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  • Dan's Blog: Subscriptions eCommerce

    Back in the late 1990s, companies wanted to create their own websites with their own ideas about how the site would be structured, the user experience, and the branding.  When we introduced our API to our clients in 1999, we would typically provide some training and documentation to their web team and they would go away happily integrating their website with Advantage using the API.  Time marched on and the API became bigger and more comprehensive. 

    Then in the last couple of years we noticed a trend among our prospects and clients.  Companies were no longer content to take on an API with over 5,000 methods, which ours has.  They wanted a platform which was already integrated with Advantage through the API.  The platform would have built-in eCommerce functions, self-service capabilities, …



  • Help Is Just A Click Away!

    New User Interface on Advantage Help Website Offers Click-through Browsing, Focused Search, and Proximity Search

    Now it’s much easier to find the help you need on the Advantage help website.  It’s been reformatted using the Orchard online platform. This change, effective with the 2014r1 version of the help, offers an improved user interface, easier click-through browsing, and powerful search tools to help focus your search results.

    The help content remains what you’re used to seeing, with how-to explanations, screen images, and report samples for the standard documentation set. However, hyperlinks have been added for each level of the help to allow you to quickly access the subsidiary topics underneath. For example, the topic “Basic Agreement Information” includes quick links to …



  • Upgrade Activity Strong All Summer

    Congratulations to Mary Ann Liebert, Duke University Press and Massachusetts Medical Society, who recently completed Advantage upgrades.

    The Mary Ann Liebert team comprised Nancy Piscitello and Roddy Pimentel, while Lesley Jones and Ling Mao led the charge for Duke University Press.

    Philippe Rowland spearheaded the ACS team for both projects, supported by a host of engineers including Mike Hasey, Mark Sauter, Linda Woodman, Jon Bartholomay, Paul DesRosiers, Larry Kleber and Ray Zick. Eric Burbeck and Bill Pinard provided project management back-up for Philippe as well.

    The upgrade of the Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS), publishers of the New England Journal of Medicine, was a multi-faceted project.  In addition to moving from a Tools environment to .NET, they implemented a new …



  • Introducing Advantage Feature Updates

    If you’ve been with Advantage since the early 2000’s, you recall when the release naming convention had two or three—sometimes more—numbers, such as 7.2.3, for example, and the numbers incremented with each release. In 2003, we switched to a year/revision naming convention starting with 2003R1. Now we’re making another change, primarily because we’ve updated our method of delivering software to clients.

    Starting with 2013R1, we deliver software updates through deployment packages. These packages allow you to review the latest patches and download them on an automatic schedule, or at a time of your choosing. The installation of a deployment package is done simply by running a process. It’s really easy!

    We thought this was such a good idea that we used it as a stepping-stone to more …



  • American Institute of Physics Goes Live on Advantage

    American Institute of Physics Publishing is now live on Advantage, after a comprehensive implementation project. This migration marks a major milestone for AIP Publishing. One of the world’s largest publishers of scientific information in physics and the related sciences, AIP Publishing offers publishing services for the American Institute of Physics and AIP Member Society publishing partners. AIP Publishing’s suite of publications includes 17 journals, three of which are published in partnership with other organizations; magazines, including AIP’s flagship publication Physics Today; and the AIP Conference Proceedings series.

    The AIP Publishing’s publishing partners include:

    Acoustical Society of America

    American Association of Physicists in Medicine

    American Association of …



  • Agora Implements Advantage's Call Center

     Congratulations to Agora Publishing who recently went live on the 2014r1 release of Advantage.  This release includes Call Center, a major new feature (see related story in this newsletter).

    More than 200 users were in the system and going strong within 24 hours of cutover, and both groups are to be commended for their hard work.

    The Agora Publishing team was led by Suzanne Earley for both the upgrade and Call Center Development. Tim Dodge and Nikki Miller helped lead the Call Center integration. Several others helped to see both projects through.

    On the ACS side, many people were involved over the course of the project, but key players included Stephanie Widrig, project manager, John Moore, lead engineer, Stephen Whitney, supporting engineer, and Larry Kleber, upgrade script …



  • New Feature Highlight: Call Center

    Would you be surprised to know that 62% of organizations consider the customer experience provided through call centers as a key differentiator from their competition (Deloitte - 2013 Global Contact Center Survey)? Or that nearly 80% of survey respondents feel the call center is the single largest factor involved in defining the customer service experience (Executive Report on Customer Experience)?

    There are many call center statistics pointing to a common conclusion: an organization's call center is critical to its success. Sounds simple, right? Well, if it was that easy, then you wouldn't have 86% of people willing to pay for better service and yet only 1% saying that organizations are meeting their expectations (Forbes). A good call center provides quick, expert service to …



  • Update on eCommerce Initiative: Cider

    On this blog back in February, I introduced our eCommerce platform initiative: Cider. I then presented on Cider at the annual user group conferences in New Orleans (March) and Copenhagen (April). For those needing a refresher, Cider is a feature-rich eCommerce platform that offers powerful shopping cart and self-service capabilities, a marketing portal for marketers to create and assign promotions, a flexible administration panel for customizing the look and feel of your site, and built-in support for third-party plug-ins. The platform integrates directly with the Advantage engine via a new REST API.

    So, six months later, how are things coming along? I'm happy to report that Cider is looking fantastic! We knew we were taking on a big challenge, but Team Cider is firing on all …



  • Preview of Advantage Features Coming This Summer (To a Theater Near You)

    These Advantage features will be available in the summer of 2014. Contact your Advantage account manager for more information.

    Back Up and Change Previous Phase in MSTFST: Previously, during MSTFST order entry you could not “revisit” a closed and committed entry phase (you were required instead to execute a Change Line once the order line was complete). This limitation has been relaxed, and you are now permitted to back up to earlier phases and make corrections. You thus have the freedom to jump ahead to future phases and/or return to previous phases, as needed. This is available only within certain parameters--for example, it is available only in Add mode, and your data entry layout must be using vertical/horizontal tabs or the expanding/collapsing sections.  

    Earn AMB Income at …



  • Ogden Publishing Completes Upgrade

     

    Congratulations to Ogden Publishing who recently completed a successful upgrade of Advantage.  Project manager Eric Burbeck reports that it was an incredibly smooth and uneventful cutover.  The ACS team included Philippe Rowland, Eva Weissman, Martha Krieg and Larry Kleber.

    Tim Swietek, Ogden’s Director of IT, said it was the smoothest cutover ever.

    Good work, upgrade teams! 



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