• Install Your System Updates Promptly to Foil Hackers

    As I settle in at my desk for the start of a new day, a message pops up on my desktop letting me know that a new security update is available for Windows. The pressing question is, would I like to download and install the update now? I know it’s going to require a reboot and I have some urgent emails that I need to reply to, so I simply can’t be bothered at the moment. I dismissively click “snooze” and push it off to another day.

    On the other side of the world, there’s another desktop that’s had that same message pop up. “New security update, would you like to download and install now?” The user of that computer, however, chooses to immediately download the update. Once it’s downloaded, they quickly get to work on reverse-engineering the security update and find that it’s provided a …



  • Welcome New Employee: Andrea Carter

     

    We are pleased to welcome Andrea Carter as the newest member of the Program Services team led by Doug Moore. Andrea comes to AdvantageCS from Florida, her home state, where she worked most recently as a business analyst/developer at a home builder company.

    Andrea grew up in north Florida, near St. Augustine, and attended the University of Florida, where she majored in sports management. She then moved to Michigan to be near her boyfriend who was attending the University of Michigan. Andrea decided to pursue her interest in business and earned an MBA in finance from Wayne State University, while also working at the U of M credit union. After graduation, she worked for Citibank and then Sterling Bank and Trust in the mortgage area, for a total of six years.

    A family issue took Andrea …



  • Advantage and Minimum System Requirements

    It is very common for clients taking an Advantage feature update after a few years ‘parked’ on a previous release to ask for our updated system requirements. This question is also front of mind for prospective clients who are considering a new Advantage implementation. But if you’re a client who keeps current with monthly or quarterly feature updates, then reviewing the operating systems and databases that undergird your Advantage system might not be a primary concern.

    At AdvantageCS, we’ve supported many operating systems and database management systems over the years. We’ve operated on Windows NT 3.5 to Windows Server 2019, several Unix variants, OpenVMS, even PRIMOS. And we’ve supported database management systems from Microsoft, Oracle, DEC and others. Our latest feature update, …



  • European Users Gather in Lisbon for Annual Meeting

    Last month, Advantage users representing 14 companies across 11 countries gathered in Lisbon, Portugal for our annual European Users Meeting. As with previous meetings, our primary objectives were to give our European clients the opportunity to engage with AdvantageCS leadership, learn about product developments firsthand and connect with fellow users.

    The two-day conference began with a welcome from Victor Machado of Deco Proteste, our generous hosts for this year’s event. Part of Euroconsumers, Deco Proteste is the largest consumer association in Portugal. In addition to publications, Deco Proteste offers a wide variety of services to Portuguese consumers, including legal advice, education and advocacy.

    Day One Presentations

    The event continued with a keynote presentation from …



  • Advantage Instructional Videos

    Did you know Advantage has instructional videos? Most of these 10- to 13-minute videos demonstrate a specific feature or explain how to perform a task in Advantage but, starting with 2019.0, a video showing highlights of the latest annual release will be included.

    The five completed instructional videos currently available are shown below. Another one is in production.

    Planned future topics include Working with Select Sets, Synchronized Agreement Basics and Working with Packages.

    The videos are produced by Adam Martin of the documentation team. He sends out an email announcement with the release of each video, with links to the most recent video, all past videos, and the videos playlist. If you would like to be included on that list, email Adam. He also welcomes comments and …



  • Plan to attend AUG February 26-28 in Austin, Texas

    Join your fellow Advantage users in Austin, TX next February for a fantastic time of learning, sharing, networking and fun! The conference will be at the Omni Austin Hotel Downtown and there are lots of fun things to do close by. You won’t want to miss it!

    Mark your calendar now---details of the conference will be coming soon.



  • Advantage in the Wake of Wayfair

    It’s been a little over a year since the groundbreaking decision by the Supreme Court of the United States in the Wayfair vs. South Dakota court case. In short, the decision expanded the taxable landscape across the United States. States are no longer bound by the physical presence requirement set by the 1992 Quill court case. Effectively, this means that states can start requiring sales and use tax for everyone that meets an economic nexus.

    There are a lot of one-year-later posts by experts that provide great overviews. Try Accounting Today , Wolters Kluwer (my favorite) or Digital Commerce 360. This Bloomberg (PDF) survey is also interesting.

    This decision affects nearly all Advantage clients; even our non-USA based clients that sell into the USA are subject to the new rules. (We do …



  • Integrity in Business Decisions

    Back in the 1990s, I worked in technology sales and service in a developing country. The Requests for Proposals we received for technology needs (hardware, software, networks, training, support) went to a number of competing companies, one of which was owned by a powerful political regime in the country at the time. Upon submitting our bids, we were regularly dismayed at how this competitor could underbid us, given that we were dealing with tiny margins. It turned out that this competitor did not have to pay import duties on any imported hardware due to their political connections. They also paid a mole inside our company to send them a copy of our bids before they were submitted.

    When we discovered the first problem, i.e. that we had to pay import duties and they didn’t, we realized …



  • The IET Goes Live on Advantage

    Congratulations to The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) who went live on Advantage this past week. This go-live completes the second phase of the IET's program called Know Your Customer (KYC). This phase involved the implementation of Advantage as the IET’s new sales order processing system, with integrations to other applications in the IET’s ecosystem.

    The IET is one of the world’s largest engineering institutions, with over 168,000 members worldwide in 150 countries. Their products and services include more than two dozen journals, E&T Magazine, books, guides, webinars, regulations, job boards, videos and a vast digital library. They also provide services to the industry such as expert advice to the UK’s Parliament, Government and other agencies on engineering-related …



  • Welcome New Employee: Nicole Stark

    We are very pleased to welcome Nicole Stark to the Advantage family. Nicole is not exactly a newcomer, as she was an intern here full-time last summer and part time during the school year. She officially joined AdvantageCS in May, after graduating from the University of Michigan with a BBA, including a minor in computer science. Nicole is hoping to return to school for a master’s degree in computer science.

    Nicole is the newest member of the Program Services group led by Doug Moore. As an intern, she worked on revamping the support site for clients and some of that work continues today. However, she is also working on Cider implementation projects, helping clients with their setup, especially of promotions. The first Cider project where she served as the lead just had a successful go- …



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