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    2016 AUG Conference in Sunny Las Vegas

    Wednesday February 10 – Friday February 12, 2016

    Users picked Las Vegas as their destination of choice and so the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas will be the site of the 2016 Advantage Users Group Conference. A great location and an exciting program make this a can’t-miss conference.

    Growing numbers of Advantage clients have made the leap to continuous updates, and many more are looking to make it in 2016. If you are considering it or are wondering what the benefits are to you, the conference is a great place to get answers from users that have been there and done that.

    The conference will cover a variety of topics, most of them suggested by users at last year’s conference. The agenda is below.  There’s still time to register---Click here for registration information.

    Wednesday, …



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    Congratulations to Soon-to-Be Retiree Jim Austin

    In his nearly 35 years here at ACS, Jim Austin has worked on numerous projects with too many clients to count. Through it all, his sense of humor, patience and dedication to client satisfaction have remained intact.

    Jose Garcia, VP of Technology at Health Communications, has worked with Jim for more than 20 years. “When I learned that Jim was finally going to hang up his ACS code skills, mouse and keyboard after almost 35 years, my first thought was ‘wait’---I thought he’d retired once before and ACS brought him back because they just couldn’t let him get away.  Thank goodness he came back, because in the 20+ years I’ve known Jim, he’s gotten me out of more than one Advantage royalty problem. As a matter of fact, at HCI, Jim came to be known as ‘King James’ because of the many times he …



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    Harmony, Stability and R & D

    Earlier this month we hosted several people from our most recent European client. During dinner, I got to talking with the senior executive about the company culture at AdvantageCS. He commented that we were quite unusual for a software company in the way that HARMONY seemed to permeate the interactions he observed among our people during an extended tour of our facilities. And he noted that same harmony spilling over into the many meetings of their visit. He was also struck by the long length of stay of our people (14 years average), and that the mission of the company requires the owners to be employees, which means we never entertain the frequent offers of outside investors.

    He was applauding our commitment to stability for our clients and employees as a very good business growth …



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    Welcome New Employee Maggie Voorheis

    Maggie Voorheis recently joined the AdvantageCS administrative staff led by Becky Sharp. An Ann Arbor native, Maggie graduated last May from Eastern Michigan University where she studied early childhood education. Although that continues to be an interest for her, she has found that she prefers a mix of business duties in addition to working with children. Her position at ACS is ideal in that regard, as she helps out in the on-site child care center as needed.

    Maggie’s smiling face is the first one visitors see when they walk in the ACS door, as she is our official receptionist. In addition to greeting visitors and making them feel comfortable, she operates the company phone system and message center, handles shipping and mailing, and employee communication.

    Another area of …



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    Advantage Software: New Features Coming Fourth Quarter 2015

    Check out these new Advantage features.

    These Advantage features are either available now or will be soon. Contact your Advantage account manager for more information.

    Customer Service Workflows: A new feature at the main SVCCTM customer maintenance view allows you to perform extended customer service without needing to route to other Advantage views. This is useful in on-the-phone situations. You can, for example, perform subscription or agreement maintenance, review the customer’s A/R, and more. A special “retention” phase allows you to save cancellations by offering the customer special discounting, premiums, or credits. This feature uses the standard Advantage scripting functionality, allowing you to tailor the flow to the specific customer service situation.

    Scriptable AMB …



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    Check Out Our New Video!

    We hired Firestarter videos---a Hollywood video company---to produce our new video. Let us know what you think!



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    Connecting Our Clients

    Last week AdvantageCS facilitated a meeting in Paris between Ouest France and Agora’s Publishing Services subsidiary. Many in the AdvantageCS User Group are familiar with the rapid growth of Publishing Services over the past 15 years and their use of Advantage to support many of the world-wide publishing affiliates of Agora. Publishing Services has established Advantage at the hub of their systems architecture, making it the system of record for all interaction with customers and prospects. Now that Ouest France has upgraded to Advantage 2014.1, they are considering moving more business onto Advantage and making Advantage the core system of record for their customer relationships and transactions…reminiscent for me of a similar direction taken by Agora in their pre-Publishing Services …



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    Welcome New Employee Lani Davis

    Lani Davis has joined the AdvantageCS Special Services team, led by Scott Ghormley. Lani comes to ACS with a wide range of education and work experience. Most recently, she spent four years implementing time and attendance software at a software company in Livonia, Michigan. Although she enjoyed the job itself, Lani wanted a position that didn’t require her to travel an average of three out of four weeks a month. She heard about AdvantageCS from a former coworker, and joined ACS in June.

    A business systems analyst in Special Services, Lani is getting her feet wet working on support tasks and performing QA, including regression testing. Down the road, she will manage projects for the group, where her implementation experience and fluent French will be valuable assets.

    Lani has always …



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    Welcome New Employee Binoy Phillip

    Binoy Phillip is the newest member of the AdvantageCS implementation team led by Tim Zapawa. Binoy brings a rich and varied set of education and experience to his new position. Binoy grew up in India and received his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering at Bangalore University in Bengaluru, known as the “Silicon Valley” of India. After graduation, he spent three years at the Indian Institute of Science where he worked in their Combustion, Gasification and Propulsion Laboratory, dealing with rocket engines. 

    Binoy then came to the United States to attend graduate school, and earned a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Michigan. While studying aerospace engineering, he found that his work in computational fluid dynamics, where he dealt extensively …



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    Matt Varblow Named Vice President

    Matt Varblow has been promoted to vice president, engineering services. He reports to Dick Hile, vice president, product engineering, who states: "Matt's leadership -- both technical and organizational -- has been a key contributor to our progress in improving our product and our engineering services." In addition to managing the engineering services teams, Matt is still one of the chief software architects at AdvantageCS, helping to steer the application architecture as our software continues to evolve.

    In his sixteen+ years at ACS, Matt has filled multiple key roles. Before joining AdvantageCS permanently, Matt began working here during the summers when he was 14, helping out with configuration control.  Even at that time, Matt was an old hand at computer programming, having taught …



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