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A closer look at 3CX Phone System 12

3CX Phone System 12 is a software-based VoIP that replaces and updates traditional PBXs to enable businesses to make, receive and transfer calls through an internal network.

For the first time, with 3CX Phone System 12, 3CX offers a fully unified communications service solution which works across Windows, Android and iOS, providing unparalleled mobility by transforming almost any smartphone into a 3CX softphone with integrated PUSH technology.

Whether making calls through a deskphone or a smartphone, communications are sent as data packets over the computer network rather than via the traditional phone network.

Through the 3CX Phone System 12 desktop software console and smartphone app, calls can then be easily managed, transferred, diverted and elevated to conference call by a simple click.

A number of phone groups can be set up, with professionals given different roles and access rights to managing calls within different groups. Users can speak with colleagues through an instant messaging feature, as well as check their status before communicating with them through both the smartphone app and the desktop software console.

PUSH notification support on the smartphone app enables the 3CX Phone System to 'wake up' the phone when a new VoIP call comes in. This cuts company call costs, as users can be reached via VoIP at anytime, removing mobile phone charges, as well as saving valuable battery life.

Furthermore, as the calls are being sent through the 3CX Phone System, rather than the phone's network, users do not need to give out their mobile number, so providing the option of privacy within businesses adopting a BYOD policy.

The 3CX desktop software is easy to use and navigate, whilst anyone with an understanding of computer networks and Windows can install and configure the VoIP system. The accompanying smartphone app can be downloaded from the Google or Apple app Store and set up in a matter of seconds by any user.

A VoIP Phone System consists of the IP PBX server, more than one SIP based phones and a VoIP/PSTN Gateway or a VoIP service provider. The IP PBX server works similar to a proxy server - SIP clients register with the IP PBX server, and when they wish to make a call they ask the IP PBX to establish the connection.

The VoIP phone system can be connected to a software based SIP phone which works through the computer (like Skype); a hardware based SIP desk phone which behaves like a normal phone; or an iOS or Android based phone which becomes a client of the phone system through the app, with calls being made via Wi-Fi, 3G or 4G.

The IP PBX server has a directory of all phones and users along with their corresponding SIP address and so is able to connect an Internal call or route an external call through either a VoIP/PSTN gateway or a VoIP service provider.

As 3CX is a fully integrated system, the same functionality is offered whether a user is operating through the software, a hardware SIP phone or the smartphone app.

When the new VoIP system is set up, the first thing that must be assigned is extensions for each user. Each extension can then have a set of call forwarding rules. These define what 3CX Phone System should do when the extension user is unable to take an incoming call.

It can also be configured based on the user's status, the time, the caller ID, and whether the call is an internal or external call.

Through user extensions, ring groups can be set up, allowing managers to direct calls to a group of extensions so vastly reducing the chance of an important call being missed.

Paging allows users to make announcements to groups of people via the phone speaker in a similar way to a PA system, whilst the intercom feature allows a phone system user to make an announcement to a single extension.

Call queues meanwhile, allow incoming callers to be kept in a queue until an employee becomes available to take the call, meaning no calls need go unanswered.

One of 3CX's most powerful functions is call conferencing, a key feature, as although many conference call services exist, it is often easier and cheaper to host your own audio conferences.

With 3CX Phone System, users can easily configure up to eight conference calls, with each being able to host up to eight callers, meaning that 3CX gives businesses the power to host up to 64 callers across eight conference calls at any given time.

Users can set up conference calls between colleagues and external callers with just a few clicks of the mouse. A call can also be elevated to a conference call whilst it is ongoing, with users able to quickly add other callers from their company phonebook, extensions or personal phonebook.

3CX Phone System supports both a company and personal phonebook. The company wide phone book is available to all employees and managed from the 3CX management console. The personal phonebook is managed from 3CX MyPhone and is a private contact book linked to a particular extension.

The software also includes a backup and restore utility that allows businesses to create a complete backup of all data as well as the phone system configuration.

With 3CX Phone System 12 Pro Edition, users receive a number of analyticals reports through the 3CX Web Reports module, including those for call, queue and call centre.

Call statistics reports provide information on the calls made and received through 3CX Phone System, as well as data on phone extensions and ring groups.

The basic queue statistic report looks into the number of abandoned calls, waiting times and team performance. Call centre statistics reports can then provide more detailed information on queue statistics, call distribution, team statistics, abandoned calls, SLA statistics, callback statistics, and other reports related to the call centre.

3CX Phone System for Windows can be downloaded through the company's website now, where full pricing can also be found. The Android app is available through the Google Play app store and the iOS app through the Apple App Store.