SOURCE: Sage Software (formerly Best Software)

June 28, 2005 09:00 ET

Sage Software Introduces ACT! Premium for Web 2005: First Contact and Customer Management Solution to Provide User Options for Seamless Online/Offline Information Access

Business Productivity Choice of Millions Now Enables Secure, Real-Time Web Access to Centralized Data With Industry's Most Flexible Deployment and Administration Options

SCOTTSDALE, AZ -- (MARKET WIRE) -- June 28, 2005 -- Sage Software, maker of market leading ACT! contact and customer management products, today introduced ACT! Premium for Web 2005, to provide real-time online access to centralized customer data for remote, traveling and onsite sales professionals and workgroups. ACT! Premium for Web 2005 leverages the feature-rich toolset that has made ACT! the preferred choice of over 2.3 million users since 1987. Users can now run ACT! Premium for Web for online access and ACT! Premium for Workgroups 2005 as a full-featured offline client. Combined, the products create the first and only contact and customer management solution to provide a seamless online and offline user experience with Web, desktop or mixed deployment.

"We developed ACT! Premium for Web 2005 to deliver greater deployment flexibility and user productivity at the lowest total cost of ownership when compared head-to-head with hosted alternatives," said Joe Bergera, senior vice president and general manager for Sage Software Contact Management Solutions. "Our philosophy of real-time, centralized customer data lets users access information however they wish, whether they're running ACT! on the Web, their desktops or from remote locations, allowing a true work-as-desired environment."(1)

Organizations using ACT! Premium for Web 2005 can realize up to 60% lower total cost of ownership over alternatives such as Salesforce.com Professional edition, while keeping complete ownership of their valuable customer data, avoiding ongoing subscription fees and benefiting from the ability to add users, capacity and storage as needed to optimize their business.(2)

"Sage has delivered an interesting contact management solution for users who are still wary of storing their data with hosted solutions providers," said Denis Pombriant, managing principal of Beagle Research Group. "Sales force automation and CRM solutions that have a feature-rich heritage and can leverage centralized data sources via the Web to keep data assets in-house and easily accessible provide another option for companies of all sizes that are becoming involved in CRM."

Anytime, anywhere access to customer data

ACT! helps sales and marketing professionals track opportunities, close sales, and manage customer relationships by streamlining the communications and tasks required for successful relationship selling.

ACT! Premium for Web 2005 expands the reach and simplicity of the feature-rich ACT! toolset with Web-based access so sales professionals and corporate workgroups in any location, at any time can:

--  Work with easy-to-use and time-tested features that can be customized
    for individual and industry-specific preferences;
--  Increase productivity by efficiently managing appointments,
    activities, documents, customer communications and campaigns and
    notes/histories;
--  Improve bottom-line results by automating and customizing key aspects
    of the sales cycle to provide better forecasting and opportunity tracking;
--  Access data quickly using keyword searches, detailed views and list
    sorting;
--  Organize data efficiently using group, sub-group and company
    categories;
--  Collaborate with team members using Web or Windows permission-based
    access to customer information, team calendars and company resources.
    
Most flexible deployment and security options

ACT! Premium for Web 2005 is built on the ACT! 2005 framework, developed using .NET, and uses a centrally administered server that resides securely behind a company's firewall and updates customer data in real time -- eliminating the need for remote synchronization and end-user software installation. The product can be deployed easily in single-server, dual-server or multiple architecture scenarios to support an organization's precise performance and security preferences.

ACT! Premium for Web 2005 works in conjunction with ACT! Premium for Workgroups 2005 and, combined, the products function as the industry's only contact and customer management solution that lets users work online and offline seamlessly without sacrificing features, performance and security. With ACT! Premium for Workgroups 2005, users can also synchronize their contact data with many Palm, Pocket PC and BlackBerry handheld devices.

Simple administration

ACT! Premium for Web 2005 servers allow administrators to quickly and easily add new users and set individual and group data access permissions. The system also provides an automatic software update option, so end users can receive new features instantly.

Administrators can customize screen layouts and reports easily by creating customizations once and rolling them out seamlessly to all desired users.

Synergy between the ACT! Web and Windows products helps reduce training and support time for new users, as many Windows users can adapt quickly to the familiar ACT! environment online and the products' similar and intuitive interfaces help new users quickly learn how to use features and embrace the ACT! experience.

ACT! from Sage Software

ACT! Premium for Web 2005 further expands the Sage Software portfolio of easy-to-use, flexible and affordable customer relationship management solutions for small and medium-sized businesses that also includes ACT! Premium for Workgroups 2005, Sage CRM and the SalesLogix CRM Suite.

ACT! Premium for Web 2005 is available through the ACT! Corporate Licensing Team for $399.99 (upgrade licenses $259.95) by phoning 888-855-5222, and from more than 400 ACT! Certified Consultants located at www.act.com/certifiedconsultants.

ACT! Premium for Workgroups 2005 is available for $399.99 (upgrade $259.95).

About Sage Software (formerly Best Software)

Sage Software offers leading business management products and services that support the needs, challenges and dreams of more than 2.4 million small and mid-sized customers in North America. Its parent company, The Sage Group plc (LSE: SGE.L), supports 4.5 million customers worldwide. For more than 25 years, Sage Software has delivered easy-to-use, scalable and customizable applications through its portfolio of leading brands, including Abra, ACCPAC, ACT!, BusinessVision, CPASoftware, FAS, MAS 90, MAS 200, MAS 500, MIP, Peachtree, SalesLogix, and Timberline Office, among many others. For more information, please visit the Web site at www.bestsoftware.com/moreinfo or call (866) 308-BEST.

(1) To access ACT! Premium for Web 2005 data through an offline client requires licenses of both ACT! Premium for Web 2005 and ACT! Premium for Workgroups 2005.

(2) TCO comparison of ACT! Premium for Web 2005 and Salesforce.com Professional edition is based on three year licensing scenario comparing user implementation ranges for 5 to 50 users. Costs are based on list prices for both products as of May 2005, as well as yearly update costs and server hardware costs for ACT! They do not include any ACT! volume or promotional discounts or potential Salesforce.com promotional offers.

© 2005 Sage Software SB, Inc. All rights reserved. ACT!, SalesLogix and Sage CRM are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sage Software, Inc. or its affiliated entities. All other brands are trademarks of their respective companies.

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