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VERY disapointed with ACT 2008-2009

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Copper Elite Contributor
Posts: 148
Country: United States
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VERY disapointed with ACT 2008-2009

I have been an ACT user for MANY years, I still cant believe that Sage has not perfected this program. Since upgrading from ACT 6.0, I have had nothing short of disapointed by the lack of features:

 

1. Secondary contacts have no personal information (birthdays)

2. VERY slow loading of this program (must be a memory hog)

3. So much focus on Outlook (maybe I should just be using Outlooks Business Contact Manager Program)

4. Can't send/recieve emails from the ACT program unless I open Outlook

5. No integrated fax program (yes, I have already used MyFax)

6. ACT customer service (Outsourced to another country)

7. Calendar as no holidays (just a personal thing)

8. No additonal layouts (other versions had them)

9. User fields (why only 10?, there is room for more)

10. No dramatic improvements since ACT 6.0 (Seriously, for the average user, there are none. I dont need "colored note fonts")

 

I feel that I can just go on & on. This new version has hurt my productivity and has not improved my CRM. UUUGGHHHHHH !!!!

 

 


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Accepted by topic author briannydish
‎09-25-2015 03:20 AM
Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 14,384
Country: Australia

Re: VERY disappointed with ACT 2008-2009


Chip wrote:

 

Moderator - as we now have a happy Brian could we consider this a resolved issue?


It's up to the original poster to mark a thread as resolved

View solution in original post


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Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 14,384
Country: Australia

Re: VERY disapointed with ACT 2008-2009


BrianNydish wrote:

I have been an ACT user for MANY years, I still cant believe that Sage has not perfected this program. Since upgrading from ACT 6.0, I have had nothing short of disapointed by the lack of features:

 

1. Secondary contacts have no personal information (birthdays)

That wouldn't be bad. You might post a request for this feature to be considered for a future version here - http://www.act.com/community/feature. Input from this web page goes directly into a database that management has direct access to read, and which they also track and gather statistics on.

2. VERY slow loading of this program (must be a memory hog)

That will depend on the hardware you're using... especially hard drive speed. I found 2008 wasn't much slower than ACT! 6.0 and 2009 is very close in loading... and faster in most operations when using it.

3. So much focus on Outlook (maybe I should just be using Outlooks Business Contact Manager Program)

BCM is a very poor tool for real use. Email is a verey important communication method and most of the market place use Outlook, so it makes to have this focus

4. Can't send/recieve emails from the ACT program unless I open Outlook

when connected to Outlook, ACT! can only put the email in Outlook and it's Outlook that send it. With ACT! 2008 and 2009, you can stop using the ACT! Email client and just use Outlook. Much better, especially with the new features in ACT! 2009

5. No integrated fax program (yes, I have already used MyFax)

Not enough demand... evan Symantec, who own WinFAX tried to sell it, but couldn't. They stopped developing it ages ok and the last patch was just to make it run under XP. With FaxAdmin you can use the MS fax product. I personally use MergeMaster!

6. ACT customer service (Outsourced to another country)

It's how most of the big companies are doing it now.

7. Calendar as no holidays (just a personal thing)

Not so easy with a product sold globally... a big task to keep up-to-date. An ACC, Ron Madera of http://www.thecrmconnection.com/ did do a cheap holiday add-on for ACT! quite a few years ago ... you could give them a call and see if it's still available.

8. No additonal layouts (other versions had them)

Layouts depend on the fields you want and are more tied to the database than they used to be

9. User fields (why only 10?, there is room for more)

You can add as many as you want.

10. No dramatic improvements since ACT 6.0 (Seriously, for the average user, there are none. I dont need "colored note fonts")

http://www.act.com/docs/upgrade/ACT!_2009_Features_Chart_Upgrade.pdf

 


 

New Member
Posts: 13
Country: United States

Re: VERY disapointed with ACT 2008-2009

I am surprised that this post has been allowed to exist in this forum.  Sage is very good at censoring the members here.

 

My issue is the cost.  $169 to upgrade and then $69 per year to keep it up todate.   What makes this so bad is that most of the update is bug fixes.  If Act! gave the bug fixes out for free then the users might not have a problem paying for the new features.  The 2008 version was just Vista compatability and Outlook integration.

