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UPDATED: Opinions on Act Cloud (anyone migrated from self-hosted?)

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Copper Contributor
Posts: 35
Country: United_Kingdom

UPDATED: Opinions on Act Cloud (anyone migrated from self-hosted?)

[ Edited ]

Hello,


Our company has around 12 active users of Act and are considering moving to Act cloud as the users are spread over a few global offices, which appears to suit being cloud-based.

 

I remember reading when Act cloud was first avaialble, that the feature set between self-hosted and cloud was not the same. Is that still the case with the latest cloud version?

 

Has anyone here migrated from self-hosted to cloud?
What was the migrtation experience like?
Did it provide an improvement overall?
What features were not available in the cloud?

Are you using Act Cloud AND running the desktop app? How is performance? Is a local database sync required?

Are you using email integration (specifically on-prem Exchange) with Outlook 2016/2019? Is it reliable? 

Is anyone using Act Cloud with users logging in from other continents? I assume there will be a single database instance in a datacentre in the UK, so I'm wondering what performance will be like for our users in East Asia, USA, China, etc.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

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Nickel Contributor
Posts: 225
Country: USA

Re: looking for opinions on Act Cloud (anyone migrated from self-hosted?)

Sounds like you could use an Act Certified Consultant/reseller. You don't pay any extra for the software and they will give you good independent advice. You can call Act and ask these questions and they will steer you to one or go on their site and check some of them out. You will also probably get some advice from this forum as well.

Bob Kennedy
ACC
Kenbar Solutions CT,CA & FL
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Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 14,825
Country: Australia

Re: looking for opinions on Act Cloud (anyone migrated from self-hosted?)

There are a number of variables and options with this.
Some add-ons aren't supported by the Swiftpage hosting but can be with third-party hosting.
Power users running from a single PC might find remote sync to their local system be better for performance ... Especially if in a country with poor internet quality.

I'd definitely speak to a local ACC to discuss your needs and advise on the best options for you.
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Silver Contributor
Posts: 2,017
Country: United_Kingdom

Re: looking for opinions on Act Cloud (anyone migrated from self-hosted?)

Just a little more info -

 

In fact no add-ons are supported by switpage Hosting ACT for WEB as you are not given the option to install any software on Swiftpage's servers.

 

There is currently no option to manage the field security on Swifpage's hosting so if this is important to you Swiftpage hosting is not an option.

 

 

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Copper Contributor
Posts: 35
Country: United_Kingdom

Re: looking for opinions on Act Cloud (anyone migrated from self-hosted?)

@ch1p Thanks, can you elaborate please?

 

As far as I am aware we don't use field security in our database, but we do 'partition' our database between groups of users, so they only see the records they have access to. This is achieved by using Access Levels.

 

I'm also sure we don't use any add-ons.

 

I spoke to swiftpage sales about cloud and was told almost everything worked, but they were unable to provide a matrix or list of what only works in the desktop app. After a bit of digging, I discovered Smart Tasks are one example where you need to create/manage those from the desktop app, which sync's back.

 

One really important aspect for us is speed and accessibility from global locations. I tested server response times to https://my.act.com from global locations using various online URL speed testing services. UK, USA and Singapore all report excellent load speeds (typially <1sec), whereas Beijing is around 15 seconds, which is acceptable for a westen website from mainland China. I read swiftpage host their cloud offering on AWS, which perhaps explains why global access is mostly consistant from many locations. 

 

My concern with a 3rd party is whether they just host in their local datacentre, which might be great for local customers, but not great for global customers.

 

Can anyone suggest the top few 3rd-party Act Hosting companies?

Thanks advance.

 

 

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Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 14,825
Country: Australia

Re: looking for opinions on Act Cloud (anyone migrated from self-hosted?)

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Copper Contributor
Posts: 35
Country: United_Kingdom

Re: looking for opinions on Act Cloud (anyone migrated from self-hosted?)

Ok, so after further testing of the Act Cloud platform, it seem that Act Premium Contact Link is broken in the current version and no date of when it's going to be fixed. That's an official response from Act.

