When you first start using act for the web it is like driving on the other side of the road. It is a familiar experience but your senses are thrown off slightly.
If you are a long time act user and only have experience with act’s desktop version you will find that using the web-based version is different. Having said that, I think you will find that it is very interesting to work with and has some unique potential. In the past, if an individual act user asked me about putting act on multiple devices it was a financial challenge for many of my clients. Quite often I would suggest GoToMyPC or LogMeIn as an inexpensive alternative for accessing your act database. If you were at a computer that had an Internet connection you could log in to your office computer remotely. This is a great alternative for many people and rather inexpensive.
But what about mobile phones and tablets? The more devices you have the more complicated this becomes. Act’s new subscription service for $35 a month or $350 for the year is an inexpensive way for individual and small business users to connect to act in multiple ways. It is also technically much simpler than having to set up act for web by yourself. Below is a tutorial directly from act on what act for web looks like on a mobile device such as an iPhone or an iPad. As you can see it is different and it takes some time to learn how to use it, but it’s really not that bad.
I urge you to take a look at this new option because I think it can open up a lot of potential for the average typical act user.
In late May Act by Swiftpage changed the way they offer act software when they introduced a new subscription model. If you were to visit Act’s website today you would have two act options: Act Premium & Act Cloud Essentials.
Trust me when I tell you this: Forget about Act Cloud Essentials. Please. At least for the duration of this article. I promise I will create another article that describes what Act Cloud Essentials is in greater detail. Think of it as Act Lite for young people with smart phones.
How has Act by Swiftpage Changed?
In the past Act had two versions of their software: Act Pro and Act Premium. Act Pro was designed for individuals and companies with 10 or less people. Act Premium was designed for larger companies with 10 or more act software users. Act Premium could also be published to a web server and utilized via a web browser. This allowed users to use act on their desktop or via a web browser. Keep in mind, that this gave you access to act on tablets and smart phones as well. Because act serves so many small business users Act Pro was a staple for many small business owners. Today, Act Pro is no longer offered to new users directly from act; instead, they are offered act’s new subscription service plan which features Act Premium. If you would like to buy a new copy of Act Pro, you can buy it directly from an Act Certified Consultant (ACC).
How is act software sold today? Act Premium is the New Act in Town.
Act Pro is no longer available directly from the good people at Act (Swiftpage). When you buy act you will get Act Premium automatically and you will not see act’s website reference Act Pro. Act Premium can be purchased for $499 or as a subscription for $35 per month. A subscription gives you a range of great services that are outlined below.
When you purchase Act Premium for $499, you can also publish it to your own web server or work with an act hosting partner to get act in the cloud. Typically, there is a monthly hosting charge of approximately $40 per month and some associated setup fees. The $35 per month Act Premium price includes act being hosted in the cloud so you can access it from any device. In addition, you can request a remote database so you can also have act on your desktop; as many of us are accustomed to today with act by Swiftpage. If you do not want act in the cloud, Act Premium is only $25 per month. Act also offers an annual payment plan that will reduce the monthly cost to about $29.00 per month. When you buy act for $499 you own it and you never have to buy another copy again.
There are discounts for annual subscriptions and for multiple subscribers as well.
A Common Question
People have been asking me if they also have to buy act software when they opt for the subscription service. The answer is no. Act software subscriptions include the software. Act software subscriptions can quickly be added and deleted as needed. If you hire a new salesperson for example, you would have to buy that individual his or her own copy of act. If that person leaves your company you want an extra copy of act. With the subscription service, you simply cancel the month-to-month subscription that you have subscribed to.
Upgrading Act by Swiftpage
What I have neglected to mention to this point is the cost of act if you are upgrading. If you upgrade to a subscription there is a loyalty discount if you have act version 15, 16 or 17. Act Premium will be discounted from $25 per month to $19 per month. There is no discount if you upgrade to Act Premium Cloud On the surface that might sound harsh, but in the long run you will always have the most recent version of Act Premium and never have to upgrade again. Getting used to a subscription model will be hard for some, but not others as they come to recognize the potential.
Long time Act Pro users might have a difficult time wrapping their heads around paying $35 a month for act software. When they purchased Act Pro it cost $269. If they upgraded to a newer version the cost was approximately $199. A typical act user would hang on to their software for approximately three years making the annual cost about $70 per year. So why in the world would you want to spend $35 a month for act software? To answer that question I’d like you to look at the smart phone that you own and come to terms with the fact that it isn’t just the phone but it is truly a computer. Doesn’t it make sense to have act on your smart phone computer? Times have changed. We have iPhone’s, iPads, tablets, android devices and multiple computers. Doesn’t it make sense to have access to act everywhere you go? Act is everywhere. That is the main reason why you would consider using a subscription with act.
What are the other benefits of Act Premium Cloud (act’s $35 hosted service)? What does it include?
Windows®, Web, & Mobile
Email marketing (500 contacts)
Expert technical support
New features and compatibility updates
Instant online access to Act!
