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    Continuity Programs in Advantage

    Did you know that Advantage offers continuity programs for your books and products? A continuity series allows customers to purchase a set of related products that are released to them sequentially over a period of time.  Continuity programs give you the opportunity to periodically remind customers of your brand; the customer gets more exposure to your content and they get to “belong” to a club.  Throw in some premiums and it’s a recipe for happy, loyal customers.

    You can set up a continuity program using the Book Club functionality or the Standing Order program.

    Here’s how Book Club works. Customers join a club (they become members) by responding to your offers to join, or you can select people and automatically add them.  Alternatively, you directly add them as part of an order (for …



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    Dan's Blog: Invite Us Over for Dinner and We'll Look at Your Leaky Faucet

       

    How many of us have ever dreamed of having a chiropractor in the family?  Or a carpenter?  Or a mechanic?  As it turns out that neither my wife nor I are any of these things, I have often mused at how nice it would be if one of our offspring would fall in love with such a person.  I can just imagine inviting the kids over for dinner and just mentioning a drippy faucet we have in a sink upstairs to the now-fed plumber and hearing those magical words, "Why don't I go and have a look?"

    Perhaps others of us wish we had a computer expert in the family.  Most of my colleagues with aging parents become the de facto helpdesk for their parents' computer issues.  When I go visit my father and watch him at his computer, I am sometimes amazed at the habits humans form which cause us to do …



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    Sunny Florida Site of 2015 AUG Conference

    Have you registered yet for the 2015 Advantage User Group conference (February 11-13 in Lake Buena Vista)?  Based on years of feedback from attendees, it’s pretty much a given that you’ll come away with valuable ideas you can implement in your company and new or renewed friendships with your peers from publishing companies around the world.

    This year’s focus is on optimizing your use of Advantage and adjusting to a rapidly changing environment.  The agenda is action-packed with presentations, panel discussions and roundtables full of useful information and interesting viewpoints. And there will be ample opportunity to relax and socialize with your fellow Advantage users.

    Dates: February 11-13, 2015

    Location: Holiday Inn – Lake Buena Vista,  1805 Hotel Plaza Blvd.,  Lake Buena Vista, …



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    Aller Media Sweden Goes Live on Advantage

    Abstract: Aller Media’s Swedish operations—located in Helsingborg--recently went live on Advantage, the second country to go live, following the Danish cutover in May.

    Aller Media’s Swedish operations—located in Helsingborg--recently went live on Advantage, the second country to go live, following the Danish cutover in May. The remaining countries, Finland and Norway, are soon to follow.  Aller Media is the leading publisher of weekly magazines in the Nordic countries with a weekly circulation of approximately 2.7 million issues.  

    The core Aller team consisted of Lena Nyqvist as the project manager, Anders Myrén as the integrations lead, Marcus Eberhagen as the test lead, Diana Tegnér and Joanna Wieckowska as the fulfillment leads, Madleine Victor as the finance lead, Lotta Björling as the marketing lead, Annelie Andersson as the distribution lead, Charlotte Andersson and Emma Petrisson as the customer service leads, and Tommy Hansen as the lead …



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    AdvantageCS Welcomes Talentum

    AdvantageCS is pleased to announce our newest client: Talentum.  Talentum is a B to B publisher based in Helsinki, Finland.  Their history goes back to the year 1938 and the establishment of the financial journal Talouselämä. Talentum provides media, professional literature and online and information services for professionals whose interests include technology, finance, management, health care, advertising and law. Additionally, Talentum implements training courses for these target groups and organizes events of various types. Its key products are magazines, books, online services, training and events. 

    Talentum operates in Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Baltic countries, and Russia. In the Nordic countries, Talentum has a total of some 1.1 million readers of journals and magazines and …



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    Dan's Blog: Subscriptions eCommerce

    Back in the late 1990s, companies wanted to create their own websites with their own ideas about how the site would be structured, the user experience, and the branding.  When we introduced our API to our clients in 1999, we would typically provide some training and documentation to their web team and they would go away happily integrating their website with Advantage using the API.  Time marched on and the API became bigger and more comprehensive. 

