What do you like best?
I like how detail views are available from most places; call logs, projects, tasks, notes can be associated with a contact or company or opportunity.
The integration with email is excellent, right down to making it easy to connect your email boxes. One challenge I had that Apptivo solved for me was how to keep emails related to a particular project or opportunity all together in one place. Apptivo does a good job of this by assigning codes (or project numbers), and allowing you to select whether or not the email you are writing is related .... If you are writing emails using some other application (your desktop client or cloud-based app), you can use the same code in the subject line and Apptivo will pull that email into the app, and associate it with the relevant modules (project, client, case, etc.)
They do not nickle-and-dime you to death! One price includes everything. Their tiers are about number of users rather than adding/subtracting features. A more sensible model than some of the others.
What do you dislike?
Apptivo communicates improvements and changes on a regular basis, however, it takes Apptivo a long, loooooong time to integrate changes that have been requested by clients, and improvements overall. The incremental changes they report on are good but they are really things that should have been implemented 4-5 years ago. They are playing catch-up with many of these. An example of this is Stripe (payment gateway) integration. I requested it over and over about 3 years ago but it was just implemented last year.
They could do better with customization (esp. dashaboards), reporting, data import, data export and speed. Also, connection to phone services (to take better advantage of the ability to log calls). Low scores on API/integrations and performance Reliability should be separated from performance because Apptivo is reliable, doesn't seem to ever lose information, etc. but it is often as slow as molasses in an ice storm. Waiting is a no-no; constant waiting is a annoyance that has made me close the app more than once and come back another time.
The interface still has areas that are clunky and unattractive (although, in defense of Apptivo, I must say the interface has improved in aesthetics, colors and icons in the 4 years I've been using it).
Recommendations to others considering the product
Apptivo never, ever came up in comparison reviews when I was looking for my all-inclusive operations software. It is a hidden gem and once you know about it, you have to commit some time to work through the modules to see if it can benefit your organization. Don't be afraid to ask questions of customer support especially about features you need. I found that some things I thought were totally missing in Apptivo were available in the Enterprise version. All I had to do was ask.
What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
I've been using Apptivo on and off over a period of four years. I am a one-person firm (with occasional sub-contractors) using the Enterprise version of Apptivo. [Enterprise is not a "payment tier" per se, but an additional set of features that you can request be added on top of your plan.]
I was using Teamwork (formerly Teamwork PM) for project management, a local install of vTiger CRM for contacts and opportunity management, and myriad other cloud-based apps to pull together administrative activities. I wanted an all-inclusive software with strong project management features that also allowed me to handle detailed invoicing and allowed customers to click a link to pay. Lastly, the CRM component had to be at least as good as vTiger (or Zoho CRM which I'd also given a trial run).
Apptivo satisfied these needs. I use it more for project management, opportunity management, field service management, and billing.