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    Congratulations to Bayard – 10 Years on Advantage

    This month marks the ten-year anniversary of Bayard Presse first going live on Advantage. Tom Burbeck, Executive Vice President, was there from AdvantageCS to help them celebrate, which they did with a cake---complete with candles---and champagne.

    Emmanuel Chevalier, Director, Business Information Systems, blew out the candles and the festivities commenced.

    In the 10 years of being live on Advantage, Bayard has been able to implement many changes, including enabling extensive automation of its business processing, reorganizing various vendors for increased cost and service efficiency, and developing its digital content across numerous publications.

    Today, Bayard and AdvantageCS are proud of the strong partnership they have built.

    Bayard is one of the largest magazine publishers in …



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    What Languages Do You Speak?

    English, French, Dutch, Portuguese? Accounting, Marketing, Finance, IT? Or maybe SQL, C#, XML, JSON? 

    In this digital age, most of us speak at least a small amount of technology language.  It might be used when speaking to colleagues, or more casually at home when you attempt to describe certain technology to a family member (or when your children try to explain that same technology to you!). For example: when your father wants to know how exactly pictures from his smartphone are stored in the cloud and viewable on his TV and he asks you where the wire between those two devices is, you know you have a challenge ahead of you. Regardless of the context or purpose, “techspeak” is fully integrated into our daily lives.

    In business, speaking this language is critical to ensure that …



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    Trade Show Travels

    AdvantageCS recently attended the 39th Annual Meeting of the Society of Scholarly Publishers in Boston at the beautiful Westin Boston Waterfront.  The theme of the conference was Striking a Balance: Embracing the Change While Preserving Tradition in Scholarly Communications.

    In addition to informative presentations, the conference offered plenty of opportunities to catch up with old friends and meet new ones.  More than a few Advantage clients had attendees there including the American Medical Association, Massachusetts Medical Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Duke University Press, American Institute of Physics and Mary Ann Liebert.

    Traffic was steady at the AdvantageCS booth in the exhibit hall, where Dan Heffernan, Vice President & Chief Product …



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    Advantage Integration with Salesforce.com

    A growing trend involves companies purchasing different software packages for discrete functions in the organization, which necessitates effective and efficient integration between systems, working together inside a common eco-system.  Advantage offers a tight integration with Salesforce.com, a widely-used cloud-based application which supports many different business activities.  A common use of Salesforce by publishers, content providers and membership organizations is for prospect relationship management, where sales teams are involved. These companies are selling into businesses, educational institutions, governmental entities, etc.--- essentially business-to-business sales efforts. Salesforce.com provides many tools to make it easier for reps to communicate with prospects, members …



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    Industry Challenges Discussed at European CIO Roundtable

    Technology leaders from seven different AdvantageCS client companies met in Brussels in early May, just prior to the European Advantage User Group conference.  The meeting provided a forum for these executives to discuss current priorities and challenges being faced across the technology and publishing industries. 

    Attendees presented their observations on what is the highest priority for their respective IT groups, including many challenges that they’re facing as they help to build and sustain their businesses.  Lively exchanges took place during these presentations as other attendees provided additional insights.  On the second day, AdvantageCS facilitated further discussions on the most prevalent topics.  AdvantageCS also presented on the broader issue of GDPR (General Data …



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    Promotion Bundles

    A new feature, promotion bundles, is available at 2017.5 and allows you to sell a group of items together under a promotion without setting up a package for them. The feature works with the combination of a promotion and promotion choices. When an item that is part of the bundle is ordered under the promotion and non-blank choice, all items on the promotion with the same choice value are automatically added to the order. Likewise, deleting one item from the order also deletes the other items with the same promotion choice.

    To enable this feature, at the offer level in the setup dialog of the Promotion Items tab, set the Promotion Item Handling control to “Promotion Bundle.” This will then activate the feature across all items of the promotion. Turning this feature on will disallow …



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    AdvantageCS Announces Partnership with SFG

    AdvantageCS is pleased to announce the formation of a strategic partnership with SFG, an innovative service and technology company located in Big Sandy, Texas. AdvantageCS sought the partnership in order to provide a full-service solution to membership organizations and publishers, prospects and clients alike.

