Can My VoIP System Integrate with CRM?

Can My VoIP System Integrate with CRM? Absolutely!

Have you been wondering, “Can my VoIP system integrate with CRM?” If so, then you’ll be pleased to know that our new tool, Call Monitor, is a VoIP addon for Act! that connects your Act! database with Skype, Nextiva, Vonage Business, or Simple Signal. It’s a simple but powerful solution that allows you to make and receive calls, as well as seamlessly update contact histories. Here’s an overview of how it works.

Making Calls

After installation, you’ll see that each contact has a call button next to the Phone field. When you want to make a call, simply navigate to the contact of interest, and click on the call button. While your call is being connected, a small window will appear that has various options related to the call. You can select your Type (Appointment, Marketing Call, Meeting, etc.) and Result (Call Attempted, Call Completed, etc.).

The time, date, and duration of the call are pre-populated, editable fields. The “Link To” field shows the record in Act! to which the call is linked, but you can link to more records if you wish. Call Monitor will save a history to all records that are specified in the “Link To” field. Any of these records can be removed from the list in case you make a mistake or change your mind.

You also have the option to “Link to Open Opps in Selected Contacts” and/or “Link to Associated Companies.” From the “Regarding” dropdown list, you may select the nature of the call or add a new topic if it doesn’t appear in the list. In the “Details” box, you can enter any information that you’d like to include in the record’s history. Finally, there’s an option to schedule a follow-up call, and all of the above information will be added to the history upon clicking the OK button.

Receiving Calls

When you receive a call, a window will appear in the lower right corner of your screen. Click on the “Answer Call” button at the top to answer the call. Alternatively, you may reject the call or send it to voicemail. If you answer the call, then a “Hang Up” button will appear.

The window that pops up when receiving a call has all of the same fields that you would see when making a call, such as Type, Result, Link To, and Details. In other words, Call Monitor brings up the pertinent data about the person who’s calling you, and you can edit the information while on the call. Since this happens in a separate window, you don’t have to leave your current place within Act! or any other application that you happen to be using.

Get the Demo

Another nice feature of Call Monitor is that it need not be used just for making and receiving calls. Contact us to learn more about how Call Monitor can help you with your day-to-day CRM tasks. Feel free to play around with the demo, too. The free trial is good for 30 days, and we don’t ask you to provide your contact information in order to download it. The demo is compatible with Act! 2010/v12 and greater. It does not, however, work with Act! for Web.

How to Overcome the Monotony of Data Entry

How to Overcome the Monotony of Data Entry

Although data entry is a vital part of keeping updated and organized records for your company, the process lends itself to tedium and repetitiveness. Employees in charge of entering data have the daunting task of ensuring that the information they provide is accurate, complete, and done quickly. Boredom, lack of focus, and the physical effects of data entry projects can lead to losses in productivity and accuracy.

How can you overcome the monotony of data entry? Try some of these solutions.

Prevent physical problems with ergonomic solutions.

You have the equipment that you require for data entry, but using furniture and other tools that can lessen the physical impact of repetitive computer work will increase productivity and accuracy. Some examples include:

Using specially designed seats or cushions to improve posture
Reduce screen glare, or adjust screen resolution to avoid eye strain
Properly light workstations
Customize software interfaces to allow a smooth workflow
Automate as much of the process as possible – AutomatoR1 is a great way to start!
Purchase comfortable keyboards, mice, and wrist support
Take Strategic Breaks.

As with any undesirable tasks, working incrementally and taking small breaks throughout the day can help make data entry manageable for any employee. Taking small breathers should also cut down on distractions caused by boredom.

Establish goals.

Even when projects are ongoing, setting and reaching goals are important steps to feeling validated and that efforts are worthwhile. Even if the work itself remains the same, creating benchmarks in data entry can make the task more manageable, even when there is no end in sight.

Play music.

As long as it doesn’t distract, using something stimulating like music or the radio can make the process more interesting. The important aspect of this is keeping alert and on-task, so curing boredom is a must.

Since data entry is so important to your company’s day-to-day operations, taking the time and effort to improve your own experience should be a top priority. Not only will this make the task of data entry much more bearable, but you should find that the quality and quantity of your work will improve.

