Whether you’re meeting a client for coffee or sending out a team to do repairs for a customer, it’s important to have all the necessary information at your fingertips – that’s why you need to know how to go remote with ACT! CRM’s database. Even if you’re not on the move, sharing a database with multiple users will help keep your team up-to-date.
Continue reading for more information on sharing the ACT! CRM database, or check out our recent articles on adding users and contacts and setting up your tasks and activities.
The mobile app: ACT! Companion
WARNING! Poor app reviews. It sounds like Handheld Contact is a better option. But is it worth the extra cost?
If you’re wanting to know how to go remote with ACT! CRM, getting a good mobile app is probably the first thing on your mind. ACT! Companion is an app that was originally design to sync your desktop and mobile to give you more access to your calendar and contacts while on the move. It allows you to receive push notifications, give access to contact information, make notes in the CRM system, and more. However, users have said that they have issues with bugs and crashes and that the app generally lacks functionality.
Handheld contact – the third party tool
ACT! can be used with a third-party tool called Handheld Contact. This app synchronizes with your desktop version of ACT! instead the cloud one. You have to install the Handheld Contact app on your mobile phone and on your desktop together with your ACT! application. Handheld Contact requires a separate license procurement.
Having the Handheld Contact app takes the questioning out of how to go remote with ACT! CRM because of the ease that users have reported with its syncing capabilities. With all of the information ACT! allows you to manage, it can be especially ideal for anyone working away from the office (i.e. dispatch teams). The consensus is that Handheld Contact is more functional and has many of the same capabilities as the desktop version of ACT!.
Mail merge in web version
You’ll want to know how to stay up-to-date with your emails as you learn how to go remote with ACT! CRM. However, it’s important to know that mail merge does not work well on the web browser. You can still use it – you just need to install the Word Integration addon. Every time you decide to use the template, it will get downloaded to your device and populated there. If you want to know the detailed instructions, click here.
Multiple ACT! users sharing the same database
What are the different methods of sharing a database with other users?
Now that you know how to go remote with ACT! CRM on your mobile phone, you have three options for allowing users to access the database from remote computers (they can be used individually or together). Keep reading for full details so you can decide which configuration would be best for your business.
Remote database synchronization
For any business with users who will need to access the database from an area internet connection or outside the LAN, remote database synchronization may be the best option.
With this method, you’ll be able to copy your main database into a remote database. Any changes that are made to the main database will also take effect in the remote databases through synchronization, which can be scheduled or done manually from the remote workstations (if the remote database is not synchronized, changes to the main database will not be seen).
Sharing a database across a LAN
For users who will be working from one location and will not need to access the database from a remote location, this option is ideal.
To share a database over a LAN, one machine will become the ’server’ from where all the database files will be kept and shared. As long as users are connected to the same network and also have the same version of ACT! as the ‘server’ computer, they’ll be able to access the database, make changes, and view changes that others have made.
Using a web browser to access the database
If a business has users who are in various locations or who need to be able to see real-time updates from a mobile phone, using a web browser will be the best choice.
Business who have ACT! Premium have the capability of setting up a web server using Microsoft Internet Information Services on one of their computers. This web server will host a website that will allow users to access the database using a web browser. For more information, click here.
Want more ACT! CRM support? Check out our other articles to get all the answers you need.
How to Go Remote With ACT! CRM Summary
In this three-part series on ACT! CRM, we’ve covered the very basics of setting up your users and contacts, taking advantage of the capabilities in tasks and activities, and syncing up your database to take your business remote or simply unify your business.