Article

Sage takes ACT to the Web

Barney Beal, News Editor

Sage Software, the company which launched a hosted version of its CRM product last spring, is adding to its online arsenal.

The Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company's popular contact management tool is now available as a hosted application called ACT! Premium for Web 2005. Sage, formerly Best Software, also offers the ACCPAC and SalesLogix CRM products.

Sage joins the bevy of companies ranging from newcomers like Entellium Corp. to established enterprise companies like Siebel Systems Inc.,

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who have already hastened to offer a hosted version of their CRM product. Many vendors, like Salesforce.com, began with a hosted product.

"We're building from the opposite end, we have a strong offline application and now we're offering online," said Brandon Bosley, product manager for ACT! Premium for Web. "Both products are stand alone, but when used together you really have a powerful package."

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However, ACT!'s offering differs from Siebel OnDemand and Salesforce.com in one significant respect – those companies house customer data on their own proprietary servers and allow users to access the application via the Web. But ACT! Premium for Web requires users to manage their own data and servers.

"I had mixed feelings on that," said Laurie McCabe, vice president of SMB business solutions with AMI Partners International in New York. "For their install base, I think it's going to be very well received. This is just another way to deploy off the same server installation. For new customers it's a little more complex than to go to Salesforce.com or Siebel OnDemand."

Sage openly notes that ACT! is created for smaller companies while the ACT! 2005 product is aimed at companies with up to 10 users and ACT! 2005 Premium is intended for companies with up to 50 users. Larger businesses are better served with the Sage CRM or SalesLogix applications.

ACT! Premium for Web 2005 is available for $399.99.


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