Nukern: Can it nuke WHMCS off its crown?

  • A short introduction to Nukern – a new competitor to WHMCS.
  • An interview with Nukern’s founder – inspired to start Nukern because of WHMCS’s security issues.
  • A brief demo of Nukern – clean and modern responsive design.
  • Conclusion – pretty interesting, strong potential as competitor to WHMCS.

What’s Nukern?

I’ve mentioned Nukern in my previous video that gives an overview of the alternatives to WHMCS. This time, I’ll be giving an in-depth view of what Nukern is.

Nukern offers a Software as a Service cloud billing dashboard that allows web hosts to automate the provisioning of services for their clients. As it is a SaaS model, no installation, maintenance or any updates is required as all of these will be handled by Nukern. It also offers a secured public API which can be leveraged on to allow communities to build their own modules.

Security wise, they will have Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) protection. A DDoS network attack floods the victim server with many useless packets of data which will overload the server and make the network pipes saturated, making the service useless. What DDoS protection mean is that Nukern will still be able function well in spite of a DDoS network attack.
ddos-attack
On top of that, they will also be PCI compliant for their infrastructure and servers that are used to service their clients.

Last but not least, what differentiates them from their main competitor, WHMCS, is that they focus security and are always listening to their clients and the communities’ feedback. Nukern aims to be a software that help hosts build a strong trusting relationship with their clients and help these hosts save thousands of dollars every year through seamlessly integrated secured platform.

The Interview

Huiren:
Today, we’re going to learn about a new product that is a relatively new competitor to WHMCS – Nukern. I’ve invited a very special guest today, founder of Nukern, Philippe Rivard, whom is a technopreneur and technology enthusiast that has graduated from CDI College in 2002. He will give us an insight to his company. Hey there Philippe Rivard, what do you have installed for us today?

Philippe:
Basically, we’re going to answer some quick questions to get you an insight to our company and carry out a live demonstration of our product, Nukern.

Huiren:
That sounds great! I’ve got some questions for your company, what inspired you to come up with Nukern? Why not some other products? Why compete against WHMCS?

Philippe:
Firstly, we’ve been in the hosting industry for more than 12 years so we know pretty much that all the solutions out there are a pain right now and we’re trying to give the community its voice back into what they need and what they want to see in billing software for web hosts. We found that current software solutions; they lack simplicity and they aren’t really scaling well with your business. So Nukern really comes from the frustration of the current status quo in the industry.

Huiren:
Excellent. Well, WHMCS is a pretty huge company and a lot of web hosts are using it. So how would you describe your market situation will be like in the next few years to come? Will it be very competitive or do you think you will stand out very strong in the market?

Philippe:
WHMCS currently owns 70% to 80% of the market and we are trying to disrupt that. We’re trying to get the crown from WHMCS because they’ve been out so long yet they haven’t adjusted to what the community is looking for. So we strongly believe that the industry is ready for disruption and that’s what we’re bringing to the industry – Nukern. We’re focusing on small web hosts or resellers primarily and Nukern has a really intuitive dashboard and web host interface that will allow them, whom lacks the experience of the industry, to establish a firm foundation. We want Nukern to be able to help these new hosts facilitate their growth and on top of that, we want our natural evolution to be able to cater a large segment of the market; medium and large hosting companies.

Huiren:
That’s a really ambitious plan you guys have! So you’ve mentioned bringing disruption to the industry and I really applaud you guys for that as not only you feel that WHMCS is not a good fit, many of the communities are also complaining about WHMCS security exploits as well. I’m definitely really excited to see Nukern’s entry to the market and I’m also kind of curious about your vision for Nukern, where do you see Nukern in the next 1 or 2 years’ time?

Philippe:
Currently, our aim is to grab 1% of the market in 1 year’s time. Not only are we looking out for financial gains, we also want to build a strong reputation for our company – a company that cares about the user experience of its client and also the clients of our clients. This is really important because that’s what going to drive our company forward. So that’s basically what we would like to do for our first year and for our second year, we are thinking of Nukern v2.0 which is funny because the first version hasn’t yet to even finish but we’re getting there. We’ll be constantly looking at what will be coming ahead of us and listen to the communities’ feedback so that we can build what they want in Nukern v2.0.

Huiren:
Wow, that’s really amazing. To build such a great product, you’ll definitely need great people on your team, right? So what employee benefits do you have to entice great people to join your team?

Philippe:
Because we’re an early stage startup, the only benefits our employees have are – working for a startup. That pretty much means that your work schedule is flexible and that you will have stock options in the business. Even though we work more than we probably should, our work place is a lot of fun and really enjoyable.

Huiren:
Sounds like a lot of fun in your office, do you guys have some beer party there?

Philippe:
Well, last night at 5 we grabbed the beer with everyone on our team.

Huiren:
Hahahaha, alright moving on to my next question, what is Nukern’s take on security? Do you guys do security audits and offer bounty programs which both WHMCS and Blesta have?

Philippe:
Nukern was started 2 years ago and since its inception, we’ve always made security our top priority as it was a major concern not only for us but for all the web hosts too. We want to make both the web hosts and their clients feel secured when using Nukern. We carry out audits at every level of the software – infrastructure, servers and the actual code. We also offer bounties for White Hats who want to try to hack into Nukern and the bounties offered depends on its severity of the exploits found. Finally, we will also be PCI compliant for our infrastructure and servers that will host our clients.

Huiren:
You guys seem to take security very seriously which is a really great thing. For my last question, this is a pretty tough one, WHMCS 6.0 is using Laravel, Nukern is using Laravel. What if one day, if – Laravel framework stops development, wouldn’t this be a huge issue for your company?

Philippe:
Yep, definitely, this will be a major issue for us. We’ve also discussed about this issue internally; since Laravel 5.0 just released, it won’t be an issue until at least the next year. But by then, we would have already started working on Nukern v2.0 which will most likely be running a MEAN stack. We’ll definitely be keeping track on things like these so that we’ll be future proof.

Huiren:
Sounds great since you guys have a solid backup plan! Thanks for answering all the questions that I have, so shall we proceed on to the demostration?

Philippe:
Sure thing!

Demonstration

I was given a short demostration of Nukern and I found that it was extremely intuitive and responsive, allowing me to easily use it on all platforms – computers, tablets and phones. There were some cool graphs just like what WHMCS has. As it is still in beta, there are only some provisioning methods, such as cPanel, available. Philippe says his team is still working hard on getting all popular products like SolusVM, VestaCP, Virtualizor, etc, available on Nukern.

Although the interface was simple and clean, it still had lots of features not ready yet so there wasn’t much he could show me.

Conclusion

Nukern is still very new but I’m pretty excited about it and you should too! Its really great to see new enterprise solutions coming out to save the day from the horrors and nightmares of WHMCS. Not to forget, the interview with Philippe was a great and fun experience.

Nukern is currently looking to hire designers and developers who are fun loving and eager to work with them to build a future for the industry.
nukern-jobs

Do follow Nukern (@NukernInc) on Twitter for updates on their awesome product!

Thanks for reading and hope you had fun reading. :) Finally, to answer the question “Can Nukern nuke WHMCS off its crown?”, my opinion is that they might be able do that in the future but not for now. What’s your opinion?

Edited on 11 May 2016 to reflect some verb changes.

Author: Woo Huiren

Howdy, I'm a IT student who is currently serving my full time national service. I do lots of things related to IT but I have an exceptionally great love for the web and opensource, so expect me to blog a lot about it! :)

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