Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

DIFC Registrar of Companies (ROC) – Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)

December 1st, 2014

The ROC recently sent out a letter clarifying their role and the reporting obligations in relation to FATCA. The UAE and the US have in principle agreed the terms of the Intergovernmental FATCA Agreement.
The DIFC is required and empowered to collect the information required under the intergovernmental FATCA agreement and the ROC is to be the point of contact.
The FATCA reporting process will flow from the Foreign Financial Institutions (FFIs) to the ROC on a form prescribed by the US, and this information will be forward by the ROC to the Ministry of Finance, which will consolidate it with data from federally regulated FFIs before sending it to the US Treasury.

CRM 2015 – Synergy Software Systems takes a closer look

November 26th, 2014

With the release of Dynamics CRM 2015, Microsoft made available the related tools including the new Report Authoring Extension The Report Extension (required to build FetchXML reports) is now compatible with Visual Studio 2012.
SQL Server Data Tools – Business Intelligence for Visual Studio 2012 must be installed, together with .NET Framework 4.5.2

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Report Authoring Extension (CRM 2015 BIDS)
Latest version: 07.00.0000.3543 – 17 November 2014
Download link: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=45013

Microsoft updated its iPad app for Dynamics CRM (App Store) with CRM 2015 support.
The App description starts with an important note:
For CRM 2015, this app is supported on iOS 6, 7, and 8.
For CRM 2013, it is supported on iOS 6 and 7.

•Use multiple dashboards on the go
•Personalize your Home page
•Create records and capture notes while disconnected
•Support for additional languages
•Bug fixes

Gitex 2014 Day 2 – Synergy Software Systems

October 14th, 2014

Visitor of the day:

TCPOS with its friendly user interface and dual purpose for both retail and restaurant operations had a steady stream of visitors.

The handpunch and other biometric devices were also a magnet for visitors.

The manifold features of AEC construction and it BIM and engine ring and project management features were a revlation for most visitors.

Eid Mubarak

July 27th, 2014

As we head into the long weekend we wish all our readers Eid Mubarak.

Synergy offices will be closed Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon , Tue and will re-open on Wed 30th August.

(Blessed Eid ( عيد مبارك‎,) is a traditional Muslim greeting reserved for use on the EID festivals. Muslims often use the phrase Eid Mubarak after performing the Eid prayer).

Middle East Bank Regulatory reporting getting tougher.

June 22nd, 2014

I have just returned from what is becoming a regular trip to Kuwait after also meeting with man\y banks in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Meetings with many of the banks has highlighted the increasing burden of regulatory reporting driven by a zealous Central Bank and imminent new Basel lll requirements.

This month there have been statements and white papers from Central Banks in the region to notify that to ensure sound banking practices are enforced.
the regulations will get tougher as the year progresses

The need for comprehensive Regulatory Capital Compliance in the Middle East is similarly seen in KSA where an implementation date for Basel iii was announced as long back as January 1 2013, with its regulated banks due to report under Basel iii in due course.

This change in the regulatory landscape, together with its ambitious commercial
strategy and wish to become internal ratings-based (iRB) compliant, challenges the way banks manage regulatory capital data, and the capital calculations.

Over the last 6 months it is evident that banks are increasingly aware that for regulatory reporting. the current largely manual compliance and reporting processes need to be automated, to enhance the timeliness, efficiency and accuracy of regulatory capital calculations and regulatory reports.

Part of the challenge is that core banking systems were not designed to generate such returns. Data is typically spread across multiple back office systems and spreadsheets. Another challenge is that banks that operate internationally may need to report the same data to multiple regulatory authorities in different reporting templates. Central banks are also looking to automate their own regulatory reporting efficiency and there is a gradual move to digital reporting e.g. via XBRL format.

Enterprise Data Consolidation into a central data platform is the key to streamlined and accurate regulatory capital compliance and reporting. Standard Microsoft SQL technologies such as SSAS, SSIS, and SSRs can then manage the ETL process and data validation and aggregation. Risk and other calculation engines with built-in calculations for Basel ii and Basel lll compliance provide a single platform for reporting. The required data can then be surfaced from underlying data cubes into specific central bank formats, typically in Excel.

It is not efficient for each bank to have to study complex regulations and to each develop the same report, in discrete systems that are individually maintained. Banks need a productized, out-of-the-box solution ,which embodies: approvals, audit trails, and kpi dashboards, and industry standard security, built on a standard configurable framework. This provides a common platform for support, and makes it much easier to introduce report modifications and even new reporting requirements.

