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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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    Dan's Blog: Important vs Urgent: Finding the Balance

    I will assume that a good number of the readers of this blog are parents, and that you will be painfully familiar with the “work/parenting” balance we strive for in life, which at times seems so elusive.  I guess such a balance would be easily attained if both work and parenting would only require part of our energy, the sum of which would equal less than 100%.  But it so often feels otherwise.  Being a parent of toddlers, teenagers, or twenty-somethings is terribly demanding, though in vastly different ways.

    Being a manager in your company is not dissimilar.  It is demanding, and if you are doing your job well, it can be terribly demanding.  You have many plates to keep spinning, and some of these are urgent and others are not urgent but certainly important.  It’s difficult to balance …



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    Euroconsumers Live on Advantage

    Congratulations to Deco Proteste, a member of the Euroconsumers group, who recently went live on Advantage with their first set of customers. The project involves consumer advocacy organizations in five different countries---Portugal, Belgium, Brazil, Spain and Italy -- that all produce consumer report publications, but have plenty of differences.

    The goal of the project was not only to replace the existing fulfillment system with Advantage, but also to revamp and update the supporting infrastructure that integrates with Advantage. As part of the project, AdvantageCS developed a Contact Center solution with new scripting and workflow features that were specifically designed to work for the large contact center operation at Deco Proteste. Euroconsumers made a significant investment in …



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    Aller Finland Goes Live on Advantage

    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 …



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    What Happens in Vegas…Is Put to Good Use Back at the Office

    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 …



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    Should You Centralize or Distribute Operations?

    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.

    Makes sense.

    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 …



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