    Then in the last couple of years we noticed a trend among our prospects and clients.  Companies were no longer content to take on an API with over 5,000 methods, which ours has.  They wanted a platform which was already integrated with Advantage through the API.  The platform would have built-in eCommerce functions, self-service capabilities, …



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    American Institute of Physics Goes Live on Advantage

    American Institute of Physics Publishing is now live on Advantage, after a comprehensive implementation project. This migration marks a major milestone for AIP Publishing. One of the world’s largest publishers of scientific information in physics and the related sciences, AIP Publishing offers publishing services for the American Institute of Physics and AIP Member Society publishing partners. AIP Publishing’s suite of publications includes 17 journals, three of which are published in partnership with other organizations; magazines, including AIP’s flagship publication Physics Today; and the AIP Conference Proceedings series.

    The AIP Publishing’s publishing partners include:

    Acoustical Society of America

    American Association of Physicists in Medicine

    American Association of …



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    Agora Implements Advantage's Call Center

     Congratulations to Agora Publishing who recently went live on the 2014r1 release of Advantage.  This release includes Call Center, a major new feature (see related story in this newsletter).

    More than 200 users were in the system and going strong within 24 hours of cutover, and both groups are to be commended for their hard work.

    The Agora Publishing team was led by Suzanne Earley for both the upgrade and Call Center Development. Tim Dodge and Nikki Miller helped lead the Call Center integration. Several others helped to see both projects through.

    On the ACS side, many people were involved over the course of the project, but key players included Stephanie Widrig, project manager, John Moore, lead engineer, Stephen Whitney, supporting engineer, and Larry Kleber, upgrade script …



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    Update on eCommerce Initiative: Cider

    On this blog back in February, I introduced our eCommerce platform initiative: Cider. I then presented on Cider at the annual user group conferences in New Orleans (March) and Copenhagen (April). For those needing a refresher, Cider is a feature-rich eCommerce platform that offers powerful shopping cart and self-service capabilities, a marketing portal for marketers to create and assign promotions, a flexible administration panel for customizing the look and feel of your site, and built-in support for third-party plug-ins. The platform integrates directly with the Advantage engine via a new REST API.

    So, six months later, how are things coming along? I'm happy to report that Cider is looking fantastic! We knew we were taking on a big challenge, but Team Cider is firing on all …



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    Seeking Gainful Deployment

    PRESENT CHALLENGES (Self-Pity):

    In the public sector, employment statistics loom large.  Among the AdvantageCS software development team, deployment statistics are a far bigger concern.  Throughout all the years I’ve worked with Advantage, tools and techniques for installing and upgrading the software have been a constant, if unheralded, focus.  Ever since the cutover to .NET, though, there has been a distinct upward trend in the attention we pay to smoothly and successfully installing our software on clients' servers and integrating it with their customizations.

    In this post I will recap recent developments and describe coming attractions.Before getting into that, though, permit me to indulge in just a bit of self-pity about what a challenge we face.  When I think about the behemoths …



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    Aller Media Goes Live on Advantage

    Aller Media’s Danish operations are now live on Advantage, with Sweden, Finland, and Norway soon to follow.  Aller Media is the leading publisher of weekly magazines in the Nordic countries with a weekly circulation of approximately 2.7 million issues. 

    At the onset of this multi-level, multi-phase complex project a year and a half ago, the Aller team set a go-live date of 19 May, 2014.   And due to the hard work and long hours put in by many Aller and ACS people, that deadline was met. 

    The core Aller project team included staff with lead roles from across the business and included: Susanne Karll as the project manager, Martin Paluszewski as the integrations and IT lead, Maria Mortensen and Camilla Mørch as the customer service leads, Kirsten Wandall as the marketing and …



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    Dan's Blog: There's More Than One Way to Skin ... Digital Content (Part II)

    In my last post I talked about ways of going beyond or cutting across digital editions and even titles and allowing a user to access content by a certain author, or packaging content with other components such as membership dues, books, e-books, subscriptions, and the like.

    The segment of publishing which is waaaaaay ahead of the others are the scholarly publishers, such as the STM and academic publishers. These publishers started digitizing their content back in the late 1990s. Initially, the digital "version" of the journal issue was available to print subscribers as part of a package. Eventually, however, they found that more and more of their readers were only interested in the digital content access and didn't really want print journals cluttering up their offices. Institutional …



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    Newsmax Goes Live on Advantage

    Following an extensive implementation project, Newsmax is now live on Advantage. Newsmax Media is an American political news media organization, based in West Palm Beach, Florida.  It operates the news website Newsmax.com, and publishes Newsmax Magazine, as well as a host of health and financial newsletters.

