New Act! package bigger and better

New Act! package bigger and better

THREE years in the making, Interact has launched version 7.0 of its content management package, Act! in New Zealand.

The new edition marks a number of shifts for the package — it is available in two versions for the first time and it was written on Microsoft’s SQL Server 2000 database platform and not on FoxPro as were previous versions.

In addition to a standard version for up to nine users, Act! 7 is also available in a workgroups edition designed for teams of users to collectively share data and manage sales opportunities for up to 100,000 contacts.

Interact says the workgroups edition and new architecture support network security and collaboration capabilities that will allow the software to be deployed in larger organisations, which will reduce the gap between Act! and its top-end sibling, SalesLogix.

“Scalability is now possible to beyond 50 users and is subject only to hardware requirements,” says Interact managing director for Asia-Pacific, Craig Young.

“We can now take on a greater number of organisations than before, when we just catered for smaller businesses.”

Act! 7 represents the biggest development leap for the package in its 17 year history as it includes over 50 new features, says Young, adding it narrows the distinction between an expensive customer relationship management (CRM) system and an affordable personal information manager (PIM) package.

Interact only sells through its local channel of certified consultants and selected retail outlets, and Young says the new edition allows partners to offer an end to end solution when combined with other products such as Accpac, owned by Interact’s parent company Sage Group.

“It is an excellent opportunity for partners to sell CRM and accounting software,” he says.

The company has 20 certified partners in New Zealand, and 80 in the region, but Young is keen to increase this number. Act! is distributed locally by Ingram Micro.

Interact says the new design moves Act! 7 from a flat-file to a relational database, which enhances its synchronisation abilities and is easier to customise. It also claims enhanced contact management features in the package integrate opportunity forecasting tools, which assist workflow and effectiveness of salespeople. Last month’s New Zealand launch followed releases in Australia the same week and the US in August.

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