The Advantage Users Group is full of remarkable people who are hard-working, smart and generous with their time. They come from large companies and small ones, from all over the US and Europe, they publish magazines, journals, newspapers, books and much more, targeted to all types of consumer and business audiences. In addition to Advantage software, they have in common a desire to share with, and learn from, each other. There have been user group meetings of some sort for nearly three decades, and, invariably, the feedback surveys list “meeting and networking with other users” as one of the things attendees value the most about the annual conferences.
The group has its own Steering Committee and bylaws and is completely controlled by the users themselves. They plan and run the …
This is the second in a series (read first one here) highlighting how some of our Advantage clients are providing invaluable services during this unsettling and anxiety-prone time when we are all looking for information and ideas to help make this period a little easier. We are proud to support our clients’ work and appreciate their important contributions.
Here are more examples of what our clients are doing to help their customers and the general public.
Oxford University Press - ELT
Oxford University Press - ELT is offering free access to the advanced-level dictionary for learners of English (access here).
And to help students get the most out of learning at home, they’re offering 148 Graded Readers e-books on the Oxford Learner’s Bookshelf for free. Students can sign in or …
Many Advantage clients are providing invaluable services during this unsettling and anxiety-prone time when we are all looking for information and ideas to help make this period a little easier. We are proud to support our clients’ work and appreciate their important contributions.
Here are some examples of what our clients are doing to help their customers and the general public.
The American Medical Association
In addition to providing resources and assistance to their physician members, the AMA is also advising states and Washington, such as in this article explaining the four signposts states should follow to safely reopen America.
The Agora Companies
One of The Agora’s companies, Money Map Press, offers this advice on protecting your 401k during this time.
Mary Ann Liebert, …
Fifty attendees from 17 Advantage client companies gathered recently at the Omni Hotel in downtown Austin, Texas for the 2020 Advantage Users Group conference. The weather cooperated nicely, with no rain and several warm and sunny days.
Kevin Gervais (Massachusetts Medical Society), current Steering Committee Chair, welcomed everyone to the conference on Wednesday afternoon and set a positive tone for the meeting.
Dan Heffernan (Vice President & Chief Product Manager at AdvantageCS) kicked off the presentation parade with his customary AdvantageCS News, Strategy, and Direction presentation. To recognize the 40th anniversary of AdvantageCS this year, he took a look back at 1980, including showing photos from that period of each of the 10 AdvantageCS people in attendance. He followed …
Congratulations to Mediahuis, whose Belgium office (MHB) recently completed its second of two go-lives on Advantage. This large implementation project began in November 2017 and was planned with three go-lives across two offices. The first phase was completed in October 2018 when Mediahuis Limburg (MHL) successfully converted off their legacy P5 system and began fulfilling their daily Dutch newspaper, De Limburger, through Advantage after an 11-month project.
The MHB team that was involved from the start, assisting with the MHL project while also working on their implementation in parallel, was able to celebrate their first go-live in early November 2019. The most recent go-live, in December 2019, marked the last of three fulfillment systems at Mediahuis that were planned to migrate to …
Congratulations to The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery (JBJS) who is now live on Advantage and Cider (https://storefront.jbjs.org/) after an implementation project spanning more than a year.
The primary focus of the project was Cider as that is what most people at JBJS use with only a few users regularly accessing the Advantage desktop application. Another unique aspect is that print subscriptions sold by JBJS are fulfilled by another AdvantageCS client, Wolters Kluwer Health, and customer service is shared between Wolters Kluwer Health and JBJS.
The company is headquartered in Needham, Massachusetts, and The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery has been a valued source of information for orthopaedic surgeons and researchers for over 125 years---their comprehensive archive dates back to 188 …
Plan now to attend!
We have extended the early registration discount until December 31st to make certain that you don't miss out. The AUG Conference is a great opportunity to connect, learn, and exchange your ideas with other Advantage users.
Register here to take Advantage of the Early Bird Discount!
This year’s event will be held in Austin, the Texas state capital and home to some great BBQ! We will gather at the Omni Austin Hotel Downtown, located near the lively 6th Street Entertainment District within the thriving heart of the city. Click here to book your hotel room at the special conference rate!
Planned topics for this year include optimizing Advantage for efficiency, dealing with Wayfair and the Visa Mandate, utilizing Cider and more! Please see the latest agenda for the …
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 …
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 …
The pace of Cider implementations continues to accelerate as more and more Advantage clients choose to make the move. Eleven clients are now live on Cider, with nearly 100 websites, marketing myriad items including digital, print, continuity programs, books and other products. Six more clients are in the process of implementing the eCommerce platform.
“Without a doubt, Cider was a HUGE win for Informa and Advantage,” says Carver Bonine, Business Systems Engineer at Informa, who went live on Cider earlier this year. “The team all went above and beyond to make this work---and work well---for us. Ultimately, it was AdvantageCS’ commitment to the Cider platform and determination to get Informa live on Cider that led to our success.”
Cider offers a marketing portal for speedy creation …
Congratulations to Martin Media, whose five web ecommerce boutiques recently went live on Cider, our eCommerce platform, all entirely in French:
• Boutique La Classe
• Boutique L’Assmat
• Boutique Journal de l’Animation
• Boutique Journal des Psychologues
• Boutique Bois
As our first non-English Cider implementation, the project involved some unique challenges. These included adjustments for rate-includes-tax, handling accent marks and currency display, plus translating Cider itself. The Cider implementation was closely linked with an upgrade of the core Advantage application.
