If you’re in the market for a new telephone system for your business, you’ve probably come across 3CX.
3CX is a flexible, modern and robust telephone system, designed for businesses of all sizes. If you’re looking to upgrade your businesses telephone system to 3CX, then understanding how 3CX works is important.
This guide will help you to make sense of how your business can utilise 3CX, and how it makes use of modern, IP-based technologies (such as VoIP).
What is 3CX?
3CX is a modern, IP-based alternative to a a traditional on-premise PBX telephone systems. 3CX offers versatile deployment, meaning it can be setup as a cloud-based, on-premise or hybrid telephone system.
Rather than using hardware to control your businesses telephone calls, 3CX is fully software-based. This significantly reduces installation, maintenance and rollout costs.
How Does a 3CX Phone System Work?
A 3CX phone system works using a protocol called SIP (often referred to as SIP Trunks). SIP stands for Session Initiation Protocol, and is a method for making and receiving telephone calls over the internet, using your businesses broadband connection. Making calls using the SIP protocol is more commonly referred to as VoIP (Voice Over IP).
Using SIP, 3CX connects your calls to the PSTN (public switched telephone network), from there, calls connect to the other party—whether that’s another landline number, a mobile or international etc.
Using your businesses existing broadband connection means that there are little to no call charges for outbound calls. Our 3CX SIP Trunks come with 5,000 FREE UK minutes to 01, 02, 03 and mobile numbers.
The beauty of 3CX is its versatility. As a software-based solution, it can be implemented at a fraction of the cost of traditional telephone systems. By deploying your 3CX in the cloud, your business can benefit from the flexibility offered by cloud applications (home/remote working, multi-site setups, virtual numbers, soft phone apps, etc).
However, for larger businesses that don’t want to rely on a cloud platform, 3CX can be deployed on an in-house server. We typically see a setup like this at large hotels with room phones or at large offices with hundreds of extensions—as it is often more cost-effective than a cloud-based solution at this scale.
How Does 3CX Differ from On-Premise PBXs?
In contrast, traditional (on-premise) phone systems such as Samsung, Mitel, LG (iPECS), NEC or Panasonic require a physical ‘box-on-the-wall’. It is this box that controls your businesses incoming, outgoing and internal call traffic. These phone systems normally utilise a technology called ISDN.
However, with ISDN being switched off in 2025, these traditional telephone systems will become obsolete. This means that businesses have a deadline to move away from on-premise PBX phone systems to more modern options - just like 3CX.
By upgrading your phone system to 3CX, you’ll be able to better utilise your existing broadband connection, consolidate multiple costs into one and create a more unified communications environment. Some of our 3CX customers are seeing up to 75% cost saving against the alternatives.
Benefits of 3CX
Now we have some understanding of how 3CX works, we can better realise the benefits of upgrading your telephone system to 3CX.
As we said before, the flexibility or ‘versatility’ of 3CX is one of its main advantages. With cloud deployment, you can centralise your telephone system, move away from costly on-site hardware and create a better and more streamlined communications environment for your team.
2. Cost Saving
Our customers are seeing up to 75% cost saving against on-premise, PBX alternatives, with no hardware costs and reduced operating costs (because everything is in the cloud).
Using your broadband for calls also means you can do away with additional telephone lines, thereby consolidating costs and reducing overheads. Often, businesses have quite a few telephone lines, and these can be effectively reduced into one.
New customers also get their first 12 months of licences for free when they upgrade to 3CX.
3. Home & Remote Working
Let’s face it, home working is an essential in the modern era. With the pandemic adding uncertainty, your businesses telephone system needs to be able to adapt when users have to work from home, or remotely.
The great thing about 3CX, is that home/remote working is baked right in. No add-ons or complicated extras to pay for, it works remotely or at home.
Is 3CX the Right Phone System for my Business?
Chances are, a 3CX phone system would be a good fit for your business. Because of 3CX’s scalability, it can be easily deployed for as few as 2/3 users, right up to hundreds of users with sites across the UK.
The beauty with 3CX is that you only pay for what you need, so there’s no shelling out for expensive on-site hardware that provides more than you’ll ever require. You even get 12 months of free licensing.
Upgrading your telephone system can be quite a daunting task, especially if you’re moving away from an on-premise PBX (such as a Samsung or Mitel), to a cloud solution such as 3CX.
Our team are here to help you migrate your telephone system to 3CX, with expert installation, management and support throughout. We pride ourselves in offering a fully managed change-over, from consultation to delivery and after care—we work with our clients to deliver their telephony with minimal impact to their business for a stress-free upgrade.
Speak to our team for a detailed look at 3CX and how your business can benefit from making the move.