Act! in the Cloud - Act Today CRM Consultants Act! in the Cloud - Act Today CRM Consultants

Act! in the Cloud

Many business professionals today are still buzzing about the Cloud Computing phenomenon, but is this really the way of the future?  In my experience, I am finding that a large percentage of software solution providers are not qualifying their client needs and IT infrastructure to provide them with the best outcome. Many may argue that everyone should be in the cloud, but I often encounter many situations where a pure cloud solution does not give the optimum experience for users and management.

Factors to consider when deciding on a CRM solution
  • Your current IT infrastructure
  • Mobile devices used
  • Compatibility of hardware and software
  • Location of the majority of your users/potential users
  • Speed and reliability of internet connections (and the potential need to upgrade these)
  • Productivity implications of cloud software
  • Ongoing cost to connect versus upgrade costs
  • Speed of deployment

Most CRM packages available today are purely in the cloud, but some offer onsite or hybrid solutions. Act! is one such solution that offers onsite/hybrid solutions and this is often a great alternative to going completely into the cloud. To understand what the “Cloud” is, let’s analyse a cloud-based product we are familiar with…Dropbox. The data in your Dropbox account allows you to store your important files in folders and secure it with login credentials. Dropbox, in reality, is just a collection of folders and files stored on a physical server in another location. It is often setup to sync locally to a PC/MAC or to a central location on the office network. Essentially, this solution reduces the need to have a physical file server and associated backup systems for when there is hardware failure etc. Dropbox allows for access offline locally and via the cloud remotely – hence it’s a hybrid solution.

Act! solutions can be onsite, cloud or hybrid:
  1. Web based deployment through a browser
  2. Locally shared across a network
  3. Remote databases

 
Although Act! in the Cloud is a fantastic solution, we don’t recommend it for all clients. Depending on a clients particular needs, a remote database and local deployment are often a better solutions. Having a hybrid approach means we can have some users accessing Act! via a web browser only, some through a locally shared network and some via remote databases that synchronise data both ways (and some through a combination of 2 or 3 of these methods).

My main point is that you should always find someone you can trust and who has experience in all areas of software deployment to give you the right advice. Ask more questions about:

  • Performance and productivity of Web based access
  • Compatibility of the solution proposed
  • Implications of Internet connections that are slow or drop regularly
  • Whether there are options for backup access

In addition, if the price of cloud computing seems less (typically because you are charged smaller monthly amounts) it might be worth doing the sums to see what it could be costing you in the long-term in dollars and productivity.

At Act Today, we have decades of combined experience in the area of Act! consulting, so give us a call to discuss how the cloud or a hybrid approach could benefit your business.

Which CRM is right for my business? Contact us

SPEAK TO AN ACT! SPECIALIST in Australia 1300 362 046

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