Of course, having quality software to complete your data entry projects is a must as well. Contact us for assistance with CRM software or reaching your company’s goals.

Database-USA Joins DesignR1


Mark Hammer






January 5, 2016

Database-USA joins DesignR1 Software, LLC


Tempe, AZ, January 5, 2016– DesignR1 Software, LLC is very pleased to announce that Database-USA has joined our team. Daniel Graves, President of Database-USA, will join us as a Senior Act! Consultant.

“Daniel brings to us a wealth of experience with Act! CRM. His 25 plus years of real world problem solving will be a tremendous asset for DesignR1 and our customers.” – Rainer Hoffmueller, CEO of DesignR1

Daniel has a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from Vanderbilt and a MBA from Florida Institute of Technology. He has been installing and customizing Act! since 1991. He brings an extensive knowledge of Business Development and Real World Software Solutions to the table.

“In 15 years of business using Act!, I have had nothing but problems, troubles and issues. I have never found an Act! Certified Consultant whom I could trust to get the job done. Now, I have Daniel Graves… whom I KNOW will absolutely get the job done and leave my office with a system that runs like a top!” –Marsha Fax, President of Fax Creative

DesignR1 is a Diamond Select Certified Act! Consulting Company. All that fancy title means is that we are really good at taking care of all our customers’ Act! needs. No job is too small. No job is too big. We do it right, the first time, every time. Your business is just as important to us as it is to you.

# # #

If you would like more information about DesignR1, or about how Act! can help your business, please contact Mark Hammer at 480-755-9029 or email at

DesignR1 – AutomatoR1 Manual

Software Compatibility and System Requirements

AutomatoR1 is compatible with ACT! 2005 through Current

To work properly and reliably AutomatoR1 requires that all system requirements for ACT! be met on the system. These requirements are determined by software version. Please refer to the system requirements documentation for the versions you are using to verify compatibility.

AutomatoR1 also requires .Net framework version 1.1. If this is not installed, you will receive a prompt to download it from the Microsoft website.


Obtain the software by downloading it from

Before installation of AutomatoR1, it is recommended you close all open applications, including ACT!

AutomatoR1 is packaged in a single installation file and this will extract and install all components on the system. Double-clicking the install file will launch the Setup Wizard.

  1. To proceed with installation click Next.
  1. After picking your installation preferences, the Setup Wizard will continue after clicking Next.
  2. During installation a progress bar will appear.
  3. When the installation is complete a dialogue box will appear, click Close to complete the installation.


Registering AutomatoR1

There are two instance where the registration will pop up for you to register:

  1. If you load a layout with no AutomatoR1 buttons on it yet when you place a button the Register pop up will be presented.
  2. If you load a layout with an AutomatoR1 button already on it, the registration pop up will be presented when ACT! loads up.

On the first screen press the Register button and the following screen will be displayed.

After you fill in your Registration info press the Register button, it may take a few seconds. A green message saying you’ve been activated will appear on the bottom of the screen to the left of the Register button. If it did not register correctly a red message will display in the same location saying why it didn’t register correctly.



Using AutomatoR1

Adding AutomatoR1 options to the ACT! Layout Designer

AutomatoR1 works within the ACT! layout designer. To make AutomatoR1 available in the ACT! layout designer, it is necessary to right-click in the layout designer toolbox and then choose Customize…

In the Customize Toolbox menu, check off AutomatoR1 and QuickActions


Adding AutomatoR1 buttons to ACT! layouts

After adding AutomatoR1 to the Layout Designer toolbox, a new section called “Custom” will appear and under Custom an option for AutomatoR1 and QuickActions both appear.

After choosing AutomatoR1 a new button can be placed on the layout.


Adding QuickAction buttons to ACT! layouts

Simply add the QuickActions buttons by clicking on the QuickActions option in the ToolBox

Then place in the desired location on your layout.

Please note that this can be placed on any layout. QuickActions is not customizable. If you would like to edit the actions you will have to build the custom buttons.


