If you go to the ACT! website at www.act.com you will see that there is an ACT! cloud-based offering which is being hosted by ACT! as an On Demand offering. However, this offer is not available outside the United States and not available in Australia. It is frustrating for ACT! customers in Australia, but that is the consequences of a global community when offers like these are rolled out region by region instead of worldwide. The good news is that a cloud based offering of ACT!, hosted by ACT!, will likely be available in the near future. That is, it’s already been rolled out in the U.S., so it’s just a matter of time before ACT! cloud, hosted by the vendor, is available in Australia. We believe it will be some time in 2016.
Having said that, ACT! for cloud is exactly what’s available currently. This can be accomplished by utilizing the web based interface for ACT! and having it hosted on a third party infrastructure by a third party hosting service provider. Over the years, the web based interface has continued to improve and become closer to the functionality found in the Window versions. However, the windows version still has more functionality than cloud and there are times when someone will have to access the Windows version behind the cloud. We believe that ACT! will offer that access as a service with their cloud offering. At the moment, we, as your ACT! Service Provider, can access the windows functionality on your behalf or we can allow you to have that access, whichever you prefer or both.
The question is, is the cloud version the best version? There is no price difference for buying the windows version or the web version of ACT! It’s the same installation except you access the system either by windows or cloud. The advantage to a Windows based version is that the system is running on your server in-house and so you will obtain better performance and quicker response times, as you’re accessing the information across the LAN. Also when you create lists in the Windows version, you don’t have to refresh to obtain additional records, you simply scroll down to see the list. The advantage to a cloud based version is you don’t have to install on to the machines so you will be saving some deployment costs. Also the cloud based version is accessible from any web based device including Macs, iPhones, iPads, Android phones, android devices, etc.
To summarise, is an ACT! cloud based solution available in Australia? The answer is YES.
Options for an ACT! Cloud Based solution
Option 1: ACT! Cloud Hosted by a Third Party.
This solution will require the ACT! software, ACT! to be hosted with a third party, and you will also require an ACT! Service Provider like Evolution Marketing to do the installation.
Option 2: ACT! Cloud Hosted and Administered In-House.
This option provides you with the best of both worlds. You would host ACT! on your own in-house server, desktop users would access ACT! across the local area network, and users away from the office would access ACT! through the web interface. This option will eliminate your need for a third party to host the system. In this scenario, some users would be accessing ACT! On Premise and some users will be accessing ACT! On Demand through an ACT! Cloud that is being administered from your server located in your head office.
ACT! Cloud Hosted by a Third Party
ACT! Cloud Hosted and Administered In-House
ACT! and Subscription Pricing
You will notice when you visit the ACT! website that there is subscription pricing. Subscription pricing isn’t available in Australia, but it is just a matter of time before subscription becomes the primary way to purchase ACT! software. Based on our understanding of the potential subscription pricing model, our best recommendation is that If you are currently on software assurance, you remain on software assurance. If you are not on software assurance, we recommend you upgrade to the latest version of ACT! 18 and acquire software assurance with your purchase. We believe when software subscription becomes available in Australia, those clients who have software assurance will be entitled to loyalty pricing. We’re not sure what that will be, but we do know that they offer loyalty pricing in the U.S. and the best indication is that they will duplicate that offer in Australia