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Moving Act! CRM Contact data to Opportunities


We regularly find customers using the Contacts area of Act! to manage jobs, (projects, sales and quotes).
This has been done historically due to the inadequacies of the Act! Opportunities area, not least in the ability to extract data from the opportunity into documents for example quotes. With Seamless Opportunities the problem in the Opportunity’s area is resolved.
By using the Contact area to manage jobs, users end up duplicating Contact details many times over. This has the effect of creating disparate contact data vis-à-vis historical interactions and “muddies the waters” for users trying to find information about a customer.
Customers are therefore left with historically muddled Contact data sets. At Seamless CRM, we are able to manipulate this data to move the job information from the Contact record to new Opportunities. In doing so we create Opportunities, give them new unique reference numbers, take information from fields in the Contact record and create products and services and link deduplicated Contacts to their new Opportunities.
The deduplicated Contacts information can be recorded on the history tab off the resultant single contact. We normally use the last Contact edited as the key target record
The criteria for merging can be discussed for each individual customer’s needs, who may have a unique identifier such as an account number or it may be an address.
There is sometimes, additional work that is required to be done due to data entry errors in e.g. address information or a lack of a unique common identifier.
Contact us to discuss how we can help.

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Deleting Fields and Custom tables in Act!


One of the great things that the Act! link for Sage 50 accounting (AL4A) gives the Act! user, is the ability to query Sage 50 fields created in AL4A including the building of dynamic GROUPS to report on or use in Marketing Automation.

The problem

A fundamental design aspect of Act! is that if you are using a field (created in Act!), in Groups in a dynamic query, you cannot then delete the Act! field or Custom table until you remove it from the query. The program within AL4A to remove the Sage data (for whatever reason), will fail to remove the fields or custom tables.

If you have an AL4A field in the Contact or Company entities that you have used, then it will fail to remove it. This is more straightforward to resolve, because you can remove it manually with the standard tools “Define Fields” function.

With the standard Act! Custom tables function, you will not be allowed to delete the fields or whole custom table if a field is used in the dynamic group query until you have removed it from the query.

If you use a field from AL4A custom tables (Invoices or SOP) and then remove the Sage data using the AL4A program, it will fail and the custom table will remain in “limbo” and cannot be removed by the program. You will need to follow the following process.

The solution

  1. Remove the field(s) from the queries BEORE you remove the Sage data. It will then run without issue.
  2. If you have run it and now have the issue, follow these steps.
    1. Remove the field(s) from the query.
    2. Close Act! and have all users logged off.
    3. Install MS Management Studio (requires system reboot).
    4. Log into Mgt Studio and navigate to the Act! database affected and go to the dbo.TBL_SYSENTITY table and delete the affected SL_ table(s).

Mgt Studio SysEntity table

    1. Reboot the computer
    2. Re-run the accounting link field creation process.

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Embracing disruption in my small business


Vlog #1 Transcript – view the video.

Embracing disruption in my small business 

I’m Donald Page from Seamless CRM and I’m really out of my comfort zone. This is something new for me. It’s my first vlog. But being in a disrupted, unfamiliar space is now the new normal, and I wanted to share how I see it providing the impetus for novel solutions, even for me in my small business.

Disruption powers innovation

I’ve just read Matthew Syed’s article for the BBC in which he talks about the good that can emerge from an upside-down world. His premise is that when there are periods of upheaval and distress, we can emerge from them with a new mindset and novel solutions. Disruption is a force for innovation, and we should run with it to find our next generation of ideas.

A restaurant with no menus

And putting crazy and bizarre on the menu might just lead to something viable. Suppose you think about starting a restaurant without any menus – what might that look like? The chef might come out and announce what ingredients are available and you could design your own dish for them to cook. We used to have a great restaurant near us where the dishes were announced and paraded around by the chefs; so you got to pick from sight rather than from a menu – the theatre of it was all part of the experience; the food was scrumptious too.

A taxi firm with no vehicles

The point is not that every idea is a workable but that by disrupting conventional thought patterns you may discover a few workable, profitable gems. Imagine setting up a taxi firm without owning any vehicles? Bonkers right? But isn’t that what Uber has done?

Disruption in the education system due to Covid-19 special measures is no doubt pushing parents and children to find new ways of learning and entertaining. And perhaps challenging us to wonder how education might be delivered differently in the future, if it is proved that effective learning can take place online.

Learning to think creatively

One Mother challenged her 8-year old child to think – she was asked to go into a room and talk for a minute about the topic on the paper left for her. It took two or three goes but having dried up on the first attempt she was gradually able to build her confidence and competence to speak about tennis fluently for one minute. A new way of learning for her in a disrupted way and testament to the fact that practice and persistence in that space can be fruitful.

Embracing the hairy monster of change

All this is a challenge to me. I find it so easy to work with my clients; to think through how they can do things differently with their CRM tools to build their business, but I encounter the big, hairy, doubting imposter when I step along the path to change. So, in this disrupted world I must sidestep the naysayer and learn to explore new ideas and new ways of working.

I’ve started a vlog!

The first new solution for me is simple: broadcast what I have to share. I am a storyteller and I love to share those stories (about life, work, business) with my contacts, but I tend to do it one-to-one by phone. Whilst many of my clients, partners and potential customers are not working I don’t have the opportunity to speak to them, but they are probably on social media. And I know that video is a powerful medium for engagement. It’s just been one of those uncomfortable places I would not go and sit in.

So, this Vlog marks the first tempt to sit in that disruptive space and see what happens! If I can help you do that in your small business with my CRM expertise and as an Act! Software developer give me shout.

Read more from Matthew Syed

If you want to read Matthew Syed’s article here’s the link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-52094332. Matthew Syed is the author of Rebel Ideas: the Power of Diverse Thinking.

Thanks to those who have pushed me

And a big shout out to Pam Jones of Eight Interactive (www.eightinteractive.com) for supporting me in learning how to vlog and to my fellow director and wife, Carolyn, for booking me on Pam’s course and then telling me I was going!

Vlog #1 Transcript – view the video.


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Changing licenced users of Seamless Opportunities.


I’ve just had a customer ring me to ask about deactivating one Seamless Opportunities user and activating another. A simple process of three steps.

  1. Log into Act! as a user with Act! admin privileges and make a note of the folder locations of the templates and the saved documents from the “user” option within the Seamless Opportunities menu at the top of the screen.
  2. Go to the Seamless Opportunities licence menu option. At the bottom of the licence screen is a list of act users. The ones ticked use Seamless Opportunities and you can just untick the one(s) you no longer want and tick the new one(s) you do. Click OK, restart act and you are good to go. Please note no to exceed the number licences you have purchased, when ticking the users, otherwise you will get an error.
  3. Log in as the new user and amend their “User” folder locations using the details you took previously.

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Should I upgrade to Windows 10?


Microsoft launched their much heralded new operating system back in the summer and caught most of the developer community, not to mention the hardware manufacturers, on the hop, having said that they wouldn’t launch until the autumn. Well autumn days are giving way to winter, and many of the glitches have been identified, by the early adopters, software and hardware developers. A couple of weeks ago or so, Microsoft also did a hefty upgrade. So is it safe for Act! users to upgrade yet? Read more


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FROM CABINET MAKER TO ACT! SOFTWARE DEVELOPER


I started my career as a cabinet maker. I’d always wanted to work with wood – tree surgeon and musical instrument making were the other professions I’d considered as a teenager. I still love wood and spend whatever time I can in my workshop ‘creating.’ My wife will tell you I am also obsessed with tools. Top of my wish list right now is an adze.

Read more


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