Act! CRM

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Act!
Act! Logo 2014.png
Developer(s) Swiftpage
Initial release April 1, 1987; 27 years ago (1987-04-01)
Stable release Act! 16.0 - October 2013
Operating system Microsoft Windows
Platform

Microsoft SQL Server

.NET Framework
Available in English, French, German
Type

CRM software

Contact management software
License Proprietary
Website http://www.act.com

Act! (previously known as Sage ACT! 2010-2013) is a customer relationship management (CRM) software application which is used to keep track of client and prospect details in a single database that can be shared by multiple users. It integrates with Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, Google Contacts, Gmail and other popular applications in order to generate and track communications with the contacts maintained in ACT!. It is developed by Swiftpage and has a user base of over 2.8 million registered users.[1]

According to 2013 CRM Switch survey,[2] Act! is currently the 5th most popular CRM software application amongst US Businesses, and 4th most popular amongst companies with less than 100 employees. It was also ranked as the 2nd most popular CRM solution in Capterra's 2013 Top CRM Software Infographic.[3]

Act! is currently available in English (US, UK and Australia), French, and German, and is sold through international resellers and ACT! Certified Consultants.[4]

Software[edit]

There are currently two editions of Act! -

  • Act! Pro is limited to 10 active users and utilizes Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Express.
  • Act! Premium (access via Windows or Web browser) is designed for small to medium-sized businesses, can handle much larger user numbers and can use more scalable editions of SQL.

Features include contact, company and opportunity management, a calendar, communication tools, the ability to track prospective customers, "dashboards", reports, and the ability to synchronize data from other applications or other Act! users over the web. The software allows multiple users to access the same data simultaneously and can interface with popular word processing, spreadsheet, and email software. It features a variety of "dashboards" which are graphical representations of key activity that allows users to spot new business opportunities, and can generate a wide variety of statistical reports.

Act! has hundreds of active certified consultants globally.[4] A number of third party companies develop add-on products using Act!'s Software development kit that expands the functionality of the software.[5]

Act! can be accessed from Windows desktops (XP and later) with local or network shared database; synchronized to laptops or remote officers; Citrix or Remote Desktop; Web browsers (Premium only) with self or SaaS hosting; Smartphones and Tablets via HTML5 Web (Premium only); Smartphones and Tablets via sync with Handheld Contact[6][7]

History[edit]

The company Conductor Software was founded 1986 in Dallas, Texas by Pat Sullivan[8] and Mike Muhney.[9] Its product, ACT!, was released in 1987. The original name for the software was "Activity Control Technology" then "Automated Contact Tracking" before finally just using the acronym.

The name of the company was changed to Contact Software International, and the company moved out of its original office in the "mustang building" in Las Colinas to a building off Freeport Parkway near DFW Airport. Beginning with the 2006 version, the name was revised to ACT! by Sage and later changed to Sage ACT!. In 2013, Swiftpage took ownership and re-branded it as Act! The current release is Act! 16. Development now happens in Scottsdale, Arizona, with regional offices in several countries.

Timeline[edit]

1986
  • Mike Muhney and Pat Sullivan founded Conductor Software in Carrollton, Texas and developed QuotePro in Lotus Symphony.
  • Randy Haben and John Maurer were brought onboard mid-year to begin development of a project codenamed YES!. Prototypes were developed using an early release of Paradox along with dBASE and Clipper.
1987
  • ACT! for DOS 1.0 (1 April) - previously codenamed "YES!" – a recursive acronym for "Yes, Everybody Sells!".

ACT! was also originally an acronym - first for "Activity Control Technology" and later "Automated Contact Tracking", before becoming just "ACT!"

1988
  • Conductor Software renamed to Contact Software International
1989
  • ACT! was rewritten from the ground up (for release in 1990). It was among the first wave of PC-based applications to be developed in C++.
1990
  • ACT! for DOS 2.0 (August) - first version with network support
1992
  • ACT! for Windows 2.0 - Added network support for the Windows product
  • ACT! for HP 95LX - the first mobile version for PDAs
  • ACT!PAK! - first commercial add-on for ACT! developed by Oakhurst Systems
  • 1st ACT! - cut down version for OEMs and single users.
1993
  • Symantec purchased Contact Software International
  • First on-line support forums for Consultants and users on CompuServe
  • ACT! for Apple Macintosh - compatible database with 2.0 for Windows
1995
1996
  • ACT! for Lotus Notes[11] - later sold to original developers, ErgoTech
  • (November) - ACT! 3.0 for Windows 95 and NT[12] - First Windows 95 product with added back-wards compatibility to run on Windows 3.1
1997
1998
  • ACT! 4.0 - Added support for Windows 98 and Office 97
  • ACT! for Psion by Advansys
  • First Web browser support added from WiredContact
1999
2000
  • ACT! 2000 (5.0) - Full Windows XP support added
2001
  • Interact Commerce Purchased by Sage Group Plc (Best Software in North America at that time)
2002
  • QuickBooks Link for ACT! - the first accounting link FOR ACT!. Developed by Terry McKiernan of PinPointTools
  • Handheld Contact adds support for ACT! on BlackBerry - first wireless PDA sync (later adds Windows Mobile 5/6, iPhone, iPad, Android)[6]
  • ACT! 6.0 (later ACT! 2004) – Office 2003 support added after 6.0.3
  • ACT! for Palm OS[17]
2003
  • ACT! for Web 1.0 for ACT! 6.0 - originally by dbDynamics
2004
  • ACT! by Sage 2005 (7.0) - Complete re-write with .Net 1.x and MS SQL 2000. Product split into Standard (up to 10 users), Premium Ex (SQL Express) and Premium ST (SQL Standard)
2005
  • ACT! by Sage 2006 (8.0)
2006
  • ACT! by Sage 2007 (9.0) - Changed to .Net 2.0 and MS SQL 2005
2007
  • ACT! by Sage 2008 (10.0) - Vista and Office 2007 support. 10.02 added ability to add custom sub-tables via the SDK.
2008
  • Launch of Community.act.com site (January) – Much improved communication between senior management and users[18]

New Dashboard. Significantly improved Outlook integration and major improvements in stability, reliability, ease of install and speed. Added Vista x64 support and Safari for Mac users. Also free plug-in to provide links to Social Media such as LinkedIN[19]

  • Sage repositions ACT! - moves from CRM group to Value group[20]
2009
  • ACT! by Sage 2009 (11.1) – Added Relationship Tab.[21]
  • ACT! by Sage 2010 (12.0) - More links to social media sites and accounting products as well as ability to share with other Sage solutions.[22][23]
2010
  • Sage ACT! 2011 (13.0) - Changed to .Net 3.5.x SP 1 and MS SQL 2008 R2. Product split into Pro & Premium.
2011
  • Sage ACT! 2012 (14.0) - Integrated with Google, plus included faster, more expansive search and a virtual notepad called Sage ACT! Scratchpad.
2012
  • Sage ACT! 2013 (15.0) - Changed to .Net 4.0. HTML5 access for mobile devices. Integration of social media sites Facebook, LinkedIn. Improved smart tasks with better triggers and offline capability.[24]
2013
  • Sage announces sale of ACT! to Swiftpage (Feb 15)
  • Sage ACT! 2013 (15.1) - Added basic support for Office 2013 and Office 365
  • Act! 16.0 - Re-branding. Office 2013 and Office 365 (desktop install) support. Many user-requested enhancements. Improved web admin and mobile web

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]