ACT! by Sage 2008: Dashboards & Online Hooks

Another year has gone by and there’s two things happening. Thanksgiving is around the corner and Sage has released the latest version of ACT! – ACT! by Sage 2008.
There’s a lot of new things in this version – some things out in the open and some more behind the scenes. The biggest addition to ACT! is adding dash boards which give business owners deeper insight into the critical benchmarks of their business.
Why is this important to your business?
If your contACT!s are kept in a Rolodex then please email me. If your contACT!s are in Microsoft Outlook – you’re at least keeping them centralized in your computer. However, one thing you are NOT doing is getting insight into what these contACT!s mean to your business (relationships) and how they relate to sales, revenue and profitability.
ACT! is the market leader in contACT! management software and has consistently evolved into a powerful tool for not just enabling you to find a client’s telephone number but to also manage the relationship – as in customer relationship management.
How do ACT! new dash boards help?
Joe Bergera, executive vice president and global general manager for Sage CRM Solutions said, “Our new dashboards, for example, deliver rich visual analysis capabilities that were once only found in enterprise CRM systems. Now, with ACT!, they are available and affordable for small and mid-size business use.”
Each ACT! dashboard includes six customizable components: Schedule At-a-Glance, My ACT!ivities, My Opportunities, Opportunity Pipeline by Stage, Top 10 Opportunities, and Closed Opportunities. Users can hover over charts and graphs to see associated details, or click graphics to take further ACT!ion on any ACT!ivity or opportunity. Users can also create new calls, meetings, to-dos, or add additional details to existing opportunities directly from the dashboard. The entire dashboard, or components, can be copied into any application including Microsoft Office applications for use in e-mails, reports, etc.
Another important aspect of ACT!, but something not pushed a lot by Sage (at this time) is hooks to online applications. If you want to bring in Google maps (or dozens of other online tools) for example, you can, right from within ACT!.
There’s several usability improvements in ACT! as well.
So what else is new?
Sage Software also announced 63 ACT! Add-on solutions to further extend ACT! with additional functionality including marketing, shipping, mapping and synchronization capabilities.
These add-ons are VERY important. ACT! Can only provide a limited number of features in the core software product, but thanks to independent developers, small businesses buying ACT! can be assured that their investment in ACT! goes way beyond just what’s inside the boxed product.
“The strong user and developer community that has grown around ACT! has been a key fACT!or in its position as the leading contACT! management solution,” explained David van Toor, senior vice president and general manager for Sage CRM Solutions, North America. “The tools and applications our add-on development partners have produced solve specific problems for specific groups of our customers, from individuals to large workgroups, and we value their continued support.”
ACT! continues to be a compelling upgrade for existing users and the leading contACT! manager of choice for every user.


About Ramon Ray

Ramon Ray, Marketing & Technology Evangelist, & Infusionsoft. Full bio at . Check him out on Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook

  • JR

    Act by Sage 2008 is an example of “geek stupidity”How could a company that made such a wonderful product as Act V. 6 – destroy it as they have done in Act 2008. Backup is an impossibility. The “Act Geeks” have burdened the program down to impossible password systems. Act 2008 – BAD NEWS FOR ANYONE WHO WANTS A DATEBASE PROGRAM TO WORK. BACK UP AND RESTORE DOES EVEN WORK EASILY USING THE SAME COMPUTER AND THE SAME PROGRAM – DON’T EVEN THINK OF TRYING TO TRANSFUR DATA TO ANOTHER COMPUTER THAT ALSO HAS ACT ON IT.

  • TS Abboud

    We have used ACT! since 1992 (version 2.0 for DOS). Some of their upgrades have stunk but ACT! 2008 seems to be the best version since ACT! 6.0. We have had no problems with it so far and we actually like using it. I highly recommend this product.

  • MSS

    Act! 2008 really shines. We have used Act! since probably version 5/2000, and although there were some bumps in the road with the transition to a Microsoft SQL server based version with 2005, Sage has done a pretty good job getting a handle on things, and in this version it really shows.
    The Dashboards are pretty cool, but I think the stuff that is more important is the improved email integration with Outlook – in 2007 it was a first attempt, but sometimes it just wouldn’t work. With this version we have had not issues and the ability to have it automatically resolve to the contact is great. Another HUGE addition is that security is now applied to both company and group records.
    We love Act! and my experience is that the folks who are naysayers are typically those who try to handle things themselves and who have not the experience to do the job – in other words, it is not Act!’s fault, it is folks who are over their head and are too cheap to hire an appropriate resource to handle their installation and/or conversion.