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July/August 2013
Highlights of Advantage 2013r2 
by Tim Martin


Here are some of the exciting new features coming in Advantage 2013r2.

  • A new Advantage view, AMBAGC, allows you to view and work with components on AMB agreements. Unlike AMBAGR, which is agreement-centric, AMBAGC focuses on the customer's current components regardless of their containing agreements. This is a similar concept to SVCCIR; in addition, since AMB agreements can contain both CIR and PRO components, the AMBAGC view can function as an overall "consolidated subscribed services" view for the customer, if you have entered orders in this way. The AMBAGC view allows you to view and make changes to the components. 
  • More flexible discount handling is now available, through the addition of a discount percent and discount combination code at several Advantage setup views. The combination code lets you specify, for example, whether two competing discounts should be added together, compounded, whether the higher of the two discounts should be used, etc. The combination code had been available in certain PRO and AMB discounting scenarios, and has been added to these discounting features: volume discount, promotion items, promotion choices, CIR and AMB renewal promotion items, and agent discounts.


ACS Welcomes Theo Rabban
by Cindy Mikol


Theo Rabban  

Theo Rabban is the newest member of the product development team led by Howie Brooks.  A recent graduate of the University of Michigan, Theo earned his BSE in computer engineering and then went on to complete a master's degree in computer science.  Although he always had an interest in computers and technology, Theo didn't really become hooked until his first programming class in college.  Then, he decided that programming was what he wanted to do, and took as many programming classes as he could from then on.


Theo grew up in Novi, Michigan, about thirty miles from Ann Arbor, and his family still lives there, although Theo has made his home in north Ann Arbor.  When he's not working, Theo likes to hang out with friends and is an avid fan of all the Detroit sports teams--but especially the Red Wings--as well as University of Michigan football.  Contrary to the stereotype, Theo is not a video gamer and would rather take part in a pick-up sports game with friends than play online games.


We welcome Theo to the Advantage family. 


ACS Welcomes Brian Roskamp
by Cindy Mikol


Brian Roskamp

Former ACS intern Brian Roskamp recently graduated from college and has joined ACS full-time.   He is a member of the product development team led by Howie Brooks


Brian earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan, where he made the Dean's List.  He worked as an ACS intern in the engineering division part-time during his junior and senior years, and full-time in the summer. 


A native of Howell, Michigan, Brian attended Howell High School where it only took one introductory computer science class as a freshman for him to decide what he wanted to do for a living.  Brian is especially interested in software engineering for business applications and enjoyed his UI (user interface) classes.  He is currently working on a code refactoring and optimization project related to the Advantage logic that creates orders and calculates their cost.


When he's not working, Brian is a part-time youth worker at a church in Howell and also enjoys watching movies and spending time with friends.  In warm weather, he likes to play ultimate Frisbee, a popular sport among college students.

ACS is happy to welcome Brian to the Advantage family.


Notes from the Web

 by Phil Montgomery


  new starburst

Advantage offers API support for customers creating notes from the web.  The API Method is WebNote.Create and takes these arguments (among others):

  • System Name
  • Reason Category
  • Reason
  • Subject
  • Text
  • Note Assignment Select

That's interesting, you say, but how might it be used?  For typical customer service requests, such as a change of address or bill payment, there's no sense having the customer send you a note requesting that you perform the task.  They can do these tasks for themselves using the Advantage API.

But what about questions that customers come up with?  The customer is looking for something--a product maybe--on your website and can't find it.  Having them log that question with you through a note may be less expensive than having them call you.

Create Notes from MS Exchange Emails
by Molly Mathe

molly minute logog  

As of 2012R1, you can use SVC125 to upload customer notes into Advantage from MS Exchange emails. This is particularly helpful if you have a central email account to which all customer service requests are sent. Uploading these emails into Advantage as Customer Notes allows your reps to efficiently handle customer requests, whether it is via SVCNAC or the Customer Note dialog box.

Exchange Setup


Exchange accounts are set up at CDSSYS/XCH (CDSXCH in .NET):


create notes from emails  



Payment Variance Alert
by Mike Miklosovic

Tech Tip logo  

Advantage allows you to set underpayment and overpayment thresholds and now provides a way to alert data entry when the payment amounts exceed the thresholds.


Set Payment Variance Thresholds

Set the maximum payment variances using the ARPVAR view and click on the check box for each whether or not you want to alert data entry when exceeded.


Overpayment Alert

Complete an order using MSTFST and enter the payment for an amount that exceeds the threshold.

Several dialogs appear regarding overages:

Advantage prompts if you want to refund the overage YES or NO, and for a credit reason code.

Next, it displays the following:

   Overpayment alert



Advantage Credit Card Interfaces - Capabilities and Applications/Vendors Summary
 by Jim Blaney  


If you're looking for a new credit card processing vendor, choosing one that already has an interface with Advantage will save you time and money.  Not all companies are compatible for integration with Advantage, and you want to make sure you are getting the functionality you need before you buy.


The current list of supported payment card applications/vendors in Advantage, and which capabilities they offer, follows.

  • Online pre-auths  - Initial card verification, funds held for later debit/capture.  Supported for web, uploads, and data entry.
  • Voids/cancellation of pre-auths  - Advantage can auto reverse/cancel an auth, when order amount increases, or is cancelled.
  • Captures and refunds, via online and/or batch settlement - Advantage performs captures and refunds automatically via scheduled processes.
  • Card number tokenization - An opaque 3rd party "token" can be obtained from supporting payment interfaces, enabling Advantage to store tokens, rather than card numbers. Advantage can automatically tokenize for web, uploads and payment data entry, bypassing the need to store card numbers in Advantage. Saved cards (showing the last 4 digits) can still be offered, at web and/or payment entry dialogs, if desired.
  • International card payments - Maestro cards, 3D Secure, multi-currency, and use of payment interfaces tailored to specific regional needs.



Check Out Upcoming Webinars
by Angie Moore



Webinars will be going strong through the summer and into fall.  Most topics will showcase the new .Net release of Advantage while still giving you tips to use at your current revision.


Webinars scheduled from now through the end of September include: 

  • Customer Service Letters  (Pt 1 July 11, Pt 2 July 16, Pt 3 July 23)
  • Order Stream Rules and Transactions (July 18)
  • Data Warehouse and Modeling (series of 4 throughout August)
  • Pricing Structures (August 29)

View the rest of the schedule and reserve your spot soon by clicking the link below.   




As always, email me with any questions or ideas.


Visit Advantage at These Industry Events

We'll be exhibiting at the following trade shows and conferences this year.  Plan to stop by and say hello if you're in attendance.



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Cindy Mikol
Visit Advantage at These Exhibitions & Conferences



Publishing Business Expo September 23 - 25 

New York


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October 9 - 13

Frankfurt, Germany


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October 28 - 30 

New York

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