Central bank regulatory requirements are essentially the same globally and reflect international compliance to accords like Basel ll and FATCA, COREP and FINREP etc. This means the underlying data model can also be common, though local calculations and report output formats. With a common model , report format changes can be incorporated by the software author to the benefit of all. This not only reduces the cost, time and risks of implementing a regulatory compliance solution but also the ongoing maintenance and the need to incorporate new reporting requirements.

in addition to streamlining compliance, automating regulatory capital management helps to augment overall business management. The underlying data warehouse can also be used to create internal MIS reports. Consolidated regulatory capital data allows a bank to fully reconcile its risks with its balance sheet. This single version of the truth enables the bank’s senior management to understand its risks, and to ensure the bank is properly capitalized to meet the needs of both the regulator and the business.

An SSAS data warehouse allow powerful data ‘drill down’ to understand the breadth and depth of the risks that banks manage and how these change over time. Managers are fully informed, to take risk-based decisions, based on the bank’s business strategy.

BRSAnalytics is a purpose built solution for regulatory compliance and management control. It is not a BI tool that has been adapted. It is a purpose built solution that embeds regulatory knowledge and is built on industry standard technology. Such a system helps a bank’s directors to meet their personal Corporate governance obligations. it provides key stakeholders and management a comprehensive toolset to manage its risks, its capital and its business strategy.
The solution is proven over the last 7 years with 100% implementation success.

“By automating the process of data gathering, it has significantly reduced time spent on otherwise unnecessary internal regulatory computation maintenance.”
Alan Bartoli, ICT & Operations Officer (Izola Bank plc)

In holding in-depth discussions regarding BRSANALYTICS, it was evident that the solution was well thought out and backed by a knowledgeable implementation team with the necessary expertise to cater for our regulatory needs. The simple fact that it condenses all the data to produce one single accurate report made it the obvious choice in treating this monthly burden with confidence and efficiency.”
Anthony Schembri, Managing Director (Raiffeisen Bank)

Ask for a copy of the Fimbank Case Study:
“…providing a wealth of functionality such as drill-downs”
“…enable business users to analyse and respond to regulators’ queries”
“…Drastic Reduction of Data Collation and Verification Time”
“…the Bank has been able to dramatically reduce the time it took to prepare regulatory reports by at least gaining 75% efficiency”
“…now, we are able to do the same process in a fraction of the time. This is remarkable”
“…This has given its members the time to focus on primarily ensuring a more qualitative output and submission to Regulators”
“…I’m very happy to say that because of BRSANALYTICS, we have achieved this goal”
“…Better Insight”
“…Easy Localisation”
“…deploying the solution has proven to be a game changer”
“…we are now able to focus on other important assignments”
“…gain better insight on our financial activities, be more productive and improve our decision making due to the use of business analytics

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Update Rollup 2 is released

May 14th, 2014

Microsoft has released Update Rollup 2.
This is a tested, cumulative set of updates for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013. It includes performance enhancements that are packaged together for easy deployment.

Dynamics Ax and Lasernet-Output management

April 27th, 2014

Group companies, have a multitude of external forms to send to trading partners, banks, authorities etc.

These forms are often bundled e.g. Packing slip and invoice go together and are distributed through a number of media including print, e-mail and EDI. .

Gardner defines output management as: “middleware that drives the output process and supports the automated creation and delivery of business process and ad hoc documents.”

Output management generates a data stream from a source system, then formats the data based on business logic, and renders the data in a predefined output format and transports this rendered output to the chosen destination.

So in simple words you can capture the print output form your erp system and format it better outside of the system e.g in Word, and then distribute it with more options e.g fax, email, xml, to archive etc.

This greatly simplifies maintenance. It greatly reduces consulting time for report formats especially when you want to change these wholesale
Its easy to update e.g. a tel number via a template word document across multiple commercial documents.
When you upgrade the report formats don’t need to change the final document just the data mapping.
Its much easier to have different versions e.g a sales order with item bar codes for on client, with item pictures another and plain for another, or to do things like add a page total or a different sort order.

Why Use 3rd Party Output Management?

Clearly, if you are a small business with limited needs for formatting you external print, you’ll probably be better off using what is already provided by your ERP or CRM system, but if you are a larger enterprise with multiple brands across multiple geographies with a large portfolio of documents, then output management is worthwhile.

