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eVantage Newsletter Masthead

Cider Update! (Long Overdue)

by John Sheehy

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 sophisticated multi-tenant model for its eCommerce and self-service activity.
In addition to these projects, we have been hard at work on our current phase of R&D. We have wrapped up the following projects in the last few months.

Congratulations to Soon-to-Be Retiree Jim Austin

by Cindy Twiss

In his nearly 35 years here at ACS, Jim Austin has worked on numerous projects with too many clients to count. Through it all, his sense of humor, patience and dedication to client satisfaction have remained intact.

Jim has been an integral part of the development of many key Advantage modules including Product Order, Inventory, Royalty, Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable. He is perhaps best known as the "go-to" guy for product order and inventory issues, questions and modifications.

Jose Garcia
, VP of Technology at Health Communications, has worked with Jim for more than 20 years. "When I learned that Jim was finally going to hang up his ACS code skills, mouse and keyboard after almost 35 years, my first thought was 'wait'---I thought he'd retired once before and ACS brought him back because they just couldn't let him get away.  Thank goodness he came back, because in the 20+ years I've known Jim, he's gotten me out of more than one Advantage royalty problem. As a matter of fact, at HCI, Jim came to be known as 'King James' because of the many times he helped us resolve royalty issues."

""From a manager's viewpoint, Jim is an ideal employee. He is deeply committed to completing each job to the client's satisfaction and can always be counted on to get things done. "
- Dick Hile
Vice President, Product Engineering
Advantage Contact Center: Introducing Customer Service Workflows

by Eva Weissman

Some time ago, a project was begun here at ACS to consolidate various customer service views. The result is called the Advantage Contact Center.

Contact Center introduces a new feature called Customer Service Workflows, which are guided customer service transactions. Each Advantage customer service workflow guides a customer service rep through a set of phases. The Advantage user interface can be customized based on workflow scripts, which determine the phases of the workflow, the fields available for data entry and the defaulting of transaction values. At the conclusion of the workflow, a customer note is created to log the call outcome. 

Harmony, Stability and R & D

by Tom Burbeck

Earlier this month, we hosted several people from our most recent European client. During dinner, I got to talking with the senior executive about the company culture at AdvantageCS. He commented that we were quite unusual for a software company in the way that HARMONY seemed to permeate the interactions he observed among our people during an extended tour of our facilities. And he noted that same harmony spilling over into the many meetings of their visit. He was also struck by the long length of stay of our people (14 years average), and that the mission of the company requires the owners to be employees, which means we never entertain the frequent offers of outside investors.

He was applauding our commitment to stability for our clients and employees as a very good business growth strategy. I left unsaid my thoughts that, for me, it's also very nice to work in a place where harmony and stability are the standard, and it's a tremendous side effect to see this pave the way for stability and harmony with our clients.

Advantage Software: New Features Coming Fourth Quarter 2015

by Tim Martin

These Advantage features are either available now or will be soon. Contact your Advantage account manager for more information.
  • Customer service workflows
  • Scriptable AMB entry
  • Select set Unification
  • Centralized customer activity view
  • Promotable search fields

Welcome New Employee Geoff Bunce

by Cindy Twiss

Geoff Bunce is the newest member of the support center staff, reporting to Scott Ghormley. Geoff joined ACS in August, and has been working diligently to learn Advantage and Support Center procedures. He finds it "challenging, but fun," and thinks it's interesting to see how various clients use Advantage in different ways.

Technical support, however, is not new to Geoff, as he joins ACS after three years providing client tech support for an accounting software company. There he honed his problem-solving skills and learned the finer points of troubleshooting technical issues, including the art of asking the right questions to get at the root of an issue. 


Welcome New Employee Maggie Voorheis

by Cindy Twiss

Maggie Voorheis recently joined the AdvantageCS administrative staff led by Becky Sharp. An Ann Arbor native, Maggie graduated last May from Eastern Michigan University where she studied early childhood education. Although that continues to be an interest for her, she has found that she prefers a mix of business duties in addition to working with children. Her position at ACS is ideal in that regard, as she helps out in the on-site child care center as needed.

Maggie's smiling face is the first one visitors see when they walk in the ACS door, as she is our official receptionist. In addition to greeting visitors and making them feel comfortable, she operates the company phone system and message center, handles shipping and mailing, and employee communication.

Another area of responsibility involves Human Resources.  Maggie helps with recruiting activities including sorting resumes, setting up initial interviews with candidates, and coordinating and managing our ACS presence at college job fairs. 


2016 AUG Conference in Sunny Las Vegas 
Wednesday February 10 - Friday February 12, 2016

by Cindy Twiss

Users picked Las Vegas as their destination of choice and so the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas will be the site of the 2016 Advantage Users Group Conference. A great location and an exciting program make this a can't-miss conference.

Growing numbers of Advantage clients have made the leap to continuous updates, and many more are looking to make it in 2016. If you are considering it or are wondering what the benefits are to you, the conference is a great place to get answers from users that have been there and done that.

The conference will cover a variety of topics, most of them suggested by users at last year's conference. The agenda follows.  There's still time to register---Click here for registration information.

Don't miss the 2016 AUG conference February 10 - 12 at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas. Registration details above.

Does Dan Beat the Clock?

At the recent Magazine World Congress in Toronto, Dan Heffernan had 100 seconds to "pitch" attendees. Click here for more details and a video of how he did it.

Editor: Cindy Mikol Twiss

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Ann Arbor, MI 48108 USA