I had an interesting conversation with a customer recently. This customer was considering leaving ACT! and moving to SalesForce. While discussing the benefits of ACT! and comparing against SalesForce, the customer asked, “Don’t you see the day that everything is cloud-based?” We hear this, or some version of this, nearly every day. Customers frantically trying to figure out ways to move their businesses into the “Cloud”, nervous they’ll be left behind some technology barrier otherwise. Spoiler alert: they stayed with ACT! and are quickly adding new ACT! users.
Yes, being virtual sounds very cutting edge. There are media spots painting a world where we can magically share everything, from any computer, any device, all seamlessly and blazing fast. I, being the good consultant, answered the question with a question. “What if you don’t have the internet?” This is where I hear the imaginary crickets. Most users haven’t thought that part through. Before you hurry and move everything to the Cloud, pause and think, do you ALWAYS have access to the Cloud? If not, is it really best wholly rely something you don’t always have?
Most people don’t think about this, but really, what about when there is no internet? Personally, I live on a little slice of the boondocks. We are well off the beaten path and just barely have DSL. There are times I have no internet. Maybe because the field mice are overly active, or because the wind is too blustery, or who knows why, but I have no Cloud. If I were without internet and were completely, 100% reliant on the Cloud, I’d be dead in the water. Without my ACT! database, I can’t work. I have no Contact info, no calendar, without that data I’d have no way to work. I work like most of our Hosting customers. I have ACT! installed on my computer in my office, and my office is in my home. I sync with the main database that is on one of our servers in our Columbus Data Center. That way, even on the sunniest, most cloudless days when I might be without internet, I have my database. I can still work and be productive. If I’m out of the office and don’t feel like lugging my laptop, I can get to my web-based ACT! from anywhere. It’s truly the best of both worlds, even when there’s not a “Cloud” in the sky.