3CX v16 Alpha 2 and plans for the new year

    3CX v16 Alpha 2

    First of all, let me congratulate you on Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and thank sincerely for the trust in our products! We will definitely not let you down in 2019!

    Just before Christmas, we released 3CX v16 Alpha 2 with some very interesting features. Read our review and stay tuned - there is still a lot of interesting things ahead!

    BLF indicators in the web client

    In 3CX v16 Alpha 2, users had the opportunity to independently configure BLF-indicators in the client without administrator involvement. This is done in the section Parameters - Parameters BLF. You can reassign and move virtual buttons in the web client and after reconfiguring the IP phone, they will be synchronized with the hardware BLF indicators on the phone.

    The web client also received a new Operator Console that allows you to monitor all calls in the system, including calls in the Queues. The console has convenient links for the call center manager, allowing you to connect and disconnect Queue operators. Information on the status of the operator and individual Queue statistics are available in the Console. It also offers summary analytics and statistics on all calls and Queues (which you manage as a Queue Manager).

    Extended CRM Integration

    We were repeatedly asked to solve a problem with call fixation in the CRM log in order to save the call record as a new CRM contact. And we finally realized this in server CRM integration. Alpha 2 adds the ability to capture call data in all supported CRM systems.

    ATS instances manager 3CX

    3CX v16 Alpha 2 introduces the 3CX Instance Manager, which partners can use to transparently and securely manage client PBX installations (only Linux installations are supported).

    When developing the Manager, we used the internal technologies of active monitoring and control of resources used by our developers. Note that for the operation of this technology, the configuration of the firewall of the PBX is not required. In general, the use of the Manager significantly increases the resiliency of PBXs, because they can be successfully accompanied by a 3CX partner when the company's full-time system administrator cannot do this for some reason.

    We take data privacy seriously, so you always see exactly which data is transferred to the Instance Manager.

    Only the system administrator or company manager decides whether to connect monitoring and what can be monitored.

    Other updates

    We have updated the voicemail recognition service , which now uses the more robust Google Speech API (instead of Microsoft Bing Speech Services). Please note that only the first minute of a voice message is recognized. The recognized text is sent to the user by e-mail.

    The new version has made significant improvements in performance and security, thanks to the support for HTTPS / 2 in the nginx web server (which uses 3CX). This ensures compatibility with previous generations of applications and devices. Technicians know how much HTTPS / 2 improves server performance!

    The import file of extensions (users) can now also include DID lines specified in SIP trunks. You can “tighten” not only the users themselves, but also the DID numbers that are assigned to them - from a single CSV file. This significantly speeds up the transfer of the configuration to the new PBX.

    For the successful operation of the new release, it is necessary to update the voice message sets in the Settings> System Messages> Updates> Update section.

    Known Issues

    • Previewing images is currently not supported in Linux installations.
    • When switching from Microsoft Bing speech recognition to Google Speech, the Voicemail Transcription Service requires a new Google Speech API key. Generate it and replace it with an old key.   
    • Due to the recent update of Firefox, BLF indicators in the web client are displayed incorrectly. We will fix this problem in the Beta version of v16.
    • The Queue Manager service log is not overwritten cyclically. Will be fixed in Beta version v16.
    • 3CX Instance Manager does not work in a failover cluster.

    Installing 3CX v16 Alpha 2

    You can download the 3CX Alpha 2 version for Windows and Linux . You can also install 3CX in the cloud using the PBX express wizard . In this case, you will immediately get a cloud PBX that is configured and ready for work!

    Full changelog .

    3CX v16 development plans

    Focusing on the posts of 3CX employees in the community forum , we have prepared a list of new features and improvements that will appear next year. This list does not purport to be accurate and binding, and is not official. However, it will allow you to navigate the 3CX development plans for the coming months. For convenience, the list is divided into technological blocks that make up the system.

    Integration, CRM and scripting interface

    It is in this direction that the most new opportunities are expected:

    • Expanding CRM integration capabilities, especially with Office 365, Salesforce and other popular systems.
    • The Call Flow Designer application will be replaced with scripts in C #, Powershell and Python. It is also possible that in the interface, similar to the one that was in CFD, you can generate scripts in C #, and then edit them manually. It will be possible to work with error codes, request DTMF input, transfer data to the CRM REST API, etc. In the near future we will release examples of such scripts. Many complex or impracticable things at the moment will be done in 5-10 lines of code. Full implementation of the new 3CX scripting interface will take several months.
    • Along with the development of scripts, we will expand the IVR configuration interface and the Call Queue so that the PBX administrator can configure the complex call processing logic without programming.
    • The same is planned to be implemented when processing incoming and outgoing Caller ID, as well as in incoming and outgoing rules. For example, you can connect an additional processing script to an outbound rule.

    3CX Web Client

    • All functions of native clients 3CX for Windows and Mac will be transferred to the web client. At the same time, these clients will still work, but as usual SIP softphones.
    • The web client interface will be expanded with new features. In particular, it will be possible to customize the interface by combining information from different sources on one screen.
    • Perhaps the Chrome plugin will be released, further expanding the capabilities of the web client.
    • For the convenience of users, all hotkeys from the Windows client will be supported.

    3CX Session Border Controller Utility

    • It is planned to significantly expand the functionality of SBC. In particular, it will be available to manage remote phones from the 3CX console (via SBC).
    • Up to 100-150 remote phones will be supported depending on the power of the PC on which the SBC is installed.

    3CX Licensing

    • It is expected to release a free and lifetime updated Standard edition for 8 simultaneous calls.
    • At the same time, some features that are now available in Standard will be transferred to the Pro edition. It is important to note that this will not affect old users (license keys). Changes will only appear in new 3CX licenses. A full feature comparison will be published after the release of the 3CX v16.

    Wordpress plugin, phone firmware and reports

    • In the 3CX plug-in for Wordpress, a live chat will appear on the site, which can be served by one operator as well as by a group, as well as transferred to a voice call.
    • 3CX will continue to release its own, additionally tested IP phone firmware. Although they linger a bit with respect to the latest vendor firmware, they are guaranteed not to contain critical errors that make it difficult to work with 3CX.
    • New useful reports will appear, in particular, on the quality of VoIP calls.

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