After a monumental effort to lift all payment card processing functionality out of Advantage, shift it into an independent application, and further enhance its security features, the new Advantage Card Vault is now rolling out to AdvantageCS clients. (See the article announcing this new application here.) This massive project involved planning, development, quality assurance, deployment, communication, and project management efforts across the company. After thousands of hours of effort, the result is an application that provides continued PA-DSS certification and robust payment card security, while allowing Advantage to appear virtually unchanged to the end user.
AdvantageCS clients receiving Advantage Card Vault with their 2018.0 (or higher) updates are reporting that end-user …
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Advantage Support Center as it exists today. Prior to 1998, support was handled by the analyst teams, who also managed implementation projects and software upgrades, plus account management and training. With that model, however, team members often found themselves juggling conflicting priorities between their various roles. The solution was to form a team of analysts and engineers entirely devoted to support.
The center now has a full-time staff of four, plus a manager, and analysts from other teams help on occasion. Depending on the client and the issue, any one of half-dozen engineering teams provides technical assistance. Twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year, the Advantage Support Center is available and its staff is eager to help. …
Congratulations to Mike Hasey on his promotion to Manager, Engineering Services/Implementations. This group of six engineers is primarily responsible for supporting the engineering aspects of client onboarding. The team works with new clients unfamiliar with Advantage as well as current clients that are implementing major additional functionality.
Their work involves integrations, eCommerce (Cider) and complex conversions, in addition to general technical support. They do custom development, provide training, and help design solutions in these (and other) areas.
For many of these tasks, engineering and analyst roles overlap one another. Several members of Mike’s team have served as business analysts and all the team enjoy onsite client visits. Mike is getting the group more involved …
Report on 2018 Advantage Users Group Conference
More than 70 Advantage clients from 17 companies met in Orlando for the 2018 Advantage Users Group (AUG) Conference. As always, the Steering Committee, led by Christy Wescott of Unity World Headquarters, did an outstanding job preparing the agenda and arranging for the speakers and session hosts. Denise Spickler of Wolters Kluwer Health handled her responsibilities as the liaison with the host hotel with outstanding attention to detail, resulting in a conference that was successful in every way.
Dan Heffernan, AdvantageCS Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Product Planning, kicked off the meeting with his annual presentation of AdvantageCS news, strategy, and product direction. Dan was joined in his presentation by Tony Pytlak, …
We are extremely pleased to welcome Mediahuis to the Advantage family.
Mediahuis was founded in 2013 as a joint venture of two Flemish media corporations, Corelio and Concentra. Based in Antwerp, Belgium, Mediahuis publishes four Belgian newspapers---two national and two regional---and two Dutch newspapers---one regional and one national. It also recently acquired 95% of the Dutch Telegraaf Media Groep, which doubled its circulation size and added a large group of daily and weekly publications. The company’s history dates back to 1879, when their first newspaper, a weekly, was published.
In the 139 years since, there have been numerous launches and acquisitions of media companies, with properties including radio stations, television stations, classified platforms and websites. The …
Initiated by Carsten Weber from Bonnier Magazine Data, Nordic Advantage clients and AdvantageCS participated in a GDPR roundtable on January 22nd, at the Bonnier office in Copenhagen. What was initially a meeting of two publishers expanded to include four Nordic Advantage clients: Bonnier Magazine Data, Egmont Publishing, Aller Media and Alma Talent. Air Business Subscriptions from the UK also joined this gathering, as did AdvantageCS.
Participants included John Osborn (Air Business Subscriptions), Bjarne Christensen (Aller Media), Christel Heegaard (Aller Media), Martin Paluszewski (Aller Media), Mari Aalto (Alma Media), Hanna Kaivo-oja (Alma Media), Farhoud Fazeli (consultant, representing Bonnier Magazines and Brands), Rune Spanggaard (Bonnier Magazine Data), Carsten Weber (Bonnier …
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.