For those who missed the recent PortaOne webcast on new functionality we have made available the recorded version:
Below is an excerpt from the "questions & answers" portion of real-time discussion that took place during the webcast:
Q: What is the migration path to the new PortaSIP® Media Servers? Is there any deadline?
A: In the future, all services (IVR, voicemail and conferencing) will be migrated to the new media server platform and the old one will be phased out. For the time being though, both media servers are supported and customers can perform the migration gradually, by using individual applications or types of services.
Q: Do I need a license to use the Acrobits / Andrexen client?
A: Yes, you need to obtain a license directly from Acrobits / Andrexen.
Q: Can add-on products be assigned to customers or only to accounts?
A: Add-on products come with a service configuration and a recurring charge (subscription) attached to them. Applying an add-on to an account activates the new service configuration and automatically produces correct current charges.
The customer does not have an actual full service configuration - the service is managed for individual accounts, which are created under the customer. So at the customer level only a few attributes (then shared by all accounts) can be specified. Therefore it doesn't make any sense to apply add-ons to a customer since they will have no effect on the service configuration. If you want to automatically bill a customer for some periodic service - then a subscription can be assigned to that customer.
Q: Are the add-ons built in such a way that they're not only manageable via the web interface, but also via SOAP?
A: Currently the majority of configuration actions that can be taken via the PortaBilling® administrative web interface can be taken via the PortaBilling API as well. Add-on products can also be configured via API.
Q: Are you going to develop a feature that stops charging for the subscription when a customer's balance falls below zero?
A: Starting from MR43 you have the option to automatically suspend prepaid customers who do not have sufficient funds to cover their subscription charges for the upcoming billing period. See PortaSwitch® New Features Guide for Maintenance Release 43 for more details.
Q: Are you planning to implement a way of charging for a subscription immediately after an order is placed?
A: This is already possible via the PortaBilling® API, so your order entry-system or sign-up portal can do this.
Q: Is there Parallel Generation of Invoices and Statistics?
A: Since Maintenance Release 32, the processes for creating invoices and customer statistics (xDRs) run in parallel mode. This allows you to simultaneously generate statistics and produce and email PDF invoice files for several customers. This substantially reduces the total amount of time required to complete the billing process, ensuring that even with an increased number of customers, billing can be completed during nighttime hours so that customers receive their invoices as early as possible the following morning.