PortaOne iPaaS: A cloud-based marketplace to decrease the time-to-market of new add-on modules and integrations from several months to just a few weeks
PortaOne iPaaS (integration platform as a service) is our new cloud services suite designed to accelerate development and deployment processes for new add-ons that connect PortaBilling or PortaSIP with external systems. These add-ons can be phone provisioning profiles, payment processors, or complete end-to-end integration workflows with third-party platforms such as CRM, Accounting, Field Force Management, or others. In other words, it’s a cloud-based marketplace where you can choose from a variety of add-ons (all verified and approved by PortaOne!) that span different categories and connect them to PortaBilling or PortaSIP with no need to update to recent maintenance releases and with minimal integration effort for releases older than MR87.
How does it work? Each new component is delivered as code in an isolated container and runs in the cloud. Whereas previously it might have taken months to include such code into the next maintenance release, now, the development and delivery via iPaaS takes just a few weeks. And whereas your developers may once have spent tons of precious time supporting and troubleshooting each new integration and its impacts throughout your system (with more and more resources needed for more and more complex situations), now their support is nearly effortless, regardless of your environment’s complexity.
So, not only does PortaOne iPaaS help you accelerate your time-to-market, it also saves all that money you would have to spend to develop and support your new integrations.
Benefits in action
Imagine a new IP phone model hits the market, and that to make it available to your customers would give you a powerful edge that would set you apart – and substantially increase sales. But since it was just released, PortaSwitch can’t auto-provision the device immediately.
In the (very recent) old days, you would have first had to allow us to create a provisioning interface for this new phone. That means developing:
- a CPE (customer-premises equipment) profile for the user interface to manage the phone’s parameters (e.g., turning on or off HD voice and other features); and
- the actual code to create and deliver the settings for the phone (e.g., a configuration file for the phone in the vendor’s proprietary format).
This development would then need to be included in the next maintenance release – and although our release cycle is short and agile, that would still be seven weeks.
Then, you would need to upgrade your PortaSwitch to the corresponding version. A software update like this is a complicated process; it includes long and detailed preparations, many rounds of acceptance testing, staff training, and internal processes adjustments, all of which require the deep engagement of your engineering team. That’s another two to three months, at the very least, through all of which, you still wouldn’t be selling that new phone – that’s a lot of potential lost revenue.
And this would be the same with any new add-on or system, whether a new device, payment processor, or a middleware program – months of lost time and resources expended, and all that potential new revenue left waiting on the far horizon.
Now with PortaOne iPaaS, when a product or service comes to market, you can integrate that new add-on to your system – whether it’s a provisioning profile or a provisioning workflow – in just a few weeks.
How does PortaOne iPaaS work?
PortaOne iPaaS stores code for each new module in a separate container – a portable software unit that includes all of a given add-on’s components such as code, system tools, or system libraries, so that it can be executed anywhere. As soon as the code for a container is developed and tested in our lab, the container can be immediately deployed to the cloud-based PortaOne iPaaS – and deployed independently from whatever maintenance release of PortaSwitch you run. Your on-premise PortaSwitch then connects to the cloud-based container via API.
The best thing about PortaOne iPaaS is that it’s not just our PortaOne team who can develop new modules. You can do it yourself or bring in any third-party resources you want: we’ll provide you with the essential documentation, and our support staff will be on hand if any questions come up. After the original developers are done developing and testing (including interoperability testing, if applicable), our team proceeds with the verification and validation of the add-ons.
Currently, PortaOne iPaaS comprises three categories:
- Customer premises equipment
These are your IP phones, routers, and so on. Three Yealink devices are already available for provisioning via iPaaS (W80B, W56H, W53H), and a set of Gigaset models are in consideration to be the next candidates (N510 IP PRO, N300A IP, N720, N670, N870, Maxwell Basic, Maxwell 2, Maxwell 3, and Maxwell 4).
