Recently, we’ve started selling a new line of products to try to expand our services offering to benefit our customers. I had the opportunity to look into and test a number of products and we made the decision to go with 3CX phone system, Ubiquiti switches and firewalls to provide a very cost effective, functional environment for (generally) smaller businesses. I’d like to take this opportunity to discuss each of those providers and how they work together.
3CX provides a lot of features for a comparatively small cost. The high level features that I’ll discuss in more details are:
- Easy Admin and Install
- Android and IOS Clients
- Windows and Mac Softphones
- Unified Communications
- Web Conferencing
The administrative web page for 3CX is very simple and intuitive to use. 3CX runs on a windows server easing management as well. One of the nicest features I’ve seen is that when I provision a user, the system automatically generates a welcome email with the installation instructions for the soft clients as well as the provisioning file. The windows client has a professional appearance and provides instant messaging and presence information, directory information, voicemails, and many other features.
Another feature that is provided with the system is web conferencing using WebRTC. Essentially, WebRTC allows you to have video conferencing without installing anything. With a couple clicks, you can have a video web conference using Google Chrome and have people join from almost any computer with an Internet connection, Android phone, and iOS phone (apps required for mobile). These web conferences give you the ability to share your screen, and provide remote support by allowing you to control another’s computer if you are given permission.
3CX licensing is also a very simple model. Essentially, you pay for the number of simultaneous calls that you’re going to have. All that information is provided on their web page: www.3cx.com.
Ubiquiti Unifi switches and firewalls provide a very nice infrastructure for small businesses. Ubiquiti has done a very nice job with software defined networking with this product line at a very reasonable cost. They offer firewalls, POE switches, and access points. The configuration for the devices is all via the Unifi controller and that also provides statistics for the devices. Shown is a screen shot of the initial dashboard. More information about their Unifi products can be found here: https://www.ubnt.com/enterprise/.