The 5th European Advantage User Group Meeting was held in Copenhagen, Denmark on 27-28 March. Egmont Publishing graciously hosted the event at their Copenhagen offices with Martin Garbrecht serving as the Master of Ceremonies. Martin provided a brief overview of Egmont Publishing's fascinating history (founded in 1878!) and its rise to the top of the European media market. The facilities provided a very comfortable atmosphere, fantastic accommodations, and a beautiful 360-degree view of the heart of Copenhagen.
The meeting continues to grow each year--both in attendees and clients represented. This year there were 30+ attendees from 11 clients representing the UK, France, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, and Portugal. The companies included Egmont Publishing, Maney Publishing, Bayard Presse, Vidal, Ouest-France, Martin Media, A-lehdet, Agora Inc., Test-Achats, Aller Media. There was also a sighting of Andy Wright, who is doing some work for Oxford University Press and Egmont Publishing, but he must have confused "meeting" with "eating" since he was only able to make it to the dinner .
Dan Heffernan provided an overview of current happenings at ACS as well as the software roadmap in his presentation of ACS News, Strategy, and Direction. Dick Hile offered his perspective on the roadmap from the engineering side of the world in his Technology Update.
There were also four product presentations given to the group. Philippe van Mastrigt reviewed the major features as part of the newly released 2014R1 revision. John Sheehy previewed the new Call Center functionality (also part of 2014R1) targeted at enhancing Advantage's integration with telephony systems and simplifying the order entry process. John also presented on ACS's latest development project, code-named Cider, which brings to life a brand new e-Commerce platform. And finally, Dan introduced ACS's solution to connecting third-parties (e.g., Salesforce) to the Advantage enterprise: the Scribe Connector.
The presentations were well received and the group was very lively. The meeting is beginning to feel a bit like the United Nations with the variety of languages spoken and Philippe reprised his role of French interpreter to make sure all were included. Dan even got the group to do a classic American ice-breaker: the attendees switched seats after each presentation to encourage discussion. The strategy worked (!) and there was some really good networking, which will help enrich the Advantage user community. We think the attendees took away interesting ideas and new friends. In other words, the meeting was a success!
Bob Thornton organized the meeting and did a great job with the logistics. Everything went smoothly and the group enjoyed a casual dinner at BrewPub København.
ACS would like to thank Martin for being a fantastic host, Bob for organizing the meeting, and all of the attendees for their enthusiastic participation. We hope to see even more of our clients at next year's European Advantage User Group Meeting. (There is a rumor that it might be in Portugal or Finland. Stay tuned.)