There are several methods for setting up and implementing cloud hosted VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) systems for your business.
Two of the most popular are 3CX and Microsoft Teams Direct Routing.
3CX is a feature-rich telephony solution that brings all the benefits of modern telephony at a fraction of the cost of many other solutions, whilst Teams Direct Routing is the process of connecting your external telephony to the pre-existing internal communications system to create a fully unified business communications solution.
Gradwell are industry-leading providers of both solutions. As one of only a handful of Titanium-level 3CX partners throughout the UK, the largest partner of the solution in Europe, as well as one of only four suppliers to have 3CX preferred status, we have worked with hundreds of businesses to install a 3CX solution. Gradwell are one of the few UK partners that can provide every aspect of the solution including licenses, SIP trunks, dual hosting, support, and hardware.
Gradwell are recognised as experts in Teams Direct Routing. We were one of the initial companies approached by Microsoft when they decided to introduce their own VoIP offering. Ever since, we’ve honed our knowledge and expertise in both the provision of service and support, achieving a Gold level partnership and our network is trusted by thousands of businesses.
3CX and Teams Direct Routing share some features and benefits for organisations looking for a VoIP telephony solution. They both lend themselves perfectly to remote working, with easy-to-use softphone and native Android and iOS applications, call transfer features, and an intuitive control panel.
Both enable integration with Microsoft Office 365, which allows you to take advantage of features such as syncing statuses from your calendar and syncing contacts to your phone book. 3CX and Teams Direct Routing are both fully scalable solutions and can be scaled to suit the smallest or largest organisations both nationally and internationally, and are built in the cloud, utilising secure and disaster proof ISO 27001 approved and 24/7/365 monitored data centres.
Importantly, both options also help to future proof businesses. With the ISDN switch off coming up in 2025, businesses need to migrate their communications to modern, VoIP based telephony. Both 3CX and DR utilise VoIP technology and allow you to move away from reliance on the traditional ISDN phone lines.
So, let’s move on to look at some of the differentiators between the two solutions.
Microsoft Teams has revolutionised business communications and has been adopted by thousands of businesses across the world to support the unprecedented levels of remote and hybrid working brought about by the pandemic. A large percentage of businesses across the country will now be using Microsoft Teams as their internal business communications system. This makes Teams Direct Routing an obvious choice for them as they already have the infrastructure in place to connect Teams to the PSTN through Direct Routing and SIP Trunks, with an obvious benefit being the ease of transition for users, with minimal training needed.
Integrating voice communication capabilities with Microsoft Teams through Direct Routing allows businesses to achieve full unified communications. This means that all business-related communications are centralised through one powerful system. Microsoft Teams will be the central hub for messaging, meetings, file management and transfers, and internal and external telephony. Fully unified business communications allow you to streamline IT operations, reduce costs, improve collaboration between teams and enable hybrid and remote working.
Click here to read our in-depth guide to Microsoft Teams Direct Routing.
3CX is one of the leading business telephone systems in the world and is currently used by over 600,00 organisations – including the likes of McDonalds, Toyota and The NHS.
3CX is a fully customisable and scalable solution which, unlike other VoIP offerings, allows you to fully customise your call flow. Using the 3CX Call Flow Designer, you can choose how incoming calls are handled and create call flows, to any level of complexity, without the need for any programming or scripting.
Skill-based Hunt Groups is a key feature of the 3CX system. This call routing method directs calls depending on which agent is best placed to help based on their unique skill set, meaning the customer always gets the best possible experience. Other useful features include video conferencing, live chat, wallboard and switchboard facilities, digital receptionist, scheduling of call reports, and custom voicemail creation for different status options.
The 3CX solution comes with a range of integration possibilities. One of the most useful is the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) integration, which allows you to integrate your PBX and CRM easily. This means that calls can be made and logged at the same time as keeping track of customer interactions and records – all on one centralised system.
Another distinguishing feature of the 3CX system is its licensing options. 3CX is based on a simultaneous call price mechanism instead of a per user cost. In practice, this means that as many users as needed can be added to the system (with the option of assigning them direct dials and/or extensions) depending on the size of the business for the same cost, as long as usage remains beneath the simultaneous call threshold, which can easily be upgraded.
Click here for a full breakdown of all the 3CX features.
Both 3CX and Teams Direct Routing are excellent options for businesses looking to modernise, future proof and streamline their business communications. Each share many benefits whilst also having some unique features. Selecting the best option for your business is likely to depend on your unique circumstances. For instance, there may be a specific CRM you need to integrate with, you may need to consider the number of licenses, the number of simultaneous calls and more. The next step is to speak to our cloud telephony experts who can take the time to understand your business and help to build a business communications solution that fits your unique needs.
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