I posted this in a thread elsewhere, but feel very strongly and wanted to post my thoughts here too.
First off, TBanghart hit the nail on the head. Outlook is simply a contact manager, period. Even Microsoft has acknowledged that by adding "Business Contact Manager" (BSM) as an option and most interface programs link to basic Outlook and not BSM, the contact sets between Outlook and BSM even exist as seperate entities. The problem that I have is that as a simple contact manager, I have no link between contact information (including history) and calendar events that automatically get added to contact info. Contact managers, and hence Outlook, keep contact information and activities in the calendars as completely seperate issues.
ACT used to have an HP palmtop application that put ACT on a portable device that linked seamlessly with ACT on the desktop. Even though I'm still a marginal user of ACT (marginal because of this lack of integration), I'm still waiting for them to catch up on this capability that was available 10 years ago. This application allowed me to transfer all of the contact, history, and user fields to the portable device and search and sort as I required. I make cold calls into a specific vertical market and have seperated my customers/prospects into geographic regions. I used to be able to pull up a list of companies based on user fields of only those customers in a specific geographic region and add notes from the call on the fly that sync back into the the contact information on the desktop. I could also set an appointment on the portable device that was an integral part of the contact informaiton and history and have that sync'd back into the desktop. The calander item and the contact information have an inherent and dependent link. This is HUGELY important in a CRM system. Again, Outlook is simply a contact manager as correctly potinted out by TBanghart as calendar and contact information have no relationship to each other.
For all of us "Road Warriors" out there, we need a single and seperate application for the iPhone and PalmPre that gives us ACT on a SmartPhone device as an application and not just an interface to the existing contact manager. An Outlook interface is a cop-out and the lazy way of creating a truly useful extension of ACT. I will be a marginal user of ACT until this is fixed. It's a big and glaring problem. You cannot use the Contact List on the iPhone, this simply perpetuates Outlooks weaknesses. NOT a solution.
Thanks for letting me vent. I hope your program becomes useful to those of us who spend more time on the road vs. in the office and who won't run a laptop on their passenger seats.