With MRs 89-92, we’ve set a record for new features (26 in total over four recent releases). At our recent webinar, we broke down the key new benefits, offered an update on the PortaPhone Web, and demoed Click2Call, a new browser extension that lets users dial directly from any web page. Read on for all the highlights, or jump to the webinar recording to hear all the details.
Review the highlights below, or watch the 1-hour webinar to learn more about:
- New features and enhancements in MRs 89-92
- PortaSwitch support for STIR/SHAKEN and Strong Customer Authentication
- What’s new in the PortaPhone Web Dialer
- Click2Call – a browser extension enabling direct dialing from Firefox or Chrome
- Third-party integrations
- Participant Q&As
New Hosted PBX Features
Now, you can offer your call-center customers a feature that will improve their service and allow for tighter operational control. Starting from MR91, call center managers can supervise their trainees and agents in real-time. Supervisors can listen in on an agent’s call, guide them privately, or talk to the customer directly via three modes: spy, whisper, or barge-in. All that’s needed to select a mode is to dial the corresponding feature code.
On-demand call recording
Starting from MR92, End users can record their calls (and stop recording) anytime during a conversation simply by dialing a DTMF code. This option is available for every end user – no matter what IP phone they use.
Hosted PBX administration
In MR92, we’ve implemented a whole range of features that will save lots of time for your PortaSwitch admins by simplifying their working routine or even by offloading routine actions to the customer.
Hosted PBX provisioning wizard
This is a tool we’ve created to make the onboarding of new PBX clients easier than ever before. What previously might have taken several hours (at the very least!) can now be configured in just 10-15 minutes. The tool is flexible, and you can easily adjust it to your needs. You can even provide access to your customers to use as a self-provisioning portal. Since the tool is available via iPaaS, you won’t need to update your PortaSwitch (provided you have an MR75+ version). For more details on the wizard, watch our recent webinar.
IP phone assignment
You can now avoid human error when your customers purchase batches of IP phones with spare units. Where previously it was possible to accidentally assign an unused device that has already been sold, now you can allocate a batch of IP phones to a specific customer, then assign devices individually to their account as the need arises. Plus, your hosted PBX customers will now be able to assign IP phones to new employees’ phone lines themselves – again, without involving your team.
Multiple users for self-care portals
You can now create multiple users with role-based credentials for self-care portals – and trace their activity. With this new feature, your customers will be able to easily control access to company data (e.g., they can ensure that PBX admins won’t see financial information). You can even provide them with an audit of each user’s activity. To enable that option, your PortaBilling administrator (or even the customer themselves!) simply creates an individual user profile and assigns the desired role – the credentials will then be emailed to the end user. The feature is available starting from MR92.
Creating new PBX seats via self-care portals
With the new PortaBilling API, you can now create self-care portals that allow your customers not only to add new phone lines (accounts) but also to assign service packages and subscriptions to these new accounts – without assistance from your side.
Reseller charging for end user subscriptions
With MR 92, you can now dramatically boost your revenue and profitability from services you provide via resellers. Previously, you could only bill resellers per service usage (e.g., per minute or GB of data). Now, you can pre-build your own service packages and charge your resellers a monthly fee for each package they sell to a consumer. You’ll receive your payments each month, whether or not the package was used at all – so both your and your resellers can benefit from unused minutes or data.
SIP UPDATE instead of SIP INVITE requests
During a given phone call, PortaSwitch sends keepalive pings to check if both parties are still connected to the Internet – and promptly disconnects the call if either has lost the connection, ensuring accurate charging. But sometimes, end user’s SIP phones or the carrier’s VoIP gateway don’t support the SIP INVITE method. Starting from MR92, you can use SIP UPDATE as an alternative option for these customers by configuring this ping type in the service policy.
New redesigned PortaPhone Web Dialer
During our last new features webinar, we announced the PortaPhone Web Dialer – an alternative to IP phones that allows users to send and receive audio and video calls using only WebRTC capabilities of a web browser, thus saving on communication equipment costs. Since then we’ve spent our time wisely, updating this tool with a new modern and intuitive web interface and a mobile-friendly version – now, you can use it from browsers on both desktop and mobile devices. We’ve also added new features (recent calls, favorite contacts) and options to edit a user’s contact information (company name, mobile phone number, etc.).
Since this tool is provided via iPaaS, a PortaOne iPaaS subscription is all you need to start offering this service to your customers.
Next up: a mobile app. So stay tuned!
Click2Call browser extension
At the webinar, we also demoed our new product: Click2Call. This is an easy-to-use, brandable browser extension that allows your customers to make calls directly from any web page. All you need to do is click on a phone number – the tool will automatically initiate a call to that number from your registered device. No need to spend time dialing! Just like the WebTrit Dialer, Click2Call is available via iPaaS, so you need to subscribe first. Contact our sales team – they will assist you with purchasing and setup.
We’ve already held a full webinar on STIR/SHAKEN support in PortaSwitch, but it’s such an important issue that we couldn’t help but mention it here. We introduced support for this framework, which aims to prevent caller ID spoofing, in MR90. This feature is essential for any PortaOne client who uses a North American numbering plan: starting from September 30, intermediate service providers could start blocking any calls that do not have digital signature.
In MR91, we also added support for Strong Customer Authentication (SCA). This option will be attractive for our clients in the EEA, the UK, and Switzerland, since banks there now have the right to reject non-SCA-compliant payments. So far, we have introduced SCA support for Stripe – and you can always contact us if you need support for any other payment processor.
Starting from MR 90, we’ve enabled the provisioning of new phone models via iPaaS. This means you don’t need to update your PortaSwitch installation to start selling new devices. If you run an MR older than MR90, we’ll be happy to prepare a patch for your version – which is still much easier and faster than updating your PortaSwitch. More good news is that manufacturers of IP phones have started to develop modules for auto-provisioning themselves – and the list is growing fast. So far, these devices have all been made available for auto-provisioning via iPaaS:
- SNOM D120, D375, D717, D735, D785
- ALE Myriad
- Yealink T33G
- Grandstream GRP2616
In MR91, we introduced support for the Plug’n’pay payment processor. It’s now available via iPaaS, so you can start receiving online payments within days after you get your subscription.
And if you provide your services in a region where 4G/5G coverage is not available, you can now use Pharos CIG. This CAMEL-Diameter gateway is required for PortaBilling to work with the mobile core of 3G networks (supported starting from MR90).