Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

Oman introduces VAT – Dynamics 365 and Ax users ask Synergy Software Systems

November 4th, 2020

Our experienced consulting team has considerable financial expertise in and experience of VAT implementation in the UAE, KSA and Bahrain, across all industry sectors. They can help you to assess the impact of VAT on your organisation and to assist with your VAT requirements in Oman.

We have deep experience both with Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations and with Infor Sunsystems

On Monday 12 October 2020, His Majesty, the Sultan of Oman, Sultan Haitham bin Tariq bin Taimur, issued Royal Decree No.121/2020 in relation to implementation of VAT in Oman from April 2021. announced the implementation of Value Added Tax (‘VAT’) on 12 October 2020. The VAT Law was published in the Official Gazette of Oman on Sunday, 18 October 2020. The date of implementation of VAT in Oman is 16 April 2021 (i.e.180 days from the date of publication of the Law in the Official Gazette). The standard rate of VAT in Oman is 5% and consistent with the GCC Unified Agreement, and there are provisions for zero rating and exemptions in the Oman VAT Law. By global standards, 5% is one of the lowest VAT rates implemented in the world. The online registration for VAT is not yet live but is likely to commence from January 2021.

Oman’s Tax Authority has been granted up to six months after the tax comes into force to issue the Executive Regulations. This effectively means that the Tax Authority has until October 13, 2021, to issue the Executive Regulations The Oman VAT Law is expected to come into force with effect from around April 16, 2021, which marks 180 days from its publication in the Official Gazette. The latter event happened on October 18, 2020, effectively providing businesses covered by the remit of the new tax with a six-month timeframe to get their accounting and IT systems in readiness for the implementation of VAT.

As with other tax related statutes, the VAT Law too enshrines relatively stiff penalties for defaulters. The new VAT Law prescribes prison terms of not less than two months and not exceeding one year or fines ranging from RO 1000 to 10,000 or both. The penalty is doubled for repeat offences, although the prison term may be increased by no more than half of this limit.There are different types of offences or other forms of non-compliance that are liable to attract the penal provisions of the law. Liable to be penalised are taxable entities that, among other things, deliberately fail to identify the “responsible person” – the company’s designated point of reference on tax matters.
• Similarly, legal action may be initiated if “the responsible person deliberately fails to notify the Oman Tax Authority and obtain its consent to appoint another responsible person during the period of his absence for a period of more than 90 days”,
• Examples include: unauthorised ‘fudging’ of data, failure to submit tax returns, failure to maintain tax invoices and documents in the prescribed order, failure to respond to a summons, and submission of inaccurate data in order to secure a refund.
• Belated tax payments will attract an additional tax at rate of one per cent of the tax due for every month or part of the month the tax remains due. To deter tax evasion, the Tax Authority is empowered to take necessary action in cases where it is proven that a taxable entity has committed fraud, according to the multinational professional services firm. Action may also be taken if the primary objective of any transaction effected, or activity carried out, before or after the effective date, is to avoid the tax due for any tax period, in full or in part.

