Why software update is important – the latest patches from Microsoft monthly ‘Patch Tuesday’

September 16th, 2020 by Stephen Jones No comments »

There many reasons from performance to new features to compliance and to support new ways of working.
However, with the huge sophisticated increase in cybercrime, unpatched and out fo date software versions are most vulnerable.

As part of this month’s Patch Tuesday, Microsoft today released a fresh batch of security updates to fix a total of 129 newly discovered security vulnerabilities affecting various versions of its Windows operating systems and related software. Of the 129 bugs spanning its various products — Microsoft Windows, Edge browser, Internet Explorer, ChakraCore, SQL Server, Exchange Server, Office, ASP.NET, OneDrive, Azure DevOps, Visual Studio, and Microsoft Dynamics — that received new patches, 23 are listed as critical, 105 are important, and one is moderate in severity.

Unlike the past few months, none of the security vulnerabilities the tech giant patched in September are listed as being publicly known or under active attack at the time of release or at least not in knowledge of Microsoft.

A memory corruption vulnerability (CVE-2020-16875) in Microsoft Exchange software is worth highlighting all the critical flaws. The exploitation of this flaw could allow an attacker to run arbitrary code at the SYSTEM level by sending a specially crafted email to a vulnerable Exchange Server.

“A remote code execution vulnerability exists in Microsoft Exchange software when the software fails to properly handle objects in memory,” Microsoft explains. “An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts.”

Microsoft also patched two critical remote code execution flaws in Windows Codecs Library; both exist in the way that Microsoft Windows Codecs Library handles objects in memory, but while one (CVE-2020-1129) could be exploited to obtain information to compromise the user’s system further, the other (CVE-2020-1319) could be used to take control of the affected system.

Besides these, two remote code execution flaws affect the on-premises implementation of Microsoft Dynamics 365, but both require the attacker to be authenticated.
Microsoft also patched six critical remote code execution vulnerabilities in SharePoint and one in SharePoint Server. While exploiting the vulnerability in SharePoint Server requires authentication, other flaws in SharePoint do not.

Other critical flaws the tech giant patched this month reside in Windows, Windows Media Audio Decoder, Windows Text Service Module, Windows Camera Codec Pack, Visual Studio, Scripting Engine, Microsoft COM for Windows, Microsoft Browser, and Graphics Device Interface.

Vulnerabilities marked as important reside in Windows, Active Directory, Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS), Internet Explorer Browser Helper, Jet Database Engine, ASP.NET Core, Dynamics 365, Excel, Graphics Component, Office, Office SharePoint, SharePoint Server, SharePoint, Word, OneDrive for Windows, Scripting Engine, Visual Studio, Win32k, Windows Defender Application Control, Windows DNS, and more.

Most of these vulnerabilities allow information disclosure, the elevation of privilege, and cross-Site Scripting. Some also lead to remote code execution attacks. In contrast, others allow security feature bypass, spoofing, tampering, and denial of service attacks.

Windows users and system administrators are highly advised to apply the latest security patches as soon as possible to keep cybercriminals and hackers away from taking control of their computers.

For installing security updates, head on to Settings → Update & security → Windows Update → Check for updates or install the updates manually.

S

SnapLogic and rapid integration with SAP, Concur, Ariba, Fieldglass, Cloud Analytics….

September 15th, 2020 by Stephen Jones No comments »

On 16th September, SnapLogic and SAP will present the very latest in Citizen-Integration IPaaS simplifying integration of SAP Ariba, SAP Concur, SAP Fieldglass, multiple data sources and apps with SAP Cloud Analytics and SAP Data Warehouse Cloud.

You will also hear from Siemens AG, how they drove their integration vision successfully.
Learn how, by adding SnapLogic to your SAP data and application fabric, you can better:
• Maximise your SAP investments and reduce IT debt
• Optimise procurement operations and accelerate SCM delivery by 10X
• Create smooth paths to your other best-of-breed applications and solutions
• Align your business with application delivery and initiatives
Speakers:
- Thomas Hecht, Head of Technology at Siemens AG
- Klaus-Peter Sauer, Senior Director Data Warehousing EMEA at SAP
- Roger Coles, Director of Alliances and Channels, EMEA at SnapLogic
- John Landells, Solutions Engineer, EMEA at SnapLogic

Contact Snaplogic partner Synergy Software Systems us for information on how to register.

