When you enroll in act’s new subscription model Act Premium Cloud service you get the best of both act worlds. The Cloud and on act your Desktop (just like you are used to using)!
I have received a number of phone calls from long time act users that are confused by the way the sales staff at Swiftpage Act are explaining act’s new premium cloud subscription service. It seems as if act is pushing people to the new web-based cloud service. What I’m finding is that dedicated act users find the web-based version of the software just different enough to question whether or not they want to subscribe to act. They are left feeling like it might be time to look for another piece of software.
That is a shame, let me explain why.
Let me be clear, when you subscribe to act premium cloud you also have access to the traditional act for desktop software. My experience has been that they don’t do a good job of making this point clear. You do not have to compare apples and oranges. If you like chocolate, you don’t have to settle for vanilla. If you like the desktop version of act better, no problem. People are coming away from the conversation thinking their only option is the act premium cloud web-based version of act. Trust me, it is not.
Let me explain how Act Premium Cloud works.
You will take your existing act data and you will upload it to the cloud. This will give you the ability to access all of your act data on any device that has Internet access. If you would like to have act on your desktop, you can download and install the act desktop version as well. Next, you can create a remote database for the desktop version of act. The remote database is simply a database that can be synchronized with the web version of act.
Let me create a few scenarios to explain this concept.
You have your act database in the cloud and on your desktop. You can then schedule act on your desktop to synchronize automatically once a day with act in the cloud. All the changes you make working in your office today will synchronize to the cloud version of act daily. If you don’t leave your office for 30 days, or 60 or 90 days for that matter, no problem.
Next, you go on vacation and the only computer you have access to is someone else’s and you need to access your act data. No problem. Simply open a web browser and navigate to the web-based version of act that has been set up for you. Work like you were sitting in your office. When you get back to your office and synchronize your desktop version of act everything will be in perfect order. In other words, regardless of where you work, on the web or on the desktop, everything is just as you need it.
It really is just that simple. So don’t be confused. If you are confused or have questions give me a call.
There are two types of people that will watch this video. The first type currently uses act software that has been installed directly on their computer and their experience with act has made them curious to see how act works on the web. The second type of person has never used act on their computer (and has possibly never used act at all) and is experiencing act for the first time via the web in a web browser or some other mobile device.
Either way, this video is a great overview of all of the different aspects of what act can do for you in your life and business.
Even experienced act users will find that this video offers a refreshing overview of all the tools built into this rather inexpensive software. After watching this video, long time act users will mostly come away from this video thinking about different parts of the software they barely or never use. In addition, there are probably certain aspects of the software that you either forgot about or don’t use it all and you’ve just reminded yourself to review it at some point in the not-too-distant future.
Vanilla and Chocolate
If you are a long time act user and have experienced it installed on your computer (Vanilla) this should be an interesting overview of act on the web. All of the sudden, you can experience act in a different manner. Having access to all of your data via a web browser can be an exciting proposition for long time act users. The web version of act has subtle differences that you will find awkward in the short term as it relates to act installed on your computer. Are these deal breakers? Absolutely not.
Act on the web is Chocolate
The most important thing I want you to take away is the fact that you do not have to decide which you like best: chocolate or vanilla. The real beauty of act premium cloud is the simple fact that some days you might want vanilla and you can use act on your computer. Other days you might want chocolate and you can use act via a web browser or mobile device. You do not have to decide on a favorite, you can have both vanilla and chocolate.
When you subscribe to act premium cloud your data will be on the web and via a specialized database (called a remote database or RDB for short) that will talk to your data in the cloud. In technical terms, it is called synchronization.
Act premium cloud gives act users the best of all computing worlds.
Act software now offers a subscription service, Act Premium Cloud, and when I’m asked to describe what it is all about I think it is easiest to describe Act as coming in many flavors.
Over the next 30 days or so I go to focus most of my attention on how act’s new subscription service impacts you as a small business person. I will try to break it down for you on a cost basis and on a usage basis. I will attempt to compare apples with apples and apples with oranges so you can fully understand if this new version of act will work for you. I call it a new version, but it really isn’t a new version; it is just another way for you to make the most of act software in your business or professional life.
ACT! premium hosted gives you act premium software as a download for your desktop and it also allows you to upload it to act’s hosted web servers so you can access your data via the web. There are certain steps you should take if you make a decision to upload it to the web and I will discuss those steps in upcoming tips.