The Martin Media project team included Julien Krier, Philippe Canus, Jérémie Boisselier and Stéphane Sorin, and involved the entire organization for testing the new release.
On the AdvantageCS side, John …
The Advantage Users Group (AUG) chose New Orleans, Louisiana for its 2019 gathering. The conference was held at the Crown Plaza Hotel, in the middle of the French Quarter. More than 50 participants from 16 companies attended the event for three days of sharing and showing. As usual, the AUG steering committee did a great job making the event run smoothly.
Dan Heffernan kicked off the meeting with his annual presentation of publishing trends and AdvantageCS news. Among the trends, the pivot to subscription revenue (advertising revenue has dropped significantly over the 10 last years) wasn’t new to the audience but factors such as paywalls, retention strategies, and AI technology are definitely changing the landscape. Relationships with social media are also adapting quickly, as Google and …
This month, AdvantageCS hosted its annual management roundtable for its clients just prior to the Advantage Users Group conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. A group of executives representing a broad spectrum of publishing concerns ranging from data-only to print, from academic and B2B to B2C, from subscriptions to books, and from rapidly growing businesses to more declining markets. Participants also differed in their positions, from CEOs to CTOs to CMOs:
Jeff Baker, American Master ProductsAllison Belan, Duke University PressJeff Crosby, InterVarsity PressPaul Gee, American Medical AssociationReid McLaughlin, Agora/14WestLaird Popkin, Hearst Transportation Group/BlackbookTara Rebak, Newsmax MediaBonnie Roche, Crain CommunicationsTim Swietek, Ogden Publications
As usual, we wonder …
Congratulations to Mediahuis on their recent go-live on Advantage. In late October, Mediahuis Limburg completed an 11-month conversion off their legacy P5 system and began fulfilling their daily Dutch newspaper, De Limburger, through Advantage. This is the first of three fulfillment systems at Mediahuis that will migrate to Advantage.
“After more than a year of hard work, we finally went live with our project---the launch of a new subscription system. I was very happy to feel so much positive energy and to see so many happy faces!” said Steve Conard, Project Manager, Mediahuis. “A big thanks to the entire project team and our partner AdvantageCS who made this possible!”
After determining that developing an in-house solution to replace their separate fulfillment systems was not …
When Advantage moved to .NET in 2012, it paved the way for Unicode. Unicode is a computer industry standard that enables the use of other characters in addition to Latin, such as Cyrillic, Hindi, Japanese or Chinese. In its recent upgrade to 2016.0, Bayard took "Advantage" of these new capabilities to address the needs of its Hong Kong Subsidiary, Bayard Asia. For the first time, thanks to Bayard, Chinese characters are displayed on Advantage user screens. Awesome!
Bayard has had a presence in Asia since 1977, operating mainly from Hong-Kong. There, it publishes 5 magazines in traditional Chinese (Little Toy Car, Little Red Apple, Little Red Panda, Red Apple and White Antelope), and also markets 6 publications in English, from the "Box" collection (Story Box, Adventure Box, …
Forty people from 12 different clients gathered in Ann Arbor last week for the first Advantage Academy. The academy was a 3-day workshop centered around Advantage, with the goal of providing practical, hands-on experience that attendees take away with them to implement in their own organizations.
Attendees participated in a morning and an afternoon session for each of the three days and could choose from more than a dozen topics. These included Promotions/Offers, Customer Care, Automated Testing, Integrations, Payment Management, and Advantage Potpourri. Attendees could also choose to meet with staff from the Support Center and pose their questions.
Most sessions were hands-on, and the AdvantageCS staff worked hard to organize and plan every detail. Classes were led by a variety of …
We are extremely pleased to welcome Keesing Media Group as an Advantage client. Keesing is the largest publisher of puzzle magazines in Europe, with an annual print run of 96 million magazines. Based in Amsterdam, Keesing offers a wide range of puzzle magazines in many languages and countries including the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Hungary and the United Kingdom.
Founded in 1911 by the Amsterdam-based journalist Isaäc Keesing, it remained a family-owned business until 2006, when it was purchased by TMG (Telegraaf Media Groep), a large Dutch media group. In 2017, Keesing was acquired by Ergon Capital Partners III, although TMG retains a 30% stake in the new partnership.
Keesing’s 761 titles include crossword, arroword, cryptics, …
Congratulations to the Amos Media Company (AMC), which recently completed the second and final phase of their Advantage implementation project.
AMC has four flagship publications geared toward coin and stamp hobby enthusiasts. Their product order business offers supplies and collectibles---more than 12,000 products---targeted to a similar audience. During this project, AMC was able to streamline their business by consolidating their four legacy systems into Advantage for all print subscription and product order fulfillment.
In the first phase of the project, AMC implemented subscription management for digital and print publications. They have now added products and inventory, accounts payable and other functionality to their mix, and moved their eCommerce platform to Cider.
The AMC …
Oxford University Press (OUP) is the largest university press in the world, with 6,000 employees worldwide. They have been an Advantage client since 2001 and today, 25% of their 800 million GBP in sales flows through Advantage.
OUP recently completed a major upgrade from 11r2 to 2017.0 with a project that spanned 8 months and 2,000+ hours. The move provides them with key functionality that they can leverage in their business, including a move to a .NET environment, up-to-date PA-DSS security, a Rest API, Omnistream and workflow events. System administration is easier with this rev, as is integration with other systems.
One significant challenge of the project was consortia sales, a concept unique to journals publishing, which involves exceptionally complex rules and procedures. At OUP, …