Microsoft Lists now in Teams – ask Synergy Software Systems

September 8th, 2020 by Stephen Jones No comments »

Microsoft Lists, a new product based on SharePoint Lists, is now generally available through the Microsoft Teams service for both business and government users, Microsoft announced this week. Besides Teams, Lists is also slated for SharePoint Online and the Microsoft 365 Launcher application.
Mobile apps for iOS and Android are expected to be released around the end of the year.
Lists in Teams Availability
Lists in Teams availability depend on the sort of Microsoft 365 updates an organization elects to receive. The feature started rolling out in August to tenants getting “targeted” update releases, according to Lincoln DeMaris, a Microsoft principal program manager on the Microsoft Lists team, in an interview published by Microsoft on Monday.
The application more likely will arrive in Microsoft 365 tenancies in early September, and will get finalized in mid-October, according to Daniel Glenn, a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional, in an Aug. 8 “365 Message Center Show” podcast.
Lists wasn’t there in Teams when I checked the Apps menu. However, when it’s available, Lists will get added by default for all Teams users unless IT pros block it, according to this Microsoft help document. Data used with the Lists app are stored in an organization’s “SharePoint Online team site,” the document explained. Permissions associated with Lists in Teams apparently get controlled via SharePoint List or Library permission controls that IT pros may set.
Lists Capabilities
Microsoft Lists is different from other Microsoft list programs in providing user-friendly templates to help create lists. Within Teams, it’s possible to chat about the lists using a pane on the right side. Lists also can be created from Excel workbook files, if wanted.
Microsoft’s premade Lists templates include:
• Patients
• Loans
• Incidents
• Issue Tracker
• Event Itinerary
• Business Trip Approvals
• Team Contacts
• Asset Tracker
• Project Planning
• Onboarding Checklist
The first three lists (Patients, Loans and Incidents) are described as being new “industry-specific templates.” It’s also possible to create new lists by scratch, or create a new list using the formatting of an existing list.

End users can change the views in how the list information gets presented. Some views, though, such as “calendar views, gallery views and rules” are yet to come, according to DeMaris. While end users typically create lists within an organization, they also can create personal lists. DeMaris suggested Microsoft was working to address possible organizational governance issues associated with this personal lists creation capability.
Lists is powered by the same technology Microsoft uses to power SharePoint Site designs, DeMaris explained. That circumstance means that some of the same sort of customization options available for SharePoint Sites may be coming to Microsoft Lists, as well, he suggested.
Organizations using Lists in SharePoint Online don’t need to migrate them to SharePoint Lists because they are basically the same thing, DeMaris noted.

Machine learning, UiPath and Ai Fabric

September 3rd, 2020 by Stephen Jones No comments »


Contact us on 00971 43365589 to learn more.

Windows performance problems – one major cause.

September 1st, 2020 by Stephen Jones No comments »

12 substantial Windows performance problems that can cause the most frustration and chew up valuable time can be directly traced to a single source.

1. Slow Application Performance Familiar?. A company runs a large application such as EMR/EHR or ERP o which the entire enterprise depends, and users have to end wait endlessly for data. A sales team operating on a CRM application, and speaking with prospects loses the sale while waiting for data. It could be an LMS, used for the vital administration of educational programs. Other applications such as SharePoint, MS Exchange, VDI, POS and even legacy and proprietary apps all suffer from this same malady. The phone line and support desk tickets is overwhelmed with user complaints.

2. Application Crashses This t brings everything to a dead stop. Freezes and crashes are the biggest headaches of IT, there is nothing worse than angry users. When the application has crashed this will affect others accessing that application, too. When this happens, often a user will yell out, “What’s wrong with the computer?!” But of course, it’s not the computer. We’ll get to that at the end. Meanwhile, log files fill up, transactions or batch tasks don;t complete, and data gets corrupted. There may be downtime to reboot the server, or users may need to rekey data.

3. Missing SLA targets SLAs are the delivery backbone of many companies. Service quality and availability are service aspects written into contracts, and when those re not met, it not only means lost income, it can also mean lost business and clients. This is especially true today in a SaaS environment, in which a client can simply pull the plug and go to another provider. A primary cause of missed SLAs is slow performance. Yet again, it traces to the same source .

4. Slow Data Transfer Rates There are many reasons for heavy data transfer, including backups to other locations, and importing data to new locations, integrations and BI , When transfer rates are slow, it means waiting. And waiting. And waiting. This Windows performance problem eats up system as well as staff resources. Slow data transfer rates are traceable to this same source.

5. SQL Query Timeouts and Latency Enterprises run on data, which means they’re also living and dying on database queries. When a query is originated, the process through which the query was made will wait until the query is satisfied. The longer the wait (latency), the longer a data record, or computing resource is locked to other users. When a timeout occurs, that means that the query must be started again. This, of course, can mean a serious delay.

6. SQL Deadlocks This phenomenon occurs when two or more processes are waiting for the same resource. Each process is then waiting for the other process to complete before continuing. On the user end, SQL deadlocks produce the same result as timeouts: endless waiting.

