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Reply To: Need reference on VoIP Billing

#26927
Kevin Rose
Guest

Eyebill\Logisense will not disconnect a prepaid call in real time when its balance reaches zero.
It will only disable the account from making future calls. That may cause prepaid leakage, revenue loss, and huge fraud problems when consumers learn about this exploit and spread the word.

This is a known issue with most vendors that integrate with a third party radius server. The radius server is responsible for call disconnection, and to do that, it need to know the balance and apply the effective rate rules. This is can only be accomplished when the billing vendor also makes the radius.

QiiQ, Portaone, and Sysmaster., are all decent vendors. They basically took vovida.org, iptel.org, freeRadius.org, apache and perl and tied it all together.
I think that companies that merely integrate open source components, should charge only for support and definitely should not price it like a proprietary solution. At least if they do so, they should give a portion the revenues back to the open source community.
The reason that people are experiencing ongoing technical issues with open source vendors is because these vendors simply can’t solve all problems.
Lets take one of the most common issues, a codex translation failure during protocol conversion. – an open source vendor will not even try to fix it. Instead he will wait for the community who wrote the component to make a fix publicly available. This sometimes can take very long. Take Vovida for example, they are the one who wrote the code that sysmaster uses for protocol translation Their latest release of the protocol conversion stack is two years old. The other stacks are older…

Commercial companies like Radvision create such components for software vendors. When you buy a product that is based on a Radvision stack and not a Vovida stack at least you know it is commercially supported all the way. Radvision or Vovida, I still prefer a reputable company like Cisco\Quintum for call routing.
For billing I prefer vendors who are focused only in billing like: Portal, Alepo, MindCTI, Intec.
The VoIP market is becoming very competitive. The per minute price difference between players is becoming small and negligible. It is no longer the lowest price per minute market. Only players who give the most reliable service will win on the long run.
Another issue with open source solutions is that most of them are good as proof or concepts but only few scale well.
Take for example Portaone who state 100 requests per second. On optimal constant line utilization, and if you’re fine with it failing during irregular peaks, this will get you to 5-10 million minutes a month (depending on your ASR, ACD),. However, if you’re like the rest of us, and you have a vastly dispersed line utilization with significant peak bursts of 3-4 hours you will not even be able to reach 1 million minutes. Sysmaster does not publish specifications or performance numbers. It will be interesting to hear from anyone who is doing 10M minutes with a Voicemaster box.
In addition, most of the open source based solutions has limited redundancy, and no always-on high availability. The system needs to be taken down when you do an upgrade, resulting in service unavailability, sometimes for few hours.

When I consult to clients my recommendation is to consider open source based solutions only if they can’t afford proprietary solutions. And then be ready to throw them away when they grow.

My two cents.

– Kevin Rose
Rose Consulting LLC