From the December 2002 issue of Entrepreneur

The Online Starts Here: ACT! is looking to a Web-based future. Version 6.0 of this contact-management tool includes a browser to access Web sites from your contact file and an enhanced e-mail client that supports HTML e-mail. ACT! 6.0 also offers enhanced integration with Microsoft Office. Cost: $199 (all prices street) or $100 for upgraders. Volume discounts available.

Credit Is Due Diligence: Doing business with a new client? Check credit easily with InfoUSA's Business Credit Ratings Pro. It offers access to credit ratings and financial data for nearly 14 million U.S. businesses. Pricing for one disc is $70.

System Saver: Safekeep your data more easily with Dantz's Retrospect Backup Desktop 6.0. Incremental backups-just one option in this $149 application-save only new and changed files. Get the safety of full backups, but save time, resources and version confusion. Save files to a hard drive or other media, such as CD-R/RW, DVD-R, Jaz and Zip. Retrospect can also restore a system to its exact condition at an earlier time.

Untangle Your Lines: All communications networks can move into the big time with Avaya IP Office. This solution combines your voice and data networks and functions as either an IP or a circuit-switched PBX. Avaya IP Office offers Internet access, data networking and an integrated hub, router and firewall. It also offers call distribution, voice mail and unified messaging. Pricing starts at $2,225.


Liane Cassavoy, a former technology reporter at PCWorld.com, freelances from her home in Brookline, Massachusetts.