30 July 2014

PortaOne Delivers New Features in PortaSwitch Maintenance Release 42

PortaOne announced availability of MR42-0, the newest version of PortaSwitch, communication services delivery platform.

MR42 Highlights

  • Add-on products with volume discounts
  • Improved product management GUI
  • Remote storage of credit card info
  • Multi-level distributors
The most important improvements in the functionality include:

Add-on products with volume discounts - Having the ability to sell discounted calling as a value-added feature (e.g. 300 minutes of calls to Europe for $3.99), is highly desired. Beginning now, PortaSwitch administrators have virtually unlimited potential in this area. Each add-on product may now include a volume discount; when several add-on products are assigned to an account, the account obtains a combination of discount plans. This feature may be used for combining call discounts to different areas (e.g. the main product allows free calls to US&Canada and the add-on provides 20% off calls to Europe). It can also be used to increase the amount of bundled minutes a customer already has (e.g. after buying a "500 free minutes" add-on in addition to "300 free minutes" included in the main product, the customer receives 800 free minutes total).

This also allows the service provider to offer a flexible product portfolio that can be custom-tailored to market requirements and increase revenue via the sale of a-la carte monthly calling plans.

Improved product management GUI - This redesigned web interface treats a product as a focal point for combining services, service configuration, usage charging and volume discounts, and recurring fees. An administrator can now efficiently manage the expanded product portfolio with a minimum of effort.

Remote storage of credit card info - Having the capacity for automated charging of a customer's credit card to pay an invoice or top-up a balance significantly improves the service provider's cash-flow. However, it requires the storing of credit card information, and in order to be certified for that, a service provider must undergo (PCI DSS or similar) security certification.

This is a time- and resource-consuming process; fortunately there is now an alternative. Some payment processors allow an end-user to enter credit card information on their web site and then store the card info on their servers. This way, the service provider only keeps a "token" in PortaBilling to be used later for initiating a transaction.

Since no PCI DSS certification is required (as the provider never actually deals with credit card data) the service can be launched almost immediately. The downside to this is that now the service provider is "locked" into using a specific payment processor.

Multi-level distributors - Vast and flexible distribution networks, much in demand by the modern communication market, should be organized hierarchically to allow efficient control and revenue collection. PortaSwitch now allows for the creation of a tree-like structure of distributors, in which distributor A can create his own "sub" distributors and share a portion of his commission with them. Any of those distributors can create their own underlying distributors and so on. Each distributor is responsible for the delivery of payments to his "manager", and credit control applies to the activities of the entire "branch". Thus, the amount of administration work for the service provider or distributor remains the same while the total size of the distribution network and its revenue volume can significantly increase.



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