Seventy-five attendees from Advantage clients across the world (representing more than 8 countries) recently assembled via Zoom to share and catch up with each other after the upheaval of 2020. As the first open discussion, entitled “Weathering the Storm” began, one client fittingly remarked: “I didn’t know it would be a literal storm,” referring to the strong winter storms that were moving across the US.
Felicia Muse (Agora/14 West), chairperson of the Advantage Users Group Steering Committee and emcee of this year’s event, welcomed everyone to the conference on Wednesday and encouraged all to consider joining the AUG Steering Committee. She expressed that being part of the group helps improve collaboration and connection. To further illustrate the benefits of these networking …
Congratulations to Advantage client Air Business, which was recently awarded the ‘Industry Partner of the Year’ in the 2020 PPA Independent Publishers Awards in the UK.
“We loved Air Business’ commitment to helping Independent Publishers meet the challenges they face while embodying an ethical approach to business. In particular, their approach to Covid-19 challenges showed a willingness to go the extra mile to help their customers,” explained judge Sally Hampton of DC Thomson.
The judges’ comments included: “They show strong communication and a nimble approach, switching transportation to get the most reliable service and good deals. The growth figures are a testament to strong performance in more 'normal' times.”
Adam Sherman, Air Business CEO, said, “I am so proud that Air Business …
The second Advantage Academy took place remotely throughout the month of October. More than 100 attendees representing 20 client companies and hailing from 5 different countries participated in the 2020 event.
The 2018 inaugural Advantage Academy took place in Ann Arbor, Michigan, at the AdvantageCS office and the plan was to repeat it every other year. Then along came 2020 and like so many other plans, the Academy had to be re-thought. While there are certainly benefits to in-person training, going remote allowed more participants to take part as the sessions were spread out over nine days and offered in easily manageable chunks of time.
Sessions covered a multitude of areas and were led by a variety of ACS staff:
Jeff Leonard (Omnistream)
John Hughes (Workflow Events)
During the Advantage implementation at the IET, culminating in their go-live in August 2019, IET engineer and implementation team member Marc Green did a lot of Cider development for the project. Marc was an avid runner and tragically and unexpectedly had a heart attack and passed away in May 2020 while training for the annual Standalone 10k.
Even though she was not previously a runner (in fact, she had told Marc she was never going to run that race), Marc’s partner, Kim Pybus, an analyst at the IET, decided to train and run the Standalone 10k race in Marc’s memory.
The October 4th race was virtual this year, with small teams running in various locations. Kim and her team sported t-shirts honoring Marc and collected donations on behalf of the British Heart Foundation. Kim was able to …
Congratulations to Mediahuis Netherlands (MHN) who recently went live on Advantage following an extensive implementation project.
MHN is the publisher of the largest daily circulating newspaper in the Netherlands (De Telegraaf), along with several regional newspapers. Mediahuis Netherlands (formerly known as Telegraaf Media Groep, or TMG) was acquired in full by Mediahuis in 2017 and started their Advantage implementation project in May 2018.
The first phase of this project culminated this past September and included many software enhancements and integrations. As of now, the regional daily newspapers Noordhollands Dagblad, Haarlems Dagblad, Leidsch Dagblad and De Gooi en Eemlander are live on Advantage. The second cutover for De Telegraaf is planned for the first quarter of 2021. …
It was in 1990 that Our Sunday Visitor (OSV) first became a part of the Advantage family. In the years since, the two companies have gone through countless projects together---large and small---including upgrades, in-conversions and new development. Today, OSV is the largest provider of church envelopes and one of the largest Catholic publishers in the world, and all OSV divisions are operating on Advantage.
The Publishing division of OSV had been happily using Advantage for nearly 20 years when Harcourt Religion Publishers (now referred to as Our Sunday Visitor Curriculum Division) was acquired by Our Sunday Visitor Publishing in 2009. The conversion of the Curriculum Division to Advantage allowed Our Sunday Visitor Publishing to consolidate data, streamline customer service, improve …
As noted earlier this summer, we’ve moved our annual European Users Meeting to a virtual format.
The meeting, which is free to attend and open to all Advantage users in Europe, the U.K., and Ireland, will be held Monday, September 28th - Thursday, October 1st. In addition to AdvantageCS company updates, product & feature demonstrations, attendees will have the opportunity to discuss how the publishing industry has evolved in the COVID-19 era. Three panels, featuring Advantage users from a wide variety of companies, will delve into the following hot topics:
● Adapting to an Increasingly Digital World● Weathering the Storm: Pandemic Retrospective and Strategies for Survival● Looking Ahead & Adjusting to the New Normal
Registration closes on Monday, September 21st — so don’t delay! …
Congratulations to Keesing Media Group (KMG), on recently going live on Advantage. Seven puzzle magazines were purchased from Aller Media in 2019 and were selected to be converted to Advantage.
The project began in the fourth quarter of 2019. The KMG team included Joost Freriks, Marie Gabrielson, Anders Juhlin, Sharon Lewis, Jaap Nijman, Felix van der Sommen and Lena Thelenius. On the AdvantageCS side, the major players included Levi Hyssong, Binoy Philip, Mark Sauter and Tim Zapawa. In addition, the project received assistance through the involvement of a team from Aller Media.
“During this project, we migrated the running Aller Media subscriptions seamlessly into our AdvantageCS area. Besides the technical tasks (mainly setup of integrations and data conversion), this also meant …
A few weeks ago, we talked about our amazing users and the U.S.-based Advantage Users Group. While all Advantage users are welcome to attend the U.S. conference, we typically hold a separate event---the European Users Meeting---for our users in Europe, the U.K., and Ireland.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to shape the “new normal” and make traveling more complicated, we’ve decided to shift this year’s European Users Meeting online. While we are disappointed that we will not have the opportunity to see so many of our European clients in person, we are optimistic that this will allow more users to attend---virtually, that is!
This year's European Users Meeting is tentatively scheduled for September 28 - October 1, 2020 via Microsoft Teams (one ~2 hour session per day; exact …
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 …