Why HandHeldContact

Talking with Mike Lazarus, self described and evident ACT! Evangelist, about HHC (aka HandHeldContact) and he passed on a list he has of some of the HHC advantages (in no particular order):

  • No need to set up on each user’s PC – faster installation and implementation
  • Central administration – including profiles for multiple users and the ability to delete the database from a device remotely
  • Supports – Terminal services, Citrix, Web
  • Syncs wirelessly up to every 15 minutes
  • Uses its own database, so no sudden duplication of the database as happens in most of the link products.
  • Automatically send important contacts based on activities scheduled or dynamic groups
  • Records Calls, Emails and SMS made from HHC on the device
  • Up to 76 ACT! fields (26 standard and 50 user-definable)
  • Pop-ups (pull-downs) optionally sent to better support data entry
    i.e. if you have an ID STATUS field, HHC will sync the possible values for this field so that when you add a contact via the PDA you have those fields available
  • Adding activities on the device sync correctly to the right contact
  • Ability to create activities WITH multiple contacts
  • View and Schedule activities for other ACT! users
  • New build to support ACT!’s Custom Activity Types due very soon

At Evolution Marketing, I’ve been playing with HHC for a few clients. Setting up and deploying the HHC is easy. I’ve simply had people visit a URL, follow the prompts and with little work on the server end, which I’ve been doing remotely to the server, and within 30 min they have their Contacts, task and Calender on the Blackberry. Not only that but I’ve been setting it up so they can see selected calenders of other users. For me this is a major difference between using MS Exchange and ActiveSync.

So far, I haven’t setup HHC on a Windows Mobile device, but the documentation says it can be done. I hope it is as easy as the BB version.

[update: Mike has just said it is the same on WM6, also said setup time for 1 or two users is almost same as setting up 30 users, it only adds 2 min per user, which I can readily believe given the experience I've had so far. And if someone schedules an appointment or activity for you with a contact that you are not currently sync'ing to your PDA, then HHC will automagically include that contact on the next sync, how cool is that?]