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, …
We are highly pleased to welcome the IET to the Advantage family. The IET is a registered charity that is working to engineer a better world by inspiring, informing and influencing its members, engineers and technicians, and all those who are touched by, or touch, the work of engineers. It aims to inspire the next generation of engineers, and to promote engineering and the work of engineers to society. The IET is one of the world’s largest engineering institutions with over 168,000 members in 150 countries.
IET products include journals, E&T Magazine, books, publications, webinars, 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 policy issues. The …
This month marks the ten-year anniversary of Bayard Presse first going live on Advantage. Tom Burbeck, Executive Vice President, was there from AdvantageCS to help them celebrate, which they did with a cake---complete with candles---and champagne.
Emmanuel Chevalier, Director, Business Information Systems, blew out the candles and the festivities commenced.
In the 10 years of being live on Advantage, Bayard has been able to implement many changes, including enabling extensive automation of its business processing, reorganizing various vendors for increased cost and service efficiency, and developing its digital content across numerous publications.
Today, Bayard and AdvantageCS are proud of the strong partnership they have built.
Bayard is one of the largest magazine publishers in …
Technology leaders from seven different AdvantageCS client companies met in Brussels in early May, just prior to the European Advantage User Group conference. The meeting provided a forum for these executives to discuss current priorities and challenges being faced across the technology and publishing industries.
Attendees presented their observations on what is the highest priority for their respective IT groups, including many challenges that they’re facing as they help to build and sustain their businesses. Lively exchanges took place during these presentations as other attendees provided additional insights. On the second day, AdvantageCS facilitated further discussions on the most prevalent topics. AdvantageCS also presented on the broader issue of GDPR (General Data …
Earlier this month, Advantage users hailing from Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal, Denmark, Sweden, the UK, and US gathered in Brussels for our annual European Advantage User Group (EAUG) meeting. The diverse group brought a wide variety of perspectives, resulting in lively discussion both during the sessions and after hours.
The conference kicked off with a welcome from AdvantageCS staff and a round of introductions---a critical exercise for this group. “Our European users meeting is designed to both engage our users in the region and provide an opportunity for them to engage and learn from one another,” said AdvantageCS Vice President and Chief Product Manager, Dan Heffernan. He went on to provide an overview of AdvantageCS: what’s new at the company and where we’re headed in the …
This was not your ordinary update. With operations in three different countries, involving more than sixty people, the Aller upgrade project was a bit more complex than most. They upgraded from 2013r3 to 2016.8 and jumped onto the continuous update track. The upgrade included 60 integrations and 2,029 test cases, and yet still was completed on time and within the budget.
Gilda Jantunen, Group Manager IT - Business Service Delivery, Marketing & Sales at Aller, sent this message to all team members: “It is my pleasure to pass on to you all the congratulations and positive messages I have been receiving from all stakeholders in all countries regarding the excellent job by the team during these last 6 months. I join them in thanking you and recognizing your efforts.”
Aller realized many …
Crain Communications is celebrating 100 years of B-to-B publishing. And one thing hasn't changed: the company's commitment to quality journalism. Crain founder, G.D. Crain Jr., launched the company's first publication, Hospital Management, in February 1916. Today, with 880 employees in 13 locations throughout North America and Europe, Crain's 22 brands now reach 6 million business decision makers across the U.S., Europe and Asia, and stand among the most influential media properties in the industries they serve.
We wish them a Happy 100th Birthday!
Change Creates Cutovers
One constant in any software environment is change. New tools, new techniques, and new applications are appearing almost daily. Implementing something new inevitably means there will be a cutover. Cutover efforts involve stopping production operations on a current system and installing something different. For some initiatives, this is a small effort and can be accomplished during normal business hours. For other larger, enterprise-wide initiatives, this means evenings and weekends. Some projects plan for three-day weekends to limit the downtime on production operations during “normal” business hours.
High Stakes, Short Timeframe
These large projects usually have months of effort that have preceded the cutover. Often, the success of the project is …