With the development of Members Advantage, we have begun to cast our net a bit farther when it comes to industry events such as conferences and trade shows. These shows are great opportunities to meet people and find sales leads, but also a place to keep on top of hot topics in the industry.
Just in the last month, our team attended Digital Excellence (hosted by MemberWise) in London, the American Museum Membership Conference in Seattle, and AMS Fest in Washington, DC.
Philippe van Mastrigt attended the London conference and reported the following:
Benefits are an important factor to prospects in deciding to become a member.
Online content is an essential part of what members want from a membership.
Print magazines are still a highly-rated benefit for members.
Advantage offers many integration options within a technical ecosystem. One of those is done through Advantage’s Extensibility Services framework. This framework allows our clients to create custom implementations of standard interfaces (e.g., address hygiene). This approach is an integral part of AdvantageCS’ open system strategy.
The mechanics of the framework are straightforward: Advantage provides the extensibility service contract and interface files while the developer provides the implementation of the service. The service itself could be local to the Advantage software, distributed on a network, or web-based. In contrast, Advantage also supports many out-of-the-box point-to-point integrations to specific vendor packages (e.g., CyberSource for credit card transactions).
The key …
Every year, for the past 14, we have attended the Frankfurt Book Fair, which takes place in October in Frankfurt, Germany. If you’ve never attended the “Frankfurter Buchmesse,” it is difficult to paint a picture of just how gigantic this event is. This is the largest trade fair for books in the world. http://www.book-fair.com/en/
It has been an annual event going back over 500 years to 1454, soon after Gutenberg invented the printing press, when the first book fair was held by local booksellers. It has evolved into the event for negotiating international publishing rights and license fees, and is surrounded by technology companies and other vendors to the industry who are able to do business with many publishers, authors, librarians, and agents in a short span of time.
The Cider web platform provides a robust environment for customer self-service and order placement. Now, just in time for the holidays, the platform also supports payments made through gift certificates.
Gift certificates are already a native payment method in the Advantage software package, but now the Cider platform will also support payments made via Advantage gift certificates. You can choose whether or not a certificate is usable for web orders.
This feature also permits the ability to use a partial amount of the gift certificate, with the remaining amount available for future orders. Online customers can enter a gift certificate number directly, if they choose. If a customer has a partially redeemed gift certificate on file, they can select it and use it for payment.
As part of our annual summer picnic, AdvantageCS staff and their family members recently headed to Detroit for America’s pastime: a Major League Baseball game. Though our home team lost, our Tigers fans enjoyed cheering their team on, singing traditional ballgame songs, and watching the finale — a spectacular fireworks display. Everyone had a ball (pun intended)!
In our world of constant interruptions and crises, it can be difficult to find time to address the critical tasks and projects that fall into the category often referred to as “Q2." These are the things that in mapping out priorities get put into the second quadrant, which is reserved for those tasks that are important but not necessarily urgent. We become victim to the tyranny of the urgent. Our time and our lives become dominated by addressing whatever emergency has popped up that day. It’s easy for those things that belong in the third quadrant (tasks that are urgent but not necessarily important), to masquerade as a top priority.
There are many ways to reorganize your priorities to focus on what truly should be at the top of the list. Sometimes that involves accepting that …
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, …
After 28 years at AdvantageCS, Bob Thornton is retiring August 31st of this year. But while most retirees plan to take time to relax, Bob will be even busier. He may be leaving the business world, but he is jumping full-time into the non-profit arena. He will be working on partnership development and fund-raising for University Christian Outreach, a ministry serving students and young staff members at the University of Michigan. Bob and his wife, Rosemary have been supporting UCO for many years. In fact, Rosemary has worked for UCO in various capacities since they were married, 31 years ago.
And if that’s not enough, Bob will be working on his Master’s degree in Theology, one class at a time, at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.
Bob began his AdvantageCS career in support and …
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!
We are pleased to welcome Donal Cousino, the newest member of the Advantage Support Center, reporting to Scott Ghormley. Donal is no stranger to software support, as he worked for 4 ½ years at ParishSOFT in Ann Arbor. There, he spent time in support and also performed data conversions.
Before that, he was a bookkeeper for various companies. Donal earned a degree in economics at Hillsdale College, with a minor in French.
Donal gets great satisfaction from digging into a complex problem, figuring it out and solving it. That makes him a great match for software support. His fluency in French is also beneficial.
A native of Ypsilanti, Michigan, Donal is the middle of eleven children, ages 21 to 40. His parents and most of his siblings still live in the area. His father and one brother …