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Software

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    Advantage Software: Cider Update! (Long Overdue)

    Wow, it has been a while since we provided an update on Cider. If you need a refresher, you can read my previous posts here and here. In short, Cider is our fully integrated eCommerce platform. So, what have we been up to? A lot! First and foremost, Cider is live! It was made available earlier this year with the 2015 annual release of Advantage. We continue to be hard at work with client implementations, modifications, and R&D.

    There are currently three clients live on Cider.

    Jerry Baker - Jerry Baker's store offers high-quality home and health products while allowing customers to mix-and-match bundled offerings.

    Palm Coast Data - The primary focus here was targeted self-service landing pages for subscribers served through email notifications.

    Ogden Publications - Ogden employs a …



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    Advantage Software: New Features Coming Fourth Quarter 2015

    Check out these new Advantage features.

    These Advantage features are either available now or will be soon. Contact your Advantage account manager for more information.

    Customer Service Workflows: A new feature at the main SVCCTM customer maintenance view allows you to perform extended customer service without needing to route to other Advantage views. This is useful in on-the-phone situations. You can, for example, perform subscription or agreement maintenance, review the customer’s A/R, and more. A special “retention” phase allows you to save cancellations by offering the customer special discounting, premiums, or credits. This feature uses the standard Advantage scripting functionality, allowing you to tailor the flow to the specific customer service situation.

    Scriptable AMB …



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    Advantage Software: Workflow Event Feature

    Have you ever had the need to perform an action like one of the following based on a threshold Advantage event?

    Send an e-mail as soon as an order has been entered in the Advantage UI

    Send notification to an outside system as soon as a customer or address change is logged

    Automatically cancel---or restart, or skip---an Advantage process when a predefined condition is encountered

    If you need to perform tasks like this in a near-real-time environment, then the Advantage workflow events feature could be just what you’re looking for.

    The workflow events feature creates a record of certain business-relevant events that occur in the Advantage software or database.  A background service continuously monitors events (you configure how often), evaluating each event against a …



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    Advantage Software: Billing Promotion Codes on Payments

    In order to see how well a billing promotion did, you need to have your customer service reps enter the billing promotion code when entering the payment. You can enforce entry of a billing promotion code during payment entry at the view and in the Sequential Payment Upload process (ARP192) using the ARP option BLPRMREQ. But perhaps the CSR doesn’t always have the billing promotion code readily available when they are entering the payment. How can you successfully record the billing promotion code on the payment?

    ARP Option BLPRMASN

    The Billing Promotion Assignment option is used to set a keyword for your CSR’s to enter during payment entry. During payment entry at the view and in the Sequential Payment Upload process (ARP192), use of this keyword in the Promotion Code field causes the …



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    Advantage Software: Improving the Flow of Streams of Orders

    Advantage’s OrderStream Framework Breaks the Log Jam of Order Upload

    While Advantage is a customer-centric system, order transactions are a central component of the customer profile. Getting orders processed quickly and efficiently is paramount, and the flexibility to accept order transactions from a variety of sources is a critical component of the system. Our clients take orders from sources such as eCommerce sites, trade shows, phone calls, postcards, mobile applications, agents, lockboxes, SMS, and other third-parties. To accommodate these sources, Advantage offers three basic types of input---through the application’s user interface, through the use of the Software Development Kit (SDK), and through file uploads. Over its history, Advantage has consistently been the market leader …



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    Preview of Some Advantage Features Coming This Fall

    These are just some of the new Advantage features that will be available in the fall of 2015. Contact your Advantage account manager for more information.

    Autocomplete Feature: An optional autocomplete feature is available (triggered at the user level), whereby Advantage will suggest values for validated fields based on what the user has typed in to that point.  Under this feature, the more the user types, the narrower the list of possible matches (the user can arrow up and down to see the possible matches). At any time, the user can stop and select one of the suggested values.

    Separate “Promote by Phone” Flags: You can now expose and use separate “promote by” flags on each of the three telephone numbers on the customer address record. (The fourth telephone number field is dedicated …



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    Preview of Advantage Features Coming This Summer

    There are some exciting new features coming your way this summer in Advantage. Here are just a few--contact your Advantage account manager for more information.

    Streamlined Customer Information Maintenance: Customer and address maintenance via the SVCCTM view and Customer Lookup dialog has been significantly enhanced. Replacing the static, tabbed entry dialog is an approach using Advantage scripts. You can reduce the entry fields to just those required for your business---as well as take advantage of other script entry features such as open/close/require, user-definable field captions, and customizable presentation.

    ARPCAR Reorganization: The ARPCAR view has been changed from a list frame of credits and debits that satisfy your search criteria to top-pane list frame and bottom-pane …



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    Continuity Programs in Advantage

    Did you know that Advantage offers continuity programs for your books and products? A continuity series allows customers to purchase a set of related products that are released to them sequentially over a period of time.  Continuity programs give you the opportunity to periodically remind customers of your brand; the customer gets more exposure to your content and they get to “belong” to a club.  Throw in some premiums and it’s a recipe for happy, loyal customers.

    You can set up a continuity program using the Book Club functionality or the Standing Order program.

    Here’s how Book Club works. Customers join a club (they become members) by responding to your offers to join, or you can select people and automatically add them.  Alternatively, you directly add them as part of an order (for …



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    Preview of Advantage Features Coming This Spring

    There are some nifty new features coming in Advantage. Here are just a few--available in the spring of 2015. Contact your Advantage account manager for more information.

    • AMB Transaction History Tables: You can activate a feature to log history records (i.e., “events”) when AMB agreements are added, changed, or canceled. The feature uses workflow events, and can be used to create an event record when a new agreement version is added, a component is changed, a participant is removed, and so on. The resulting event records are viewable along with the other agreement information at Advantage customer service views.

    • User-defined Renewal Flag Values: Advantage allows you to define custom values for CIR and AMB renewal flags. Each user-defined value must map to one of the base …



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