from AdvantageCS
July/August 2015

Improving the Flow of Streams of Orders

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

by John Sheehy

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 in upload file functionality and our upload framework keeps us in there.



Welcome New Employee Chris Long

by Cindy Mikol Twiss

new employee Chris Long

The newest member of the AdvantageCS development team, led by John Moore, is Chris Long. Chris recently graduated from the University of Michigan, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science. Chris began his college career in the biomedical area, but found that the amount of research work involved was more than he was interested in doing. Programming was much more to his liking and so he switched majors.


In his brief stint at AdvantageCS, Chris has gotten involved in improving the functionality of the AdvantageCS internal website. He enjoys breaking a large task into smaller pieces and working through each one. The collaborative atmosphere of the AdvantageCS engineering division appeals to Chris---he works well in a group and appreciates having lots of others around to answer questions and bounce ideas off of. 



Preview of Advantage Features Coming This Fall

by Tim Martin

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 
  • Separate "Promote by Phone" Flags
  • Account Updater and "In-flight" Credit Card Transactions
  • Access Point Transfer Process
  • Workflow Event Enhancements

Welcome New Employee David Zick

by Cindy Mikol Twiss

David Zick has joined AdvantageCS as a member of the development team led by Paul Sauter. David is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan, but he isn't a stranger to AdvantageCS---he worked here as an intern last summer, and we're delighted to have him back as a full-time employee.


Following in the footsteps of more than one member of his family, David earned a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science engineering. His father is a software developer, his older sister earned a degree in industrial operations engineering, and his uncle, Ray Zick, has been a fixture of the engineering department here at AdvantageCS for more than 30 years. 



Networking Opportunities Galore

Advantage Client Communities on LinkedIn and Message Board on Google+  

by Cindy Mikol Twiss

Your fellow Advantage users are excellent sources for ideas, advice and even answers to your questions. Are you taking advantage of all the communication channels available to network with them?


If you're not already a member, take a minute now to join the Advantage Client Community on LinkedIn. It's a great networking tool and will put you in contact with other Advantage users from all over. For clients in Europe, you can join the European Advantage User Group


Membership is restricted to people at client companies, but all members are free to comment or post topics.

The other great tool is the message board. 



Our Sunday Visitor Goes Live on Advantage 15

by Cindy Mikol Twiss

Congratulations to Our Sunday Visitor who recently upgraded from Advantage 12r1 to 15.0. In addition to the software upgrade, they also moved to a clustered server configuration. And kudos to both teams for making the original cutover date!


The OSV team included Troy Payton, Dennis Kerlin, Max Sallaz and Beth Hoover. On the AdvantageCS side, major players were Ken Darnell, Stephanie Widrig, Mike Hasey and his team of engineers, and Larry Kleber (AKA "Cutover Master").


Congrats to all!


Summer Interns Make Their Mark

by Cindy Mikol Twiss

Finding just the right engineers and analysts is a vital part of growth at AdvantageCS and the intern program has been a great source of excellent employees. In addition to providing valuable services in their stints as interns, it gives both intern and management staff time to evaluate whether or not the fit is a good one.

While it's true that their time with us is short, that often works to our benefit because they are not as distracted by interruptions and other assignments as full-time employees frequently are.

This year, we are excited to have seven interns with us for the summer, working on many and varied projects all over the company. Let us introduce them to you.

AdvantageCS Celebrates 36 Years

Surface Changes Aplenty, Unchanged at the Core

by Cindy Mikol Twiss

On July 1st, 2015, AdvantageCS celebrated our 36th anniversary. The company was formed in 1979 as a custom software development house by some computer science graduates of the University of Michigan who wanted to stay in Ann Arbor. The first client was a book publisher and the second was a magazine publisher, and almost before they knew it, they were publishing software specialists.

It is said that in the technology world, the only constant is change. In 36 years, AdvantageCS has gone through four location moves, three company names, four logos, countless hardware platforms (Prime, DEC, multiple Unix flavors, 10 flavors of Windows from 3.11 up through 2012R2), and half a dozen programming languages (from Fortran and COBOL to C#).

Yet much of what makes up the essence of AdvantageCS-and what you, our clients, have told us is most important to you-has stayed the same.


Editor: Cindy Mikol Twiss



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AdvantageCS. All rights reserved