ACT! by Sage Whitepapers

A collection of ACT! by Sage Whitepapers from ACT! Knowledgebase article 25908

ACT! 2010 and Microsoft Office Integration
This Whitepaper details ACT! integration with core Microsoft Office applications, including Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel®, Microsoft Outlook®, as well as Internet Explorer®. It explores how ACT! users can leverage the power of both ACT! and Microsoft Office when integrated together. The integration capabilities addressed in this Whitepaper pertain to the 2010 versions of ACT! by Sage, ACT! by Sage Premium, and ACT! by Sage Premium for Web.

ACT! by Sage and Social CRM - Part 1
This whitepaper is Part 2 of our ACT! and Social Media series and will explore the benefits of using social media to engage with your customers, and demonstrate how ACT! 2010 can make it easier to find new prospects, learn about their needs, and grow those relationships. For more information about getting started with social media, please refer to Part 1 of our whitepaper series, Connecting with Your Customers: A Guide to Social Media, which provides a general overview and description of social media and step by step guidelines for how to get started.

ACT! by Sage and Social CRM - Part 2
This whitepaper is Part 2 of our ACT! and Social Media series and will explore the benefits of using social media to engage with your customers, and demonstrate how ACT! 2010 can make it easier to find new prospects, learn about their needs, and grow those relationships. For more information about getting started with social media, please refer to Part 1 of our whitepaper series, Connecting with Your Customers: A Guide to Social Media, which provides a general overview and description of social media and step by step guidelines for how to get started.

ACT! by Sage 2010: Delivering on Usability and Productivity
This whitepaper discusses how in the past year, Sage Global CRM Solutions has increased efforts related to usability, and therefore, implemented a progressive program of customer research involving hundreds of customers and partners. To determine the quality of the ACT! 2010 design compared to the competition, Sage conducted a Keystroke Level Modelling (KLM) study of ACT! and five competitors. The results of the KLM study presented in this paper show that ACT! was rated number one in user productivity, while Microsoft® and finished 5th and 6th respectively. Overall, ACT! was rated as most efficient with on average 17% higher productivity than competitors. Notably, the same tasks take 25% longer to complete in Microsoft Dynamics® CRM and 37% longer using

ACT! Reporting and Data Access Methods
This whitepaper discusses the technical aspects of the ACT! reporting and data access methods. For example, the ACT! architecture provides four additional data access methods that can be used for querying, reporting and data extraction: ACT! OLE DB Reporting Provider, ACT! Reader Utility and account (ACT! Premium only), ACT! Password Utility (ACT! Premium only), ACT! SDK (Software Developers Kit).

Using ACT! Premium in Microsoft® Terminal Server or Citrix Presentation Server Environments™
The whitepaper explores the benefits of deploying ACT! Premium through Terminal Services, outlines deployment requirements and recommendations, and provides installation and performance tips. It is intended for IT Administrators who are considering deployment of ACT! using Microsoft Terminal Services, with or without Citrix.

Factors That Affect ACT! Performance for Individual Users
This whitepaper examines the factors that affect ACT! application performance for the individual user. It includes results of testing performed by an independent benchmark testing company using ACT! by Sage 2006 (8.0), as well as testing performed by Sage on subsequent ACT! versions.

Scalability Results for ACT! Premium Solutions
This whitepaper provides performance and scalability test results and hardware recommendations to deliver a cost effective and positive end-user experience.

ACT! Architecture, Customization, and Integration
This whitepaper discusses the ACT! product family architecture, deployment methods, customization, and integration capabilities with other products and is intended for IT managers or system administrators who want to better understand the underlying platform and capabilities.

Keys to a Successful ACT! by Sage Deployment
This whitepaper explores various deployment scenarios possible with ACT! solutions, based on the organization’s needs, whether users require online access, offline access, handheld mobile access, or a combination of access types.

ACT! Security Model
This white paper discusses the ACT! security model, which was developed to support stand-alone and workgroup implementations and provide consistency and flexibility to managers and IT personnel charged with protecting contact information.

ACT! Synchronization Architecture
This whitepaper provides an overview of the ACT! sync model, including a description of the key features, abilities, and concepts. It is directed at current users and potential customers seeking to perform a functional and technical evaluation of the product. Diagrams and examples are provided where appropriate, as well as greater detail on Internet synchronization, focusing on setup and configuration.

Managing Customer Relationships: The Choice Between What's Cheap and What Works
Authored by Aberdeen, this research document will examine the benefits of free and paid CM solutions for small-to-medium sized businesses. Organizations in need of a sales automation solution to manage account, contact, and company information will be advised on how to select a CM tool that can satisfy short-term needs and meet long-term goal.

CRM: A Business Imperative for Companies During the Global Economic Downturn
This whitepaper examines how Sage is working with small and medium sized businesses today to help them protect and grow their revenues during the economic downturn through the use of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software.

Automating Success: The Choice Between Contact Management and Customer Relationship Management
Authored by Aberdeen, this whitepaper will enable users to determine which solution best fits their business type, as well as the organizational capabilities necessary to ensure the successful adoption of a Contact Management or Customer Relationship Management solution.

