Why Your Next Phone System Should be Software-Based and Running on a Mainstream Operating System
This article explains the benefits of having a software-based phone system and why it makes sense to move away from proprietary solutions and straight to a real software-based solution running on a mainstream, commercially supported operating system.
The PBX business is clearly fast asleep. In the IT world, in 1970 you paid around 100,000 DM for a computer for basic calculations. In 2008, you pay 1,000 EUR for a laptop and can run your whole business with it. In the PBX business, in 1970 you paid around 10,000 DM for a black box, to place calls and transfer calls. In 2008, you still pay 10,000 EUR for the same thing. The phone system of 1970 is the phone system of today, they look and do almost the same. This is very different from what has been happening in the IT business over the last 40 years, where we have seen lots of progress and a reduction in cost. The PBX business has a lot to catch up on. It desperately needs to innovate, and it is software solutions that can make that happen.
The lack of progress and innovation in the PBX industry has been largely caused by the fact that the traditional PBXs run on a proprietary and limited operating system, which has only archaic development tools. A software 3CX will leverage the latest operating system features and modern development environments, allowing developers to reuse features in the operating system and quickly add new functionalities to the 3CX.
The 3CX must run on a mainstream OS
A key point is that the 3CX software runs on a mainstream operating system that is commercially supported and maintained, guaranteeing regular OS updates supporting the latest hardware, and most importantly security updates for vulnerabilities found. Administrators need to get away from black boxes and take control of their phone system.
Windows or Linux?
The choice of Windows or Linux will largely depend on your IT infrastructure and the experience of your administrations. The C2 Communications 3CX does not require additional skills from your team or requires you to buy additional hardware or support agreements with operating system vendors. We’ll go with the computer system you prefer.
10 Reasons to Switch to an IP 3CX
Applying OS patches
Operating systems need to have patches applied on a regular basis. If administrators have chosen a PBX that runs on an operating system they are familiar with then they will be able to easily apply these patches. Windows administrators will struggle to apply Linux patches. This is mostly important if you want to host the 3CX on-premise; if you decide for a hosted or virtual 3CX by C2 Communications, we take care of the whole maintenance process.
Upgrading is easier
Upgrading to a new version of your 3CX is a simple process if you are familiar with the underlying operating system: Upgrades will be done in a matter of 5 to 10 minutes.
Fault tolerance through easy backup of your 3CX
Software-based also means that you can easily backup your whole 3CX. In the event of a hardware failure, you can restore your phone system on another machine in a matter of minutes using the inbuilt backup function.
Leverage your existing server hardware
Because modern servers have ample processing power, a software-based 3CX can run on an existing server with other applications, saving on hardware cost, energy consumption and administration costs. No need for a dedicated machine or a low performance appliance. Optionally, using Hyper-V, VMware or KVM you can also virtualise your 3CX and separate it from other apps, without requiring a separate server.
Low resource usage
Modern day hardware can easily support 3CX hardware requirements. The table below shows the processor and memory usage of a busy Windows Server for handling 16 continuous calls: Low processor and memory usage means it can be run safely on an existing Windows server that is running other applications.
Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, E 4500 @ 2.20 GHz, 4 GB of RAM, 50 GB Hard disk SATA and a 100Mbps Network connection
25 users making heavy use of exchange (sending mail, scheduling meetings, checking inbox etc)
Processor time used by exchange server
3CX phone system
3CX simulated call load
16 simultaneous calls continuously
0.5 calls/second equalling 2000 calls per hour
Processor usage of all 3CX services
Less than 15% CPU
Total memory usage of all 3CX services
Peak processor usage
Alternatively, we can install your 3CX as a virtual instance using Hyper-V, Vmware or KVM. These are great virtualisation platforms with superior I/O performance which allow you to virtualise your 3CX, even for larger installations.
Easy to scale
Because your 3CX is running on a modern server, it’s easy to scale compared to a traditional PBX or an appliance. Modern server hardware will allow you to add almost unlimited extensions, lines and functions because servers have ample processing power. Appliances on the other hand are limited by the number of telephony ports and by their limited processing power and memory. Your appliance will run out of steam as soon as you start adding more lines, phones, and making use of more processor intensive functions such as conferencing. Before you know it you will need to discard your old appliance and buy a new ‘bigger’ appliance.
On-site support and replacements
An important advantage in working with C2 Communications is that we provide leading server hardware with on-site support and replacements in case you host your 3CX on-premise.
Easy integration with other applications
Another major advantage of a software-based 3CX is that it integrates easily with your other business applications and uses the same API’s. It’s no longer a black box sitting in the corner refusing to talk to the rest of your applications. And with this integration, we can gain features and thus productivity. For example:
Integrate with CRM system or database
Our software 3CX will easily talk to other systems such as the CRM, mail or database server and greatly improve your productivity and customer service. Match a caller ID to a customer and know who is calling. Automatically log calls with customers for reporting and customer service purposes.
Integrate with your user directory
Software-based 3CX will allow you to connect with your user directory of choice, be it LDAP or Active Directory. Ensure that user data is not duplicated and always up to date, saving valuable administration time and ensuring user data is correct and synchronised.
The 3CX system from C2 Communications delivers great advantages to your company. It will offer you: