News from ClubNet

New developments

It's nice to be able to write an update that isn't all about Coronavirus!  Of course, it's still front and centre in our priorities.  But we have been able to make some important progress in other areas too, and I wanted to bring you up to date on what we've been doing:

  • Upgraded Website Server - last weekend, we migrated all client Websites to a new server.  This is faster, more stable and has more headroom for the future.  We're already hearing nice things about upload speeds for example, and this marks an important step forward in our infrastructure.  Please note that we will be migrating domains, DNS settings and email mailboxes over the coming days too, so there may be a short period of downtime while the domains migrate, and email passwords will need to be re-set.  We will minimise the interruption as far as possible while we complete this necessary step
  • Upgraded Club Competitions Module - the new Competitions module is now ready to roll out and the first instances are live.  It's been a long time coming, and delayed by Covid as we prioritised other features, but the new version provides a major improvement for Member and Admin users of the Leagues, Ladders and Tournaments system.  We will be in touch with individual clients as we roll this out, but in the meantime, you may be interested in some of the main features:
    • It is responsive – that means it’s "mobile-friendly" and adapts to the available screen size, whether that’s a small mobile device or a large desktop monitor
    • The interface has been streamlined and modernised
    • You can have multiple administrators in the new version, compared to just one in the old version
    • We’re introducing the option to enter points scores for Squash and Squash 57 (Racketball), alongside the existing game scores method for those sports
    • The new version opens up opportunities for future development and integration of workflows with the bookings system such as the ability to arrange a league game and book a court for that game in a single process
    • Upgraded system for sending emails such as score confirmations – you probably won’t notice this change, but deliverability to members should improve
    • For clubs using the competitions module without the ClubNet Database and Website modules, there will be:
      • a new more secure login interface
      • a single login for each member which will persist across multiple competitions structures according to the member’s role, whereas previously they would have had separate logins for each
    • NEW "Pay & Play" Bookings functionality - in recent months, we have developed a new Bookings System feature which enables non-members to view an anonymised Bookings timesheet for some or all facilities, make a booking, and pay for it there and then at non-member rates by card payment.  We haven't released this widely until now as its completion coincided with the lockdown!  And since some clubs have re-opened, their focus has understandably been on providing facilities for their members.  But we're getting enquiries about this functionality now, so I wanted to make you aware of this.  If you are interested, please get in touch and we can discuss what's involved
    • Enhancement for Buffer Periods - up to now, buffer periods have been used by outdoor sports such as tennis to enable a gap between bookings so one set of players can leave before the next set arrives.  In the near future, not a moment too soon for those affected, indoor sports hope to be able to resume their activities too.  And some of these use our lighting control system.  So we have added functionality to enable lights to be turned off during buffer periods to encourage the first set of players to finish promptly so that the next players can arrive safely
    • NEW Contactless Check-in and Club Visit recording - for clients with our Door Entry system, we've had a feature which enables members who present their card or fob (or enter their PIN) at the door to check-in automatically for Bookings.  We have now extended this in two ways:
      • Clients who do NOT have the Access Control system but do have our Database module and the Bookings system can now take advantage of Contactless Check-in - contact us for more information about this feature
      • Check-in is also now possible for members who don't have bookings (e.g. visiting the club socially) - so we can record their attendance alongside those who do have bookings.  This is important for the situation where you need to track & trace members who were on site in a particular date / time period (hopefully you won't ever need to use this for Covid, but if you do need it, it could make a huge difference) - again, please contact us for details

One of our suppliers has brought to our attention a device that may be helpful for some sites as they re-open.  It is a "plug & play" face recognition device with temperature screening.  For details, please see the product datasheet.  At a cost of £2,725 + VAT, it is not cheap and it certainly won't be for everyone, but there are situations where it could be a valuable tool for keeping a site safe and building member confidence.  If you are interested, please get in touch.

I hope this reassures you that we've been very busy driving things forward over recent months, and we remain ready to help at every stage along the journey out of lockdown towards whatever may lie ahead of us.

And finally I want to say thank you.  Thank you to the vast, vast majority of clients who have continued to pay their invoices on time.  It is greatly appreciated.  And thank you to all those whose kind words have meant so much through the recent testing months.