The Oman VAT Law is based on the principles laid down in the Unified GCC Agreement for VAT, comprising 106 Articles which are divided into 13 Chapters.
A brief summary of the key provisions of the Oman VAT Law is given below.
• Zero rating – Subject to the conditions mentioned in the Executive Regulations, the following supplies are zero rated as per the Oman VAT Law:
• Supply of certain food products specified by a decision from the Chairman.
• Supply of specified medicines and medical equipment.
• Supply of investment gold, silver, and platinum.
• Supplies of international or intra GCC transport of goods or passengers, and supply of services in connection with this transport.
• Supply of air, sea and land means of transport that are designated for the transportation of passengers and goods for commercial purposes and the supply of related goods and services.
• Supply of rescue planes, and rescue and assistance boats.
• Supply of oil, oil derivatives and natural gas.
• Supplies made outside GCC countries in specified cases, subject to certain conditions.
• Supply of goods and services that are exempt from VAT in Oman and that are supplied to the territory outside of the GCC.
• Exemption from VAT – Subject to the conditions mentioned in the Executive Regulations, the following supplies shall be exempt from VAT as per the Oman VAT Law:
• Financial services.
• Healthcare services and related goods and services.
• Educational services and related goods and services.
• Undeveloped land (bare land).
• Resale of residential properties.
• Local passenger transport.
• Rental of properties for residential purposes.
o The Oman VAT Law also specifies certain imported goods that will be exempt from VAT such as returned goods, personal luggage, etc.
• All supplies of goods and services in Oman, except those mentioned above will attract VAT at the standard rate of 5%, subject to the place of supply provisions mentioned in the Oman VAT Law.
• Registration
o Mandatory registration – If the total value of supplies made at the end of a month, or expected to be made at the end of the month, in addition to the immediately preceding eleven months, exceeds OMR 38,500, then VAT registration is mandatory.
o Voluntary registration – VAT registration can be applied for voluntarily in case, the total value of supplies/expenditure made at the end of a month or expected to be made at the end of the month, in addition to the immediately preceding eleven months exceeds OMR 19,250.
o The registration process will be online.
o The Oman VAT Law specifies that a non-resident who makes supplies in Oman must also register for VAT as a non-resident taxpayer, irrespective of the threshold limits. The non-resident VAT registration can also be obtained by appointing a tax representative in Oman.
o The Oman VAT Law also stipulates VAT Group registration and the Executive Regulations will contain details around conditions to be met in order to register as a VAT Group.
o The Oman VAT Law mentions that the mandatory registration threshold shall be determined and amended by a decision from the Chairman of the Oman Tax Authorities.

Steps to take now
With the release of the Oman VAT Law, businesses must start preparing and ensure that they are ready to comply with the VAT requirements by 16 April 2021. The mandatory registration threshold shall be determined and amended vide a decision from the Chairman of the Oman Tax Authorities.
T
he concept of a ‘Responsible Person’ is unique to Oman and the other three GCC countries that have implemented VAT thus far do not have such a concept. The Oman Tax Authority is expected to release sector specific guides to help business in various sectors prepare for the VAT implementation.

With a very limited frame, before VAT goes live in Oman, business must immediately:
- identify team members for their VAT implementation projects (whether external or inhouse),
- assess their transactions and the applicable VAT treatment,
- assess their IT systems readiness and review their contracts to ensure a seamless VAT implementation.

Businesses need to give due consideration to transition and cut-over planning.

important VAT issues based on our experiences assisting clients in the region in relation to a VAT regime’s introduction:
• Importance of contracts and appropriate VAT clauses
• Ascertaining correct VAT treatment
• VAT registration and gathering TRN information from customers
• VAT recovery issues and VAT grouping
• VAT litigation avoidance strategies

Summary of key to focus on to implement VAT within your business:
1. Project Plan: budget for VAT implementation (e.g. consultants, training, resources, IT systems), set up VAT steering committee and assign responsibilities
2. Raise Awareness: educate and train employees on impact of VAT on accounting and reporting processes
3. VAT Impact Assessment: undertake VAT impact assessment, assess transitional provisions and classify and map VAT treatment of all business transactions
4. Cash Flow: assess cash flow impact and working capital requirements
5. IT Systems: analyse existing accounting systems capability for VAT reporting and consider upgrade or new system
6. Pricing: consider impact of VAT on pricing and demand
7. Contracts: review current contracts with suppliers and customers and include VAT clauses in new contracts
8. Processes: determine changes required to existing accounts payable processes and documentation including invoices and record keeping
9. Customer & Supplier Management: communicate with existing suppliers and customers to notify them of impact of VAT and negotiate with new suppliers and customers
10. Compliance: establish whether required or able to register for VAT and register on time.

Experienced resources will soon be in high demand, and it is best to take early guidance.

Contact us now to book a web half day briefing and assessment workshop to and to benefit from our experience.
0097143365589

What’s new in Dynamics SCM October 2020 Wave release – Ask Synergy Software Systems

October 6th, 2020

Edge computing is not just a buzzword. Companies often struggle with latency and connectivity when running operations in remote facilities. In fact, network latency is a top connectivity challenge for 30 percent of manufacturers, according to the IDC1. A leading cause of latency is high volume and resource-intensive processes running in parallel, resulting in reduced productivity.