7. SQL Server 15-Second Warnings An I/O request should complete within milliseconds. The 15-second warning that SQL Server has been waiting for longer than 15 seconds for an I/O request to complete indicates a serious performance problem—once again traceable to the same issue.

8. You Upgrade Hardware…but Performance Still Slow Many think the easy way to solve performance problems is to upgrade hardware. It can help but what happens when you upgrade hardware, and performance is still sluggish? This is a very expensive way to indicate that you have “solved” the wrong problem. Yes, performance was an issue, but the reason behind it was not hardware related. Yes, you guessed it: the cause is the same as all of these other problems.

9. Slow SSD Read/write Speed Companies install SSDs to improve performance—and given the substantial performance difference between SSDs and HDDs, that performance difference should be much better. Sometimes the read/write speed to SSDs is still slow because you’re still suffering from the same problem.

10. Storage Performance Problems Storage is very a sophisticated with solutions designed to improve storage performance. Performance problems you experience with storage are only partly due to the hardware…but to the same cause as the rest of these issues.

11. Slow Server Performance This is the generally sluggish performance phenomenon, the causes of which can be tough to trace down. For that reason, many don’t try—they just decide that hardware must be upgraded: new servers, new storage, perhaps even a new network. Slow server performance is most often rooted in the same cause as all of these other issues. Servers don’t come cheap and they consume utilities

12. VM Density and Consolidation Issues
Its now common practice to consolidate several VMs into one physical server. The higher the VM density is, the more efficient the system may be but those Vms have to talk to each other and the system tBoth VM consolidation and VM density contain the same inherent performance problem as each of these other scenarios and may be preventing you from loading more VMs onto a single host.

The Basic Problem

All of these Windows performance problems that cost you peace of mind can be traced back storage I/O efficiencies.
Virtualization has been great for server efficiency, ba big downsides to virtualization is that it adds complexity to the data path – known as the I/O blender effect that mixes and randomizes I/O streams.

There are 2 severe I/O inefficiencies causing this.

The Windows file system will break up data ‘writes’ into separate storage I/Os and send each I/O packet down to the storage layer separately. This causes I/O characteristics that are much smaller, more fractured, and more random than they need to be – this along with the I/O Blender effect results in bad storage performance. This is a “death by a thousand cuts” scenario – everything is running, but not running nearly as fast as it could.

You could opt to throw more hardware at the problem, but this is expensive and disruptive and can be premature – it is much better to tune what you already own to get the performance of which the server is capable.

Storage I/O contention occurs when you have multiple systems all sharing the same storage resource.

Windows breaks up that I/O profile into a smaller, more fractured, more random I/O profile than it needs to be. when clean that up on one VM then all of the data from that one VM to the host is all streamlined, but then you have all the data from neighbor VMs that are still noisy and causing contention.

So, your performance is penalized once, twice by storage I/O efficiencies. This means systems process workloads are typically about 50% slower than they should on the typical Windows server. Far more I/O than s needed is used to process any given workload. This is a major cause of Windows performance problems

The Solution: ensure large, clean, and contiguous read and write I/Os from all sources, and eliminate the I/O blender effect.

Larger, cleaner, sequential I/Os result in fewer I/Os to process and thus faster data transfer rates for peak performance. In such a case, you can have 1G of data, but instead of transferring it in 100,000 I/Os, you can accomplish it in 70,000, or less.

The next factor is to read and to write I/Os sequentially, instead of randomly. When dealing with storage, sequential I/Os always out-perform random I/Os on hard disk drives, SSDs and flash storage.

These factors work together to transform the nature of the I/O to improve performance:

Larger I/O
Sequential I/O
Less I/O

The overall effect is that the OS workload is reduced, because there are fewer I/Os to process, and they are occurring sequentially.
DymaxIO

This is the solution brought into effect by the DymaxIO fast data software: (A software Solution for a software problem)

-Fewer I/Os, because they are larger
-Sequential I/Os
– Read I/O served from memory DymaxIO accomplishes these improvements through proprietary technology that optimizes and streamlines with both reads and writes.

Write performance: IntelliWrite® patented technology eliminates small, fractured I/Os caused by Windows splitting files into multiple write operations. DymaxIO enforces large, clean, contiguous writes for more payload with every I/O operation.

Read performance: IntelliMemory® patented technology reduces read I/Os from storage by caching hot data server-side. Reads are cached right at VM level from otherwise-idle, available DRAM. Not only does this enormously decrease the I/O latency time, but also decreases the I/O traffic to the storage unit, thus freeing up the storage bandwidth for other work.

Because of these substantial improvements, DymaxIO is able to regularly provide 30 to 40 percent faster data transfer speeds, eliminating a myriad of Windows performance problems.DymaxIO improves the performance and reliability of Windows systems.

