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  • European Users Gather in the City of Lights for Annual Meeting

    Earlier this month, Advantage users hailing from 14 companies across 11 countries gathered in Paris for our annual European Users Meeting. As with previous meetings, our primary objectives were to give our European clients the opportunity to engage with AdvantageCS leadership, learn about the latest product developments firsthand, and connect with fellow users. In the spirit of connection, we kicked the two-day conference off with a lively “icebreaker.” For those who are unfamiliar, an icebreaker is an activity designed to help event goers make new acquaintances. We split up according to badge color and let the conversation flow. We then handed it off to our colleagues at Bayard Presse, our generous hosts for this year’s event. Vincent Blachier, Director of Information Systems spoke …



  • New Visa Authorization Requirement

    It seems as if everywhere you look, you see new cyber-security practices being implemented. For example, Visa recently introduced new requirements for businesses that store cardholder payment information for use in future transactions, such as recurring payments and installments. These requirements restrict card use for anything other than a specific authorized use.

    How it works

    The first time the information is used in a “future use” transaction, Visa passes back a new Transaction ID element (Visa’s term) on authorization requests. The business must retain this ID and send it with subsequent transactions in the “future use stream” for this card/Transaction ID. But only for this specific card and Transaction ID.

    That’s not all

    Visa also requires that the merchant obtain and store …



  • Advantage Speaks Chinese at Bayard

    When Advantage moved to .NET in 2012, it paved the way for Unicode. Unicode is a computer industry standard that enables the use of other characters in addition to Latin, such as Cyrillic, Hindi, Japanese or Chinese. In its recent upgrade to 2016.0, Bayard took "Advantage" of these new capabilities to address the needs of its Hong Kong Subsidiary, Bayard Asia. For the first time, thanks to Bayard, Chinese characters are displayed on Advantage user screens. Awesome!

    Bayard Asia

    Bayard has had a presence in Asia since 1977, operating mainly from Hong-Kong. There, it publishes 5 magazines in traditional Chinese (Little Toy Car, Little Red Apple, Little Red Panda, Red Apple and White Antelope), and also markets 6 publications in English, from the "Box" collection (Story Box, Adventure Box, …



  • Inaugural Advantage Academy Held

    Forty people from 12 different clients gathered in Ann Arbor last week for the first Advantage Academy. The academy was a 3-day workshop centered around Advantage, with the goal of providing practical, hands-on experience that attendees take away with them to implement in their own organizations.

    Attendees participated in a morning and an afternoon session for each of the three days and could choose from more than a dozen topics. These included Promotions/Offers, Customer Care, Automated Testing, Integrations, Payment Management, and Advantage Potpourri. Attendees could also choose to meet with staff from the Support Center and pose their questions.

    Most sessions were hands-on, and the AdvantageCS staff worked hard to organize and plan every detail. Classes were led by a variety of …



  • Welcome New Employee Adam Martin

    We are pleased to welcome Adam Martin, the newest member of the Documentation and Product Planning group led by Phil Montgomery. Adam worked as an intern this past summer and officially joined AdvantageCS in September. His first task was updating the online help, but as Adam learns more about Advantage, he is helping write the monthly release notes. The goal is for him to move into writing mod specs (modification specifications) in the near future.

    Adam earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Eastern Michigan University. His previous job was with the Society for Research in Child Development, an academic journal publisher in Ann Arbor. There, he did some editing and proofreading, coordinated the peer review process and helped manage conferences.

    Born in the Chicago area, …



  • Welcome New Employee Curt Silverthorn

    We are pleased to welcome Curt Silverthorn, the newest member of the Product Development group led by Paul Sauter.

    A recent graduate of the University of Michigan, Curt earned a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from the school of engineering. Curt intended to major in mechanical engineering, but when he took his first computer programming class, he was hooked. One aspect of programming he enjoys is putting together small pieces into a larger whole.

    Curt grew up in Yale, a small town in the “thumb” area of Michigan. His parents and younger sister, Kristine—now a junior in high school—still live there. Curt currently shares an apartment with a roommate in Whitmore Lake.

    Outside of work, Curt likes being outdoors, especially hiking, hunting and camping. Just before …



  • Creating Custom Report Output---the Easy Way

    With the 2018.7 release of Advantage comes an improved way to create custom report output, based on your select criteria. This functionality is available at the browser. It’s easy, it’s robust, and it’s a great way for end users to create custom reports and outputs.

    One of the best features of the browser-based approach is the ability to see real-time results. You can both see the results and export them to a CSV or PDF file. In addition, you can run this from within Advantage, incorporating the report into a jobstream or scheduling it to run on a regular basis.

    When you add a new select set in the browser, you are prompted for the Select Set Type and Data Source. These are validated drop-down fields; each also has a “quick search” tool to allow you to find values based on words or …



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