Swiftpage President and CEO H. John Oechsle last week detailed the completion of the company's first major phase in its Act! leadership strategy, making multiple announcements that collectively represent the launch of the next-generation Act! portfolio.
"From the moment we purchased Act!, we have been on a journey together with our partners and customers to create a new, more powerful, next-generation of the Act! portfolio," Oechsle said in a statement. "We knew the next Act! would have to provide significantly higher value to existing partners and users, while simultaneously attracting an entirely new generation of small business professionals. Today, I'm very proud to announce that it's no longer just a vision. The Next-Generation Act! Portfolio is here."
Oechsle first announced that the all-new Act! Cloud has entered into the final stage of beta testing and is on track for launch this summer. Act! Cloud is an all-new solution, developed entirely at Swiftpage. It is designed for users who prefer a software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering, optimized for mobile devices, and with extensive connections to other online services for seamless information sharing.
Act! Cloud will allow users to consolidate their contacts from a growing number of online and offline sources, such as Outlook, Gmail, LinkedIn, and Facebook, so they can have all of their customers information in one place. Users can then create groupings of contacts and initiate impactful e-marketing campaigns with a wide-range of predefined and customizable email templates. Act! Cloud closely tracks the entire interaction history for each contact, then recommends which contacts to follow-up with next to maximize sales.
To do this, Act! Cloud will use a unique recommendation architecture that constantly evaluates all customer interactions and then uses the information to give clear advice on the best next steps for closing more business.
The architecture will power an increasing number of features in Act! Cloud over time as well as a growing number of new features across the entire next-generation portfolio.
Oechsle went on to explain that the recently launched Act! v16.1 is already seeing strong adoption and that Swiftpage has begun development on Act! v17, which is targeted for launch in the fourth quarter of this year.
Among its many improvements, v16.1 now includes the fully integrated Act! e-marketing service. Act! e-marketing allows users to create custom email campaigns with the drag-and-drop template editor or by leveraging hundreds of stock templates. Users can segment contacts into groups, streamlining the process of sending targeted campaigns, while intelligent, prioritized Call Lists take the guesswork out of sales follow-up. The Call List guides the user to the hottest leads based on each recipient's level of engagement with a campaign.
Lastly, Oechsle unveiled the company's redesigned version of its Act! Premium Hosted service, planned for general availability later this summer. The service will offer customers the added flexibility of running Act! on dedicated, hosted servers for cost flexibility and on-demand scaling, while retaining the ability to fully customize Act! to fit their needs.
The company is continuing to closely align the functionality of the hosted offering with that of the latest on-premises versions, including the latest Act! e-marketing capabilities built-in. In addition, the enhanced service will greatly simplify and streamline the trial, purchase, configuration, and deployment process.