Are your servers good candidates for DymaxIO ? Find out quickly and easily without investing a lot of time –
Our I/O Assessment Tool. will:

Analyze data across 11 performance metrics
Easily identify systems suffering from performance issues
Graphs display averages and peaks for each hour

Contact us to learn more: 0097143365589

Field Service Management – Microsoft a Leader in Gartner’s 2020 Magic Quadrant.

August 24th, 2020 by Stephen Jones No comments »

Gartner has positioned Microsoft as a Leader in its 2020 Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management. Positioned as a Visionary in 2019, this new, improved position as a Field Service Leader reflects our ability to execute and completeness of vision. Products evaluated include: Microsoft Azure IoT (Hub and Central), Microsoft Power Platform (Power BI, Power Apps, Power Automate, and Common Data Service), and mixed-reality (Microsoft Dynamics 365 Remote Assist).

Field service technology is evolving at an accelerated pace, that is significantly impacting how we work, what we work on, and how we best serve our customers. As technology speeds forward creating greater efficiencies, it promotes cutting edge technologies into the mainstream. These technologies not only streamline processes and reduce costs, they also differentiate a service organization from the pack. It is these differentiators that have elevated Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service as a driving force within the field service community.

Dynamics 365 Field Service capabilities
Many of the field service capabilities Gartner highlighted are pivotal in providing world-class customer care. Microsoft pioneered cutting edge technologies that have led to the development of rich features that empower technicians and increase productivity, optimize resources, and enhance customer satisfaction—together helping FSOs to quickly realign operations to strengthen business continuity while building resiliency within a changing economic landscape.

Azure IoT Hub and Azure IoT Central.
With the addition of Azure IoT Hub or Azure IoT Central, field service is transforming the costly traditional break-fix model to a proactive and predictive service model. By combining IoT diagnostics, scheduling, asset maintenance, and inventory all on the same platform, field service organizations (FSOs) can reduce downtime by diagnosing problems before customers are even aware there is an issue. Connected Field Service lets you address issues faster by remotely monitoring devices, and the service data can help in making better decisions around dispatching technicians with the right experience, availability, and location to the customer.
Power Platform including Microsoft Power BI, Microsoft Power Apps, Microsoft Power Automate, and Common Data Service.

Use Power BI’s intuitive data visualizations, Excel integration, and customer data connectors with the next generation Field Service mobile app.
Empower technicians with an easy-to-use mobile experience to view: assigned jobs, and to record work performed with” photos and video captures, bar code scanning, and digital signatures.

They have information when visiting remote destinations without internet connectivity. Power Automate is easily integrated to create flows to improve process automation and the Common Data Service can securely store and manage data used by business applications. App makers can then use Power Apps to build rich applications using this data.

Mixed reality apps including Microsoft Dynamics 365 Remote Assist.
Mixed reality is a combination of augmented, virtual, and real world, where the user can interact with all views.

Mixed reality is creating a tsunami of change within the field service landscape since the advent of COVID-19. FSOs face unique challenges balancing the health and safety of technicians while maintaining business critical functions and continued support of customer needs. Dynamics 365 Remote Assist leverages mixed reality to access information and experts from anywhere, contact-free, by using Microsoft HoloLens and Android or iOS devices. Onsite workers can share real-time views of a repair, share knowledge and related documents, and perform inspections and audits to help accelerate the process.

Dynamics 365 Field Service capabilities are mapped to three distinct pillars: proactive service delivery, resource scheduling, and ensuring technician success.

In April, release wave 1 provided enhancements aligned to these pillars. New feature capabilities included a preview of AI-based suggestions for IoT alerts and incident types, and shared ongoing enhancements to resource scheduling and optimization capabilities.

What’s ahead for Field Service
Release wave 2 coming this October, will add more intelligence to Dynamics 365 Field Service iwith a new dashboard for monitoring key KPIs.

You will be able to automatically send customers work order satisfaction surveys using Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Voice.

FSOs will have the ability to quickly capture, and accurately calculate work order completion metrics—even metrics like a Broken Promise %. :

Proactive service delivery. Asset hierarchy and functional location, productivity enhancement for complex entities such as work order, and extended integration with Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management.
Resource scheduling. Optimizer embedded in next-generation schedule board, predictive technician travel time based on traffic patterns, and enhancements for skills-based matching and travel outside working hours.
Technician success. A new mobile app based on Power Apps enhancements, a technician locator for end customers, and virtual onsite inspection capabilities.

Ahead of the curve
Most field service organizations typically consist of a “boots on the ground” labor force making service calls and often ordering cticila needed parts and rescheduling site visits to complete the repair.

FSOs are transforming and this business model is changing for the better. FSOs are evolving into profit centers by redefining their business model to a proactive service delivery, supported by leading edge solutions like Dynamics 365 Field Service, with rich features that optimize resources and empower technicians to succeed.

(Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product, or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.)

Contact Synergy Software Systems for more information and see this site for demo videos. https://dynamics.microsoft.com/en-us/field-service/demo/

SnapLogic and Data Interchange for iPaas and EDI

August 20th, 2020 by Stephen Jones No comments »

SnapLogic and Data Interchange have joined forces to bring together market leading iPaaS and EDI solutions
SnapLogic provides the #1 Intelligent Integration Platform.

The company’s AI-powered workflows and self-service integration capabilities make it fast and easy for organizations to manage:
- all their application integration,
- data integration,
- API management,
- B2B integration, a
- data engineering projects on a single, scalable platform.

Hundreds of Global 2000 customers — including Adobe, AstraZeneca, Box, Emirates, Schneider Electric, and Wendy’s — rely on SnapLogic to automate business processes, accelerate analytics, and drive digital transformation.

This new partnership will combine SnapLogic’s award winning Intelligent Integration Platform, with Data Interchange’s cloud based EDI solutions – Web EDI, and DiNet –to enable forward-thinking customers to drive internal digital transformation processes from a central platform, providing self-service integration up to ten times faster than other existing technologies.

Robert Steiner, CEO, Data Interchange commented:

“A partnership between SnapLogic and Data Interchange is a win/win. Many organisations not only have the need for strong and reliable integration systems, but they also need a good EDI partner with state-of-the-art functionality and their own VAN. Combining SnapLogic’s self-service iPaaS platform with our own self-service cloud based EDI platform and VAN provides customers with everything they need,”
“Working with SnapLogic has also enabled us to expand our market reach and capabilities. Integration is not only about application to application communication but also about automated data flows and supply chain management.”
Through the new partnership customers will be able to combine the trading world of EDI, including communication protocols like AS2 and OFTP, as well as a VAN, with a modern JSON, API-first platform. This ensures customers are able to push forward with their transformation initiatives using a single augmented, integrated platform covering EDI, data integration, AI/ML, application integration and streaming. Taking this approach means more re-use, reduced IT debt, faster time-to-market, and increased transformational agility with deeper and wider connectivity.

Roger Coles, Channel and Alliances Director EMEA at SnapLogic commented on the partnership:

“EDI has become increasingly important within organisations today, as they seek to streamline processes and automate various functions with the business. So we are excited to be announcing this new partnership with Data Interchange. By combining our two best-in-class solutions we will be able to provide a combine offering which we feel will be well received by our customers thanks to the unrivalled depth and breadth of functionality Data Interchange provides through its EDI solutions.”

If you need a faster and more robust way to develop, manage and maintain interfaces, with pre-built ‘snaps’, ETL, and streaming data callus ot learn more: 0097143365589

Return to work after COVID-19 lockdowns, Microsoft free Power Platform solution.

August 19th, 2020 by Stephen Jones No comments »

As an aid to businesses looking to reopen and return to work following COVID-19 lockdowns, Microsoft released a free Power Platform solution.
Organisations looking to safely navigate these uncertain times need to protect the health of their workforce and also ensure that business is able to continue as normally as possible. Microsoft’s new solution helps businesses to reopen responsibly, monitor intelligently, and protect continuously with several solutions for a safer work environment.

What does the solution include?
Location Readiness – Determine the risk level of opening your offices based on the numbers of new virus cases, fatalities and safety supplies in the surrounding area.
Workplace Care Management – Maintain employee safety by recording new virus cases among your staff and identifying potential hot spots.
Employee Health & Safety Management – A self-service app for employees to check in, answer questions to determine eligibility to enter a facility, and say how they are feeling about returning to the workplace.
Location Management (coming soon) – Keep your locations open safely with tools for monitoring occupancy, health supplies and safety procedures.
What do I need to do to install the solution?
Sign in to your Power Apps account and create an environment
Install the ‘Return to the workplace’ Power Apps solution package
Install and publish the Power BI Location Readiness dashboard
Install and publish the Power BI Facility Management dashboard
Configure the apps and security roles
All of the solution files and additional documentation are available here https://powerplatform.microsoft.com/en-us/return-to-the-workplace/get-started/

Microsoft’s storage compliance within Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform be aware.

August 19th, 2020 by Stephen Jones No comments »

Microsoft’s storage compliance within Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform has operated to date primarily on a trust basis.
From 10 August 2020, the first restriction for those tenants over their limits comes into effect.

It is little surprise that Microsoft have begun to enforce storage compliance and it is important for businesses to ensure they are under their own quotas should the need to restore or copy data arise.

Further enforcement restrictions may be put in place in due course, so it is better to be aware of any issues now.

What is the restriction?
For administrators looking to copy or to restore an environment, this will no longer be possible if the tenant is over its storage quota.

