Gebesse Newsletter – September 2013
Gebesse is back and the new Act! v16 is here.
Gebesse Computer Consultants is a family business and over the last few years the family has had to come first. Two family members with serious illnesses meant that the business had to take a back seat and be a very part-time business indeed. The crisis is now over and we are back full-time doing what the business was started for – to provide the tools and assistance to make your business more effective and efficient.
Changes at Act!
You might have heard about change in ownership and distribution of Act! The product is now owned by Swiftpage who have been a long-time collaborator with the previous owners, Sage. The commitment to the product is strong (Swiftpage relies on Act! to drive its email marketing service) so the future seems assured. Distribution in Australia is now done by ACTCRM which is owned by one of the longest serving Act! Certified Consultants in the country, so again the commitment is there to ensure that both Act! and its users can be confident about the future.
Act! v16 was released to the Australian market on September 17, 2013. This is not just a rebranding with Swiftpage livery but includes some major features missing in earlier versions. One that people have been asking for for years is “calculated fields”, where the content of a field can be made to depend on the values in other fields. An example of its use would be a field showing the total of all investments held by a client.
One significant change will become increasingly more important as people replace and update computers. Previous versions of Act! have not been able to interact with Microsoft Office 2013. (ACT! 2013 had limited connection to Outlook 2013, but Word could not be used for mail merge.) Act! v16 integrates with Office 2013 (and previous versions) so you can buy new computers with Office preinstalled or update your copies of Office with confidence. Microsoft will no longer supply versions of Office prior to Office 2013, so downgrading is not an option without problems. I should point out that incompatibility with Office 2013 is not limited to Act! – even some Microsoft products don’t work with it.
Should you upgrade?
If you need to integrate Act! with MS Office 2013, then the answer is “Yes”. If you have ACT! 2011 or earlier you also need to consider it because vendor support for these older versions has been stopped and you can no longer get security updates or buy additional licences to add to your network. (The policy of only supporting the current plus two prior versions has been in place for some time.)
Another thing that needs to be considered is that Swiftpage will be introducing a policy of only allowing upgrades to be purchased at the discounted upgrade price for versions which fall in the three-version support time frame. The timing for this has not been finalised, but when it is upgrades from ACT! 2011 and earlier will have to be purchased at the full, non-discounted price. This will mean an increased price of up to $200 per licence, so getting in now can save a lot of money.
Do you still use ACT! 6?
If you do, please think seriously about upgrading. The number of people who know this product and who can help you with problems is getting smaller all the time. It hasn’t been sold since about 2005 and you have had good value for money.
So what should you do now?
Contact Gebesse for upgrades, additional licences, installation, customisation and training. All the things we have been doing with and for Act! for many years.