How do ‘all your pieces’ fit together to become a Phone Company ITSP ?

Probably the question that is not asked but always answered when making an introduction of Bicom Systems’ Products is the one in this title.

With so many pieces it is rather understandable why confusion may arise and yet having explained this many times now, recipients reply unanimously with confirmation that it all makes sense. For this reason it seemed only appropriate to write it down and make some other supporting diagrams and videos that really demonstrate the turnkey nature of all these pieces.

Quite simply, Bicom Systems can deliver the most turnkey telephony company with the most features and functions on the market.

We start with our platform, SERVERware. SERVERware comes in two editions, SERVER Edition and NETWORK Edition. See links for supporting diagrams.

SERVERware provides virtualisation and redundancy. In the SERVER Edition the virtualisation means that many application services can be set on the same server, The Primary Controller. These may include : PBXware MultiTenant or Call Center PBX Editions, TELCOware or other items such as Email Server, Web Site a vanilla Asterisk or Trixbox or FreePBX even. Each is contained within its own Virtual Private Server (VPS) and as such

The Server Edition can then in turn be set to mirrored redundancy, using a Secondary Server, so that should the Primary Controller Server fail the Secondary takes over.
Although similar options exist with VMware, Serverware uses Virtual Servers and so the voice quality is best served by keeping the voice traffic on the CPU rather than in a virtualised manner. Serverware also has added security features such as being set in the CHROOT and ………………..

In the Network Edition, the roles of the original two servers change. Firstly all application services are now present on dedicated hosts. The Controller is then freed to perform two functions: duplicating data from the hosts to its own hard disks and monitoring the hosts that in the event of failure of a host that the services on the lost host will be reallocated to the next available host. As the cluster expands the duplication of data may be performed to a SAN.

The Primary Controller is mirrored to a Secondary Controller so that should the Primary fail the above two functions will continue.

Typically in an ITSP scenario one of the application services in its own VPS will be the Multi Tenant Edition of PBXware. It is here that the core telephony takes place from registrations to enhanced services and telephony billing that rates CDRs.

Then on another VPS may be a Call Centre PBX Edition of PBXware if a customer has a dedicate requirement. Often with Call Centers there is a need to access the MySQL database, run detailed reports and thrash CPU with Call Recordings, as such resource needs to be identifiably dedicated. This way a heavy usage call center can latter be moved to its own resource or indeed even for its component part be split to dedicated servers.

If a provisioning platform such as TELCOware be used then it too will have its own VPS on either the server or network edition of SERVERware. The provisioning starts with the CMS (Content Management Systems) creating a web site where visitor can peruse hard and subscirptions products created in the Shopping Cart Products & Services with a view to ordering. To place orders visitors must sign up and create an Account.

TELCOware does not have any real telephony, everything is virtual. After receiving an order it uses API to send instructions to PBXware to provision the service, registrations, DIDs, IVRs or similar. There are wizards in place to assist with this.

According to the subscription bought it will then generate an invoice at the end of the period which will reflect the subscription and any extra call spend made, drawing CDRs from the switch it is associated with. This could be one or many PBXware or even another system, Asterisk based or not.

Upon the invoice being settled by manual payment or automated with a supported gateway such as worldpay,, linkpoint, paypal, skrill … funds will be attributed first to the subscription and then if available to the call spend fund on the telephony account on the associated softswitch.

In addition to these products, Bicom Systems also has a wide variety of supporting Desktop Applications which continue the turnkey theme through to the End User and allowing your ITSP effort to simply have what others do not and stand out from the competition.

Please feel free to look through the supporting material, however nothing quite compares to an online demo and please do ask for Account Manager, the linking piece, to contact you in your language of preference (English, Spanish, French or Portuguese). As well as the architecture there is a whole lot of other advice to be provided and Marketing Materials and Support.

PortaOne dividió una compañía de telefonía por PBXware MT


Elegir una plataforma de software no es una decisión emocional para algunos, pero para otros es suficiente para dividir una empresa, como en el caso de PortaOne.

Un cliente potencial inició la búsqueda de una plataforma de software y encontró Bicom Systems PBXware y PortaOne. La compañía rápidamente se dividió en dos “equipos” – los partidarios Bicom y los partidarios PortaOne. Llegaron a ser tan dividida que un tercero tuvo que venir para evaluar ambas opciones y tomar una decisión no sesgada.

Al final el tercer grupo eligió Bicom Systems PBXware.

Comenzamos a seguir adelante con la ejecución, feliz de ver a la compañía progresar.

Mientras tanto, el ‘Equipo PortaOne’ estaba detrás de las escenas tratando de influir el tercer partido y hacer que se retracten de su decisión. Lamentablemente tuvieron éxito.

El progreso se detuvo como ‘Equipo Bicom Systems’ fue superado en número por el tercero supuestamente no sesgada.

Después de un largo y doloroso 6 a 9 meses de esta lucha de ida y vuelta, uno de los propietarios tomó la decisión de separarse. Él vendió su parte de la empresa a los otros propietarios y se rompió por su cuenta para crear una nueva empresa.

No estoy seguro de que esto puede ser visto como una cuestión de software, sino más bien la ideología. Para asegurarse PortaOne viene de tarjetas de llamadas y realmente se merece todos los elogios de la maestría en esta área si el precio es asequible en un mercado tan feroz.

Pero si usted desea construir un ingreso mensual de valor sostenible en las comunicaciones verdaderamente integrados, hay otras opciones.

Listo para empezar? Contacte con nosotros en ahora!