If you have ever tried to design and build an invoice layout in Dynamics AX (or any other ERP system for that matter) that supports the needs of multiple subsidiaries with multiple brands in many countries, then you know what I mean. It is time-consuming, and needs testing and fine tuning and often leaves everyone slightly disappointed with the results.

Output management has a number of advantages:
◾External forms look far more professional.
◾It avoids modifying reports or precision forms in Dynamics AX.
◾It has significantly more intuitive form layout capabilities.
◾It is specifically designed for the job.
◾Less expensive in the long run.
◾Provides efficient and flexible distribution of documents to multiple destinations.
And perhaps for customers the most important feature is that they can make changes in most cases immediately without need for consultant expertise.

The most important advantage of output management is the ability to give the business what it needs, when it needs it. External forms are “the public face of the business”, and their branding in a market or region. It should not be held up by long-winded change control governance processes and spend control procedures and extended development and testing . By using output management with multiple overlays, you achieve this agility without taking significant risks.

If you have multiple systems in your solution landscape, output management can help harmonise the way forms look form those different sources and how they are produced and distributed across the business. This is often an advantage when some documents derive from the CRM system, others from ERP or Pyrollssytems and yet more from the eCommerce solution.

Is AX Up for the Job?

Microsoft made a significant improvement by introducing Print Management. With Print Management we were able to set up multiple destinations for each document type. Since then, not much has happened, actually. It would be great, if we were able to write conditional scripts, so we could base the print destination on a number of conditions e.g. Brand, Product, Customer Group etc. also, it would be ideal, if it was possible to “bundle” documents. This way you could for instance automatically print labels with the packing slip.

As with most erp systems scripting and conditional formatting in SSRS is not so easy for precision forms with lots of lines and columns.

What Solution ?
Well some good ones don’t come with a connector for Ax

We offer Lasernet from FormPipe which is very common in Scandinavia from where Ax of course originates. So they have a long history together. The solution is closely integrated with Dynamics AX i.e.its embedded within and provides Print preview capabilities. Lasernet also offers some input management capabilities, so if you are after an easy-to-implement solution without too much complexity this solution is a good bet.

Ask us to show you. 0097143365589

Android Botnet Targets Middle East Banks

April 6th, 2014

The botnet — dubbed “Sandroid” — comes bundled with Android apps made to look like mobile two-factor authentication modules for various banks, including Riyad Bank, SAAB (formerly the Saudi British Bank), AlAhliOnline (National Commercial Bank), Al Rajhi Bank, and Arab National Bank.

. It’s not clear how the apps are initially presented to victims, but such scams typically infect the victim’s computer with a password-stealing banking Trojan. Many banks send customers text messages containing one-time codes that are used to supplement a username and password when the customer logs on to the bank’s Web site. That precaution requires attackers interested in compromising those accounts to also hack the would-be victim’s phone. Banking Trojans — particularly those targeting customers of financial institutions outside of the United States — may throw up a browser pop-up box that mimics the bank and asks the user to download a “security application” on their mobile phones. Those apps are instead phony programs that intercept and relay the victim’s incoming SMS messages to the botnet master, who can then use the code along with the victim’s banking username and password to log in as the victim.\

. Some 28,000+ text messageswere intercepted by the Sandroid botnet malware. This particular botnet appears to have been active for at least the past year, and the mobile malware associated with it has been documented by both Symantec and Trend Micro. The malware itself seems to be heavily detected by most of the antivirus products on the market, but then again it’s likely that few — if any — of these users are running antivirus applications on their mobile devices.

In addition, this fake bank campaign appears to have previously targeted Facebook, as well as banks in Australia and Spain, including Caixa Bank, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, and St. George Bank.

The miscreant behind this campaign seems to have done little to hide his activities. The same registry information that was used to register the domain associated with this botnet — funnygammi.com — was also used to register the phony bank domains that delivered this malware, including alrajhiankapps.com, commbankaddons.com, facebooksoft.net, caixadirecta.net, commbankapps.com, nationalaustralia.org, and stgeorgeaddons.com.

The registrar used in each of those cases was Center of Ukrainian Internet Names.

