• Don’t Overlook the Human Factor of Security

    One of the best speakers that I’ve heard recently in the area of cybersecurity had an advanced degree in the social sciences rather than technology. Not surprisingly, security experts are increasingly seeing the threat of social engineering in exploiting the human factor of security. Securing your systems and the sensitive data they contain (whether it’s financial data, personally identifiable information (PII) or otherwise), requires training and buy-in from your entire organization. Data security goes far beyond your IT department and the safeguards they can put in place.

    If you have all the doors bolted and the windows locked in your house, but someone gives the criminal the keys, have all those security measures really done you any good? Your network might be configured with a …



  • Trends in the Publishing Industry - 2019, Part 3

    (This is a recap in three parts of the presentation made at the European Users Advantage meeting in Lisbon on 26-27 September 2019. Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.)

    Part 3

    New momentum, new strategies

    2019 was the year of the podcast. Media coverage of this topic has been extensive. More and more publishers have launched podcasts but will this really save the sector? Alongside the well-known ones, such as the New York Times Daily or the Guardian, some Advantage clients have developed their own. Bayard Presse just launched its own for 7 to 11-year-olds, and De Telegraaf also has one.

    However, publishers are entering a competitive field where they are not necessarily in the best position. There are radio stations, especially public ones (Radio France, the BBC ...) whose programs …



  • Welcome New Employee: Brad Hooser

    We are happy to introduce Brad Hooser as the newest member of the Implementation Services group led by Daryl Vautour. Brad comes to AdvantageCS from Consumers Power where he worked on new business models for solar battery storage. Although he enjoyed doing that, Brad was interested in working with software and data in a position that provided more customer contact. The opportunity at AdvantageCS was just what he was looking for.

    Brad earned a bachelor’s degree in economics, with a minor in econometrics, from the University of Michigan. He says that economics provided him with valuable experience in critical thinking. The answers to economic questions, Brad explains, are not obvious and it takes creative reasoning to uncover them. The process is similar in many ways to what is needed to …



  • Trends in the Publishing Industry - 2019 Part 2

    (This is a recap in three parts of the presentation made at the European Users Advantage meeting in Lisbon on 26-27 September 2019. Read Part 1 here and Part 3 here.)

    Part 2

    Subscription fatigue?

    Digital subscription acceleration has also brought up the issue of subscription fatigue. The proponents of the concept claim that, due to the proliferation of non-publishing subscription services (Netflix, Spotify etc.), people will reach their subscription saturation point, at publishers’ expense. Evidence of this is lacking, however. Perhaps it is the reason behind the low number of paying subscribers, and the limited number of publications subscribed per individual. But is this much different from the heyday of print? How many different press publications did most people subscribe to …



  • Trends in the Publishing Industry - 2019

    (This is a recap in three parts of the presentation made at the European Users Advantage meeting in Lisbon on 26-27 September 2019)

    Part 1 (of 3)

    A year ago, at the  Advantage European User meeting  in Paris, I first presented  the major trends in the publishing industry, identified from various conferences, visits to prospects and customers and a close monitoring of the industry. I mentioned the rapid shift of subscriber portfolios to digital, new topics such as retention, print resistance, GAFA divorce and new tactical approaches to circulation and reader relationships. A year later, I wondered if I repeated the experience, could I hope for something new? To my surprise, the answer was yes. In less than a year, some themes have reached a new phase, others have accelerated their …



  • Install Your System Updates Promptly to Foil Hackers

    As I settle in at my desk for the start of a new day, a message pops up on my desktop letting me know that a new security update is available for Windows. The pressing question is, would I like to download and install the update now? I know it’s going to require a reboot and I have some urgent emails that I need to reply to, so I simply can’t be bothered at the moment. I dismissively click “snooze” and push it off to another day.

    On the other side of the world, there’s another desktop that’s had that same message pop up. “New security update, would you like to download and install now?” The user of that computer, however, chooses to immediately download the update. Once it’s downloaded, they quickly get to work on reverse-engineering the security update and find that it’s provided a …



  • Welcome New Employee: Andrea Carter

     

    We are pleased to welcome Andrea Carter as the newest member of the Program Services team led by Doug Moore. Andrea comes to AdvantageCS from Florida, her home state, where she worked most recently as a business analyst/developer at a home builder company.

    Andrea grew up in north Florida, near St. Augustine, and attended the University of Florida, where she majored in sports management. She then moved to Michigan to be near her boyfriend who was attending the University of Michigan. Andrea decided to pursue her interest in business and earned an MBA in finance from Wayne State University, while also working at the U of M credit union. After graduation, she worked for Citibank and then Sterling Bank and Trust in the mortgage area, for a total of six years.

    A family issue took Andrea …



  • Advantage and Minimum System Requirements

    It is very common for clients taking an Advantage feature update after a few years ‘parked’ on a previous release to ask for our updated system requirements. This question is also front of mind for prospective clients who are considering a new Advantage implementation. But if you’re a client who keeps current with monthly or quarterly feature updates, then reviewing the operating systems and databases that undergird your Advantage system might not be a primary concern.

    At AdvantageCS, we’ve supported many operating systems and database management systems over the years. We’ve operated on Windows NT 3.5 to Windows Server 2019, several Unix variants, OpenVMS, even PRIMOS. And we’ve supported database management systems from Microsoft, Oracle, DEC and others. Our latest feature update, …



  • European Users Gather in Lisbon for Annual Meeting

    Last month, Advantage users representing 14 companies across 11 countries gathered in Lisbon, Portugal 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 product developments firsthand and connect with fellow users.

    The two-day conference began with a welcome from Victor Machado of Deco Proteste, our generous hosts for this year’s event. Part of Euroconsumers, Deco Proteste is the largest consumer association in Portugal. In addition to publications, Deco Proteste offers a wide variety of services to Portuguese consumers, including legal advice, education and advocacy.

    Day One Presentations

    The event continued with a keynote presentation from …



  • Advantage Instructional Videos

    Did you know Advantage has instructional videos? Most of these 10- to 13-minute videos demonstrate a specific feature or explain how to perform a task in Advantage but, starting with 2019.0, a video showing highlights of the latest annual release will be included.

    The five completed instructional videos currently available are shown below. Another one is in production.

    Planned future topics include Working with Select Sets, Synchronized Agreement Basics and Working with Packages.

    The videos are produced by Adam Martin of the documentation team. He sends out an email announcement with the release of each video, with links to the most recent video, all past videos, and the videos playlist. If you would like to be included on that list, email Adam. He also welcomes comments and …



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