The ability to be able to restore from backups is a key feature of the Power Platform Admin Center, particularly after any important data loss, so it will now be important to maintain storage levels under the quota to ensure this feature remains available.

How can you check my current storage levels?
Administrators can access the Capacity page of the Power Platform Admin Center via this link or by browsing to Resources>Capacity within the Power Platform Admin Center itself. From here, you will be presented with two diagrams; te first showing the current Storage Capacity Usage:

and the second showing the Storage Capacity By Source:

This table shows how your available storage is calculated and will vary depending on the licences your organisation has purchased.

I’m currently over my storage quota(s) – what can I do?
There are two routes to take when it comes to managing storage:
1. Delete unused data that may be unnecessarily taking up storage space. Microsoft have their own guide on how to achieve this but it is important to proceed with caution to prevent the deletion of business-critical data.
2. Purchase additional storage.

Clients of Synergy Software systems with existing support agreements who need assistance with reviewing their storage quota or wish to discuss the purchasing of additional storage, please get in touch. 0097143365589

Dataflex? CDS? Project Oakdale? Dynamics 365 and Teams

August 19th, 2020 by Stephen Jones No comments »

Due to an existing trademarked product called Dataflex, Microsoft has been forced to drop the use of the name. (14 Aug 2020)
Dataflex is now temporarily called Project Oakdale and Dataflex Pro is back to being called the Common Data Service. Once Microsoft has decided on new names for the product, I will issue a further update. So what follows is correct to the technical features but the nane will change again).

( In July 2020 Microsoft launched Dataflex, a relational database that lets business developers create, deploy, and manage Power Platform apps and chatbots without leaving Microsoft Teams. There are huge benefits to this.

Dataflex Pro was a rebranding of the Common Data Service, which is included with a paid Power Platform license. It hit general availability four years ago and has since introduced support for Dynamics 365 and Power Apps. Dataflex Pro is the same data platform, but there are some additional premium features, which power the Dynamics 365 products, as well as the premium Power Apps licenses. Microsoft Dataflex was built on top of the Common Data Service (CDS) some time ago, and recently Microsoft announced that the Common Data Service has now been renamed to Microsoft Dataflex Pro.)

Dynamics 365 HR and Payroll for the G.C.C. – ask Synergy Software Systems

August 19th, 2020 by Stephen Jones No comments »

Microsoft rebranded Dynamics 365 Talent as Dynamics 365 Human Resources.( Dynamics 365 Talent is no longer sold -see our February 2020 post. The Attract and Onboard service will be available until 1 February 2022, or until your contract ends, whichever occurs first. LinkedIn is taking the lead on Talent Acquisition, Learning and People Success applications. Linked Talent Hub is a new applicant tracking system (ATS) that became available on 26 September 2019. LinkedIn Learning and Glint complete the portfolio of Talent Management solutions. Microsoft will offer a migration path to LinkedIn Talent Hub. The initial release of LinkedIn Talent Hub supports customers with less than 1000 employees. Data export tools will be available from within Attract to help customers transition to the Talent Acquisition solution of their choosing. Eligible customers using the Talent Onboard app may continue to use it through 1 February 2022 or until the end of their most recent Dynamics 365 contract or renewal, whichever occurs first. Migration tools will be provided within the Onboard app to help customers export onboarding guides.

Core HR – is now Dynamics 365 Human Resources

The key features include:

A central database for staff, with automatic updates.
The ability to set up and run benefit policies.
Automated absence monitoring and time management tracking.
Full CPD management, including performance reviews, matching competencies to job roles and target tracking.
Creation and delivery of training courses, including analysis of outcomes.
A questionnaire feature for gathering feedback and insight from employees. These are conducted digitally, with responses automatically linking to staff records and triggering suggestions for updating policies and strategies.

When you set up a Dynamics 365 Human Resources account, the first stage is to create an HR strategy on the platform. This will provide the overarching structure for how human capital is managed in your organisation, and includes things like specifying whether processes will be managed by department, by jobs or by positions.

Set up plans to guide day-to-day management of your HR operation through Microsoft Dynamics 365 Human Resources. These might be compensation and incentive plans for rewarding strong performance, or they might be training plans which link development to key strategic goals for the business overall.

An advantage of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Human Resources is how all of the data that is linked to plans is centrally stored and automatically updated. When you create a scheme for staff benefits such as a company laptop, phone or a car, then logging of data about upgrades and replacements is automated. The same applies to company incentive schemes like health insurance or pensions, which saves huge amounts of time in administration data maintenance work.

Dynamics 365 Human Resources supports compliance with employment laws in different jurisdictions. It will, for example, suggest complying with equality and disability laws, making recommendations based on personnel data.

