Product bundles represent the package a customer buys. Product bundle can be compared to subscription plans. When a consumer buys a subscription plan, the system has to provision the plan (perform activities such as activate the plan, associate it with a phone, give it a phone number, and so on). Once provisioned, the consumer would make calls, send SMS messages, and consume internet data. In addition, the service may also provide other services such as broadband data or cable service.
- Recurrence: If bundle has recurring charges and if so, what is the frequency. This is also known as charge frequency. Charge frequency can be one of the following:
- Monthly, with no minimum recurring charge: Pay for what you use, along with a one time subscription charge
- Monthly: Besides one time, subscription renewal charges need to be paid every month.
- Quarterly: Besides one time, subscription renewal charges need to be paid every quarter.
- Annual: Besides one time, subscription renewal charges need to be paid every year.
- Publish: Whether the bundle is published or not.
- Service Instance: The service instance for which the bundle is created.
- Resource type: The resource type selected for a bundle determines what gets provisioned for that bundle. This will determine what will actually get provisioned when the customer buys this bundle.
- Provisioning constraints: A resource type may be provisioned with one or more configurations. For example, internet data might have the 2G, 3G, or 4G option and phone service may be local only, local-cum-ISD, and so on. Provisioning constraints describe the qualified (or disqualified) configurations that are valid for this bundle. For example, you could define a bundle that is valid only for 2G Internet data. When a customer wishes to use 3G data, this bundle will not be presented as a possible choice for subscription (other bundles may be presented depending on their configuration). As a service provider, you will be presented with available configuration options when defining constraints and you can either explicitly include certain configurations (for example, data option includes 2G, 3G) or exclude certain configurations (for example, data option excludes 4G).
- Business constraints: Describe operator business rules for a particular bundle. These determine how many subscriptions of this bundle is allowed per account and per user. Note that the available business constraints are sometimes limited by what is technically feasible. For example, mobile phone plans can be subscribed only once per user, so the multiple per user option will not be available. They include the following:
- No limit: No limits at the account or user level
- User level: One per user
- Account level: One per account
- Account level: No limits
Entitlements determine how much of what product is included as part of a subscription to a bundle. These are described as the amount of units of one or more products included in the subscription. It is possible to include entitlements to other services as part of entitlement of a bundle For example, three pay-per-view movies free when you buy the mobile phone plan to facilitate cross-selling. The operator can give unlimited entitlements to products (for example, unlimited internet data) that can be consumed by a given resource such as a phone plan. CloudPortal Business Manager is aware of what resources can be consumed directly by a given resource, so it will allow unlimited entitlements only to such products.
- One time charge: This is charged immediately when the consumer subscribes to a bundle.
- Recurring price: This price is charged periodically based on the recurrence defined for the bundle. For monthly bundles, the recurring charge is pro-rated to the remainder of the billing period and charged in full, in advance, for every future billing period. For all other recurrences, the charge is, in full, in advance, and will be repeated at the specified frequency.
Any changes, additions or deletions made when managing products and bundles are made visible to the consumer in a controlled manner. This ensures accurate billing for the consumer based on the then prevailing rates for a product or bundle. In order to ensure accuracy and auditablity, all changes made to product and bundle definitions are revised. A revision is made visible (or activated) on a date specified by the operator.
At any given time (except when the product is first installed), there is a currently active revision. In addition, there is always a revision that is being planned. Whenever a revision becomes activated, a new revision is automatically ready for planning. To activate a revision, you can either schedule the activation for a particular date or activate it immediately. When there are multiple revisions for any day (if revisions are created and activate immediately, it is possible to have multiple revisions for a given day), only the last revision for that date is used by the rating system. Therefore, the option of activating a revision immediately should be used only to correct errors, as consumers may see one price (before activating the new revision) when subscribing, but be charged another price (the new revision price) when being rated.
Synchronizes the channel catalog with the current plan of the reference catalog. Charges are copied for the new products that come into being. Any new bundles created can now be consumed in the channel catalog. Also, retired products are marked retired in the channel catalog. Since syncing is a modification to the channel catalog plan, the changes will take effect only in the next plan of the channel catalog.