A few months ago I was asked to present to my fellow ACT! Consultants information on ACT! on the iPad.
Since there is no actual App for that (yet) I needed to provide them with ways to show their clients how to get to the ACT! data via the iPad.
I had already been through the paces of every App that I could find to find the easiest and most user-friendly solutions possible.
Here are some of the questions that need to be answered first:
Do you just need to have the Contacts and Calendar sync to your iPad, or do you need access to the ACT! Data?
If you *need* access to the ACT! Data, how much of it do you *need* access to? Contact geographic information? Histories and Activities? Sales Opportunities?
There are different solutions for what you want to accomplish. This is, by no means, a complete listing of every possible solution, but I did exhaustive research trying several different options to save my clients time, energy and money on wasted Apps.
“I just need to see my contacts and calendar on my iPad”.
Short, simple… to the point.
This option sends the Contact data fields (name, address, phone, fax, email address, website, etc.) to the Contacts icon on your iPad and send the Calendar information to the Calendar icon on your iPad. Some of the options can even include a few history items along with the data but it isn’t sortable and you can’t add histories or clear activities.
- 123 Synchronizer – For a contact and calendar sync via Outlook with Exchange my favorite option is 123 Synchronizer. They have done a fabulous job of providing an environment that cuts down on those duplicates and triplicates.
- Companionlink – Companionlink will sync your data from ACT! to Outlook, ACT! to Google or they have a wireless subscription that will send your ACT! data to the cloud and wirelessly to your device (for a monthly subscription fee).
- Handheld Contact – Handheld Contact has a Basic subscription plan that will sync your ACT! data to the cloud and wirelessly to your device. Click here for a free trial.
- Sage Connected Services- With an annual subscription, your ACT! data is sync’d with the cloud and you can open the browser on your iPad and log into the site and see your contact data and your calendar.
“I would like to have Contact information, Calendar, Activities and Histories”
There’s an App for that! – Handheld Contact Professional Edition
Handheld Contact Professional Edition actually puts an “app” on your iPad that you can open and it gives you a slimmed down version of your database. You can see a the basic contact fields. You can show some custom fields (there is a limit to the number of custom fields) . Your calendar and Activities are available. It even shows your Histories!
You are able to clear and add activities, add history items, and it can even track your outgoing emails, depending on your setup.
You do not have access to the Opportunities with this method.
All in all, it is a great choice and one of my favorites.
“I need to have access to EVERYTHING”
There’s an App for that too!
When you need access to the entire ACT! program, you will need to remote into your desktop/laptop. Remote Desktop allows you to take control of your entire computer and use every program just like you are sitting in front of it. There are many programs on the market that allow you to do this but they are not all created equal. Some of the free ones work ok, but in this case, you get what you pay for and most have quirks.
My favorite is Logmein Ignition. It costs $29 from the App Store. It has the most bells and whistles and has the best handling in my opinion. You can use any program on your desktop including ACT!, Outlook, QuickBooks, or any other program just like you are sitting there. It is incredibly easy to set up and doesn’t require you to “open an ports” or mess with your firewall.
Some of the others that are available: VNC, RealVNC, Screens, Mocha VNC Lite, iTelport, and Pocket Cloud. Some of these programs require configuration of ports or firewalls. (we can help you with that!)
So that should get you started with your iPad endeavors. Of course we are always here to help you to decide which solution is a best fit for your organization and assist you with the setup as we work with all of these programs on a daily basis.