Dynamics 365 Human Resources Employee Self Service allows employees to view and manage their core data via employee self-service. This ranges from the ability to view and manage personal details, bank information and competencies to compensation, leave & absence and benefits taking the load off from HR personnel making sure they can stay focused working on higher priority tasks.

Managers are also empowered to view and handle processes directly from Manager self-service and do not have to reach out to HR to manage tasks such as team’s to manage their team’s leave & absence, performance, to approve relevant requests or to view their team members’ position or compensation related information.

Leave & Absence in D365 HR was recently enhanced and allows HR to configure and manage as many leave & absence plans as needed and specify multiple details for each plan such as accruals, carry over amounts, how and when the balances are calculated and pro-rata rules to name a few. In addition, time off can be requested from employee self-service or manager self-service and the requests can be viewed in a calendar view format making it easy for manager or HR to assess the situation for any given period of time.

The HR team can effectively manage core processes related to hiring, transferring and terminating employees optionally supported by workflows to ensure that any required approvals are obtained before the processes can be finalised. These processes can be also enriched by utilising Task management in the form of checklists to make sure, that any related activities needed to be completed are distributed to relevant parties to action.

Dynamics 365 Human Resources makes it simple to configure compensation programs your organisation needs to support any plans and guidelines to ensure salaries are recorded properly. Any variable compensation such as bonuses or shares can be also easily recorded and managed within D365 HR to store the information in one place for comprehensive reporting and data management.

Performance management in D365 HR offers the ability to configure and manage reviews and goals accompanied by the option to record activities actioned or to be actioned during the review period. In addition, reviews and goals templates can be constructed to support your business and provide managers and employees with a starting point and a guiding framework to follow during the review process. Support each review by a different workflow to ensure the manager’s and employee’s approvals are in place before the review process is finished.

Dynamics 365 Human Resources allows HR users to schedule courses for which employees can be allowed to be signed up to via employee self-service. Skills and competencies recorded against the course and the course can be transferred to the employee’s record upon completion. HR and Managers can utilise skill assessment and skill to job analysis to see what competencies are needed and potentially missing when compared to required job-related competencies.

Synergy Software Systems has been implementing localied HR and Payroll and T@A systems in the UAE for over 20 years.
Our GCC localised HR admin and Payroll module for Dynamics 365 further extends and automates the core features with extensive workflows, reports and Power Bi dashboards.

Contact us on 009714 3365589

Modernise sales with Synergy Software Systems.

August 13th, 2020 by Stephen Jones No comments »

Did you know that 55% of sales reps think their company’s sales tools are an obstacle instead of a facilitator?

Technology has rapidly changed the way customers buy. Customers now have more options on how when and where to buy, access to greater amounts of information, and communication channels have multiplied. As the complexity of sales increases, managing the sales process across multiple accounts can be challenging for sales teams. To better manage this complexity and help their sellers get more done, innovative organizations are modernizing their sales productivity.

Sales force automation and AI capabilities enable sellers to better manage lead. These intelligent solutions accelerate deals with an end-to-end, immersive experience for opportunity management; and integration with familiar tools—like Dynamics, Teams, Excel and Outlook—into their workflows to help increase collaboration and productivity.

- Focus on what’s most important and tailor interactions with your customers
– Streamline seller workflows, and get more done with integrations with familiar tools, like Office 365, that make work easier and faster
– Start with a sales solution that meets your needs and grows with your business

All of this means that sellers can spend less time on administrative work and more time meeting and communicating with customers, which leads to better solution design, more deals, higher revenue, and happier customers.

Please contact us to learn more about how Synergy Software Systems can help boost your revenue through modernizing your sales productivity with the latest automation tools.

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Google music is coming to an end back up your

August 6th, 2020 by Stephen Jones No comments »

The message from today’s blog post is “back up your music now,” because Google says it will wipe out all Google Music collections in December 2020.

For most regions, Google narrowed it down to “October.” :

Late August—Users will no longer be able to upload or download music through Music Manager. Pre-orders and purchases will be shut down.
September—Streaming shuts down for users in New Zealand and South Africa.
October—Global streaming shutdown. The Google Music app and website will cease to be.
December—Music collections get deleted.

At the time of the streaming shutdown, the app will have been showing shutdown messages for several months.

To save your music collection go to music.youtube.com/transfer and click a few buttons to start the YouTube Music transfer process. The process is painless, and your Google Music account will continue to work even after the transfer. If you decide you don’t want to use YouTube Music, then you still have access to a ton of download options later, without the looming threat of the Google Music deletion.

A copy of your files isn’t hard to get. The Google Music Manager is a Windows and Mac application that can upload music or download your entire music collection with a few clicks, but as Google said, it wil lsoon stop working The other option is Google Takeout, which will wrap your entire music collection in a zip file and send you a download link. The processing for this can take hours. Whichever option you choose, make sure you do something before December because, after that, there will be no way to recover your music.

