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    ‘Tis the season to give online gift certificates

    The Cider web platform provides a robust environment for customer self-service and order placement.  Now, just in time for the holidays, the platform also supports payments made through gift certificates.

    Gift certificates are already a native payment method in the Advantage software package,

    But now the Cider platform will also support payments made via Advantage gift certificates. You can choose whether or not a certificate is usable for web orders. 

    This feature also permits the ability to use a partial amount of the gift certificate, with the remaining amount available for future orders.  Online customers can enter a gift certificate number directly, if they choose. If a customer has a partially-redeemed gift certificate on file, they can select it and use it for payment.

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    Take Me Out to the Ball Game

    As part of our annual summer picnic, AdvantageCS staff and their family members recently headed to Detroit for America’s pastime: a Major League Baseball game. Though our home team lost, our Tigers fans enjoyed cheering their team on, singing traditional ballgame songs, and watching the finale — a spectacular fireworks display. Everyone had a ball (pun intended)!

     



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    Tyranny of the Urgent

    In our world of constant interruptions and crises, it can be difficult to find time to address the critical tasks and projects that fall into the category often referred to as “Q2”.  These are the things that in mapping out priorities get put into the second quadrant, which is reserved for those tasks that are important but not necessarily urgent.  We become victim to the tyranny of the urgent.  Our time and our lives become dominated by addressing whatever emergency has popped up that day.  It’s easy for those things that belong in the third quadrant (tasks that are urgent but not necessarily important), to masquerade as a top priority.

    There are many ways to re-organize your priorities to focus on what truly should be at the top of the list.  Sometimes that involves accepting that …



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    Congratulations to Oxford University Press on a Successful Upgrade

    Oxford University Press (OUP) is the largest university press in the world, with 6,000 employees worldwide. They have been an Advantage client since 2001 and today, 25% of their 800 million GBP in sales flows through Advantage.

    OUP recently completed a major upgrade from 11r2 to 2017.0 with a project that spanned 8 months and 2,000+ hours. The move provides them with key functionality that they can leverage in their business, including a move to a .NET environment, up-to-date PA-DSS security, a Rest API, Omnistream and workflow events. System administration is easier with this rev, as is integration with other systems.

    One significant challenge of the project was consortia sales, a concept unique to journals publishing, which involves exceptionally complex rules and procedures. At OUP, …



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    Congratulations to Soon-to-Be Retiree Bob Thornton

    After 28 years at AdvantageCS, Bob Thornton is retiring August 31st of this year. But while most retirees plan to take time to relax, Bob will be even busier. He may be leaving the business world, but he is jumping full-time into the non-profit arena. He will be working on partnership development and fund-raising for University Christian Outreach, a ministry serving students and young staff members at the University of Michigan. Bob and his wife, Rosemary have been supporting UCO for many years.  In fact, Rosemary has worked for UCO in various capacities since they were married, 31 years ago.

    And if that’s not enough, Bob will be working on his Master’s degree in Theology, one class at a time, at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.

    Bob began his AdvantageCS career in support and …



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    Promotions in Engineering Division

    Howard Brooks has been named Director/Product Development and Toby Hartman and Paul Sauter have been promoted to Team Managers, reporting to Howie.

    Mike Hasey and John Moore have been promoted to Team Managers, reporting to Matt Varblow, Vice President/Engineering Services.

    In addition, Ray Zick has been named Manager of the Cloud Services Team, responsible for provisioning and supporting Advantage SaaS (cloud hosted) environments and for continuing to evolve and architect the Advantage cloud solution.

    While these changes do not represent dramatic shifts in responsibility, they do represent AdvantageCS’s recognition of these individuals’ increasing expertise, leadership and contribution to the critically important product development side of AdvantageCS.

    Congratulations to all!    

    ( …



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    Welcome New Employee Donal Cousino

    We are pleased to welcome Donal Cousino, the newest member of the Advantage Support Center, reporting to Scott Ghormley. Donal is no stranger to software support, as he worked for 4 ½ years at ParishSOFT in Ann Arbor. There, he spent time in support and also performed data conversions.

    Before that, he was a bookkeeper for various companies. Donal earned a degree in economics at Hillsdale College, with a minor in French.

    Donal gets great satisfaction from digging into a complex problem, figuring it out and solving it. That makes him a great match for software support. His fluency in French is also beneficial. 

    A native of Ypsilanti, Michigan, Donal is the middle of eleven children, ages 21 to 40. His parents and most of his siblings still live in the area. His father and one brother …



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    Congratulations to Bayard – 10 Years on Advantage

    This month marks the ten-year anniversary of Bayard Presse first going live on Advantage. Tom Burbeck, Executive Vice President, was there from AdvantageCS to help them celebrate, which they did with a cake---complete with candles---and champagne.

    Emmanuel Chevalier, Director, Business Information Systems, blew out the candles and the festivities commenced.

    In the 10 years of being live on Advantage, Bayard has been able to implement many changes, including enabling extensive automation of its business processing, reorganizing various vendors for increased cost and service efficiency, and developing its digital content across numerous publications.

    Today, Bayard and AdvantageCS are proud of the strong partnership they have built.

    Bayard is one of the largest magazine publishers in …



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    What Languages Do You Speak?

    English, French, Dutch, Portuguese? Accounting, Marketing, Finance, IT? Or maybe SQL, C#, XML, JSON? 

    In this digital age, most of us speak at least a small amount of technology language.  It might be used when speaking to colleagues, or more casually at home when you attempt to describe certain technology to a family member (or when your children try to explain that same technology to you!). For example: when your father wants to know how exactly pictures from his smartphone are stored in the cloud and viewable on his TV and he asks you where the wire between those two devices is, you know you have a challenge ahead of you. Regardless of the context or purpose, “techspeak” is fully integrated into our daily lives.

    In business, speaking this language is critical to ensure that …



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    Trade Show Travels

    AdvantageCS recently attended the 39th Annual Meeting of the Society of Scholarly Publishers in Boston at the beautiful Westin Boston Waterfront.  The theme of the conference was Striking a Balance: Embracing the Change While Preserving Tradition in Scholarly Communications.

    In addition to informative presentations, the conference offered plenty of opportunities to catch up with old friends and meet new ones.  More than a few Advantage clients had attendees there including the American Medical Association, Massachusetts Medical Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Duke University Press, American Institute of Physics and Mary Ann Liebert.

    Traffic was steady at the AdvantageCS booth in the exhibit hall, where Dan Heffernan, Vice President & Chief Product …



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