Act! Pro License To Be Discontinued 6/30/2020

Supported or Unsupported

It’s the end of an era for Act!.  From 4/1/1987 until 6/30/2020, you could buy a copy of Act! for a one-time price and install it locally.  If your business process or technology stack didn’t change much, you can leverage it for 3+ years.

However, with the advent of rapid changes by Microsoft and the web as a whole, desktop technology for a complex program like Act! is simply too expensive to develop and support with a one-time license.   Other industry giants like Autodesk, Adobe and Sage have migrated desktop software to a subscription model as well.  Quickbooks desktop offers a one-time fee, but they discontinue services like payroll or credit card processing to force those upgrades.  Oh, don’t forget Microsoft as well with Office 365.

We have laid out some options here, but feel free to contact us to evaluate your unique situation.

Act! Logo

Recommended for:

  • Sites with less than 10 users that haven't changed their process in 5+ years with Act!.
  • Clients on their way to retirement or selling the business.
  • Clients that don't need support from Act! corporate.
  • Clients that don't need to worry about Office compatibility 3+ years from now.
  • Clients that simply don't believe in paying a subscription.

Potential Problems:

  • Act! Pro will no longer be supported per their obsolescence policy on 6/30/2021.
  • Developers will eventually stop writing plugins for it.
  • Act! Pro won't support future changes in Microsoft or web page standards.
  • Eventually, the software may not install, but we don't have any time frame on that. but there is precedence from their changes in 2018.

Act! Pro v22 is available until 6/30/2020.  It's a one-time fee of $289.99/user.  Act! corporate offers a couple of support packages for an additional fee, or you can retain us to help you with an upgrade.

Buy Act! Pro.

Act! Logo

Recommended for:

  • Clients that want to remain on Act! for 3+ years.
  • Clients that need software updates for Microsoft compatibility and new features of Act!.
  • Clients that want to integrate with additional applications via Zapier or the Web API.
  • Clients that need phone support from Act! corporate.

Changes Required:

  • Act! will be billed on an annual basis.
  • Upon cancellation of the subscription, the software will no longer access the database.
  • No walk-away one-time license purchase is available.

For Act! Pro users, you can upgrade to Act! Premium CRM for $240/user/year.  That includes phone support from Act! corporate, or you can retain us to help you get more out of Act! along with an upgrade.

Learn more about our services.

WiredContact Logo

Recommended for:

  • Clients that want to keep an Act!-like user interface without radical change for the sales reps.
  • Clients that no longer want to deal with desktop support issues.
  • Clients that want to automate more process.
  • Clients that simply don't believe in paying a subscription and prefer a one-time fee.

Changes Required for Self-Hosting:

  • Clients need to install a dedicated Windows server.
  • Clients need either an in-house I.T. department or a MSP (Managed Service Provider) to maintain the server.
  • An evaluation to make sure all the features you want will translate into WiredContact.

WiredContact Enterprise is available as a one-time purchase, a buy once+hosting fee model or a monthly subscription.

Learn more about Act! vs. WiredContact.

Zoho Logo

Recommended for:

  • Clients that want to integrate CRM with their ecosystem of 40+ applications known as Zoho One.
  • Clients that want to outsource CRM hardware and software management.
  • Clients that want an affordable alternative to SalesForce.
  • Clients that want to automate more processes.
  • Workgroups less than 3 users who need a basic edition of Zoho CRM for free.

Changes required:

  • An evaluation to make sure all the features you want will translate into Zoho since its a different approach to CRM vs. Act!.
  • Budget a fee for conversion, database re-design and training on a new platform.

Learn more about Zoho.


Small Business Financial Aid for Covid 19

Financial Aid for Small Business during Covid-19

Last Update: 4/8/2020
Help Jar

As a member of SBAC, I was introduced to a couple resources.  Most of the links below apply to the City of Chicago or the rest of Illinois. If you are somewhere else, both ACCION and the SBA offer programs outside Illinois.

Kiva is a non-profit lending specialist that crowdfunds loans for the underserved, improves the quality and cost of financial services, and addresses barriers to financial access around the world.

Learn more

For Illinois and Indiana business owners, this credit line is up to $25K with minimal documentation, a quick application and funding within 10 days.

Learn more

We recommend working with your SBA lender or ACCION to help through this application.

Learn more

Scroll 1/2 way down the form to submit an application.  Or, you can try it here. I didn't get an acknowledgement or claim number after submitting the form.

Learn more

The EIDL is nationally deployed through each state's SBA.  And, it requires an essay portion that requires the business owner to clearly demonstrate the negative impact from Covid 19.

Learn more

Donations here are 100% funded towards United Way's partners.  For Lake County families dial 211 if you need aid.

Learn more


Zoho Announces Free Remote Support Tools

We’ve been routinely supporting our clients remotely for over 15 years. We can get you up and going in a hurry.

Working Remote is Old Hat

We want to do all we can to help in this time of crisis.  COVID-19 is a big deal, and it has everyone scrambling.  You’re putting out too many fires right now to fuss with keeping your team productive remotely.  As it happens, keeping teams productive remotely is in our wheelhouse.  We can help with cutting through all the variables so you get the right fit, at the right price, and don’t miss a beat.

We’re fluent in many of today’s remote workplace platforms, including Remotely®, Zoho’s comprehensive, all-in-one solutionWe can bring you all that fully-functioning productivity firepower for free until July 1, 2020.  That’s right—free.  This is NOT a “freemium” version.  And chances are pretty good we’ll have you up and running in a day or two.

Contact us today and we’ll look at your business’ unique requirements and fit you with a solution that works.  Remember, discovery calls are always free.


How to deactivate an Act! license

Since the end of 2018, Swifptage (the publishers of Act!) has cracked down on how many PCs can be installed per Act! user license.  In other words, if you have 5 Act! licenses, you can install it on 10 PCs.  As you replace PCs, you will need to de-activate the license on the PC you are about to replace before installing Act! on the new PC.

If the PC hardware failed before you can do this, you need to call Swiftpage customer service and manually request they de-activate the PC off their list.  Swiftpage tracks by using the UNC name of the PC (ex: \\MONDO-LAPTOP).  This video shows you how to deactivate the license.


Customer Experience in the B2B Space Matters

Customer Survey

Customer experience has become even more important in the 21st century as buyers gain power.

Customer churn kills growth. And because it’s ultimately unsustainable, it kills companies. Is there anything more important to the bottom-line health of your company than delivering great customer experiences consistently? We’d argue, nothing. So it begs the question, “How can you deliver great customer experiences if you don’t know much about your customers? That’s where we come in. (Do you think you’re already delivering great customer experiences? Think again. Blind surveys with actual customers say otherwise).

But what if you’re a B2B enterprise? It turns out your B2B customers expect experiences consistent with what they get in when they’re consumers in the B2C space. I happened upon this article recently that profiles 10 B2B companies who deliver great customer experiences.

It means having a good CRM matters, not only for your internal benefit but you can leverage the same data to create great experiences such as:

  • Automate sending birthday or anniversary cards.
  • Have all the customer's history on one screen, so no matter which sales rep picks up the phone, the rep knows what's happened. The customer doesn't have to repeat the same story multiple times to get something resolved.
  • Create self-service portals so customers can view their order history, retrieve serial numbers and place help desk requests anytime.

How do you plan on creating better customer experiences? Let’s take a look at your churn rates and lifetime customer value data. We can certainly help. Feel free to bounce some ideas off me. Discovery calls are always free.