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Documentation

Configuring a Reseller for Prepaid Services

Re-branding Services via a Reseller

Checklist

Create a Tariff for Charging the Reseller

Enter Rates

Create a Customer Class

Create a Reseller

Create a Tariff for Reseller’s Use

Create a Product for Reseller’s Use

Reseller Actions

Login to Self-Care Interface

Modify Tariff

Enter Rates

Test Rate Configuration (Optional)

Modify Product

Create Subcustomer

Generate Accounts

 

Re-branding Services via a Reseller

This section demonstrates how to configure a reseller who will be providing services under his own name. A prepaid service is used as an example, but the procedure is basically the same when setting up any other service (e.g. prepaid callback or postpaid residential VoIP), the only difference being the type of accounts used. Please consult the handbook for a given service regarding its specific configuration details.

 

The procedure is very similar to the general prepaid set-up described in the Prepaid Services section. Only a few additional comments are necessary:

·         Resellers are not allowed to create new tariffs or products. In addition to security considerations, this is because rating list to a product must be configured in order to create it properly. The person doing this must be well acquainted with your VoIP network structure (gateways, access lines, etc). Your reseller will not have this knowledge; in fact you will probably not even want to share such information with him. Therefore, your admin staff will create an initial framework of tariffs and products for him, and configure the products’ rating list. If the reseller wants to sell a product under a different name later, he can simply clone the existing product.

·         The correct sequence of actions is as follows:

1.      Create the tariff you will use to charge resellers (Applied to: Reseller type).

2.      Create a reseller, assigning this tariff to him.

3.      Create tariffs and products for his subscribers, making sure that you mark them as Managed by that reseller.

·         Unless assigned the “Advanced Reseller” access level, resellers are not able to view their own rates on the web interface, so that you are in control when informing them of rate changes. For example, at the beginning of the month you may choose to enter a rate change effective the first day of the following month; however, you could notify the customer of this only one week in advance.

 

Please use the checklist on the following page to ensure that you have performed all the required operations in the correct sequence.

Checklist

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

Operations to be performed by the administrator

 

Operation

 

Done

Rating configuration

 

Create a tariff (referred to later as tariff A), which will contain the wholesale rates you apply to your reseller; make sure this tariff is designated as Applied To: Reseller

[     ]

Insert rates in tariff A for the destinations to which you will allow your reseller to send calls

[     ]

Create a customer class to be applied to your resellers

[     ]

Create a reseller and apply tariff A to him on the Additional Info tab

[     ]

Specify a username and password for the reseller to access the self-care interface

[     ]

Create a tariff (referred to later as tariff B), which will be applied to your reseller’s subscribers; make sure this tariff is marked as “Managed by” the reseller

[     ]

Create a prepaid product to be used by your reseller; make sure this product is marked as “Managed by” the reseller

[     ]

Create one rating entry for this product, using the node you created earlier and tariff B

[     ]

Operations to be performed by the reseller

Account provisioning

 

Go to the customer self-care web page and log in using the credentials provided

[     ]

Insert rates in tariff B for the destinations to which you will allow your subscribers to send calls

[     ]

Create a subcustomer who owns the prepaid cards

[     ]

Generate accounts for this subcustomer

[     ]

Testing

 

Try to make a test call

[     ]

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 a Tariff for Charging the Reseller

This tariff will be used to charge the reseller, so it should contain your selling rates for the reseller.

 

 

 

In the Rating section of Admin-Index, choose Tariffs.

1.      On the Tariff Management page, choose  Add.

2.      Fill in the New Tariff form:

o       Name – A short name for the tariff object; this is the name you will see in the select menus.

o       Currency – Choose the currency in which you will charge your reseller.

NOTE: The currency for the tariff is chosen only once, and cannot be changed later.

o       Applied To – Choose Reseller here.

o       Service – Choose Voice Calls here.

3.      Click  Save.

4.      Repeat steps 1-3 until you have entered all of the tariffs.

Enter Rates

Rates are per-destination prices. Please refer to the Rating and Invoicing chapter in the PortaBilling Administrator Guide for more details on billing parameters.

Managing Rates Online

Managing rates online is very convenient for maintaining existing rate tables, as well as for reference purposes. In the case of new price lists or major updates, the offline method is better.

 

 

 

1.      On the Tariff Management page you will see a list of available tariffs. Click the  Rates icon next to the name of the tariff.

