Charging for Value-added Services

 

Checklist

Initial Configuration of PortaSwitch®

Create Subscription Plans

Create the Main Product

Create an Add-on Product

Assign the Add-on Product to an Account

Check Subscription Plan Assignment

Review xDR History

 

When providing VoIP calling services, quite often it will be necessary to charge customers for additional services that are rendered: IP phone rental, call waiting service, “bundled” free minutes, etc. The PortaBilling® add-on products are a great way to sell additional features / services to your customers and boost your sales revenue.

 

Let’s assume that there is a SmartCall main product. In addition to the features provided within the main product, a customer also wants to have the Call Forwarding functionality. He calls the customer care service and orders the Call Forwarding feature. Later the customer also rents an IP phone. To provide the customer with additional service and properly bill for its usage, an administrator creates two add-on products and assigns them to the corresponding account.  

Checklist

Print the following page and use it to check off the operations you have completed while performing the system setup according to the instructions in this chapter. Please be sure to perform all of the operations in the order designated (all of the boxes should be checked), otherwise the service will not work.

 

 

Operation

 

Done

Rating configuration

 

Create the SmartCall basic subscription plan which will be bundled with your main product

[     ]

Create the Call forwarding subscription plan which will be bundled with your add-on product

[     ]

Create the main product and define which features will be included in this product

[     ]

Associate the SmartCall basic subscription plan with your main product

[     ]

Create the add-on product which adds call forwarding functionality

[     ]

Associate the Call forwarding subscription plan with your add-on product

[     ]

Account provisioning

 

Create a retail customer who will be using your services

[     ]

Create an account for this customer and assign the main product to it

[     ]

Assign the add-on product to an account

[     ]

Testing

 

Verify that the subscriptions are visible under the account

[     ]

Initial Configuration of PortaSwitch®

If you have just installed the PortaSwitch® software or dedicated a new billing environment to configure the services described in this handbook, make sure to first perform the initial configuration of PortaSwitch®. To do this, use the PortaSwitch® Initial Configuration handbook.

Create Subscription Plans

A subscription plan defines the charges associated with a particular service.

 

1.     On the navigation menu to the left, select Service catalog and click Subscriptions.

 

Dashboard

 

2.     On the Create Subscription plan panel, fill in the subscription details:

·       Name – Type a name of the subscription plan; this is the name you will see in the select menus.

·       Subscription name visible to end users – Provide the name of the subscription plan that your customers will see on their self-care interfaces and invoices.

·       Currency – Indicates in which currency pricing information is given. A subscription plan can only be applied to a product, account or customer with this same currency.

NOTE: The currency for the subscription plan may be chosen only once, and cannot be changed later.

·       Managed by – If you want this subscription plan to be used for your reseller’s accounts, so that the reseller himself can change the parameters of the plan and apply it to his accounts, choose a customer name from the menu. Otherwise, choose Administrator only here.

·       Subscription charges applied – The default method is At the end of the billing period, so that subscription charges are applied to the account / customer balance when the billing period is closed. Another option is Progressively, where a small portion of the total subscription fee is applied each day, so that the balance grows gradually. You can also choose to apply charges In advance.

·       Periods in Advance – If you selected In advance in the previous field, specify the number of periods (the default value is 1).

·       Activation mode – Defines when the subscription becomes active (and charges begin to apply): either simply from the date it is entered into the system, or you may postpone it until the date when the customer actually uses the account for the first time.

·       Activation fee – Enter the value charged for every new subscription upon startup; a zero value waives the activation fee.

·       Monthly fee – Specify the monthly periodic fee value that will be applied to your customers.

·       Can be applied more than once – Select this check box to assign the same subscription multiple times to one account.

