Friday, 31 July 2009
A2Billing 1.4.1 is production ready.
A2Billing 1.4.1 was released late last night, and confirmed as production ready. A number of production installs are already in service.
A2Billing adds a number of much requested features over the previous version, and during the many commercial installs that the team have performed, we are seeing a shift from using A2billing as a calling card platform, towards using it for wholesale and IP PBX billing.
A2Billing now offers commission agent functionality, a new feature for A2Billing. This allows agents to sell your products on your behalf and receive commissions based on payments. Additionally, Agents can manage and create customers to different degrees depending on the rights you give them. Sign up links can be created to assign customers to agents, at the same time selecting the product. This lends itself to affiliate marketing where agents can place links on different websites for VoIP and calling card signups.
With the new invoicing system now in place, this is an example of how we have moved the system to being more customer-centric. Invoicing and providing receipts is now very simple, and each refill and payment now has a full audit trail, with revenue, and profit and loss reports.
A2Billing has a new feature designed to save ITSP’s money. Previously, if one customer, by coincidence called another customer whose DID was present on the platform, the call would go up to the carrier and hairpin back to the A2Billing platform. Now calls between DID are routed automatically to the correct destination without having to leave the Soft-Switch. A charge can be made for calls that are delivered internally. This offers a more possibilities for extension to extension dialling, and making an optional charge for those calls.
Some database enhancements have been made to allow the system to scale yet further, particularly for those who are handling several million minutes per month.
One of the problems often associated with Asterisk are the problems of scaling the system, load balancing across multiple Asterisk servers, and performing NAT traversal for SIP endpoints, such as in a Residential VoIP environment. Database views have been created to allow to communicate directly with the A2Billing database, so that customers register to the SIP proxy, and the calls are routed, and load balanced across multiple Asterisk servers. This increases the total capacity of the system, and we have yet to find the limits. Star2Billing has already deployed a number of OpenSIPs/A2Billing systems into production.
Customer Information and Trouble Tickets.
The system now holds considerably more information on each customer than previously, making it more suitable for business use, and customer relationship management. Additionally, a trouble ticket system has been built in for support issues. Trouble tickets can be created from the Admin Interface, the Agent Interface, or from the Customer’s interface.
The customer is now notified of a low balance as soon as the amount reaches a predetermined value. The value can be set by the customer, agent or administrator.
There are many new features and benefits to using A2Billing 1.4.1, and older versions of A2Billing can be upgraded to 1.4.1 without loss of data, although some downtime will be necessary.
There is a demo of the system available at http://demo.asterisk2billing.org/a2b/ and if you require further information, or indeed want to engage us for installation, training and support, then email [email protected]