2.      In the Edit Rates screen, click  Add.

3.      Fill in the required information:

o       Destination – The destination prefix may be entered directly (e.g. 47 for Norway) or you can access the destinations directory by clicking the Destination link (in the column header). Here you will find the desired prefix by country name.

NOTE: You should create an entry for certain phone prefixes in the Destination register before creating a rate for them in the tariff.

o       Interval First – First billing unit in seconds.

o       Interval Next – Next billing unit in seconds.

o       Price First – Per-minute price for first interval.

o       Price Next – Per-minute price for next interval.

o       Off-peak Interval First– First billing unit in seconds for off-peak time.

o       Off-peak Interval Next – Next billing unit in seconds for off-peak time.

o       Off-peak Price First – Per-minute price for first interval of off-peak time.

o       Off-peak Price Next – Per-minute price for next interval of off-peak time.

NOTE: Off-peak fields appear only if this tariff has already been assigned an off-peak period in the Tariff Info screen.

o       Effective From – If you want this rate to take effect sometime in the future, you can either type in a date manually, or use the calendar (click the DD-MM-YYYY link).

NOTE: When using the calendar, you can specify that the date you are entering is in a different time zone than your current one. PortaBilling® will then automatically adjust the time.

o       Rate Formula Wizard   – Launches the wizard for creating a custom rating formula

o       Payback Rate, Hidden, Forbidden or Discontinued – These flags are optional.

4.      Click the  Save button in the toolbar, or the  icon on the left end of the row.

5.      Repeat these steps if you need to enter more rates.

Managing Rates Offline

You also can upload rates from a .CSV or .XLS file – please consult the Rate Import section.

 

Create a Customer Class

Customer class provides the ability to define a group of parameters in a centralized way, then apply those parameters to many customers at once. (If you have already created a customer class that you can use for prepaid card distributors, skip this step and go to the next one.)

 

Adobe SystemsIf the invoicing and collection parameters for resellers are not relevant at this moment, skip this step and use the Default customer class for your resellers.

 

1.      In the Billing section of the Admin interface, choose Customer Classes.

2.      On the Customer Class Management page, choose  Add.

 

 

3.      Fill in the parameter related to the invoicing and collection process for your resellers.

4.      Click  Save&Close.

Create a Reseller

The reseller entity you are about to create will define your relationship with a business partner who is reselling your services under his own name and allow him further independent service management (e.g. creating his own accounts).

 

 

In the Participants section of Admin-Index, choose Resellers.

1.      On the Reseller Management page, choose  Add Reseller.

2.      Fill in the New Reseller form. Please note that there are several tabs with extra information available on the screen. The most important fields are:

Main form (top)

o       Customer ID – A short name for this reseller; this will be used on the web interface.

o       Currency – The currency in which this reseller will be billed.

o       Opening Balance – Starting balance for the reseller; the default is zero.

o       Customer Class – Customer class allows you to define a policy for automated payment collection. By choosing a specific class here the customer will automatically inherit all of the class properties (grace period, invoice template, etc.).

Address Info tab

o       E-mail – Make sure you enter the reseller’s valid email address here; otherwise he will not be able to receive files with the PINs he generates. Also, once the billing period is over this email address will be used to deliver of a list of xDRs and an invoice to your reseller.

o       Bcc – Delivery to the specified email address of your account representative a copy of every outgoing email sent to the customer; this may be used for debug and archiving purposes.

Additional Info tab

o       Default Tariff for Voice Calls – This is the tariff that will be applied by default to calls placed by the reseller’s subscribers; choose tariff A here.

o       Billing Period – Frequency of distribution of accounting information. For more details about different available billing periods, see the PortaBilling Administrator Guide.

o       Send Statistics – Summary only – Distribute a call summary only, and do not attach a details file; this might be useful in the case of a large amount of calls. Other options are full statistics (attach a complete list of xDRs) or do not send (this option prevents the delivery of event statistics to this customer via email).

Payment Info tab

o       Credit Limit – If left empty, there is no credit limit for this reseller; so you will probably want to enter a value here.

Web Self-care tab

o       Time Zone – The time zone in which the reseller will see his xDRs, and which will also define his billing period. For example, if you choose America / Vancouver here and the billing period is Monthly, the billing period will start on the first day of the month at midnight (12 am) New York time.

o       Web Interface Language – The language to be used on the customer’s self-care web interface.

