For those of you that haven’t heard about OpenVbx.org – think of it as a WordPress type back-end for a virtual PBX system that also handles SMS.. oh and you don’t need copper phone lines, just an account with Twilio.com and you can make virtual PBX and SMS applications!
Here is the call flow for a person on their cell phone calling you at your desk.
Cell Phone –> Twilio –> OpenVbx –> PC based Phone, SIP phone, IPHONE, SMS, etc
You can make and receive calls in so many ways and with the API Twilio has give us there isn’t much you can’t do with OpenVbx and Twilio bundled together.
The install is simple!
1. Unload OpenVbx.org install tar or zip in web accessible directory.
2. create mysql database
3. browse to the directory you installed OpenVbx in
4. follow short, point and click install menu.
I did run into an issue after the installation. I got an error “Could Not Validate Your Request” – I found the OpenVbx support forum and emailed the OpenVbx support person (Shawn) for help and within minutes I was given great support. The issue was a small bug (with certain host types) and he had a work around for it, which was already posted in the forum.
I had several question for Shawn and he was very open and helpful at 1:00 AM in the morning!
Here is our email conversation paraphrased of course, Q and A style.
Me (Question): Does OpenVbx Support Multi-tenant or multiple users?
OpenVbx (Answer): OpenVBX does support a multi-tenant use case. If you go to the Settings > Tenants section you can create more tenants in the system. Each tenant logs in and only sees their own data. When creating a tenant you’ll give them a name and that will dicate how they access the system, ie: http://domain.com/tenant-name – they’ll be completely segregated from the main account and the other tenants.
Me (Question): What about Billing for each tenant?
OpenVbx (Answer): For billing have you thought about using Twilio Connect? You can bill your customers for the services that you provide but then have them set up as a Tenant in OpenVBX. Once set up they use your install but all of their usage gets billed directly to their account. You don’t get the chance to mark-up the minutes/text rates but at least they’re on the hook for usage and not you. http://www.twilio.com/
Having fun with my openvbx system so far, very easy to use and configure! Thanks OpenVbx!