Configuring a Reseller for Prepaid Services

Re-Branding Services via a Reseller

Checklist

Initial Configuration of PortaSwitch®

Create a Tariff for Charging the Reseller

Add rates to the tariff

Create a Customer Class

Create a Reseller

Create a Tariff for Reseller’s Use

Add rates to the tariff

Create a Product for Reseller’s Use

Reseller’s Actions

Log in to the Reseller Self-Care Interface

Modify the Tariff

Modify rates

Test Rate Configuration (Optional)

Modify the Product

Create a Customer

Generate Accounts

 

Re-Branding Services via a Reseller

This section demonstrates how to configure a reseller who will be providing services under their 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 them. Therefore, your administrators will create an initial framework of tariffs and products for your reseller, and configure the products’ rating list. If the reseller wants to sell a product under a different name later, they 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”).

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

3.      Create tariffs and products for reseller’s customers, making sure that you mark these tariffs and products 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 may notify the reseller 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 them 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 customers; 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 customer who owns the prepaid cards

[     ]

Generate accounts for this customer

[     ]

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.

 

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

 

Open the Tariffs panel.

 

Create a tariff

 

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

o   Name – Type a short name for the tariff object; this is the name you will see in the select menus, (for example, Reseller).

o   Currency – This indicates the currency in which you charge your resellers.

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

o   Service – Select Voice Calls here.

 

3.      Click Save.

Add rates to the tariff

Rates are per-destination prices. Please refer to the Real-Time Charging chapter in the PortaBilling Administrator Guide for more details on billing parameters.

Managing rates online

 

Add rates

 

1.      On the reseller’s tariff panel, click Rates.

2.      On the Add rate panel, fill in the rate details.

o   Destination – Select a destination prefix from the list or type it in directly (e.g. 47 for Norway).

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 General info panel.

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 – Click the  Wizard icon to launch the wizard for creating a custom rating formula.

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

 

3.      Click the Save.

4.      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 business model as well as a group of other 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.)

 

timesaver If 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.      On the navigation menu, select Sales, then select Customer classes.

2.      On the Create a customer class panel, fill in the customer class details:

·       Name – Provide a short name for this customer class.

·       Business model – Select which customers this customer class will apply. Select Prepaid cards holder.

·       Currency – Specify the currency in which you want to set the collection threshold. When specified, this customer class can only be assigned to resellers with the same currency. Once the currency selection is saved, it cannot be changed.

3.      Click Save.

 

 

4.      On your customer class panel, click Finances, then click General info.

5.      On the General info panel, fill in general information about the customer class:

·       The billing period is closed – Select Automatically.

·       Configurethe Statistics parameters:

o   Generate invoices – Leave this option enabled to generate invoices for customers who belong to this customer class.

o   Send statistics via email – Define how you will provide statistics to your customers.

 

·       Configure the Customer status changes parameters:

o   Suspend on insufficient funds for subscriptions – Specify whether PortaBilling® should check whether the customer has sufficient funds for their subscription charges.

o   Permanently terminate customers after provisional termination  - Enable this option to permanently terminate resellers and define the amount of days for termination delay.

 

 

6.      On your customer class panel, click Finances, click Invoicing, then click Regular invoices.

 

 

7.      On the Regular invoices panel, specify the invoicing parameters for the customer class:

·       Use regular invoices – Enable this parameter to generate regular invoices for customers who belong to this customer class.

·       Invoice Template – Select the appropriate template which will be used to create a .pdf file with the invoice for your customers (e.g. Retail customer invoice template).

·       Generate invoice pdf – Leave the default option At the end of billing period selected.

·       Send invoices via email – Select Automatically to automatically send an invoice to a customer at the end of a billing period.

·       Configure Payment terms, Payment collection and Action upon non-payment parameters for customers. Please consult the PortaBilling® help for a description of parameters available here.

 

8.      On the Taxation panel, select the taxation method and specify the taxation parameters.

9.      Click  Save .

 

For now, you may leave the rest of configuration parameters with their default values. If you change them later, these changes will automatically affect all resellers that are already assigned to this customer class.

