Written by   |   Jul 3 2018   |   Read 508 times

Act! 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.

How it all began

The company Conductor Software was founded 1986 in Dallas, Texas by Pat Sullivan and Mike Muhney. 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 then changed to Contact Software International. In 1993, Contact Software International was sold to Symantec Corporation, who then sold it to SalesLogix (later renamed to Interact Commerce) in 1999.

The Sage Group, plc purchased Interact Commerce in 2001, through Best Software, then its North American software division. In 2004, the name was revised to ACT! by Sage and later changed to Sage ACT!. In 2012, Sage handed over the Australia/New Zealand distribution to Melbourne based company, ACT CRM Pty Ltd for a period of 2 years. This was in preparation for the changeover of ownership to Swiftpage in 2013. ACT CRM was directed and managed by Act Today CEO Michael Bryant to ensure a seamless transition from Sage to Swiftpage. Swiftpage had been a partner of Sage for over 10 years and it was their love of Act! that lead them to invest and further develop the product line. They re-branded the product back to Act! and have since introduced many improvements and new features. Act! has a user base of over 2.8 million registered users with the Act! version 20 being the current release.

Over 30 years later

As of 2018, there are four editions of Act!:

Pro: Limited to 10 active users and utilises Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Express. 

Premium: Premium offers Windows, Cloud or a combination. It is designed for small to medium-sized businesses. Premium can handle much larger user numbers and can use more scalable editions of SQL. Premium has all the features of Pro plus additional team and admin functionality.

Act! Premium Plus: All the features of Act! Premium with the additional functions of Custom Tables and Industry Templates.

Act! 365: A very basic cloud version of Act! designed for single users. It does not have all the features of Pro or Premium and your data is stored off-shore. This product is not available in Australia or New Zealand.

Act! Features and Deployment

Act! features include contact, company and opportunity management, a calendar, communication tools and the ability to track prospective customers.

Reports and interactive dashboards offer graphical representations of key activity that allows users to spot new business opportunities, and can generate a wide variety of statistical reports.

Act!’s in-built emarketing feature enables users to create, send and track email campaigns directly from within Act!. This feature empowers small businesses to manage their own e-marketing in-house and resulting in better communication with their customers and savings in marketing budget.

One of Act! most powerful benefits is it’s multiple deployment options. User can access data from one; or a combination of the following methods:

  • Windows desktops (Windows 7 and later) with local or network shared database
  • Synchronised to laptops or remote offices (using Citrix or Remote Desktop)
  • Via Web browsers with self-hosted or vendor-hosted (Act! Cloud)
  • Smartphones and Tablets

Act! integrates with Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, Google Contacts, Gmail, and other loads of other popular applications via Zapier. For custom integrations, Act! has a in-built API.

With hundreds of third-party AddOns, Act! can provide additional functionality required by a specific business.  

Act! has been a long standing popular choice for small businesses due to is ease of use and ability to customise and implement in a short period of time. Find out more about the Act! Product Suite

SEE WHAT'S NEW IN ACT! 

Act! Reviews

Act! was also ranked in the Top 20 Most Popular CRM and Top 20 Most Affordable CRM solution by Capterra in 2017 and 2018.

Michael Bryant

Michael Bryant is the Founder and CEO of Act Today. Michael’s vision for starting Act Today was born from his realisation of the importance of businesses to have a deep and strong relationship with their customers. 

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