TL; DR: 3CX is an all-in-one communications solution for voice, video, and live chat with flexible hosting options. The affordable and easy-to-use software, which features a range of integration options, helps cut costs, streamline internal operations, and improve customer service. With seamless help desk and ticketing features on the way, 3CX continues to transform from a VoIP tool to a unified communications suite.
Zoom may have been the go-to online communications solution at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, but the novelty of video conferencing is quickly wearing off.
The existence of these eyelid stickers, used to fool colleagues into thinking you’re awake during lengthy calls, speaks volumes.
According to 3CX Founder and CTO Nick Galea, Zoom calls are energy-zapping events that should be leveraged wisely, preferably in conjunction with voice-only phone calls and text messaging.
“The pandemic highlighted the need for remote-enabled communication systems, but people don’t want to take part in video conferencing all day,” Nick said. “After jumping on the Zoom bandwagon, many people are experiencing online meeting fatigue.”
3CX, he said, provides an ideal alternative as an all-in-one system for voice, video, and live chat designed for both internal and external business communications.
“You need video, but it needs to be integrated with other forms of communication,” Nick told us. “Maybe you start with a phone call, and if you need a video to illustrate something, you switch to video mode for a few minutes and go back to voice again. That is the type of service 3CX offers.”
3CX is also adaptable in terms of infrastructure. Users can host the software through the company, on-premises, or in a private cloud. Ultimately, 3CX’s goal is to provide a flexible, affordable, and unified communications suite that businesses can use in the way that works best for them.
Leading the Way in Business VoIP and Unified Communications
Nick founded 3CX in 2005 when Voice over Internet Protocol (also known as IP telephony and VoIP) was first becoming popular. VoIP technology works by delivering multimedia over an internet connection, rather than a public switched telephone network (PSTN), or landline.
“I had previously founded a company known as GFI Software, and I wanted to start another one,” Nick said. “At the time, I needed a phone system. The existing phone systems on the market were stuck in the past century — expensive, challenging to manage, and low on features. I knew we needed to create something better.”
The team at 3CX started with a software-based phone system, or private branch exchange (PBX), built on VoIP. The goal was to revolutionize the PBX market across the globe.
Since then, 3CX has achieved that goal thanks to a highly-skilled team and dedicated leaders. Nick said the company has cornered the phone system market for small and medium-sized businesses while maintaining a strong global presence.
3CX boasts 12 offices worldwide, including locations in the U.S., the UK, Germany, France, Japan, Russia, South Africa, Australia, and Hong Kong. In 2018, the company opened its newest office, a state-of-the-art facility in Cyprus.
Over the years, 3CX has earned the trust of more than 250,000 businesses in over 190 countries and across all industries. Today, the company provides far more than a software-based phone system, delivering a unified communications solution that integrates phone calls with video conferencing, live chat, and Facebook Messenger, among other integrations. All of these built-in collaboration tools come standard with on-premises and hosted solutions.
Integrated Solutions for Connecting Internally and with Customers
While many of its competitors focus solely on internal teams, 3CX includes on-prem and hosted customer service and call center functionalities.
The platform’s interactive voice response (IRV), for example, facilitates customer interactions with a computer-operated phone system. Integrations with popular customer relationship management (CRM) and help desk solutions make it easy for customer service teams to adopt the technology. And phone call queues and advanced call reporting allow agents to manage customer records efficiently.
“Our goal is to take a phone system and to make it not only connect employees and coworkers but also connect businesses with customers,” Nick said. “We provide everything you need in one package. Not everybody uses all the components, but they’re available if you need them.”
From the customer’s perspective, 3CX’s technology makes it easy to connect with a business through whatever channel is most convenient — and seamlessly switching between them if desired.
“With the other systems, you may go through a live chat and direct you to contact the call center. And then you have to go through the call center and very often send you somewhere else,” Nick said. “What we are offering is an integrated system to connect your company with customers in any way they want to communicate.”
It’s more common than ever for consumers, who are becoming used to social distancing measures, to turn to their mobile phones for customer service rather than visiting a store. “Companies today need more of these types of tools to deal with this different type of customer interaction, which previously we didn’t have so much,” Nick said.
Reduce Phone System Costs and Management Burdens
The all-inclusive nature of the 3CX platform also empowers businesses to lower their technology costs and save time jumping between platforms.
“Companies that work with standalone phone systems may have to buy a separate live chat and have the agents log into both systems,” Nick said. “You end up forgetting about one system or end up needing two separate teams to manage everything.”
In addition to streamlining workflows, having a wealth of easy-to-navigate communication tools under one roof makes training more efficient. New employees only need to get used to one platform to handle internal and external issues.
“With our more customer-focused organizations, like Subway, we win almost hands down compared with other providers because we have customer service functionality,” Nick said. “And our product is available at a much lower cost — sometimes 80% lower.”
3CX also aims to grant users flexible deployment options, simple system management, and advanced reporting, providing more control than other providers typically do.
“With 3CX, you’re going to get a lot more control,” Nick told us. “There’s still a lot of companies that want to run on-premises for good reasons, such as handling their data. They’re going to get 3CX at a fraction of the cost of other competitors while maintaining control of their phone lines and integrations with in-house systems.”
Up Next: Seamless Help Desk and Ticketing Features
The future looks bright for 3CX, which will continue its ongoing evolution from PBX software to a full-fledged communications and collaboration suite.
“This is something we’ve been working on in 2020,” Nick said. “But we are going to really take it forward in 2021. We’ll integrate help desk and ticketing features, so users have a seamless solution for handling customer calls with full system functionality.”
3CX is excited to be ahead of the game in that respect.
“We’ll see what the next year brings, but we are very upbeat about this change,” Nick told us. “Many of our competitors are not taking the same path, but that’s where we see the market going. Companies need one integrated system.”