RECOMMENDATIONS Billing: One PBX, five organizations

Discussion in 'Help' started by Robert-BCC, Nov 9, 2014.

  1. Robert-BCC

    Robert-BCC Guru

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    I'm (maybe) starting a volunteer project with a San Francisco bay area group that houses five distinct non-profit organizations. Currently, each organization orders their own analog line(s) from .. (well I'm not sure who they get them from actually.)

    I was pitching the idea of moving to a hosted PiaF install for the building at large. Each organization could join in the party, or stay with their analog lines. The building manager agreed that the cost of a hosted PiaF could be centrally paid for as a building cost, so no need to divy up that fee.

    I was thinking each group could setup their own Vitelity account and pay for their own calls and their own DIDs with their own credit cards. Each account's DIDs would then point to the same IP (the hosted PiaF server.)

    Is there a better way to skin this cat? Are there any "gotchas" to this approach?

    Thanks,

    Robert
     
  2. AndyInNYC

    AndyInNYC Active Member

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    Schmooze has a module which will restrict extensions to certain trunks - this will/should prevent one organization from dialing out on another group's account. I think it costs $29 per server for the app.

    Andrew
     
  3. mainenotarynet

    mainenotarynet Not really a Guru - Just a long time user

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    first step to skin a cat -- Tie up its paws :smile5:

    search in here for 'Multi-Tenant ' -- it is here somewhere. but it is possible to set an outbound route per 'tenant' and on;y etensioons in that group can use a certain trunk. also in this way you wouldn't be tied to one provider - easch tenant can choose the provider that is right for their needs.

    voip.ms has multiple pop (point of presence) areas and I have found if you have many numbers (or tenants in this case) each tenant should be at a different pop. As if they are all at the same pop, I have run into the situation where the inbound routes I set up direct thecall properly that the call hits the wrong trunk. You would want to ensure this is not going to happen if each tenant pays for their own minutes.

    Also set up a planning meeting with all 'tenants to figure out workable extension schemes that will work for eveyone. They all can't have 200-299 series extensions. then you get into the Tenants can dial each other's extensions - would they want this.

    There are many factors at work here and I am by no means the expert, but with the possibility to rehab an old computer per office - why not just set up one per office, Or with the Virtual images have one box (with enough resources for all to share) with one VM per tenant so have all on one machine but all are also isolated into themselves.

    Just some snack food for thought
     
  4. mainenotarynet

    mainenotarynet Not really a Guru - Just a long time user

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    Expanding on andrew: why pay when an outbound rout with a dialplan like:

    (blank) + (blank) | NXXNXXXXXX / 2XX (or 3XX or 4XX -- you get the idea)

    and custom contexts (although custom contects from my experiences breaks some things so I don't use them)
    can do the same thing.
     
  5. rossiv

    rossiv Guru

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  6. Robert-BCC

    Robert-BCC Guru

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    First, thanks to all of you guys for responding! Summarizing what I've read so far:
    • I need to ensure that outbound calls are tied to each organization's trunks / account. This can be accomplished via complex rules or the $39 Extension Routing module. Frankly, I'd spring for the $39 out of my own pocket.
    • Meet with all tenants to parcel out extensions. That's excellent planning advice.
    • Alternatively, consider running one PiaF instance per tenant. Frankly, this would be too much a maintenance load for me, even if it were five VMs on one box.
     
  7. jroper

    jroper Guru

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    Hi

    For reasons of confidentiality, e.g. avoiding the possibility of a misdirected transfer of a call, then I would be tempted to look at virtualisation again, one instance of FreePBX per tenant.

    The maintenance load should not greatly different to one instance, and may be easier, particularly if tenants want complex auto attendants.

    You might also consider putting A2Billing in front of it all, and you or your landlord providing termination at a profit.

    Joe
     
  8. hbonath

    hbonath Guru

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    +1 for Joe here.

    We run our setup exactly as described. Joe set us up with redundant instances of A2billing, and we have virtualized PBX instances behind that. Each customer is tracked through a2billing and invoiced separately.
     
    krzykat likes this.
  9. Robert-BCC

    Robert-BCC Guru

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    I'm sure A2Billing is great. But this is a bare-bones non-profit thing and there's virtually no central accounting authority at the building. Currently each tenant is responsible for paying (or not paying) their phone bill. Having to divy up the charges and collect them centrally would be painful. So I'm thinking that each group would use a SIP provider that I specify and then failure to pay their bill only results in the non-operation of their little part of the world.

    I'm still stuck on the "everybody gets their own VM" versus one shared PBX concept.
     
  10. jroper

    jroper Guru

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    Hi

    A2Billing is not a necessary requirement for virtualisation, you can still have each tenant having their own trunks and chosen carriers, using virtualisation and separate instance for each customer keeps it beautifully simple.

    Although having said this, A2Billing can be set up as pre-paid, so as long as the tenants keep their account topped up with Paypal or credit card via Paypal which is natively supported by A2Billing, there should be no real admin cost to running an instance of A2Billing, and if they don't pay, telephone calls stop.

    Joe
     
  11. rjm

    rjm Guru

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    Have you considered Rent PBX and running a separate instance for each client? I have been using them for years and am very happy.