This year marks our 40th anniversary as a company. A milestone to celebrate!
We have experienced many highlights and transitions over the course of those 40 years, including product advances, shifts in our business model, moving to new office locations, recessions and now, a pandemic. Our software and services are renowned for their functional breadth, reliability, richness and flexibility. We continue to expand our software and services to align with the never-ending advances in technology and business.
Let’s look at a brief history:
1980: T and B Computing was formed as a fully-owned subsidiary of Townsend and Bottum, a power plant construction company, using the talents of their IT staff to “go, make some money” using their programming skills. Our first two clients were a book …
We are delighted to announce that, with the upcoming 2020.5 Advantage release, our eCommerce platform Cider will provide a connector with Affilae, a platform dedicated to affiliate marketing. This enterprising marketing approach is growing among eCommerce players, including the publishing industry. It is something worth looking into if you don't use it yet.
What is affiliate marketing?
Wikipedia defines affiliate marketing as a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate's own marketing efforts.
Here’s an example. Imagine an influencer promotes a book (or publication) through his/her blog or social network account that you market in your eCommerce store. If he/she puts a link to the product, …
A small, almost unnoticeable change is happening in the book publishing world. Yet this small change has the potential to have a great and lasting impact on the industry.
In the 1990s, EDitEUR (the international group coordinating development of the standards infrastructure for electronic commerce in the book, e-book and serials sectors) introduced a standard called ONIX to communicate metadata about books. Over time, the ONIX standard has gained a global acceptance in the book world. EDitEUR has been faithfully updating the standard to handle changes in the book industry, such as introducing support for e-books when they became popular.
In 2009, EDitEUR released the current 3.0 version of ONIX. Most of the world has been working towards adopting the ONIX 3.0 standard. …
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 …
For nearly 40 years, AdvantageCS has offered the most powerful subscription management solution on the market, ideal for medium to large publishers and membership organizations. From print and digital subscriptions to book sales, from products to services, plus training, conferences, events, membership and donations, Advantage manages everything a company might offer. Plus, it’s constantly evolving to meet the latest needs of the rapidly changing business environment.
Now you can harness the power of Advantage without the need to manage it yourself, with Advantage fullService.
Hosted in the cloud on MS Azure, Advantage fullService is implemented and managed by our staff. System administration, cycle-ends, invoicing, reminders, setup, selects---we handle it all.
Along with our fully …
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, …
R & D activity in 2018 has been lively, to say the least. Here is an update.
Integration with Salesforce and Dynamics: We recently tightened the integration between Advantage and these applications. Many of our prospects and clients use one of these CRM applications to manage sales leads and want a seamless integration between said package and Advantage.
For example, a user in Salesforce or Dynamics might want to enter a quote and have that result in a quote in Advantage. At the same time, they may wish to view information in Salesforce or Dynamics about orders taken or payments made in Advantage. They may also wish to view information managed in Advantage which is not in the CRM application, such as information about an existing subscription agreement.
Current technology allows a …
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, …
We are extremely pleased to welcome Mediahuis to the Advantage family.
Mediahuis was founded in 2013 as a joint venture of two Flemish media corporations, Corelio and Concentra. Based in Antwerp, Belgium, Mediahuis publishes four Belgian newspapers---two national and two regional---and two Dutch newspapers---one regional and one national. It also recently acquired 95% of the Dutch Telegraaf Media Groep, which doubled its circulation size and added a large group of daily and weekly publications. The company’s history dates back to 1879, when their first newspaper, a weekly, was published.
In the 139 years since, there have been numerous launches and acquisitions of media companies, with properties including radio stations, television stations, classified platforms and websites. The …
Initiated by Carsten Weber from Bonnier Magazine Data, Nordic Advantage clients and AdvantageCS participated in a GDPR roundtable on January 22nd, at the Bonnier office in Copenhagen. What was initially a meeting of two publishers expanded to include four Nordic Advantage clients: Bonnier Magazine Data, Egmont Publishing, Aller Media and Alma Talent. Air Business Subscriptions from the UK also joined this gathering, as did AdvantageCS.
