01-23-2016 12:33 AM
I know this has been covered in other posts, but it is important and worth re-iterating. The fact that country codes cannot be exported with phone numbers into Outlook and other applications is a major issue that needs to be resolved. When discussing ACT with other people considering which CRM to purchase, this shortcoming is a major issue for them. Surely something can be done to deal with country codes better. I have tried various work around's to no avail. Probably the easiest way to deal with it would be enabling '+' to be entered into the phone fields so the full phone number can be captured. The current way ACT handles the country codes (automatically from country field in the address) is cumbersome and restrictive - we have many clients who have a second phone/SIM when they are travelling, and the way ACT deals with the country codes means that these phone numbers cannot be captured properly without creating a duplicate contact for that person.
We have thousands of phone numbers in our database that cannot be used effectively outside of ACT - Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
A fix would make many existing, and potential future ACT users very, very happy.
Once fixed, a (free) tool to merge the existing country codes into the phone fields would be greatly appreciated and restore my faith in Swiftpage's commitment to the on-going development of ACT.
01-23-2016 10:03 AM - edited 01-23-2016 10:09 AM
The country codes associated with a specific phone number are actually included in the phone record for that phone number. For example if you have a phone number and the country is "Ireland" but the contact lives in the "United Kingdom" you can push the button to the right of the phone number and specify that the country code for that number be "Ireland". In the database it actually stores 353 for the country code for the phone number instead of 44. I don't have the time to test and see what happens if I sync that contact with Outlook but I would suspect that the country code would go along with the new number. Can you test it and verify that it doesn't? If not I can get someone to look into it and see if we can get it fixed.
I could write you an exporter that would export the phone numbers in Act! along with their country codes so that you could import it into Outlook or some other application. If that would be useful let me know. Actually I just read that the export to Excel function includes the country codes so that would be the way to go. If you go into Tools | Preferences | General Tab there is a checkbox to display the country codes in the phone field in the Contact detail tab which might be useful to you as well.
01-23-2016 03:58 PM
If you use 123 Sync, it has an option to export the country code to Outlook. You can download an evaluation copy from the web site.
Since you are in Australia, there is a very good ACC in Melborne that has ample experience with 123 Sync, namely Josh Noonan and he can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a great day!
01-23-2016 08:38 PM
Stan, thank you for your reply. I did forget about the button to the right of the phone field.
We have played with Outlook synchronization, but to my knowledge ACT does not allow groups or look-ups to be synchronised with Outlook. Consequently, you only have two choices - sync the entire database, or nothing at all. Obviously, this presents privacy and IP issues, and will fill our Outlook with '000's of superfluous contacts taking up critical space on phones, slowing searches etc.
I appreciate your offer to write an exporter, but I can cover that. I have exported to Excel then imported to Outlook. However, this is a cumbersome work around, particularly to regularly add a handful of new contacts, or when needing a contact quickly while on the fly.
Of course we could use Handheld Contact or the like, but we already use a number of paid add-ons which significantly increase the cost of using ACT.
The most basic elements of a CRM are name, address, phone numbers, email. I understand that ACT has tried to take a clever approach to handling country codes. However, this has been at the expense of the core functionality expected of a modern CRM. This is a fundamental, structural flaw that I feel should be fixed by Swiftpage so users don't have to come up with workarounds or pay for add-ons just so they can extract complete phone numbers from their database.
01-23-2016 08:44 PM
Thanks. I am aware of 123 sync, which looks like a good product. However, I feel that I shouldn't have to pay for a 3-party add-on for something as basic as being able to transfer complete phone numbers directly from a CRM.