Edge computing, is a means go changing where processing happens. The edge is the end of your organization’s network, the end of your reach. Edge computing put Internet of Things (IoT) devices closer to the locations they serve. The big benefits of edge computing is bandwidth savings and reduced latency, or the time it takes data to travel. Sending all data captured to a remote, central location requires a lot of bandwidth. When you put devices at the edge of your network, they can process the data before transferring only the output to your central server, which will reduce the amount of data and thus the bandwidth needed to send the information across the internet.

Data centers, typically run in cool dry atmospheres with little variability in temperature, edge computing devices are meant to operate in real-world conditions. They are usually more robust against heat and humidity and require less power, because they’re not located in big data centers that consume large amounts of electricity.

Operations without interruptions
The new Cloud and Edge Scale Unit add-ins for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, coming to preview in October, brings the power of the intelligent cloud to the edge. It allows organizations to run critical warehousing and manufacturing workloads on the edge in a distributed model using Azure stack devices. This improves resilience and ensures operations without interruptions even when temporarily disconnected from the cloud.

Scaling production and distribution with agility
Customers can make data-driven decisions before making any investment by easily simulating various factors that impact resilience of their critical manufacturing and warehouse processes, such as network latency, traffic volume, time-outs, or intermittent connectivity. They can then deploy the scale units—edge or cloud—to best overcome these challenges.

Microsoft Azure compute technologies make the deployment of edge scale units seamless with a plug-and-play experience and allows customers to easily scale during usage spikes to ensure high throughput.

In the past, edge deployments have been associated with use cases related to asset management due to the biggest concern associated with latency issues. With the new scale units for Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, however, the use cases have expanded to other critical manufacturing and warehouse execution scenarios.

Many manufacturers and distributors are heavily regulated and have strict policy requirements. These customers have been conservative with their migration to the cloud, which has impeded their ability to overcome disruptions like the one caused by the current pandemic. With the ability to run distributed workloads on the edge, these companies can feel more confident running the manufacturing and warehousing workloads on their premises while migrating the rest of their operations to the cloud; thereby digitally transforming their organizations and reducing costs to become more resilient.

What is the downside?
Edge computing requires a lot of hardware. For example, a large distributor or manufacturer who wanted to use IoT security cameras would need to have those edge devices at all of their hubs or warehouses. Decentralizing your equipment can present logistical challenges when it comes to management and maintenance

Edge computing has an increased attack vector because these multiple internet-facing devices are not behind well-secured corporate networks with giant firewalls, and therefore are more vulnerable to being hacked. A malicious user might try to steal your data or just commandeer your devices.

In the consumer space, a lack of security updates is a problem for products like smart lightbulbs, doorbells, and home sensors. As vulnerabilities are found, these devices need to be patched, to ensure a cybercriminal does not get unwarranted access onto your home network or take over the operation of your lightbulbs or doorbell.

To learn join us for two Webinars with Microsoft and Reddington on 21 October 2020 covering Dynamics 365 Finance, Dynamics 365 SCM Dynamics 365 Fraud protection, and how the cloud and Dynamics 365 is supporting digital transformation and new business paradigms.
To learn more call us on 009714 3365589

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

August 19th, 2020

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/

Dubai lock down-stay home, stay safe

April 5th, 2020

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) on Saturday announced its public bus services will be free of charge for individuals permitted to leave their homes during the extended two-week sterilisation period. Additionally, Dubai Taxi vehicles and franchised taxis will offer a 50 per cent discount on normal fares.

The decision follows an announcement made by Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management, in coordination with the Command and Control Centre for Combating COVID-19, to extend the sterilisation programme to 24 hours a day for a period of two weeks across all areas and communities in the emirate as part of enhanced preventive measures in the community. The two-week period is subject to renewal.

Mattar Al Tayer, Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), said the decision reflects RTA’s commitment to the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to provide the greatest possible support to all members of the community during this sensitive period. “The measures aim to help members of the public who need to leave their homes for essential purposes and those who work in vital sectors. The decision underscores the RTA’s commitment to support the efforts made by Dubai and the UAE to combat the novel coronavirus and reduce the risk of its spread to the minimum.”