    Read full press release



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    EAUG 2017 Brings Together Companies from Eight Countries

    Earlier this month, Advantage users hailing from Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal, Denmark, Sweden, the UK, and US gathered in Brussels for our annual European Advantage User Group (EAUG) meeting. The diverse group brought a wide variety of perspectives, resulting in lively discussion both during the sessions and after hours.

    The conference kicked off with a welcome from AdvantageCS staff and a round of introductions---a critical exercise for this group. “Our European users meeting is designed to both engage our users in the region and provide an opportunity for them to engage and learn from one another,” said AdvantageCS Vice President and Chief Product Manager, Dan Heffernan. He went on to provide an overview of AdvantageCS: what’s new at the company and where we’re headed in the …



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    FOLIO: Survey Confirms Membership Associations Lack Systems Collaboration

    Recently, AdvantageCS was invited to present the results of a survey we’d co-sponsored with FOLIO: magazine on the subject of collaboration between departments at membership associations.  The survey was sent to membership associations which have publishing/media concerns.  The results of the survey from about 150 respondents confirmed our suspicions that there is, generally, a lack of communication and collaboration between the membership and publishing/media departments at such organizations.  The respondents were in agreement that this is detrimental to the mission, and that both communication and data sharing are keys to a common goal of success. 

    One of the respondents nailed the problem by describing “a culture of silos.”  Just 14.6% of respondents said that legacy structures in …



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    Do The Next Right Thing

    There are times in life and times in business that you just aren’t sure what to do next.  Maybe the future isn’t clear, or the horizon is so wide open that you’re not exactly sure in what direction to head.  What should you do next? According to author and virtual mentor Michael Hyatt, do the next right thing.

    Start with figuring out where you want to end up: what is your goal?  Then, figure out the next step: what is the next task to complete to get you closer to that goal?  Figure out who you need to assist you in that endeavor: do you need the involvement of anyone else? If so, who?  Answer those questions and get started. It’s just that easy.  When you’re not certain what to do next, doing the next right thing will help ensure continued progress towards your stated goal or …



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    European Users Group Annual Conference May 3 - 4, 2017

    Due to the growing number of Advantage users in Europe and the UK, the European user group is thriving. In addition to contacting each other personally, they communicate through an exclusive LinkedIn group and see each other at the yearly user conference.

    2017 European User Group Meeting

    This year, the annual gathering of the Europe-and-UK-based user community will be May 3-4 in Brussels. Many thanks to Test A-chats for graciously agreeing to host the event at their office in Brussels, Belgium. Users look forward to this event, as it offers opportunities to learn more about Advantage, meet with other users and share best practices.

    This year, presentation topics by AdvantageCS staff will include Advantage News, Direction and Strategy, a Members Advantage demo, Browser-based Telesales, …



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    Philippe van Mastrigt: Our Advantage in France

    AdvantageCS has a permanent presence in France, in the person of Philippe van Mastrigt, our director of European Operations. In the past decade, Philippe has become THE key player in our European expansion strategy, and is now engaged in most of our client relationships in Europe. Philippe is involved in marketing, sales, project management, client services, account management, and business development. He wears many hats in a single day---sometimes in a single hour!

    How did this come to be?

    This July will mark the 10-year anniversary of the Advantage go-live at Bayard Presse in Paris. Philippe was the Bayard project director on that massive project. Prior to that, he led Bayard’s world-wide search for a new subscription system—which led him to Advantage and our first meeting with …



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    Customer Partnership

    It used to be that customer service in the United States was legendary.  I remember flying on a UK airline with a stellar reputation years ago and being disappointed that they were unable to sit my wife and I next to each other, just because her flight had cost more and she was seated in the “premium economy” seats. This despite the fact that I had flown on that airline across the Atlantic 8 times in 8 weeks and there was plenty of room.  When I told the gentleman behind the counter that they had upgraded my seat on the way to the UK from the US, he said “Oh, that’s because you had the American customer service person helping you.  We’re horrible over here.”  I was speechless.  He was admitting that the American customer service agents have the flexibility on this UK airline to make such …



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    What Work Space Works for You?

    At AdvantageCS, we strive to accomplish our goals as efficiently and effectively as we can. Our defined vison of success is:

    To be the preferred partner for our clients and prospects, where talented and motivated professionals, working together, deliver the highest quality services and technical solutions to an expanding client community for many decades to come.

