Database Management + Design
Sage Act is not Sales Force. A few years ago I was handed a few pages of a quick start guide for this program and was told by the creative director at the time to become an expert in the program. He gave me a weekend. The IT manager had no material or manual for the program and our company was no longer paying for phone support for the program.
The company was having issues with duplications and client information importing, cross-sales rep confusion, and many more issues caused by a fundamental misunderstanding about how the program worked and its available functions. I can honestly say I am not ACTs strongest supporter but I have a high understanding about its functions and how it interacts with SQL, as well as how usage could be improved.
After the weekend, not only did I have a pretty solid understanding on how to fix the problems, I encountered another program they had been misusing called e-Grabber. Once I understood how the two programs interacted with each other, and used Outlook to obtain client leads, I was able to accomplish a lot of things, including reducing the amount of import errors, decreasing occurrences of duplicate records. Furthermore, I designed a user interface that included a picture-oriented training guide for basic users on how the process should be, done step by step.
Polishing it up took some time, but eventually I was even given leeway to design the layout for one of their concept ACT databases, allowing for a cleaner, more functional interface with a touch of color to add visual cues for users (for sales reps before their morning coffee).
The company has had three IT managers fail, or refuse, to learn even ACT’s simple Visual Basic-style interface design tools. With me as the only staff member who fully understands the program, the company has finally started to develop its own integrated system of management, programmed by my talented co-workers. The program is known to our company as EZ Trak and is looking to take over all of the ACT functions for the company soon. This is a very exciting time since ACT and I have a love/hate relationship.