Billing tab

o       Billing Time Zone – Time zone in which customer’s billing period will be closed and invoices will be generated.

o       Billing Period – Frequency of invoice generation. For more details about the different available billing periods, see the PortaBilling Administrator Guide.

o       Last Day of the Period – Read-only field available only during customer creation; shows the last date of the customer’s first billing period.

o       Invoiced on – Read-only field available only during customer creation; shows a date when customer’s invoice will be generated.

 

3.      Click  Save&Close.

Create a Tariff for Reseller’s Use

This tariff will be used by the reseller to charge his subcustomers. The reseller will perform the actual tariff configuration on the self-care interface. You just need to provide him with a framework by pre-allocating a tariff.

 

 

 

In the Rating section of Admin-Index, choose Tariffs.

1.      On the Tariff Management page, choose  Add.

2.      Fill in the New Tariff form:

o       Name – A short name for the tariff object; this is the name you will see in the select menus.

o       Currency – Choose the currency in which your reseller plans to operate.

NOTE: The currency for the tariff is chosen only once, and cannot be changed later.

o       Applied To – Choose Customer here.

o       Managed By – Choose your reseller in the list.

o       You may skip all the other parameters, as the reseller will be able to adjust them according to his needs.

o       Short Description – A short tariff description which will be understandable to your reseller.

o       Description – An extended tariff description.

3.      Click  Save&Close.

4.      Repeat steps 1-3 until you have entered all of the tariffs your reseller needs.

Create a Product for Reseller’s Use

As was the case above with tariffs, you need only create a framework for your reseller to enable him to perform further independent product management.

 

 

 

 

In the Rating section of the Admin-Index page, choose Products.

1.      On the Product Management page, click the  Add icon.

2.      Fill in the Add Product form:

o       Product Name – Product object name.

o       Product Type – Choose Main Product here.

o       Currency – Product currency. Only tariffs which have the same currency will be permitted in the rating list.

o       Managed By – Choose your reseller from the list.

3.      Click  Save.

4.      The Services and Rating tab now becomes active, and you can edit this product’s rating list.

Enter Node and Tariffs into the Product’s Rating List

The reseller will not have access to information about your network, and therefore cannot view rating list information. You may define it for him as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

1.      When the Services and Rating tab is selected, click on the  Add icon.

2.      Choose Voice Calls in the Service select menu.

3.      In the Node select menu, select the node where your IVR will be running.

4.      You can also use an access number for rating entry in the Access code field. For example, if you have a node with two access numbers, local (12345) and toll-free (1800 12345), you can set up the product’s rating list in such a way that if a customer calls via a toll-free line, he will be billed using a different tariff (one that includes surcharges).

NOTE: For more information about the Access Code feature, refer to the System Concepts section of the PortaBilling Administrator Guide.

5.      The Info-digits menu allows you to apply different tariffs depending on the type of line from which your customers originate calls. If you are unsure whether your telco sends such information, leave the default value ANY.

6.      In the Tariff menu, select the tariff that will be applied to end-users (prepaid calling card customers of your reseller).

7.      In the Reseller’s Tariff drop-down menu, you can also choose which tariff will be used to charge the reseller when an account with this product makes a phone call. By default, the system applies the tariff assigned to the reseller in customer info – in this case DEFAULT TARIFF appears in the select menu. However, here you can override this and, for instance, bill the reseller at a higher rate for use of a product that requires higher maintenance on your end.

8.      Configure overdraft protection for this product on the Overdraft Protection tab. (Please consult the Rating section in the PortaBilling Web Reference Guide for a description of the parameters available here.)

9.      Click  Save&Close to save this rating entry.

10.  Repeat steps 1-9 if you want to define more rating entries.

Reseller Actions

At this point you have finished with the administrator part of the work. You just need to send the reseller his login credentials for the PortaBilling® self-care interface, while the rest of the tasks described below will be performed by the reseller himself. They are listed here for your convenience only; normally the reseller will use the instructions in the self-care guide.

Login to Self-Care Interface

Open the customer self-care page in a browser (by default https://<your-porta-billing-slave-server-name>:8444) and type in the username / password which was provided to you.

NOTE: Sometimes administrators try pressing the Logout button on the admin interface and then logging in using the reseller’s username and password. This will not work, since you are still in the admin realm, to which your reseller does not have access. You must login from the customer’s self-care interface.

