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    How to Ensure Your Cutover Is Successful

    Change Creates Cutovers

    One constant in any software environment is change.  New tools, new techniques, and new applications are appearing almost daily.  Implementing something new inevitably means there will be a cutover.  Cutover efforts involve stopping production operations on a current system and installing something different.  For some initiatives, this is a small effort and can be accomplished during normal business hours.  For other larger, enterprise-wide initiatives, this means evenings and weekends.  Some projects plan for three-day weekends to limit the downtime on production operations during “normal” business hours.

    High Stakes, Short Timeframe

    These large projects usually have months of effort that have preceded the cutover.  Often, the success of the project is …



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    Multiplying Revenue

       

    We have just finished up a season of conferences, summits, and trade shows in the industries we serve – publishing and membership associations.  One of the things that sticks out the most for me at these meetings are the stories of how organizations are increasing their revenue.  There appears to be no end to the tactics people have employed to multiply revenue by creatively looking for opportunities for repackaging their content, extending their brands, and thinking outside the box about new value propositions.  One publisher we know sells design furniture on a website which extends the brand of their design magazine.  Now that’s creative thinking.  I don’t know many publishers who sell furniture.

    Publishers, especially those in the B2B space, have been experts at diversifying …



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    Jump on the Membership Bandwagon

    In response to declining print sales over the last few years, publishers have experimented with new business models. A trend has emerged, and indications are that it’s here to stay: memberships add value and strengthen the relationship between publishers and their customers.

    Proven Benefits of Memberships 

    In 2014, DigiDay reported that membership models are successful revenue drivers that increase customer loyalty. By offering membership perks such as access to exclusive content and events, publishers engage their customers and dramatically improve subscription renewal rates. These perks also open previously untapped revenue streams 

    A year later, journalism professor Jake Batsell explained to media association FIPP  that membership offerings are beneficial to both non-profit and …



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    Can One Subscription Model Fit All?

    Is One Subscription Just Like Any Other?

    In discussions about the concept of subscriptions, I sometimes hear the suggestion that Advantage address market segments other than publishing and content providers. "If you know how to manage a subscription, you should be able to handle any flavor of it," they say. Trendy concepts such as "product-service systems" (PSS) or pronouncements of the rise of the "subscription economy" seem to indicate a new “golden age.” Meanwhile, I remain cautious. As those who know subscriptions well are aware, all subscription systems are not created equal. 

    How Did Subscriptions Begin?

    The etymology of the French word that means subscriptions, «abonnement" (also used in many other languages), comes from Latin a bornare, which could be translated to "put …



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    Introducing Members Advantage

    I am excited to announce that Members Advantage, our new membership offering, is available this August.  Consultants, clients, and prospects collaborated with us to produce a top-notch solution, suited for large, complex organizations as well as smaller clubs. 

    AdvantageCS has long been recognized for excellent publishing software solutions.  First developed in the late 1970s for a book publisher, followed by a magazine publisher, Advantage has evolved into a suite of products which manage everything from digital entitlements to subscriptions to ebook sales to conference registrations to continuity series to donations, and on the list goes. 

    And now we’ve enhanced our membership management capabilities to meet the needs of enthusiast clubs, non-profits, professional associations and …



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    How to Increase Employee Retention

    Technology companies are known for lots of employee turnover. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the average employee tenure for tech companies is around 3 years. Here at AdvantageCS, however, the average tenure is 10 years. Here are two employees’ opinions on why this is.

    Why Does AdvantageCS Exist?

    About a year ago, Dan Heffernan, one of our VP's, explored this question at a few company-wide meetings (we call them Company Coffees). Summarizing his words, he reminded us that we exist to create quality solutions that our clients can use to advance their businesses.

    But is that our complete purpose? Isn’t another important aspect of our mission to create a healthy work environment for our employees? Indeed, we desire to serve our clients by providing …



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    New Features Coming Second Quarter 2016

    Here are just a few new Advantage features that are either available now or will be soon. Contact your Advantage account manager for more information.

    Suspend/Nonpay Cancel All Related Service: You can set up an agreement to bill-suspend and/or nonpay cancel all components based on the suspension/cancellation of any single component. For example, if a print subscription under an agreement is bill-suspended, you can cause all other subscriptions in the agreement to be bill-suspended in parallel, as well as the containing agreement itself. The same handling is available for nonpay cancels.

    Print Subscription Bill-suspends and Triggering Term: When a print subscription debit for a past (or future) term reaches a bill-suspend effort, some clients may wish to suspend all service, …



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    Closing Out A Software Bug

    Waging war against software bugs can take a toll. This Advantage engineer depicts the aftermath of one such battle.

     

    … I hobbled into my office. One leg dragging slightly like a long breath on a bitter cold winter day; every moment hurts just a little more than the last. I had been in brawls before, it’s part of the job, but this time was different. This time one of us didn’t walk away.

    I continued to push my body into the room. I was only a few feet from my desk now. “Perhaps I’ll make it,” I allowed myself to think.

    Nope.

    The floor came up to greet me like an old friend who had had too much to drink. Too fast, too firm, and unwelcome. I lay there for a few minutes to let the floor think it had won. Once I felt it was sufficiently distracted, I dragged my chair over. Climbing the …



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    Yesterday's Needs Today

    In preparation for the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece built over 20 new facilities to host the various events.  The cost to construct these facilities climbed into the billions of Euros.  Only twelve years after the close of those games, a large number of them are rarely used or totally neglected. 

    Putting aside the question of whether those now-obsolete venues were a worthwhile investment, at least they were completed in time to reap some amount of return.  The host city of the upcoming Summer Games, Rio de Janeiro, is at risk of not completing all venues on time.  Imagine such an investment not even being completed in time for the short period in which it is needed.

    On a more personal level, we can all recall times when we’ve spent a significant amount on something that …



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    European User Group Meeting a Success

    Aller Media hosted the annual meeting of the European Advantage Users Group in mid-April at their office in Copenhagen.  Thirty-five users from eight companies and seven countries gathered for two days to get updates on the Advantage product roadmap, to attend feature workshops, and, of course, to meet and network with other clients.

    After a warm welcome from Aller’s IT Director for Business Solutions, Svend Erik Hansen, AdvantageCS VP of Sales and Marketing Dan Heffernan kicked off the meeting with a presentation on Advantage News and Strategic Direction. Dan reviewed our current projects and how they address the challenges our clients face in a rapidly changing industry. He also pointed out the many channels through which our clients can keep up with AdvantageCS news: our blog, …



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