contracting for your services

Robbie Robinson robinson at
Tue Aug 10 07:27:52 PDT 2004

Hello Ivan,

I work with a non profit ISP/Community network serving Western North
Carolina. We budgeted $3,000 this year in the hopes of contracting
with you to migrate our user data to Freeside for billing and
accounting. If not Freeside then we need to get some package to
help automate billing.
We have the funds budgeted but there is quite a bit of hesitation
because what we have works to some degree and no one really has
any spare time to track this.
Let me explain how we are currently doing things and you tell me
how confident you are that you could help us.
We keep all subscriber info in a Microsoft Access DB here in the
office. This is strictly for informational purposes, manual billing,
verify a customer's address, etc.
We have a separate LDAP server (running on Linux) that we just recently 
brought online for authentication. It is not tied to the access entries.
What we want Freeside to do is provide one interface where a person in
our office can enter a subscriber's info, payment, etc. (or a new or
existing  subscriber can securely enter a new account request or payment
securely via a web interface) and this info will update our LDAP
records so that, if an account was locked for nonpayment, it would be 
unlocked as soon as payment is recorded. If the account is new then
LDAP will know about it right away and they can dial in.
We also want to automate billing so that once a month, whatever system
is in place, will automatically process credit card payments or send
an e-mail out to the subscriber listing their amount due. Because we
have so few staff members we don't currently offer a monthly payment
option unless the person can not afford to pay the full year's payment.
We offer free accounts to disabled people or those who can not
afford to pay.
We also need to have our access DB info migrated to the new system so
that we don't have to do that manually. We have about 4,000 active
accounts and loads of historical data in access that we want to keep
for marketing purposes.
Hopefully I've given you enough info to decide if this is a project
you can handle and would like to take on. Let me know if you need
more info to make your decision.
Please provide all the details you can as for how we need to proceed
if you want to take this on. We have a staff meeting tomorrow morning
and I'll lay it out for everyone. We've been talking about this for
years and I want to move forward.

Robbie Robinson <robinson at>
Network Administrator
Mountain Area Information Network (
34 Wall St, Suite 407
Asheville, NC  28801

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