Provisioning new devices via iPaaS is available for any maintenance release starting from MR80-3. For older MR versions, a custom backport patch must be delivered first.
- Payment processors
We’ve already made Stripe available via iPaaS in this category. Stripe accepts over 135 currencies and supports token-based payments, which allows you to accept online payments straight away, without needing to pass PCI DSS certification. We’re also considering other payment systems to extend the list: Plug n Pay and Global Payments might become the next candidates. If there is a specific payment processor you would like added to the category, get in touch to discuss the details.
If you run PortaSwitch MR87 or higher, you can start using new payment processors seamlessly via iPaaS: just subscribe to PortaOne iPaaS, and functionality will be activated for you within 10 minutes: this is how much it takes to set the authorization credentials for iPaaS on the Configuration server. You can either do it yourself or schedule assistance from our support team. For versions MR55 to MR86, the full integration process might take up to two weeks (as it requires a backport patch for the specific MR). Either way, the integration will be much faster than a full system update.
- Self-care portals
PortaSwitch has a generic “one-size-fits-all” self-care portal, but very often companies need to have it customized for specific business models and customer types (say, for example, for IP Centrex customers or MVNO subscribers). PortaOne iPaaS is a fast and easy way to connect new self-care portals customized to your specific needs. Thus, we already have a SIP-trunking portal: it allows your partners to add new SIP-trunking customers, set up trunks for them, configure call screening/forwarding, check if invoices have been generated and paid, and accept e-commerce payments.
Self-care portal integration via PortaOne iPaaS is available starting from MR83 and higher. Once you have an appropriate maintenance release and an active iPaaS subscription, functionality is available for you within one or two days.
PortaOne iPaaS Workflows
PortaOne iPaaS also includes an easy-to-use, visual, low-code integration platform that can connect the components of your existing technology stack, such as CRM, Accounting, Customer Engagement, eCommerce platforms, and PortaBilling. It’s powered by Boomi – a Dell Technologies iPaaS integration platform (named a leader in the Magic Quadrant for Enterprise iPaaS report).
Previously, when a new back-office system such as CRM was deployed, you had to create a “connector” between it and every existing system, paying careful attention to how it would affect all of your other applications. For example, if your technology stack consisted of five systems, to introduce a new ticketing system you would have to develop five new “connectors,” and employ a full-stack developer to support the integrations.
Now, it’s so much easier with iPaaS Workflows! Boomi acts as an “integration bus”: you need only one connector for every new system you integrate – no matter how many you already use. Boomi’s “connector” catalog consists of hundreds of popular apps: you can integrate them all with PortaBilling to further automate your processes.
The best thing is the “visual and low-code” part. You don’t need a developer to integrate a new system: basic understanding of the workflow and data mapping (e.g., which attribute in your CRM contains customer ID, and into which PortaBilling attribute that translates) across systems is enough.
We recently held a webinar with a real-time demonstration of how to integrate PortaBilling with a HubSpot CRM and a Xero Accounting system: an option that allows you to carry out onboarding, billing, and payment processes in a single end-to-end setup, which saves lots of time and resources. That demonstration was only one of many examples of integrations you can create to significantly simplify your business processes – seamlessly, easily, with minor integration effort, and in a matter of hours.
Key Benefits of PortaOne iPaaS:
- Accelerated time-to-market for new offers: Provision the devices, systems, workflows, or applications that you want in just weeks rather than months.
- Reduce costs to deploy and support devices and applications: Save resources by freeing up your engineers from the work of developing and supporting new integrations.
- Enhanced customer experience: Adjust your service to your customers’ needs, and offer flexibility with new devices and service options.
- Scale operations efficiently: Automate key operations workflows and ensure data synchronization across all your platforms, thereby reducing potential revenue leakage and error-prone manual processes.
Our PortaOne sales team is on hand to discuss any of these new features and benefits, and how they could be integrated into your specific system. Get in touch with us for support, details and pricing information.