It is critical that ACT!2010 users who upgrade to Outlook 2010 (final) maintain integration with ACT, as well as avoiding any other major Office 2010 incompatibility. When I upgraded to Office 2010 last week, I found that the integration was lost. Tech Support gave me a workaround, but this should be more fully documented and formally supported. I was shocked to be told by customer service that ACT did not support Office 2010, as if it were a minor or unexpected product introduction. I think Sage will end up losing business by appearing to be clueless and inept in preparing for a game-changing Office 2010 product introduction by Microsoft. I think it is totally unacceptable to wait until ACT!2011 to provide reasonable compatibility.
I have been an ACT user in my IT consulting business since before 1994, and have lived with the slow evolution of ACT to interoperate adequately with MS Office. I advise many large user organizations on use of software. I am also a Microsoft Registered Partner and recognized industry Analyst. Along with thousands of other users and IT experts, I converted last week to Office 2010 including Outlook, and am transitioning from MOSS 2007 to SharePoint 2010. I think there are dramatic improvements which will cause customers to move far more quickly than past Office introductions, partly due to SharePoint, mobile and web capabilities. Last October, 7000 Microsoft users and solution providers converged on Las Vegas, eager to hear the latest about the expected 2010Q2 release of these long awaited products. May 12 was the official launch and channel and technet partners were able to download fully released product on that date. June 15 may be the retail release, but many users will convert before that time.
Many clients ask me if they can:
a) Change the column headers in the Opportunities - Products and Services Tab, either to add or remove columns or just to make the headers more meaningful to their business.
b) Show the profit margin for both individual items and for the whole opportunity; many sales people have GP targets to meet.
c) Have the ability to create additional fields in the User Fields Tab
In addition, many people (including me) find that having to click between four tabs to create an opportunity is both time consuming and results in people forgetting to fill in information, so why don't we have new opportunities set out as a single, editable table that users can customise to suit their needs.
I would like Act to be able to recognize multiple email addresses for a customer so that outlook could also attach emails regardless of which email address they used.
Have a primary email and a secondary field created.
An ACT! Certified Consultant made the following observations related to opportunities in ACT!:
I spend a lot of time in Opportunities in ACT! and I need a way to track history and activities linked to an opportunity.
I’d like to see Opportunities looking like Contacts, and Companies, so I can still link one Opportunity to multiple contacts or companies, and be able to track history for that Opportunity.
Do you use opportunities and have a suggestion for improvement?
I just encountered a very serious email privacy violation that was facilitated by having Act and Outlook integrated. Consider the scenario where all Act Users have access to the entire database of contacts. This setup is both necessary and preferred because our salespersons share many of the same contacts, selling them different products. Sharing contact information (activities, histories, proposals and sales) promotes greater awareness for our salespersons and a better experience for the customer. Now consider the following 3 company employees, an HR Manager, a Sales Manager (MGR), and a Salesperson (SP). The manager and the salesperson are both Act users whereas the HR person is not an Act user. SP is not performing well and MGR exchanges emails with HR discussing termination of SP. Meanwhile SP suspects that he may be getting terminated so he adds HR into the Contact database under a false name and company but with HR's actual email address.
MGR continues to exchange emails with HR, never suspecting that HR's email address would ever be in the Contact database so he does not bother to mark his email as Private. In fact he regards sending emails to fellow employees as being totally unrelated to the Act database because there is absolutely no need to store non-sales related employees in the Act database. Now the 'sneaky' (but clever) salesperson has access to the email exchange between HR and MGR because it is recorded in Act History!
Can this 'flaw' be fixed in Act? I had hoped that I could impose a validation on field 'E-mail' in the database, e.g. "does not contain @MyDomain.com" where MyDomain.com is the suffix on all our employees email addresses. I could not find a way to do this under the edit option of "Define Fields" afforded by Act. The downside to this proposed solution is that it would mean that field "E-mail" could not be populated on any User records and therefore would not be available for use in shared templates.
Another solution I suggested to Act Support was the availability of a domain name option when setting up email configuration in Act. This could be a domain name that would suppress recording emails in Act History if the "to" and "from" email address domain names were the same, i.e. inter-office emails amongst fellow employees. This of course would be optional but in my case, would suffice as a solution to combat the confidentiality breach described earlier.
