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  • Welcome New Employee Ben Sha

    The ACS Product Development department—specifically, the team led by Toby Hartman—recently welcomed Ben Sha as its newest member.  Ben is a graduate of the University of Michigan where he earned a degree in computer science. 

    Ben always knew he would pursue some sort of engineering but didn’t choose his major until he attended his first computer programming class in college. Then he was hooked. He likes computer science because—as he puts it—“you can literally create something out of nothing.” In mechanical or other engineering branches, he explains, you start with an existing product and then work to improve it or add to it. In computer science, however, “it’s all ideas.”

    A native of New Jersey, Ben looked at a number of engineering schools and chose to attend the University in …



  • Welcome New Employee Aaron Ridenour

    Aaron Ridenour has joined the engineering team led by John Moore.  Aaron is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan, where he earned a degree in computer engineering.

    Since he was eleven years old, Aaron has known he wanted to do something with computers, but it wasn’t until his first programming class in his freshman year of college that he knew that “something” was programming.

    A native of Pleasant Ridge, Michigan, Aaron now lives in Ann Arbor, near the university campus.  When he isn’t working, Aaron enjoys watching hockey and football.  He plays some football as well and looks forward to his weekly poker night with friends.  He is also an enthusiastic “gamer”—with Watch Dogs his current game of choice on his new PlayStation 4.

    We welcome Aaron to the Advantage family!



  • Seeking Gainful Deployment

    PRESENT CHALLENGES (Self-Pity):

    In the public sector, employment statistics loom large.  Among the AdvantageCS software development team, deployment statistics are a far bigger concern.  Throughout all the years I’ve worked with Advantage, tools and techniques for installing and upgrading the software have been a constant, if unheralded, focus.  Ever since the cutover to .NET, though, there has been a distinct upward trend in the attention we pay to smoothly and successfully installing our software on clients' servers and integrating it with their customizations.

    In this post I will recap recent developments and describe coming attractions.Before getting into that, though, permit me to indulge in just a bit of self-pity about what a challenge we face.  When I think about the behemoths …



  • Aller Media Goes Live on Advantage

    Aller Media’s Danish operations are now live on Advantage, with Sweden, Finland, and Norway soon to follow.  Aller Media is the leading publisher of weekly magazines in the Nordic countries with a weekly circulation of approximately 2.7 million issues. 

    At the onset of this multi-level, multi-phase complex project a year and a half ago, the Aller team set a go-live date of 19 May, 2014.   And due to the hard work and long hours put in by many Aller and ACS people, that deadline was met. 

    The core Aller project team included staff with lead roles from across the business and included: Susanne Karll as the project manager, Martin Paluszewski as the integrations and IT lead, Maria Mortensen and Camilla Mørch as the customer service leads, Kirsten Wandall as the marketing and …



  • Dan's Blog: There's More Than One Way to Skin ... Digital Content (Part II)

    In my last post I talked about ways of going beyond or cutting across digital editions and even titles and allowing a user to access content by a certain author, or packaging content with other components such as membership dues, books, e-books, subscriptions, and the like.

    The segment of publishing which is waaaaaay ahead of the others are the scholarly publishers, such as the STM and academic publishers. These publishers started digitizing their content back in the late 1990s. Initially, the digital "version" of the journal issue was available to print subscribers as part of a package. Eventually, however, they found that more and more of their readers were only interested in the digital content access and didn't really want print journals cluttering up their offices. Institutional …



  • Dan's Blog: Front-Office Functionality

    by Dan Heffernan

    Some time ago, a group of us at AdvantageCS were trying to come up with a short description for Advantage (the application) and were struggling to put it concisely, since Advantage is so many things. It has been described as a CRM, an ERP, a fulfillment system, and an order processing system. We made poor attempts at metaphors to help communicate conceptually what Advantage does – we tried a heart, or the engine of a car. These metaphors broke down quickly. Then we thought of four words that describe the broad areas that Advantage addresses: marketing, sales, distribution, and analysis. We turned this into a marketing campaign: Market, Sell, Deliver, Analyze. Repeat. This is a pretty accurate description of what Advantage does at a high level.

    But during this time, …



  • A Sneak Peek at 2014r1 Features

    Here are just a few highlights of Advantage 2014r1.  

    • The new Scribe Connector module offers an interface to Scribe Online Integration Services, a tool that supports connections between applications and data sources. Scribe Connector can be used to provide integration between Advantage and a CRM system (such as Salesforce.com) for customer adds, updates, and orders. Currently Scribe Connector supports synchronization of customer/address adds and updates (both pushes and pulls), and orders (a one-way push from the CRM to Advantage). Future development is planned to add support for synchronization of other Advantage entities.

    • The new Call Center feature supports handling and routing of incoming calls via standard DNIS (Dialed Number Identification Service) numbers, as well as …



  • Welcome New Employee Greg Caldwell

    Greg Caldwell is the newest member of the Engineering Services team led by Matt Varblow.  He comes to ACS from Soar Technology, where he worked as a software engineer on projects for the US Department of Defense.

    After three years there, Greg was ready for a change and the idea of a small company with less bureaucracy appealed to him.  He is currently working on the ACS eCommerce initiative, nicknamed Cider.

    Born and raised in Vermont, Greg knew he wanted to study some form of engineering and chose to attend the University of Michigan, partly because they offered a program in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering (NAME), which he considered for a time.  However, he settled on computer engineering because “computers were more fun.”  Greg earned a degree in computer science from …



  • Congratulations Martha Krieg -- Soon-to-Be Retiree

    For most of the 18 ½ years she has worked at ACS, Martha Krieg has helped Advantage clients with their upgrades, serving as the lead upgrade engineer for a dozen or so projects each year.  Martha excels at handling masses of data and detail and she puts these skills to good use in working on upgrades.  The initial code compare between the previous version and the new is an exercise in detail which Martha truly enjoys.  

    Perhaps it is her training in Library Science that makes that kind of detail child’s play to her.  A native of Ohio, Martha began her education with a bachelor’s of arts in English from the College Of Wooster in Ohio.  She and husband, Larry, then moved to Michigan so that they could attend graduate school at the University of Michigan, and they have lived in the area …



  • Newsmax Goes Live on Advantage

    Following an extensive implementation project, Newsmax is now live on Advantage. Newsmax Media is an American political news media organization, based in West Palm Beach, Florida.  It operates the news website Newsmax.com, and publishes Newsmax Magazine, as well as a host of health and financial newsletters.

    The Newsmax project team leads included staff from across the business, including Tara Rebak, Rich Kibler, Marcos Alviar, and Rick Coiras, with many others providing assistance and guidance.  

    The project was led by ACS project manager Levi Hyssong with technical support and development provided by Derek Johnson and Dave Rees.

    Congratulations to both teams for all their hard work, commitment, and determination and thanks also to everyone who contributed. 



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