I have been an ACT user since 1995, but have not used it in a few years. One of the greatest features was to be able to use your modem as a dialer. You clicked on a large Icon on the menu that dialed your phone. The timer started, you would pick up your phone and disconnect the modem. Optionally if you had a modem and software that you could talk through, you talked through the modem. At the same time, you wrote your notes as you talked. I’m not sure when they changed it but now, if you hang up, it shuts the timer off. Also, if you close the dialer screen mistakenly, ACT does not release the modem and it locks up your phone. You need to either reset your modem, or restart ACT. I just got off the phone with Sage Tech support and they said that indeed, the functionality has been reduced. Some software can use VOIP or SKYP for phone calls.
Along the same lines, a user commented on the LARGE Menu icon buttons. Problem is they can't be changed. At least add a "My Record" and "Lookup". I do like the global search, but the results are in a different and limited format so you can't view columns, or right click and work with them.
I'm also very distressed that there is no "Company Phone number". Doesn't everyone have a company and a direct phone number? Even if you add the Company Phone Number field, it can't synchronize with Outlook. Someone suggested that a "Company" be created (Optionally) during input and synchronization. That is a great idea!
It just bothers me that ACT (Symantec, SalesLogix, and Sage) has been collecting fees for decades, and although somewhat different, ACT has not gained any major function increase other than synchronizing fairly well with Outlook. When Goldmine started putting a dent in ACT Sales, and ACT added "Companies", very little has been done to make "Companies" easer to work with, easier to create, or add contacts. Companies are pretty clunky in fact. How about adding departments under Companies that don't act like companies themselves (like sub divisions of a company)
I'm going to keep using ACT for 2012, and hopefully 2013 will iron out some of the kinks.