Have you ever had trouble with your Act!-Outlook integration? Here’s how Caldere helped a client with a difficult issue.
One of our longstanding Act! clients uses a complex system of several databases and has a few dozen users in total. Their data administrator is what IT support people consider a “superuser”, someone who has more experience and authority than most other people in her company who use the program. She’s smart, and has become knowledgeable enough to train new users and to deal with many common problems on her own. So when she calls us with an issue, as she did not long ago, we know it’s going to be an interesting one!
The Support Issue
When Act!-Outlook integration is set up and functioning properly, an Act! user can access e-mail from within contact records. They can start an e-mail with a contact by clicking within the contact’s record, the e-mail itself should show in contact history, and so forth. One staff member had lost the ability to use that Act!-Outlook integration functionality.
The data admin knew the usual things to do, of course. First she made sure the staff member had the right permissions. She looked to see whether they were accessing the right database files in the right way, and she asked them whether Outlook itself had had any issues. She checked the staff member’s Act! Preferences to make sure the e-mail settings were correctly set as Caldere had recommended. But then she was surprised to see that E-mail System Setup didn’t show the check boxes for selecting either Outlook or Act! e-mail. The field where the options were normally shown was quite blank. All she could do was close Act! and call us for support.
Diagnosing the Act!-Outlook Issue
We contacted the data admin, and she sat with the staff member to consult while we set up a remote support session on the user computer. First we checked the data admin’s work to make sure we understood what she had seen and done. We confirmed that the options were not appearing in E-mail System Setup, and we made sure all the easiest fixes had been tried (it’s always best to try those first!).
Then we moved on to intermediate-level diagnostics. We verified that the user was running compatible versions of Outlook and Act!, and that there were no known conflicts between the Act! plugin for Outlook and any other Outlook plugins. The user’s Outlook profile looked fine. There were no identifiable compatibility issues between Act! or Outlook and any other software installed on the computer.
How We Solved It
We moved on to the more advanced-level fixes. These can involve fixing damaged programs, editing the registry, or as a last resort uninstalling and reinstalling Act! itself, so they would not have been things the data admin would have tried by herself. One problem that is known to cause the E-mail System Setup to show blank is related to Microsoft Visual C++. Since C++ is a Microsoft product, not part of Act!, only limited assistance is available from the Act! vendor’s customer support. We wound up removing the suspected problem redistributable and reinstalling it from a verified good download. We then downloaded and ran a complex batch file that reset several functions and ensured the newly reinstalled redistributable was operating properly.
After applying that fix, we rebooted the user computer and checked to make sure the options appeared in E-mail System Setup (they did, and everyone cheered). We verified that Act! worked as expected once the preferences were set according to our usual operating standards. Then we opened Outlook and verified that the add-ins had been properly installed and were working correctly with Act!. We made sure that the data admin and the staff member understood the issue and that they were happy with the solution, then we ended the support session and let them get back to work.
What We Can Do for You
At Caldere, our tech support team has been working with Act! for many years. We combine our unusual depth of experience and intelligent grasp of systems with a willingness to go the extra mile in identifying and resolving the problems that stop you from being productive. Call us if you’d like us to be your first line of defense when unexpected things happen.
More details about the solution we successfully applied in this case study can be found in the Act! Knowledgebase.