I was recently contacted by Packt Publishing and asked if I would review a book about 3CX. I was more than happy to as we use 3CX and I am a supporter of the 3CX product (See my past blog on setting up 3CX).
The book is titled the 3CX IP PBX Tutorial authored by Matthew M. Landis and Robert Lloyd.
What is this book about? This book is titled “The 3CX IP PBX Tutorial” therefore it is a tutorial and a hands on guide to 3CX for beginners and administrators of software PBX solutions. The book is meant to guide you through setting up 3CX for business or home office use. It brings you from start to finish in a short amount of time.
What I liked:
In this book the authors aim to give a real world approach to setting up 3CX. They did a good job at organizing the steps and order of implementing a 3CX system. This will help someone that has never worked with 3CX or any PBX solution. I like how the authors went into the history of 3CX and background on VOIP/PBX as well.
There are many components that make up 3CX besides the core such as: the soft phone, the 3CX assistant, and reporting tool. In the beginning of the book they covered these components so you would get a good understanding of what 3CX is made of and what it can do.
The section titled “What 3CX is not” is valuable real world knowledge. This would help someone easily identify if 3CX meets their needs or not before getting too involved.
Chapters 1 through 4 covered the basics such as working with extensions, call groups, digital prompts, and install. Most of this was review for me but good information for a beginner.
Chapters 5 through 9 are great for technologist such as me. Some of it was review but there was a lot of new information that I picked up. It covered things such as SIP Trunks, using legacy PSTN, 3CX over VPN, Integration, and VOIP hardware.
The authors did a great job at giving insight into third party apps that would help extend the functionality of 3CX such as: X-Lite soft phones, and Openfire (an instant messaging solution). Something new I learned is that you can use 3CX with Openfire to get a full unified communications solution.
Chapter 10 is a great reference for the everyday 3CX admin. If you need information on backup and recovery, what ports need to be forwarded on your firewall for 3CX to work, or how to use the logs to troubleshoot you can always look here to quickly find it.
Throughout the book the authors offer notes based on past real world experiences like what features do work and what do not or what hardware seems to work the best compared to others on the market.
What I did not like:
Yes there are lots of great things about this book but there are a few things that I did not like. They touched on using 3CX in Microsoft Outlook but they did not even cover Microsoft Exchange integration. Microsoft Exchange is in many environments and this would have been really valuable information to have. Plus they could have added any tips from real world experience getting 3CX to work with Microsoft Exchange.
I would have also liked to see them cover 3CX and CRM integration. For example 3CX can intergrate with Salesforce CRM. You can find more information on this here: http://www.3cx.com/blog/docs/salesforce-integration.CRM is critical to many businesses now days and having CRM integrate with 3CX makes it all that more powerful. A section on CRM integration would have definitely added more value to owning this book.
My overall thoughts on this book:
To this date this is the only book on the market on 3CX and it is a good book to have in your collection. It is easy to read and follow. It is organized well taking you through the right steps from beginning to end to get your 3CX environment up and going. I highly recommend this book for 3CX newbie’s.
Link to Book:
Packt Publishing: http://www.packtpub.com/the-3cx-ip-pbx-tutorial/book