 

I purchased 5 copies of Act! for my company in 2004 and have purchased upgrades 3 times since then.  I refuse to do this again.  We are going to Outlook Business Contact Manager.

 

Sage must have special agreements with large companies since I know small business cannot afford to do business with them. 

Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 14,384
Country: Australia

Re: VERY disapointed with ACT 2008-2009


unhappyactuser wrote:

I am surprised that this post has been allowed to exist in this forum.  Sage is very good at censoring the members here.

 

My issue is the cost.  $169 to upgrade and then $69 per year to keep it up todate.   What makes this so bad is that most of the update is bug fixes.  If Act! gave the bug fixes out for free then the users might not have a problem paying for the new features.  The 2008 version was just Vista compatability and Outlook integration.

Sure Vista and Office 2007... but also: Much better Outlook integration (improved again in 2009); Queries and dupe checking for companies and groups; list edit mode; Dashboard; Company and Group security; workarounds to fix Microsoft's .Net resource leak.

That's just what I can think of off the top of my head

I purchased 5 copies of Act! for my company in 2004 and have purchased upgrades 3 times since then.  I refuse to do this again.  We are going to Outlook Business Contact Manager.

If the reduced functionality covers your needs, ok. But you might have a look at some of their support forums before making that choice and regretting it as a few users have.

You know you don't have to upgrade with every version... many users upgrade every 2 years.

Sage must have special agreements with large companies since I know small business cannot afford to do business with them. 

I'd be willing to bet the vast majority of sales are small businesses.


 

New Member
Posts: 13
Country: United States

Re: VERY disapointed with ACT 2008-2009

Mike, I respect you opinion very much and as a self proclaimed "ACT! Evangelist" I would not expect anything less from you.

 

The comments you made are interesting.

 

You mention Vista and Office 2007. The last I looked, Microsoft is still providing free patches for both XP and Office 2003, for free.

 

Sure I did not have to upgrade to Vista and Office 2007 but since I did, I had to pay Sage for a compatible version of Act!.

 

Why do I have to pay for better Outlook integration? Why do I have to pay for dupe checking? Is Company and Group security necessary for a small company sales team? I had no problems due to a .Net resource leak.

 

I have used the forums many times over the years. At times I have had to stop using Act! because of problems that would not be solved until the next release.

 

I know for sure that small business is the backbone of Act! sales. I helped two companies set up Act! as their customer management tool. Both companies abandoned Act! due to various problems and of course my reputation was damaged.

 

The only reason I have been able to use Act! myself is because of my computer knowledge and software experience. Most user are not as patient and understanding.

Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 14,384
Country: Australia

Re: VERY disappointed with ACT 2008-2009


unhappyactuser wrote:

Mike, I respect you opinion very much and as a self proclaimed "ACT! Evangelist" I would not expect anything less from you.

 I like the product, but not always the vendor.

You mention Vista and Office 2007. The last I looked, Microsoft is still providing free patches for both XP and Office 2003, for free.

Mainly only security or compatibility related. But they have to...  businesses can take 5+ years to upgrade their OS and Office and a security flaw would kill them. But they didn't upgrade the previous version of SQL that ACT! 7/8 used to run on Vista

Sure I did not have to upgrade to Vista and Office 2007 but since I did, I had to pay Sage for a compatible version of Act!.

Would be the same if you used any other MS SQL product... this was one of a number of MS's own products that required paid upgrades for Vista

Why do I have to pay for better Outlook integration? Why do I have to pay for dupe checking? Is Company and Group security necessary for a small company sales team? I had no problems due to a .Net resource leak.

 You didn't "have" to. You paid because you upgraded to the first OS released by Microsoft that wasn't intended to be fully backwards compatible... Previous OS had the intention of running everything the previous OS did (it didn't always work). Vista didn't have that intention. That's why they had to keep postponing their decision to stop sales of XP... the big corporates aren't going to Vista for a long time and the consumers found their software and hardware didn't work and demanded they be able to go back to XP

I have used the forums many times over the years. At times I have had to stop using Act! because of problems that would not be solved until the next release.