One problem with the whole banking infrastructure is that there are many targets for attackers. Researchers from consultancy MWR Infosecurity, uncovered four vulnerabilities in various mobile point of sale terminals – the ones that people behind the bar ask you to shove your card into, but the new ones that let the merchant set the thing up and manage it with their mobiles or tablets.( iZettle is the best known example in Europe ). In all cases, hackers can do what they want on the machine. The most likely scenario is they could change the code so that it reads the mag stripe… then they can clone the mag stripe after they’ve retrieved the PIN number. These point of sale devices are approved by Visa and MasterCard.

Malware appears to be well-detected by mobile antivirus solutions. Many antivirus firms offer free mobile versions of their products. Some are free, and others are free for the initial use — they will scan and remove malware for free but charge for yearly subscriptions. Some of the free offerings include AVG, Avast, Avira, Bitdefender, Dr. Web, ESET, Fortinet, Lookout, Norton, Panda Cloud Antivirus, Sophos, and ZoneAlarm. Incidentally, the mobile phone number used to intercept all of the text messages is +79154369077, which traces back to a subscriber in Moscow on the Mobile Telesystems network. Source – http://krebsonsecurity.com/2014/04/android-botnet-targets-middle-east-banks/ -

Dynamics Ax R3 introduction video

April 5th, 2014

On the 10th of April there will be an on-line experience event- if you have not yet had an invitation then please contact us for more information. This is a free webinar on the updated Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 to learn how you can deliver amazing customer experiences

Join the CFO of Kathmandu, the CIO of Ashley Furniture, and the IT director of Kent Corporation as they discuss their “reimagined customer experience” and the success they’re achieving with Microsoft Dynamics AX. We’ll share a “digital view” of a dynamic business solution (Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3) that helps you engage with your customers on their terms, run dynamics operations and expand rapidly to better serve your customers.

For more information call\; Bindu or Bikram 00971433655589

SQL 2014 – standard version extra features

March 23rd, 2014

Recent changes in the documentation for SQL Server 2014 have include some significant changes that will have a fantastic impact on Standard Edition customers.

More Memory: The first s that the supported memory limit per instance is raised to 128 GB in SQL Server 2014

Buffer pool extensions: The Buffer Pool is one of the main memory consumers in SQL Server. When you read data from your storage, the data is cached in the Buffer Pool. SQL Server caches Execution Plans in the Plan Cache, which is also part of the Buffer Pool. The more physical memory you have, the larger your Buffer Pool will be (configured through the Max Server Memory setting). The Buffer Pool itself, is very fast (regarding latency).

The Buffer Pool Extensions itself consist of one file (the Extension File) that should be stored on very fast storage – i.e. an SSD drive. The Extension File is similar to the page file in the Windows OS. Instead of adding additional physical memory to your database server, configure an Extension File on a SSD drive – that’s it!

Memory pressure occurs when SQL Server needs more memory than is currently available. In that case the Buffer evicts pages from the Buffer Pool, which were least recently used. SQL Server uses a Least Recently Used Policy (LRU). If you have configured an Extension File, then SQL Server will write these pages into it, instead of writing directly out to our slow storage. If the page is a dirty one, then the page will be also concurrently written to the physical storage (through an asynchronous I/O operation). Therefore you can’t lose any data when you are dealing with the Buffer Pool Extensions. At some point in time your Extension File will be also completely full. In that case SQL Server has to evict older pages from the Extension File (again through a LRU policy), and finally writes those to the physical storage. The Extension File just acts as an additional layer between the Buffer Pool and the storage itself.

Seasonal greetings from Synergy Software Systems, Dubai

December 17th, 2013

As I head for U.K, with a seasonal cold I offer you this very cute seasonal greeting.

http://ak.imgag.com/imgag/product/preview/flash/bws8Shell_fps24.swf?ihost=http://ak.imgag.com/imgag&brandldrPath=/product/full/el/&cardNum=/product/full/ap/3166187/graphic1

Give it a little time and follow the simple instructions and share it with a child.

Cloud security breach – how would you respond?

December 1st, 2013

Over the 18 months ending June 2013, enterprises boosted their use of cloud storage by 90 percent, resulting in 45 percent more revenue for cloud service providers, according to report released by Verizon.

Is a concern about cloud security an irrational fear? In short, we have no way of knowing but attackers are likely to increase because the target audience is also increasing.

In the case of almost all the data breaches of the past year, the custodians of the data weren’t aware of the extent of their security weaknesses until their vulnerabilities were exposed by hackers. In some cases, they didn’t even know of the breach until the hackers boasted about it. What if they don’t boast?

