Problems with Sage Mobile for ACT! (new ACT! Mobile Live)

Part 3 of The Seven Day Blogging Challenge - Write a blog post on the same topic as one my most popular posts

Well, the most popular posts previously have been:

So I thought I would do another on mobile CRM with Sage ACT!.

I have always supported ACT! as a mobile product … both with sync to laptops and remote offices and with sync to PDAs and smartphones. Over the years, I have purchased new devices along this path to use, test and support other users:

  • An HP95LX in 1992 for ACT! for HP95
  • Apple Newton in 1995 for ACT! for Newton
  • Handheld PC running Windows CE in 1997 for ACT! for Windows CE
  • Palm M505 in 2002 for ACT! for Palm OS
  • Blackberry in 2000 here I used Companion Link
  • Another Blackberry in 2003 using Handheld Contact
  • Since then, I have used various devices using Blackberry, iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Windows Mobile operating systems.

I believe in the benefits of being able to access and enter my ACT! data wherever I am and understand the problems that mobile users have.

Since 2003, I have been using Handheld Contact. But I have still tested other products to be satisfied that no other product is better for me to switch to.

Despite ACT! for Palm being the best PDA/smartphone solution for ACT!, the ACT! developers have concentrated on products linking to the native address books and losing much of the functionality that real ACT! users should want. Without this, they may as well be using Outlook for their CRM.

They have had “ACT! Mobile Live” in beta and release for around three years and recently renamed it as “Sage Mobile for ACT!”. It still has many of the bugs and issues I reported in the first beta.

So I thought I’d let you know why I really don’t think users should consider it for their use.

  • The country code is not supported in phone fields - this means:
    • You can't dial international numbers
    • You can dial any numbers when travelling overseas
    • You can't enter contacts with international numbers
    • It causes problems if also using ACT! for dialling/faxing with other services
  • If sync's with Exchange, Outlook or Google, changes to the outlook profile will either delete records from the ACT! database or duplicate them ... results can be inconsistent
  • Some activity types are incorrectly handled causing data changes back in ACT!
  • Some activity time-zones cause activities to move
  • No formatting of fields
  • Not a multiuser service... so can't work with web or hosted environments
  • No tracking of History on calls, emails and sms made from the phone

There are a number of other bugs and functional omissions but as the challenge (as mentioned top of this post) is for a limited number of words, I’ll do a longer post on this later.

Considering Handheld Contact is only $50 more, I think the choice is a no-brainer