Are you an Act! user on an older version, specifically one developed from 2004 to 2015 (Act! 2005 to v17)? If so, you need to take immediate action to preserve your access to your Act! database. You will need to upgrade to a newer version of Act! or convert to another CRM. Otherwise you are at risk of losing access to your data on January 1, 2019!
Why is this happening?
You may or may not know this, but most software relies on third-party components to add functionality. From a consumer point of view, we don't really think about this as that functionality is embedded in the software and hidden to the end-user.
On November 6, 2018, Swiftpage (current developer of Act! software) announced that as of January 1, 2019, the third-party licensing service embedded in Act! will be discontinued.
What does this mean?
Well, since Act! 2005, the licensing component has been managed by a third-party company, Protexis. Without this third-party licensing component, Act! software cannot be activated or used beyond a 30-day trial. Since this third-party company is discontinuing support for this component, Act! will be replacing the component with a different solution for activation. This new component will be available for users of Act! v18, v19, v20 and v21 through a hotfix that is expected to be released around the end of 2018.
But what about other versions of Act?
Swiftpage has stated that versions of Act! prior to v18 will not receive that hotfix as these versions are no longer being supported. (FYI, Act! v18 will become unsupported on November 30th, 2018!) Customers on an older version of Act! will need to upgrade to a newer, supported version, in order to continue using their database. As of November 8th, 2018, the original licensing component is still active, and there is not yet enough information to know what will happen as of January 1st, 2019 when the activation component stops working.
At TopLine Results we support all versions of Act! to the best of our abilities, however we are not the developer of the software, so our abilities are somewhat limited. Your primary goal should be to secure your data so that you are not locked out of your database after a re-install. We advise being as proactive as possible.
How can you be proactive?
Upgrading Act! may seem to be the easiest way to move forward. However, before you upgrade you should consider the following:
- What new hardware will be required for an Act! upgrade?
- What add-ons will be compatible with the upgraded version?
- Will an Act! upgrade be compatible with other software I use, such as Microsoft Office?
- What is the cost of upgrading and how many resources will it take to re-install a new version of Act! on each machine?
- Will my synchronization continue to work?
- How can I secure my data prior to the upgrade?
- What does the new Act! interface look like? How will I learn the new interface?
Before upgrading your Act! software, we recommend you take a look at other CRM options available. At TopLine Results we can help you evaluate three other options, which are considered among the best in the industry. We are consultants who implement and support several major products and want to see you make the choice that is best for your business moving forward.
Take on the challenge!
The action I recommend is to evaluate the newest version of Act! and compare it to other major CRM solutions. The benefit is that, instead of reactively responding to this Swiftpage decision, you are proactively deciding for the CRM that is best for you and your organization for now and into the future. Your users will benefit by having a great platform, your data will be preserved, and your business should grow!
Call Fred Varin at 262-691-1444 extension 101, and he will walk with you through this process. You can also reach our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.