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  • Welcome New Employee Chris Long

    The newest member of the AdvantageCS development team led by John Moore, is Chris Long. Chris recently graduated from the University of Michigan, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science. Chris began his college career in the biomedical area, but found that the amount of research work involved was more than he was interested in doing. Programming was much more to his liking and so he switched majors.

    In his brief stint at AdvantageCS, Chris has gotten involved in improving the functionality of the AdvantageCS internal website. He enjoys breaking a large task into smaller pieces and working through each one. The collaborative atmosphere of the AdvantageCS engineering division appeals to Chris---he works well in a group and appreciates having lots of others around …



  • Welcome New Employee David Zick

    David Zick has joined AdvantageCS as a member of the development team led by Paul Sauter. David is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan, but he isn’t a stranger to AdvantageCS---he worked here as an intern last summer, and we’re delighted to have him back as a full-time employee.

    Following in the footsteps of more than one member of his family, David earned a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science engineering. His father is a software developer, his older sister earned a degree in industrial operations engineering, and his uncle, Ray Zick, has been a fixture of the engineering department here at AdvantageCS for more than 30 years. 

    Aided by his intern experience, David has hit the ground running. His team employs an agile development method in which tasks are …



  • 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' …



  • AdvantageCS Celebrates 36 Years

    Surface Changes Aplenty, Unchanged at the Core

      

    On July 1st, 2015, AdvantageCS celebrated our 36th anniversary. The company was formed in 1979 as a custom software development house by some computer science graduates of the University of Michigan who wanted to stay in Ann Arbor. The first client was a book publisher and the second was a magazine publisher, and almost before they knew it, they were publishing software specialists.

    It is said that in the technology world, the only constant is change. In 36 years, AdvantageCS has gone through four location moves, three company names, four logos, countless hardware platforms (Prime, DEC, multiple Unix flavors, 10 flavors of Windows from 3.11 up through 2012R2), and half a dozen programming languages (from Fortran and COBOL to C#). …



  • European Advantage Users Group meets in London

     

    The 2015 European Advantage User Group meeting was held 15 April at the conveniently located London Paddington Hilton.  Attending were 33 clients representing 12 companies from England, France, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Belgium and Portugal.  AdvantageCS was itself “multi-national,” with staff from England and France as well as the United States.

    Dan Heffernan, VP of Sales and Product Direction, led the day and kicked it off with an overview presentation of AdvantageCS news and the roadmap looking ahead.  He highlighted our three newest clients, including Talentum from Finland, who had three representatives at the conference.

    One (of many) entertaining images that Dan showed in his Prezi presentation was a pair of blue jeans, indicating a recent dress code change at the AdvantageCS …



  • Welcome New Employee Stephen Oller

    Stephen Oller has joined AdvantageCS as a business analyst in the Client Services division, reporting to Doug Moore. Stephen has a Bachelor of Science degree from Saginaw State University, where he studied computer information systems.

    After graduation, he worked as an application developer for a mortgage company and then as a developer in a software consulting firm. His most recent position was in technical support for H & R Block. Stephen found that although he enjoys programming, he prefers a job that offers more contact with other people. The position at ACS allows him to use his technical ability, as well as providing frequent interaction with team members and clients.

    In addition to his technical skills, Stephen enjoys analyzing situations and fixing problems, which is also a …



  • Dan's Blog: Multi-Product Brand Extension

    Americans can be some of the laziest language users on earth, creating nicknames and abbreviations for everything from celebrities to common phrases.  Texting can be blamed for some of this, certainly, but it doesn't explain our penchant for cutting syllables out of our speech.  Furthermore, there are people texting all over the world who still take the time and effort to use lots of words in their speech to make their thoughts clear.  Being married to a native speaker of another language has provided an at-home testing platform for my claim.  Many other languages seem to require more words to express something that an American will use fewer words to express.  Is it because American English is so rich that we have a word for everything?  I don't think so.  There are many words in Spanish …



  • American Psychiatric Association Upgrades to 15.3

    Congratulations to the American Psychiatric Association who recently went live on Advantage 15.3. This means they are now on the continuous update track of Advantage, in which updates are released every four to six weeks.  Clients now have the option of moving to this Feature update track, which eliminates the traditional upgrade project.  Instead, participants get the changes as they become available. (For more information on the continuous update method, see story in the Sept/Oct 2014 eVantage).

    APA’s update also included the implementation of SOAP/Web services and CyberSource with tokens.

    The APA team included Roger Domras, Debra Eurbanks, Christie Couture, Brian Cole, Shruti Kulkarni and Sreeni Reddy.

    Philippe Rowland led the charge on the AdvantageCS side, with assistance from …



  • Preview of Advantage Features Coming This Summer

    There are some exciting new features coming your way this summer in Advantage. Here are just a few--contact your Advantage account manager for more information.

    Streamlined Customer Information Maintenance: Customer and address maintenance via the SVCCTM view and Customer Lookup dialog has been significantly enhanced. Replacing the static, tabbed entry dialog is an approach using Advantage scripts. You can reduce the entry fields to just those required for your business---as well as take advantage of other script entry features such as open/close/require, user-definable field captions, and customizable presentation.

    ARPCAR Reorganization: The ARPCAR view has been changed from a list frame of credits and debits that satisfy your search criteria to top-pane list frame and bottom-pane …



  • Dan's Blog: The Gift of Criticism

    Recently, my wife needed to go back to a doctor's office where she'd had some minor surgery done some months earlier.  She was in pain and was concerned about infection.  She called the office to find out when they could see her but was met with the proverbial "please leave a message" announcement, rather than being answered by a human.  Instead of leaving a message and sitting by the phone for the rest of the morning, she decided to drive to the office and see them face-to-face and ask in person for a last-minute appointment.  I decided to join her so we could chat on the way.

    When we walked into the office, I knew we were going to have a less-than-pleasant customer service experience.  It was written all over the face of the receptionist.  She was cool, aloof, and lacking in compassion. …



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