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menkom

Need advice. What would you do? Business decision

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Hi guys and gals.....

Well I am going to try and keep it short and sweet as possible.

I want some advice moving forward... maybe some of you have gone thru this already and maybe some of you are in similar positions and hopefully we get some insight as to the pros and cons of going either way....

The situation is this:

We have 2 companies under the one main group name lets call the 2 companies, lets call business 1 - ACME tech, business 2 - ACME - web, the group name is ACME INC

At the moment ACME tech and ACME web both run independant installations of WHMCS,. The reason being that that initial though was to keep things seperate plus invoicing is seperate, different invoice numbers.  This has been working OK for over 2 years however, when it comes to support tickets, plus when it comes to payments from customers its been a bit of a pain in the ass. WHY? Because clients who may have services from ACME web and ACME tech dont know the difference between them and sometimes open tickets in the wrong company. Also when it comes to the payment gateway module have 2 installations starts to complicate things and have found the its a bit unreliable. Finally customers are a bit confused because there is now 2 customers portals instead of one.

I am at a stage now being the business owner as to how to proceed moving forward, it is a big decision and will take lots of time, which is why I want some public feedback.

The GOAL here is to simplify everything.

By this I mean simplyfy the technicial overheads, customer confusion, etc...etc.

What I have been thinking and would like opinions on is the following.

Do I get rid of both WHMCS installations of the companies and just create 1 installations for the GROUP eg ACME INC. Therefor in there is both types of customers some are TECH related some are WEB related. The payment gateways are now reduced to 1 instead of 2 and all products and service are just under the 1 client profile.?

From what I can see it seems OK this way. I would firstly need to add some options in the ticket submission system to choose if its WEB or TECH related and can be assigned to the relevant departments. Secondly all invoices as such would be 1 brand because at the moment WHMCS does not do multi brand...... (I know I can can use some third party modules eg... from Modules garden but I think this complicates things more and is just another overhead)

My only hesitation on this is 2 things.

1. If I ever decide to sell one of the businesses it will no longer be its own entity....... initially I thought keeping it as seperate as possible is a good idea for accounting and reporting purposes.

2. The branding will no longer be that of TECH or WEB rather it will be now the GROUP. The GROUP name is not really something publicly advertised, the trading names are eg www.acmetech.com.au and www.acmeweb.com.au

So business owners.... what do you think, have you been in this position before and what is the better option moving forward????

Thanks so much and hope to get some insight into this.

Mitch.

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5 hours ago, menkom said:

1. If I ever decide to sell one of the businesses it will no longer be its own entity....... initially I thought keeping it as seperate as possible is a good idea for accounting and reporting purposes. 

Why bother with any of that now? I think that right the focus should be to make your daily routine easier.

5 hours ago, menkom said:

2. The branding will no longer be that of TECH or WEB rather it will be now the GROUP. The GROUP name is not really something publicly advertised, the trading names are eg www.acmetech.com.au and www.acmeweb.com.au 

In my opinion merging both brands in one WHMCS is the way to go. Few months ago I faced a similar scenario with a client of mine. He had 5 brands and 5 WHMCS. He wanted to preseve all of them so in the end now he has 5 domains each one with a dedicated template, default language & currency. He also has dedicated support departments and products/services for each brand. This way clients from brand A can't open tickets and orders products of brand B, C, D and F (there's an option to lock/unlock the possibility for customers to "switch" brand). He's super happy with this. Instead of using and maintaining 5 systems simultaneously he now uses one.

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Hi Kian, thanks for your input.  I am a bit confused as to what you said maybe you missed some points. You said your client was in a similar situation and merged but then you mention 5 domains each with their own dedicated template.... etc.... Are you saying they still have 5 installations of WHMCS ? Or as you saying they use the 1, but then on the front face each brand has a website but still will redirect to the same one customer portal ?

If you can elaborate that would be great.

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I can't link his website so I'm going to explain it with an example . His only and unique WHMCS is accessible from the following domains:

  • juventus.it opens WHMCS in italian language, EUR currency with Cristiano Ronando in homepage sice we're using "juventus" template. Customers can buy Juventus t-shirts and open support tickets to get support from Agnelli
  • psg.fr opens the same WHMCS in french, EUR with Neymar. Customers can buy PSG t-shirts and get support from Qatar
  • red.devils.co.uk is english, GBP with Pogba
  • mylittlepony.com is in japanese with Yen as currency with "pink" template
  • robocop.com with english, USD and Robocop in homepage

5 "brands" each one with its own currency, template, language (dedicated support departments and products/services as optional) still using the same installation of WHMCS.