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 them further independent service management (e.g. creating their own customers and accounts).

 

1.      On the navigation menu, select Sales, then Sales agents and click Resellers.

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

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

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.). Select the customer class you have just created.

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

o   Billing period – Choose a billing period for the reseller. A billing period defines the frequency of invoicing for this reseller.

o   The default tariff for voice calls – This is the tariff that will be applied by default to calls placed by the reseller’s subscribers. Select tariff A here.

o   Credit limit – Assign a credit limit for the reseller.

 

 

3.      Click Save.

Personal info

Define the reseller’s personal information (such as name, email address, and etc.).

1.      On your reseller’s panel, click Company info, then click General info.

2.      On the General info panel, fill in the reseller’s personal information and an email address for the receipt of accounting information. After the billing period is over, a list of xDRs and other statistics will be sent to this address.

Web self-care

Define credentials and preferred settings (such as language, time zone, date input and output formats) for this reseller’s self-care interface.

3.      While on the General info panel, click Web self-care.

4.      On the Web self-care panel, define credentials for the reseller self-care interface (such as login, password, time zone, etc.) and other preferred settings. The time zone you define for the reseller defines their billing period and when the reseller will see their xDRs, 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 a.m.) New York time.

 

Balance and credits

5.      On your customer’s panel, click Finances, click General info, then click Balance and credits.

6.      On the Balance and credits panel, define the Credit limit warning threshold parameter. The customer can be notified by email when his balance is dangerously close to the credit limit and service will soon be blocked. The threshold can be specified:

·       As a percentage (e.g. 90%). The warning will be sent when the customer’s balance exceeds that percentage of his credit limit. So, if the credit limit is USD 1000.00 and the threshold is 90%, a warning will be sent as soon as the balance exceeds USD 900.00. This is only applicable when the customer has a positive credit limit.

·       As an absolute value. The warning will be sent as soon as the balance goes above the specified value.

 

7.      Click  Save.

Create a Tariff for Reseller’s Use

This tariff the reseller will use to charge their customers. The reseller will perform the actual tariff configuration on the self-care interface. You just need to provide them with a framework by pre-allocating a tariff.

 

 

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

2.      On theCreate tariff panel, fill in the tariff details:

o   Name – Type a short name for the tariff object; this is the name you will see in the select menus, (for example, ABC Shuttle prepaid cards).

o   Currency – This indicates the currency in which the reseller charges their customers.

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

o   Service – Select Voice Calls here.

o   Applied to – Select Customer here.

o   Managed by – Select the name of the reseller you have created here.

 

3.      Click Save.

Add rates to the tariff

Optionally, you can add rates to this tariff. The procedure is the same as described in the Add rates to the tariff subsection of the Create a Tariff for Charging the Reseller section of this handbook.

Create a Product for Reseller’s Use

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

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

o   Name – Type an internal product name that will be shown on the web 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 Main product here.

o   Currency – Choose a currency the product will be priced in. Only tariffs which have the same currency will be permitted in the rating list

o   Account role – Select Prepaid card since this product is intended for making calls.

o   Managed by – Select your reseller from the list.

 

 

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.

 

Usage Charges

1.      On the product’s panel, click Charges, then click Usage charges. The reseller will not have access to information about your network, and therefore cannot view rating list information. You may define it for them as follows:

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   Reseller tariff – select the tariff you have created in the Create a Tariff for Charging the Reseller section. You can also select DEFAULT TARIFF. This will be the same tariff as you have assigned it as a default one when creating a reseller.

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.

 

 

5.      Repeat steps 3-4 if you want to define more rating entries.

 

For more information about the available product features, please refer to the System Concepts section of the PortaBilling Administrator Guide.

Reseller’s Actions

At this point, you have finished with the administrator part of the work. You just need to send the reseller their login credentials for the PortaBilling® self-care interface, while the rest of the tasks described below will be performed by the reseller.

