ISP management system
The objective of this ISP management system is to automatize our ISP client users administration.
Our client provides Internet access and ISP services to commercial and office users through broadband (radio, wifi and cable).
The services they provide are:
a) Internet access with QoS and traffic shaping
b) Hosted File service
c) Hosted Antivirus service
d) Hosted Office applications service (for thin-clients)
e) Web hosting
g) VPN server
This project won't deal with the services per se. Instead, it will deploy the system where user creation/management, accounting, billing and reporting for all the services will be managed.
The only service this project will deal with is the Internet access with QoS and traffic shaping.
Based on this concept, the system deployed through this project must enable the creation of different billing profiles for different services, to be added as features to the plans to be sold to the final users.
The system workflow will be as such:
a) System configuration and plan creation:
The administrator will log to the system and create system users which are other administrative users, customer service users, accounting users and noc users by entering basic information data for each one of them and defining the modules each user will have access.
Administrative interface modules are:
- Create/Change system users
- Change its own user data
- Billing reports
- Usage reports
- Network reports
- Traffic reports
- Create/Change services/features
- Create/Change Plans
- Provision/Troubleshoot device
- Traffic management
After create the system users and defining their privileges, the administrator user will create the first services/features.
Services/Features are the actual products to be added into plans. They are created based on predefined templates.
Those templates are:
- Internet Access
- File service
- Antivirus service
- Hosted Office Applications
- Web hosting
Each template should have fields to identify the IPs of the machines, defining if the plan is post-paid or prepaid, providing the service and parameters for charging the services, such as maximum bandwidth usage, availability of QoS, and traffic shaping profile for Internet Access, for example, and the way to charge for service, like a flat monthly fee, or amount of files downloaded/uploaded, or amount of megabytes downloaded/uploaded in the case of the File Service, for example.
Each one of those choices will tell the system which parameter to parse from the traffic registered from the RADIUS for that specific service machine.
So, after create the services/features, the administrator will create consumer plans and add services to them.
The administrator will set the plan prices and publish it, making it live.
After the plans are published, they are automatically available as XML to the final customer's website, so they can be bought through a web store, for example.
b) User sign-up:
Customers buy through the web, phone or at a store, but their info is entered through the same web interface in any of those ways.
The register, select a plan, and buy it using a CC, or cash, or a prepaid card, or e-bill.
Upon registration, that new customer personal, billing and plan information is added to the user database, and an unique key (user SSN, for example) is used to identify that user profile when auto-provisioning his device. That unique key will be used by RADIUS to determine if that user has access to a specific requested service or if there is still balance available at his account.
Users can also be created in domains, which are group of multiple users belonging to the same organization. Then, the users will still be monitored by their individual unique keys, but billing factors will be vinculated globally through the domain structure.
c) Device provisioning and usage:
Upon payment and registration, the individual user or the domain admin, in the case of multiple users' domains, will receive all access info, such as username and password for the user's portal, e-mail addresses, VPN keys, FTP connection data, HTTP connection data, etc. and, also, the device related to the account will have its configuration files disponibilized at a http or ftp folder so they can be downloaded as soon that device is plugged to the network or to the internet. This enables plug-n-play connectivity.
As the user or the users connect to the Internet through that device and begin to use the service, their requests are received by the RADIUS and are placed against the user's billing database on order for them to access only the services they paid for, and only if they have available balance to do so.
Their traffic will also be shaped according to the information on their profiles. In the beggining that information will be the generic parameter determined by the plan they bought. But that can also get changed, by them, or by a customer service representative, through accessing that user interface and changing his traffic shaping information.
d) Customer service:
If the user needs he can contact our ISP client's customer service and a CSR will have access to that user profile to change any information as per that user's request.
All those changes will be registered on a trouble ticket/knowledge database system, and will be accessible from the user profiles, as the system will be writing those trouble ticket numbers and statuses to the main user database.
e) System monitoring and Network management:
If the need arise, the customer service can access the NOC representatives and they will be able to change more technical parameters, such adding ports to the open/closed ports firewall list for that user/domain, or change traffic shaping/QoS patterns or change VPN information.
The NOC representatives will also be able to check that user/domain's device status, through http access and through telnet/ssh access, for example.
f) Billing and Invoicing:
Billing representatives will be able to access the system and generate financial reports and also to generate invoices for post-paid users that are not on automatic payment plans.
We are looking for someone with experience with Freeside ISP Billing, or AgileBill, as those ISP systems provide all the features we need already, with little customization needed, and also knowledge of the following:
- FreeRADIUS (Mandatory)
- TC/Pyshaper - for traffic shaping (Mandatory)
- OpenNMS, Zenoss
- ISP billing and Integration
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