Participants included John Osborn (Air Business Subscriptions), Bjarne Christensen (Aller Media), Christel Heegaard (Aller Media), Martin Paluszewski (Aller Media), Mari Aalto (Alma Media), Hanna Kaivo-oja (Alma Media), Farhoud Fazeli (consultant, representing Bonnier Magazines and Brands), Rune Spanggaard (Bonnier Magazine Data), Carsten Weber (Bonnier …
2017 was a year.
I know…that seems obvious. But 2017 was loaded with the good, the bad, and some lessons learned from it all. Here are 5 that jumped out at me as we finish up 2017:
1. Publishers are moving into membership modelsSome years ago, we had a publishing client who published books and magazines around various special interests. But you couldn’t “subscribe” to the products; you had to be a “member” to get them. Their belief was that a “member” was more loyal than a “subscriber.” Given the interest areas they served (hunting and fishing and the like) I suspect that their low attrition rates were also due to the passion of their readers, rather than exclusively due to a clever marketing ploy around the word “member.” But lo and behold, Meredith (who is in the process of buying …
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 …
The Importance of Data Security
In late summer of this year, news broke that Equifax had been the victim of a massive data breach, likely one of the largest thefts of consumer data ever---see article here. As one of three primary agencies charged with tracking consumer credit in the US, Equifax fully understood the consequences of what it means for a consumer to have sensitive financial data stolen. While it appears that a sophisticated hack was involved, the case highlights the importance of data security and the risk that a company takes on in handling sensitive data.
The theft of one’s Social Security number, credit card data, or other personal data can cause many problems in today’s world. It also costs businesses billions of dollars (maybe it’s trillions of dollars by now) a …
Have you heard about AdvantageCS’s R&D project to revamp our integration with Salesforce?
Started in January of this year, this project has made a lot of progress, and it’s about more than just Salesforce. Publishers, content providers and membership organizations commonly use Salesforce for prospect relationship management, where sales teams are involved. These companies are selling into businesses, educational institutions, governmental entities, etc.---essentially business-to-business sales efforts. The Salesforce Integration project includes several features that further strengthen Advantage’s B2B functionality. And you don’t have to be using Salesforce to take “advantage” of these expanded B2B features.
New Views in Advantage
First, let’s talk about Salesforce. With the June 20 …
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 …
Howard Brooks has been named Director/Product Development and Toby Hartman and Paul Sauter have been promoted to Team Managers, reporting to Howie.
Mike Hasey and John Moore have been promoted to Team Managers, reporting to Matt Varblow, Vice President/Engineering Services.
In addition, Ray Zick has been named Manager of the Cloud Services Team, responsible for provisioning and supporting Advantage SaaS (cloud hosted) environments and for continuing to evolve and architect the Advantage cloud solution.
While these changes do not represent dramatic shifts in responsibility, they do represent AdvantageCS’s recognition of these individuals’ increasing expertise, leadership and contribution to the critically important product development side of AdvantageCS.
Congratulations to all!
A growing trend involves companies purchasing different software packages for discrete functions in the organization, which necessitates effective and efficient integration between systems, working together inside a common eco-system. Advantage offers a tight integration with Salesforce.com, a widely-used cloud-based application which supports many different business activities. A common use of Salesforce by publishers, content providers and membership organizations is for prospect relationship management, where sales teams are involved. These companies are selling into businesses, educational institutions, governmental entities, etc.--- essentially business-to-business sales efforts. Salesforce.com provides many tools to make it easier for reps to communicate with prospects, members …
We are delighted to officially welcome Air Business Subscriptions (previously known as Quadrant Subscription Services) to the Advantage family. With this welcome, we are publicizing an already-established relationship between the two companies. Implementation of Advantage began nearly a year ago, with successful conversions already completed.
Located in Haywards Heath, Air Business Subscriptions is a leading service bureau in the UK for both B2C and B2B publishers, and has been in business for 40 years. Air Business Subscriptions is part of the Air Business Group, which is in turn a subsidiary of An Post (the Irish post office).
Air Business Subscriptions manage 400 titles with 3,500,000 subscribers from Publisher clients including The Economist, New Scientist, The Spectator, OK! …