January/February 2022
The Advantages of Synchronization
by John Sheehy

Print Is Dead (or maybe not)
Print is dead… many have claimed. As far back as Roger Fidler’s 1981 groundbreaking essay titled “Newspapers in the Year 2020”, analysts and experts have been predicting the demise of print in favor of digital formats. Well, here we are 40 years later. Yes, print sales across all markets are generally down. And, yes, digital sales across all markets are generally up. However, looking closer provides a less clear picture.

  • The analysis of print vs. digital becomes particularly interesting, and important to publishers, when considering the difficulty of monetizing digital subscriptions. Most publishers dipped a toe into the digital world during the late 90’s and early 00’s by offering digital subscriptions for free, almost as an afterthought to their core print offerings—perhaps a devasting miscalculation that has shaped consumer expectations.
  • Print book sales have ticked up over the past two years, largely thought to be an effect of the Coronavirus pandemic. It remains to be seen whether that trend can continue or will start to fade.
  • Niche content publishers are reporting print circulation stabilization as well. The numbers are not as robust as days past, but they are no longer dropping at alarming rates.
Meet Team Nexus
by Eva Johnson

As of late, more and more AdvantageCS clients are adopting Advantage’s web platforms and realizing their many benefits. One in high demand is our Cider eCommerce platform. Cider empowers publishers and member organizations to configure and deploy a fully integrated eCommerce website that supports each step of an Advantage transaction.

Another important offering is Advantage SSO (Single Sign-On), which is a cloud-based SaaS solution that manages customer authentications and entitlements across numerous applications. Though these web platforms are part of the overall Advantage solution, they target a different audience. Both Cider and SSO are designed as customer-facing applications. In contrast, Advantage, an enterprise-wide application that provides subscription and membership management, is designed for business end-users. As demand has grown, AdvantageCS has created an additional team focused solely on our web platforms. 

And, with that, we at AdvantageCS are pleased to introduce you to Team Nexus.
Welcome New Employee Holt Schock
by Cindy Twiss

Holt Schock recently joined Doug Moore’s Program Services team and comes to AdvantageCS with an interesting background. Holt earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Central Michigan University and worked as a chemist for 8 years prior to joining ACS. He was previously employed at U.S. Ecology, a hazardous waste treatment and disposal company, where he performed tests on materials before they were accepted at the site. 

Ready for a change, Holt applied to ACS at the recommendation of a friend and was hired. He is learning Advantage and getting his feet wet doing some project work. It’s good to know that Holt says ACS is much less stressful than working with hazardous waste.

Holt grew up in Ypsilanti, Michigan, and went to high school at Washtenaw Technical Middle College, a high school associated with Washtenaw Community College. There, he took college courses and by the time he graduated, he was able to transfer 68 credits to Central Michigan. This allowed him to graduate from college in three years rather than four.
Business Compassion: an Oxymoron?
by Dan Heffernan
Merriam-Webster defines the word compassion as “sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.”

I don’t believe “Business Compassion” is an oxymoron. Here’s why:

In a business-to-business context, relationships with clients can be misconstrued as relationships between two businesses. This is false. A corporate entity does not have the ability to “relate” to another corporate entity. Relationships between companies always exist at the human level, because only humans can relate to and with one another. Naturally then, the quality of a business-to-business relationship is defined by the relationships between the humans at those organizations. It follows then, that all of the ways of relating come into play that are typical of our human relationships: kindness, patience, tolerance, empathy, compassion, and all of their opposites, of course!
Welcome New Employee Matt Rees
by Cindy Twiss

Matt Rees was welcomed by one friendly face that he knew very well when he joined AdvantageCS in November. His father, Dave Rees, has been a software engineer here for 28 years. 

Joining Doug Moore’s Program Services group, Matt brings years of experience in training and dealing with customers to the job. After 7 years at a large company where clients and teams were constantly shifting, Matt was ready to move on. He was looking for a place where he would be able to build longer-term relationships with clients and with his work team. He found that at AdvantageCS.

Matt graduated from Milligan University in Tennessee where he majored in film studies and minored in theater. That experience, which included script writing, has been helpful to him in preparing and conducting training in the business world.  

As he becomes more familiar with all things Advantage, Matt is looking forward to putting his training skills to good use by reviewing and developing Advantage training materials.
How to Choose a Subscription Platform: A Guide for Publishers
by Dan Heffernan

As little as 10 years ago, before the “subscription economy” took hold and companies started selling everything from razors to wine to furnace filters via a subscription model, publishers looking for a subscription platform had a short list of suppliers to wade through to find a solution. These were publishing industry-specific solutions built by software developers who were deeply embedded in the publishing business, and, in many cases, had served that industry for decades. 

At that time, there were different suppliers for the various segments within publishing (newspapers, magazines, scholarly content, books, newsletters) so a magazine publisher, for example, need only look at the handful of solution providers to that segment to find a worthy subscription platform that met its needs.

Forward to today and you have a plethora of subscription “solutions” on the market. The volume of offerings can be overwhelming for a publisher to match their needs, especially with many recurring payment applications classified as “subscription platforms.” A simple search on Google for “subscription platform” will return dozens of pages of possibilities. 

Editor: Cindy Mikol Twiss
3850 Ranchero Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48108 USA
Phone: +1 734 327 3600
Fax: +1 734 327 3620