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    Advantage Software: New Features Coming Fourth Quarter 2015

    Check out these new Advantage features.

    These Advantage features are either available now or will be soon. Contact your Advantage account manager for more information.

    Customer Service Workflows: A new feature at the main SVCCTM customer maintenance view allows you to perform extended customer service without needing to route to other Advantage views. This is useful in on-the-phone situations. You can, for example, perform subscription or agreement maintenance, review the customer’s A/R, and more. A special “retention” phase allows you to save cancellations by offering the customer special discounting, premiums, or credits. This feature uses the standard Advantage scripting functionality, allowing you to tailor the flow to the specific customer service situation.

    Scriptable AMB …



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    Dan's Blog: Ad Blocking - Good for Advertisers?

    The current panic in the marketing world about ad blocking is being eclipsed by thoughts such as those found in this excellent piece.  As marketers, we at AdvantageCS have found native advertising to be a great vehicle for getting the word out about our products and services.

    What are your thoughts on this hot topic? 

    Dan



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    Advantage Software: Workflow Event Feature

    Have you ever had the need to perform an action like one of the following based on a threshold Advantage event?

    Send an e-mail as soon as an order has been entered in the Advantage UI

    Send notification to an outside system as soon as a customer or address change is logged

    Automatically cancel---or restart, or skip---an Advantage process when a predefined condition is encountered

    If you need to perform tasks like this in a near-real-time environment, then the Advantage workflow events feature could be just what you’re looking for.

    The workflow events feature creates a record of certain business-relevant events that occur in the Advantage software or database.  A background service continuously monitors events (you configure how often), evaluating each event against a …



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    Connecting Our Clients

    Last week AdvantageCS facilitated a meeting in Paris between Ouest France and Agora’s Publishing Services subsidiary. Many in the AdvantageCS User Group are familiar with the rapid growth of Publishing Services over the past 15 years and their use of Advantage to support many of the world-wide publishing affiliates of Agora. Publishing Services has established Advantage at the hub of their systems architecture, making it the system of record for all interaction with customers and prospects. Now that Ouest France has upgraded to Advantage 2014.1, they are considering moving more business onto Advantage and making Advantage the core system of record for their customer relationships and transactions…reminiscent for me of a similar direction taken by Agora in their pre-Publishing Services …



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    Matt Varblow Named Vice President

    Matt Varblow has been promoted to vice president, engineering services. He reports to Dick Hile, vice president, product engineering, who states: "Matt's leadership -- both technical and organizational -- has been a key contributor to our progress in improving our product and our engineering services." In addition to managing the engineering services teams, Matt is still one of the chief software architects at AdvantageCS, helping to steer the application architecture as our software continues to evolve.

    In his sixteen+ years at ACS, Matt has filled multiple key roles. Before joining AdvantageCS permanently, Matt began working here during the summers when he was 14, helping out with configuration control.  Even at that time, Matt was an old hand at computer programming, having taught …



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    Dan's Blog: Smartphones Outsmart Us

    Is it just me, or is everyone experiencing more use of their smartphones? These "mobile moments" are becoming more frequent in my life, at least. A year ago I hadn't installed my bank's app and did all my banking on my laptop. Now I do all my deposits using my smartphone and find myself checking balances there more and more. A couple of years ago I thought I'd never use Facebook on my smartphone...but I almost never use it on my laptop now. Recently my wife was writing a long email on her smartphone and I asked why she doesn't use the desktop so she can edit more efficiently? Her answer was that the desktop was upstairs.  

    I guess that's what the word "mobile" means, after all: able to move. Our mobile phones can be with us all the time. I see more participants in meetings looking at …



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    Product Bundling – A Key Marketing Strategy

    Many Advantage features are born from the minds of marketers---not only from our clients, but also from our internal experts. One simple reason is the need for publishers to stay competitive in today’s market by implementing increasingly sophisticated marketing campaigns. One area guided by marketers that has seen quite a bit of development in the last several years is product bundling (known in the Advantage software context as packages). Advantage has supported bundling for 15+ years, but today there are about 10 different flavors available. You might be thinking: isn’t a bundle just a bunch of products? What could distinguish one from the other? Consider the following three use cases:

    The customer can choose from the print version of a magazine, the digital version, or a bundle …



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    Advantage Software: Improving the Flow of Streams of Orders

    Advantage’s OrderStream Framework Breaks the Log Jam of Order Upload

    While Advantage is a customer-centric system, order transactions are a central component of the customer profile. Getting orders processed quickly and efficiently is paramount, and the flexibility to accept order transactions from a variety of sources is a critical component of the system. Our clients take orders from sources such as eCommerce sites, trade shows, phone calls, postcards, mobile applications, agents, lockboxes, SMS, and other third-parties. To accommodate these sources, Advantage offers three basic types of input---through the application’s user interface, through the use of the Software Development Kit (SDK), and through file uploads. Over its history, Advantage has consistently been the market leader …



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    Preview of Some Advantage Features Coming This Fall

    These are just some of the new Advantage features that will be available in the fall of 2015. Contact your Advantage account manager for more information.

    Autocomplete Feature: An optional autocomplete feature is available (triggered at the user level), whereby Advantage will suggest values for validated fields based on what the user has typed in to that point.  Under this feature, the more the user types, the narrower the list of possible matches (the user can arrow up and down to see the possible matches). At any time, the user can stop and select one of the suggested values.

    Separate “Promote by Phone” Flags: You can now expose and use separate “promote by” flags on each of the three telephone numbers on the customer address record. (The fourth telephone number field is dedicated …



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    Dan's Blog: Why do businesses "flock" to trendy technology, even when it doesn't meet their needs?

     On a recent trip to England, a group of us took a hike up a hill past a flock of sheep.  Sheep are so charming:  pleasant to see on the side of a hill, not terribly wild or boisterous, and very compliant when it is time to get their wool sheared.  At one point, the farmer pulled up to a corner of the very large field the sheep were occupying and they started bleating and running toward the truck.  They clearly were trained that this was feeding time, and responded with the enthusiasm of my 19-year-old son under similar circumstances.  This was, without meaning to sound too trite...so stick with me here...an example of when it's a good idea to follow the flock.  However, we all know that sheep are, in fact, too compliant for their own good, and can walk willingly to be slaughtered.  That' …



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