Sage Software showed off the latest edition of its ACT contact management software at the offices here today and demonstrated how its now leveraging social networks like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
The software will let an accounting firm or small business keep track of contacts and will now look up information about contacts on the popular social networking services, as well as Google News and Google Maps.
The latest version of the software, ACT 2010, includes a new interface with plenty of new buttons and icons. Sage said it has been doing usability testing with an outside firm that found it took fewer clicks and keystrokes, compared to the competition, to perform operations such as entering a new contact. The software integrates with not only Sages own Peachtree accounting software, but also its main rival, Intuits QuickBooks.
On top of that, Sage has added a lot of new features for firms and companies that want to conduct marketing campaigns with their contacts. The company is selling an e-marketing service that will score prospects on how they rate in terms of their responsiveness to e-mails. In a variation on the Am I Hot or Not concept, a hot prospect is someone who responds quickly to the initial feeler, while someone who ignores the marketing messages rates considerably lower on the hotness scale.
Like many businesses, Sage has gotten turned on to the social networking scene. The results could certainly be enlightening, particularly if you happen across a clients drunken college photos on their Facebook page, or find out about their every waking thought on Twitter. But social networking has increasingly become a necessity for many folks, and accountants have been drawn onto the services probably as much as anyone else. Sage has also been doing some social networking of its own, having created an ACT Online Community for its customers in July. According to Sage, the site has already attracted 488,000 page views. Not a bad start at all.
ACT 2010 will be available on Sept. 1 at prices ranging from $229.99 to $459.99. The marketing services will range from $14.95 to $60 per month.