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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 that …



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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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    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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