Sage ACT! Programs. And this year is no exception, as Sage ACT! 2012 hits the streets.
Early indications were that this year the main emphasis in this new version will focus on consolidating the code base and do all the strong and robust package, and it's hard to argue with that philosophy.
Of course, the marketing department has decided that the software works is not sufficient to justify the upgrade cost for existing users, so new bells and whistles have been dreamed to the new version.
Before going into details, it is important to realize that ACT!, Sorry, it's "prudent ACT!", Available in three distinct flavors.
The "normal" version is called ACT! Pro, full version is called ACT! Premium. Now do not know if the nuances of this terminology is different in the US, but for my British ears the word "Pro," says "professional" and is indistinguishable from the term "premium", which seems to this subject. Just to further confuse the issue in the last few years, both standard and premium versions have both been called "ACT! Professional "in the UK.
So what are the differences between Pro and Premium? Well, it's not a big deal to be honest. Pro 90% of premium features, and some other features are limited in Pro.
There is a maximum of 10 Pro users, no access to limited resources, no access control at the field level, without planning functions and no capacity network synchronization, although you can always synchronize a base remote data providing the program is running on your server.
For example, both Pro and Premium offer reporting dashboard, but ACT! Pro reports are limited to connected person; you can not get the entire company reports Dashboards Pro. However, you can get information across the enterprise from traditional text reports.
Web. In the UK, this is now included in the box free when you purchase ACT! Premium. Additional premium bits required to publish the database to an IIS Web server you have to stay (or use one of the ACT paid! The hosting services). Sage ACT! 2012 sees the introduction of support for browser access using Internet Explorer 9 and Firefox 4.
One of the many new features touted is the integration of Google. For this you'll need a Gmail account, and does not work with Google Accounts businesses. The idea behind this is that most young people entering business already use Google for email, contacts and calendar, allowing them to continue to use the tools they know.
As the integration of existing Outlook to set up the integration of Google into three distinct parts, e-mail, calendar and contacts (you can have one, two or all three). Basically, it works.
The main limitations are that you must be connected to the Internet (DOH), and more serious, such as Outlook integration, synchronization of contacts in ACT! Although see the potential benefits of this feature, my main concern is (like Outlook) if the function is activated, you may import all Google Contacts "friends" in your bank strategic sales data.
The second new toy is called "Universal Search", which provides research capacity "Google-like" more (everyone detect a theme here?). The main difference between Universal Search and search for existing keywords is that the new search engine can look inside files online, as well as the usual fields, notes and history.
The main limitation of Universal Search is that you can select an item from the search results; you can not select three or four and do a search. Just keep in mind that this is a way to find one item you lost on your database. For everything else to use standard query options Search / Advanced.
The next point to keep the fun is called ScratchPad. If you remember "SideACT" in ACT! version 6, you get the picture. Therefore, it is a small utility application which can operate independently of ACT! Where you can scribble your list. It is running.
Other changes include a Discovery Services button opens a screen as the opening page that describes and have links to Sage ACT! Online subscription services such as Email Marketing and Business Information Services.
Users out there who did not know they could connect to these external services seems a bit unlikely, but more connected services are introduced that, at least, offer a great way to present them.
One of the new related services is wise ACT! To log in. Mobile Live subscription service that allows users to sync some of your ACT! Data to their mobile phones. You can still do this, but the difference is that the data goes through a hosted Sage website, where the same data can be viewed through a browser.
Now the data is accessible in this way is limited to the usual contact address field and the last five notes / history items. There is also no support for international telephone numbers. It gives you another way to access your database information when traveling.
If your phone / device is one of those who can not be synchronized with the data (eg iPhone / iPad), you may still be able to access it in Sage ACT! Login to the portal via a web browser. The cost of this service varies from one country to another.
A scary feature of ACT! Connect portal, designed to appeal again to the Twitterati is the ability to import more "friends" of your Facebook Google and Yahoo accounts.
Again, why would anyone want their sales and marketing database corrupted by importing twaddle that way is beyond me. If you use ACT! to lead the company organizing local flowers can have a value, but for the relationships between the companies do not see the point.
There were also some improvements to existing features.
First, the installation process is made simpler and faster. Databases on your computer if you have more than one and you missed (and your computer). Smart Tasks have-seen modest improvements and integration with Outlook has been adjusted to allow longer periods to synchronize calendars.
Although have preferred a report early in the process to say what will go wrong before made the import, it is a welcome addition.
There are some things in business you need to be fairly common and we need to make them as easy to do as possible, but the marketing forces in the inner knower are losing sight of the requirement for kernel development continuous system and on the contrary, they try to appeal to the social networking generation.
Biggest concern is that by doing so, the potential for imports by mistake unwanted information in our sales and marketing databases has increased dramatically.
Overall, even if we ignore the new title or functions that you can not use, the modest improvements in speed, reliability and functionality are welcome, and everyone with a version of ACT! More than one year of age will benefit from upgrading to the latest offer.