Modify Tariff

The reseller can adjust various parameters of a tariff (e.g. off-peak period or rounding).

 

 

 

1.      In the Rating section of Reseller-Index, choose Tariffs.

2.      On the Tariff Management page, click on the name of the existing tariff.

3.      If necessary, modify the tariff parameters:

o       Default Off-peak Period – If you do not differentiate between peak and off-peak rates, just choose Not defined; otherwise, select one of the previously defined off-peak periods.

o       Default Formula – The default rating formula which will be applied to every new rate created in the tariff. If you leave this empty, “old-style” rating will be used.

o       Short Description – A short tariff description. This will be shown in the rate lookup on the admin interface and the self-care pages for your accounts and customers. For example, for a tariff named Cust-ABC-Easy Call-1800, the short description will provide better information for your reseller ABC, who will be using this tariff, such as: “EasyCall – via a toll-free number”.

o       Description – An extended tariff description.

4.      Click  Save.

5.      Repeat steps 1-4 until you have adjusted all of the tariffs.

Enter Rates

The interface for rate management by the reseller is identical to the one provided to the administrator and described earlier in this chapter. 

Test Rate Configuration (Optional)

1.      While in the Edit Tariff window, click on the  Test button to go to the Test Call Rating screen.

 

 

2.      Type in the phone number for which you would like to test the rating, as well as the estimated call duration, then click on the Test button.

 

 

3.      You will now see the estimated amount charged for this call, as well as a detailed explanation of the rating process.

4.      Press the  Close button to return to the Edit Tariff window.

Modify Product

If necessary, you may modify certain product parameters, e.g. maintenance fee amounts and scheduling.

 

 

 

1.      In the Rating section of the Reseller-Index page, choose Products.

2.      On the Product Management page, click on the name of the product in the list.

3.      Change values in the Edit Product form:

General Info tab

o       Breakage – A leftover balance which is considered “useless” (for statistical purposes). Accounts with a balance below breakage will count as depleted. This does not affect account authentication or authorization, so the account can still make calls if there is enough money left to cover at least the first interval.

o       Info URL – If you have an external server with a description of product features, enter the URL here (e.g. http://www.myproduct.com). Your customers will be able to go there from their self-care pages.

o       Description – Your description of the intended use of this product.

Maintenance Fee tab

o       Period – Surcharge application interval; will be shown in call history as a separate line each time it is charged. None disables maintenance fees.

o       Fee – Surcharge amount.

o       Effective From – Apply the specified maintenance fee only after a certain date (no fees assessed until then); choose Immediately to start applying charges as soon as possible.

NOTE: The Maintenance Fees functionality is an obsolete feature and may be removed in future releases. Please use subscription plans to apply periodic charges.

4.      Click  Save&Close.

Create Subcustomer

A subcustomer is an owner of accounts. Therefore, although you will not issue invoices, etc. for the prepaid calling card service, you will still need at least one subcustomer object in order to keep all of the prepaid card accounts organized in one location.

 

 

 

1.      In the Participants section of the Reseller-Index page, choose Subcustomers.

2.      On the Subcustomer Management page, choose  Add.

3.      Fill in the New Subcustomer form. Please note that there are several tabs with extra information available on the screen. The most important fields are:

Main form (top)

o       Customer ID – A short name for the customer object; will be used on the web interface.

o       Currency – The currency in which the prepaid cards will be generated.

o       Opening Balance – Starting balance for the customer; the default is zero.

o       Customer Class – Choose Default, since the invoicing and payment collection parameters defined by the customer class are not really applicable to this customer, who is merely a placeholder for prepaid calling card accounts.

Address Info tab

o       E-mail – Email address for distribution of accounting information. After the billing period is over, a list of xDRs and other statistics will be sent to this address.

o       BCC – Delivery to the specified email address of your account representative a copy of every outgoing email sent to the customer; this may be used for debug and archiving purposes.

Web Self-care tab

o       Time Zone – The time zone in which the customer will see his xDRs, and which will also define his billing period. For example, if you choose America / Vancouver here and the billing period is Monthly, the billing period will start on the first day of the month at midnight (12 am) New York time.

o       Web Interface Language – The language to be used on the customer’s self-care web interface.

