Act-On Marketing Software Review of Cloud and Price
Act-On Software Hosting & Cloud Delivery
Act-On marketing software is delivered in the Software as a Service (SaaS) model. The marketing software application is not available on-premise, in a private cloud or in a third party public cloud (such as Amazon EC2, Microsoft Azure, Rackspace, etc.)
The Act-On marketing software is hosted from Oregon in the EasyStreet Online Services data centers. EasyStreet is a secured facility that operates multiple upstream internet connections through three Tier 1 providers (AT&T, Century Link and Level 3). While not one of the better known data center facilities it has an impressive uptime history and is a respected provider.
While much of the Act-On data center equipment is configured in HA (High Availability) mode for fail-over purposes, the company does not operate multiple data centers for redundancy or fail-over. This may or may not be a concern for SMB's but may actually eliminate Act-On software from consideration for many larger companies.
The Act-On data center is SSAE 16 (successor to SAS 70) certified, however, Act-On itself is not certified which increases risk of SaaS downtime and system compromise. SaaS history shows that when SaaS downtime occurs, its seldom the result of a third party data center breach with ping or power but more likely caused by actions of the data center customer (in this case, the publisher being Act-On) and often the result of events such as a new version installation, an application software update, the unintended consequence of a new security patch, the unrecognized ramifications of a platform software (database, operating system, antivirus, etc.) update, the all too frequent unintended consequence of equipment configuration or maintenance, or a misstep in (or complete absence of) a proper change control process. The data center's hosting certification is completely irrelevant for the issues that most often cause SaaS downtime and problems.
The company displays a Return Path Sender Score and a Cisco SenderBase rating for its range of IP addresses (which suggests email reputation and deliverability) and data center/service availability uptime at its Trust site.
Surprisingly, Act-On Software does not offer customers a Service Level Agreement (SLA)—something often available from more mature SaaS vendors and other marketing software providers who routinely publicize their SLA as a method to demonstrate uptime assurance. This is particularly odd as the marketing software product is only available online, meaning that if the service fails or becomes interrupted marketing is at a standstill.
Act-On Software Pricing
Subscription contracts run month-to-month and do not require annual commitments. Subscription pricing begins at $500 per month, and is based upon the number of marketing users, sales users and 'active' contacts touched during the period. For example, the entry fee of $500 per month supports up to three marketing users, 5 sales users and 5,000 active contacts (plus an unlimited number of inactive contacts). Contacts are considered active if they are included in a campaign, receive a message or incur an activity during the period.
Additional marketing users may be added for an additional $100 per month while additional sales users are priced at $40 per month. Successive active lead increments are staged at 10,000 for $750 per month, 25,000 for $1250 per month, 50,000 for 1750 per month, 100,000 for $2500 per month, 250,000 for $4K per month and so on up to 10M for $25K per month.
The company offers a 14 day free trial account in order to vet the application.
Act-On Software does not charge an extra fee for the Salesforce.com connector. Combined with no setup fees and no cancellation fees, the simple pricing model is a breadth of fresh air for marketing software buyers.
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