Technology executives from seven different Advantage client companies met in San Antonio on January 31st and February 1st prior to the Advantage Users Group conference, to identify and discuss their issues of concern in the current business environment. On the first day, each of the seven executives shared their thoughts about topics of the greatest import to their organizations. The team from AdvantageCS then reviewed those concerns and grouped them into topics for the second day’s discussions.
The subjects included a desire for fewer systems in their technological ecosystems, and for ones that integrate well with the other systems being used. A number of the participants commented that one of their greatest challenges is implementing, integrating, and maintaining the number of …
Okay, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but the group did make its presence felt. Sixty-four Advantage users from 21 different companies descended on the Holiday Inn San Antonio Riverwalk for more than two days of meetings, presentations and networking spread over the first three days of February.
Kicking off the conference on Wednesday afternoon was outgoing steering committee president Lesley Jones of Duke University Press who acted as emcee for the event, welcoming the attendees and outlining the schedule for the next 48 hours.
First up to the presentation podium was Dan Heffernan, VP and chief product manager, who reported to the group on the product advancements made over the last year and what we have planned for the upcoming 12-18 months on the product roadmap and some new …
I often get questions from prospects or clients---especially daily or weekly publishers---about how a paywall could be managed in Advantage. These questions are more complicated than they may first appear, since Advantage is a customer-centric platform used mainly to manage paid subscriptions. I recently met with a French startup company – Poool – which has developed a structured design, and a potential paywall solution for publishers using Advantage.
The rise of paywalls
A "paywall" is the term used for policies restricting access to content---partially or fully---by requiring a paid subscription at some point. It has been around since the early days of publisher websites, with the first paywall introduced in 1997 by the Wall Street Journal. The practice has expanded since then, …
The Advantage Users Group (AUG) has been an active force for more than 20 years. Currently, the group elects a steering committee with revolving members from different client companies, and there is one standing member from AdvantageCS. The major task of the steering committee is to plan the annual user conference, which is usually in February.
This year, it’s February 1 – 3 in San Antonio, Texas. More than five dozen Advantage users from 21 companies will be there---including 15 people from 4 companies in the UK and Europe. There will be user presentations, a vendor demonstration, roundtable discussions and presentations from various AdvantageCS staff. Plus, group entertainment and ample opportunities to socialize and network.
Being the mind-readers that we are, we know that our …
AdvantageCS has a permanent presence in France, in the person of Philippe van Mastrigt, our director of European Operations. In the past decade, Philippe has become THE key player in our European expansion strategy, and is now engaged in most of our client relationships in Europe. Philippe is involved in marketing, sales, project management, client services, account management, and business development. He wears many hats in a single day---sometimes in a single hour!
How did this come to be?
This July will mark the 10-year anniversary of the Advantage go-live at Bayard Presse in Paris. Philippe was the Bayard project director on that massive project. Prior to that, he led Bayard’s world-wide search for a new subscription system—which led him to Advantage and our first meeting with …
It used to be that customer service in the United States was legendary. I remember flying on a UK airline with a stellar reputation years ago and being disappointed that they were unable to sit my wife and I next to each other, just because her flight had cost more and she was seated in the “premium economy” seats. This despite the fact that I had flown on that airline across the Atlantic 8 times in 8 weeks and there was plenty of room. When I told the gentleman behind the counter that they had upgraded my seat on the way to the UK from the US, he said “Oh, that’s because you had the American customer service person helping you. We’re horrible over here.” I was speechless. He was admitting that the American customer service agents have the flexibility on this UK airline to make such …
Each year, AdvantageCS celebrates the holiday season with a festive party at a local Ann Arbor hotel. Not only is it a time for employees to have an excellent meal, it’s a time to show gratitude, with many prizes to be won and lots of fun to be had.
Planning committee member and our host for the night, John Hughes, jokes that “the AdvantageCS holiday party gives us all an opportunity to enjoy time together away from work — and to try and get a few people to publicly humiliate themselves during the entertainment portion. I look forward to it every year!”
This year’s entertainment included a lively game of The Price is Right and a raffle with items ranging from gift cards to a TV. These are just a few photos of the festivities.
Happy holidays from all of us at AdvantageCS! …
This was not your ordinary update. With operations in three different countries, involving more than sixty people, the Aller upgrade project was a bit more complex than most. They upgraded from 2013r3 to 2016.8 and jumped onto the continuous update track. The upgrade included 60 integrations and 2,029 test cases, and yet still was completed on time and within the budget.
Gilda Jantunen, Group Manager IT - Business Service Delivery, Marketing & Sales at Aller, sent this message to all team members: “It is my pleasure to pass on to you all the congratulations and positive messages I have been receiving from all stakeholders in all countries regarding the excellent job by the team during these last 6 months. I join them in thanking you and recognizing your efforts.”
Aller realized many …
We’ve been busy these past few months, even busier than usual. We’ve developed some exciting new things in Advantage intended to increase your revenue, delight your customers, and make your job easier!
--Do you offer any kind of membership to your audience? If so, check out the new Members Advantage module. Members Advantage is a fully integrated solution for membership associations, including professional societies, alumni associations, charitable organizations, and clubs. It simplifies management of your organization with a member portal that steps a user through the membership application process, membership renewals, member self-service and payments. You can also provide special discounting on other products and offer external “third-party” benefits, and track such essential …
At AdvantageCS, we strive to accomplish our goals as efficiently and effectively as we can. Our defined vison of success is:
To be the preferred partner for our clients and prospects, where talented and motivated professionals, working together, deliver the highest quality services and technical solutions to an expanding client community for many decades to come.
Many factors are involved in achieving success, one of which involves the physical environment in which we work.
One benefit of working at AdvantageCS is the opportunity to work onsite at different client locations, both in the US and all across the globe. We have clients in the UK, France, Sweden, Denmark, Portugal, Australia, just to name a few---in addition to the US. This allows us to observe many …