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  1. #1

    Lightbulb Nobody talks about business integration?

    Hello Guys:

    Been in hosting for a while and I have started to wonder how the fellow webhosters manage the business integration problem. To run this business, we rely on lot of different tools & panels and each of them seems working independent of each other. So, what do you do when you want to integrate and manage your website, online store, billing, clients, network, help desk from single place?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Dallas, TX
    Dallas Colocation by Incero
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  3. I don't really think they work independantly. The panels that we are discussing on here integrate many different areas of the business all into one easy to use admin area. From that area you can anwser support requests (Many powerful helpdesks can be integrate into the billing manager), manage all of your clients billing, send mass emails to all your clients, and some allow you to see your server(s) load, uptime % and network status all from within the homepage. On the frontend of these billing managers you can integrate a domain registration company such as enom to automate the setup of domains.

    I'm not really sure where your coming from as it seems to me that everything has become integrated. It will only get even more advanced as people continue to fix/upgrade these managing programs

  4. #4
    modernbill appears more of a generic billing software than a web-hosting-industry-centric software. It has real good billing features but complicated too.

    For myself, I want single software to manage my company (including website, torefront,network (downtime monitoring,services,reboots,etc),billing,help desk, mass mailing, tech support, staff management and communication, etc. Means, do everything from single software.

  5. To me ModernBill is completely centered around the hosting industry. It is a little bit of a pain to setup but once completed it basically runs itself.

    All of the features you listed can pretty much be found in ModernBill or a similar managment software. They don't have a network monitor built in similar software such as Lpanel this is included. (Lpanel will send you out email warnings with high load or server not responding errors). All of these programs allow different levels of staff to be added in, each getting their own privilages. Lpanel will allow you to see your staffs response time. If you use a program like Kayako that seemlessly integrates into ModernBill then you have almost complete control over all of your staff. You can assign them tickets, monitor all their responses, see response times, and more.

    I think the hosting industry has developed a complete control panel with the capabilities of doing practically every part of the managing process.

  6. #6
    AWBS is another solution that works...

    -Built in helpdesk, as well as intergration with cerbuers and kayao.
    -Automatically creates forum accounts with several forums.
    -Billing, invoicing, account creation, deletion, payments, signup etc is all automated.
    -Probably the best Domain Managment system out of all the billing software.
    -Has a front end, so when you update a price, it updates everything for you.
    Note to self: Add something funny!
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  7. #7
    A big problem is many hosts start of with a limited budget, get what they can afford at the time. As the biz grows, you wind up with alot of disjointed systems that don't integrate well together. That's a huge frustration, at least it was for me back in the day.
    Brian Emerson

    KickAss Virtual Private Servers

  8. #8
    Your better off shelling out the cash for modernbill or alike, in the long run its worth it.
    Data Republic - UK Managed Servers - Server Management - Managed Backup/R1Soft
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Plan ahead is all I can say. Many new host start off on reseller plans and then grow from there. Even in this case - if you plan correctly - is should not be too stressful on you to accommodate. When planning - start from a group of servers and then start taking them away until you get all the way down to your first server or reseller account. Take away what you don't need as you make this digretion. This will help you see what you need when you have a group of servers - and how to add them on as you grow. Then - you take this chart and flip and start from the bottom. Does that make sense?

  10. #10
    ahem .. H-Sphere ?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Mumbai, India
    i was thinking of going in for ClientExec.

    It supports the billing front and customer support via tickets..

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    It's Friday and I'm two shots shy of having a nice Crown and Seven so I'll say - MB or CE.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Quote Originally Posted by BigDizzle
    A big problem is many hosts start of with a limited budget, get what they can afford at the time. As the biz grows, you wind up with alot of disjointed systems that don't integrate well together. That's a huge frustration, at least it was for me back in the day.
    I agree 100%

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Now that I have had my Crown and it's Monday .......

    Limited budgets unfortunantly are with any new company starting out. Regardless if you have $100 or $10,000 budget - you still have a set limit on what you can spend. As with any company - online or brink and mortar - you have to develope a reliable business plan to help limit many of the frustrations.

    I am a bit confused to some degree on the statement that you wind up disjointed with systems that don't intergrate well together. The reason being - within this industry - programs are designed - for the most part - to intergrate well with each other. This is most commonly known as modules / plugins.


    A cluster of servers running CPanel - utilizing ModernBill for package and account creation - Kayako support desk for all your support needs that intergrates with Modernbill quite easily.

    Maybe some better explaination on what you mean on the disjointed point woudl help.

  15. #15
    An example would be this:

    You want to get into the hosting market, ideally wanting to do Windows hosting, however you don't have the budget for licensing, so you start with a single Linux server using Webmin for administration and a copy of Quickbooks for billing, just to get some revenue flowing. You fill that server up, revenue starts coming in, but you're not quite there yet, so you add another server of the same and now you can afford Modernbill. The 2nd server fills up, now you can afford a Windows server using HELM, but your other 2 servers can't be integrated into it, so now you have customers using Linux and Modernbill, and some using HELM and it's billing system.

    This is just a quick example, but you can see where I'm going with the disjointed system statement.
    Brian Emerson

    KickAss Virtual Private Servers

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Quote Originally Posted by CRego3D
    ahem .. H-Sphere ?
    I was going to mention that. Aussie Bob, host since 2001
    Host Multiple Domains on Fast Australian Servers!!

  17. #17
    A big problem is many hosts start of with a limited budget, get what they can afford at the time. As the biz grows, you wind up with alot of disjointed systems that don't integrate well together. That's a huge frustration, at least it was for me back in the day.
    Yes, that is what I was trying to say. It is true that automation software, billing solutions, and support desks are available and they can "plug-in" to each other but do you expect that different software from different vendors can work peacefully and provide you with complete business integration? I beleive that we these software (MB, Kyokko, HELM) are integrated with each other they increase the management overheads & complication while leaving us little to happy about.

    I am looking for a software from preferablly single vendor that would provide me store setup, packages setup, business rules setup, billing, help desk, network monitoring, clients management, staff management, and everything else from single interface. I am wondering why is that not possible?

  18. #18
    Its not necessary to integrate everything unless you are very very large.
    If you do integrate you will limit the services you can provide to the ones suported by your backend system and you will lose your distinctiveness, which is the things you offer that other companies don't.
    For example, you may wish to offer domain extensions thgat your integration system will not support.

    We use a database back end and run billing notices from that.
    We have a custom built system for managing all our cpanel servers via the API, set up accounts, send out welcome emails etc.
    It works pretty well, but requires a lot of human intervention.
    However, that means we also know our customers and their needs better than an automated system and we can stop a lot of illegal activity before it starts.
    Formerly: Managing Director, Ltd & Marketing Director, Ultraspeed UK Ltd
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