Supported services

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Leaving voice messages for a PortaSIP user

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The Media Server gives your SIP customers an automatic answering machine whenever they are not online or do not answer within a certain (configurable) time period. This service works when a call comes from PSTN, as well as when it comes from another SIP customer. See the Call Process / Supported Services section of the PortaSIP Administrator Guide for detailed call flow descriptions.

Direct Inward System Access (DISA) functionality for one’s own voice mailbox access application

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When a customer accesses an IVR application to check their voicemail he may also want to make an outgoing call right away (e.g., to call back the person who left the voicemail). The customer can make an outgoing call from the voice mailbox by simply choosing that option from the application menu.

Fax-to-email services

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In addition to voice messages, UM-enabled SIP customers will be able to receive faxes on their “answering machine”. When a call is connected to the Media Server and the remote party initiates a fax transmission, the Media Server automatically detects this event and switches into fax receiving mode. The fax will be processed and then delivered to the user’s mailbox as a .pdf or .tiff document attached to an email message.

Sending email messages to a PortaSIP user

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PortaSIP also allows your SIP customers to have regular email accounts, where they can receive regular emails.

Retrieving voice and email messages using a SIP phone

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Your SIP customers will be able to retrieve their messages using a SIP phone. To do this, they must dial a special number, which transfers them to the Media Server IVR menu. This menu allows them to listen to recorded messages. Additionally, for SIP phones that support a message waiting indicator (MWI), the Media Server can automatically manage the SIP phone’s MWI status, so that the user is notified when he has new messages.

Retrieving voice messages, email messages and faxes using a web browser

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Users can retrieve their messages and send regular email messages using a standard web browser. The JavaScript applet built into the interface allows users not only to listen to voice messages, but also to upload a previously recorded voice messages. It is also possible to access the system using any email client that supports the IMAP or POP3 protocols.

Forwarding messages to an external email server

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When a new message arrives in the Media Server message storage, a full copy of the message, or just a short notification, can be sent to the user’s other email address (e.g., corporate mail server or private gmail account), depending on the user’s preferences.

Managing personal UM settings using a SIP phone

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In addition to retrieving messages, your SIP customers can manage their personal settings, such as greetings, from a SIP phone using the Media Server IVR menu.

Managing personal UM settings using a web browser

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Users are also able to manage their personal settings by logging into the account self-care interface. The JavaScript applet built into the interface allows users to record personal greetings (a microphone is required).

Managing user’s current balance

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PortaSIP users can listen to the current state of their accounts by using the IVR menu. Also, they can hear their current balance by dialing the access number for their mailbox and pressing option “0.” There is also an IVR menu enabling the use of vouchers to add funds to an account. In APPENDIX D. Balance Announcements, there are balance announcement examples for different IVR configurations.

Balance top-up

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When your customers’ balance has gotten too low, remind them that it is necessary to refill it.

This can be done in the following way:

  • Select the Play an announcement about self-care menu and Enable self-care menu check boxes.
  • Select None in the Restriction for Calling with Low Balance;
  • The acceptable balance level is specified in the Breakage field of the product.
  • Your users will hear the “Your balance is low, please refill your account soon” prompt and they can refill their balance within the self-care IVR menu by pressing the # key.

Prepaid card IVR

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The Media Server includes an IVR system that allows you to offer a prepaid card service for incoming VoIP calls. This IVR supports all the PortaBilling extensions for the prepaid card application (access codes, real and announced call duration, and so on).

Sound quality check

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This IVR application gives end users the opportunity to perform a simple sound test during which they can check the connection to the server and basic sound quality points, for example, sound clarity.

This is how it works:

Upon calling an access number associated with the Sound quality check IVR, an end user is prompted to record a message. After the predefined number of seconds, the end user hears their message played back. If the message sounds fine, then the end user’s sound and microphone are working properly and there are no issues with the connection and media transmission to PortaSIP.

The recorded message is then stored as a regular call record. Both an administrator and an end user can access it via the web interface and use it for resolving disputable issues.

Auto attendant

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Every user can program his own set of menus for auto attendant, from a simple message such as “I am on vacation right now, press 1 to connect to my assistant” to a complex menu system with various options for small or medium-sized businesses. Users can program the voice dialog from their web browser, record voice prompts using a microphone on their PC or upload professionally recorded prompts, create multiple sub-menus and define an activity period for each of them, program their company’s dial-by-name directory, construct multiple call queues, and so on.

Registration for PINless Dialing Service via SMS

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This is an extension to the “classic” PINless dialing service, in which the user is identified by his caller ID (ANI/CLI), maintains a balance in PortaSwitch and is able to call any destination with charges applied to his balance. Traditionally, the registration for PINless dialing service is performed by the end user via the purchase of a top-up card and then calling the special IVR. When the user’s balance is low, he needs to buy more top-up cards or pay his bill online. The registration via SMS (simply send an SMS message to a certain number) is an easier alternative. A simplified registration process and further management of the account make this service especially convenient for users of mobile networks. The service provider collects funds from the end user’s mobile phone (by sending the balance transfer request to the mobile operator that the end user is connected to.) However, this must be supported by the mobile carrier. One advantage of this feature is that a customer can use any “ordinary” number to send an SMS.

To start using the service, the end user simply sends an SMS with the message SUBSCRIBE to the registration number. Upon receiving the message, the SMS processing module in PortaSwitch automatically provisions his account with the CLI/ANI of the mobile phone as the authentication ID; requests a balance transfer from the mobile operator and then adds these funds to the customer’s balance in PortaSwitch so they can be used again in the future. End user will receive an SMS that confirms the service activation and provides important service information, such as the number to call for PINless dialing or a username/password for accessing the web self-care. Once that occurs, the end user can start using the service by dialing the access number and then entering the final destination number. The entire registration process is very easy to perform and can be completed in just a few seconds. PortaSwitch can also perform an automated balance top-up: when the balance of the created account goes below a specified threshold, the system initiates another balance transfer from the user’s balance on the mobile network. The telecom client can disable this automatic recharge by sending an SMS to the SMS access number with the message STOP.