Other similar close downs include:
Google Fiber kills TV service, focuses on broadband and YouTube TV
Google gives Chrome OS Apps a shutdown date
Google is killing Google Cloud Print

Play Music since 2011 let users upload thousands of songs to the Internet, for free, for streaming playback on most other devices. It was the primary way to play music on the Google Home smart speakers, and it offered music purchases, monthly streaming radio, and podcasts. Google decided to make a competing music streaming service i- YouTube Music, which is now Google’s favored music app. The merger between the two was originally announced in 2018, and it’s happening. YouTube Music emphasises music videos, and the app has a more modern design. YouTube Music awkwardly blends together your entire 15-year YouTube activity history with your music collection, tossing any “liked” videos and subscriptions that have been algorithmically been flagged as “music” into your collection, and mixing together your YouTube playlists and Google Music playlists. There is no way to stop this.

YouTube Music is meant to drive up Google’s subscription numbers for the monthly streaming license fee. The app does away with music purchases and will not let you stream your own music to your Google Home speakers without paying the monthly fee. It’s a big downgrade from Google Music, which offered more functionality to people who purchased music. In 2018, Google told Google Music users “nothing will change” regarding YouTube Music’s uploaded music functionality, but now that the feature is actually here, that’s… not true.

Galaxy Note20 and Windows

August 6th, 2020 by Stephen Jones No comments »

Tap the power of ‘Your Phone’ and ‘Link to Windows’ to seamlessly connect your Samsung Galaxy phone and apps with your Windows 10 PC. Get notifications, calls and texts right on your desktop. Bring together Samsung’s new devices for productivity with the best apps and services across Microsoft 365, Windows 10 and Xbox to help you across work and play.

Leave your Android phone in your pocket. With the Your Phone app, you’ll be able to interact with it on your PC. So, you’ll be able to make and receive calls and texts, check notifications, and get instant access to your phone’s photos and apps

When you launch an app, it opens in a separate window, allowing you to multi-task and saving you the time and hassle of sign-in or set up. You can also pin your phone’s Android apps to your Windows 10 taskbar or Start menu for quick and easy access, making things like checking out your social feed or ordering your lunch while you wrap up a conference call even easier, without ever picking up your phone.

For the past year, Outlook has served as the app for personal productivity on new Samsung phones. This integration now includes Samsung Galaxy watches, including the new Galaxy Watch3. As the native email app on your most important devices across the Samsung ecosystem, Outlook will help you stay organized and productive. Custom optimization for S Pen will also be available on Galaxy Note20, making it easy to write or ink on photographs from your gallery. And Outlook brings Play My Emails to Android devices , offering a voice forward, hands-free way to listen and respond to what’s new in your inbox so you can get time back in your day.

With OneDrive on Samsung Galaxy phones, you have your important files, documents and photos at your fingertips across devices. You can set your phone’s camera roll to automatically sync to OneDrive with Gallery, so your photos and videos are protected and always accessible. And with OneDrive Personal Vault you can store and protect important files with peace of mind behind an extra layer of identity verification. You can keep digital copies of your passport, ID cards, insurance, taxes and other sensitive files in OneDrive and access them securely on your device wherever you are

Why do data warehouses fail? ask Synergy Software Systems for the latest research report

August 6th, 2020 by Stephen Jones No comments »

Organizations are increasing their data warehouse investments, however, the process of identifying and moving data into a data warehouse is not always straightforward.

IT leaders report that organizational and technical challenges are hindering success, according to new research from SnapLogic and Vanson Bourne. This research firm surveyed hundreds of IT decision makers (ITDMs) and recently published their findings.

Key findings:

• Nearly nine in ten (88%) of ITDMs experience challenges trying to load data into data warehouses, major inhibitors are: legacy technology, complex data types and formats, data silos, and data access issues tied to regulatory requirements
• The average enterprise has 115 distinct applications and data sources, with almost half of those (49%) siloed and disconnected from one another
• 89% of ITDMs are worried about those data silos.
• ITDMs report that, on average, 42% of data management processes that could be automated are currently being done manually, taking up valuable time and resources
• As a result, almost all respondents (93%) believe improvements are needed in how they collect, manage, store, and analyze data

Building a data warehouse is one thing. continuously updating it with high data volumes, and rapidly and easily maintaining and updating multiple interfaces with low risk as software updates and business and regulatory requirements change is an ongoing challenge.

Find out how prebuilt snaps, data management tools, data streaming, and low code rapid integration development are supported with an integration platform as a service iPaaS.

Contact us today for a copy of the report and to see demo of Snap logic. 0097143365589