Additional Info tab

o       Send Statistics – Summary only – Distribute a call summary only, and do not attach a details file; this might be useful in the case of a large amount of calls. Other options are full statistics (attach a complete list of xDRs) or do not send (this option prevents the delivery of event statistics to this customer via email).

Billing tab

o       Billing Time Zone – Time zone in which customer’s billing period will be closed and invoices will be generated.

o       Billing Period – Frequency of invoice generation. For more details about the different available billing periods, see the PortaBilling Administrator Guide.

o       Last Day of the Period – Read-only field available only during customer creation; shows the last date of the customer’s first billing period.

o       Invoiced on – Read-only field available only during customer creation; shows a date when customer’s invoice will be generated.

Payment Info tab

o       Credit Limit – assign a credit limit for this customer.

o       Balance Warning Threshold – the customer can be notified by email when his balance is dangerously close to the credit limit and service will soon be blocked. Here you can enter the value for such a warning threshold.

 

4.      Click  Save&Close.

Generate Accounts

NOTE: Before generating accounts for a production system, read the Provisioning prepaid accounts chapter in the Prepaid Calling Cards (Using a Gateway) section.

1.      Go to the Subcustomers screen (the screen which contains a list of customers). It should look like the screenshot below:

 

 

 

 

2.      Next to the subcustomer name, click on the Account  or  icon (in the Accounts column), which will take you to the account management for that customer.

3.      Click on the  Account Generator.

4.      Fill in the Account Generator form:

o       Number of Accounts – Number of accounts (prepaid cards) to be generated.

o       Opening Balance – The initial balance on the card.

Account info tab

o       Type – Select Debit for prepaid service.

o       Inactive – It is normal practice to generate all prepaid cards as inactive so they cannot be misused before being sold to the dealer or end customer. You can always activate the whole batch of cards or an individual card later. If you plan to assign the cards to a distributor later on, the cards must be generated as inactive.

o       Inactive – Check this if you want to generate the accounts as initially inactive and assign them to a distributor later on.

o       Generation Method – Choose Random here; this will assign every account a unique, randomly-generated PIN.

o       ID Prefix – If you would like all of the generated accounts to start with the same digit string (e.g. 98), enter it here. Thus, if you enter 98 and an ID length of 10, account IDs (PINs) will look like this: 98NNNNNNNN, where N = random digits.

o       ID Length – All account IDs (PINs) will be numerical and of the specified length. In order to avoid problems with printing prepaid cards, PortaBilling® will not generate account numbers with a leading zero. Also, PortaBilling® will only allow generation of a batch with feasible parameters, e.g. it is impossible to generate a batch of 1,000 accounts with ID length 4 and ID starting at 55.

o       Service Password – To improve security, you can use an account password during authentication, in addition to a PIN. Not all IVRs support this feature. If you choose Empty, no password will be assigned for the account, and the password check will be switched off during authentication. Choosing Empty is recommended by default. If you decide to use passwords, then please use the Auto-generated digits only option, since then the password can be entered in the IVR via phone keys.

o       Batch – A batch is a management unit for accounts. If a new batch name is provided in the text field, all accounts will be placed into a new batch with the given name. Otherwise, an existing batch should be selected from the drop-down list.

Products

o       Main Product – choose the main product, which you would like your account to have.

Web Self-care tab

o       Login – Account login to web self-care pages. Can be the same as account ID.

o       Password – Password for the web self-care pages.

o       Time Zone – The time zone for the account self-care interface.

o       Web Interface Language – The language to be used on the account self-care web interface.

Additional Info tab

o       E-Commerce Enabled – If checked, this will allow your debit card owners to make online payments via the PortaBilling® web interface. (Leave unchecked.)

o       Discount Plan – Applies a specific discount plan to this group of accounts. (Leave as Product Default.)

Life Cycle tab

o       Start Using – The date from which the account is usable.

o       Expiration Date – Account expiration date.

o       Life Time – Relative expiration date; account will expire on “first usage date” + “life time” days. If you do not want to use this feature, leave the field blank.

 

5.      Click  Generate. A confirmation screen will indicate that your information has been accepted.

6.      Click  Close to return to the account administration page.

NOTE: Account generation tasks are executed every few minutes; it may take a while to generate large numbers of accounts.

Adobe SystemsNotification about the generated cards will be sent by email to the user who created them, in this case – to the reseller. A CSV file with information about the new accounts will be attached.

 

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