21 October 2020

PortaSwitch Maintenance Release 88 now available

With this new update, you’ll be able to enforce payment collection, apply late payment fees, and save time on troubleshooting by using the web interface to check an event's provisioning status. Read on to find out more about the latest new features in PortaSwitch!

Enhanced payment collection

Now you have more options to gradually force outstanding payment collection. Step-by-step service deactivation encourages customers to pay their invoices on time and helps you maintain positive relationships.

This new feature includes a variety of ways to stimulate payment – and each step is optional, so you can design the enforcement pathway that works best for you. Options include:

  • Service limitation: Reduce a customer’s level of service (e.g., 10Mbps instead of 100) when an invoice becomes overdue. Service limitation can be lifted upon customer payment.
  • Customer suspension: While suspended, the customer can no longer use the services. Once the overdue invoice is paid in full, the customer can use the services again.
  • Сommitment termination for all accounts: Customers benefiting from a discounted subscription rate (a so-called “commitment” that is tied to keeping the service active for a certain period) will lose the discount and will be required to repay the full cost of service backdated from the start of the contract.
  • Customer termination: If payment is still not received after all of your selected options are enacted, the customer’s service can be automatically terminated.
BENEFITS
cost_control
Improve payment collection
Stimulate customers to pay their invoices on time.

Late payment fee

You can set a late payment fee that will be applied if an invoice is not paid on time. For example, if you define the fee as $2, that amount will be automatically added to the next invoice if a customer does not pay on time.

This new feature also allows you to set a reactivation fee. This is an additional amount that has to be paid for service reactivation if customer services are suspended.

BENEFITS
cost_control
Define fees for non-payment
Set fees for late payment and service reactivation.

Web interface for External System Provisioning Framework

Our web interface for External System Provisioning Framework (ESPF) lets you track whether changes to the configuration of a given customer account have been successfully provisioned to third-party systems you may be using (e.g., IPTV platform).

Previously, troubleshooting a failure in this process would require you to access the logs through the command line interface. Now, you can easily see the provisioning status (e.g., failed, queued, successful) of an event and check the event logs directly on the PortaBilling web interface. After solving the issue, simply re-start the provisioning in one click, right from the web interface.

BENEFITS
customer_experience
Save time on troubleshooting
See the provisioning status right on the web interface, with no need to switch to the command line interface.

Transcoding for Opus codec

With MR88, PortaSwitch now supports transcoding for the Opus codec. This is an open, royalty-free audio codec for smartphone dialer apps and it is one of the “standard” WebRTC codecs. Opus allows the delivery of good-quality sound even over a poor Internet connection – for example, if a customer is using a browser to make a call in a hotel with low-quality WiFi.

Here’s how it works: in such situations, PortaSwitch receives a media stream encoded with Opus to ensure quality, then, as the call has to go to a vendor that only supports “old school” telephony codecs such as G.711 or G.729, PortaSIP will convert the media from Opus into G.729 to allow it to go to the vendor and back. This ensures no added costs, good sound quality, and codec compatibility on the VoIP vendor side.

BENEFITS
customer_experience
Provide good call quality
Ensure good call quality even with poor Internet connection with no added costs.


Find more details on these and other PortaSwitch MR88 enhancements in our latest New Features Guide.

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