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    Welcome Air Business Subscriptions

    We are delighted to officially welcome Air Business Subscriptions (previously known as Quadrant Subscription Services) to the Advantage family. With this welcome, we are publicizing an already-established relationship between the two companies. Implementation of Advantage began nearly a year ago, with successful conversions already completed.

    Located in Haywards Heath, Air Business Subscriptions is a leading service bureau in the UK for both B2C and B2B publishers, and has been in business for 40 years. Air Business Subscriptions is part of the Air Business Group, which is in turn a subsidiary of An Post (the Irish post office).

    Air Business Subscriptions manage 400 titles with 3,500,000 subscribers from Publisher clients including The Economist, New Scientist, The Spectator, OK! …



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    FOLIO: Survey Confirms Membership Associations Lack Systems Collaboration

    Recently, AdvantageCS was invited to present the results of a survey we’d co-sponsored with FOLIO: magazine on the subject of collaboration between departments at membership associations.  The survey was sent to membership associations which have publishing/media concerns.  The results of the survey from about 150 respondents confirmed our suspicions that there is, generally, a lack of communication and collaboration between the membership and publishing/media departments at such organizations.  The respondents were in agreement that this is detrimental to the mission, and that both communication and data sharing are keys to a common goal of success. 

    One of the respondents nailed the problem by describing “a culture of silos.”  Just 14.6% of respondents said that legacy structures in …



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    InterVarsity Press Goes Live on Advantage

    Congratulations to InterVarsity Press who recently went live on Advantage!

    InterVarsity is a publisher of evangelical Christian books in Westmont, Illinois. They now use Advantage to fulfill more than 7,000 products across a wide array of subjects. IVP also implemented Cider as their ecommerce platform, and their new website (https://www.ivpress.com/) has been well received by IVP’s customers. Adding to the complexity of the project was the fact that they also implemented ONIX---an industry standard format in the book world. 

    Many people contributed over the course of the project, but the core team at InterVarsity, led by Tricia Koning, included Holly Shermer, Kim Brown, Bob Dunne, Luke Miller, Josh Bagley, Jon Boyd, Lorraine Caulton, David Burton and Dave Page.

    On the AdvantageCS …



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    PayPal in Advantage

    When was the last time you purchased something on a website that didn’t offer PayPal as a checkout payment option? OK, not every website does, but that number gets fewer every day. Customers love the convenience of storing their payment details in one centralized place, along with the “non-proliferation of information” security that this affords.

    Did you know that you can set up your Advantage-driven website to offer the PayPal payment option? Both the Advantage application and the Cider platform support the display, use, and storage of the elements of a PayPal transaction.

    Here’s how it works.

    In Advantage, a “Digital Wallet” payment type represents these various online payment options. PayPal is the first provider added under the Digital Wallet umbrella, and we will be adding …



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    CIO Roundtable Hones in on Key Concerns

    Technology executives from seven different Advantage client companies met in San Antonio on January 31st and February 1st prior to the Advantage Users Group conference, to identify and discuss their issues of concern in the current business environment.  On the first day, each of the seven executives shared their thoughts about topics of the greatest import to their organizations. The team from AdvantageCS then reviewed those concerns and grouped them into topics for the second day’s discussions.

    The subjects included a desire for fewer systems in their technological ecosystems, and for ones that integrate well with the other systems being used. A number of the participants commented that one of their greatest challenges is implementing, integrating, and maintaining the number of …



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    Yeeha! AUG Takes San Antonio by Storm

    Okay, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but the group did make its presence felt. Sixty-four Advantage users from 21 different companies descended on the Holiday Inn San Antonio Riverwalk for more than two days of meetings, presentations and networking spread over the first three days of February.

    Kicking off the conference on Wednesday afternoon was outgoing steering committee president Lesley Jones of Duke University Press who acted as emcee for the event, welcoming the attendees and outlining the schedule for the next 48 hours.

    First up to the presentation podium was Dan Heffernan, VP and chief product manager, who reported to the group on the product advancements made over the last year and what we have planned for the upcoming 12-18 months on the product roadmap and some new …



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    Paywalls and Advantage

    I often get questions from prospects or clients---especially daily or weekly publishers---about how a paywall could be managed in Advantage. These questions are more complicated than they may first appear, since Advantage is a customer-centric platform used mainly to manage paid subscriptions.  I recently met with a French startup company – Poool – which has developed a structured design, and a potential paywall solution for publishers using Advantage.

    The rise of paywalls

    A "paywall" is the term used for policies restricting access to content---partially or fully---by requiring a paid subscription at some point. It has been around since the early days of publisher websites, with the first paywall introduced in 1997 by the Wall Street Journal. The practice has expanded since then, …



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    Customer Partnership

    It used to be that customer service in the United States was legendary.  I remember flying on a UK airline with a stellar reputation years ago and being disappointed that they were unable to sit my wife and I next to each other, just because her flight had cost more and she was seated in the “premium economy” seats. This despite the fact that I had flown on that airline across the Atlantic 8 times in 8 weeks and there was plenty of room.  When I told the gentleman behind the counter that they had upgraded my seat on the way to the UK from the US, he said “Oh, that’s because you had the American customer service person helping you.  We’re horrible over here.”  I was speechless.  He was admitting that the American customer service agents have the flexibility on this UK airline to make such …



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    Aller Advantage Upgrade: On Time and Under Budget

    This was not your ordinary update. With operations in three different countries, involving more than sixty people, the Aller upgrade project was a bit more complex than most. They upgraded from 2013r3 to 2016.8 and jumped onto the continuous update track. The upgrade included 60 integrations and 2,029 test cases, and yet still was completed on time and within the budget.

    Gilda Jantunen, Group Manager IT - Business Service Delivery, Marketing & Sales at Aller, sent this message to all team members: “It is my pleasure to pass on to you all the congratulations and positive messages I have been receiving from all stakeholders in all countries regarding the excellent job by the team during these last 6 months. I join them in thanking you and recognizing your efforts.”

    Aller realized many …



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