I recently had the opportunity to ask 3CX CEO Nick Galea about the evolution of the IP communicationsspace and the direction his company is taking.
3CX is well known for its SIP-based 3CX Phone System for Windows, a software-based IP PBX that replaces a traditional proprietary hardware PBX/PABX.
To learn more about the company, read this TMCnet article from earlier this year.
Please outline your new corporate initiatives.
We have launched version 3.1 of our phone system recently, which is a complete software based small business phone system running on Windows. Our main drive for Q4 of this year is the release of version 4, which will include a SIP VOIP client and have many innovations.
How is IP communications changing your company’s strategy?
Our company is based on the future potential on IP Communications, so it’s pretty fundamental to our company strategy.
What pains does your company solve for customers?
The pain of the traditional proprietary phone system shackle. It is expensive, difficult to manage and entirely outdated. We remove that shackle-bind by liberating the PBX from the proprietary hardware. As software running on Windows, it is much more flexible and can finally integrate with the Windows business applications we use each day and takes IP Telephony to an entirely new level.
How has SIP changed communications?
I think SIP is the main driver in the acceleration of the IP Telephony revolution. I think the standard will continue to gain power and soon enough it will beat and hopefully eliminate the proprietary SKYPE protocol. Once that is done I think the telecom revolution will accelerate even more.
How do you think the future of the market looks?
SIP based. Open standards with best of breed solutions for software, hardware, add ons and so on.
How does the growth rate in the U.S. compare to the rest of the world?
I think IP Telephony is growing everywhere. I don’t think it’s particularly any different in the U.S. For example, we are seeing rapid VOIP take up in France and Italy.
What do you think of Google and Apple entering the telecom market?
They are much welcomed but let’s evaluate their products on the strength of the actual product, not just on the fact that there is a big name behind it. So far there is Google Talk and Apple iPhone. Google talk still has a long way to go and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere fast. Apple iPhone has a great coolness factor but other then that it does pretty much the same as what mobile phones have been doing for years.
How about Microsoft?
What about them? 🙂 Microsoft Response Point is nowhere to be seen, and Microsoft Office Communications Server is touted as the next VOIP platform though it doesn’t even have elementary PBX switching in it.
How will open source technologies change our market?
I don’t think open source technologies are changing the market. I think the emergence of standards such as SIP are changing the market. The open source principle has some major flaws. It assumes that companies want to get into the source code of products, which is generally not what they wish to do.
Open source does not encourage long term investment in a code base, something that is required to build stable and mature products. If you draw an analogy to political movements, then open source is like communism (free for all – kind of) and closed source is the free market principle with investment offering long term rewards. I think it’s quite clear that the latter is what is required. Closed source with substantial investment and long term commitment. This will lead to IP Telephony platforms that will help businesses increase mobility and productivity.
What are your thoughts regarding hosted solutions?
They will have a place in the market, but considering the fact that most companies still host their own mail server it’s quite easy to see that companies hosting phone systems remotely is a long way away.
How will communications evolve over the next five years?
Mobility. Mobility. Mobility. Anything that can provide that will do well, anything that won’t – wont.
What will the industry see at your booth at ITEXPO?
3CX Phone System for Windows — a revolutionary product from a manageability perspective.
Why is your booth a "Can’t Miss?"
It is for all those companies wanting to do IP Telephony, but who want easy installation, configuration and management, and is therefore not Linux.
What do you want the industry to know about your company?
That we intend to take the lion share of the SMB phone system market by providing a quality, low cost and innovative telephony platform on Windows.
What’s next for communications?
Mobility. Mobility. Mobility. Anything that can provide that will do well, anything that won’t – wont.

  • madmax
    April 20, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    I tried this product. Compared to asterisk and hardware PBXes this system has a bad latency. For home use it is OK but for professional use it is not usable

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