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ACT! versus Outlook Business Contact Manager 2007

Tuned Listener
Posts: 28
Country: UK

ACT! versus Outlook Business Contact Manager 2007

We've been using ACT! since v6 (2 users) and Quickbooks for accounts, and am currently on ACT!v9 and QB 2004.  Outlook is used for email.

 

It's a mess really.  In the UK ACT! won't integrate with Quickbooks, and synchronising with Outlook requires additional software etc.  I'm thinking about swtiching to MS Outlook BCM 2007 and MS Accounting so everything is in one place and integrated.  We have to upgrade ACT! and QB anyway so now would be a good time.

 

I'm wondering if anyone else has done this and if there are any gotchas...I've only found one report on this site so far.

 

TIA

 

Andrew 

New Member
Posts: 1
Country: USA

Re: ACT! versus Outlook Business Contact Manager 2007

I'm using the same configuration as you are (ACT 9, QB 2004, Outlook for e-mail). I have been in the process of convering my ACT to Outlook and discontinuing ACT. I'm using act-to-outlook for the conversion and Paul Wagner (www.softwaremagician.com) as an outlook consultant. His site has some ACT vs. Outlook comparisons. With 2 users you might not need the BCM.

 

Conversion notes: I thought the calendar looked very similar in Outlook but I'm finding many features that Outlook doesn't seem to have, such as cleared meetings on the calendar.  I've been using ACT since version2 and I'm not sure I can make the switch. Have you used the calendar and notes in Outlook? You might want to test drive all the features in Outlook before you make the switch.

 

Also, if you use act-to-outlook.com for the conversion make sure you actully use the free trial to see wht does and doesn't convert. 

 

The grass usually does look greener on the other side ;-) 

 

 

Tuned Listener
Posts: 28
Country: UK

Re: ACT! versus Outlook Business Contact Manager 2007

Thanks for this very helpful reply.  Moving applications always has unforeseen problems which is why it is so helpful to hear from others who have had prior experience; the grass usually does appear greener.

 

We'll have to upgrade both ACT!, and QB2004 as well as purchase plug-ins to synchronise ACT with Outlook and ACT! with QB (we'll need to use the Do-It-Bill-It plug-in, and I think the costs will be similar to using Outlook BCM and MS Accounting along with SBS.  I think we ought to move to SBS anyway (currently use a peer-to-peer network with a fileserver).

 

I do customise ACT! with custom fields, but it is used mainly to track clients and sales opportunities. What we do need is closer integration with the accounts, and whilst ACT! 9's integration with Outlook was vastly improved I still find that emails are not always added to records.  I also want to synchronise my Smartphone (WM6) for calendar appointments so that will be another plug-in for ACT.

 

I think the thing to do now is test drive Outlook BCM/Accounting and see what it is like.  The problem is finding the time!

 

BW

 

Andrew 

Tuned Listener
Posts: 16
Country: Canada

Re: ACT! versus Outlook Business Contact Manager 2007

I had been using ACT! 6 for a while and decided to try out Outlook BCM  - thankfully I had the opportunity to try it out for free.  I found the program 'almost' ready for public use. 

 

It is missing some very key features, like writing a letter to a contact.  Yes, you can write a letter to a contact, but you have to open up Word and insert the contact?  Does not make sense.  Their marketing campaigns have a minimum of 300 recipients (at least that is what I was only able to figure out) - which, in my case - I have my contacts broken up into groups consisting of usually less than 100 - a useless feature for me b/c of that.  Another major failure is the inability to sync properly with a PPC - you have to install the BCM for mobile which is a completely separate contact list than your default on the PPC - so when someone calls you, you do not see who they are.  And, to call someone from your list, you have to launch BCM as opposed to simply pressing your contacts button. 

 

Finally, the most confusing part of BCM is it does not integrate Outlook contacts and BCM contacts - they are completely separate and you are unable to sync them without major hassles.  They have their reasons for this...lame reasons in my opinion.

 

In the end, I simply gave up and moved into ACT 10...  I don't use the accounting function so unable to help there.

 

In my opinion, BCM is just not ready for public use.

 

d

Tuned Listener
Posts: 28
Country: UK

Re: ACT! versus Outlook Business Contact Manager 2007

Thanks - this doesn't sound too good.  I haven't yet had time to test the trial version of BCM.  but these sound like major problems.

 

Andrew