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An Update for Act!

Boot Camp feature for Tuesday, September 7, 2004

An update for Act! Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Act! pioneered the concept of contact management software nearly twenty years ago. It has survived a number of ownership changes…and since 2001 has been part of Best Software where CEO Ron Verni tells us Act! 2005 aims to broaden its small office user base…

"Actually our best sales people are our users. When we built the product…we have a whole group of what we call Act fanatics, and the amazing experience when you talk to our customers…to see the sparkle in their eyes when they first use the product…because it actually helps, a lot of our folks are sales people, it actually helps them be much more effective sales people. They're able to not only view their opportunities, but understand their customers better."

For most consumers…Act! is overkill, more program than they need. Outlook Express or the Palm Desktop is fine. But for those who need to do follow ups with contacts, Verni argues Act! is a better alternative than the full version of Outlook that ships with Microsoft Office….

"Outlook is really an email client. If you think of the way it was built, it was really built to enable email to be delivered easily. And as sort of an adjunct to that, the contact capability was built onto it. Act was built from the ground up to be a contact manager."

It lets users customize databases and screens. While it does what it promises well,…the retail price of 230 dollars and the learning curve…mean Act! isn't for everyone. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.