Dubai Metro and Tram services will be suspended from April 5 until further notice. According to a circular by Serco, which is responsible for the operations and maintenance of Dubai Metro, retailers have been told they will not have access to their stores during this period. All stations on the red and green line of the Dubai Metro are to be closed.

People working in support sectors are permitted to leave homes in Dubai during the 24-hour national sterilisation programme, but are requested to present proof, Dubai Police said on Sunday. Dubai Police patrols, surveillance cameras and radars are being used to identify people who do not comply with the authorities’ order during the national sterilisation programme in Dubai.

Employees working in banking and financial services (banks and exchange centres), social welfare services, laundry services (for permitted outlets) and maintenance services, are permitted to commute to work between 8am and 2pm.

Members of the public are allowed to go out for:

• Essential needs such as buying food from food supply outlets (Union Cooperative stores, supermarkets and groceries); only one family member is permitted to leave the house for this purpose.

• Buying medicines/getting medical assistance from healthcare service providers like hospitals, clinics and pharmacies

• COVID-19 tests

The measures will be effective from 8pm on Saturday, April 4, 2020 for a period of two weeks, subject to renewal. Individuals will not be allowed to leave the house, except for essential purposes or if they are working in vital sectors exempted from the restrictions. All people leaving home should wear a mask, gloves and ensure they keep a safe distance from others.

.Food retail outlets such as Union cooperative stores and supermarkets, as well as pharmacies and food and medicine deliveries are allowed to operate

Dubai Police said that people can call 999 for emergencies and 901 for non-emergencies as well as report any violations through E-Crime platform and ‘Police Eye Service’.

Synergy continues to provide email, telephone and dial in support to it customers across the MEA region. all of our staff are collaborating with TEAMS

CFO survey shows the way growth opportunities

April 2nd, 2020

CFOs seek to transform their departments to take on less of a controlling and and administrative reporting role, to a more strategic advisory role. Data-driven insight is what helps the entire organization move forward.

Growth Opportunities for CFOs

1. Increase FP&A Maturity
Only 2% of the nearly 400 CFOs surveyed rate their FP&A maturity level as “leading.” The research found that the lower the level of FP&A maturity, the more time Finance spends on low-value tasks. In the Finance world, this translates to wasted time in spreadsheets.

Those using more sophisticated analytics tools and processes spent less than 20% of their time in spreadsheets. Simply put, higher FP&A maturity, frees Finance to focus their brain power on analysis and to provide critical business guidance.

2. Solving Roadblocks to FP&A Maturity
What’s preventing CFOs from pursuing their priorities? According to the survey, most of the challenges are related to capacity: lacking enough time, sufficient human resources, and the right financial resources. A majority of respondents felt they were too busy with existing responsibilities to pursue their priorities. Yet, many CFOs were unable to hire people with the right skills or train employees within their department. More sophisticated tools can help mitigate all three roadblocks.

3. Getting Organizational Buy-in to Invest in the Finance Department
In spite of these challenges, the Finance leaders surveyed expressed optimism and resilience. They understand the need to secure the buy-in of executive management for investments in technology and sophisticated FP&A.

The good news is that our research found most organizations are willing to invest. Over 60% of respondents said their organization was willing to selectively choose new areas to apply technology and run pilot programs. An additional 12% of organizations are aggressively seeking new technologies to try.

Leading CFOs are securing these investments by making a convincing financial case backed by a compelling business case.

Tackle These Challenges Head-On
With the right tools CFOs can meet the challenge of pursuing FP&A maturity, investing in new technology, and expanding the role of the Finance department.

Contact us for a copy of the benchmark report 0097143365589

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Ask about Prophix Corporate Performance Management, UiPAth Robotic Automation and Power Bi

CO: COVID-19 Exceptional Travel Advisory Notice

March 24th, 2020

As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the U.K. FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel.

Any country or area may restrict travel without notice. If you live in the UK and are currently travelling abroad, you are strongly advised to return now, where and while there are still commercial routes available. Many airlines are suspending flights and many airports are closing, preventing flights from leaving.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus [gov.uk]

Coronavirus – crisis and team management for remote workers

March 16th, 2020

Coronavirus is a potent example of major disruption to business flow and continuity. Employees are unable to get to offices or need to self isolate. Offices may be shut down due to physical plant failure or lack of staff or to reduce risk of spread of infection. Consultants can’t travel to projects, supply chains are disrupted but customers still need service and support. Whatever the reason, organizations have to manage such incidents, collaboration and communication are essential to to ensure business continuity.

