What do you like best?
It has darn near every type of field available, action built-in and follow-up type of alert you could possibly think of. You can custom create more fields, run reports on all fields even those you created, you can customize the view and layout that every user in your organization will see, or create one for different departments that displays the fields they use the most. My accounting team loves me for this, as I created custom views for them that shows the customer information pertaining to their department.
The backup routine is super useful and it works! You can setup what days, time and destinations to backup to, including network shares that are attached via iSCSI, local drive, external drive, or setup a routine to backup and copy it offsite.
De-duplication tools are really useful and it integrates with email clients to record emails automatically that it matches to profiles inside your ACT!
As it uses SQL databases, you can offload this to another server to speed up the processes and to grow the database to whatever size you require.
What do you dislike?
It is huge. It is a mega-huge program and takes a long time to load. In today's world, we want speed and only load up the useful things pertinent to my job. I do not need it loading 10 thousand other things that I'll never use. Making it more customizable to remove all the excess items that are great, but I'll never use in my company, would make it less 'heavy' and much quicker to load.
Only compatible with Windows.
It locks up a lot when running huge reports.
Recommendations to others considering the product
I always say test things first. However, with ACT, a simple test is outside the typical realm of how much time or effort one will invest to test out a product. It takes a lot to setup, a lot. It will require a dedicated server and is a resource hog. Do not try to deploy it in a VM environment...unless you can reserve all the system resources only for that one VM.
Do not get anxiety with how many fields and actions exist inside ACT. Instead, just start small, task yourself with creating a look that works for you, this is called a Layout. Then create some customers. Consider what things you'd want to do with ACT, like follow up with a customer, contact them on their birthday, etc. Set reminders for these things and create a rule to automatically create them for future customers. This will alert you and perform whatever action you determine, such as send an email to the customer wishing them a happy birthday, or welcome them back from their vacation you booked for them, etc.
What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
Securely storing client data. It servers as our CRM and as it is a secure database residing on SQL, it can be expanded to meet your needs. It also helps to track email responses to customers by automatically recording the emails inside the database.