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The History of Act! - the product that started CRM

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The History of Act!

The first CRM is still loved by a world-wide following 30-yeara later

Back in 1988, co-founders Mike Muhney and Pat Sullivan "sat in a 10x10 office for 10 months and laboriously birthed Act!". From such humble beginnings emerged one of the most enduring CRM products in history.

Over the next decade and half the Act! program evolved from a DOS application to Windows, and from a Foxpro architecture to SQL. Sage undertook the monumental task of making this arduous transition from DBF to SQL, and by 2007 released a version built on SQL2005.

This SQL standard would remain in place for another four years until Act! 2010 came out, supporting both SQL 2005 and 2008. Of note, the Act! 2010 version introduced huge changes to the structure of Act!, as Opportunities were promoted to the level of parent table, to match Contacts, Groups, and Companies. This one change dramatically enhanced the capabilities of Opportunities, and changed pipeline management within Act! for years. 

Subsequent years saw fewer dramatic feature changes to the product under Sage's management, until in 2013 Swiftpage took ownership and re-branded it as Act! In May of 2015, Swiftpage made the bold move to transition to a subscription based purchase model, and thereby joined the majority of the CRM industry. This one change made Act! accessible to more businesses as the cost barrier to access was significantly lowered.

You can see an illustration of the Act! historical timeline below. For a historical breakdown of how the product's features evolved over the years, from version to version, please click HERE.

A History of Act! CRM

From 1987 - present

2019

Swiftpage introduces Growth Suite

In May 2019, Swiftpage introduced a bundling of Act! CRM, Marketing Automation, and Support options called Growth Suite, whose tiers were named Professional, Premier, and Ultimate to correspond with their respective support package inclusions of the same name.

2019

2018

Act! Premium Plus introduced in early 2018

In early 2018, in their boldest move in recent years, Swiftpage introduced a new tier of Act! called Act! Premium Plus, which incorporates custom tables and a new community library of industry database designs that can be imported into a user database within minutes.

2017

Act! Celebrates 30th Anniversary

From the early days of Act! as a DBF product, to 30-years later where it is used by 72,000 companies in 150 countires around the world.

2017

2017 - 2018

Swiftpage launches new reporting tool with Act! v20

Late in 2017, Swiftpage launches new reporting technology called Insights with Act! 20, along with a modern UI, and Alexa integration. Later in Act! 20.1, Swiftpage fundamentally changed their Outlook integration to improve History attaching, and Contact/Calendar syncing. New mergemail technology was also introduced with this service pack.

2016

Swiftpage connects with Zapier

Swiftpage announced a new connection service with Zapier called "Act! Connect", which supported integration with popular online services like Slack, PayPal, Survey Monkey, QuickBooks, etc. Act! Connect also included a new level of integration with Outlook.

2016

2015

Act! switches to a subscription based service

On May 5th, 2015, Swiftpage announced the transition from selling Act! as a purchase to a subscription model. An 18-month migration period was introduced to help customers make the transition.

2014

Swiftpage sells Saleslogix

Choosing to focus their CRM efforts exclusively on Act!, in 2014 Swiftpage sold Saleslogix to Infor, and launched a new SaaS product called Act! Cloud, which would later be renamed Act! Essentials.

2014

2013

Act! & Saleslogix are sold to Swiftpage

In 2013, Swiftpage took ownership of Act! & Saleslogix, and re-branded the former as simply "Act!". Later that year they would transition from Sage green to Swiftpage orange branding, and release their first independent version in Act! v16

2010

Sage rebrands Act! as Sage ACT!

In an attempt to integrate Act! into their large family of products, Sage rebranded Act! as Sage Act! with version 2011. This version also incorporated support for SQL2008.

2010

2009

Seizing the Opportunity

In a major structural change to the product, Sage introduced "Opportunities" as new parent table, complete with their own notes, histories, activities, contacts, etc., and dramatically overhauled the UI. Their Act! for Web product followed suit with similar changes to UI.

2007

Act! moves to SQL 2005

With the release of Act! 2007, SQL 2005 was introdcued to replace the slower & more problematic SQL 2000.

2007

2006

Swiftpage integrates with Sage Act!

In what would prove to be a significant move in the evolution of the Act! product, Swiftpage Emarketing was integrated into the core product, and sold to consumers as a separate value-add subscription service. Swiftpage was founded in 2001.

2005

Sage launches SQL version of Act!

Beginning with the 2005 version, the name was revised to ACT! by Sage, and the product was upgraded from a DBF architecture to SQL, utilizing SQL 2000.

2005

2003

Handheld Contact adds cutting edge mobility to Act!

In 2003 Handheld Contact introduced mobile support for Blackberry. Contacts, Calendars, Notes, and Histories reliably synced from Act! to the BLackberry devices, completing users CRM experience. In 2009 HHC added support for iOS (iPhones), and then Android followed in 2012.

In 2017, Swiftpage started selling HHC on www.Act.com as their exclusive 3rd party mobility solution, aknowledging them as the industry leader.

2001

Sage purchased Act!

Sage purchased Interact Commerce in 2001,[10] through Best Software, then its North American software division.

2001

1993 - 1998

Launch of Sales Logix

The name of the company was changed to Contact Software International, and the company moved out of its original office in the "mustang building" in Las Colinas to a building off Freeport Parkway near DFW Airport. Contact Software International was then sold to Symantec Corporation in 1993, who then sold it to SalesLogix (later renamed to Interact Commerce) in 1999.

1987

The birth of Act!

The company Conductor Software was founded 1986 in Dallas, Texas, by Pat Sullivan[8] and Mike Muhney.[9] Its product, ACT!, was released in 1987. The original name for the software was Activity Control Technology then Automated Contact Tracking before finally just using the acronym, Act!.

1987

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Specializing in CRM software for small to medium sized businesses, through expert counsel, deployment, hosting, support, and development services.

Delivering fruitful CRM solutions since 1994, Keystroke is the #1 Act! Reseller in the World and Master Act! Distributor for Canada.

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