Announcing Elastic SIP Trunking API

September 15, 2015
Written by
Ari Sigal

Twilio Blog Elastic SIP Trunking

Today we are excited to add further programmatic access to Elastic SIP Trunking. You can now provision, configure, and modify Elastic SIP Trunks, URLs/Domain Names, Credential Lists, and IP Access Control Lists with the REST API.

We hear from all sorts of customers interested in having more control of their trunks through a REST API, but we see the most interest from resellers and SaaS providers. I’ll walk through how these customers use different parts of the new API and the rest of the Twilio platform to build robust multi-tenant apps.

Customers using the API

A great example of a reseller is ThinkVoice, who offer SIP Trunking to their clients through a self-service portal.  Brian Coyle, CEO and founder of ThinkVoice, explained why he chose to build his solution on Elastic SIP Trunks:

The Twilio Elastic SIP trunking product has given me the ability to reach a whole new market of customers, businesses who have traditional/legacy PBXs but want to provide their end users a clean, modern, and accessible user interface. My customers want to provide their end users the power to take on easy to do self service functions like adding phone numbers, controlling call routing and call recording. Twilio Elastic SIP trunking and the APIs around it allow me to create these user interfaces that have been missing from the traditional system admin focused interfaces of legacy PBX products.

Building a self-service portal
In the ThinkVoice portal, customers can easily toggle call recordings settings and how long to retain those recordings, set a Disaster Recovery phone number in case their primary infrastructure has an outage, and search through available numbers for purchase. They are able to provide this portal by integrating with Elastic SIP Trunking new Resource Properties: Recordings, DisasterRecoveryUrl, and PhoneNumberSID.

ThinkVoice portal

Building an admin console
ThinkVoice also sells to clients who resell their solution. They provide a management console that gives administrative control to manage customer accounts, provides historical and realtime usage dashboards, an interface for viewing querying call records, managing call recordings, and billing.

ThinkVoice management console

In addition to resellers, we find SaaS companies like NewVoiceMedia, use Twilio for PSTN connectivity as a part of their call center platform. With over 250 customers on 6 continents and a freemium SaaS model allowing frictionless customer adoption they needed a provider who they could scale with and integrate into their sign-up process. Twilio’s APIs allow them to provision new trunks for each new customer and provision numbers on demand around the world.

Designing for multi-tenancy

Both resellers like ThinkVoice and SaaS providers like NewVoiceMedia make use of Twilio platform features that are designed to help developers build multi-tenant apps.   Both use Twilio sub-accounts to segment customers in order to monitor usage, help with invoicing their clients, and manage permissions on a per customer basis. Sub-accounts offer administrative control and data on a per customer basis, while all usage is billed to the Twilio master account.

One unfortunately common problem for resellers and SaaS providers with a telephony component is telecom fraud. Most commonly this is in the form of traffic pumping, or sending calls to international, high-cost routes and sharing in the revenue with the provider who owns those routes. Twilio provides a number of tools to help avoid being taken advantage of by fraudsters.

International Permissions allow you to set the countries that a given account (or sub-account) is allowed to call. This allows you to only give your customers access to call the countries they need to be able to call and avoid opening up to countries that have a history of telecom fraud. Our FAQ walks through how to use International Permissions and countries where telecom fraud is prevalent. One final tool I want to highlight for resellers is, Twilio Monitor, which gives operational visibility across your application. This allows you to monitor all of your customers’ Twilio usage, flag suspicious activity, and alert you or suspend the customer account automatically based on triggers you define. Twilio Monitor, sub-accounts, and International Permissions give resellers powerful tools to protect their apps from fraudsters.

To learn more about the Elastic SIP Trunking API, check out our docs.