 

This means that anyone who is working from the Act! web interface cannot integrate with their email if they use Office365 via outlook.com. This means pretty much anyone running a Mac or Linux OS.

 

It does work if you use Outlook on a Windows PC - you just install the integration piece. 

 

It seems crazy that this feature did work, but is now broken. There doesn't seem to be any viable work-arounds for Mac users. For those users, if we moved to the cloud, they would lose the ability to attach inbound or outbound emails to Act contacts and create new Act contacts from received emails in outlook.com - these are fundamental features.

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Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 14,825
Country: Australia

Re: looking for opinions on Act Cloud (anyone migrated from self-hosted?)

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Bronze Super Contributor
Posts: 1,624
Country: USA

Re: looking for opinions on Act Cloud (anyone migrated from self-hosted?)

Hello Mikeyorke,

 

You are asking some good questions.

 

I just read through my post, and please forgive me for my ranting on so many levels, but I think it is important for you to understand hosting from my perspective.

 

Regarding a recommendation for a hosting company other than Swiftpage I would recommend you talk to the folks at Keystroke.ca

 

I was with them for a year then had a requirement to have the servers reside in the United States.  At the time, the sales rep said there were no servers in the US, but after we moved to Swiftpage I found out the rep was not aware of their US based servers.  Now the cost of change prevents us from returning.

 

What I liked about Keystroke was their support.  

 

What I don't like about an independent host for ACT - Keystroke or any host -  is that you have to pay the subscription pricing for the licenses and also pay a subscription for space on their servers.  I do understand that they have to make money; however, if they have earned the recommendation of ACT corporate, it would be nice if ACT would authorize a discount on the licensing to offset the seat cost on the hosting computer.  

 

What I don't like about ACT's support is that it is all overseas (from the US).  Frequently the language barrier gets in the way and it appears that the frontline support works more from a computer generated script than having solid knowledge - PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THIS IS BASED ON EXPERIENCE, AND I HAVE NO WAY TO VERIFY THIS.  From time to time I have had my issue submitted to level 2, but I only get an eMail in return.  Additionally, I've had to stop support from making changes on my system without my consent.  Just yesterday the support person started updating my system to 22.1.xx which has been reported on this forum to be unstable.  Then just a few minutes later he renamed a file.  I verbally said that he has a responsibility to advise me of any changes he is going to make - it's just plain courteous.

 

If money were no object, we would be back on the Keystroke system today.

 

The environment we use with ACT is a spoke and wheel.  The database is hosted on the ACT server and each user has their local copy of ACT and synchronize frequently during the day.  For the most part this works fine as performance is faster when the application and db are on the local system instead of being in the cloud dependent on Internet speed and interruptions.

 

BTW, we use a plethora of addon products, but they all reside on the local computer and do not require the server.

 

Well, probably more than you wanted to read, but I hope what I shared helps.

 

Oh, a final comment - if the publisher says "almost  everything worked" and could not provide a list of what doesn't says you may be talking to the wrong person in sales.  Maybe you need to dig out who is the product manager and get him on the phone.

John Purdy
ACT! Premium V. 22.1.212.0 Update 4
HP ENVY 17m, 16GB, & Office 365, 32bit, 500GB SSD.
ACT CRM Advisor
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Copper Contributor
Posts: 35
Country: United_Kingdom

Re: looking for opinions on Act Cloud (anyone migrated from self-hosted?)

Thanks John. That's really helpful.

 

I found Keystroke in my research and their website seemed to be accurate, up to date and well informed. One measure of a good company is how up to date their Blog is, and Keystroke's Blog was very insightful.

 

Day-to-day support from a 3rd party might be a problem for us if that 3rd party are based in North America. Our HQ is London, so waiting until late in the day to raise tickets likely means also waiting overnight for a response/resolution. 

 

Good to hear the local DB sync works well and that most of the add-ins also work locally.

 

Thanks for taking the time to submit the response.