We don’t need no steenkin’ ACT! upgrade.


I got a call today from someone who wants a few new fields added to their ACT! contact management database  – version 6.O. Sage ACT!  is on version 14 now, but that’s okay because, as my caller said, everyone else is only “using ACT! like a Roledex, so I can’t get an ACT! upgrade approved.”

Focusing on the task at hand, we sorted out how we could help customize ACT! with the current set up.  But I had to ask some questions before we were done. They went something like this:

So how many folks do you have using ACT!?  Well, we had about 40, but now there are only 12 or so.Dysfunction-business-processes

Oh, really, why is that?  Well, ACT! stopped working with Outlook, so it was a pain in the neck for people. Besides, people then started to keep records in Access and Excel and it got too confusing to have so many databases.

Okay. Interesting (yes, I am a master of understatement).  By the way, do any of your users sync?  They used to, but then sync stopped working with the new iPhones. Now our IT guy exports the records every week and uploads them into the iPhones.

Ow, my head. This isn’t rocket surgery, guys.

This is like using Windows 98 and refusing to upgrade to Windows 7 because you can’t get current software to run on Windows 98. Mere mortals can possibly be excused from understanding this. But when your IT department enables this level of dysfunction, something is seriously wrong.

If you recognize your business in the example above (which, cross my heart, is nearly verbatim), please understand that it’s – how shall I put it, nicely? – absolutely nuts to run your company this way. I know that some people expect technology to be difficult. Nope, it’s not supposed to make things harder, honest.

If your processes defy logic, get someone to help sort it out. If your IT support people are really the Sales Prevention Department,  fire them and hire someone who wants you to succeed. Then, sit back and watch productivity and sales performance soar.




2 Responses to “We don’t need no steenkin’ ACT! upgrade.”

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  1. Mike Lazarus says:

    Amazing how many people don’t get that software written more than 10 years ago might not link to recent releases of infrastructure (Office or Windows) or smartphone devices that weren’t thought of at the time

    I see this often enough that I also did an article on it:

    Makes me wonder if they expect they can by a DVD and run it with a VHS or put a CD on a turntable?

    I’m interested to know … did you walk away or did you convince them to update ACT! and add something like Handheld Contact for their iPhones?

  2. Mike – Fair to day I walked away. There is too much re-education that has to happen with that mindset and, without motivation on their part, just doesn’t make sense to throw my time at it. I’ve added them to my mailing list – perhaps I can educate them (wear them down?) over the next few years. 🙂 Thanks for sharing the link! – Lindsay

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