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    ACS Welcomes New Employee Drew Pompa

    Drew Pompa is a new member of the product development team led by Howie Brooks. He joined ACS after graduating from the University of Michigan where he earned a Bachelor of Science in computer science from the engineering school. Although he had no programming experience before college, Drew has always been a fan of technology in general. Drew likes creating computer programs and being able to see what is behind them. He explains that, in programming, you really have to balance logic and creativity. You work with limited types of constructs but within them, you can create many different things. He has a particular interest in developing functional user interfaces and in the overall usability of the software. In addition to his technical abilities, …



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    ACS Welcomes New Employee Stephen Whitney

    Stephen Whitney recently joined ACS as a member of the product development team led by Howie Brooks. Stephen is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan and earned a Bachelor of Science in computer science from the engineering school there. With a father who is a programmer at the university, Stephen was exposed to programming at an early age and was always interested in computers. He got his start in high school, when he and a friend wrote a program using a TI-83 calculator. He likes the idea of “telling a computer what to do” and then seeing the result. Raised in Dexter, Michigan, Stephen had a rather unusual high school experience. He attended Dexter High School for his first two years but then went to …



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    In Memoriam: Kathie Porter

    The worldwide Advantage community was deeply saddened by the sudden death of our friend and coworker Kathie Porter in January. Kathie was an employee of ACS for 13 years, and was a member of the Advantage user community at Wolters Kluwer Health and J. B. Lippincott for 11 years prior to that. During her years with ACS, our clients and staff greatly appreciated Kathie’s deep product knowledge and hard work. She had a special knack for leveraging her knowledge to address the practical business needs of clients. Over the years, many clients have expressed gratitude for Kathie’s exceptional skills in trouble-shooting and analysis. Kathie also became a close friend of many here at ACS, and was a fantastic team player—always willing to drop what she was doing to …



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    Agora Paves the Way on .NET Advantage

    Someone had to be the first. Advantage 2012r2—the first Advantage release totally in the .NET environment—became available last July, and although ACS went live on it immediately, Agora Publishing stepped up to the plate as the first client to implement it. Agora is on an annual upgrade schedule. Even though this upgrade was a bit more involved—with not only new features, but also such improvements as a new user interface and the use of C# programming language for select sets—it took just 20% more time than a typical upgrade. And with NO adjustments to the original target date. Suzanne Earley, manager of Advantage projects at Agora, gave a presentation at the recent Advantage User Group meeting describing how the upgrade went. She was assisted by Doug Moore, the …



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    A-lehdet Goes Live on Advantage

    A-lehdet—Finland’s third-largest publisher—recently went live on Advantage after an exciting and complex implementation project. Based in Helsinki, A-lehdet publishes 18 consumer magazines, many in the women’s and home style categories. The extensive project had many complex technical requirements, which were managed by a phenomenal project team spread across 6,000 miles from Helsinki to Ann Arbor, and involved numerous cooold days and looong nights in Helsinki. As a publisher of high-circulation consumer magazines, A-lehdet relies primarily on the Advantage subscription functionality, making heavy use of the new OrderStream upload powerhouse – to the tune of nearly 10,000 orders each day. In addition to project manager Eric Burbeck and lead …



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    SEPA Standard To Take Effect

    In February 2014, the SEPA standard for Direct Debit will become compulsory for the full Euro zone. All European countries outside of this Euro zone will have until 2016 to comply. SEPA (Single European Payment Area) is a project carried out by all European countries to develop a common standard on all payment methods. This standard will replace current standards that vary widely country by country, especially for Direct Debit. Among major changes introduced by SEPA are: the BIC/IBAN format will be the standard for bank accounts authorizations will be handled through a mandate that the vendor will manage instead of the bank a new XML exchange file will be established between banks and companies for all of Europe ACS anticipated and …



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    Upgrade Activity Is Brisk Throughout 2012

    Many Advantage clients completed upgrades this past year, keeping the ACS upgrade team hopping. These included the following. Bayard Presse went live on 2012r1 this past summer, upgrading from 2009r1. The project was more complex than the usual, due to the many interfaces, but was successfully completed through the efforts of a large team of people. Our Sunday Visitor also made the jump from 9r1 to 12r1, with a summer go-live. American Medical Association is also live on 12r1. They were making the jump from 8r2 and were upgrading the Business Intelligence module for the first time, as well as some important interfaces. Farm Progress also upgraded to 12r1. FPC is especially excited about the new customer service letter and credit card …



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    ACS Welcomes The Economist

    The Economist Newspaper has chosen Advantage as their Business Continuity System for their subscription fulfillment. Advantage will be installed and users trained, so that everything is ready in case a back-up is needed to maintain service. The Economist is an English-language weekly news and international affairs publication, based in London, which has been continuously published since 1843. For historical reasons, The Economist refers to itself as a newspaper, but each print edition appears on glossy paper like a news magazine. In March 2012 print circulation stood at over 1.5m while digital circulation was 123,000 (digital editions are available on Android, iPhone and iPad and other devices). We welcome The Economist to the Advantage community.



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    Unicode and You

    In view of the increasingly global nature of our clients’ business, ACS is working hard to ensure that Advantage supports the needs of international commerce. One such need is the incorporation of Unicode. First, some background. In the late 80s and early 90s, several big computer companies grew tired of the ad hoc approach that had been the norm when it came to non-Latin character sets. The systems of the time were limited to 128 or 256 characters and the non-Latin characters may have been Russian, Greek, Hebrew or a host of others. This was not easy to deal with across systems or programs and so the companies joined together to create a uniform code, which they called Unicode. In addition to creating a uniform code that standardized the characters, they also set …



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    Congratulations to Duke University Press - Now Live on Advantage

    Hearty congratulations to Duke University Press, who recently went live on Advantage. Duke publishes more than 40 academic journals and 120 new book titles each year. This places the Press's journals publishing program among the five largest and the books publishing program among the twenty largest at American university presses. (Photo, left to right: Ariel Dela Fuente, Sonya Johnson, Ling Mao, Lesley Jones, Pam Spaulding) Located in Durham, North Carolina, the Press publishes primarily in the humanities and social sciences and issues a few publications for professional audiences (e.g., in law or medicine). Duke University Press is best known for its publications in the broad and interdisciplinary area of theory and history of cultural production. Duke …



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