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MARCH 2017
eVantage Newsletter Masthead

InterVarsity Press Goes Live on Advantage

by Cindy Twiss

Congratulations to InterVarsity Press who recently went live on Advantage!

InterVarsity Press is a publisher of evangelical Christian books in Westmont, Illinois. They now use Advantage to fulfill more than 7,000 products across a wide array of subjects. IVP also implemented Cider as their ecommerce platform, and their new website ( https://www.ivpress.com/) has been well received by IVP's customers.  Adding to the complexity of the project was the fact that they also implemented ONIX---an industry standard format in the book world.

Many people contributed over the course of the project, but the core team at InterVarsity, led by Tricia Koning, included Holly Shermer, Kim Brown, Bob Dunne, Luke Miller, Josh Bagley, Jon Boyd, Lorraine Caulton, David Burton and Dave Page. 

Congratulations to EuroConsumers: Deco Proteste on a Successful Upgrade

by Cindy Twiss

The Portuguese operation of EuroConsumers, Deco Proteste, recently went live on the 2017 release of Advantage. The cutover was impressively smooth, with 70 call center agents making intensive use of the system starting on the first day. Major features of the software upgrade included processing optimizations and agreement synchronization.
Brigitte Huez and Jaak Creemers led the team for EuroConsumers, which included Filipe Lima, Carla Santos, Alexandra Machado, Annelies Schupp, Lien Gillis, Ana Borges, Gregório Umbelino, António Abrantes, Pedro Alípio, Ricardo Roque, Ludo Binnard, Raphael Previdi, Andy De Smedt, José Oliveira, Antonio Ramos, Diogo Alves, André Ramos, Edgar Moises, José Cruz, and Ana Santana.
Stephanie Widrig   competently   spearheaded activities from the AdvantageCS side, along with team members Binoy Philip, Stephen Oller, and Corey Mantel .

PayPal in Advantage
by Tim Martin

When was the last time you purchased something on a website that didn't offer PayPal as a checkout payment option? OK, not every website does, but that number gets fewer every day. Customers love the convenience of storing their payment details in one centralized place, along with the "non-proliferation of information" security that this affords.
Did you know that you can set up your Advantage-driven website to offer the PayPal payment option? Both the Advantage application and the Cider platform support the display, use, and storage of the elements of a PayPal transaction. Here's how it works.

In Advantage, a "Digital Wallet" payment type represents these various online payment options. PayPal is the first provider added under the Digital Wallet umbrella, and we will be adding support for other services, such as Apple Pay, Google Wallet, Amazon Pay, etc. Digital Wallet payments are supported through the API for website usage. Reps in the UI, for example, are blocked from seeing or using these type of payments. An additional allowed entry point is the OmniStream upload...for payments that have been taken through a website elsewhere, but need to be entered into Advantage.

What's your favorite thing about Advantage? Send your answer to me and I'll add it to the list, found here

Yeeha! AUG Takes San Antonio by Storm

by Cindy Twiss

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 developing partnerships. More on that later.

CIO Roundtable Hones in on Key Concerns

by Bryan Varblow

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 software packages being requested by their organization. Despite all this effort, the benefits from these packages, when weighed against the up-front and on-going costs, often were far less than expected.

Philippe van Mastrigt: Our Advantage in France

by Tom Burbeck

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 Philippe. 

Have you seen our videos?

Members Advantage video
Members Advantage
Advantage video
Customer Partnership

by Dan Heffernan

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 decisions and the UK customer service agents did not! 

But such days are waning, I'm afraid.  There is an attitude that has slipped into the culture in the U.S. of entitlement, and I'm not talking about customer entitlement.  The customer service person feels entitled to be cool, stand-offish, sometimes patronizing, and, unfortunately more and more frequently, rude.

Paywalls and Advantage

by Philippe van Mastrigt

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, as more publishers realized that a pure free-access model funded by advertising was not viable for supporting quality content. 

Check out our blog for the most up-to-date news and information about Advantage. New posts weekly!
Editor: Cindy Mikol Twiss

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