Microsoft Teams provides a suite of features. We have a ready template to get you started in a few days. The solution combines capabilities of Power Apps, Power Automate, Teams, and SharePoint.

Use on the web, mobile and in Teams.

The Crisis Communication app provides a user-friendly experience to connect end users with information about a crisis. Staff can quickly get updates on:

- internal company news,
- answers to frequently asked questions,
- access to important information like links – add RSS feeds of up-to-date information from reputable sources such as WHO, CDC, Airlines. or a local authority
- emergency contacts specific to different locations..

Create a crisis management team within Microsoft Teams to respond to issues.

Employees can report their work status (e.g., working from home) and make requests.

Managers can coordinate across their teams and helps central response teams to track status across an organization.

Monitor office absences with Power BI.

Once you have the app deployed, and people notify that they will be out of the office for various reasons (such as being sick or working from home) use a Power BI report to track how many. and where those people are located.

The adoption of Microsoft Teams has grown substantially in recentweeks, according to Microsoft, l because of the coronavirus outbreak that forces employees to work from home.

“Microsoft Teams is the only platform with tailored capabilities to connect everyone in your company, from the C-suite to the firstline, in one digital workspace. Our capabilities are built for your customer support staff, IT help desk, store associates, line workers and more,” Microsoft says.

Microsoft itself has not been immune to disruption and has cancelled Ignite Tour events, and to change its mixed reality plans following the cancellation of MWC, and Build 2020. Microsoft said its third quarter finances around Personal Computing will be harmed by the outbreak disrupting supplies.

https://www.zdnet.com/article/effective-strategies-and-tools-for-remote-work-during-coronavirus/

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Ask about out other solutions for access controls, remote monitoring, business risk and continuity planning.

During a time of high illnesses and absences, consider our extended professional support and managed services.

Call 00971433645589

Microsoft to end support for all Windows 10 Mobile applications …the Office app future

January 11th, 2020

Microsoft plans to end support for all Windows 10 Mobile applications on Jan. 12, 2021, when , Excel, OneNote PowerPoint and Word applications for the Windows 10 Mobile operating system will no longer get patches from Microsoft, including security fixes. The lack of patch support increases risks for those continuing to use those apps since security holes go unpatched. Additionally, the Windows 10 Mobile OS (version 1709) for Windows Phone devices is nearly dead. It went out of support, on Dec. 10, 2019, and patches will stop arriving.

Microsoft will steer mobile app users to its Office App instead on Windows 10, Android and iOS mobile devices. The Office App combines Excel, PowerPoint and Word into a common experience. It’s also better optimized to handle various mobile tasks, Microsoft contends.

The Office App was available as a preview for Android and iOS mobile device users end of last year , although the iOS preview was limited. Microsoft began including the Office App with Windows 10 OS releases earlier this year. Back then, the Office App was described as a “progressive Web app” that use “service worker” Web technology to work with files offline. The experience users get with the Windows 10 Office App and Office.com, Microsoft’s browser-based Office suite, is pretty much the same.. The Office App has integrated search, access to people cards, and can be customized to use organizational templates, which lets organizations more easily brand created documents, such as PowerPoint presentations.

• The Office App has a special “mobile view” to make reading easier compared with Office Mobile Apps. The Office App is deemed “full fledged,” and will even show comments in a Word document. It has a sticky notes capability.
• The Office Lens solution can be used with mobile device cameras to convert photos of documents into sharable files.
• The Office App is optimized for mobile use via various “actions” that let end users transfer files, scan PDFs or QR codes, and take actions on images.
Office App for Windows 10 and Office.com are already being used by “millions of users and thousands of organizations,” The integrated experience of the Office App on Android and iOS phones, aims to free up storage on mobile devices and means that administrators don’t need to push down as many apps to devices.

