Having been around for 26 years and a top seller in the field of C.R.M. ( Customer Relationship Management) software, ACT! version 16 brings with it new features and a new owner, Swiftpage (http://www.swiftpage.com). For long time users, the transition to this rendition should be smooth. For new users, this is a package that makes accessing rich features simple. Except for a few quirks, ACT! still remains the go to program for those seeking an elegant solution to contact management.
ACT! has established itself as the premium software for small to medium size companies as a smooth solution to keeping track of contacts, clients, prospects and the like via an interface that is contact centric. The interface opens with a welcome screen that introduces help topics, access to videos and other helpful links to aid in using the program, all welcome additions for new comers. Past that screen and one is introduced to a contact tab with full access to all the data associated with that contact.
With a focus on business users, ACT! packs enough easy to access features that individuals in need of more than simply keeping a list of contacts will find the program particularly useful. While Google Contacts and Microsoft Outlook provide great ways to keep a list of individuals and basic data, when it comes to chronicling a history with people, linking data, keeping web information in one place and performing more complex tasks, a C.R.M. becomes the ideal solution to the problem of keeping track of individuals and businesses.
Although not specifically designed for the home user, ACT! makes it relatively easy to use mainly because it provides a sleek interface and a rich detailed help system along with a web site that details some of the more commonly used features, and lesser known ones.
If you happen to be a windows 8 user, the program runs smoothly under the new O.S. including the newer Windows 8.1.
Speaking of features, one of the salient ones of this new version of the application has to be the new History Lists. Similar in function to the Task List, one can see and filter all histories in one data base. The possibilities offered by this function means you have a full list of actions as well as the ability to delete certain histories. The implementation of the feature has been well done.
The only real “problem areas” of the program stem from the help system and integration with Outlook.
After being installed on two systems, the help system within the program literally drew a blank. Instead of a browser filled with links and information, the screen came up blank. The work around was to locate the files and access them directly from within windows, not exactly a great work around.
Boasting integration with the web, Act also integrates with Outlook. The real short coming here is that it fails to integrate with the 84bit edition of Outlook. With the migration to 64 bit applications well under way at this point, it is surprising that ACT! cannot do this.
Aside from these two issues, ACT! version 16 still provides enough power and ease of use to be a vital tool for business professionals and home users who need access to contacts and a more comprehensive ways to manage and track them.
System Requirements • 2 GB available hard disk space (4 GB if product is downloaded)
• DVD drive
• SVGA (1024x768) or higher resolution monitor
• Internet connection
• 1 GB system memory
• 1.8 GHz processor
Works With • Microsoft® Office 2003, 2007, 2010, and 2013 (32-bit version only) (Latest Service Packs Recommended)
• Lotus Notes® 8.0 and 8.5
• Internet Mail SMTP/POP3
• Microsoft Internet Explorer® 7.0, 8.01, 9.01, 10.01
• Adobe® Reader® 6.0, 7.0 and 10.x
Citrix® software using Citrix XenApp® 5.0 and 6.0
Supported Operating Systems • Windows® XP SP32 (32-bit only)
• Windows Server® 2003 SP2 (32-bit and 64-bit)
• Windows Vista®3 SP2 (32-bit and 64-bit)
• Windows Server 20084 SP2 (32-bit and 64-bit)
• Windows Server 20084 R2 (64-bit)
• Windows Server 2011 SBS (64-bit)
• Windows Server 2012 (64-bit)
• Windows 7 SP1 (32-bit and 64-bit)
• Windows 8 (32-bit and 64-bit)
• Windows 8 Pro (32-bit and 64-bit)
• Windows 8 Enterprise (32-bit and 64-bit)