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June 1999

This month's Editors' Choices:

Infranet IPT

Portal Software, Inc.
20883 Stevens Creek
Cupertino, California 95014
Web site: www.portal.com

Portal Software’s scalable platform for real-time management of Internet telephony services — the Infranet IPT — allows service providers to track customer activity and respond to queries without delay. The Infranet IPT can be scaled to support millions of users, and provides open APIs so programmers can customize features and add components like gateways, gatekeepers, and other IP telephony devices. The product also allows service providers to offer their customers unlimited services and pricing plans, as well as prepaid calling plans such as disposable cards and prepaid accounts. Usage may be tracked on certain batches of cards, and the platform also offers a zone-based rating for across-the-board rate changes.

The Infranet IPT also contains an option to instruct equipment to terminate calls, for fraud reduction and limited credit exposure. The platform will register customers and create accounts in real time, and authenticates and authorizes those accounts in the same fashion to reduce fraud and ensure the customer has the proper balance to purchase a service. The platform also tracks events in real time so that customers and service representatives will have current information, and provides a rate for each event as it occurs.

The product is part of the Infranet customer management and billing system for Web businesses from Portal. The Infranet software unifies the management of core business operations in real time, to provide increased revenue, cost savings, and increased customer satisfaction. It provides complete functionality out of the box, and offers integration of real and value-added services. Add-on features include a mail server manager, a terminal service manager, a Microsoft Commercial Internet System (MCIS) Manager, and the Netscape SuiteSpot Manager.

Additional features of the Infranet IPT include storage of all user information in a central database, including caller profiles, prepaid cards, gateway distribution, and service and pricing information. Custom reports may be generated through simple GUI tools. The product will run on Microsoft Windows NT, HP Unix, and Sun/Solaris operating systems.

In the course of a recent briefing with Portal’s executives, it was revealed that Hewlett-Packard has selected Portal as the standard customer management and billing software for its new Commerce for the Millennium solution, a hosted e-commerce solution that enables service providers to offer e-services for electronic commerce to small- and medium-size businesses. As an integral component in HP’s solution, Portal’s real-time customer management and billing software will provide merchant self-provisioning functions that enable service providers to quickly deploy multiple e-commerce sites and begin generating revenue. For more information, visit Portal’s Web site at www.portal.com

PeriWeb 2.0
Periphonics Corporation
4000 Veterans Memorial Hwy.
Bohemia, NY 11716-1024
Web site: www.periphonics.com

Periphonics has expanded their suite of Interactive Voice Response (IVR) products with PeriWeb 2.0, a software environment for the development of Internet-based transaction processing services. PeriWeb uses Web browsers to provide a visual interface to various types of applications that operate on Periphonics IVR systems. The platform allows developers to construct media-independent, full-function transaction processing services for accessing client/server and mainframe legacy databases. Users can also configure and execute their applications through PeriWeb, on both telecommunications and IP networks, or on IP alone.

PeriWeb, in conjunction with the PeriProducer graphical application development tool, allows developers to build applications without C programming or common gateway interface (CGI) development. The platform allows application access by a simple click to a hypertext link. It also answers a phone call, and routes it to the application, translating traditional voice greetings and prompts into dynamic, visual hypertext documents. Users enter a response within the browser, via forms or clicks.

The platform offers Web connectivity through a single TCP/IP port, for enhanced server security and reduction of initial connection overhead. The product can also use direct Web connections or the MS IIS, Netscape, or Apache Web servers as the relay mechanism. It also supports the "Keep-Alive" component of the HTTP protocol, for reuse of existing browser connections to lower costs and improve system performance. Non-proprietary dictionaries based on .html and .htm files are used with PeriWeb 2.0. These files can be built locally or remotely with a text editor or Web publishing tool.

Administration of PeriWeb is also easy, as browser-based forms are used to set configuration parameters. A browser can also monitor PeriWeb performance. The product operates on Periphonics’ RISC-based VPS/IS or VPS/AS systems, as well as stand-alone Sun workstations. For more information, visit the Periphonics Web site at www.periphonics.com

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