UCRM – Overview and Progress
WISPs and other network operators are changing. They’re getting bigger and dealing with more demanding customers every day. With airMAX, airFiber, EdgeMAX and now UFiber, they’ve got the hardware they need to satisfy their customers and grow their business. But what about software?
UBNT realised that the missing ingredient for operators was software – designed and built from the ground up for the network operator. Gone are the days when people expect to pay for network management, link planning, troubleshooting or customer records management (CRM).
Sure, there were free tools already – but they didn’t match up to the power and flexibility of the paid-for offerings on the market, which were expensive. So, UBNT set out to disrupt the industry by providing the best software for the network operator at a price that can’t be beat: free! And all with a vibrant community, fast support, enormous extensibility options and full-featured 3rd party HW compatibility. UBNT created a team of dedicated developers with knowledge of the WISP industry. Their main goal has been to create a world-wide suitable and yet simple and easy-to-use CRM system, and soon UBNT came up with the first beta version.
Development Heading in the Right Direction
Over a year ago, UBNT released a huge part of that story: the official stable version of UCRM. Since its release they've seen amazing adoption by WISPs and other network operators with over 2,000 unique users. That’s over 2,000 operators in 80 countries benefiting from free feature-rich CRM. That proved they are heading in the right direction.
UCRM active installations since launch
UCRM in a Nutshell
In case you’re not familiar with UCRM, here’s the crash course. It does all of those things like billing, recurring invoicing, credit card processing and automatic user suspension that you don’t like to do. Rather than rely on a homemade spreadsheet or an elaborate system of Post-It notes, it’s best to handle these essential tasks in a tool that’s tailor-made to do so; and there’s no better way to do it than UCRM.
One of the most useful features of UCRM is the customer database. Here you can see a dashboard for each and every customer; you can change their service package, see their account balance, their connection status and any notes that have been entered for that customer as well. Fully automated notifications, service suspensions, call logs and much more are also available and easily accessible. This means you can easily find out what’s up with any customer and make quick changes when you need to.
Another great feature to save you time is the billing and automatic payments screen. Here you can generate invoices automatically as well as process credit cards using payment gateways like PayPal, Stripe, IPpay, Authorize.Net and MercadoPago with support for automatic billing. You can even handle your tax, including using tax inclusive or exclusive pricing all from within UCRM as well. And all of this with plenty of customization. All your emails are sent to your clients, and notifications and invoice templates can be adjusted to suit your needs.
There’s plenty more to use in UCRM from traffic shaping to automatic customer suspension and ticketing and scheduling, all within the same free tool. Since launch, UBNT have been releasing major updates with new features every month, and minor ones in between. UCRM has a long life ahead of it with lots of support and they are always listening to new ideas on their Community Forum and Facebook groups.
New in v2.10
One of their main goals is to make UCRM open; compatible with 3rd-party tools and hardware. That’s why they've been focused on easy custom extensibility. In UCRM v2.10, they introduced plugins and webhooks which, along with their API, provides users with many options. You can create any new UCRM feature or integration using a plugin. For example, you can integrate your data with other tools such as accounting software, import payment information directly from your bank, modify and manage UCRM data, and trigger any custom action based on a linked webhook call. Customising UCRM is easy and powerful.
Plans for the Future
UBNT are going to keep improving UCRM, while still keeping the ease of use that makes it such a powerful tool today. Updates and new features will be driven by you, the community, and by their ongoing focus on customisation including custom API scripts and plugins. Two big things on the way are integration with UNMS, and a cloud version of UCRM; and alongside these are features such as inventory, usage-based billing and VoIP support as well. The future is bright for UCRM.
Give UCRM a try at: https://ucrm.ubnt.com/
Blog post by Ubiquiti