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    Mediahuis Netherlands Live on Advantage

    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. …



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    European Users Meeting 2020: Virtual and Valuable

    The 2020 European Advantage Users Meeting conference wrapped up today after four afternoons of presentations and discussions. Although the virtual format meant that there was no visit to a beautiful European city with dinners and other events to enjoy, the upside was that the ease of access meant that more people could participate. About 50 people tuned in for at least part of the program.

    Philippe van Mastrigt kicked it off with his annual “Current Publishing Trends” presentation---always a popular discussion. Some of the major trends of the past year he reported were:

    A higher demand for local news in the COVID period, when the demand had been declining prior to that time.

    Certain segments of magazines increased circulation, including home and garden, cooking, youth, crosswords …



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    AdvantageCS Earns “Best Support” Award

    Based on its high levels of customer satisfaction and likeliness to recommend ratings from real users, Advantage has earned both the “Easiest To Do Business With” and “Best Support” awards in the mid-market category of the Fall 2020 report on review site G2.

    Advantage achieved these top ratings on the Fall 2020 report by receiving positive reviews from verified users compared to similar products in the mid-market category. For inclusion in the report, a product must have received ten or more reviews.

    “Providing superior support is a top priority here,” said Dan Heffernan, Vice President and Chief Product Manager at AdvantageCS. “It is tremendously gratifying to see that reflected in the ratings from Advantage users.”

    “We also prioritize excellent communication with our clients,” Dan …



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    Our Sunday Visitor and AdvantageCS: Partners for 30 Years

    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 …



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    Congratulations to Ken Nemerovski: Soon-to-be Retiree

    Ken Nemerovski—known to all as “Nemo”—has been a fixture at ACS since early 1982; the earliest start date of anyone currently at the company.

    In his nearly 38 years at ACS, Nemo always worked in sales in some capacity. Even though he officially moved to the Client Services Division in 2006 as a Senior Account Manager, he kept his hand in the sales game, with responsibility for selling additional software licenses and third-party products to ACS clients. Nemo also managed third-party relationships for the company as well as license compliance, monitoring usage for clients with such agreements. All that, while serving as the account manager for 14 ACS clients!

    InterVarsity Press is one of them. “I have very much appreciated having Ken Nemerovski (aka “Nemo”) as our Advantage account …



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    A Trade Show Season Like No Other

    A typical September sees us busily planning and preparing for the onslaught of fall trade shows and conferences. Coordinating booth furniture and graphics, booking flights and hotels and shipping collateral materials and giveaways are some of the usual tasks. This year, however, it’s all changed.

    Many shows have been canceled outright, while others have decided to go the virtual route. That means more people can participate and saves on travel costs. However, what will the virtual experience be like as sponsors or attendees? This year will tell the tale.

    AdvantageCS is a partner in the virtual World Media Congress put on by FIPP which takes place throughout September. Dan Heffernan will host a session with Paul Gee, Vice President, Digital Product Management and Development, The JAMA …



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    AdvantageCS Celebrates 40 Years

    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 …



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    Altroconsumer Live on Advantage in Italy

    Congratulations to Altroconsumo, a member of the Euroconsumers group, who recently went live on Advantage in Italy. This multi-phased ongoing project involves consumer advocacy organizations in five different countries---Portugal, Belgium, Brazil, Spain and Italy---that all promote and defend consumer interests, solve their problems, and help inform them about their fundamental rights.

    The Italian project phase was spearheaded by Fabrizio Datrino, program manager, and Graziella D’Amico, project manager for the Advantage implementation project, with the executive sponsorship of Christelle Roche, Customer Care & Commercial Support Group Manager. Assisting on the project was a cross-country team that previously accomplished successful go-lives on Advantage in the other EU countries.

    “ …



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    Keesing Media Group Live on Advantage

    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 …



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    The Evolving New Normal

    “We’re learning to live with a new normal.” It seems that phrase is being spoken everywhere nowadays. You really can’t get away from it. Whether you’re watching a news broadcast, reading an interview, participating in a virtual business meeting or even just catching up with friends, that is definitely the phrase of the current times.

    What is this “new normal,” though? For many, it means adjusting to reduced social interaction. Gone are the ad hoc discussions in the company break room or quick discussions with a co-worker a couple of desks away. No more gathering with friends after work either. Even a quick trip into the grocery store to purchase a few items often includes the necessity of donning a face mask. For businesses that are looking to restart (or continue) operations that …



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    The Always Amazing Annual Advantage Users Group Conference

    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 …



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    Get the power of affiliate marketing with Cider

    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, …



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    What the COVID-19 Crisis Tells Us About the Publishing Industry

    The COVID-19 crisis is an unprecedented period in recent times, a sequence of events that has suspended large parts of human activity and upset economies all over the world. It may be followed by a major economic recession and trigger deep changes in the way the global economy is organized. Locked in our homes, we live on a day-to-day basis, waiting for the COVID-19 peak to get behind us. Some of us are temporarily unemployed, others working from home. And around us, doctors, nurses, truck drivers, farmers, food store workers and many others are working hard to keep our countries alive. The publishing industry is experiencing an increased demand for news, quality journalism and content, and can leverage digital channels in reaching its audience. Therefore, for some analysts, COVID19 …



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    Advantage Clients Provide Critical Content

    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, …



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    AdvantageCS Continuity Plan in Place

    Service to clients will be uninterrupted in case of office closure

    updated March 23, 2020

    First of all, I’d like to express the deep concern that all of us at AdvantageCS have for all those around the world affected by the COVID-19 epidemic. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who are dealing with circumstances as a direct consequence, as well as the many other people experiencing anxiety and uncertainty at this time.

    With the epidemic that has affected so many people around the world, several of our clients have asked about how we’re handling the situation, including the effects of employees having restricted access to our Ann Arbor offices.

    In compliance with an executive order from the Governor of the State of Michigan, the AdvantageCS offices will be temporarily closed …



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    Tales from Texas; 2020 Advantage Users Group in Austin

    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 …



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    This Is Customer Service?!?!

    An example of how NOT to treat your best customers---or any customers

    I have always considered myself to be a customer service “warrior.” When receiving really good customer service, I’ll agree to buy just about anything. I’ll even make a point of sending an e-mail or completing an online survey to make sure the rep’s performance is acknowledged as being “truly exceptional."

    On the other hand, there are times when customer service is bad … really bad. When things don’t go well, it is both convenient and easy to blame “the messenger.” However, it is often the case that the rep has been neither trained nor empowered to solve a customer’s problem. Consider this recent scenario.

    I have been a faithful subscriber to a certain popular magazine since the mid-1960s. Until a couple of years …



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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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