By Jon Klubnik • May 1st, 2012

My Cloud is Bigger Than Your Cloud

We are excited to finally see Sage take note of the growing trend towards a mobile workforce and cloud computing.  And while new offerings like Sage ACT Connect, Sage Premium Mobile and even ACT for Web are welcome additions, they only address a small portion of the needs that today’s mobile and remote workforce demand.

Sage is using the words Mobile, Remote, and Cloud interchangeably, and for the most part, they mean “getting ACT! on your mobile device”.

Don’t get me wrong, I can “Road Warrior” with the best, I’ve got Ipad, Iphone, Kindle, Macbook and Laptop.  But I while I love having my numbers at my fingertips and being able to fire off that email or quote from an airplane or while driving down the road, I don’t’ do my best work while mobile.  I don’t want to be distracted by screen size when I settle down for the bulk of my virtual job, and I don’t want to settle for “some of the features” of the full product.

It’s been a few years, but I was first exposed to the concept of the Virtual Desktop while doing a large corporate rollout. We have over 200 users to deploy and the IT department had settled on a Citrix solution because it was the easiest to manage.  There was no work to be done on individual workstations.  For a small IT group with the need to support some technically challenged across the country remotely a Citrix was not just a matter of convenience, it was critical.  The group they supported were some of the most productive sales teams in the country and because they brought in such big numbers, if it didn’t work, heads rolled. In fact the previous CTO had been fired because the last project went so wrong.

For this project, ACT for Web did not have the robust features our users demanded.  The ACT Sync Model, while providing many of the features, presented some technical and training challenges for our “Type A” technically challenged subjects.

A nationwide virtual desktop was the solution. It was was easier to use, much more secure and didn’t compromise on the features for portability.  Within 6 months, we had taken many of our ACT for Web clients to the ACT! Virtual desktop.  We were able to deliver the power for the Full Desktop ACT! Premium product on any device anywhere.

So, while the offering for mobile solutions for phones and looking up numbers has seen several new entries from Sage, these will most likely see full utilization only on smaller devices and for users willing to live with a “lighter” version of ACT!.

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