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  • Dan's Blog: Smartphones Outsmart Us

    Is it just me, or is everyone experiencing more use of their smartphones? These "mobile moments" are becoming more frequent in my life, at least. A year ago I hadn't installed my bank's app and did all my banking on my laptop. Now I do all my deposits using my smartphone and find myself checking balances there more and more. A couple of years ago I thought I'd never use Facebook on my smartphone...but I almost never use it on my laptop now. Recently my wife was writing a long email on her smartphone and I asked why she doesn't use the desktop so she can edit more efficiently? Her answer was that the desktop was upstairs.  

    I guess that's what the word "mobile" means, after all: able to move. Our mobile phones can be with us all the time. I see more participants in meetings looking at …



  • Spotlight on Ann Arbor: Home of AdvantageCS Headquarters

    Have you ever been to Ann Arbor, Michigan, the city ACS has called home for almost 40 years? If not, you’re missing out! Despite its (relatively) small size, Ann Arbor has a lot to offer: a lively arts & culture scene, world-class food & drink, and natural beauty to boot. We’re sharing our local picks so that next time you’re in the area (soon, we hope!) you’ll know exactly where to go and what to do.

    First, get your bearings. Ann Arbor comprises a few lovely neighborhoods, but most visitors spend their time downtown and in nearby Kerrytown. Downtown Ann Arbor’s Main Street has all the usual suspects - plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops to choose from - but it has character, too (case in point: the Violin Monster). So grab a seat at a restaurant or bar and keep your eyes peeled - …



  • Product Bundling – A Key Marketing Strategy

    Many Advantage features are born from the minds of marketers---not only from our clients, but also from our internal experts. One simple reason is the need for publishers to stay competitive in today’s market by implementing increasingly sophisticated marketing campaigns. One area guided by marketers that has seen quite a bit of development in the last several years is product bundling (known in the Advantage software context as packages). Advantage has supported bundling for 15+ years, but today there are about 10 different flavors available. You might be thinking: isn’t a bundle just a bunch of products? What could distinguish one from the other? Consider the following three use cases:

    The customer can choose from the print version of a magazine, the digital version, or a bundle …



  • Summer Interns Make Their Mark

    Finding just the right engineers and analysts is a vital part of growth at AdvantageCS and the intern program has been a great source of excellent employees.  In addition to providing valuable services in their stints as interns, it gives both intern and management staff time to evaluate whether or not the fit is a good one.

    While it’s true that their time with us is short, that often works to our benefit because they are not as distracted by interruptions and other assignments as full-time employees frequently are.

    This year, we are excited to have seven interns with us for the summer, working on many and varied projects all over the company. Let us introduce them to you.

     

    Nicole Bartecki and Rachel Katz (both entering their junior year in industrial operations engineering at the …



  • Networking Opportunities Galore

    Advantage Client Communities on LinkedIn and Message Board on Google+ 

      

    Your fellow Advantage users are excellent sources for ideas, advice and even answers to your questions. Are you taking advantage of all the communication channels available to network with them?

    If you're not already a member, take a minute now to join the Advantage Client Community on LinkedIn. It's a great networking tool and will put you in contact with other Advantage users from all over. For clients in Europe, you can join the European Advantage User Group.  Membership is restricted to people at client companies, but all members are free to comment or post topics.

    The other great tool is the message board. You need to have a log-in to the support area of the AdvantageCS website (see your system …



  • Advantage Software: Improving the Flow of Streams of Orders

    Advantage’s OrderStream Framework Breaks the Log Jam of Order Upload

    While Advantage is a customer-centric system, order transactions are a central component of the customer profile. Getting orders processed quickly and efficiently is paramount, and the flexibility to accept order transactions from a variety of sources is a critical component of the system. Our clients take orders from sources such as eCommerce sites, trade shows, phone calls, postcards, mobile applications, agents, lockboxes, SMS, and other third-parties. To accommodate these sources, Advantage offers three basic types of input---through the application’s user interface, through the use of the Software Development Kit (SDK), and through file uploads. Over its history, Advantage has consistently been the market leader …



  • Preview of Some Advantage Features Coming This Fall

    These are just some of the new Advantage features that will be available in the fall of 2015. Contact your Advantage account manager for more information.

    Autocomplete Feature: An optional autocomplete feature is available (triggered at the user level), whereby Advantage will suggest values for validated fields based on what the user has typed in to that point.  Under this feature, the more the user types, the narrower the list of possible matches (the user can arrow up and down to see the possible matches). At any time, the user can stop and select one of the suggested values.

    Separate “Promote by Phone” Flags: You can now expose and use separate “promote by” flags on each of the three telephone numbers on the customer address record. (The fourth telephone number field is dedicated …



  • Our Sunday Visitor Goes Live on Advantage 15

    Congratulations to Our Sunday Visitor who recently upgraded from Advantage 12r1 to 15.0. In addition to the software upgrade, they also moved to a clustered server configuration. And kudos to both teams for making the original cutover date!

    The OSV team included Troy Payton, Dennis Kerlin, Max Sallaz and Beth Hoover. On the AdvantageCS side, major players were Ken Darnell, Stephanie Widrig, Mike Hasey and his team of engineers, and Larry Kleber (AKA “Cutover Master”).

    Congrats to all!



  • Welcome New Employee Chris Long

    The newest member of the AdvantageCS development team led by John Moore, is Chris Long. Chris recently graduated from the University of Michigan, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science. Chris began his college career in the biomedical area, but found that the amount of research work involved was more than he was interested in doing. Programming was much more to his liking and so he switched majors.

    In his brief stint at AdvantageCS, Chris has gotten involved in improving the functionality of the AdvantageCS internal website. He enjoys breaking a large task into smaller pieces and working through each one. The collaborative atmosphere of the AdvantageCS engineering division appeals to Chris---he works well in a group and appreciates having lots of others around …



  • Welcome New Employee David Zick

    David Zick has joined AdvantageCS as a member of the development team led by Paul Sauter. David is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan, but he isn’t a stranger to AdvantageCS---he worked here as an intern last summer, and we’re delighted to have him back as a full-time employee.

    Following in the footsteps of more than one member of his family, David earned a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science engineering. His father is a software developer, his older sister earned a degree in industrial operations engineering, and his uncle, Ray Zick, has been a fixture of the engineering department here at AdvantageCS for more than 30 years. 

    Aided by his intern experience, David has hit the ground running. His team employs an agile development method in which tasks are …



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