The 2014 Advantage Users Group (AUG) was--despite the Midwestern winter-like temperatures--a success. As has been the case at past AUG gatherings, the weather was once again a factor for many traveling to New Orleans. Despite that, most of the 75 registrants made it to the conference, including representatives from Egmont in Sweden.
Eric Fishman of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), the outgoing AUG chairperson, opened the conference by welcoming one and all and then introduced the keynote speaker, Nancy Becker of UCG.
In spite of having her flight re-directed and then driving 5 hours to New Orleans from Houston the night before, Nancy delivered an enthusiastic address that began with a group participation activity to help break the ice and get communication flowing. She …
ACS recently launched the English version of our newly designed public website. It was built using a responsive design, which means it’s much more tablet- and mobile-friendly. It also represents Advantage and ACS more accurately and with a fresh new look.
We’re working on the French site and plan to update the support website as well, but are taking it in stages.
Hile Creative did the design work (www.hilecreative.com) and ACS engineer Alan Cherney programmed the site, using Orchard.
Evelyn Acton leaves an impressive legacy here at ACS. She was hired in 1998 to be the first manager of the newly established Advantage Support Center and has spent the past 16 years enhancing and fine-tuning that department. She has provided leadership and trained more than a dozen support analysts and personally provided support--and friendship--to nearly every Advantage client over those years.
Nikki Lorenz of Kalmbach Publishing has known Ev since the beginning. “Back when Ev started with ACS, there really was no 'Support Center,'” explains Nikki. “While ACS did an adequate job of supporting clients then, Ev has built a well-oiled support organization from the ground up. I don’t think she quite attained the 'perfect world' she strives for, but she has certainly championed an …
We are always looking for ways to improve our internal processes to provide better services and software. Recently, we've started experimenting with a different software development methodology called Scrum. Traditionally, we have used the Waterfall methodology, which our clients will be familiar with in practice if not by name. Roughly, the process progresses through the following steps: business requirement -> functional design -> development -> QA -> release. Here is a diagram of the classic Waterfall method we've been using for the past 30 years.
Why change if the current process works? Well, we're not throwing out the Waterfall model entirely - it can be effective in some instances. However, in some development projects, particularly larger ones involving several engineers, the …
Over the decades that AdvantageCS has served the publishing industry, we’ve worked to offer software solutions that meet each of our clients’ individual needs. No two publishers require precisely the same solution. Through software modifications, customizations, and system options, we’ve adapted Advantage to match the continually changing requirements of publishers.
The same is true for the level of services that AdvantageCS provides to each of our clients. Sales and order processing can mean something different to publishers based on their size, their market (B2B, B2C), their location (US or European-based), or their area of publishing industry. For many of our clients, the nature of their sales and order processing is shifting by relying on AdvantageCS for greater system support, while …
Ten ways to tell if Advantage is right for you
You publish one or more of the following: magazines, journals, digital content, newsletters, newspapers, directories, books or continuity series.
You market multiple offerings to the same customer group and building customer loyalty is a primary goal for you.
eCommerce is an essential part of your business.
Your business rules are unique and perhaps complex.
The lifetime value of your average customer is high.
You need your system to manage one or more of the following: conferences and events, advertising, book clubs or standing orders, commissions, access agreements, tele-services or sales contact management.
You want your website users to call the same business rules and order calculations as your customer service …
Abstract: Agora, Inc. is a holding company for more than 20 publishers of financial, health, travel and special interest books and newsletters -- each offering unique ideas, information and insights. Altogether, Agora companies publish more than 300 books and 40 newsletters, reaching 1 million readers from around the world.
Agora, Inc. is a holding company for more than 20 publishers of financial, health, travel and special interest books and newsletters -- each offering unique ideas, information and insights. Altogether, Agora companies publish more than 300 books and 40 newsletters, reaching 1 million readers from around the world. Based in the historic Mount Vernon district of Baltimore, Agora is housed in a collection of 19th century mansions. They also have offices in Ireland (International Living, Waterford); Australia (Port Phillip Publishing and Portner Press, Melbourne); France (Publications Agora and Sante Nature Innovation, Paris); the United Kingdom (Agora Business Publications, Skipton, North Yorkshire, MoneyWeek, London and Agora Health Ltd., Banstead, Surrey); and India (EquityMaster Agora …
Over the last 10 years, the publishing industry has experienced no greater trend than that towards digital media. This trend is certainly consistent with what we are seeing from our clients and it is no surprise that Advantage’s Access Management & Billing (AMB) module continues to be a hotbed of development activity. As a complement to digital offerings, publishers are increasingly looking towards eCommerce sites to be the drivers of sales. Many of our clients use Advantage’s comprehensive Application Programming Interface (API) to build their websites, while others implement the Foundation Site toolkit.
As AMB continues to offer a powerful platform for digital content, we recognize the need to offer a powerful platform for eCommerce activity. We are pleased to announce a key strategic …
Here are some of the new features in the latest Advantage release. • The CIR renewal chain feature has been expanded to allow use with regular CIR340 renewal efforts. Previously, the feature…which allows you to step a subscriber through a series of different offers…was restricted to term-to-term CIR350 autorenewals. You can now construct chains that move the subscriber through a series of regular renewal offers from term to term, or even between efforts within the same term. • All date controls in Advantage filters now allow you to easily configure them to use relative dates. Previously, filter date fields used absolute calendar dates (for example, “on April 17” or “between May 1 and May 31”). These expressions sometimes required continual maintenance to keep them up …
One of the most significant user-interface enhancements we made in our change to the .NET environment was implementing the Advantage ribbon. Similar to the ribbon introduced in Microsoft Office 2007, the Advantage ribbon is a user-interface element that allows users to navigate the Advantage application quickly. We’ve adapted Advantage to more closely resemble Microsoft applications, which most end-users are already familiar with. Navigation and functionality in Advantage is now more intuitive, meaning you can spend less time training employees on the software. The Advantage ribbon contains a variety of buttons and search boxes neatly organized for an improved user experience. Key features of the Advantage Ribbon: You no longer need to remember all the 6- …
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