Congratulations to Aller Finland, who recently joined Sweden and Denmark running their operations on Advantage. The combined Aller/AdvantageCS team put in many months of hard work, and overcame the many challenges that arise when three different countries consolidate their businesses onto a single fulfillment system. Every step had to be looked at in the context of each country to ensure there were no hiccups in ongoing production operations. Coordinating resources, project plans and priorities, and processing schedules made this project more complex than the average.
So many people worked on the project that it would be impossible to name them all. However, Levi Hyssong (project manager), Karl Davis (lead engineer), and Sunil Chawla (data conversion lead) merit recognition as the main …
The Advantage Users Group meeting hit a couple of highs this year. Las Vegas reached a record high of 74 degrees in February and the networking between Advantage users set an all-time high as well.
Exciting Advantage Product News
The meeting began with Chief-of-all-things-marketing-and product-planning-related, (aka Dan Heffernan), summarizing the last 365 days of activity at AdvantageCS. Dan’s presentation covered product news, strategy initiatives and the future direction of Advantage. He had plenty to report, starting with the launch of Continuous Updates and Cider in 2015---two key initiatives offering significant efficiency and streamlining capabilities to clients on the 2015 base revision. Dan went on to talk about Contact Center, which also debuted this past year, plus Project …
Here's a Third Alternative to Consider
Guest post by Daryl Berver, COO of Agora Inc.
Throughout my career heading operations for Agora, I’ve always struggled with the question of centralized versus decentralized applications, and never more-so than in the past year. Which is preferable? More efficient? Traditional knowledge says you centralize for efficiency and decentralize for innovation.
Centralized applications are cheaper for the business if you have different operational units in the company. Most publishing companies are smaller groups within a larger business, and this type of application structure is rather common. Looking at things from a high level economic view, it’s easy to see why. Centralization reduces needless redundancies between applications, saving …
The annual get-together of the European Advantage User Group is slated for April 13-14 at the headquarters of Aller Media in Copenhagen. Kicking off on Wednesday afternoon, the first day will include a presentation of Advantage News and Strategic Direction and a demo of the new Contact Center functionality. In between, attendees will be taken on a tour of the magnificent Aller building, which is something not to be missed.
Thursday’s topics include concurrent workshops on Automated Testing and Marketing in the morning, followed by a Technology Update. Rounding out the conference will be updates on other major Advantage development initiatives such as Project Central, Cider Phase II, and Membership.
As always, there will be many opportunities for participants to network with other …
How the AdvantageCS Development Team Optimizes Contrasting Styles
I am, by temperament, indecisive. Wishy-washy. Equivocating. I embrace both-and-ism rather than either-or-ism. It gets me in trouble at times.
My wife is similarly afflicted. She and I joke that our family motto is, “Indecision: the key to flexibility.” It’s impossible to plan vacations. “Scotland would be fun,” but so would Tuscany. Or France. Or Spain. We end up enjoying the tried and true cottage-on-a-lake-with-friends we have been visiting for 30 years.
At times, though, both-and-ism is exactly what is called for. Here are three examples from my role leading on the software development teams.
Openers AND Closers
Some software developers love to start new projects, even when it’s unclear how big the project …
New Initiatives in Advantage Quality Assurance
Eva Weissman recently became the QA Team Leader here at AdvantageCS and brings a wealth of experience to her new role. Her expertise is not limited to quality assurance---she is adept at analyzing processes and workflows and instituting efficiency measures at many levels. Through a series of questions from eVantage, Eva describes her approach, the initiatives she has put in place and her future plans for QA.
How do you describe your new role at AdvantageCS in quality assurance testing?
I lead a team of analysts that is responsible for quality assurance. We focus on three main areas: software modifications, regression testing, and process improvements. With regard to software modifications, we develop test plans, do the actual …
These Advantage features are either available now or will be soon. Contact your Advantage account manager for more information.
MST210 - Consolidated Processes, Plus Additional Process Changes: In a major enhancement to Advantage, five separate processes (CIR210, PRO205, AMB210, CEM210, RPS205) have been eliminated and replaced by a single across-module process, MST210. This centralized financial posting process strategy not only consolidates module order processing, but also allows the A/R associated with orders to be posted within the same process. You will need to continue to run ARP210 and ARP230 for standalone debits and credits, but the debits and credits associated with orders now flow through the centralized posting step. Besides MST210, Advantage offers other new posting …
AdvantageCS is pleased to announce our newest client: Bonnier Magazine Data (“BMD”). Located in the Østerbro borough of Copenhagen, Denmark, BMD is an internal provider of subscription management systems, CRM system functionality and related services to Bonnier companies. BMD specializes in subscription management within the field of weekly and monthly magazines, publications and other media products.
BMD is wholly owned by Bonnier Publications (“BP”) and Bonnier Tidskrifter (“BT”) which are also two major customers. Whereas BP is represented in Copenhagen, Helsinki (Finland), Oslo (Norway) and Stockholm (Sweden), BT is represented solely in Stockholm. Between the two publishing companies, BMD systems manage around 2 million subscriptions. These companies are part of the holding …
It's the week between Christmas and New Years and I'm reading lists of things that happened in 2015 and will happen in 2016. It's always enjoyable to be reminded of things that happened earlier in the year that we've already either forgotten or filed away into that part of our memory that can't quite remember exactly when it took place. (Like one's last dentist appointment once more than 5 weeks have passed.) What's much more fun, and risky, is to predict things that will happen in the future. It's risky, because the predictor is likely to be proved wrong. It's fun because the expectations are so low for being right!
So here are mine:
Publishing will continue to be unpredictable. I know. It's almost cheating to say this. But there is more truth to it than immediately meets the eye. …
“What is best in life? To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women.”
-Conan, the Barbarian
As software engineers, we find ourselves fighting a war against an enemy of our own creation. An enemy armed with complexity, obscurity, and redundancy. From a fortified position in legacy code it charges forth using our past compromises as a battle cry. Like the Hydra, software development can work against us: each problem we fix with a cutting change can sometimes spawn more bugs. What is an engineer to do in the face of such odds?
Creating bug-free software can happen in one of two ways. Write no bugs, which given the complexity and breadth of Advantage is impossible, or find the bugs that are created and fix them. To this end, bug …