 You can say that about every product. Windows NT had over 10,000 known bugs which Microsoft said would be fixed in the next version of the OS. Windows 2000 had 65,000+ (28,000 of them deemed to be serious) - 21,000 of the fixes were postponed and 28,000 were unfinished. See http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/0,1000000121,2076967,00.htm

 

Many of the issues in ACT! 7/8 were actually bugs in Microsoft's .Net 1.1 and SQL 2000 ... which, while not fully fixed, was a big jump forward with their .Net 2.0 and SQL 2005 which is what ACT! 9/10/11 use.... and Sage has still found bugs that MS weren't aware of in the new .Net's global assembly cache

I know for sure that small business is the backbone of Act! sales. I helped two companies set up Act! as their customer management tool. Both companies abandoned Act! due to various problems and of course my reputation was damaged.

 Next time, think about getting an ACT! Certified Consultant involved. They usually know the ways to avoid the issues (note: I am not one, I don't even sell ACT!)

The only reason I have been able to use Act! myself is because of my computer knowledge and software experience. Most user are not as patient and understanding.

You also need to consider, that of the millions of ACT! users it's really a small percentage who have significant issues (with the exception of versions 3.0 and 7.0)


 

New Member
Posts: 13
Country: United States

Re: VERY disappointed with ACT 2008-2009

Mike,

 

I like the product also.  Maybe more the concept than the actual implementation.

 

When you compare Act! to an OS I have to say you are comparing apples to oranges.  

 

I am a Microsoft Partner and software developer.  Our product is hundreds of times more complicated than Act!.  It is an application that collects real time production data from manufacturing machinery.  It plans production, monitors employees and handles all aspects of manufacturing.  It was first introduced n 1979 so you can imagine the changes we have gone though to keep it compatible with our customers PC OSs and hardware.  Yet we have done it with no more than three programers and have kept our worldwide installation base current.  Our product is also available in 22 languages and can switch languages with a selection from a pull down menu.

 

There was no excuse for Act! not being compatible with Vista when it was released.  Developers had 1.5 years advance notice of the Vista release and we had all the tools needed to build compatible versions.

 

If SQL Server was such an issue then Sage should have switched another SQL compliant database. 

 

I upgraded many products for Vista compatibility.  I had to pay for very few and the ones that I did pay for were true upgrades not just fixing compatibility issues.

 

I have talked to dozens of Act! users and the reason that so few experience problems is that they use only the basic functionality of Act!. If I only used Act! and no other software products then you are right I would have few problems or no problems.  

 

This discussion will have no end. I am not an Act! developer but I have been using Act! for over 10 years and have attempted to use Act! many different ways that where some were successful and some were not.  Most times I end up using other products that can do what Act! attempts to do but much better.

 

So let's agree to dissagree. 

Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 14,384
Country: Australia

Re: VERY disappointed with ACT 2008-2009


unhappyactuser wrote:

Mike,

 

I like the product also.  Maybe more the concept than the actual implementation.

 

When you compare Act! to an OS I have to say you are comparing apples to oranges.  

 Actually, you made that comparison first when you said that MS provide OS patches for some years after they stop selling a version... and even with that, they are still full of known bugs when they stop development.

I am a Microsoft Partner and software developer.  Our product is hundreds of times more complicated than Act!.  It is an application that collects real time production data from manufacturing machinery.  It plans production, monitors employees and handles all aspects of manufacturing.  It was first introduced n 1979 so you can imagine the changes we have gone though to keep it compatible with our customers PC OSs and hardware.  Yet we have done it with no more than three programers and have kept our worldwide installation base current.  Our product is also available in 22 languages and can switch languages with a selection from a pull down menu.

 At one time (I think v4.0) ACT! had more lines of code than nearly any other commercial product. Trying to satisfy the millions of users, all with different demands and needs

There was no excuse for Act! not being compatible with Vista when it was released.  Developers had 1.5 years advance notice of the Vista release and we had all the tools needed to build compatible versions.

 ACT! 7/8 which were available at the time used Microsoft SQL 2000... which Microsoft didn't update for Vista. Sage did provide a hotfix for ACT! 9 to get it on Vista

If SQL Server was such an issue then Sage should have switched another SQL compliant database. 

 Product development is a 2-3 year process. There was a White Paper posted in these forums on the 2010 version a while ago. Much of the code is written into the database, so a change of the engine wasn't going to happen once people realised that MS wasn't advocating backwards compatability. By the same token, it's really a user who should do some due dilligance when purchasing something that all their other items depend on (like an OS) to ensure the other products will be ok.

