Update 6 is a massive update, almost like a new version, but easier to upgrade to! It brings together many of the things we have been working on this year and unifies the 3CX StartUP features into our main product. Many of the StartUP features are beneficial to larger installs.
This update improves how you configure 3CX. We have really simplified setup and configuration and brought it inline with the times. Outbound and Inbound rule setup and phone configuration has been greatly simplified so that it is now easier and faster to get 3CX up and running.
Together with Update 6, you can now use selected phones as SBC devices as well as phones, by deploying a new firmware to them that bundles the SBC service.
The SBC functionality is a key feature of 3CX because by proxying voice traffic via the SBC it allows us to encrypt it, but most importantly make it “firewall proof”. Voice traffic can traverse firewalls more easily and more reliably through an SBC than when using STUN.
The drawback however, was that you had to dedicate a device for this on the network. With SBC capable phones not only do you no longer need a separate device, it's also much easier to set up. At launch, the following phones are “SBC capable”:
Key takeaways about new SBC phones
- Selected phones from Yealink and Fanvil now have the SBC proxy built in
- These phones can function as a phone as well as an SBC for the network
- Rather than piece together a Raspberry Pi simply buy a new $125 phone
- Allows for up to ten phones (possibly more) to proxy via the phone
- Much easier to set up than a “stand alone” SBC.
Phone provisioning in 3CX evolved over time and finally we had several methods to do the same thing. Some of those methods were outdated and focused on on-premise installs in a time when browser security was not a big thing. So it was time to streamline the process and focus on one secure provisioning method that caters for hosted and on-premise. We completely rewrote our RPS provisioning server and now it's the main way to provision phones.
If your phone is on the local LAN, you can copy and paste the provisioning URL into the phone web interface. This is for older phones that don't support our RPS server or for networks still using a local LAN IP. In future, split server DNS will be required with a secure FQDN, which then also enables the use of the RPS server on the LAN. For now local LAN provisioning via PnP can still be done from the Management Console.
Key takeaways about Phone Provisioning:
- New easier IP Phone configuration from Web Client
- Provision via our new RPS server or using weblink for local LAN phones
- Guides updated and improved for supported and preferred phones.
In Update 6, groups are beefed up with many features we developed for StartUP. Before, groups were mainly used to group extensions and apply some rights. But after Update 6 a group is much more powerful - you configure its own timezone & language and office hours. You can delegate rights using roles rather than individual “tick boxes”. Roles are much easier to configure and manage.
This will be of great benefit for larger installs that have teams working different time zones or languages. Administration can be delegated to group admins. Larger installs that span multiple physical office locations will be able to use groups to more easily separate routing, SIP trunks and more.
For example, our PBX at 3CX became very complex because of inbound and outbound routing to multiple SIP trunks and different office hours for each of our sales teams. Status scheduler could not automatically login/logout sales staff to call queues and live chat. With groups we can make separate groups for each sales team and configure this much more efficiently. Our remote offices can have their own IVR and office / time zones. The result was a drastic simplification of our PBX configuration. Furthermore, we could delegate Group admin to admins or managers of particular offices and departments. We reduce our admin time by some 300%.
Key Takeaways about Groups:
- Callable with an inbuilt menu that can route calls based on time received
- Extensions inherit Group Office hours by default
- New installs group extensions in Default group
- In future, group phonebooks & group chat.
A new way to configure the system - the Admin section in the Web Client. This was already present in Update 5, but in Update 6 we have added many new configuration options, such as expanding on Call Handling, configuration of SIP trunks, Live chat, WhatsApp and Facebook. As well as, phone provisioning and management and management of forwarding rules of other Users. To get access to the Admin section in the Web Client, you need to be a System Administrator, System Owner, Group Administrator, Owner or Manager.
Over time, rights management became complex, confusing - in short - messy. In Update 6 we are making rights management much simpler through the use of “Roles”. Roles were introduced in StartUP but are extremely useful for larger installs too. The roles apply to the Web Client only - they define what someone can do or configure in the Admin section of the Web Client. These are the new roles:
These roles apply for all groups that the User is a member of! The System Administrator and System Owner roles apply to the whole system. The old Management Console is left as is and any rights assigned to users in the Management Console remain as they are.
Key takeaways about roles:
- New way to assign rights in 3CX
- Allows more granular delegation of admin and management tasks
- 7 unique roles to cover different roles in an organization
- Requires that at least one user is assigned the role of System Owner.
IMPORTANT! As part of the below change, you need to assign an extension user System Administrator /Owner privileges. If the current 3CX administrator does not have an extension you need to create one. Then, in the Management Console, go to the User account, click on the Rights tab and select System Owner role in the Group Membership section.
As part of the new admin interface in the Web Client we have also simplified the SIP trunk creation process. Out of the box you can configure Preferred and Supported VoIP providers. We have retested and rechecked all supported and preferred VoIP Providers. Supported Dedicated, Third Party Supported and generic providers need to be configured from the Management Console. We plan to include “Supported Dedicated” in the Web Client over time, as we support more configuration features from the new streamlined interface.