    The Newsmax project team leads included staff from across the business, including Tara Rebak, Rich Kibler, Marcos Alviar, and Rick Coiras, with many others providing assistance and guidance.  

    The project was led by ACS project manager Levi Hyssong with technical support and development provided by Derek Johnson and Dave Rees.

    Congratulations to both teams for all their hard work, commitment, and determination and thanks also to everyone who contributed. 



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    Dan's Blog: There Is More than One Way to Skin ... Digital Content

    With apologies for the distasteful cat reference, content creators (authors, publishers, editors, marketers, photographers, teachers, you get the idea) have more ways to represent, package, and sell digital content than they did just a few years ago. In fact, there are so many ways of even talking about digital content that we usually begin meetings with clients and prospects by defining the terms we all use. This exercise alone reveals the myriad ways of attacking this and often results in creative thinking about other ways of monetizing digital "stuff."

    Let's start with a straightforward example. A magazine publisher with a number of special interest magazines has three titles on woodworking. Of course, the publisher can digitize each issue of those three titles and sell the digital …



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    Visit Advantage at These 2014 Trade Shows

    Please stop by the Advantage booth if you will be attending any of the following shows and conferences this spring.  

    Frankfurt Book Fair, October 8 - 12, Frankfurt, Germany

    Media Next, October 20 - 22, New York



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    Subscription Management Software on Steroids

     Although the calendar says it's spring, I am looking at snow falling outside my window. Tens of millions of people in the U.S. could probably have written that first sentence, so I apologize for being so obvious. But weather always reminds me of travel (probably because it affects it so much), and travel is something we do more of now than our predecessors did. And travel is a big part of my life.

       Usually, I am travelling to visit a prospective client to show them how many business problems our software can solve for them. It is impossible to go through a thorough demonstration of our software in a day, because there are so many business problems that it addresses. It's a bit like exploring a mansion. Just when you thought you'd reached the end of the house, you open a door to …



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    Speed to Market

    One of the challenges of a company like ours is organizing ourselves in such a way as to be able to serve our existing clients well, implement Advantage at new clients effectively, and push our product into places where our clients will need it to be when they get there. This was brought home to me this week while visiting an AdvantageCS client who needs the products we are developing ASAP!

    This is the story at so many of the publishing companies we visit. They are under tremendous pressure to deliver new products to their audience in order to grow and thrive. They are looking to technology companies like AdvantageCS to provide what they need, and speed to market is of the utmost importance.

    We’ve made some changes to meet these increasingly crucial demands. Recently, a team of …



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    Scrum-tastic!

    We are always looking for ways to improve our internal processes to provide better services and software. Recently, we've started experimenting with a different software development methodology called Scrum. Traditionally, we have used the Waterfall methodology, which our clients will be familiar with in practice if not by name. Roughly, the process progresses through the following steps: business requirement -> functional design -> development -> QA -> release. Here is a diagram of the classic Waterfall method we've been using for the past 30 years.

    Why change if the current process works? Well, we're not throwing out the Waterfall model entirely - it can be effective in some instances. However, in some development projects, particularly larger ones involving several engineers, the …



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    Managed Services from AdvantageCS

    Over the decades that AdvantageCS has served the publishing industry, we’ve worked to offer software solutions that meet each of our clients’ individual needs. No two publishers require precisely the same solution. Through software modifications, customizations, and system options, we’ve adapted Advantage to match the continually changing requirements of publishers.

    The same is true for the level of services that AdvantageCS provides to each of our clients. Sales and order processing can mean something different to publishers based on their size, their market (B2B, B2C), their location (US or European-based), or their area of publishing industry. For many of our clients, the nature of their sales and order processing is shifting by relying on AdvantageCS for greater system support, while …



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    Introducing Project Cider: Advantage eCommerce Initiative

    Over the last 10 years, the publishing industry has experienced no greater trend than that towards digital media. This trend is certainly consistent with what we are seeing from our clients and it is no surprise that Advantage’s Access Management & Billing (AMB) module continues to be a hotbed of development activity. As a complement to digital offerings, publishers are increasingly looking towards eCommerce sites to be the drivers of sales. Many of our clients use Advantage’s comprehensive Application Programming Interface (API) to build their websites, while others implement the Foundation Site toolkit.

    As AMB continues to offer a powerful platform for digital content, we recognize the need to offer a powerful platform for eCommerce activity. We are pleased to announce a key strategic …



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