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    Daryl Vautour: Keep Calm and Carry On

      Not much ruffles Daryl Vautour.  His easy-going nature and sense of humor help him to be successful in the highly dynamic world of client support.  Support center manager EvActon describes him this way:  "Daryl is an incredible ‘can do, will do' guy!  He helps everyone everywhere whenever he can.  You don't even have to ask him. He's just the best." In his five years at ACS, Daryl has worked on documentation, served in the support center, performed on-site support and in his current assignment on the project team, helped manage upgrade and implementation projects. Although he enjoyed working in support, Daryl likes the experience of working with clients face-to-face.  And they like working with him as well. After some months of providing telephone support to …



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    Boys' Life Celebrates 100 Years

    Congratulations to the Boy Scouts of America on the 100th anniversary of Boys' Life magazine.  The magazine hit the centennial mark on March 1st and a year-long centenary celebration began.  The March issue is a special commemorative one full of highlights from the past 100 years of Boys' Life publications. In 1912, a copy of Boys' Life sold for 5 cents and a full page of advertising could be had for $35.  The first of many Norman Rockwell covers was published in 1913. Today,annual readership of Boys' Life is more than 8.2 million and over 6 billion people have read the magazine over the past 100 years.  The brand has kept up with the times as well, with 19,000 Facebook fans and a Twitter feed with several thousand followers. The Boy Scouts of …



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    Annual AUG Meeting a Success on The Strip

    The New York-New York Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada was the site of the 2011 Advantage User Group conference and it was a hit!  Attendance was up this year, with 53 people (8 from overseas) representing 26 different clients.  In traditional AUG style, there were major travel woes on the east coast that caused delays, but most everyone made it safe and sound. The two hot topics were AMB (access management and billing) and BI (business intelligence).  Most clients are either on AMB, implementing AMB, or planning to implement it.  There were ACS presentations by Phil Montgomery and  me (Mona Hidayet) regarding the new AMB features coming in 2011, as well as two break-out round table discussions on implementing AMB and reporting on AMB.  The popularity of the topics was evident, …



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    Keeping Pace with Technology

    Last evening, I had the opportunity to observe my 13-year-old daughter handle a technical challenge that my wife was experiencing.  As my daughter took the laptop and started in to solve the problem, my wife looked at me with that now-familiar frown which says something like "Why can she do this when she's never taken a computer course in her life, and I, who have used computers for years, can't figure out how to begin?"  I smiled and told her not to take it personally.  Based on conversations I've had with friends, I believe most parents have experienced this phenomenon. Perhaps it's perspective.  Perhaps it's age.  After all, we observe children picking up a language without even thinking about it.  They just start talking, make lots of mistakes, get …



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    ACS Welcomes Sunil Chawla

      Sunil Chawla has joined the ACS team and will be providing services to CDS Global-UK.  Sunil was the Advantage system administrator, DBA and IT manager at Maney Publications, but had to resign from this position in order to move to London. The timing worked perfectly for him to join the ACS team currently traveling regularly to Market Harborough to support CDS. A UK native, Sunil holds a degree in computer science from Manchester University and is also a certified Microsoft Database Administrator.  He lives in Bromley, near London, and in his leisure time, enjoys playing badminton and tennis and traveling to tropical destinations—anywhere with clear blue water where he can scuba dive and snorkel, although the Maldives is his …



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    Are You Taking Advantage of Customer Communication in Advantage?

    As the arena of customer communication becomes more and more personalized, you need the flexibility to create and send relevant communications as quickly and automatically as possible.  Advantage offers you this capability. Many of you have been using the customer letter functionality for years (note: for purposes of this article, the word "letter" refers to either email or a hard-copy snail-mail letter).  This is where you create a set of letter templates and via a Customer Note, Action Code, and MS-Word, Advantage sends the appropriate customized personal letter to a customer when  certain conditions are true , filling in such information as customer name and address, order number, subscription details, product order details, and order data.  This format is simple to set …



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    John Moore; Engineer and Fire Fighter

    In his five years at ACS, John Moore has made his mark on the software and in client support.  He was part of a team that rewrote MSTDAT/FAST and also worked on converting INVDAT into the new user interface style, which included implementing scripts there.  Although John has always been a member of the software development team led by Howie Brooks, he was tapped three years ago to enter the upgrade and support world in engineering.  John is a key member of the team that works with Agora, Inc. He describes his role as alternating between fire fighter putting out fires, superhero solving issues, and whipping boy (although that happens very rarely). Agora's Daryl Berver has this to say about working with John: "John is great. He has been able to not …



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    ACS Welcomes A-lehdet of Finland

    ACS is happy to announce that A-lehdet has chosen Advantage and is beginning implementation.  The Helsinki-based company was started in 1933 with a single magazine. Today, the grandchildren of the founders  manage the company which has grown into a publishing house with a portfolio of 18 magazines, covering topics from politics to gardening, with customer demographics ranging from teenagers to senior citizens. The Managing Director of A-lehdet is Olli-Pekka Lyytikainen.  The ACS project team includesEric Burbeck (project manager), Tom Hermans (project director), and Karl Davis (lead engineer). The A-lehdet team consists of Oili Kalm-Parantainen (main business definer) and Timo Kurkikangas (IT architect) and its work will be coordinated by project …



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    Attention: Emergency Support Email Users

    When contacting emergency support, you may opt to send email to emergency@advantagecs.com in addition to calling.  Please be aware that the emergency Support Inbox will only accept mail from domains on our Safe Sender list.  We've done this because spam was triggering too many unnecessary calls to the emergency support people.  All of our client domains are on this list, so please be sure and send your email from your company account.  If you would like to request another domain name to be added to the list, please contact Ev Acton at eacto@advantagecs.com .



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    Angie Markel: Superior Support Service

     Angie Markel applies the same energy and motivation to her job in the Advantage Support Center as she does to running a marathon, which she has done 4 times (including the Boston Marathon, for which one must qualify).  She is detail-oriented, quick to grasp new concepts and adept at building relationships with the clients with whom she works . Her supervisor, Ev Acton puts it this way:  "Angie is an excellent analyst who works well with all of our clients.  Angie makes sure she understands the customer's needs and ensures that the solutions ACS provides meet those needs.  Angie is a very effective communicator and does a great job of sending alerts to the user community as needed.  In addition, Angie always has a smile on her face and has a …



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