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  • Register Now for Advantage Academy

      Registrations are now being taken for this inaugural event scheduled for September 25-27, 2018 in Ann Arbor.

    Advantage Academy is a 3-day workshop hosted by AdvantageCS providing attendees with practical, hands-on experience across a wide range of Advantage topics.

    Throughout our history, our most successful clients are the ones that have optimized their use of Advantage. They run Advantage efficiently and they learn and make use of the most number of Advantage features.

    The Academy is designed to help you to optimize your use of Advantage to best support your business initiatives. You’ll increase your Advantage knowledge and use of the system by spending time with our experts in hands-on sessions over the three days. Staff will also be available to answer any questions you bring …



  • “Think Scholarly, Act Like a Shoemaker”

    How’s that for an intriguing title? That was the name of our Executive Director of Clients & Products, Mona Hidayet’s presentation at The Magazine Innovation Center's ACT (Amplify, Clarify and Testify) 8 conference in Oxford, Mississippi. This year's conference was themed "Print Proud, Digital Smart," was led by Mr. Magazine himself, Dr. Samir Husni. The audience comprised thought leaders in publishing, marketing, printing, advertising, and distribution, and Mona encouraged them to look to the Scientific, Technical and Medical (STM) sector for inspiration. She asserted that STM publishers are more effective than non-scholarly publishers when it comes to balancing their print and digital portfolios for three key reasons:

    1) Digital Content — STM content is time---not issue---based. …



  • One City per Postal Code? Not Always

    When looking at postal codes around the world, there are cases where two different cities are served by the same postal code. For example, the zip code 94608 in California is used for both Emeryville and parts of Oakland. One postal code, two cities.

    Additionally, there are cases where the name of the city varies, depending on the language. Brussels is a great example. In Dutch, it’s Brussels. In French, it’s Bruxelles. Both are official languages of Belgium.

    Within AdvantageCS, cities can be set up to handle both of these cases, thereby making address self-service more targeted to the customer and label generation more specific. Both are subtle ways to improve customer service and provide a more personalized product to your customers.

    Using the Postal Code setup view, you can now …



  • Congratulations to Bob Gray: Soon-to-Be-Retiree

        

    Bob Gray has the distinction of having more years of seniority at AdvantageCS than the company has been in business. That’s because Bob was working at one of the firms that merged to become T & B Computing (the original name of AdvantageCS) and was able to count his years of service there when T & B Computing was formed.

    In his 40+ years here, Bob has witnessed remarkable changes in operating systems, programming languages and software technology. When he first began his career in computing, he programmed in Fortran for a mainframe computer, even using card decks on occasion, and had to debug using core dumps (or hex dumps). Access to the computer was through shared terminals in a terminal room, where they were connected via phone modems running 300 baud. Reports and data were …



  • Advantage Card Vault Rolls Out

    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 …



  • Congratulations to Karl Davis: Soon-to-Be Retiree

    Karl Davis started at AdvantageCS nearly 34 years ago, as a programmer/analyst assigned to what was then called the CIR development team. He spent 20 years on that team, 15 or so as its leader, until he was named to head up the newly-formed Engineering Consulting and Implementations team. That has been Karl’s home for the past 14 years.

    Dan Heffernan knew Karl before he joined AdvantageCS. “I was a housemate of Karl’s in 1983. Karl has always been meticulous, as well as precise, neat and tidy. So, when another housemate changed his oil in Karl’s garage and then proceeded to spill some on the floor and back the car out leaving dark, oily tire marks down the driveway--- well, it was all Karl could do to keep from destroying the driveway and re-paving it! Only the cost stopped him. Our …



  • The Advantage Support Center: Always At Your Service

    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. …



  • Conversations with Clients

    A team from Mediahuis (based in Antwerp, Belgium) recently visited AdvantageCS to work on integration requirements and specs. You can't have first-time visitors to Ann Arbor without sampling some Zingermans! Here, (L to R) Jurgen Van den Broeck, Johan Thijsen, our own Mike Hasey and Jo Samyn enjoy the renowned pimento cheese and bacon macaroni and cheese at Zingerman's Roadhouse.  

    Jo was kind enough to answer some questions so that we could get to know her better. 

    Jo Samyn, Mediahuis

    What is your name and current title?

    My name is Jo Samyn, I am Application Manager, Media Services Readers Market.

    Where in the world do you call home?

    I live in Haacht, a tiny village near Louvain, Belgium, at about 30 kilometers from the capital.

    What led you to your current position at …



  • Some Themes from Digital Innovator’s Summit in Berlin

    Philippe van Mastrigt and I recently attended Digital Innovator’s Summit, the 2-day event run by FIPP and VDZ in Berlin each March. AdvantageCS exhibited at and sponsored this event.

    The audience at this conference is strongly German and Nordic, with a number of AdvantageCS clients attending and speaking (A-Lehdet, Aller Media, Bonnier, and Egmont).

    Trends that were mentioned in 2017, such as a shift from social network and ad models to subscription and reader revenue, were confirmed by a number of the speakers. “We are at the end of the beginning of a new age” was mentioned in the introductory remarks.

    Facebook was dragged through the mud a number of times in the wake of their data scandal with Cambridge Analytica. It is clear that Facebook will not save media companies, but work …



  • A Sure Sign of Spring: Trade Show Fever

     

    It’s as reliable as seeing the first robins and crocuses---when the schedule starts filling up with trade shows (some on the same dates), you know Spring is almost here. The AdvantageCS team will be attending, sponsoring, and exhibiting this Spring at conferences in the US, the UK and Europe.

    First up is Digital Innovators Summit, March 18-20, in Berlin. DIS has the goal of helping legacy magazine publishers adapt to the digital era. Over the years, DIS has evolved to consider innovations across a range of content-driven media and related industries. Today, DIS attracts some 600+ delegates from over 35 countries. Come visit with Dan Heffernan and Philippe van Mastrigt at Stand 2h.

    Next, is the UKSG (United Kingdom Serials Group) Annual Conference, April 9-11 in Glasgow. This annual …



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