I've been searching for sometime for an Asterisk project that copes with Multi-tenancy in a clean and elegant way. The historic approach I had taken relies on hand crafted DialPlans and custom contexts for each tenant. Whilst this all works fine - the manual overhead was proving to be a pain.
There are two applications of this type of multi-tenancy IP-PBX:
- Shared Office spaces, where a company sub-lets its office space and provides telecom services to their tenants and of course separate billing.
- Hosted IP-PBX solutions where each tenant not only has overlapping extension number ranges, but also would like to manage their own service and clean way. This so far I have managed through the standard Asterisk front-ends such as FreePBX and VMWare for each tenant - which kind of works but is quite wastefull on resources (mainly separate IP addresses for each VM mainly).
The IPCortex solution to multi-tenancy and the general concept of the GUI are more intuative that the traditional approach of mapping phones to extensions. Per extension billing per tenant is also made simple with the ability to set rate cards for destinations.
IPCortex introduce the concept of a user, the user is the link between extensions and phones. This simple abstraction is what makes the IPCortex IP-PBX unique from a GUI and usability perspective.
The next magic is the addition of a per user web-based presence application - think Flash Operator Panel (FOP) on steroids and per user.
Finally auto provisioning of extensions across a wide range of IP-Phone manufactures: Cisco/Linksys, Snom, Polycom, Aastra and Yealink.
I'll be posting more about how the IP-PBX can be used in ways a traditional PIAF/Trixbox/AsteriskNOW/FreePBX solution can't.