Secure cloud hosting service
Allow me to simplify your options. As of today, June 11, 2015, this is how you can purchase act today:
Act Premium perpetual license for $499
Act Premium Monthly Subscription for $25 per month (resides on your PC)
Act Premium Cloud for $35 per month (available via the web)
Act Pro can be purchased from an act certified consultant for $269
It is my opinion that act’s new subscription service is going to open up a world of possibilities for the average everyday act user. Many act users never took full advantage of all of its features because of the associated IT costs of working with software. Act’s subscription service has completely changed all of that and has made it much easier for the small business owner to embrace all of the technology that surrounds us and act today.
Call me if you have any questions about any of the information that I’ve outlined here today. I’d be more than happy to help you. Tony Holowitz: 781-728-9777
Act API and Zapier: communicating with other software
In the past, one of the shortcomings of act software is that it could not easily communicate with other software programs. That is changing. Rapidly. I want to stay right up front that I am not a software programmer.
Having stated that, my impression is that it is easier to work with a tool that is web-based, such as Act Premium Cloud, in regards to helping it communicate with other software programs. You might not think of websites as being software programs, but many of them are. Using an API, which is short for application program interface, and a tool called Zapier, Act Premium Cloud can be programmed to communicate with other software.
Confused? Yeah, me too.
Many of you have websites for your business, and many of those websites are built with a tool called WordPress. What if some of the tools that are built into your website could communicate with act? Let me give you an example: when someone fills out a web form on your website with their contact information, wouldn’t it be great if that information could be imported directly into act? Now it can be done. Act Premium Cloud can synchronize with act on your desktop. Therefore, when that information is imported into act via the web, it can then be synchronized directly into act on your desktop. If you prefer to work with act purely on the web, that is fine as well.
I spoke to Greg Knapp this morning and asked him if I could use a video that his son Marshall produced about this matter. He obliged. Greg and Marshall are Act Certified Consultants in Michigan. Their company is Aspen Tech Consulting Group, Inc. If you have questions, you can reach out to me or Greg at 866–880–4228.
Make it easy to access your act premium cloud website.
If you are Act Premium Cloud subscriber and you want to access your act database in the cloud you have to remember an obscure, or often very confusing domain name to access your site. For example, it might be something similar to https://www.acthostedaccount.host35.com/fredsmith. How in the world are you going to remember that long website address?
Simple. Spend less than $15 and register a domain name that is easy to remember and forward it to that long and hard to remember web address.
For years I’ve used Go Daddy and this is a very simple step. Visit www.GoDaddy.com and register an easy to remember domain name such as www.FredsActDatabase.com and have it forward to that act for web hosted website. Obviously, that is a lot easier to remember for you and your employees.
If you are in a company or organization with multiple Act by Swiftpage users, it is important to recognize that you have some options for the way that your contacts are viewed by others. In addition to the way they are being viewed, you can also restrict certain actions in act.
The video below outlines Act Premium and Act Premium Cloud Security Settings. If you administer an act database, or in other words you set it up for your company and manage it for your company, you should be aware of some of these options.
Individual user security settings in act
Individual users of act can be set as administrators, managers, restricted and browse only users. The video I have included outlines the differences in these options.
Individual contact security settings in act
If you put the contact information for your doctor in act you might not want other people to see that particular contact. Act allows you to restrict who can see specific contacts. There are public, private and limited access options in act. Again, the video below outlines some of the distinctions.
Understanding security settings can have an impact on the way you view using act. If you hire a new salesperson for example, you might want to limit his or her access to certain contacts. At first, some of the distinctions between the settings can be confusing. The purpose of this article is to make you aware of the fact that act can create some boundaries within it. This can help you re-imagine the way act can be used in a broader scope. If you have questions, please contact me and I will discuss them with you. Thank you.
If you are a long time Act software user you might be aware of the fact that Act offers two versions of Act: Act Pro and Act Premium. To expand on that, Act Premium also has a version called Act Premium for Web that is included when you buy Act Premium.
A new version of Act Pro is priced at $269 and Act Premium is priced at $499. Act Pro is designed for one to 10 users of Act software. Act Premium is designed for 10 or more users and is typically used in small businesses.
Many of my clients ask me about using Act outside of the office. With the advent of smartphones this has become a more popular question. How can I view Act on my smartphone and take it a step further on my iPad or other popular tablets? One way to do this is by using Act Premium for Web and accessing your Act database from a variety of devices.
Would you like to see what Act Premium for web looks like? Check out our live web & mobile demos at Keystroke:
Keystroke has been supporting Act! for almost as long as there has been Act!, and we understand that people need to “feel” the Act! experience before buying. To that end, we’ve setup these basic demo databases, and can be previewed by clicking on one of the two icons below. We recommend using Internet Explorer or Google Chrome to test drive Act! for Web.
Login: Chris Huffman (no password is required)
Please click on the link below to launch the appropriate Act! for Web Demo.
It may take between 15-30 seconds for the demo to launch, so please be patient. Internet Explorer or Firefox is recommended.
If you use an HTML5 compatible device like an iPad, iPhone, Android phone or Tablet, all the links below will redirect you to the same HTML5 formatted site, and you will not see the industry customization for each.If you wish to test the mobile experience within a desktop browser, simply add a “/m” at the end of the Act! for Web demo URL.
As this is a demo environment, the sample login user has only “read” security permission, so some features will be unavailable.