I am sure there are cleverer ways to avoid the problem I have articulated but the "Mark as Private" or "do not record in history" are most certainly not viable solutions for my company. I need something that can be setup at the administrator level and is not dependant upon users having to remember to check privacy boxes, especially when they are in Outlook and communicating with a fellow employee who is not even an Act user. So how can 'devious' salespersons as described earlier be thwarted from abusing the Act-Outlook integration?
Somebody help me please because the owner of the company is threatening to throw out Act because of this confidentiality breach.
I do use the "referred by" field as much as possible. I would like to have the option to be able to hyperlink to another name in the db in much the same way we create a hyperlink in Word or Outlook. For example, July 2012 Golf Event Chris Holman where Chris Holman would be hyperlinked.
In calendar view you should be able to drag and drop any activity or highlighted group of activities from the activity list to a different date on the mini calendars above with out having to edit each activity. Act 2000 had this capability. I have more to say on prioritizing of activities in the calendar view and list view as these are the two I work out of most but I saw someone posted a reference that I have not read yet.
I recently had to search the notes/history database for credit card information that no longer was to be stored by our sales force. The format is pretty standard but sales people are original. Some used dashes, some spaces some abreviated AMX or Discover in a different manner. It would be helpful to be able to do a key word search using a wildcard character.
In secondary contact window - I have been wanting to make some notes specific to individual secondary contacts. Just wondering if you can add a notes tab in addition to the Phone tab and the Business Address tab. Thanks for considering this! If anyone likes this idea, let me know your thoughts!
It would be great to be able to stored attached documents & links in the cloud, using the technologies mentioned above, among others. It would eliminate syncing actual documents/files, and stop using huge volumes of space on the server and every syncing computer.
I use to share notes and histories entries with groups, opportunities, companies and etc. to be able to track what Í have being doing with customers in different markets, for example.
Those markets / industries are groups in my database.
I have customers in shoe industry, jewelry, mold and die making, design, education, etc.
Whenever I go to "Groups > Shoe Industry" for example I can see all history, notes opportunities I have in this group.
Most of time I need to share those entries manually something that takes me a lot of time.
On the other hand every company and contact in my database belong to one or more groups.
I would like to see in ACT! the ability to AUTOMATICALLY share entries with all groups and opportunities a given contact belong to and to opportunities belonging to contact.
Very often, I talk to various people in regard to a either a specific Company (other than the one this person is with) and/or Opportunity - I'd like to see the ability to link an activity to Companies and Opportunities!!!
contacts now days only work at a place for a few years. They move aournd and we loose the contact in our database.
I created a Linkedin Filed in my database and It sould be advanatages to have a 'search for this user' in Linkedin. Of couse we do it manually already just thinking outloud.
I want to find all the contacts in my database in the Sheffield area by postcode.
Sheffield postcodes go from S1 ### to S81 ###
Frustratingly, there's no sensible way to do postcode lookups in ACT!
Lookup > Postcode . Starts with "S", returns spurious results, e.g. SW1 is in London.
I can try Lookup > Postcode . Starts with "S_ _", using the underscore as a character placeholder, but that just finds S1 to S9 and misses out S10 and above.
What we need is the ability to use number and letter placeholders in lookups and queries.
For example if "#" is a number and "%" is a letter, I could use..
Lookup > Postcode . Starts with "S#" to find what I want.
In more general terms I also want to be able to do things like lookup records where the third character in a field is a number. Is that too much to ask?
You can do this sort of stuff in Universal search, but you can't do lookups from universal search, so it's not much use.
The world uses postcodes and zip codes. It has done for decades. It's nearly 2012. ACT! should be able to handle these effectively if it is to remain a relevant sales and marketing tool.
I'd like ACTDiag to be able to show me who is currently logged into an ACT! database.
The scenario is this:
At head office the client has the PUBLISHER database, we can fire up ACT! | Tools | Define fields
If there are users logged in, it gives us a list and the ability to lock them out after 3min with a custom message displayed.
At the remote office, which uses a SUBSCRIBER database (remote database that sync's back to the publisher) we can't do that as you can't define fields on a remote (subscriber).
Hence, if in ACTDiag I could simply list the ACT! Databases, right click the db in question, and select list logged in users that would be useful.
If you want to to take that further, being able to log those users out after a set time with a custom message would be even more useful.