 

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Huh,.... dont think WHMCS can even do that out of the box.....?

Are you useing 3rd party help for that? I mean what about when it comes to invoicing and quoting and the logo ? WHMCS as of now cannot give options to show different logos at the time of invoicing.

Also what would be the main domain? eg.... you need to have 1 main domain associated with WHMCS you cant have 5. Are you simply redirecting those domains to a primary domain? If so what would that primary domain be?

 

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1 hour ago, menkom said:

Huh,.... don't think WHMCS can even do that out of the box.....?

correct.

1 hour ago, menkom said:

Are you using 3rd party help for that?

perhaps it might be helpful to both of you if I mention that I think he's talking about his own product, Advanced Localisation - though if i'm wrong, I am happy to be corrected. 🙂

1 hour ago, menkom said:

WHMCS as of now cannot give options to show different logos at the time of invoicing.

specifically with the actual invoice, there are ways to do it - e.g., in the past, i've edited the PDF invoice template and enabled that to show different logos depending upon which brand it is (based on clients being assigned to differing Client Groups).

2 hours ago, menkom said:

If so what would that primary domain be?

at a guess, I would assume it's the specific domain assigned to the WHMCS license... but Kian will know more on that than I.

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1 minute ago, brian! said:

perhaps it might be helpful to both of you if I mention that I think he's talking about his own product, Advanced Localisation - though if i'm wrong, I am happy to be corrected. 🙂 

Nah 😄 that thing doesn't do anything special and it also needs a complete refactoring. I just wanted to share my experience to let @menkom know that IMO merging multiple brands in one WHMCS is the right choice and most importantly it's doable.

2 hours ago, menkom said:

Are you useing 3rd party help for that?

Yes, it's a custom module I coded. Multi-Brand of Modulesgarden is similar.

2 hours ago, menkom said:

I mean what about when it comes to invoicing and quoting and the logo ? WHMCS as of now cannot give options to show different logos at the time of invoicing. 

Like brian said, you can use multiple logos on invoices. You just need to override the variable of default logo depending on client group, domain name or anything you want.

2 hours ago, menkom said:

Also what would be the main domain? eg.... you need to have 1 main domain associated with WHMCS you cant have 5. Are you simply redirecting those domains to a primary domain? If so what would that primary domain be? 

If we're talking about what I did for my customer, it's not a redirect. His 5 domains point to WHMCS server with an A record. Google sees them as 5 separate websites. This way you can geolocalise each website with specific countries (eg. juventus.it in Italy, psg.fr in France etc.) but that's another story.

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6 minutes ago, Kian said:

Nah 😄 that thing doesn't do anything special and it also needs a complete refactoring.

then I stand corrected. 🙂

9 minutes ago, Kian said:

I just wanted to share my experience to let @menkom know that IMO merging multiple brands in one WHMCS is the right choice and most importantly it's doable. 

FWIW - I would agree.

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Thanks for the help guys.... I think for now, what I am going to do is register a new top level domain like a corporation domain url that will be used for billing and the client portal in general. From there the WHMCS installation will bill out with the new corporation name and and i dont have to worry about custom logos, custom fields etc....I guess the main thing that I took away from here is that its better to amalgamate the 2 installs into one.

Thanks for the tips guys.

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There is a module from @ModulesGarden Reseller Center, I have tested it recently, great module, and with possible some modifications in that module, Modules Garden could create a new module that could suits your needs. I am also thinking submit a ticket to then regarding this idea and new module. 

@menkom did you overpass your need, please share your experience with us?

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We will definitely help your company spread the wings through a custom-tailored software solution.  Please get in touch  using this short form and let's talk about your business's future! 

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Guys I ended up making a business decision, I registered my company name and I will be amalgamating both WHMCS installations into 1 installation and using the new domain eg portal.newdomaincompany.com.au as the main WHMCS installation, then from the ticket screen options I will create 2 departments for either IT or WEB related enquiries they will then be handled by different teams.

The invoice headers does not necessarily need to be that of the website domains, initially I thought this was important but I dont think it is, it is much less confusion for client, all they need to know is the parent company name, the websites will be purely for marketing and branding.

So this is how I have proceeded, BTW I used the Migration Tool from WHMCS to merge both installations into a new installation and it worked great, does not import everything but most of it worked ok.

Cheers

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