2017 was a year.
I know…that seems obvious. But 2017 was loaded with the good, the bad, and some lessons learned from it all. Here are 5 that jumped out at me as we finish up 2017:
1. Publishers are moving into membership modelsSome years ago, we had a publishing client who published books and magazines around various special interests. But you couldn’t “subscribe” to the products; you had to be a “member” to get them. Their belief was that a “member” was more loyal than a “subscriber.” Given the interest areas they served (hunting and fishing and the like) I suspect that their low attrition rates were also due to the passion of their readers, rather than exclusively due to a clever marketing ploy around the word “member.” But lo and behold, Meredith (who is in the process of buying …
Congratulations to the Amos Media Company (AMC), which recently completed the second and final phase of their Advantage implementation project.
AMC has four flagship publications geared toward coin and stamp hobby enthusiasts. Their product order business offers supplies and collectibles---more than 12,000 products---targeted to a similar audience. During this project, AMC was able to streamline their business by consolidating their four legacy systems into Advantage for all print subscription and product order fulfillment.
In the first phase of the project, AMC implemented subscription management for digital and print publications. They have now added products and inventory, accounts payable and other functionality to their mix, and moved their eCommerce platform to Cider.
The AMC …
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’s 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).
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 Importance of Data Security
In late summer of this year, news broke that Equifax had been the victim of a massive data breach, likely one of the largest thefts of consumer data ever---see article here. As one of three primary agencies charged with tracking consumer credit in the US, Equifax fully understood the consequences of what it means for a consumer to have sensitive financial data stolen. While it appears that a sophisticated hack was involved, the case highlights the importance of data security and the risk that a company takes on in handling sensitive data.
The theft of one’s Social Security number, credit card data, or other personal data can cause many problems in today’s world. It also costs businesses billions of dollars (maybe it’s trillions of dollars by now) a …
We are pleased to officially welcome Dynapresse Marketing SA as an Advantage client. Dynapresse is a Swiss company founded in 1985 in Carouge, near Geneva. It was created by the Payot-Naville Distribution group and is now owned by the 7Days Group.
Dynapresse serves French publishers (also German and English) and assists them in distributing their magazines in the Swiss market. Dynapresse acts as a hybrid (both an agent and a publisher), with its key activities being to:
Market and sell subscriptions from various French and Swiss publishers on the Swiss market
Manage the subscriptions, or just handle the renewal and marketing efforts (as an agent), depending on the contract established with the publisher
Purchase the issues from the publishers and/or invoice them for the …
Along with the development of the Advantage integration with Salesforce.com, the same integration points were worked out with Microsoft Dynamics. Dynamics is a line of enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) software applications that can be cloud-based or on-premise. We plan to have integration for the CRM application, as many of our clients use it for their customer and prospect relationship management. We’ve completed an initial prototype-level for this integration.
The integration with Advantage will provide a host of additional tools, including the capability of handling subscription-based products, membership, one-off products, and conferences and events. Advantage allows the different departments inside the organization to efficiently manage …
Take advantage of this special offer now before it ends
Were you at one of the Advantage User Group meetings earlier this year in San Antonio or Brussels? If so, you remember that Dan Heffernan (our Vice President and Chief Product Manager) announced a special promotion on the Advantage eCommerce platform, Cider. But if you missed it, this offer is still good and here it is:
FREE Cider license for clients with a license to the Web module who begin an implementation of our eCommerce platform (Cider) by December 31, 2017. (Clients who begin Cider implementations after December 31, 2017, will need to purchase a Cider module license.)
Plus, for Cider implementations that begin by December 31, 2017, AdvantageCS will provide 60 FREE hours for theming, branding, customizing, or training, …
In May, we announced a new partnership between AdvantageCS and SFG (see press release here). SFG is a service and technology company located in Big Sandy, Texas, with decades of experience serving organizations in such areas as order processing, fulfillment, call center, payment processing, and lettershop services. We at AdvantageCS have been seeing a growing trend over the last 10 years: publishers want to outsource some or all of these functions. Many prospects have already outsourced them and come to a software supplier like us expecting that we will provide the software platform and we have partners that will handle the rest.
Prior to this partnership, publishers had few choices if they wanted to outsource these functions but stay on Advantage. There are a number of service …
We are highly pleased to welcome the IET to the Advantage family. The IET is a registered charity that is working to engineer a better world by inspiring, informing and influencing its members, engineers and technicians, and all those who are touched by, or touch, the work of engineers. It aims to inspire the next generation of engineers, and to promote engineering and the work of engineers to society. The IET is one of the world’s largest engineering institutions with over 168,000 members in 150 countries.
IET products include journals, E&T Magazine, books, publications, webinars, 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 policy issues. The …