Configuring AutomatoR1 Buttons on ACT! Layouts

AutomatoR1 buttons use a default naming scheme when first created. This can be changed by adjusting the Text property in the properties window for the button.

After setting the AutomatoR1 button on the layout and adjusting the name, the button properties can be changed by modifying the ButtonActions property under data in the properties window for the button.

Click the ellipses (…) in the ButtonActions box and the AutomatoR1 Edit Actions dialogue will appear.


To create a new action, click the New button. This will enable the Action dropdown which will have situational options beneath it.

An individual AutomatoR1 button can have multiple actions configured to launch when clicked. They are processed in order from top to bottom. Changes made with the AutomatoR1 button are applied to the current contact when applicable.


AutomatoR1 Button Actions

There are 16 actions available with AutomatoR1. These actions are defined below.

Append Data

This action will append data to any field in the database specified for the current contact. This value may be a static value (for example “Apples”), the contents of another field identified with braces (for example “{spouse}”) or with a complex expression.

Example: If the salutation filed value started out as “Fred” and the value in the spouse field was “Wilma” the button would change the salutation field to read “Fred & Wilma”

Copy Data

This action will copy data from one specified field to another on the current contact. This action will overwrite the data in the target field.

Example: A button could be created to copy an address to a mail merge address block for the purpose of mail merges. So if a contact has 3 addresses, a button could be created for each address block that would allow that address data to be copied to the mail merge address block. Copying data overwrites any value that may currently be in that field

Delete Data

This action will delete the data in the target field.


    Create Activity

    This action will create an activity based on the settings you define in the Activity     Options dialog

Example: Creating a button for a sales person that would create an Activity to follow up with the     current contact 2 days from the day the button was press at 9:30am and will ring an alarm     15minues before the appointment. Also if the activity scheduled ends up on a weekend you can     set it to be scheduled for the Friday before or the Monday after.

Create History

This action will create a History with the parameters sent in the History Options dialog.

Example: Creating a button that will create a history on the current record saying that the current month’s invoice has been sent.


Create Note

This action will create a Note with a predefined text on the current record.


Driving Directions

This action will use Google Maps or MapQuest (as selected) to map driving directions from the My Record’s home or main address to the current contact’s home or main address.



Export Record

This action will copy a record to a specified SQL database.

Go To

This action will perform a defined lookup for company, contact or group data. If there are no results found, no action will be taken. This function can be used to perform static lookups for specific data (for example the city of Chicago) or a matching field based off of the current contact noted in braces (for example a contact search for data {city} will return all contacts in the same city as the current contact).

Insert Data

This action will insert a value at the beginning of the target field. This can be static data (for example “Apples”) or the contents of another field identified by braces (for example “{spouse}”).


Mail Merge

This action will perform a mail merge on a specified Template for a specified record or set of record defined in the Mail Merge Options dialog.


This action will perform a specified mathematical equation. This can be a simple static equation (“5+5”), a conditional equation (“{Amount Owed} * (.08 * (365 / DaysSince({Create Date})))”) or even extremely complex equations involving If statements, sin(), cos(), tan(), exponents, and other mathematical operators and methods.


Move Data

This action will move the data from one specified field to another for the current contact. The data will be removed from the original field.

Prompt to Continue

This action could be placed in a list of other actions to verify you’d like to continue with the actions the button is about to execute.

Example: creating a prompt that would ask if you’d like to continue to turn a contact into a customer. A no would stop the button action and a yes would allow the button to continue on to the next action in the action list for that button.

Range Lookup

This action will perform a function identical to Go To but will prompt for a range when the lookup is completed if there are more than 1 records matching the criteria. For example, if a lookup returns 300 results the Range Lookup can be set to only return 1-99.


Require Field Data

This action will can be placed into a button to make a certain field or set of fields required in order to proceed with the rest of your actions.

Resolve Zip Code

This action will resolve the Zip+4 for the current contact from the specified address block (main or home).


Run Program

This action will launch a specified program. Command line parameters can be set for this action.

Set Data

This action will overwrite the data in the specified field with a static value (“Apples”) or another field in braces (“{spouse}”).


