Shortly 3CX will be releasing a new update, bringing in a number of new features, and a few changes to simplify some of the more common tasks like updating user details, and tweaking call routing. We’re pretty excited about some of the changes and the improvements that they’ll make for our clients.
3CX has had the ability to group up users for some time, but Update 6 is supercharging that ability. Previously the group functionality was limited to making teams more visible in the apps and webclient, limiting actions like picking up and listening to calls to certain people, and separating call billing for different locations.
Moving forward however, 3CX is supercharging the group functionality. Groups can be given their own office hours, timezone, and holidays, which will make a huge difference to businesses who operate in multiple locations. Users assigned to a group inherit the office hours from that group, and can easily set themselves up to automatically log in and out at the same time as the office opens.
Related to the Group improvements, there have also been changes to the roles that users can be given around managing the 3CX system. Previously users could be given the right to access the 3CX management console, and could be delegated rights to make changes to some or all users, as well as some or all phone routing and system settings. There was no ability to limit users to only be able to adjust certain call routing elements however, so a staff member from one office could easily change another office’s call routing, for example.
In the new update users can be given one of a number of new rights to perform tasks for their team, or for the system as a whole.
While Lightwire offers full management of the 3CX system, we appreciate that our partners and clients do sometimes wish to be able to handle their own changes, and are more than happy to enable the appropriate rights where required.
new management interface
The Webclient, and new desktop application, have had a new Admin section added to them. Some administrative functions, such as adding and changing users, configuring the new group functionality, and setting up call routing, can now be done directly in the Webclient/app by users with the appropriate role.
Not all functions have been moved though, so there is still a requirement to access the management console to do some things. Over the coming versions however, 3CX plans to move more and more to the web client, as a one-stop-shop.
The new update also comes with a new ability to set specific models of Yealink and Favil desk phones as what 3CX are calling a “router phone”. This configures the phone as a Session Border Controller (SBC).
An SBC works to get around potential firewall issues by creating a direct link to the 3CX system via a tunnel, and acts as a local endpoint for other phones to connect to. Most Lightwire 3CX deployments however have phones set up to connect to the PBX directly.
Both methods have their pros and cons. An SBC, for example, can make deployment simpler if using a firewall that you’re unsure of, and can help with security as remote access can be restricted to only allowing phones to register from a local network with an SBC on it. It does however create a single point of failure, as if the SBC goes offline (or the router phone gets unplugged!) all other phones that depend on it would also go offline.
Direct connections however aren’t dependent on another device on the network. Lightwire also configures phones in the 3CX system in such a way to minimize the likelihood of firewall issues. Our team is monitoring developments in this space however.
There are workarounds using extensions that change state at various times of the day, as well as using the Call Flow Designer. Changes can not be made temporarily, for example, routing calls to a mobile for the rest of the business day and returning to normal afterwards. A manual change is required to revert.
Lightwire will handle the upgrade to Update 6 for you. To be on the safe side we’ll be staggering this over a period after the full release is available.
If you have any queries about any of the new functionality, and how they can benefit you, don’t hesitate to reach out to our service desk!