I upgraded many products for Vista compatibility.  I had to pay for very few and the ones that I did pay for were true upgrades not just fixing compatibility issues.

 

I have talked to dozens of Act! users and the reason that so few experience problems is that they use only the basic functionality of Act!. If I only used Act! and no other software products then you are right I would have few problems or no problems.  

 

This discussion will have no end. I am not an Act! developer but I have been using Act! for over 10 years and have attempted to use Act! many different ways that where some were successful and some were not.  Most times I end up using other products that can do what Act! attempts to do but much better.

 There never will be a product that does everything to everyone's satisfaction

So let's agree to dissagree. 


 

Copper Elite Contributor
Posts: 148
Country: United States

Re: VERY disapointed with ACT 2008-2009

[ Edited ]

GL,

   I'm not pointing fingers at you, please konw this.

 

1. Secondary contacts have no personal information (birthdays)

That wouldn't be bad. You might post a request for this feature to be considered for a future version here - http://www.act.com/community/feature. Input from this web page goes directly into a database that management has direct access to read, and which they also track and gather statistics on.

 

Well,..what version, how many years has ACT been available? It doesnt take a person like me to figure this out.

 

2. VERY slow loading of this program (must be a memory hog)

That will depend on the hardware you're using... especially hard drive speed. I found 2008 wasn't much slower than ACT! 6.0 and 2009 is very close in loading... and faster in most operations when using it.

 

Was told while purchasing ACT 2008-2009 that it will be NOTICABLY faster. It's not. SQL has slowed it down.

 

3. So much focus on Outlook (maybe I should just be using Outlooks Business Contact Manager Program)

BCM is a very poor tool for real use. Email is a verey important communication method and most of the market place use Outlook, so it makes to have this focus

 

Cant agree or disagree since I have never used this program although it sounds good.

 

4. Can't send/recieve emails from the ACT program unless I open Outlook

when connected to Outlook, ACT! can only put the email in Outlook and it's Outlook that send it. With ACT! 2008 and 2009, you can stop using the ACT! Email client and just use Outlook. Much better, especially with the new features in ACT! 2009

5. No integrated fax program (yes, I have already used MyFax)

 

Who doesnt send emails?

 

6. ACT customer service (Outsourced to another country)

It's how most of the big companies are doing it now.

 

Are you serious? Does this mean its right? I could nto understand Raj very well getting help! How is this right?

 

7. Calendar as no holidays (just a personal thing)

Not so easy with a product sold globally... a big task to keep up-to-date. An ACC, Ron Madera of http://www.thecrmconnection.com/ did do a cheap holiday add-on for ACT! quite a few years ago ... you could give them a call and see if it's still available.

 

Again,..I dont need to know when the Russian or Canadian flag days are, but I DO need to know when hollidays exist in the US. I have selected the US lang whe I pruchased this product!!!

 

8. No additonal layouts (other versions had them)

Layouts depend on the fields you want and are more tied to the database than they used to be


OK, I do understand your point.

 

9. User fields (why only 10?, there is room for more)

You can add as many as you want.

 

I'm the average user,...not a developer

 

10. No dramatic improvements since ACT 6.0 (Seriously, for the average user, there are none. I dont need "colored note fonts":smileywink:

http://www.act.com/docs/upgrade/ACT!_2009_Features_Chart_Upgrade.pdf

 

Content edited. Fixed broken link

 

Bottom Line: VERY disappointed in ACT 2008-2009.

 

 

 

Message Edited by ghollister on 08-25-2008 02:36 PM
Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 14,384
Country: Australia

Re: VERY disapointed with ACT 2008-2009

1. The main reason is the Secondary Contacts are supposed to be those contacts that you don't actually directly contact but need to know their names incase the main contact is unavailable.

2. Compared to 6.0, if you have older hardware, it can take longer to load... but, especially with bigger databases, it doesn't slow down like 6.0 did.

6. You should look for David van Toor's blog in this Community and let him know. But yes, the big companies find it makes financial sense to outsource off-shore.

7. If they do it for one country, they'd ned to do it in most... a big task.

9. Try this ACT! Knowledge Base article - http://tinyurl.com/3j9zo5

10. Sorry the hyperlinkdidn't work - http://www.act.com/docs/upgrade/ACT!_2009_Features_Chart_Upgrade.pdf