When I describe act as coming in many flavors it is because act can now be utilized in many places: your desktop computer, via a web browser, on your smart phone or tablet. Some days you might only want plain old vanilla, act on your desktop. On other days you might decide to partake in chocolate, act on your smart phone. Last but not least, strawberry, which is act in a web browser or on your tablet such as an iPad.
The reality is that you don’t have to decide on your favorite flavor anymore, because act is everywhere!
Many long time act users that I’ve spoken to are very confused about the new subscription model act is offering.
In the past act had two primary products, Act Pro and Act Premium. Act Pro was for small businesses with 10 or less users and Act Premium was for larger companies with many act users and with more extensive requirements. The Act subscription product has effectively eliminated Act Pro. When you subscribe you automatically get Act Premium and Act Premium is $25 per month per user.
Make Sure to Request a Remote Database from Act
Act Premium Cloud offers Act Premium in two ways: first it is in the cloud, all of your data. Second, and this is where the confusion begins, it is also available to you on your desktop computer via what is called a remote database. So this is the process that I feel is creating some confusion for many long time act users. When you subscribe to Act Premium Cloud for $35 month you get act in two ways, in the cloud and on your desktop computer. In my opinion act has done a poor job of explaining the second part of this equation. People seem to think it is only the cloud for $35 per month. It is not only in the cloud. Some people think the cloud version is an additional $35 over and above the $25 Premium price which would total $60. Having it hosted is only $10 more.
Act Premium Cloud and Act on your desktop Computer
When you set up an act premium cloud subscription for $35 a month you need to make sure you request a remote database from act. Initially, you will upload all of your data to act and they will host it in the cloud. After they have done this, they will send you per request a remote database. When you have a remote database it will synchronize with the cloud version back to the desktop version to keep all your data in sync. You can sync manually or you can schedule synchronization.
When you have Act Premium Cloud you have the flexibility of viewing act on your computer and on any Internet ready device such as a smart phone. If you absolutely do not need to have act in the cloud, all you have to do is subscribe to act premium which is $25 per month. Last but not least, can you still get Act Pro? Yes. Call for details.
Act Subscription Offerings as of 9-18-2015
Act Premium $25 per month
Act Premium Cloud $35 per month
Note: Act Premium Cloud is not an additional $35 per month on top of the $25 Act Premium Subscription. It is simply $10 more per month to have it hosted (this is a great deal).
This video was produced yesterday and is a recording of my webinar about my experience with Act Premium Cloud.
ACT! premium cloud as a subscription service in which you can pay monthly or annually. The annual rate is less expensive than the monthly rate. My experience has been that people don’t fully understand all that is offered when you subscribe to ACT! premium cloud. This video outlines what you can expect when subscribing to ACT! premium cloud. If you are considering subscribing to act premium cloud this video will give you an overview of what to expect. If you have questions don’t hesitate to reach out to me and call me at 781-728-9777. Tony Holowitz
If you have decided to take advantage of act’s new subscription service (Act Premium Cloud) this article will outline how this works. First a little bit of advice for existing act user’s: think backwards.
In the past, when you purchased act you either received a disk or received a download that you would use to install act on your desktop computer. With Act Premium Cloud, you start by uploading your existing act database to act’s servers. After you have uploaded your data, you will have to wait until you receive an email from act that contains a link to your hosted database. That database is hosted in the cloud and you can view it from any web browser, smart phone or tablet.
This is where it gets a little bit confusing.
Your act data is now in the cloud. However, to get an identical database that you can install on your desktop computer, you have to request what is called a remote database directly from act and this remote database will be prepared and sent to you. Upon receiving that remote database, which will have a .rdb file extension , you
have to restore that database on your desktop computer. Now your data is in two places: your computer and in the cloud and your two act databases identical at this point in time.
Now that you have your remote database setup, the last step is to prepare synchronization between the remote database and the one sitting on your desktop computer. After synchronization is configured, you can schedule specific time increments that best suit the way you work.
At the end of the day what does is all accomplish for you?
Regardless of how you work with your act data it will always be up-to-date. If you spend the day working on act via your web browser and make all kinds of changes, that data will be the same as the data on your desktop computer. If you make changes via your smart phone or tablet, that data and any changes that you make will be updated on your desktop computer.
Allow me to review those steps for your convenience:
Subscribe to Act Premium Cloud
Upload your existing act database to Act’s servers
Wait for an email from act with a link to your hosted database
Request a remote database
Install the remote database on your desktop computer
If you have an older version of act, it will have to be uninstalled from your computer. Please make back-ups of your data before proceeding.
Configure synchronization between your desktop act database and your hosted database