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    Mediahuis Completes Migration to Advantage with 3rd Go-Live

    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 …



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    ONIX 3.0 Gains Momentum

    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.

    The Background

    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. …



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    JBJS Goes live on Advantage

    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 …



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    Don’t Overlook the Human Factor of Security

    One of the best speakers that I’ve heard recently in the area of cybersecurity had an advanced degree in the social sciences rather than technology. Not surprisingly, security experts are increasingly seeing the threat of social engineering in exploiting the human factor of security. Securing your systems and the sensitive data they contain (whether it’s financial data, personally identifiable information (PII) or otherwise), requires training and buy-in from your entire organization. Data security goes far beyond your IT department and the safeguards they can put in place.

    If you have all the doors bolted and the windows locked in your house, but someone gives the criminal the keys, have all those security measures really done you any good? Your network might be configured with a …



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    Trends in the Publishing Industry - 2019

    (This is a recap in three parts of the presentation made at the European Users Advantage meeting in Lisbon on 26-27 September 2019)

    Part 1 (of 3)

    A year ago, at the  Advantage European User meeting  in Paris, I first presented  the major trends in the publishing industry, identified from various conferences, visits to prospects and customers and a close monitoring of the industry. I mentioned the rapid shift of subscriber portfolios to digital, new topics such as retention, print resistance, GAFA divorce and new tactical approaches to circulation and reader relationships. A year later, I wondered if I repeated the experience, could I hope for something new? To my surprise, the answer was yes. In less than a year, some themes have reached a new phase, others have accelerated their …



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    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 …



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    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 …



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    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 …



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    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 …



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    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 …



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    Welcome New Employee: Nicole Mehmedovich

    We are pleased to welcome Nicole Mehmedovich to AdvantageCS. She comes to us with an exceptionally wide range of skills and experience.

    Nicole spent 11 years at Computer Technologies Consultants, a provider of information technology services to commercial and Federal clients. Nicole worked for 7 years at the Department of State, Office of International Visitors in Washington, D.C. where she had a pivotal leadership role in developing the Student and Exchange Visitors Information Systems operation as a new division of the Bureau of International Affairs. She also worked with the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Labor.

    From there, she followed a friend to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) where she worked as a senior systems analyst for 7 …



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    European Advantage Users Meeting Set for September 26-27 in Lisbon

    Meet with Advantage users from all over to share best practices and hear what’s new and what’s in the works at AdvantageCS. Register now for the 2019 European Advantage Users Meeting in Lisbon, Portugal, Thursday, September 26th and Friday, September 27th, 2019. The meeting will be hosted by Deco Proteste and will take place in their offices. Check out the agenda so far; it’s still in progress.

    The keynote address will be given by Xavier van Leeuwe, of Telegraaf Media Groep in Amsterdam, and co-author of the book "How to Succeed in the Relationship Economy." 

    The registration deadline is August 25th. Note that we are now offering a special Early Bird price (before August 1st) as well as Group Pricing (groups of 4 or more) this year, so register today and bring your colleagues! …



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    Let's Talk About Payments

    Recently, I participated in a lively discussion with a prospective client around customer payment options. I listed dozens of Advantage features (more on this later) and I was struck by the client’s uncertainty about which features they wanted to support. The discussion changed from what-can-Advantage-do? to what-should-our-business-be-doing? The marketing director wanted to test all options, the customer experience manager wanted frictionless payments, the finance director wanted to reduce fees and cash liability and the operations manager wanted simplified processing. The client realized they had not fully appreciated the complexity and impact of payment options.

    In the past five years, there has been an explosion of studies on consumer payments and technological preferences. The …



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    Advantage fullService

    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 …



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    Oui, Cider Now Speaks French

    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 …



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    AdvantageCS Attains Microsoft Gold Level Partner Status in Cloud Platform Competency

    AdvantageCS is proud to announce that we have achieved Microsoft Gold Level Partner Status in the Cloud Platform Competency. The requirements for such a status are stringent, and only the top Microsoft partners achieve Gold.

    The Microsoft Gold competency process requires that a number of partner employees successfully complete technical exams to become Microsoft Certified Professionals on Azure technologies, and the company must meet certain performance levels. In addition, the partner must provide comprehensive customer references from successful cloud projects. Becoming a Gold Level Partner reinforces to our clients that AdvantageCS is committed to a high standard of excellence and professionalism.

    “The AdvantageCS Cloud Services team is committed to providing top-notch solutions …



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    Sharing and Showing in New Orleans

    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 …



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    AdvantageCS Management Roundtable – Sharing and Listening for New Ideas

    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 …



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    Welcome New Employee: Rachel Lipa

     

    We are pleased to welcome Rachel Lipa as the newest member of the Product Development group led by Paul Sauter. Rachel joined AdvantageCS full-time in January, although she is not completely new to the company, as she was an intern here for the last two summers.

    Rachel graduated with High Honors from the University of Michigan, with a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science, and a minor in statistics. Her elective coursework focused on web systems, computer security, artificial intelligence, database management systems, and accessible software design. She was named an EECS (Electrical Engineering and Computer Science) Scholar, meaning that she achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.9 or greater.

    In addition to interning here at AdvantageCS, Rachel spent a summer as an intern at the …



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    Advantage Integrates with Apple App Store for the AMA

    From discussions with our clients during account management sessions or through our user group conferences, they (or the organizations they serve) are looking to develop new products to compensate for the shrinking content subscription market. One part of that product development strategy is branching out to exist where their customers already are. And where are they? If they are among the 99.9% of users, then that would be on platforms by Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook.

    This can be a controversial decision as it is well-documented how much publishers give up when “partnering” with these platforms—in revenue and in customer data. Why give up so much?

    Brand recognition. Customers are likely on these platforms and already familiar with them and there are no complicated on-boarding …



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