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UkuuPeople

Most CRM systems are too complex.

Platforms like Salesforce can be enormously complex and have a step learning curve. CiviCRM is a very popular open source CRM, but it's as complex as many proprietary solutions.

Some CiviCRM developers have now teamed up with the goal of creating a simpler CRM. They've released a WordPress plugin called UkuuPeople.

Ukuu have taken a page out of Joomla and Ubuntu's book and given themselves a Swahili name. Apparently "Ukuu" means "greatness" in Swahili.

UkuuPeople is available as a free plugin, so you can install it directly from your WordPress admin area:

UkuuPeople: A Simple WordPress CRM

The UkuuPeople admin are is relatively simple, with only 4 links:

  • People
  • Touchpoints
  • Add-ons
  • Settings

We'll take you through those 4 links, one-by-one:

#1. People

Click on the "People" tab and can you can add either "Individual" or "Organization":

If you choose "Individual", you'll be able to add a new person to your site. There are fields for all the usual CRM options: phone, website, job title, social media account, address.

Almost everything in UkuuPeople is done with custom content types, so you'll see most of the normal settings you associate with WordPress posts. You'll also see a custom taxonomy on the right: "Tribes", which is used to organize people.

As an aide, Ukuupeople may want to tidy up their terminology a little. They use "Humans", "Individuals" and "People" to refer to the same thing.

Adding an organization is a very similar experience. There are a defined set of fields you can fill in for each organization.

#2. Touchpoints

Touchpoints carry a heavy workload in UkuuPeople. They are used to record contacts with people, but also set future tasks. You can create to-do items in here (call Bob, send Sue and email) or assign them to other people.

Here's an example of touchpoint being created:

#3. Add-ons

UkuuPeople has a free core and they make money by selling add-ons. There are integrations with MailChimp, Google Apps, Gravity Forms and Give (the donation plugin), plus there's also a CSV import/export tool. The plugins cost around $79 to $99 per year.

#4. Settings

Settings allows you to customize touchpoints, plus your custom taxonomies, "Tribes" and "People Tags". I'll be honest - it wasn't immediately clear why both those two taxonomies were needed.

Summary

This might seem like a short review, but for good or bad, UkuuPeople is a very basic CRM at the moment.

Here are some limitations:

  • You can't customize fields for people, organizations or touchpoints.
  • You can't create custom lists of people or organizations.
  • There's no kind of deal or sales management. Like CiviCRM, UkuuPeople does seem to be aimed at non-profits more than businesses.
  • Very little is automated. For example, you can't automatically make each new WordPress user into a UkuuPeople listing. Even little things such as turning a Twitter handle into link aren't automated at the moment.

None of this necessarily bad. If you look at the UkuuPeople listing on WordPress.org they describe themselves accurately as a "Simple WordPress CRM" and " the easiest CRM tool for WordPress". They are aiming at a target audience that is intimidated by Saleforce and CiviCRM.

This plugin is new, so expect a lot of development in the near future. Also, bear in mind that UkuuPeople is backed by a team with deep CRM experience. I expect a review of UkuuPeople will look very different, even in a few months time.


About the author

Steve is the founder of OSTraining. Originally from the UK, he now lives in Sarasota in the USA. Steve's work straddles the line between teaching and web development.