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DECEMBER 2016
eVantage Newsletter Masthead

Aller Advantage Upgrade: On Time & Under Budget

by Cindy Twiss

This was not your ordinary update. With operations in three different countries, involving more than sixty people, the Aller upgrade project was a bit more complex than most. They upgraded from 2013r3 to 2016.8 and jumped onto the continuous update track. The upgrade included 60 integrations and 2,029 test cases, and yet still was completed on time and within the budget.
 
Gilda Jantunen, Group Manager IT - Business Service Delivery, Marketing & Sales at Aller , sent this message to team members: "It is my pleasure to pass on to you all the congratulations and positive messages I have been receiving from all stakeholders in all countries regarding the excellent job by the team during these last 6 months. I join them in thanking you and recognizing your efforts ." 

Aller realized many benefits with the update, including:
  • Access to all the latest Advantage features
  • Improved knowledge of Advantage by Aller IT and Super Users
  • Strengthened cooperation across countries and among departments
  • Access to enhancements and bug fixes done for other Advantage clients
  • Possible cost-sharing of future modifications with other Advantage clients
  • Reduced costs and quicker turn-around of bug fixes than on an old revision
  • The testing of all Advantage integrations


"A Software Update Is Available"

by Bryan Varblow

"Update Is Available."  "Updates were installed."  As I move through my day and interact with various pieces of technology, it's a constant refrain.  When I look down at my phone, I see that a new update is available.  If I dig down into the details, sometimes I see that it's a seemingly small incremental jump.  Should I update now or wait for a more consequential update to come along?  If it's a more significant update, do I press forward with getting the latest and best that my device has to offer, or do I opt to just stick with the stable features that I currently know and love?  Even my television now tugs at me to apply updates.  Quite a change from the "dumb" TV that I knew growing up!

While the merits can be debated, it's undebatable that the software industry has moved towards continuous and frequent updates.  Gone are the days when the expectation was that an application would be upgraded every few years.  Even in the realm of enterprise software, a bastion of the passionate plea for stability over incremental progress, the world has changed. 

Over the past couple years, many of our clients have moved from a desire to get the latest from AdvantageCS every couple of years to understanding that it's often necessary to stay more current in such a dynamic business environment.  They need the ability to partner with AdvantageCS on new development and have it quickly deployed, or even just leverage all that we have put into the software in the previous couple of months.  When we became aware of this change, we realized that we needed a new way to efficiently roll out new development to all our clients.
  


There's still time! If you haven't already registered for the 2017 Advantage User Group conference, you have until January 17th. The conference is February 1 - 3, at the Holiday Inn San Antonio River Walk (217 N St. Mary's Street, San Antonio, TX 78205). Complete details and registration information are on the client portal of the AdvantageCS website. Or contact your account manager or any member of the AUG Steering Committee for more information. 
Hope to see you there! 

Look How You Can Improve Your Business with Advantage Now!

by Tim Martin and Cindy Twiss

We've been busy these past few months, even busier than usual. We've developed some exciting new things in Advantage intended to increase your revenue, delight your customers, and make your job easier!

--Do you offer any kind of membership to your audience? If so, check out the new Members Advantage module.  Members Advantage is a fully integrated solution for membership associations, including professional societies, alumni associations, charitable organizations, and clubs. It simplifies management of your organization with a member portal that steps a user through the membership application process, membership renewals, member self-service and payments. You can also provide special discounting on other products and offer external "third-party" benefits, and track such essential professional information as progress with continuing education credits, participation on committees, etc. And of course it's backed by the proven, powerful platform of Advantage. Watch our quick Members Advantage video !

Click the link to read about;
  • Browser-based Teleservices
  • Synchronized Agreements
  • Quantum Upgrade View
  • AMEX Cardrefresher
  • Unapplied Credits Processes for Autorenew  



Check Out The Members Advantage Video!



Have you heard?  Members Advantage is the latest addition to our suite of solutions. Driven by the  rise of membership models, Members Advantage was designed to simplify the management of membership associations and to integrate seamlessly with publishing and order processing. The Members Advantage portal takes users through the membership application process, renewals, self-service, and payments. 

Watch our  brand new video to see just how Members Advantage works for organizations like The Society for Left Handed Kleptomaniacs (yes, we had some fun with it!). For more information on Members Advantage, read our  whitepaper or simply  contact us-we'd be happy to schedule a demo. 


The Evolution of Content and Marketing Channels

by Dan Heffernan

I joined a Facebook group from my childhood town some months ago. One day, a post appeared showing photographs of the wrecking ball tearing down the junior high school I had attended. One of the comments said "So sad." A reply to this comment said "Progress is good." What I later found out is that a replacement facility is being planned which will incorporate modern-day building codes and a more post-baby-boom scale appropriate to the demographics of the area.

Part of me experienced nostalgia at that moment. I was reminded of wonderful times in junior high, some good friends I made there, and some great teachers I had. But the other part of me welcomed progress. Building codes have evolved. So has education. So has technology, obviously. So has business, marketing, and content distribution.

Recently I attended the Frankfurt Book Fair, which is one of publishing's biggest events each year. I usually go to some pre-fair meetings, including one which is a committee where we discuss standards for serials. In this session last week, we talked about evolution within that realm. When this committee was conceived many years ago, print journals were the main form of "serials." Today, most of the publishers in this group (scholarly and academic publishers) are focused on digital content and selling that content to consortia made up of multiple institutions. This is a huge shift from where we began.



Our own Dan Heffernan participated in a lively panel discussion at the FOLIO: show in November in New York. The topic was "Fulfillment's Evolution and What It Means for You." Here he is with fellow participant Delicia Poole and moderator Caysey Welton.
Five Tips to Improve Your Subscription Payment Success Rate

by Eva Weissman

With the rise of the " subscription economy ," auto-charging customers regularly in exchange for goods and services has become a popular business model. Of course, this is old news for publishers, who have been making use of renewals and recurring payments longer than most other industries. However, auto-charges come with their own challenges---recurring credit card payments have much higher decline rates than stand-alone payments, for example. 

Here are five tips to improve your subscription payment success rate:
 
1. Optimizing retries
The most common reason for failed credit card payments is that the credit line on the account has been exceeded. For this 'insufficient funds' scenario, as well as in the case of technical errors, you will likely want to retry the payment before taking any other action. By analyzing the payment processor's response codes, you will be able to discern patterns and optimize how often, at what intervals and on which days of the month to retry payment collection. For example, payment success may vary over the course of the month, and understanding this pattern allows you to retry when success rates are highest. Setting up automated retry rules is one of the most effective practices in improving payment success rates.

2. Keeping credit card data up to date
An estimated 3% of credit cards expire every month, resulting in declined payments. Integration with an account updating service can help mitigate this issue, but not all payment processors offer account update functionality (and updated account information is not always available). Alternative actions for expired cards might include following up with the customer by phone or email, and suspending subscriptions until new payment information has been received. Just like for retries, the ability to automate a rule-based follow-up can greatly improve efficiencies in this area.

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

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