Postgres – and now has the latest ciphers. Knocking out the competition on security, 3CX achieved A+ on Qualys labs and A on Immunilabs.
If you’re worried about digital eavesdroppers, don’t be. Users now benefit from easier encryption for calls thanks to the secure real-time transport protocol (SRTP). This also provides message authentication, confidentiality and replay protection.
New Windows app
Good news for Windows users: with V18, 3CX has introduced a native Windows Desktop App, making it even easier to pin the softphone to your taskbar.
The new Desktop App uses the same Electron framework used by Teams and WhatsApp, integrating better with the OS for a more reliable user experience. The Desktop App allows you to answer a call from the page you’re working in (for example, your CRM) without having to switch between apps.
Improved mobile apps
3CX aims to make the remote-working experience as seamless as possible. Part of this is the improvement to audio mentioned above, whether that’s the lossless codec or slick reconnection when the network changes or drops.
3CX has been collaborating with both Google and Apple to improve the reliability of push notifications, and iOS users can now tell Siri to make calls using 3CX.
Finally, 3CX V18 adds support for Bluetooth and hands-free devices.
How to get V18
V18 is already available for Linux, self-hosted in the cloud (through Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Lightsail, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure) and via your choice of managed host. You can even install it on a Raspberry Pi 4. A version for Windows will be available shortly.
If your 3CX instance is hosted by 3CX, then you will have automatically been upgraded to V18 and can take advantage of the new features straight away. It’s yet another reason to choose this hassle-free option.
New to 3CX? Free of charge, 3CX provides a 4SC contract (where 4SC stands for four simultaneous calls) that are suitable for up to 12 users on all versions: Standard, Pro and Enterprise. The offer is available with no charge for a minimum of one year, depending on its success.
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