Multi-tenant Billing and Customer Portal

Hello: we are in the process of deploying Schmoozecoms’s Freepbx OEM solution. It is a multi-tenant solution and each customer has their own instance, IP and MySql for CDR. We are in need of a Billing and Customer front end portal that will allow a customer to order VoIP packages, hardware, DID’s, SIP trunks. Also need to process other hosted services not related to the Freepbx system such as CDR from SIP trunks, and associated consulting services and have that process flow to a billing system and setup the transactions for reoccurring billing with all the necessary accounting and merchant service functions.

Additionally, where appropriate we would like the base information to flow to the OEM system to create the instance on the PBX for the customer, and procure the necessary user licenses from Schmooze. As a bonus we would like the system would also need to generate some document or pass the order of hardware to our phone distributor.

We are starting with a few Master Dealers and will in the future need to have reseller agents with their own branded portals and option to sell our services to other VARS for resale. I have looked at dozens of systems on line including A2billing and Star2Billing but they do not have clean support for Packages example- Business Extension with 500 minutes , Fax Account, Desktop Client software @$14.95.

We are also not in position to spend $30K on a solution so I hope someone has stumbled upon the perfect solution and is willing to share! Thank you in advance…

I run PBextended in our hosting environment on two virtual servers. If you look at the Schmooze portal you will see you can move your instances between machines.

We used our old telco billing platform from the LD days and just export CDR’s monthly. We also reconcile them with the DID gateway (OpenSER).

We have a full BGP network, our own OC-12 to the telco DSL ATM network and DS-3’s to terminate T1’s on. It is a full time job to run the network.

Our next purchase will be an Acme packet net/net session border controller to better handle SIP NAT traversal, THIG (topology hiding) and a charging gateway for better billing. Most of this stuff has SOAP/XML interfaces that make integration into billing software a little easier.

I wish you luck and hope you find the magic formula. As least you are starting with a very well managed virtual platform.

My two cents worth.

All successful telephone endeavors need to supply “five nines” service , that means that unless you are out of service for less than a couple of minutes a year 99.999% available, your customers will be quite reasonably disgruntle. This is Verizon, AT&T, Bell, or the other PTT’s around the world.

There are no perfect solutions, and certainly no prepackaged open source one, FreePBX/aterisk is as it says a PBX (B2BUA, or Back-toback user agent), I suggest you need a SIP proxy to be behind your various PBX’s (Clients). Kamailio, (an offshoot of OpenSer) is coming close, FreeSwitch is a possible hybrid, your own ss7 switch on the “exchange” closer to reality :slight_smile: They already have all the hooks to do your multi-tenancy ordering, cdr’s etc. I say hooks, not portals, those you will have to build yourself. All billing will need to be done from this gateway “system” simply becaue it is your gateway device.

Asterisk/FreePBX’s are feature laden but IMHO will never be able to scale to true Multi-Tenency successfuly, Centrex was the Telco’s answer in the 80/90’s but the compromise beteween features and manageabilty lead to it’s almost total demise.

Your SIP proxy should be designed to do the trunking and registrations , the failover and the routing, both IP wise (bgp) and VOIP wise. It also needs to be failsafe in hardware and IP address, although quite trivail they don’t come with a GUI in general yet though ;-).

When you have that working, then feed your children ( function rich PBX’s) from there, All they need to do is register the trunking against your SIP proxy, If they attempt to handle registrations from off network then all the above problems will reappear as your hardware/IP’s appear and disappear, so you need to have the extension endpoints register against your proxy and have that system do the provisioning also.

If you rely on Asterisk, that is a major single point of failure, add HA/corosync/drbd and you have a relatively solid two point failover, major upstream failure of IP routing or VSP failure is largely still out of your control.

The DID’s (origination) are your major revenue stream, make sure they exist on a solid carrier that can handle failover to your available SIP proxy system. (again both IP wise (bgp) and VOIP wise.)

You will have to own that “example- Business Extension with 500 minutes” responsibility ultimately, the small print of every VSP’s “terms of service agreemnet” I know will preclude you from actually using them in a high volume deployment.

You will need multiple failsafe Outgoing (termination) services first for network (IP) then for VOIP. (once again both IP wise (bgp) and VOIP wise.)

Avaya or Mitel et all will bite you for twice that for half those endpoint, they will give you “five nines” though.

Good luck though, It is quite easy to make “four nines” with a cluster of machines doing a SIP Proxy and a bunch of PBX’s, small ones will now happily work on VirtualBox, VMWare or XEN hardware. but not without a lot of knowledge and effort,

If you offer your services at that level on an underdesigned system, perhaps sell your services at half the “big player” going rates, then expect long hours of profitable boredom followed by short periods of intense panic followed by lots of rebates to your clients as you miss your SLA’s

Don’t get me wrong, It is possible, just not as easy as perhaps you imagine :wink:


Sorry but with less than 30K I honestly think you expose yourself to a world of hurt as you attemptto manage more than a couple of k endpoints on an Asterisk/FreePBX based system.