Companies need to know the cloud provider’s contractual obligations because there is often a murky line between the cloud provider’s responsibilities and the customer’s responsibilities. expect different response from those who provide: Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and software-as-a-service (SaaS) or infrastructure-as-a-service.

Successful intrusions may be infrequent – getting thirty million IDs and passwords is a difficult task, even from leaky on-premise infrastructures – but the consequences could be devastating. Finding out the extent of a data breach is hard. Kevvie Fowler’s SQL Server Forensic Analysis, explains in detail the tools, processes, data and logs required to identify and to collect the various data fragments (artifacts) to reconstruct the activity of an intruder.

If part of all of your infrastructure, platform or software is hosted in the cloud, then consider:.
How do you detect and repair any damage inflicted?
How would you find out what cloud data has been stolen?
How to plan your response to a security breach?

Azure moves forward

October 24th, 2013

Many advances recently announced here are two that caught my eye.:

Windows Azure Backup Services. A simple offering for backing up Windows Server to the cloud.

Hyper-V Recovery Manager a service that uses Azure to coordinate the replication and recovery of private clouds that use System Center Virtual Machine Manager. For disaster recovery, the service will help users to replicate between two sites, (both of which can be on-premise).

September 12th, 2013

ERP Project Recovery

Unfortunately, not all ERP projects go as planned. Indeed the majority still fail as a recent survey comfirms that not much has improved since the same survey last year. The relaity is that the situation may be worse, some users don’t even realise they have a bad system, or have learned to live with it rather than tell mangement it is not quite what they promised.

Synergy is regularly invited to help turn around problem implementations.

Sometimes project scope creeps, the ERP project team decides to customize too much, or the enterprise software vendor or system integrator simply isn’t able to get the job done.

Further, ERP failure can take many forms: from complete operational disruption to a lack of alignment or user buy-in that negatively affects the organization’s return on its ERP investment.

A frequent problem in this expatriate market is labour turnover of both customer and consultant staff, excerbated by short term expediency to offshore work which in the long run proves more expensive when it either has to be redone or no-one is around to support it. There is usually little evidence of documentation, or best practise checking in such cases.

Synergy Software Systems is one of the longest established enterprise solution practises in the region, and bases all its staff in Dubai. We have a low staff turnover relative to the industry and in most cases more senior and better certified consultants. Experienced senior consultants cost more, but they do better quality work in less time, add value and don’t cut corners.

Typical errors we find;

Incorrect set up of server, raid, windows and sql
Code not compiled and not to best practise.
Systems unpatched
Inappropriate configuraiton settings
Inappropriate data structures
Opening balances unreconciled
Duplicate data
Inventory not closed
Month ends not closed
Year ends not closed
Users unaware of basic navigation features, inquiries and reports
Unnecessary customisation
Unused modules
Many unresolved issues
Poor response time
Little use of workflows, alerts, BI
No management of database, table sizes, log files, data retention, etc.

If you need to reboot your projects and to get a firm foundation then give us a call – better still ask our customers about the value such an exercise brings.

Dynamics Ax Schools Admission Module for the U.A.E. from Synergy Software Systems

September 9th, 2013

This was developed and implemented in several schools in the U.A.E.to manage the complete back office functions of a major U.K. public school.

Some Key features include:

Enquiry,
Registration,
Admissions,
Waiting list management
Sibling management
Enrolment of students,
Assignment of students to class and year groups, house etc.
Re-enrollment,
Promotions,
Billing for academic(tuition) and non-academic fees .
Collection of fees
Debentures
Withdrawal process of Students based on the KHDA and ADEC rules, Refund process
Generation of transfer Certificate
KHDA reporting and compliance and ADEC requirements and compliance.
Integration into Access control, ID card generation, Schools portal in SharePoint, integration into a Library Management System
Implementing HR for Teaching, Admin and non Admin staff.

And of course the full suite of Dynamics Ax modules are available including : Financials, Purchasing, inventory, HR, CRM, Service module, Project Accounting, Document Management, Case Management, Alerts, Management Reporter, Retail POS, Questionnaire, Customer Portal

We also offer complimentary solutions for the Education sector for example: specialist School management software, rfid cards for self service library kiosks, cashless payment, and access control, Mimosa timetable software etc.

Call Bikram for more information: 00971 4 3365589