Summary offers several ways to create usage plans and apply them for call rating. Usage rates can be added manually using a form in the UI. This is useful if only a few call type/rates will be included in the plan. The other option is to import the rates using a template file. This option is great for importing international rate decks or updating a large file of rates. The information below covers all of those options including how to upload different versions of rate decks into the same plan and set the effective dates for when those should begin. Usage Rates are grouped in to a Usage Plan and assigned to the line/service, used individually in the Special Rates section on the customer profile, or added at a product level in the Product Catalog.

Creating a New Usage Rate Plan Manually

  1. Usage Plans are the rates that apply to the individual call record based on call type. To create a new Usage Plan, go to Settings > Usage Plans and click Add.

2. Add a description and click Save to access the remaining fields on this page.

3. Complete the fields in the Usage Rates on this Plan section to add a new rate. The following fields are required:

    1. Description - Use a name that will describe the content in the rate.
    2. Rate or Surcharge - Two separate fields that can be used independently to define the rate per call or a flat surcharge. Both fields can be used on a line item if desired.
    3. Country/Area/State - Typically used to specify International Dialing Codes (Country), Telephone City Dialing Codes (Area) or State or Province Abbreviations (State) for calls outside of the U.S. Depending on how calls are rated for this plan at least one of these fields may be required but not all.
    4. Product Type - This field is used to tell what type of call this rate will apply. Specifying this field requires some knowledge about Product Types in and how calls are assigned a call type. A full list of usage Product Types can be found under Settings > Product Types. Sort by the Description header in this table to see all Usage call types and tax classes associated with them.
    5. Initial/Increment - Specifies the initial billing minimum call length and how it will incrementally bill after that. Here's an example of each - 30/6: This indicates that there is a minimum billing length of 30 seconds followed by 6 second increments. For example, a 15 second call will be billed at 30 seconds because it is within the 30 second minimum. A 43 second call will be billed at 48 seconds. A helpful way to view this would be 30+6+6+6.
    6. Call Direction - Specifies the direction of the call. This field accepts BOTH, INBOUND, and OUTBOUND as the call direction
    7. All other fields can be used as needed to create more specific rating rules. Please discuss use of these fields with a project or account manager to make sure they are compatible with your CDR importer.

4. A Usage Plan can have one or many line items. Press the Save button once all rates have been added to the table on this page.
A Usage Plan set to capture and rate domestic calls at a certain rate might look like the example below. This Usage Plan contains 4 entries; interstate, intralata, intrastate and local. Each rate is set to 0.00 indicating that these calls will be rated but the customer will not incur a charge. This Usage Plan can be placed at the Product or in Special Rates on the Customer Profile. It may be combined with other Usage Plans to create a Usage Plan Group and used on a Line/Service level.

Editing an Existing Usage Plan Manually

  1. If editing an existing Plan, go to Settings > Usage Plans.
  2. Click Options > Edit on the Usage Plan that requires editing.
  3. Click Edit next to the Usage Rate that requires editing.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page to the rate table and click Edit on the selected rate from the table at the bottom of the page that requires the edit. The link is in the last column on the right side of the table for each line item. Update the information in the Rate section of the screen and click Save.

  1. Alternatively, the rate from can be completed and saved to add a brand new rate to the existing plan.

Importing a New Usage Plan

  1. To import a new .csv file of rates, go to Settings > Usage Plans.
  2. Click Add New.
  3. Add a Description for the Plan and click Save.
  4. Select the Import button

5. The importer page, when adding a new usage rate, will show Create New Version as the Usage Plan Version.

5.b If the Usage Plan Version drop-down is blank (doesn't display: "Create new Version") then the Usage Plan Rate Versioning module will need to be activated.
To do so go to Admin > Settings > Enabled_Modules > Select "Plan Rate Versioning" in the drop down > click Add > click Save > log in/out of your session to see the change.

6. Set the Effective Date for when the rates will begin. The Effective Date allows for uploading rate decks for future use and also allows for version management of usage rates. A usage rate may also be added with a date from the past. All usage plans in prior to the release of this feature (release date: 03/18/2016), are considered initial versions and remain in effect until a new version is uploaded to replace them.
If backdating a file, any records that were not previously rated and are fairly recent calls (last 30 days or so) will be automatically reviewed each night. Files that were previously rated will require rerating. The Client Success Manager will need to assist with this.

7. Choose a pre-formatted file or select Download Template for the file format. Select the Upload button once the file is ready for import. Files that are not in the appropriate format will fail to upload. See the section titled Formatting a File Using the PlanRateImportTemplate for tips.

8. Select Post Valid Rates to complete this process. If this is a new Usage plan, it is now ready for use based on the Effective Date set for the file. This Usage Plan can be used with a Usage Program or it can be added at an account level under the Special Rates link.

Importing a New Plan Version or Appending to a Plan Version on an Existing Usage Plan

  1. To import a New Plan Version to an existing Rate, go to Settings > Usage Plans.
  2. Click Options > Edit on the Usage Plan that requires editing.
  3. Click Edit next to the Usage Rate that requires editing.
  4. Select the Import button.
  5. Select a plan version to append the rates to or click Create New Version to add a new file with a new effective date.

6. If creating a new version, specify the Effective Date.

7. Once the Effective Date has been specified, select Choose File and Upload.

8. Once the file uploads a table of rates will appear at the bottom of the screen.

9. Select Post Valid Rates and OK to confirm and complete the process.
10. A message will appear at the top of the screen to confirm success.
11. Start and End dates will be set on each table of rates depending on the effective dates. No end date will be specified on the file with the latest effective date until a new file is added with an effective date beyond the start of the previous file.

Formatting a File Using the Usage Rate Template

The Usage Rate template contains the fields in the table below. Each line item represents a rate for a specific type of call.

Creating a Usage Plan Group

  1. Usage Plan Groups are a group of Usage Plans applied to a customer's line or service. To create a Usage Plan Group, Go to Settings tab > Usage Plan Groups.

2. Click the Add New button at the top and complete the Description field. This will be the description users see in the dropdown list when selecting the rates to apply to the account. Long Description and PIC/LPIC are optional fields.

a. Description - This is the name that will appear in the UI referencing this program.

b. Long Description - This information is for internal use only and can be seen on this screen or available in a report from the table containing this data.

c. PIC/LPIC/IPIC - Not typically used by today's users. Formerly used when two separate carriers were delivering the local and long distant service.

3. To add a plan to the Usage Plan Group, select the Plan and click Options > Edit > Add New. Usage Plan Groups can contain as many Plans as needed to create a comprehensive rating tool for the customer's line. Type is an optional field. The default settings for these fields are acceptable if not using them.

    1. Plan - Plans available for grouping in the Usage Program. These are configured under Settings > Usage Plans.
    2. Type - Retail is traditionally checked for the rates that apply to the customer. Wholesale can be checked if a secondary plan will be used to rate the call a second time and capture a cost that can be used in reporting and comparing against what the customer was actually charged.

4. Click Add Plan to complete the Usage Plan Group.

5. Repeat Process until all plans have been added and then click Save.