Mobile App Redesign
Microsoft recently announced that its Office apps for mobile devices, namely “Outlook, OneDrive, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint,” have all been redesigned and that users can “expect new versions of Teams, Yammer, and Planner soon.” Microsoft is using a Fluent design system for its Office applications that developers can build upon using Microsoft’s Fluent toolkit. The announcement promised the ability of the Fluent mobile design to tap 3-D experiences at some point. These mobile Office application redesigns are taking advantage of the Fluid Framework to improve mobile-use scenarios. The Fluid Framework supports user collaborations via the Microsoft Graph, the SharePoint Framework and Office add-ins.

Why do we need a suite of office apps rather than one? While Word is best suited for text-heavy documents, Word documents can include graphics, too. However, Word isn’t nearly as well-suited to the creation of graphics-heavy documents as Publisher is. Similarly, you can paste tables and charts from Excel into Word, Publisher, PowerPoint and other Office applications, just as you can also add raw text or graphics to an Excel spreadsheet. My point is that with a few exceptions, each of the Office applications can accommodate text, graphics, tables and other types of media. However, each of the Office applications is geared heavily toward one specific type of data. Excel, for example, would not be the best application to use if you were writing a novel, even though you could theoretically compose a long manuscript inside a spreadsheet. Likewise, PowerPoint isn’t the best choice when you need an accounting tool.

The fluid design framework is a step forward to closer integration.

Discontinuation of Microsoft Social Engagement

January 3rd, 2020

As previously announced, Microsoft Social Engagement (MSE) will be discontinued for all customers on January 16, 2020. As a current Dynamics 365 customer, you can continue using the Microsoft Social Engagement service until the expiration of your subscription or January 16, 2020, whichever comes first.

Please refer to FAQ page or email mseeol@microsoft.com for any further assistance related to the end of your Microsoft Social Engagement subscription. Customers are requested to look for other social engagement solutions available in Microsoft AppSource or outside markets.

Dynamics 365 Customer Service Digital Messaging – 1November 2019

November 4th, 2019

There is a new release today – the new Dynamics 365 Customer Service digital messaging offering that expands and unifies the core capabilities of Omnichannel for Customer Service.

Further empower contact centers to provide seamless, and more personalized customer service across a wide range of channels. Combine digital add-ons into one end-to-end offering, for your agents to engage customers, including:
• Chat for Dynamics 365 Customer Service
• SMS (requires additional TeleSign agreement)
• Microsoft Bot Framework integration
• Facebook Messenger, available today in preview*

The solution incudes real-time sentiment tracking, which supports more than 40 languages.

The solution also includes seamless escalation support from bot to live agent so that the agent receives the complete context of the conversation, and the customer never has to repeat information they’ve already shared.

In addition to launching this new offering, look forward to additional capabilities coming to Dynamics 365 Customer Service over the next few months:
Agent-facing bots Help agents to resolve issues faster and to provide quick responses based on conversation context, knowledge article suggestions to share, or suggestions on the next best action the agent can take to resolve the issue.
Skills-based routing Ensure conversations are routed to the available,best-fit, agent based on a specific agent’s area of expertise. This ensures the right agent with the right skills will more quickly resolve customer issues.
Macros Enable agents to automate routine responses or repetitive tasks with a single click, such as updating a field, sending acknowledgment emails or performing session wrap-up activities.
Agent scripts Help agents to accelerate issue resolution, ensure regulatory compliance, and deliver a consistent customer experience. Create step-by-step guidance scripts for agents and then automate the steps based on session type.
Unified entity routing and auto-assignment Enable customers who have implemented custom entities to route and automatically assign those activities to agents.

*This feature is currently a preview, before general availability so you can test and evaluate the preview.

Spyware and how to remove it

October 3rd, 2019

A useful guide on this site

https://blokt.com/guides/what-is-spyware

Some commion sense advice from the post:
Have anti-malware software installed and running on all your devices.
Avoid downloading software from unofficial sources. While this isn’t a perfect guarantee of safety, if you only download software from places like an official app store, or the site of a major publisher, you will greatly reduce the chance of getting your device infected.
Don’t open an email from unknown individuals. And don’t open any files attached to such emails.
Don’t click on pop-up ads that suddenly start appearing on your device.
Keep your anti-malware software, operating system (OS), and your browser updated at all times. When a new spyware app starts hitting targets, you’ll want to be able to install the fixed version as soon as possible.
Make sure any browser extensions are current and look for options to enhance the security of the browser.
Activate your device’s Firewall (for those devices that have the option). A Firewall can block suspicious applications from getting installed on the device.

