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    Matt Varblow: Wizard of the Web

      Matt Varblow has been working at ACS almost before he was of legal age.  He started working here during the summers when he was 14 and 15, helping out with configuration control.  Even at that time, Matt was an old hand at computer programming, having taught himself to program in BASIC around age 10.  His favorite thing then was creating text-based adventure games and he’s still proud that he was able to sell a game that he created while in high school. Throughout high school and college, Matt worked at ACS full-time during the summers and part-time during the school year.  He helped in the development of multi-currency capability and worked in the IT department.  Matt went on his first client visit while still in high school and the client had to pick …



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    ACS Welcomes Mark Sauter

    We are happy to welcome Mark Sauter as a full-time employee, in the Implementation and Engineering Services group led by Karl Davis.  Mark worked at ACS previously as a summer intern before he graduated from Grand Valley State University this past May. Mark earned a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from Grand Valley, although his first major was actually creative writing.  He enjoys the problem-solving aspects of computer programming and the satisfaction of building something from the ground up and then seeing it in action. Born and raised in Ann Arbor, Mark recently got married to another Ann Arbor-ite, and the couple makes their home in their native town. Mark and Lauren have known each other since they were four years old, as their …



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    Congratulations to Barbara Smith--Soon-to-Be Retiree

    Senior software engineer Barbara Smith is officially retiring from ACS at the end of August.  For a time after that, however, she will continue working to finish up several current projects.  We don't want to say goodbye to Barbara.  But who could begrudge her a retirement she has so thoroughly earned?  In her eleven years at ACS, her contribution has been tremendous.  Barbara served as the lead engineer on many implementations and other assorted projects, many of them for international clients.  She has spent significant amounts of time in London, Paris, Copenhagen and Oxford and enjoyed each city.  Each has its own special charm, she says, explaining that Paris is gorgeous and impressive, while London is more home-y and she likes …



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    Agora's Indian Affiliate Goes Live on Advantage

    Through much of the past year, ACS has partnered with Agora to complete an in-conversion from Equity Master, Agora's office in India.   Equity Master provides information about more than 500 leading companies in India, which account for over 90% of India's market value. Through Equity Master, customers can gain access to various stock market recommendations, archives, and special reports. The project of converting Equity Master data into Advantage encompassed customer, promotion, and electronic subscription data; as well as implementing the AMB module for the first time at Agora. To account for the online data-entry into Advantage, the team made adjustments to the website to make use of the AMB capsule calls provided through the AdvantageWEB module. Tara Rebak, …



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    ACS Welcomes Rachel Larson

    ACS is pleased to welcome Rachel Larson as a full-time member of the Advantage family.  Rachel has been working as an intern in the engineering department part-time during school years and full-time over the past four summers.  She graduated from the University of Michigan this spring with a bachelor's degree in computer science from the engineering school. (It's also possible to study computer science through the college of Literature, Science and the Arts.) A dyed-in-the-wool engineer, Rachel freely labels herself a computer nerd.  She has always liked math and science and does not get at all excited about writing assignments.  Her favorite entertainment genre is science fiction, whether it's books, movies or games.  And yes, she's a Trekkie—original …



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    Congratulations to Maney Publishing

    Maney Reaches 100 Journals Reprinted with permission from Maney Publishing Maney Publishing, one of the fastest-growing independent journal publishers, has published its 100th journal with the release of the first 2011 issue of JournalofSpinalCord Medicine. The imprint, whose first journals appeared only in 1998, has become a significant publisher of British society journals and in recent years has extended its publishing activity world-wide, working now for a growing number of learned societies, professional bodies and universities in North America and Australia. "When I launched the imprint of Maney Publishing in 1997," Michael Gallico, Maney's Managing Director, notes, "the company, since its founding in 1900, enjoyed a very high …



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    Alan Cherney: Programmer Artiste

    To Alan Cherney, programming is an art and he happily bears the title of artist.  Programming satisfies his creative urge because, as he says, "you're building something and it involves design and structure."  Alan has always been interested in art and computer graphics, and throughout high school he built a portfolio intending to apply to art school.  When he began using his computer graphics in simple web programming, he found he had a real knack in that area and changed his focus to computer science, with emphasis on art and design.  During his last several years in high school and all through college, Alan was able to earn money and gain experience doing freelance computer graphics. Alan became an intern at ACS while still attending the …



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    Advantage Voicemail System Now Speaks French

    When you call the main ACS phone number (734-327-3600), you now have the option of hearing the greeting and prompts in French as well as English.  Also in the works is a French version of the Advantage website which will be launching in the next few months.  Formidable!



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    Promotions Management Re-Designed in 2011R1

    For many of you, the letters CPNPMO, when put in that order, conjure up thoughts of vast amounts of detailed information about promotions, views full of item information and pricing, and perhaps some questions about how it all is organized.  Well, I have some good news ? these issues have been addressed in a re-design of the campaign and promotion setup workspace.  In fact, the re-design is so intuitive, we barely need these words to describe it! For starters, the data has been grouped more clearly by type of promotion, so that all costs for e-promotions are near one another, for example.  Also, the workspace uses script technology, where you can customize the way the workspace appears for users establishing different kinds of promotions and campaigns.  Why force a user to …



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    Keeping Up With Upgrades

    In 2007, when I returned to ACS after pursuing graduate studies, the iPhone was a relatively new phenomenon and the iPad was little more than an idea on a drawing board.  Amazon also had yet to release the Kindle.  Now, all these products are central tools exploited by many publishers.  In less than four years, the worlds of publishing and marketing have undergone significant changes.  Publishers have increasingly been looking at how best to digitize their content, and then monetize that digital content.  They have re-oriented their marketing to reach consumers via new electronic means.  At the same time, in this world of digitization, some publishers have been successful at increasing print circulation, often through the use of innovative marketing to a core demographic …



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