Set Source Record

This action will allow AutomatoR1 actions to pull data from a specified contact other than the current record when initiated allowing you to do other actions after that like copying data from the newly set source record.

String Manipulation

This action will process complex equations for the specified field on the current contact. This is identical in function to the Set Data action but will automatically call Eval() on the value.

Swap Data

This action will swap data between two specified fields.


If you are experiencing problems please contact our support team at:

877-755-9029 or

Restore Without Username – ACC Admin Pack Tips and Tricks

This tool does exactly what it the name says. When you don’t know the username and/or password for an Act! database, so long as the ZIP file is not password protected, Restore Without Username can extract and restore the database so that you can login as a known user, or use Password ResetteR1 to change an administrator’s password.

When Restore Without Username launches, after entering your ACC Admin Pack credentials, this is the first screen you’ll see:

First, click the top “Browse…” button and select your ACT! backup file, then use the bottom “Browse…” button and choose where you’d like the database restored:

If you’d just like Restore Without Username to extract the DB but not attempt an ACT! restore, you can check the checkbox. This can be useful when restoring a Pro database on a Premium machine, or restoring a database from an older version of ACT!. Otherwise, click the “Start” button and you’ll see a progress indicator:

Finally, when Restore Without Username is done, the progress bar will be full and the button will say “Close”. You can now open your database with ACT!.

act! Users. If you upgraded to Office 2013, You Need This Tool!

Did you upgrade to Office 2013 or 365? You have probably noticed that your act! software is not compatible with it… Look no further guys! DesignR1 has developed a fix to get you back to working order! Our Office 2013 Pack is a plugin that allows act! to see Office 2013 as your default email, and word processing software. It comes with a free 30 trial, so follow the link and try it out today.


Office 2013 Pack

Enables support for Office 2013 in Sage ACT! 2011 to Sage ACT! 2013

$24.95 — $74.95

** Please download the trial before you buy to make sure this plug-in will work for you.** Click here

The Office 2013 Pack is a simple plugin which will allow you to use Microsoft Word 2013, Excel 2013, and Outlook 2013 with any version of Sage ACT! which supports Office 2010.

Simply install the plugin, and go to your preferences to select Microsoft Word as your word processor and Outlook as your email client, and you’re set!

Please note you must have Microsoft Office 2013 32bit installed for our tool to work.
If you are using Windows 8 you need to run ACT! as an administrator to register Office 2013 pack properly.

Warning: This tool simply enables Sage ACT! to see that office is installed when you have Office 2013 on your computer. It does not improve the native performance of any of the Sage ACT! plugins for Microsoft Office. This means that if you get an error with Outlook integration or merging a file to Word, you will need to contact ACT! technical support – not DesignR1 Software. If you are receiving a lot of errors from the ACT!/Outlook integration, DesignR1 has an alternative integration tool called Outlook IntegrateR1 which can help.

If you need ACT! address book in Microsoft Office 2013 please reference the following Sage Knowledge Base article Click Here

Click here to download a trial of Office 2013 Pack
  • Sage ACT! 2011 and Greater
  • Microsoft Office 2013 32bit
Click here to download a manual for Office 2013 Pack
Q: How do I get rid of this error message when I open ACT after I installed your product?
A: If you experience this error message, please close ACT and right-click the ACT icon and choose “Run as Administrator”.

6 Sales Tax Tips for Small Business from Our Friends at Avalara

It seems that sales tax compliance has never been more
complicated. To help your small business achieve greater
success and security, we offer you 6 sales tax tips. Each tip
was selected by an Avalara sales tax expert, and is designed
to help you stay on top of the ever-shifting sales tax landscape

1) Nexus

Determine if you created nexus in any new jurisdiction over the year.
Have you sent an agent or sales representative to a new state? Delivered and installed a product in a new state on a regular basis? Did you hire new employees that work from a remote location? Answering yes to any of these questions may mean that you will have nexus in a new state. Nexus laws are often quite complex and each state is different. Review the laws in each new state where you conducted business. If you have indeed established nexus, check the state’s sales tax laws so that you can accurately calculate, file, and remit your sales tax liability.

