Adobe Acrobat 4.0
Pros: A great way to share documents without losing formatting.
Cons: Instructions need work.
Adobe Acrobat is a program that can help your company move one step closer to becoming a paperless office. This document management program creates a standard format for files from a variety of other applications that allows the original document to be viewed in its original format by everyone.
A brochure created in one program might look different when opened by another program at your clients office. With Acrobat, there are more than 30 million downloads of the reader program out there, so odds are, no matter who you send the document to, they will probably be able to open it and see it without losing the original documents look and feel.
Acrobat boasts extensive document editing tools, allowing different people to strike text or stamp something as confidential or draft. These comments are on a different layer, so going back to the original is easy. Passwords can be assigned to documents, limiting who can view them. Many types of graphics and text files can be translated to the standard Acrobat format without having to rekey the information. Text can be fully indexed for easy retrieval.
One of the most intriguing functions is the ability to capture Web pages with little or no distortion. With a few clicks of the mouse, you could have a full archive of what all your competitors Web sites look like, then send them to your staff for comments. Files and graphics can be imported from scanners and digital cameras.
Overall, Acrobat 4.0 is an impressive program and would be useful for those managing complex documents between multiple companies or departments.
Smart Contact Manager 2.0
Pros: Customization options, good value.
Cons: Icons look dated.
Surado Solutions Inc. has produced a solid contact manager that is cheaper than many of its competitors.
Smart Contact Manager has all the features you would expect, from letter management and reports to work group features and scheduling. The program can be used alone, or additional licenses can be purchased to tie in the entire sales staff. A manager can monitor the progress for anyone tied into the system.
Additional features include telemarketing scripting, personal expense report creator, computerized in/out board and a Web site tracker.
The interface is fairly straightforward and easy to use. The icons look a bit dated compared to other software, but do not detract from the performance of the product. There are a lot of features to master, but the software should provide any business with the tools it needs to manage its contact database.