Since late December 2021 I have been using Act’s new SaaS offering.  SaaS is short for Software as a Service.  What does that mean for Act software users?

In the past you could use Act in a web browser.  However, you typically had to get setting it up from someone like me, an Act Certified Consultant (ACC), or from Act directly.  My experience has been that most people do not like using Act software in a web browser.  It could be a web browser of your choice: Google Chrome, Microsoft edge or Firefox.  Long time users of Act software are used to having software that is physically installed on their computers and I get that. 

Many of my Act clients have access to their database in the web environment but they never use it.  It is merely a conduit to helping them synchronize all their data on multiple computers.  For example, they might have a laptop computer and a desktop computer and they want to keep all the information the same on both.  The process of doing this Act synchronization creates an option to view all your data in a web browser as well.  However, I would say 95% of my clients either do not know this fact, have forgotten about it, or just do not bother looking at the data in the cloud.  That is 100% okay.  The goal was to help them synchronize their data in this is a byproduct of that effort.

What is different about the SAAS environment?

On Christmas day in the early afternoon, I decided to make a backup of my Act data and uploaded into a free trial of Act SaaS.  The backup took about five minutes to create, creating the free trial took about five minutes and uploading it took another five minutes.  Once I completed those steps, I waited the automated system put all my data in the cloud via Act’s new SAAS environment and it was live in about 60 minutes.  I did the same thing for a client last week and his data was available after about 10 minutes

How do you have a good Act SaaS experience

First and foremost, I tell my clients that the Act cloud web-based environment is about 80% of what you are used to using Act on the desktop.  The other 20% are the differences between using traditional Act and using Act in a web browser.  My experience has been that with a little bit of education and by enhancing your knowledge of how to work in a web browser you can eliminate the issues of using Act in a web browser.Frankly, the knowledge you need to gain to have a good experience with Act has nothing to do with Act. It comes with understanding the tips and tricks of working in a web browser, regardless of which web browser you choose.

Why am I such a fan of Act SAAS CRM?

It is the way of the future.  I have had virtually no issues using this software in a web browser.  No compatibility issues.  No issues with the underlying engine that runs Act (called SQL) starting or stopping.  Nothing.  In fact, my greatest concern about the web based SAAS version of Act is that it will put many of my fellow consultants out of business.  Why?  Because there are so few issues working with the software.

Act SAAS offers monthly and yearly subscription plans.

Typically, I tell my clients to pay for the software monthly to start.  Why?  It allows them to get comfortable with the different levels of Act SAAS CRM.  The first level is $180 a year and is a glorified Act Rolodex.  It is also good for retired Acters.

The second level is $360 per year and is what most of you would want to use.  The third level as offerings that most people will not take advantage of.  That is my opinion and based on my experience.  So having stated all of that, please consider the fact that Act CRM SAAS will cost $360 per year when paid for annually.  This is the program I recommend and suggest to my clients.

Why do I suggest the $360 Act SAAS program?

As an Act CRM SAAS subscriber, you get free technical support on Act related matters.  It also works with Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Word.  You also get access to Act via their app called Act companion.  It can work with outside sources by connecting to them via an API.

I miss right clicking in a web browser with Act

I am one of those computer users that likes to right-click a lot.  There are great shortcuts for doing things by right clicking when you use Act on your computer.  I have become accustomed over the years to doing that when using Act.  In a web browser it is different.  Right clicking brings up other options: some that you will love and some that are irrelevant.  I can get by this issue.  It really is not that big a deal.  The beauty of the SAAS version is I can use it on any computer that has a web browser.  I can connect to outside software such as Microsoft Outlook in the cloud.

So, will this version of the software work for you?

I believe you will have success with this version of Act if you approach it with a positive attitude knowing that it will not be exactly like the Act you have used for years but a close cousin.  If you are willing to focus your learning attention on those 20% differences and learn how to use Act in a web browser, I think you can have a great experience with Act.  Start with a two-week trial and use Act as a Rolodex.  If you do not like the web version you can always go to Act subscription model which is approximately the same price on a yearly basis.

One of the things the pandemic has taught me is how strongly people can disagree on matters that seem obvious.  I like this new version of Act and I think it is the future.  Act users of gotten old and not as willing to change in my opinion.  You know what, your competitors will and they will take advantage of this and you will lose out. 

Open your mind and convert to SaaS Act.  I will teach you how to make the most out of it.

 

 

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