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ISP Billing overview

The Emerald Suite provides billing, customer care, RADIUS/AAA and external provisioning in one unified system.

Process Streamlining / Automation

  • Automatic recurring billing - With Emerald billing processes such as invoice and statement creation, charging CC and EFT customers on auto pay and emailing of invoices and statements can be completely automated.

  • Quick pay - Allows accounting staff to rapidly credit cash or check payments to customer accounts. Later check deposit and payment reports can be used to provide a summary for auditing/reconciliation.

  • Single entry system - Customer information entered into Emerald does not need to be manually duplicated in other areas to provision network access, email accounts, hosting accounts..etc. Our RadiusNT/X product is included with the Emerald suite and extensive provisioning support allows Emerald account changes to be automatically reflected in external systems.

  • UI Features - Features such as data caching, Emeralds incoming caller popup application, "hot keys" and smart fields filling forms such as City/State based on an entered Postal code allow more to be done in less time.

  • Signup & Customer Center - Allows customers to create, manage and fund their own accounts reducing administrative workload. Business customers can use the account center management features to add and delete accounts for their employees.
Customer Support

  • Be Proactive - Email notifications enable customers to be warned when their accounts are about to expire, have run low on time or updated credit card information is needed to continue billing. Notifications can also be sent to warn of high usage for those being charged by the amount of data or time used or virtually any criteria as defined. In addition monitoring reports such as the daily error summary allows you to proactively contact customers who may be having trouble accessing their services.

  • Track customer requests - Emeralds included incident tracking / CRM features enable you to manage all customer requests with due dates, auto assignment and escalation features automatically providing reminders to operators of pending customer requests needing their attention. The incident tracking features are configurable and can be used to manage sales and process oriented applications such as DSL Installation where there may be several steps necessary such as line qualification and on-site installation to complete a task. Incident management when used properly allows you to ensure important customer requests do not slip through the cracks and enables you to evaluate and improve your customer support.

  • Troubleshooting - Emerald provides several tools to help your support staff quickly find and fix problems. Full text indexing of incidents allows support operators to look for common solutions to previously recorded problems. Internal RADIUS log search allows operators to quickly find customers entering the wrong password or account information. The ability to perform test RADIUS authentication requests directly from Emerald enable support staff to quickly troubleshoot connection problems. Customer call history provides information such as connection metrics and previous "session disconnect" causes to assist in diagnosing line/hardware problems.
Outsourcing and Resellers
  • Virtual ISPs - Multiple ISPs can use a single Emerald system to manage and bill their own accounts while sharing common network resources. Emeralds security and reseller billing features allows you to set the price the ISP pays you while the ISP has flexibility to set prices charged to their end users.

  • RADIUS Proxy and rating - Enable other service providers to roam into your network - charging for access.

  • Outsourced billing and support services - Emeralds group based security model controls both the subset of accounts operators can access and of those what area and types of access each set of operators have enabling you to grant limited access for individuals trusted only to perform a specialized role.

  • Sales Commissions - Flexible points or percentage based commission system allows you to report on sales invoiced and paid by sales person. The commission system is configurable on both a group level and per sales person per service basis.
Prepaid Services
  • Prepaid Cards - Prepaid cards add convenience for customers able to purchase Internet access locally while providing increased visibility for your ISP business. Emerald supports prepaid cards used directly to access services, fund new customer signups or "recharge" existing accounts. Prepaid batch management and batch creation are included with Emerald.

  • HotSpots - Emerald supports the features necessary to run an Internet hotspot including automatic signup, customer self-management and real-time credit card processing. If your access points don't support RADIUS authentication and captive portal technology our "Air Marshal" captive portal solution is included with the HotSpot and Enterprise editions of Emerald.
Security and Reliability
  • Security Features - Operator group based IP access restrictions require specific operators to login from specific IP address or subnets. AES secret key data encryption stores sensitive information such as account numbers and passwords in encrypted form on disk. Granular group based access controls, detailed client access logging and SSL encryption.

  • Reliability Features - Emerald supports read-only backup database connections should access to the primary database server fail. Emerald supports database replication. RadiusNT/X internally maintains Emerald account information and is able to respond to authentication requests and spool accounting data in the event that primary and backup database servers are unavailable. Multiple RadiusNT/X servers can be installed throughout your network for redundancy.

Please see the Emerald product page for a complete list of features.