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Alternatives to ACT by Sage

Posted on 2006-06-07
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My company is currently using the ACT database by Sage software for contact management.  We've decided it was time to move on from this product due to its poor integration with Outlook, stability problems, and slow performance.  I'd like to know what products could replace ACT that would retain the features we need:

-Contact information (customizable fields)
-Notes/History (entries that appear chronologically for each contact, showing notes that users type or emails / documents attached to the contact)
-Tight integration with Outlook
-Ability to broadcast fax

We're running a Windows 2003 Network with 20 workstations, and an additional server running Exchange Server.
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Question by:TotalEnergy
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by:TommyTupa
TommyTupa earned 600 total points
ID: 16863893
Here are a few comments about Goldmine.

Goldmine has a database schema fairly similar to ACT; allowing for easy migration.  Notes/History has the ability to migrate well.  Goldmine's integration with Outlook is a little clumsy at first.  I never liked it but I've spoken with many sales folks who swear by it. If you decide to look at Goldmine be sure to get a good demonstration of this feature.  Goldmine can't broadcast fax - you'll need to purchase Rightfax or  OmniRush.



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by:TotalEnergy
ID: 16867481
Thanks for the information on Goldmine.  My company actually looked into Goldmine and decided it was in the same leagure as ACT.  We're looking for something a bit higher end, such as Microsoft's CRM.  Any other suggestions on contact management systems?
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dtripp7 earned 1400 total points
ID: 16929153
your requirements are handled by microsoft crm:

-Contact information (customizable fields)

there are two entity types for contact management: accounts and contacts/this allows you to store information on companies (accounts) and individuals within the company (contacts) in completely separate tables with different forms and fields - the two are closely integrated.  all fields in most forms and views (including contacts and accounts) are customizable using the customization tools that are part of microsoft crm (quite easy to use)

-Notes/History (entries that appear chronologically for each contact, showing notes that users type or emails / documents attached to the contact)

microsoft crm tracks a variety of activity types for both contacts and accounts:
task, email, fax, phone call, letter, email, appointment, service activity

these are tracked when open and scheduled (activity) or completed (history). also tracked are sales opportunities, quotes, service cases and contracts, marketing lists and campaigns

-Tight integration with Outlook

the front end client for microsoft crm is Outlook (a web client is also available).  end-users can continue to use Outlook - additional folders are added to the folder list which show accounts, contacts, sales information (quotes, invoices, etc), service information (cases, contracts, etc)

-Ability to broadcast fax

microsoft crm can send broadcast fax when using the fax connector - this is available on the SBS version of microsoft crm - uses the fax server available on SBS

there is a Small Business Server Edition and a full Windows 2003 version (using Active Directory, Exchange and SQL) called the Professional version.  the interface on the server is .NET based and is accessed via Internet Explorer.  This web interface can also be accessed from a workstation.  it offers additional features such as user customization of fields and drop-down values and system setup.

A 90 day evaluation version can be downloaded from:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?amp;displaylang=en&familyid=7D418781-69AD-422D-92FA-87FDB2538E2C&displaylang=en
 

 
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by:TommyTupa
ID: 16956447
So did you try out MicrosoftCRM?  I'd like to hear what you think of it.
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by:TotalEnergy
ID: 16963466
I just downloaded a 90-day trial and also have been speaking to a sales rep.  It seems like it would really fit our needs and looks like a great replacement for ACT.  Thanks for all of your help, I'll post something here to let you know it goes.
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by:dean_b
ID: 37739415
I found ACT to be real buggy. The user preferences files are always corrupting. Wouldn't recommend it.
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