    Many factors are involved in achieving success, one of which involves the physical environment in which we work.

    Worldwide Presence

    One benefit of working at AdvantageCS is the opportunity to work onsite at different client locations, both in the US and all across the globe. We have clients in the UK, France, Sweden, Denmark, Portugal, Australia, just to name a few---in addition to the US.  This allows us to observe many …



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    Check Out the Members Advantage Animated Video

    Have you heard? Members Advantage is the latest addition to our suite of solutions. Driven by the rise of membership models, Members Advantage was designed to simplify the management of membership associations and to integrate seamlessly with publishing and order processing. The Members Advantage portal takes users through the membership application process, renewals, self-service, and payments. 

    Watch our brand new video to see just how Members Advantage works for organizations like The Society for Left Handed Kleptomaniacs (yes, we had some fun with it!). For more information on Members Advantage, read our whitepaper or simply contact us—we'd be happy to schedule a demo.



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    Friday Five for November 11 - magical moving photos, increasing average order value, nonfiction story-telling events and more

    The number of articles, opinion pieces and blog posts shared on the web every day can be overwhelming, but keeping up with industry trends helps us stay ahead of the curve. Here are 5 topics that captured our attention this week:

    Wired is launching a membership program for executives who want to stay on the cutting edge of technology, with access to exclusive events and content

    Moving photos in newspapers, a whimsical detail of the Harry Potter universe, have inspired Empire magazine in the UK to embed a video player into the back cover of their latest issue---just in time for the premiere of the new Harry Potter spinoff, "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them"

    Virtual Reality has opened up new possibilities for publishers, but is there a 'right' way to use VR for storytelling? …



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    Friday Five for November 4th - paywalls, analytics, magazine binges, and more

    The number of articles, opinion pieces and blog posts shared on the web every day can be overwhelming, but keeping up with industry trends helps us stay ahead of the curve. Here are 5 topics that captured our attention this week:

    Are paywalls the answer to declining digital ad revenue? FIPP reports on the options

    Consultant John Wilpers shares five tips for the transition from legacy publishing to multi-media platforms

    The recent rise of email newsletters has not only helped publishers to directly engage their audiences, but allows them to experiment with new product ideas

    Magazines Canada recently organized a webinar on how  editors can make use of web analytics. The metrics such as audience size, geography, preferences, likes and wants, can help set editorial priorities …



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    Improving Customer Service Using the Theory of Constraints

    Initiatives to improve a customer’s experience are often focused on the sales cycle or the purchase process.  However, focusing on the dissatisfied customers who contact the call center provides excellent opportunities to turn around customers’ negative experiences.  The benefits can be substantial. In successful organizations, with well-trained reps, calls from dissatisfied customers result in an additional sale as often as 75% of the time.

    This article talks about how to examine the workflow of a call center, and its goal or intent, and then apply the Theory of Constraints continuous improvement steps to that workflow.

    Improvement through the application of the theory of constraints

    The Theory of Constraints (TOC) is a paradigm or management theory that states that any manageable …



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    Friday Five for October 21 - eCommerce, technology update and human expertise

    The number of articles, opinion pieces and blog posts shared on the web every day can be overwhelming, but keeping up with industry trends helps us stay ahead of the curve. Here are 5 topics that captured our attention this week:

    Close to 70% of publishers are already engaging in eCommerce or currently testing the waters. "With audiences presorted by interests and demographics, [media sites] also become prime venues for product recommendations and affiliate links" according to The Media Briefing

    PubExec makes the case that human expertise is what can set B2B publishers apart---be it by tapping into their audience's knowledge, by leveraging their staff's expertise for conferences and events, or by providing hybrid "peer-reviewed sponsored articles"

    At the University of Texas, two …



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    Dan Heffernan In Panel Discussion at the FOLIO: Show

    Planning to attend the FOLIO: Show November 1-2 in New York? Then be sure and sit in on the panel discussion including our own Dan Heffernan called “(Audience) Fulfillment’s Evolution and What It Means for You.” The session---held Wednesday, November 2nd at 2:45---will offer insights on where this aspect of the industry is going and ideas for improving your operation. After the session, Dan will be happy to talk with you and take the discussion further. Do stop by! The show is being held at the New York Hilton Midtown.



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