Note:
The most popular application to block ads on the Internet is still AdBlock Plus

uBlock Origin turns on the EasyPrivacy list by default. Adblock Plus does not.
The AdBlock Plus interface is noticeably larger and more detailed

The default configuration for Adblock Plus is good for blocking oannoying ads, but does let through some third-party scripts and tracking through. The user has to go in to the configuration and turn the EasyPrivacy list on, and many don’t.

Adblock Plus has an “Acceptable Ads” program. So firms with questionable privacy practicesare able to pay to have their ads allowed as “Acceptable” (Google, Microsoft, and Amazon apparently pay Adblock Plus huge fees to get their ads unblocked). The “Acceptable Ads” program aenforces no standards on malware or fraud—it’s all about how annoying is an ad.

So with Adblock Plus you have to take two additional steps to get protected after installing:
•Turn off “Allow some nonintrusive advertising” (the “Acceptable Ads” paid whitelisting scheme)
•Turn on EasyPrivacy.

https://www.maketecheasier.com/ultimate-ublock-origin-superusers-guide/

uBlock Origin is completely unrelated to the site “ublock.org”.

See wikpedia for the history of how these apps forked form each other https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UBlock_Origin

Power BI recent enhancements – export to PDF and to Powerpoint

February 28th, 2019

Users can now export Power BI reports to either PDF or PowerPoint and have their selections on screen be respected in the exported document. This feature was still rolling out to all regions in February and should be available everywhere by now,

When you export to either PDF or PowerPoint, you’ll see a pop-up window.

By default, export the current report values, along with any other changes made across the report during your session. For your quick reference, when change any of the following for the current report page, you’ll see it in your export –
•Filters
•Slicers, including slicer type (for example, dropdown or list) and slicer state
•Visual selection state (such as cross-highlight filters)
•Sort order
•Drill location
•Visibility (of an object, using the Selection pane)
•The focus or Spotlight modes of any visible object

For pages in your report that you’re not viewing when you export your report, it’ll respect the same items respected with Persistent Filters, and those changes will also be shown in your exported report.

If you’d prefer NOT to have any of your changes in your exported document and continue to have it work as it did prior to today in the service, then change the dropdown to “Default Values”, and it will export the report as it was originally authored.

An additional enhancement is the ability to exclude any hidden report tabs from the exported report. Until now, all the report tabs, including those the author had hidden, were included in the export. This unnecessarily increased the size of your export, and users asked to exclude those in certain cases. Now, check the box to “Exclude hidden report tabs” and they will not be included in your export. If your report doesn’t have any hidden report tabs, then the box will be grayed out and unavailable to select.

Power Bi a leader again in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for BI and Analytics

February 28th, 2019

Microsoft is a Leader yet again in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Analytics and BI Platforms for the 12th consecutive years.

Synergy Software Systems has delivered many training courses on Power BI to enable companies to get actionable insights from their date,

For companies that use Dynamics Ax/365 Finance and operations, we build advances business models that make it easy for authorised users to slice and dice their data and to build numerous reports of their own.

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GDPR are you ready?

March 10th, 2018

As mentioned in previous Synergy posts if your organization operates within the European Union (EU) or trades with the EU, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will affect your operations.

Only 6% of surveyed organizations say they are “completely prepared” ahead of the mandate’s May 25 effective date, according to the 2018 State of Data Governance Report.

17% of organizations believe GDPR does not affect them. Their organizations are misguided because any company in any industry is within GDPR’s reach. Even if only one EU citizen’s data is included within an organization’s database(s), compliance is mandatory.

So it’s important for organizations to understand exactly what they need to do before the deadline and the potential fines of up to €20 million or 4% of annual turnover, whichever is greater.

Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
According to the GDPR directive, personal data is any information related to a person such as: a name, a photo, an email address, bank details, updates on social networking websites, location details, medical information, or a computer IP address.