2) Mandatory e-filing

Check if you will be required to pay your returns electronically.
Each state decides which payment options it offers to businesses. Some states require businesses with larger tax liability to make electronic payments. On the other hand, some jurisdictions do not have the infrastructure to support electronic payment. Knowing the payment options and requirements in your states will ensure that you know the correct way to pay.

3) Pre-payment

Find out whether you will be required to make pre-payments in any jurisdiction.
Check the prepayment requirements in your jurisdictions. A number of jurisdictions require prepayment for larger tax amounts. Some prepayments involve a different filing schedule than regular returns, sometimes more than once a month. This means that if you find you are required to make prepayments, and you remit sales tax in multiple jurisdictions, you may end up with multiple filing schedules to manage. Adjust your calendar accordingly!

4) Sales tax payable

Reconcile your sales tax payable account.
Make time to reconcile your sales tax payable account with your source documents.

Here are the steps:
1. Identify the balance of your account at the beginning of the accounting period.
2. Add the total amount billed to customers.
3. Subtract the total sales and use tax paid, either electronically or by check, before timely filing discount.
4. Reconcile this amount with the current balance of your sales tax payable account.
5. Re-class any discount or rounding balances to the proper general ledger account.

5) Check Checks

Verify that all checks you have issued have cleared the bank.
While this may seem unnecessary, a misplaced notice from the bank or the Department of Revenue might result in an outstanding sales tax balance. Be sure to review your process for receiving and sorting incoming documents, especially if you employ part-time staff. Do you know what lurks in your stack of papers or filing cabinet?

6) Filing Frequencies

Update the filing frequencies on your tax calendars.
The beginning of the year is a great time to make sure you know how often you’ll be required to file your sales and use tax returns. Jurisdictions typically send notices to taxpayers several months in advance of their filing frequency changing, however if you don’t receive a notice, that does not mean the new filing frequency doesn’t apply.


Please join the following webinar for some great information on Avalara Tax Solutions integrated with Quickbooks.


CRM: Red Pill or Blue Pill?


Spoiler alert:  Choose the red pill.

Red Pill or Blue Pill?


I read an article today about eleven terrible CRM systems.  After listing several popular CRMs, the author made this strong point:  They are all terrible when they aren’t implemented in the right way.

That got me thinking about some of the failed implementations I’ve seen—folks who bought a CRM system and then let it sit on the shelf, unused and gathering dust, because they weren’t willing to make an initial investment of time and money to get it running.

In The Matrix, the red pill and blue pill represent the choice between the blissful ignorance of illusion (blue) and embracing the sometimes painful truth of reality (red).

If you have customers, you need CRM.  But it is a platform, not a plug-and-play panacea.

Take the red pill.  Talk to a good consultant.  Ask them for a realistic understanding of time, budget and resource needs.  Be prepared to invest a little more up front so that your CRM deployment is a success.

Or you can take the blue pill and continue business as usual.  The choice is yours.


Uninstalling IE 10 on Windows 7

With the new version of Internet Explorer (IE 10) being released with Windows updates now we have noticed that ACT 2011 (version 13) and older are not compatible with it. In this post we will cover how to uninstall IE 10 from machines running Windows 7. Please remember that these steps only are applicable if you have a Windows 7 machine and are using ACT 2011 and older.

First                       Check the Version of Internet Explorer being used on the machine. To check which version of Internet Explorer you are using, open Internet Explorer, press the “alt” key, go to the help menu that appears now, and then select “About Internet Explorer”. If you have IE 10 and did not install it then please go to the next step, if you did choose to install it then please proceed to the third step.

Second              Please turn off automatic updates, if you already have them turned off then continue to the next step. Go to the start menu > control panel > Windows updates > now on the left side of the Windows updates window the third option down will be “change settings”, click on “change settings” > In this Window please select “Never check for updates” from the drop down menu, uncheck the boxes if you would like, once done click “OK”.

