3CX Beats out RingCentral®, 8×8® and Avaya® on Price, Features and Flexibility

Video West pays up to 80% less per year and gets video conferencing and control to boot.

Video West is an Arizona-based provider of broadcast and professional quality audio-visual equipment for a number of marketplaces. With an inventory including video projection, video production and camera systems, and all the gear needed to provide a full-service solution to their clients Video West needed a phone system that could keep up with their rapidly growing business. A responsive, thorough and quick service is key to the company’s success.

Video West’s old Intertel PBX needed replacing. Although fully paid off, keeping it running was a nightmare. The configuration was complex and required a consultant on call for even the smallest of changes. Parts were difficult to obtain and expensive, and modern features were not available at all. The T1 cost $1,000 per month with high call costs compared to modern SIP Trunks. This, coupled with the fact that remote working was impossible, meant that the system needed to be changed.

The search begins

When the decision was made to replace their PBX, Craig Reilly, Video West’s IT Admin started the search for a new one. The market was awash with Virtual PBX vendors and Craig obtained quotes from RingCentral®, 8×8® and Avaya®. Video West’s main requirements were for 70 extensions, some of which are rarely used but still needed, remote capabilities, 30 DIDs, large group video conferencing and, most importantly, an improved voicemail. All of which were sought from each provider with varying degrees of availability.

Craig Reilly, IT Admin for Video West: “Cost wasn’t the main drive for selection, but the significant difference in price between 3CX and the other suppliers we spoke with definitely helped our decision making process.”

Ringcentral, 8x8 and Avaya pricing. How do they compare to 3CX?

8×8® – Expensive, expensive, expensive

The first quote Video West received was from 8×8®. For the 70 extensions 8×8® quoted $35 per extension per month. This came with unlimited call minutes, but each extension needed to be licensed separately. Monthly DID cost was high at $5 a number per month with video conferencing above 5 participants, call recording and a switchboard costing extra. Even with the basic feature set, 8×8® was going to cost Video West a cool $2,600 per month, which was a drastic increase from their old system.

RingCentral® – Required optional extras, price take off.

RingCentral® came in with a very similar quote at $34.99 per extension. Unlike the 8×8® quote RingCentral® was able to offer video conferencing with more than 5 participants as a standard feature at no additional cost. CRM integration and call recording were also built in. Again, with each extension needing to be licensed and adding the DIDs the quote came to a total monthly fixed cost of $2,599.30.

Avaya® – Slow to bat and nothing out of the ordinary

Avaya® came back with a quote that ranged from $24.95 to $39.95 per extension depending on the type of features required for each. When all added up this was inline with those of 8×8® and RingCentral®. Likewise the DID cost was consistent at $5 a number per month. After waiting for the quote it really didn’t bring anything extra to the table. To get the video conferencing and DIDs they required Video West had to pay an extra $350 per month. All together, this brought their monthly fixed costs to a minimum of $2,371.50.

Locked into price and locked out of competition

To add insult to injury, all three companies required a 36 month contract, which gave free access to IP Phones, which were quoted at inflated prices and are really built into the monthly costs. These free phones seem like a great added value until it comes time to renew contracts. What is not stated in the offer is that each of these phones is proprietary and will only function with their corresponding operating systems, meaning that after 36 months there is no availability to move to another provider with the current hardware.

Furthermore, all data would be stored in the cloud outside of Video West’s control, with no import or export possibilities. An on-premise option, which is attractive for cost and bandwidth reasons, was not available.

Enter 3CX – PBX without the arm and a leg

Unlimited extensions are standard with 3CX, whereby per Sim. Call rates mean a drastically lower fixed cost. Requiring 70 extensions meant roughly 32 Sim. Call licences at $3.44 each. The 3CX feature set was far greater too, with softphones, video conferencing and call queues included in the price. This, with the $1 per DID cost, meant that Video West’s monthly fixed cost with 3CX came to $140. This was a mear 6% of even the lowest quote from 3CX’s competitors.

Craig Reilly, IT Admin for Video West: “Comparing the other major options out there – we got a lot for our money without being nickel and dimed for every little feature. For most changes to the system I can easily manage them myself without calling a 3CX partner and scheduling an appointment. All of these systems would cost us $1,000+ per month. We are currently spending about $90 month + our maintenance fee.”

3CX – Full control, open standards

Offering both an on-premise and cloud option. Video West could self-host or have a managed PBX. Best of all 3CX offered complete control and choice. Choice as to where to run 3CX, with one of the leading cloud providers such as Google or Azure. Choice of which IP Phones and SIP Trunks to use.

3CX has templates with leading SIP Trunk providers and the monthly cost in terms of minutes is a fraction compared to the cost of the minutes that users are forced to buy from other Virtual PBX vendors. Furthermore, Video West has the capability to import, export and keep full control of their confidential data.

One year on

Video West has now been running 3CX for more than a year. The difference between it and the old Intertel system is drastic. No longer does Video West require a technician to be on call for any upgrade or change to the system. They have complete control over their own phone system.

Craig Reilly, IT Admin for Video West: “Aside from saving over $25,000 this year alone by going with 3CX instead of the other options our employees have enjoyed the new features the system has provided. They mostly appreciate the call forwarding functionality and built in caller ID.”

The increased productivity of Video West employees has been noticeable, particularly when it comes to web conferencing and the integration with the custom CRM. Staff have been able to stay mobile and work on the road, no matter where they end up. Most opt to have their calls forwarded to their cell phones, especially when working from home.

Cost savings in the tens of thousands, increased mobility and productivity, the freedom to choose a SIP Trunk that best suits their needs, and a voicemail that actually works all bundled together have made for a happy team at Video West and continued happy customers.

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