- to get new features designed to give you a competitive edge
- to realize efficiencies designed to reduce your cost of doing business
- to decrease the project length by doing upgrades more often
To help you meet this objective, we have continued to refine our project methodology and to decrease the time and resources needed to complete an upgrade. As a result, today, over two-thirds of our client base are on a revision within three years of the current (Release 2005r0 or higher). The higher this percentage goes, the more it allows us to focus resources on the current revisions of the software instead of on maintaining older releases, which is something everyone benefits from.
Who is upgrading?
2008r1 is being implemented at three sites, with go-lives for all three in April and May. Five additional clients are slated to get this release early second quarter, with another dozen clients discussing upgrade plans with their respective account managers. We will complete more than 20 upgrade projects this year, and by year's end, 12 15 clients will be on an 8r1 or higher revision.
The first client to use the 2008r1 revision in a live production environment is expected to be ACS! We use the Advantage software to track issues and have multiple users in the system every day. We also employ web capsules to show your open issues lists via the client web page. Our go-live is targeted for early April and we're currently working through the upgrade methodology like any other client would.
What's in this release?
The 2008r1 revision brings many fantastic new features and enhancements including:
- * The Global Process Request View CDSREQ. One centrally located workspace to request processes, reports, and job streams. This display also supports the scheduling of job streams.
- * CIR Subscription fields in MSTDAT scripting
- * Telesales to Teleservice redesign
- * Plus many, many more
For more information on any of the new features in the 2008r1 release, contact your ACS account manager to request a downloadable version of the full Release Notes. If you're looking for something more abbreviated, you can ask them for the ‘Highlights' document that touches on the most high profile changes of the release.
When can I get the current release?
Now! 2008r1 was released on February 15. 8R2 will be available June 9th. Contact your account manager today to start the process.
- The Advantage package feature now supports "mix-and-match" packages. Using this setup, pricing is at the package level, but the customer is allowed to choose from a list of available components. For example, you could create an offer with 15 available items, and set up three different packages: one with 6-unit pricing, one with 8-unit pricing, and one with 12-unit pricing. The customer would choose the desired package, and then select any combination of the 15 items (in a bundle of 6, 8, or 12 items).
- Previously, CIR renewals allowed you to define different offers either subscription choices or member choices from which the subscriber could choose when responding. This has been expanded to include general promotion choices. Now you can offer the subscriber any of the following options in responding to a renewal promotion: subscribe to a different publication (in effect, use the renewal to switch or upgrade pubs), receive a subscription package, or receive a package consisting of a subscription and a PRO item.
- You can now define the valid login days and times, as well as the maximum number of concurrent sessions, on a user-by-user basis. You can use the first feature to restrict a user or set of users to specific login windows. You can use the second feature to minimize the number of stranded sessions across the system. Also, by setting the "number of sessions" indicator to zero, you can effectively disable an Advantage user - which may be useful in certain temporary situations.
- You can now access the list of valid values for a closed, validated field in an Advantage dialog box (it is not possible to drag the value list icon from the toolbar into a pop-up dialog box in order to see these values). From within the dialog, drag the "?" in the upper right corner to the field in question. This launches the context-sensitive help display that provides information from the data dictionary. The help display now includes a button to display the list of valid values for the field.
- The Telesales module has been substantially expanded with this release, and also renamed to "Teleservices." The Teleservices redesign allows you to create flexible call lists, each with its unique set of components (for example, customer subscriptions, customer A/R, orders), and also to perform an expanded number of functions within each of these components, or stages, of the call. For instance, you can perform a subset of subscription modifications such as rate and copy changes without breaking the call flow. And you no longer need to route from view to view during the call; Teleservices presents the entire call flow, from A/R inquiry to customer addresses to order entry, in one scrollable view.
- Advantage now supports discounts by "coupon." This is a discount program that allows you to offer a discount percent or flat dollar amount off an order, based on such order criteria as the items being ordered, the owning organizations of the items, the order promotion, and others. You control whether the coupon can be applied multiple times on an order, and whether it can be reused by the same customer across orders.
- Pro-forma functionality has been expanded into a quote management feature. You can set up multiple quotes (pro-forma orders) for a customer, and control the length of time for which the quote offer is valid. The feature offers flexible means for storing, presenting, and sending a quote to the customer.
- All batch process and report requests have been consolidated into a single view, CDSREQ . The view allows you to more easily maintain process schedules and run-time options, and also offers the ability to create and schedule jobstreams.
- Access Management (AMB) agreement entry has been added to Master Order. This means you can create a combined order consisting of CIR subscriptions, PRO products, Conference and Event registrations, and Access Management agreements.
- Order entry scripting at MSTDAT/FST now includes full access to CIR subscription data entry fields, for tailored order entry scripts.
- Credit card information has been consolidated into a single database table. This minimizes, for security reasons, the number of places that the customer's credit card information (including the encrypted number, if you are using that feature) is stored on the system.
- When you are entering an order that includes installment billing, you have the option of varying, on the fly, the installment amounts and dates for the customer. For example, you might offer the customer the choice to weight his or her payments toward the end of the installment schedule.