Log in to the Reseller Self-Care Interface

Open the reseller self-care interface in a browser (by default https://<your-porta-billing-admin-server-name>:8442) and type in the login and password which were provided to you.

NOTE: Sometimes administrators try clicking 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 reseller’s self-care interface.

Modify the Tariff

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

 

Modify the tariff

 

Edit the tariff

 

1.      On the Main Menu page of the reseller self-care interface, in the Rating section, click Tariffs.

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

3.      On the Edit Tariff page, if necessary, modify the tariff parameters:

o   Default Off-Peak Period – If you do not differentiate between peak and off-peak rates, just select 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 Save.

Modify rates

Modify rates of this tariff. The procedure is similar to the described in the Add rates to the tariff subsection of the Create a Tariff for Charging the Reseller section of this handbook.

Test Rate Configuration (Optional)

1.      On the Edit Tariff page, click test_call_rating Test on the toolbar.

2.      On the Test Rating for Tariff page, in the Destination filed, type in the phone number for which you would like to test the rating, as well as the estimated call duration.

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

4.      Click close Close to return to the Edit Tariff page.

 

Add testing parameters

 

Test the rates

Modify the Product

If necessary, you may modify certain product parameters:

1.      On the Main Menu page of the reseller self-care interface, in the Rating, click Products.

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

3.      On the Edit Product page, change the required parameters. For more information about available options, please click Help at the top-right corner of the page.

4.      When all the required changes are done, click save_close Save & Close.

 

Modify the product

 

Edit the product

Create a Customer

A customer 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 customer object in order to keep all of the prepaid card accounts organized in one location.

 

Create a customer

 

1.      On the Main Menu page of the reseller self-care interface, in the Participants section, click Customers.

2.      On the Customer Management page, click  Add on the toolbar.

3.      On the Add Customer page, fill in the general information on the top:

o   Customer ID – Short name for the customer.

o   Customer Class – By default, your customer class will be applied. This means that all invoicing and payment collection parameters that are defined will be applicable to this customer.

o   Balance Control – The way the customer will pay for the service, after consuming the service or prior to it. Select Prepaid.

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

o   Available Funds – Since this customer is used as a placeholder for storing accounts, the amount of available funds is insignificant. Type zero here.

 

4.      Go to the Address Info tab and provide the following information:

o   Email – 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    

5.      Go to the Web Self-Care tab and provide the following information:

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 a.m.) Vancouver time.

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

 

6.      Go to the Life Cycle tab and provide the following information:

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.

 

7.      Click save_close Save & Close.

Generate Accounts

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

1.      On the Customer Management page, click on the  Accounts icon next to the customer name:

 

Create accounts

 

Go to account generator

 

Fill in the accounts information

 

2.      On the Accounts of Retail Customer page, click  Account Generator on the toolbar.

3.      On the Account Generator for Customer page, fill in the general information on the top:

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

o   Account Role – The defined usage for these accounts. Select Prepaid card.

o   Main Product – Select the product that you have you have modified in the Modify the Product section.

o   Opening Balance – The initial balance on the card.

 

4.      Go to the Account Info tab and provide the following information:

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   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 – Select New batch from the list and type the batch name in the field. A batch is a management unit for accounts. All accounts will be placed into a new batch with the given name.

 

5.      Go to the Web Self-Care tab and provide the following information:

o   Login – Login to the account self-care interface. Can be the same as account ID.

o   Password – Password for the account self-care interface.

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 interface.

 

6.      Go to the Life Cycle tab and provide the following information:

o   Activation Date – The date from which the account is usable.

o   Specific Date – Identifies the date that the account expires.

o   ___days after First Use – Defines the number of days the account remains active after its first use or recharge.

o   ___days after Last Use – Defines the number of days the account remains active after its last use or recharge.

 

7.      Click  Generate. A confirmation dialog box will indicate that your information has been accepted.

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

8.      Click close Close.

 

Notification 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.

 

TA .csv file with information about the new accounts