Number management in Multi-tenant call center software

In any multi-tenant call center software, tenants must be able to create, assign and configure their DIDs (Direct Inward Dial) in order to be able to receive calls and direct them appropriately. The DID itself is a convenient way to determine which way a call should be directed; to an IVR, for example, or a specific PBX extension. Software like the Indosoft Q-Suite can be configured to use a DID and a schedule to determine how and when a call should be directed, with the ability to specify a dialplan and queue during operational hours and an after hours dialplan for when the call center ACD is closed.

On the individual tenant level, just about any call center and PBX feature should be assignable to a DID. On the PBX side, the most common case is individual extensions. Of course, ring groups, conference rooms, and even simple Asterisk queues should be reachable directly from the outside world. Additional services such as access to voicemail or advanced functionality can also be made available. These are usually simple cases where the DID should route quickly and directly.

In a multi-tenant situation, there will be a top-level “super” admin who is responsible for configuring tenants and granting access to resources, etc.. These users should have the ability to view all the DIDs for the system and monitor their use. Another question for the owners of the system is “how are calls to local DIDs dialed?” This can affect both reporting and dialing costs. Here are some examples:

  1. Two tenants do unrelated calling, but share a common owner. Calls are expected to be transferred between the two tenants from time to time, and it would be advantageous to avoid the cost of sending the transfer through the carrier (or carriers).
  2. Two tenants are completely unrelated. It’s possible that a call may be placed from one to another, just as calls are placed between companies every day. There is no expectation that calls would not be routed through the carrier.
  3. Two tenants do unrelated calling, but share a common owner. Calls are expected to be transferred between the two tenants from time to time, but the carrier provides additional data collection and reporting on calls. The extra cost born does not outweigh the value of those additional provider records in case of an audit or lawsuit.

In the first case, it is advantageous to have the system resolve all local DIDs, whether belonging to the same tenant or not, without routing the call back out through the carrier. In the second case, it would presumably be expected by the tenants that calls would be routed out and back in. In the last case, the site should be configured to route all non-local non-tenant DIDs out over the carrier and back in again, incurring the additional cost. These cases will have to be kept in consideration when the site is being configured. In the case where unrelated tenants are using the system, it is probably best to leave it to route non-tenant DIDs over the carrier.