Para una comparación de PortaOne y Bicom Systems, vea PortaOne vs Bicom Systems

ACTUALIZACIÓN: Un cliente nos envió lo siguiente por correo electrónico:

Probé Multi Tenant PBXware y se ve bastante bien y con excelentes características para inquilino – como ya he dicho, nuestro producto actual, PortaOne, no se compara con PBXware con las características del cliente.

PortaOne broke up a phone company over PBXware Multi-Tenant

While choosing a software platform is a decision free of emotion for most, in some cases it is enough to break up over. Such is this case of PortaOne.

A phone company like many others began the search for a software platform and found both Bicom Systems PBXware Multi-Tenant and PortaOne. The company quickly split into two “teams” – the Bicom supporters and the PortaOne supporters. They became so divided that a third party had to be called in to evaluate both options and make a non-biased decision.


Consequently, the third party chose Bicom Systems PBXware.

We began moving forward with the implementation, happy to see the company progressing.

Meanwhile, ‘Team PortaOne’ was behind the scenes attempting to influence the third party and make them retract their decision. Sadly, they succeeded.

Progress came to a halt as ‘Team Bicom Systems’ was outnumbered by the allegedly non-biased third party.

After a long and painful 6 to 9 months of this back-and-forth struggle, one of the owners made the decision to split up. He sold his portion of the company to the other owners and broke off on his own to create a new company.

I’m not sure this can be seen as a matter of software, but rather of ideology. PortaOne comes from Calling Cards and really deserves its accolades of mastery in this area if the price is affordable in such a cut-throat market.

If, though, you wish to build a sustainable monthly value revenue with truly integrated communications, there are other options.

Ready to get started? Contact us at today!

For a comparison of PortaOne and Bicom Systems, see PortaOne vs Bicom Systems

UPDATE : One customer emailed us the following :

Started messing around with the Multi Tenant PBXware and it looks quite nice and excellent features for the tenant side – as I said, our current PortaOne does not come near this with client features.

If you found this useful or can add, please feel free to post and of course visit our whitepaper on How to Start an ITSP or watch the video below.

Invitation to a Multi-National

Here was a recent pitch to a Multi-National : you may wish to adopt to your own purposes:

I was passed your details by Fierce Voip. Possibly you were looking at our how to become an ITSP whitepaper.

If you can elaborate your interest I should more than happy to provide as service.

For our part, we were the first company to take Open Source Telephony Engines and deliver turnkey products. Increasingly the work is for running large hosted service provider models. The largest so far is 50,000 subscribers for ******. Yes ! Even the phone manufacturers use us !

By the nature of the technology it would be a lot simpler and controlled, never mind cost effective for an organization such as ******* to put in place ‘one large softswitch system’ but with multiple location redundancy to deal with natural disaster & acts of terror.

This of course beckons the question if ‘one’ system can cater for all possible needs of such a diverse organsisation. Any simple declaration of a perfect system is naive. What we have been able to do at Bicom Systems however is provide ‘best-fit’ custom development for the cost of ‘off-the-shelf’. A simple example for NASA was to design a conference facility that permitted the administrator to listen to twenty conference simultaneously while accessing 600 contributors around the world to pull in.

Let me know your interest and doubtless I can contribute further.



Why should we choose PBXware MultiTenant PBX vs IPSMARX Multi Tenant PBX? (Part I : Limitations)

It is always with caution that one should speak of competitors and their products when clearly they are better able to do so themselves. All the more so with IPSMARX, given how IPSMARX has positioned itself ‘as’ Bicom Systems. I have though wondered more and more why they do so up against PBXware MultiTenant PBX. Here are some reasons that might help with understandings:

I am demanded to reply to this question orally on a weekly basis and it seems only right to write. Curious about this question too is the clear circumstances in which it is asked. These can be described in three categories: i) Existing users of IPSMARX’s Multi-Tenant PBX who have had reason to look further ii) New Providers looking to start a business line with little resource iii) Well established businesses either ITSPs, VARs or Long Established Sellers of Phone Systems.

For the first group, customers have dial tone. However the Service Provider’s hands are now so filled with the running of their business that the cost of keeping the system becomes all consuming. Very noticeable is with how few extensions on the system and the pain threshold seems to bite. So often, fewer than 100 subscribers – a pocketful of customers. A customer wants a Queue, a Conference, an IVR… then “surely this should need no more effort than a check-box selection to solve everything from the feature’s creation to the monthly invoice going out ?” Surely it should not need custom programming from the switch provider for each small tweak? There also are issues of support. Again the sheer stress that happens once ‘real customers’ come on board and previously naive dreams are exposed. Answers need to be found immediately both to ‘how do I do x,y,z ?’ questions and less often bugs or critical failings. Increasingly the need for integration to the desktop is a make or break to getting End User businesses.

Whether in the form of onsite systems from the Traditional Vendors or the large Internet Telephony Service Providers often using Broadsoft platforms the market at large expects standard offerings to have presence, chat and more at the finger tips. Mobility is next. Not just a breeze blowing softly but rushing winds. A simple SIP client is not where the world will be. Mobility means the user should be an integral part of the local switch.

What has also been learned through the school of hard knocks is problems that the next customer wants something unique. You never quite know what and unless the system is inherently flexible you will be left just listening to the screams. For some though there is the matter of scalability. To simply ‘add another server’ and ‘stick on another few hundred customers’ is not enough. All the customers need to be brought together in a single interface to be found easily and redundancy needs to be in clusters often with the options of dual location.

If you found this useful or can add please feel free to post, Parts II (Cost of Entry) & III (It has to work and it has to do more) are to follow and of course our whitepaper on How to Start an ITSP.

Other Articles on IPSMARX: