AdvantageCS is pleased to announce our newest client: Bonnier Magazine Data (“BMD”). Located in the Østerbro borough of Copenhagen, Denmark, BMD is an internal provider of subscription management systems, CRM system functionality and related services to Bonnier companies. BMD specializes in subscription management within the field of weekly and monthly magazines, publications and other media products.
BMD is wholly owned by Bonnier Publications (“BP”) and Bonnier Tidskrifter (“BT”) which are also two major customers. Whereas BP is represented in Copenhagen, Helsinki (Finland), Oslo (Norway) and Stockholm (Sweden), BT is represented solely in Stockholm. Between the two publishing companies, BMD systems manage around 2 million subscriptions. These companies are part of the holding …
It's the week between Christmas and New Years and I'm reading lists of things that happened in 2015 and will happen in 2016. It's always enjoyable to be reminded of things that happened earlier in the year that we've already either forgotten or filed away into that part of our memory that can't quite remember exactly when it took place. (Like one's last dentist appointment once more than 5 weeks have passed.) What's much more fun, and risky, is to predict things that will happen in the future. It's risky, because the predictor is likely to be proved wrong. It's fun because the expectations are so low for being right!
So here are mine:
Publishing will continue to be unpredictable. I know. It's almost cheating to say this. But there is more truth to it than immediately meets the eye. …
Stay up to date with Automatic Notification of Continuous Update Features
What do these seemingly unrelated Advantage features have in common?
A right-click action at all Advantage list frames to copy the value of any currently displayed column to your clipboard.
The addition of data entry scripts for agreement orders and maintenance, whether using the Fast Entry or the dedicated agreement view.
The consolidation of all select set setup in Advantage under the single Selection view.
If you answered “they’ve all entered the product within the past four calendar months,” you would be correct!
Advantage development, which has always been fast and furious, has become even more so with the introduction of the continuous update track within the past year. How can you keep up on …
“What is best in life? To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women.”
-Conan, the Barbarian
As software engineers, we find ourselves fighting a war against an enemy of our own creation. An enemy armed with complexity, obscurity, and redundancy. From a fortified position in legacy code it charges forth using our past compromises as a battle cry. Like the Hydra, software development can work against us: each problem we fix with a cutting change can sometimes spawn more bugs. What is an engineer to do in the face of such odds?
Creating bug-free software can happen in one of two ways. Write no bugs, which given the complexity and breadth of Advantage is impossible, or find the bugs that are created and fix them. To this end, bug …
One of our traditional movies to watch around this time of year is the revered "White Christmas" starring Bing Crosby and friends. For those unfamiliar with the story, things begin to go wrong when the nosy housekeeper eavesdrops on a conversation but only hears 1 side of the message. She draws her own conclusions and sets off a string of events which produces the main tension in the storyline. Since it's a movie, it all ends well and they live happily ever after. But the movie has supremely good examples of all kinds of problematic communication:
misunderstanding what the other person said
misunderstanding what the other person didn't say
beating around the bush
talking about two different things and missing one another
and the list goes on …
Some time ago, a project was begun here at ACS to consolidate various customer service views. The result is called the Advantage Contact Center.
Contact Center introduces a new feature called Customer Service Workflows, which are guided customer service transactions. Each Advantage customer service workflow guides a customer service rep through a set of phases. The Advantage user interface can be customized based on workflow scripts, which determine the phases of the workflow, the fields available for data entry and the defaulting of transaction values. At the conclusion of the workflow, a customer note is created to log the call outcome.
Here’s an example of one such workflow:
A customer calls to inquire about a premium which hasn’t arrived yet.
The first phase in the workflow …
Wednesday February 10 – Friday February 12, 2016
Users picked Las Vegas as their destination of choice and so the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas will be the site of the 2016 Advantage Users Group Conference. A great location and an exciting program make this a can’t-miss conference.
Growing numbers of Advantage clients have made the leap to continuous updates, and many more are looking to make it in 2016. If you are considering it or are wondering what the benefits are to you, the conference is a great place to get answers from users that have been there and done that.
The conference will cover a variety of topics, most of them suggested by users at last year’s conference. The agenda is below. There’s still time to register---Click here for registration information.
In his nearly 35 years here at ACS, Jim Austin has worked on numerous projects with too many clients to count. Through it all, his sense of humor, patience and dedication to client satisfaction have remained intact.
Jose Garcia, VP of Technology at Health Communications, has worked with Jim for more than 20 years. “When I learned that Jim was finally going to hang up his ACS code skills, mouse and keyboard after almost 35 years, my first thought was ‘wait’---I thought he’d retired once before and ACS brought him back because they just couldn’t let him get away. Thank goodness he came back, because in the 20+ years I’ve known Jim, he’s gotten me out of more than one Advantage royalty problem. As a matter of fact, at HCI, Jim came to be known as ‘King James’ because of the many times he …
Wow, it has been a while since we provided an update on Cider. If you need a refresher, you can read my previous posts here and here. In short, Cider is our fully integrated eCommerce platform. So, what have we been up to? A lot! First and foremost, Cider is live! It was made available earlier this year with the 2015 annual release of Advantage. We continue to be hard at work with client implementations, modifications, and R&D.
There are currently three clients live on Cider.
Jerry Baker - Jerry Baker's store offers high-quality home and health products while allowing customers to mix-and-match bundled offerings.
Palm Coast Data - The primary focus here was targeted self-service landing pages for subscribers served through email notifications.
Ogden Publications - Ogden employs a …
Earlier this month we hosted several people from our most recent European client. During dinner, I got to talking with the senior executive about the company culture at AdvantageCS. He commented that we were quite unusual for a software company in the way that HARMONY seemed to permeate the interactions he observed among our people during an extended tour of our facilities. And he noted that same harmony spilling over into the many meetings of their visit. He was also struck by the long length of stay of our people (14 years average), and that the mission of the company requires the owners to be employees, which means we never entertain the frequent offers of outside investors.
He was applauding our commitment to stability for our clients and employees as a very good business growth …