Personal data also comes in many forms and extends to the combination of different data elements that individually are not PII, but contribute to PII status when consolidated.

Active Consent, Data Processing and the Right to Be Forgotten

GDPR also strengthens the conditions for consent, which must:
- be clear and distinguishable from other matters
- and provided in an intelligible and easily accessible form,
- using clear and plain language.
- it must be as easy to withdraw consent as it is to give it.​

Data subjects also have the right to obtain confirmation as to whether their personal data is being processed, where and for what purpose. The data controller must provide a copy of the said personal data in an electronic format free of charge. This change is a dramatic shift in data transparency and consumer empowerment.

The right to be forgotten entitles the data subject to have the data controller erase his/her personal data, cease further dissemination of the data, and potentially have third parties halt processing of the data.

Documenting Compliance and Data Breaches

GDPR also looks to curb data breaches that have become more extensive and frequent in recent years. Data’s value has sky-rocketed, and data-driven businesses are major targets of cyber threats.

Organizations must:
– document what data they have,
– where it resides,
- the controls in place to protect it,
- the measures that will be taken to address mistakes/breaches.

In fact, data breach notification is mandatory within 72 hours if that breach is likely to “result in risk for the rights and freedoms of individuals.”

Data Governance and GDPR:

Data governance and GDPR go hand in hand. A strong data governance program is critical to the data visibility and categorization needed for GDPR compliance, and it will help in assessing and prioritizing data risks and enable easier verification of compliance with GDPR auditors.

Data governance enables an organization to discover, understand, govern and socialize its data assets – not just within IT but across the entire organization. Not only does it encompass data’s current iteration but also its entire lineage and connections through the data ecosystem.

Understanding data lineage is absolutely necessary in the context of GDPR. Take the right to be forgotten, for example. Such compliance requires an organization to locate all an individual’s PII and any information that can be cross-referenced with other data points to become PII.

With the right data governance approach and supporting technology, organizations can ensure GDPR compliance with their current, as-is architecture and data assets – and ensure new data sources and/or changes to the to-be architecture incorporate the appropriate controls.

Stakeholders across the enterprise need to be GDPR aware and enabled so that compliance is built in,

U.A.E. reverse charge mechanism

December 17th, 2017

In a normal supply transaction, an organization is required to pay value added tax (VAT) to the government on the supplies made to its customers.

In the context of the UAE, reverse charge is only applicable when purchases are made outside the UAE.

If all purchases are made locally, the reverse charge mechanism is not applicable. it applies when imports are made from outside UAE and the seller is from another country, which may or may not have a business in the UAE.

Since a seller does not have business in UAE, it will be difficult for the tax authorities to track these sellers or suppliers. Reverse Charge Mechanism eliminates the obligation for the overseas seller to register for VAT in the UAE. Hence, the buyers who are residents of UAE are made responsible to charge VAT on a reverse charge basis.

In the UAE VAT, the Reverse Charge Mechanism is applicable while importing goods or services from outside the GCC countries. Under this, the businesses will not have to physically pay VAT at the point of import.

The responsibility for reporting of a VAT transaction is shifted from the seller to the buyer; under Reverse Charge Mechanism. Here the buyer reports the Input VAT (VAT on purchases) as well as the output VAT (VAT on sales) in their VAT return for the same quarter.

The reverse charge is the amount of VAT one would have paid on that goods or services if one had bought it in the UAE. The importer has to disclose the amount of VAT under both Input VAT as well as Output VAT categories of the VAT return of that quarter.

So, this is the mechanism under which the recipient of goods or services is required to pay VAT instead of the supplier, when the supplier is not a taxable person in the member state where the supply has been made. The Reverse Charge moves the responsibility for the recording of a VAT transaction from the seller to the buyer of a good or service. Normally, the supplier pays the tax on supply (i.e.it is a sale order for the supplier) however in certain cases (IMPORTS), the receiver becomes liable to pay the tax, i.e., the chargeability gets reversed, which is why it is called reverse charge. The receiver (I,e, the buyer, will later sell on the goods to the end customer and will charge VAT on that sales value and will reclaim the VAT is has paid on import.