7 September 2012

A Sneak Preview of PortaSwitch Changes and New Functionality in the Coming Maintenance Release 29

This is a pre-release announcement of some features and changes PortaOne will introduce in PortaSwitch Maintenance Release 29. We expect that the build 0 of MR29 will be available for PortaCare customers on the first week of October 2012.

MR29 highlights:

  • Inter-service promotions
  • Temporary credit limits
  • DIDx on-demand provisioning
  • IP phone call forwarding
  • Inter & intra state rates
  • SMS notifications
  • BillSoft taxation modes
  • PINless dialing IVR
  • PortaUM-to-PortaSIP integration
Inter-service bundles and promotions

The inter-service promotions module enables service providers to offer promotions based on the consumption of related services by defining usage thresholds for a specific service. For each threshold of the "measured" service PortaSwitch administrator will specify to which service the credit will be applied and the amount of credit either as an absolute value or as a percentage. For example, it can be an offer of 50% credit on subscription fees if the customer spends more than $100 on phone calls.

The same definition for measured service and thresholds can be used to apply charges, rather than credits, i.e. add new charges to the invoice. It can be used, for instance, to implement "low usage fees" for when a customer does not generate the previously agreed upon call volume.

Temporary credit limit increase

The temporary credit limit increase in PortaBilling enables service providers to grant a credit limit extension so the customer can still use the service. However the credit limit is restored to the original value after specific date. This prevents unplanned "permanent" increases in the credit limit and improves the overall financial situation of the service provider.

On-demand DID provisioning with DIDx

Based on numerous requests from PortaOne customers, the next DID provider to be added as a source for automated on-demand provisioning is DIDx.net. DIDx serves as an online DID marketplace that vastly expands its coverage of available countries and areas for DID numbers that in turn will help PortaSwitch users to provide better service to their consumers.

Call forwarding from an IP phone

The end-user will be able to program a "forward to" number directly into the phone. The phone will afterwards return it to an incoming call request. PortaSwitch will process a redirect message as if this number were configured in the forward / follow-me settings on the PortaSwitch web interface, including authorization and charging the user who originated the forward, for the forwarded portion on the call.

This functionality will simplify the migration of "traditional" PBX users to IP Centrex services powered by PortaSwitch and improve sales to the enterprise segment.

US inter / intra state rates

As of MR29, PortaSwitch will maintain "inter-state" and "intra-state" rates as separate columns on the web interface and in the tariff upload to allow service providers to maximize the potential profits based on this discrepancy and simplify their rate management.

SMS notifications

Starting with MR29, PortaSwitch will allow service providers to deliver the same alerts (e.g. balance close to the credit limit, payment due, etc.) that are currently available via email, via SMS messages sent directly to the user's mobile phone.

BillSoft - new taxation mode

A new taxation mode, "switched trunk services," will be supported with BillSoft in addition to the current one, "non-switched trunk services."

Corporate PINless dialing IVR

The new IVR application functionality will allow PortaSwitch users to provide the PINless dialing service for enterprise customers when multiple individuals place outgoing calls using the same caller number (typically from the company's main phone line). In this case an end user will enter an additional PIN to correctly identify himself so that calls are properly authorized against individual accounts and later presented on a combined invoice.

PortaUM integration with PortaSIP

With PortaSwitch MR29, we will start a process of fully absorbing PortaUM into a single product with PortaSIP. As of MR29, PortaUM will cease being a separate license and become a media server of a new larger PortaSIP. A new single PortaSIP license will consist of 2 servers:

  • Switching Server itself (old PortaSIP) and
  • Media Server (ex-PortaUM).

We will continue the closer integration in the coming releases later this year and in 2013.



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