3CX was one of the first Windows-based PBX phone systems in the market. Even today, there are only a couple out there that work well. Traditional PBX phone systems are "black boxes" that get mounted to a wall, and you can't do anything with them. If you want an upgrade, you call the vendor. If you want more features, you call the vendor. If you want to make a change, you either call the vendor or you learn how to use their command-line system from a 1000-page manual. Either way, it's expensive and time consuming. 3CX was created to make phones easy!
3CX will run on any current (XP or higher) Windows platform. It is easy to install, has a terrific GUI, and changes and upgrades are pretty painless. There are, of course, some things to look out for that this book will cover but, overall, it's a great product.
This book is designed to cover everything you need from start to finish and then how to troubleshoot once you're done.
Chapter 1, Getting Started with the 3CX Phone System, covers what 3CX is, compares Asterisk with 3CX, and also compares the different versions of 3CX. Then, we get into the components needed and some capabilities.
Chapter 2, Downloading and Installing 3CX, will teach you what are the requirements to get 3CX to work well, the hardware requirements, and some points about operating systems (Windows). We will also cover downloading and installation and some of the options available. Then, we cover one of the most important parts—how to log in to the interface.
Chapter 3, Working with Extensions, covers the different types of phones you can integrate with 3CX. Also, we dive into creating extensions and just about all the features you can configure.
Chapter 4, Call Control: Ring Groups, Auto-attendants, and Call Queues, teaches you how to configure 3CX to handle calls once you have your extensions set up. We cover Digital Receptionists, Dial by Name directories, Call Queues, and Hunt groups.
Chapter 5, Trunks: Connecting to the Outside World, covers SIP trunks, PSTN lines, and some features to look for while selecting and using both of them.
Chapter 6, Configuration, covers several of the many features available in 3CX, from creating Music on Hold to prompt sets and dial plans. We also cover DIDs for those extensions that want the call going right to their phone.
Chapter 7, Enterprise Features, covers how to set up and use the enterprise features that come with the paid license of 3CX. Features like call recording, conference calls, call reporting, and faxing will be discussed. We will also cover the mystery behind codecs and how/when to change them.
Chapter 8, Integrating 3CX, covers the various types of integration options available with 3CX. We will cover topics like Exchange 2007, Skype, instant messaging, dialing from Outlook, and database integrations.
Chapter 9, Hardware, is an important chapter if you are looking to buy hardware. While we discussed hardware phones before, this chapter breaks them down into a few brands that we know and use. We will also cover devices to connect to your analog phone lines and to analog phones.
Chapter 10, Maintenance and Troubleshooting, covers some troubleshooting options that you will need at some point, once your system is up and running (or maybe not). We will also go over disaster recovery and backing up your system. Then, we will move on to deeper networking with firewalls, network services, logging, and finally support options when you are really stuck.
We are assuming that you have some Windows experience, access to your router, and that you know how to make changes to your firewall (if needed). You will also need a DHCP server, some kind of VoIP phone (hardware or software), and high-speed Internet or old school phone lines. We will cover all of these throughout this book, but the more you know to start, the easier it will be for you to get your system up and running quickly and easily.
Anyone familiar with Windows and some basic networking knowledge can install and set up a complete 3CX Phone System. This book takes you through all the steps you'll need, plus some tips and tricks to make it better. We'll also cover some topics to make it easier using third-party applications.
If you typically never open a manual like the one 3CX has, this book will help you. The knowledge Matt and Rob put into the book are based on real-world examples.
If you have tried another phone system, such as Asterisk, but had issues with commands or integration, then 3CX and this book are for you. If you follow all the chapters, you will have a fully functional system in a short time.
This book is not for those who hate Windows or who know nothing about networking. If you don't know what a TCP/IP address is, you can still get a functional system, but if you run into problems, it may be hard to troubleshoot.
In this book, you will find a number of styles of text that distinguish between different kinds of information. Here are some examples of these styles and an explanation of their meaning.
Code words in text are shown as follows: "3CX VoIP Client will run the program
%callid% as the parameter."
New terms and important words are shown in bold. Words that you see on the screen, in menus or dialog boxes for example, appear in the text like this: "The following screenshot shows the Preferences interface, which is used to set up the powerful On Incoming call feature."
Tips and tricks appear like this.
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