Third                     If you have IE 10 installed either by choice or through Windows updates. This step will help you get rid of it and revert back to IE 9. Again navigate to the control panel, this time going to the programs/programs and features window > install a program (if applicable) > once you can see the list of all installed programs, that is where we want to be > on the left, select “view installed updates” > locate and select “Windows Internet Explorer 10” > and again on the left side select uninstall update. This will get rid of Internet Explorer 10 and automatically revert you back to using IE 9, now would be a good time to restart your computer.

If you are unfortunate enough and had to replace your computer with one running Windows 8 IE 10 comes preinstalled and there is no easy way to revert it back to IE 9. And again this is only a problem if you are using ACT 2011 and older.

Importing Data into ACT! – Histories

So, it’s finally come down to it. You have to start importing data into ACT!, and some of that data ACT! itself won’t let you import, and you have no idea where to start or how to go about it. If you’re an ACC Admin Pack subscriber, you have nothing to worry about. DR1 Importer makes importing Histories, or any of the other ACT! record types, super easy!

Let’s get started.

First, you launch DR1 Importer, enter your credentials, and make it to the initial screen:


OK, not too bad… Two options: A) Browse for your ACT! database, or B) if you’re an old pro at this and already saved your settings for your import, you can click on “Load Import Settings” and go that route.

We’re going to browse for our database, select it, enter our login credentials for ACT!, and then, viola! We’re back here:


Next thing we need to do is head on over to the “Secondary Entities” tab, since we want to import Histories. Once we’re there, we need to choose a data source for our History data:


Clicking the “Browse…” button asks us another easy question: do we want to import data from a file/database, or from a SQL Server? We’re going to go with a file, since our data is in an Excel file:


And after that, we pick our file, and potentially the table/worksheet from the file depending on what sort of file we chose, and then we’re back here:


Sweet! We’ve loaded our data, we can see that we selected the “Histories” worksheet from our Excel file, and there are two records in that file.

Now, on to mapping the fields for the import. DR1 Importer will auto-map columns when they’re named the same thing, so since we took a little care to set up our source file nicely, everything is happily auto-mapped.


Note that the “Contact” field wasn’t mapped anywhere. That’s because we need to use it to link the Histories to their appropriate Contacts.

Head on over to the “Table Links and Options” tab, and then using the “Specify Linking Fields” under the “Histories to Contacts” section, tell DR1 Importer how to search for Contacts to link the Histories to:


We’ve told DR1 Importer that it should use the value in the “Contact” field from our source file to do a lookup in ACT! against the “Contact” field, and then match things that way.


That being done, DR1 Importer will let you know that the link has been set:


Next, we need to tell DR1 Importer what the values for “History Type” in our source file should map to in our ACT! database.


Again, we carefully set up our source data, so everything auto-mapped.


Now that that’s done, we should be good!

Let’s recap. We’ve

  • Logged into our ACT! database
  • Selected our source file
  • Mapped the source file fields
  • Told DR1 Importer how to link the new Histories to Contacts
  • Told DR1 Importer how to map the History Types from the file into the ACT! database

Can you think of anything else? Nope, me neither. So, let’s head on over to the “Progress” Tab:


Just a couple of things to mention here.

If you think you might want to do this import again (probably after getting a new source data file), click the “Save Import Settings…” button and it’ll save all of the options/mappings/whatever that you set up to a nice little file that you can use later.

If you’re importing data into Contacts, Companies, Groups, or Opportunities, you’re afforded the ability to have DR1 Importer create fields for you. Clicking the “Show Pre-Import Report” button will give you a breakdown of the fields that will be created, as well as attempt to identify anything that might potentially mess up your import. Is it perfect? No. It can keep you from making a silly mistake that would otherwise cost you four hours waiting for the import to finish, though.

Assuming everything is all set up and you’re happy, just hit the start button and watch the progress bars and little numbers show you the fruits of your efforts.

When you’re all done, you should see something like this:


On the off chance that a few of your source records failed to import for one reason or another, DR1 Importer keeps track of those and asks you if you want to review the failed data at the end of the process. This gives you the opportunity to figure out what’s bad about the data, fix it, and run another import against just the failed data, if you so choose.

Now, look at that! You just managed to import Histories into ACT!

Feel free to take all the credit when you show the customer their database. It never hurts to let them know how awesome you are.