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Getting ACT! on your phone

A comparison of various PDA links for ACT! by Sage

This is an excerpt of the PDF: Getting ACT! on your phone

Mobility has been one of the great driving forces behind the use of ACT!. From the ability to sync to laptops (originally supported with ACT! 2.0 for DOS) to PDAs (since the HP95LX version in 1992) and even Web versions, people have found the need to provide access to remote users and to staff on the road to be an essential aspect to their management of customer relationships and of their staff.

I previously described many of the options for remote access of ACT! by Sage in the post:
Supporting Remote Users with ACT! by Sage

With the high uptake of "smart phones", there are now a wide variety of options available depending on your needs and I thought it would be useful to take a look at these and compare them.

The contents of this document are the result of over 60 separate installs in various configurations over a two month period.

Disclosure: I have been using Handheld Contact (on both Blackberry and iPhone) since switching from CompanionLink nearly ten years ago. I also support Handheld Contact resellers and users in Asia Pacific. However, I shall endeavour to provide an accurate an un-biased analysis of all the products.


The products included in this evaluation:

Testing environment:

  • Windows XP Professional SP3 (with all updates) on domain
  • Office 2007 SP2 (with all updates)
  • Exchange 2003 6.5 SP2 (with all updates)
  • Blackberry Pearl 8100 with OS via BES
  • iPhone 3GS 32GB with OS 3.1.3 via Exchange OWA
  • HTC Touch Duel with Windows Mobile 6 Professional via ActiveSync 4.5
  • All regional settings set to Australia, Sydney

Areas included in evaluation:

  • Supported ACT! versions
    • Method of sync
    • USB
    • Wireless via sync server
    • Via other software such as Outlook, Exchange, Google Apps
  • What ACT! data is supported
    • Contact fields
      • number of fields
      • data types and formatting
      • pull downs
      • field level security
    • Activities
      • linking to correct contacts (or multiple contacts)
      • clearing activities
      • viewing and scheduling for other users
      • custom activities
    • Notes / Histories
      • viewing
      • creating on the road (including from emails, phone calls and SMS)
      • linking to multiple contacts
    • Sales Opportunities - viewing and creating
    • International issues - date and phone number formats
  • Other functions
  • Administration
    • Ease of setup and implementation
    • Ability to control what each user has access to
    • Data reliability
    • Security
  • Support issues



After doing far more testing that I had planned for this document, my recommendation for the best product is Handheld Contact Professional for the following reasons:

  • It is by far the easiest and fastest product to setup and implement and it's just as easy for a single user setup on a local PC as for a 100+ user setup on a network using a computer dedicated to Handheld Contact
  • It is the easiest product to administer and maintain without technical skills
  • It provides the most "ACT!-like" experience on the phones it supports
  • It is a fully integrated application with Contacts, Activities and Notes/Histories in the one interface
  • Using its own application means that recording of emails, sms and call history can be automatically tracked and synced back to ACT!
  • It is one of only three products I couldn't cause to duplicate data in the ACT! database - the others being Handheld Contact Basic and 123 Synchronizer
  • It is one of only two products that operate using a Windows service, which I think is important for network security. The other being ACT! Mobile Live

* A useful point to note for the future: Handheld Contact is working to incorporate the full Sales Opportunity tables as well as those of Accounts Master! towards the end of this year. That will mean Handheld Contact Professional users will be able to view the sales history with their customers, but also to be able to create invoices from the road. Accounts Master! will integrate many accounting/ERP systems into ACT! and Handheld Contact.

It's only negatives are that it's limited to specific devices (Blackberry, iPhone, Windows Mobile Professional) and that the amount of data it requires means that on Blackberry there is a lower contact limit... although this limit is about to be significantly raised in an expected upgrade

My 2nd choice was, to be honest, a surprise to me. I hadn't played with 123 Synchronizer before and was surprised how solid it appeared. If you are using devices that are not supported by Handheld Contact Professional or if your business wants their ACT! data to synchronise with Outlook/Exchange, then this is the way to go.

  • It is the only product other than Handheld Contact where I didn't manage to cause to duplicate data in the ACT! database
  • While it didn't run as a service, it does have the option to be called from a command line and run without requiring a user account to be logged into Windows.

The only negatives I found are that it can be quite complex to set up in some configurations - I recommend using an ACT! Consultant - but check that they have done implementations of this product first. Also that it relies on Outlook/Exchange and possibly another product if you want wireless - while this would suit most users, you should check this before selecting it.

If you are running ACT! versions prior to Sage or using a device not supported by Handheld Contact and also not using Outlook, then Companionlink is the choice. But be careful to keep good backups in case of duplication issues. Doublelook really needs to have the option to run as a service to be really considered as an “Enterprise” product.

The free links should really be treated as a one-way option (from ACT! to the phone). The ability to cause problems in ACT! going both ways makes this a poor choice

Regarding ACT! Mobile Live, having supported ACT! since 1987, it really pains me to say I would not advise users to consider this as a realistic option under any circumstances. It has been 20 months since Sage first publically announced the beta of this product. They would be doing a favour to their users and VARs if they either started from scratch or dropped it and purchased one of the other products.

For full details, please see: