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    Boy Scouts Approach Centennial – and Upgrade Advantage

    The Boy Scouts of America will celebrate 100 years of Scouting in February 2010.  This year has been a busy one for the Scouts as they have planned events all across the country to commemorate the upcoming milestone.   They also recently went live on a new revision of Advantage, which involved a platform migration as well. The upgrade project was an ambitious one, moving from Advantage 2003R1 to 2009R1 plus a migration from UNIX Oracle to Windows and SQL Server.  It went smoothly and was heralded as a great success by both ACS and the Boy Scouts.  The data port and upgrade scripts were completed in about 40 hours, which allowed the Boy Scouts to upgrade within a normal two-day weekend. The benefits have been remarkable, including: o   Using multi-queues, …



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    Ray Zick: Problem Solving With A Smile

    Some people are natural problem solvers and Ray Zick is definitely one of them, although he prefers to call it solving puzzles.  As the manager of the upgrades and IT department, he is exposed to plenty of puzzles that need to be solved.  Ray can be counted on to do what needs to be done, whatever it may be, and he does so cheerfully and with an unflappable demeanor. "I've known Ray for a long time," says Joe Wixted of Our Sunday Visitor.  "He taught me how to program in RepDef in the early '90s.  Ray's one of those guys that, if you ask him a question and he doesn't know the answer (which I've found to be a rare occasion!), he'll work tirelessly to get the answer.  His "If you can repeat it, we can defeat it!" phrase is legendary!" And, …



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    Niche Digital Conference Report

    About 200 people gathered in Minneapolis in September for the first Niche Digital Conference.  As one of the event sponsors, ACS attended the conference which was chock-full of the latest in the world of digital publishing.  The conference offered tracks for CEO/Publishers, Advertising Directors/Sales and Content and Audience Development and covered topics such as "Turning Clicks to Cash," "How the Heck Do You Sell Digital?" and "Get Your SEO Groove On."  It's important to us as a vendor to support the industry and conferences like this one serve double duty because they help us to keep current with the changes and developments in the publishing world, which is another important goal.  Meeting and talking with publishers helps us to decide what enhancements …



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    Training Week 2009: Lean But Productive

    The annual Advantage Training Week was held September 15-18, at the ACS office in Ann Arbor.  Courses included key Advantage operations areas such as Maximizing Personnel Efficiency and Powerful Contact Management … as well as sessions on Marketing Analysis Reports and Financial Management within Advantage.  In addition, a half-day User Forum addressed the concept of Product Families, Hierarchy, and Granularity.  The User Forum topic was chosen in response to continued high interest among ACS clients in the Access Management and Billing and Business Intelligence Modules. ACS remains committed to offering training sessions that address the topics that are of highest interest to our clients.  While attendance this year was less than we hoped for, virtually all who were unable …



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    Paul DesRosiers: May I Schedule Your Upgrade?

    Paul DesRosiers is a man of many talents and he has put them to good use in his 12 years at ACS.  After earning a degree in computer engineering, his first job was as a programmer for a company that developed accounting software.  During his time there, he enrolled in night school at Eastern Michigan University, where he earned an MBA with a concentration in Strategic Quality Management.  Paul still retains his membership in the American Society for Quality. Although he enjoyed programming, Paul wanted to use his business skills as well.  He joined ACS in 1997 as an analyst in the implementation area, and began learning Advantage and the project methodology.  Paul has great memories of working with Caryn Bair on his first …



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    ACS Welcomes Egmont Magasiner

    ACS is thrilled to announce that Egmont Magasiner of Denmark is the newest addition to the Advantage client list.  Located in Hellerup, a suburb of Copenhagen, Egmont Magasiner publishes 17 consumer magazines in the areas of house and home, car and boat, parenting, computing, sports, leisure, travel and hobby, plus general men's and women's titles.  Egmont Magasiner is one of about 20 companies in Europe which are part of the Egmont Foundation.  Egmont Magasiner chose Advantage after a thorough search and evaluation process lasting almost two years.  The implementation project is underway with go-live planned for mid 2010. Welcome, Egmont Magasiner, to the Advantage family!



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    Advantage 9R3 Highlights

    The next release of Advantage--available in the second half of October?is jam-packed with new features and functionality.  Here are just some of the new things contained in the release. Customer Hierarchy:  The Customer Relationships feature has been expanded to offer a more robust use of relationships---the Customer Hierarchy, which makes use of the concept of relationship trees.  Previously, customer relationships were usually reciprocal (employer/employee), or nested in a two-deep hierarchy (such as with the Master Customer Relationships feature).  Now, relationship trees allow you to set up structures with multiple, theoretically unlimited, nesting levels (for example, employees within branch office within company within parent company).  In addition, …



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    NEW! Business Intelligence Module

    We are pleased to announce the latest Advantage module: Business Intelligence.  You've told us that people in your organization need to be able to get at the vast amount of data in Advantage; that they want meaningful reports, easily accessed and not requiring detailed technical knowledge or deep familiarity with Advantage.  We listened and the BI module is our response. BI offers you 3 main benefits: Meaningful Reports Rather than selecting reports and then running them, you simply go to a website to access reports which will include graphs, pivot tables you can modify and standard "canned" reports.  You can configure your home page to display specific reports of your choice at the time interval of your choice.  Reports include the analysis …



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    ACS Names Philippe van Mastrigt as Director for European Operations

    Philippe van Mastrigt has been appointed the ACS Director for European Operations.  In this role, Philippe provides a permanent ACS presence in Europe and the UK, working closely with current and prospective Advantage clients.  Philippe's move to ACS was made possible through his work with Bayard Presse, ACS' first major client in France. Philippe led a successful implementation of Advantage in 2007, and he now continues to provide services for this major French publisher as an ACS consultant. "Philippe provides for ACS a new level of competency in serving our clients in the publishing marketplace in Europe," explains Tom Burbeck, ACS Executive Vice President. "His 11 years' experience at one of the top five publishers in France, combined with his competency in …



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    Inaugural EU Advantage User Meeting Held

    On July 7, 2009, an historic meeting took place in London.  The ACS clients in the European region came together to meet one another, talk about their participation in the Advantage Users Group, view presentations on product direction at ACS, hear about some of our latest features and spend plenty of time networking.  Five clients were represented at this first meeting, with a total of 20 attendees. The day began with an introduction and news update from me (VP and Chief Product Manager at ACS), followed by a presentation about AUG from Andy Wright, Advantage Administrator at Oxford University Press. Andy's presentation was the catalyst for a lively discussion about meeting together regularly in the EU region as well as participating in the AUG meetings …



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