Contact Management Software

Hi,
 
 I am looking for a software like ACT  where you can store client contact information and log phone conversations ... etc. But also when you look up a client, bring up a client information including phone number, click on the phone number (of a client) and computer dials directly automatically instead of you dialing that number manually.

Or can Microsoft ACCESS do that? If you have a phone number in the record, make the computer dial out the phone number when clicked?

Thanks.
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sgleeAsked:
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Boyd (HiTechCoach) Trimmell, Microsoft Access MVPDesigner and DeveloperCommented:
Some way your PC will have to be connected to the vooice line to be able to fial the number.

In the past I have used the modem in my PC that was hooked to the same line as my voice line. I picked up phone. When I heard dial-tone I would click a button on the screen to get it to dial the phone number.  

I was using Access to do this, but other software can do the same thing.

What hardware will you be using as the dialer?
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Mike LazarusAct! Evangelist - CRM ConsultantCommented:
Act! can do that ... depending on your phone connection
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
Hardware will be a New PC with an internal modem. How did you get MS Access dial out?
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
Act! can do that ... depending on your phone connection  ---> can you provide more details provided that I have a PC with Internal Modem on a phone line?
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Mike LazarusAct! Evangelist - CRM ConsultantCommented:
Sure ... do you have Act!?  
What version?
What operating system?
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DatabaseMX (Joe Anderson - Microsoft Access MVP)Database Architect / Systems AnalystCommented:
" How did you get MS Access dial out?"
That utility used to be built into Windows - Windows Dialer. Not sure if still exist.
However, there are 3rd Party apps that will do this.

mx
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DatabaseMX (Joe Anderson - Microsoft Access MVP)Database Architect / Systems AnalystCommented:
Here you go:

Windows Dialer (Win 7 shown)
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Mike LazarusAct! Evangelist - CRM ConsultantCommented:
And Act! will use the Windows Dialer if it's setup also ...
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DatabaseMX (Joe Anderson - Microsoft Access MVP)Database Architect / Systems AnalystCommented:
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Jeffrey CoachmanMIS LiasonCommented:
<I am looking for a software like ACT>
...Then why not use Act! ?

You can use the template MX posted and build your own, ...but how good are you at Access database design?  How are your vba coding skills...?
How much time do you have...?

I just hate reinventing the wheel...

But if you're up for it, ...rock on...
;-)

JeffCoachman
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
@DatabaseMX
I downloaded that Access contact Mgt DB. When I click the [Dial] button, it prompts fort the phone number. I thought it would grab the phone number from the record, populate it and dial automatically. Isn't it how it is designed?

Or I need to modify existing code in on-click event of dial button  ?
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
@boag2000
Since my customer asked me if it was possible to have some type of contact management program to dial out the phone number automatically, I was curious if ACT did have that function (I have never used it, but I know a lot of sales people use it) or if I can utilize module/VB code and incorporate it into the ACCESS-based contact management database program (that I have developed over the years).

Obviously ACT is $100 and it is a wonderful software, but can 't change it whereas I can modify my contact management database to suit my customer's specific needs.

So that was the reason I was interested in finding out both options.
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Mike LazarusAct! Evangelist - CRM ConsultantCommented:
Act! is very flexible and can be changed ... how would you want to change it?
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
@GLComputing
Oh ... I am going to meet my customer to explain that there are two options - ACT & ACCESS based custom database.
If what ACT does meet his needs, then definitely ACT is the way to go.
So I don't know at this point if there is a need to modify ACT at all.
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Mike LazarusAct! Evangelist - CRM ConsultantCommented:
Unless the requirements are especially complex and specific, it's nearly always easier to get something off-the-shelf
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
do they have good import mechanism in ACT?
Apparently my customer has all of his contact information in EXCEL.
How easy is it to import the data in EXCEL into ACT?
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Mike LazarusAct! Evangelist - CRM ConsultantCommented:
Easy ... just contacts or other types of data also?
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
I will find out tomorrow because I am meeting him to find out what he has and what his needs are ...
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Mike LazarusAct! Evangelist - CRM ConsultantCommented:
Well, post back when you know and I'll let you know if it can be done simply in Act! or if you need something more complex
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Jeffrey CoachmanMIS LiasonCommented:
sglee,
You still have not mentioned your skill level with database design or Access development.
If this is your first outing with these topics, you are in for a long road.

Remember Act! is a mature application, it has:
Tech Support
A well established user group (ex.: GLComputing)
Import/export
Web support
Online help
Security
Integration with other apps
...etc

So you buy it, install it and you are off an running. (more or less)

If you roll your own, and use an Access template you will have to first fully understand how the template was designed.
Then know how to modify it to fit your needs
Then worry about Deployment, multiple versions of Access, Updates, security, debugging, support
...etc

If you are doing this from scratch, even more work will needs to be done.

So if you (or your company) value your time at, let's say, $25USD/hr,  then you can really only afford to spend 10 hours in development time (25x10=250.)
...and remember you also have to test, debug and maintain your app too...
For almost the same price you can buy Act! outright and be ready to go, (about 270USD)
(Then sit back in your chair and relax for the most part)

Note that I have worked on questions with GLComputing in the past and he has taught me a lot about what Act! can do. (he is also the top Act! expert) BTW...
;-)

JeffCoachman
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
I met my customer this morning and he decided to just use his excel spreadsheet where each line/row has columns of data beginning with Name, phone number, address, ... etc. - Typical contact information. I suggested that he opens up paid Skype account so that he can call landline/cell phone by copying the phone number from EXCEl and pasting it into Skype dial pad.
He liked that idea instead of using ACT or Access-based system.
So we are good now and thank you for your help.
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Boyd (HiTechCoach) Trimmell, Microsoft Access MVPDesigner and DeveloperCommented:
If you are going to use Skype then you can use automation to control Skype.

See this previous EE question for VBA code that can be used with Excel:
Skype calling from Access 2010 Database (VBA) using Skype4Com
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
@TheHiTechCoach

Thank you for the information and I appreciate it.
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
@boag2000
I agree with you 110%.I would use ACT if I were in his shoe. I think he is comfortable using EXCEL for now because he said he did not have to log phone conversation with each customer.
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Jeffrey CoachmanMIS LiasonCommented:
sglee,

If you look back at the chronology here you will see that my comments were made before Excel was decided on.
My comments were made at the time when MS Access was being considered.

;-)

JeffCoachman
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
@boag2000,
 My bad.  I will get this corrected.
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Jeffrey CoachmanMIS LiasonCommented:
No need, as long as you have a solution, ... I'm happy...,
;-)

Jeff
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DatabaseMX (Joe Anderson - Microsoft Access MVP)Database Architect / Systems AnalystCommented:
Netminder ... Google Chrome cookies seem busted again. I'm frequently  having to log in - Remember Me not working.  This occurs on at least 4 different system ... last 3-4 weeks.
fyi.

mx
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