 

Create a subscription

 

3.     Click Save.

Manage fees

timesaver You can manage the periodic fee value for different billing periods. Based on the defined monthly fee value, the periodic fee values for other billing periods are auto-calculated and populated in the Adjust periodic fees for non-monthly periods window (e.g. if a monthly periodic fee is $10, a $2.33333 periodic fee will be applied to customers with the weekly billing period and so on). You may change the actual values afterwards (e.g. make weekly billing more expensive by setting the fee to $3). To do this, follow the steps below.

 

1.     On the Edit Subscription plan panel click Fees.

2.     Next to the Monthly fee field, click the Manage fees icon.

3.     Change the fee values in the Adjust periodic fees for non-monthly periods window.

 

Manage fees

 

4.     Click OK to save the changes.

5.     Configure the following options:

·       Round up to, decimal places – By default, subscription charges will be rounded up to two decimal places. You can define your own rounding pattern her.;  The maximum available precision is 5 decimal places.

·       Minimum subscription period, months – Time during which the customer must keep the subscription plan active in order to avoid penalties. Leave this field empty to create a subscription plan that can be closed at any time.

·       Early cancellation penaltyIf the subscription is cancelled earlier than the minimum subscription period a one-time fee is applied. The following options are available:

o   Fixed – A fixed charge is applied without taking account of when the subscription was cancelled.

o   Remaining subscription charges – The charge will depend on the time when the subscription was cancelled.

Promotional periods

In this panel you may define specific fees for different promotional periods. 

 

To add promotional periods (e.g. for the first three months) click  Add Add on the scale to insert a row into the pricing table, and enter all the required information.

 

 Promotional periods

 

A Billing period select menu allows you to define the fee value for different promotional billing periods. If another billing period is chosen (e.g. weekly or daily), both the number of periods and the fee amount are automatically recalculated and reflected in the pricing table, respectively.

 

The last row in the pricing table is for your convenience, so that you can clearly see when a change in the subscription fee will occur.

 

The screenshot above defines a product that:

·       will be free for the first month,

·       will have a monthly fee of $1.99 / month for the next five months,

·       will have a normal subscription fee of $2.99 / month afterwards.

 

 

6.     Click the Save button on the toolbar to finish the subscription plan definition.

7.     Repeat steps 1-6 and create the Call forwarding subscription plan.

 

For more information about this feature, see the Ways to Charge for Subscriptions section of the PortaBilling Administrator Guide.

Create the Main Product

Create the main product and define which service features will be provided with this product.

 

 Create a main product

 

1.     On the navigation menu to the left, select Service catalog and click Products.

2.     On the Create product panel, fill in the product details:

·       Name – Type an internal product name that will be shown on the administrator interface.

·       Name visible to end users – Type a name of the product that will be shown to end users on their self-care interfaces.

·       Product type – Select Main product here.

·       Currency – Choose a currency the product will be priced in.

·       Managed by – Select Administrator only here, since we are setting up a service without the involvement of resellers.

·       Account default ACL – Choose an Access Control List (ACL) for accounts with this product assigned. ACLs control which objects end users can access to and which actions they can perform.

·       Account Role – Select Phone line since this product is intended for making and receiving calls.

3.     Click Save.

Included services

Define which service types are included in the product. A service type is a description of the physical service provided to end users.

 

To add a service type:

1.     On your product’s panel, click Services.

2.     On the Services panel, click Add a service.

3.     In the Select services to add dialog box, select Voice calls and click Add.

 

Add a service

Service configuration

Define the default values of service attributes for all accounts for which this product will be assigned.

 

 Service configuration

 

4.     On the Services panel, click Voice calls.

5.     On the Voice calls configuration panel, select Incoming calls.

6.     On the Incoming calls panel, move the slider to enable the service feature.

7.     Feature can be edited by – Leave the Administrators check box selected.

8.     For the enabled service features define their service attributes, if any (for example, mailbox limit for the Unified messaging feature).

9.     Define which other services and service features will be included in your product.

Usage charges

The rating list on the has two functions: it defines permitted access points (nodes and access codes) and specifies which tariff should be used for billing in each of these points.

