Communication is the heart of any business regardless of the size of the organisation. While voice and video communication are the most common forms, the way you, your staff, and your customers staff interact with people is rapidly evolving.


Enter 3CX version 20 that has been 2 years in the making and nearly 20 years of evolution. This is a completely re-engineered edition of the popular Unified Communications platform which covers voice, video, chat and more.


Nearly 20 years ago, 3CX set out with a clear goal to deliver a simple, cost-effective, and flexible unified communications solution. Their product also needed to be agile to lead market disruption and integrate new technologies as they became common for a modern business. It was a very different time of computing with installations being on-prem and on the Windows platform – most businesses still relied on faxes back then! Fast forward to today where the large majority of installations are in the Cloud and on Linux.


Key new developments in the just launched version 20


Taking all the knowledge they’ve acquired, 3CX set out to re-design the solution from the ground up and make it the business communication tool for today and the future!


  • Hardened security – the latest improvements include the Linux version running on top of Debian 12, along with 2FA in addition to Microsoft and Google SSO. The unified client and Admin Console has removed a further surface that hackers would target. This release has been thoroughly reviewed by not just Mandiant but also been checked by Reversinglabs, Coverity, and Kaspersky making it the most secure communications solution on the market.
  • Powerful departments – in version 18, 3CX introduced Groups, version 20 introduces Departments which are much more powerful and acting like an Organisational Unit (Windows Active Directory). This allows each department to have its own office hours; holidays; break times; time zones; language settings; and extensions. You can even have dedicated trunks at the department level vs the system level. This is paving the way for the future to be able to have other department specific connections.
  • New SIP Call Manager and Reporting – while a lot has changed in nearly 20 years of 3CX, the development team always keep the core function of their platform in mind and that is around the telephony roots. The re-written Call Manager focuses on call centres of today but also the future – additional queue strategies will lead to major reporting enhancements in the future. A focus is on reporting and not just the improvements to existing reports. It’s also on the ability to integrate with leading reporting solutions such as Grafana. Watch the future updates when more on the new reporting will be unveiled and added.
  • AI Foundations have been laid – AI is a game-changer for all software developers and 3CX is no exception. In version 20 the foundations have been designed for deep integration of AI in the future. 3CX has started with their call transcription and reporting by creating the ability to not just transcribe calls but also to analyse them. Keep watching for future announcements.
  • NEW Native Windows Softphone – this is a brand-new tool taking the best of previous tools such as the legacy softphone and the mobile apps. The app runs in conjunction with the WebClient and overcomes limitations that apps like the PWA had including a proper answer dialogue. It also allows the audio control to be independent from the browser. Secure deployment as it’s downloadable from the Microsoft Store. Expect to see the Desktop App based on Electron Code deprecated at some point soon.
  • New Admin Console – we say goodbye to the Management Console and embrace the new Admin Console which is accessible from the WebClient. Both consoles are web browsers, for those of us on the 3CX journey for a long time the Management Console has been our reliable friend, and we know where everything is, for newer partners they struggled with the logic of where some things were found so the Admin Console has a more logical layout and it will take a bit of getting used to for those of us who’ve been around a while.


What sets 3CX apart from the rest?


3CX’s platform covers not just voice via desktop; mobile apps; or IP phones and video meetings, but also more modern communication methods such as Chat. 3CX has WebChat for your website with the ability to elevate a chat to a call; Chat for Facebook Messenger; and WhatsApp Business messaging; SMS; along with internal chat for your teams. There will be platforms not even thought of yet that will become core communication tools of the future so a platform ready to pivot quickly is essential.


What is 3CX in a few quick points?


  • Unified communications out of the box – they don’t forget the core of business communications which remain voice and video.
  • Simple licensing – license for the number of calls at any one point in time (simultaneous call count), verse number of staff or extension models.
  • Select the right edition for your business needs – no extra add-ons.
  • Scalable – from SMB to Enterprise it evolves with your needs.
  • No learning curve for staff – if they can use a computer, they can use 3CX.
  • Deploy in the cloud or on-prem.


What’s yet to come?


At 3CX they’re always looking to the future. What they’ve released in version 20 is not a static version of their vision for the future, instead it’s a secure and expandable architecture that they can easily build upon. Continue to watch this space for a soon to be released roadmap blog post detailing their plans for upcoming updates 1 & 2, including security, redesigned Microsoft teams integration, reporting capabilities (Grafana), Multi tenancy, on board video MCU and Programmability.


Do you want to know more?


Bluechip is proud to have been distributing 3CX in NZ for many years now and have a dedicated UC team that can help you get started. As your customers IT partner, it’s important to ask yourself the question: “If I’m not providing telephony to my customer someone else is, what happens if they also offer IT services?
If you’d like to know more – reach out to our team on or if you’re ready to start immediately you can sign up as a 3CX partner at this link (please note that there are specific requirements to being a 3CX partner and we’re happy to explain these prior to you submitting an application).
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