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SEPT/OCT 2015
eVantage Newsletter Masthead

Matt Varblow Named Vice President

Matt Varblow
by Cindy Twiss

Matt Varblow has been promoted to Vice President, Engineering Services. He reports to Dick Hile, Vice President, Product Engineering, who states: "Matt's leadership-both technical and organizational-has been a key contributor to our progress in improving our product and our engineering services." In addition to managing the engineering services teams, Matt is still one of the chief software architects at AdvantageCS, helping to steer the application architecture as our software continues to evolve.

In his 16+ years at ACS, Matt has filled multiple key roles. Before joining AdvantageCS permanently, Matt began working here during the summers when he was 14, helping out with configuration control.  Even at that time, Matt was an old hand at computer programming, having taught himself to program in BASIC around age 10. Throughout high school and college, Matt worked at ACS full-time during the summers and part-time during the school year.  He helped in the development of multi-currency capability and worked in the IT department.  Matt went on his first client visit just after graduating from high school and the client had to pick him up at the airport because he wasn't old enough to rent a car.   

In the early 90s, Matt was assigned to learn about that new-fangled web stuff and that became his major focus from then on. He created the first ACS website and was instrumental in the development of the Advantage Web module, API, and Cider (our eCommerce platform).


"Matt's leadership-both technical and organizational-has been a key contributor to our progress in improving our product and our engineering services."
- Dick Hile
Vice President, Product Engineering
Advantage Workflow Event Feature

by Tim Martin

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



Connecting Our Clients

by Tom Burbeck

Last week, AdvantageCS facilitated a meeting in Paris between Ouest France and Agora's Publishing Services subsidiary. Many in the AdvantageCS User Group are familiar with the rapid growth over the past 15 years of Publishing Services using Advantage to support many of the world-wide publishing affiliates of Agora. Publishing Services has established Advantage at the hub of their systems architecture, making it the system of record for all interaction with customers and prospects. Now that Ouest France has upgraded to Advantage 2014.1, they are considering moving more business onto Advantage and making Advantage the core system of record for their customer relationships and transactions... reminiscent for me of a similar direction taken by Agora in their pre-Publishing Services days.
 
It occurred to me that the lessons learned by Publishing Services might be valuable input for Ouest France as they consider this next step. The included picture shows us at lunch together at an excellent restaurant adjacent to the Paris office of Ouest France. From left to right, that's Didier Kurz (OF), Philippe van Mastrigt (ACS), Philippe Toulemonde (OF), Jean-Joseph Lattuada (OF), Hervé Barbot (OF), Daryl Berver (PS), Grace Epperson (PS), and me.


Welcome New Employee Binoy Philip

by Cindy Twiss

Binoy Phillip is the newest member of the AdvantageCS implementation team led by Tim Zapawa. Binoy brings a rich and varied set of education and experience to his new position. Binoy grew up in India and received his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering at Bangalore University in Bengaluru, known as the "Silicon Valley" of India. After graduation, he spent three years at the Indian Institute of Science where he worked in their Combustion, Gasification and Propulsion Laboratory, dealing with rocket engines.
 
Binoy then came to the United States to attend graduate school, and earned a master's degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Michigan. While studying aerospace engineering, he found that his work in computational fluid dynamics, where he dealt extensively with computations, flowed naturally into IT, and he switched fields. He got a job as a computer consultant, providing desktop support and serving as a project manager for school of nursing at the University of Michigan.
 


Welcome New Employee Lani Davis

by Cindy Twiss

Lani Davis has joined the AdvantageCS Special Services team, led by Scott Ghormley. Lani comes to ACS with a wide range of education and work experience. Most recently, she spent four years implementing time and attendance software at a software company in Livonia, Michigan. Although she enjoyed the job itself, Lani wanted a position that didn't require her to travel an average of 3 out of 4 weeks a month. She heard about AdvantageCS from a former coworker, and joined ACS in June.

A business systems analyst in Special Services, Lani is getting her feet wet working on support tasks and performing QA, including regression testing. Down the road, she will manage projects for the group, where her implementation experience and fluent French will be valuable assets.
 


Billing Promotion Codes on Payments

by Molly Mathe

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 system to look up the "last billing promotion sent" for the debit in question. This promotion is then used on the payment transaction.
In cases when the debit has not yet been billed and the "last billing promotion sent" is blank for the debit, entry of the BLPRMASN keyword will causes the system to set the promotion to the billing promotion code found in ARP option PRMASNDF. If this option is blank, then the system will treat this as an error. Note that the value in ARP option PRMASNDF must be a valid promotion defined at the promotions view (CPNPMO).

Save the date! The 2016 AUG conference is February 10 - 12 at the Tropicana hotel in Las Vegas. Registration details coming soon.

Smartphones Outsmart Us

by Dan Heffernan

Is it just me, or is everyone experiencing more use of their smartphones? These "mobile moments" are becoming more frequent in my life, at least. A year ago I hadn't installed my bank's app and did all my banking on my laptop. Now I do all my deposits using my smartphone and find myself checking balances there more and more. A couple of years ago I thought I'd never use Facebook on my smartphone...but I almost never use it on my laptop now. Recently my wife was writing a long email on her smartphone and I asked why she doesn't use the desktop so she can edit more efficiently? Her answer was that the desktop was upstairs. 
 
I guess that's what the word "mobile" means, after all: able to move. Our mobile phones can be with us all the time. I see more participants in meetings looking at documents, spreadsheets, and websites on their smartphones. They're not just texting. Have you used Uber? It's a completely mobile experience.



Check Out Our New Video!

We hired Firestarter videos---a Hollywood video company, to produce our new video. Let us know what you think!

 
 
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Editor: Cindy Mikol Twiss

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