Best Acts Out On Colloration

Act 2005 is now available in two versions: The familiar individual edition and the new Act 2005 Premium for Workgroups, which supports collaboration for up to 50 users. Both have been developed for the Microsoft .Net architecture and SQL Server database, but the new Premium edition offers the greatest potential for partners.

>> The Premium edition's relational capabilities, security, scalability offer intriguing opportunities.

"Act isn't your grandfather's contact manager anymore," said Ron Verni, CEO of the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based vendor, following a kickoff event in New York featuring the Bacon Brothers. "Act [Premium] for Workgroups brings us to a whole new market in which we weren't competing--midmarket companies wanting to manage the sales process."

Best solution providers say the Premium edition's relational capabilities, security, scalability and software developer kit offer the most intriguing new opportunities.

"I spent the first quarter of this year building an Act practice because that workgroup product actually exceeds the ability of most Act VARs to service it," said Wesley Snow, president and CEO of Ascendix Technologies, Dallas. "The real benefit of Act [Premium] for Workgroups is to organizations that need larger data sets than Act but don't have the financial wherewithal to deploy SalesLogix. It's a 'tweener.' "

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Snow said he was forced to put his new practice on hold because of introduction delays. But Yacov Wroch-erinsky, president and CEO of Infinity Info Systems, New York, forged ahead with his practice. "I believe partners can double their business if they grow their skills for this new version," Wrocherinsky said. "There are real opportunities to tailor this to customers."

Wrocherinsky said customers are interested in the new software. The day after the Act 2005 introduction, an Infinity-led seminar on the Premium version drew 70 attendees. "Two new customers ordered the software and eight others upgraded to it," he said.

Act 2005, which supports up to 10 users, lists for $229.99, while Act 2005 Premium for Workgroups costs $399.99.