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 …
Geoff Bunce is the newest member of the support center staff, reporting to Scott Ghormley. Geoff joined ACS in August, and has been working diligently to learn Advantage and Support Center procedures. He finds it “challenging, but fun,” and thinks it’s interesting to see how various clients use Advantage in different ways.
Technical support, however, is not new to Geoff, as he joins ACS after three years providing client tech support for an accounting software company. There he honed his problem-solving skills and learned the finer points of troubleshooting technical issues, including the art of asking the right questions to get at the root of an issue.
Geoff’s educational background is rich and varied. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Northern Michigan …
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 …
In October, I had the distinct pleasure of attending the FIPP World Congress in Toronto, Ontario. (FIPP is the Federation of International Periodical Publishers, in case you are not in this space.) This magazine congress is held every two years in a different country, and is attended by hundreds of magazine publishers from around the world.
As one of the sponsors, AdvantageCS had the opportunity to provide a 100-second pitch of our product. This is a brilliant idea on the part of the FIPP team to allow sponsors to explain their product or service but to keep it brief. In fact, these 100-second pitches are placed between major presentations and become a bit of a game, which keeps the audience in their seats.
Most publishers don't like to be "sold to" but the attendees can't resist …
Maggie Voorheis recently joined the AdvantageCS administrative staff led by Becky Sharp. An Ann Arbor native, Maggie graduated last May from Eastern Michigan University where she studied early childhood education. Although that continues to be an interest for her, she has found that she prefers a mix of business duties in addition to working with children. Her position at ACS is ideal in that regard, as she helps out in the on-site child care center as needed.
Maggie’s smiling face is the first one visitors see when they walk in the ACS door, as she is our official receptionist. In addition to greeting visitors and making them feel comfortable, she operates the company phone system and message center, handles shipping and mailing, and employee communication.
Another area of …
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 …
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?
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 …
We hired Firestarter videos---a Hollywood video company---to produce our new video. Let us know what you think!
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 …