 

Usage charges

 

1.     On your product’s panel, click Charges, then click Usage charges.

2.     On the Usage charges panel, click Add.

3.     Fill in the required information:

o   Service – Select Voice Calls.

o   Node – Select the PortaSIP® node.

o   Access code – Leave this field empty for the basic SIP service.

o   Tariff – Choose the tariff that will be used to calculate the charges for outgoing calls.

o   Overdraft protection – To configure overdraft protection for this product, consult the Configure Overdraft Protection Section within the Product section in the Overdraft Protection Configuration handbook.

 

4.     Click Save.

Charges

On the Charges panel you can define special pricing such as volume discounts, regular payments such as subscriptions, and set up overdraft protection.

To access this panel, click Charges on your product’s panel, then click General info.

Recurring Charges

This allows you to choose a subscription plan for the product, so that this subscription plan will be automatically applied to every account with this product assigned. Select a subscription plan from the list.

 

Assign a subscription

 

5.     Click the arrow next to the subscription to see its details.

6.     Click Save.

Create an Add-on Product

Create an add-on product which provides the Call Forwarding functionality.

 

Add addon-product

 

1.     Click theUp vertical arrow in the toolbar to return to the Products panel.

2.     On the Create product panel, fill in the product details:

o   Name – Type an internal product name that will be shown on the administrator interface.

o   Name visible to end users – Type a name of the product that will be shown to end users on their self-care interfaces.

o   Product type – Select Add-on product here.

o   Priority – Define the priority for the product.

o   Currency – Choose a currency the product will be priced in.

o   Managed by – Select Administrator only here, since we are setting up a service without the involvement of resellers.

o   Account Role – Select Phone line since this product is intended for making and receiving calls.

Included Services tab

Define which service types are included in the product.

 

Add a service

 

1.     On your product’s panel, click Services.

2.     On the Services panel, click Add a service.

3.     In the Select services to add dialog box, select Voice calls and click Add.

Service configuration

Define the default values of service attributes for all accounts for which this add-on product will be assigned.

 

Add-on service configuration

 

4.     On the Services panel, click Voice calls.

5.     On the Voice calls configuration panel, select Incoming calls.

6.     On the Incoming calls panel, move the slider to enable the service feature.

Charges

Recurring charges

This allows you to choose a subscription plan for the product, so that this subscription plan will be automatically applied to every account with this product assigned. Select a subscription plan from the list. Click the arrow next to the subscription plan to see the detailed information about it.

 

Assign subscription

Additional info

Define the main products this add-on product will be compatible with.

 

Bundle with main products

 

7.     On the Additional info panel click the Add a Product button.

8.     Select the SmartCall product from the list and click OK.

9.     Click the Save button in the toolbar to save the product configuration.

Assign the Add-on Product to an Account

To provide your customer with the additional functionality requested, assign the add-on product to the corresponding account.

 

Select main products

 

1.     On the Account panel, select Finances and click Add-on products.

2.     In the Add-on products panel, check the add-on product that you want to assign to this account.

3.     Click the Save button in the toolbar.

4.     Repeat steps 1–3 to add more add-on products, if required.

 

_Hint_Glasses TIP: If you want the add-on either to take effect some time in the future or expire after some period of time, or both,  specify the add-on activation and / or expiration date.

Check Subscription Plan Assignment

All subscription plans that come with the main and add-on products will be automatically assigned to every account associated with these products.

 

Check subscriptions

 

To check which subscriptions are currently associated with an account, follow these steps:

1.     On the Account panel, select Finances and click Subscriptions.

2.     All subscriptions assigned to this account will be displayed.

3.     To see the subscription’s details, click the expander to the right.

Review xDR History

On the account’s xDR history panel you can see how subscriptions assigned to this account are charged.

 

1.     On the Account panel, select xDRs.

2.     Review the xDRs for subscription charges on the xDR summary panel.

 

xDR history