Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

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 ( 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.

U.A.E. Draft VAT regulations – Synergy Software Systems summary

November 20th, 2017

The UAE Ministry of Finance announced the Executive Regulation for the Federal Decree-Law No. (8) of 2017 on Value Added Tax at a Cabinet meeting on 7 November 2017, headed by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai.

The Regulation defines VAT as the 5% tax imposed on the import and supply of goods and services at each stage of production and distribution, including:
- what is a deemed supply, with the exception of specific supplies subject to the zero rate
– what is exempted as specified in the Decree-Law.

Before reviewing the individual titles of the registration this is summary of the salient points:

VAT Registrations
It is important to note that the draft VAT executive regulations state that businesses are required to register in accordance with the timelines previously announced by the Federal Tax Authority. As a consequence, if taxpayers have not registered within these timelines, it may potentially result in late registration penalties which are AED 20,000.

The UAE’s Federal Tax Authority is urging companies subject to the value-added tax to register before December 4 to avoid paying the tax from their own pockets.

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) requires by law 20 working days to access and process their applications, said Khalid Al Bustani at a media briefing in Dubai. Companies submitting applications after that date are not guaranteed to get their formalities completed, will not be able to charge 5 per cent VAT to their customers and may have to pay the tax from their pocket until their registrations are finished, according to FTA officials at the briefing.

– Businesses providing taxable supplies may apply for a voluntary VAT registration if their sales exceed AED 187,500 per annum
- Businesses providing exclusively zero-rated supplies may apply for an exemption from the obligation to VAT register
- The mandatory VAT registration threshold is AED 375,000 sales per annum
- A registration application must be submitted within 30 days of being obliged to register
- Tax Groups may be formed for multiple, related parties businesses to register under one number – one taxable party, the ‘representatives’, takes on the responsibility to prepare and submit the consolidated return
- De-registrations are permitted on the cessation of the taxable supplies, or on the tax authorities decision

Tax point
VAT becomes due on the earlier of:
-The invoice date
- The delivery of the goods or performance of the service
- The payment date

Place of supply rules
- For real estate, a supply is deemed to take place in UAE where the services is directly connected with UAE real estate
– Domestic transport services are deemed to be supplied from the place where the transport commences
- For goods transported to another GCC State which has implemented VAT (‘implementing state), the place of supply is the destination provided adequate proof of transportation can be obtained

Zero rating
The following goods and services shall be zero-rated for VAT purposes (note: all foods will be standard rated):
- Goods physically exported to other VAT registered businesses outside of the UAE or other implementing state provided commercial evidence of the transport is retained by the vendor
- when supplied to a customer that does not have a establishment in UAE and is outside of the country at the time of supply. The exception is real estate in UAE.
- Supply of international transportation services for passengers and goods
- The supply or import of precious metals
- New residential property supplies
- Education services if supplied by an accredited government body
- Healthcare services provided by a body linked to the state
- Approved pharmaceuticals

Exempt supplies

The following services will be exempted from VAT:
- Financial services related to dealing in money (e.g. FX, debt securities, loans, bank accounts, derivatives or similar, issuing shares and life insurance)
- Other financial services attracting a fee or commission are liable to VAT
- Residential buildings with a lease longer than 6 months
- Bare land
- Local passenger transport

VAT Free Designated Zones

Special geographical areas within the UAE, but outside of the UAE VAT regime. These are created upon a decision by the Cabinet. They have security measures and customs controls to monitor the movement of goods. The transfer of goods or provision of services within the Zones will not be subject to VAT – similar to the bonded warehouse concept.
Import VAT becomes payable when any goods leave the Zone.

Non-recoverable VAT

The following VAT is not recoverable against VAT on taxable supplies:
- Entertainment for non-employees
- Personal use vehicles and other goods for employees
- Employee-use goods not directly associated with the provision of taxable supplies

VAT invoices
VAT invoices must include the following details:
- Name and address of supplier
- VAT Number
- Unique VAT invoice number
- Date of invoice, and date of supply if different
- Description of the goods/services provided
- Unit prices, quantity or volumes of the supplies
- Any discount offered
- VAT calculation and gross amount due in AED (any rate of exchange used)

Simplified invoices may be issued to non-tax payers or when the consideration is below AED 10,000.

Electronic invoices may be issued if the vendor has secure storage facilities, and the authenticity of the invoice can be guaranteed

VAT reporting
The standard VAT reporting period is 3 months
VAT returns must be received by the 28th of the month following the reporting period.

The VAT return includes:
- Name, address and tax registration number of the tax payers
- The tax period
- Submission date
- Values of taxable supplies made, and output VAT charged
- Values of zero rated supplies made
- Values of exempt supplies made
- Value of taxable supplies consumed, and input VAT claimed
- Total value of VAT due

Transitional rules
- Goods or services provided before the implementation of VAT will be treated as having been provided on the implementation date
- A payment for the services prior to the implementation date will be disregarded for determining the time of supply after the implementation date
- The value prior to VAT implementation of any goods or services will be treated as exclusive of VAT

The Value Added Tax (VAT) to be launched on January 1 in UAE will bring many changes in the price structure of the goods and services in the country. While some basic things like school fees will be exempt from tax, many other essential items such as: water, food, and jewelry may be included in the VAT.

The VAT in UAE will be levied at a fixed rate of 5 per cent on all applicable items.

The tax will also be levied from the tourists visiting the country, however, the tax paid by tourists in the UAE will be refunded back to them at the airport.

Check out below the list of goods/services we understand will be taxed under VAT
◾Electricity bills (Power)
◾Car rentals
◾Dining out
◾Commercial rents (Renting out for commercial purposes)
◾Plastic surgery
◾Uniforms of private and public schools
◾Water bills
◾Tenancy contracts
◾Service apartment
◾Private school books

Goods/services we understand to be exempt from VAT
The following items/services will be VAT exempt:
◾Medical fees
◾Air travel
◾Basic and preventive surgery
◾Exam fees
◾Local transport
◾Residential rents
◾Public school books

The VAT will also be applicable to the free zone companies making supplies outside the zone. This might increase pre-financing cost for such companies.

Draft Regulation Titles:

The first title of the Regulation includes the definitions of terms used.

The second title deals with supply, which includes:
- articles regulating the supply of goods and services,
- supplies that consist of more than one component
- the exceptions related to deemed supplies.

The third title of the document tackles the subject of registration, such as:
– mandatory and voluntary registration,
– related parties,
– conditions to be met to register tax groups
– appointing a representative member,
– deregistration,
– exception from registration,
– registration on law coming into effect
– obligations to be met before deregistration.

The fourth title looks into rules relating to supply, including:
– articles on the date of supply,
– place of supply for goods,
– place of supply of services for real estate,
– transport services,
– telecommunications and electronic services,
– intra-GCC supplies,
– the market value,
– prices to be inclusive of: tax, discounts, subsidies and vouchers.

The fifth title discusses profit margins, and also explains how to calculate VAT based on profit margins,

The sixth title addresses zero-rated goods and services, including:
- telecommunications,
- international transportation of passengers or goods,
- investment grade precious metals,
- new and converted residential buildings,
- healthcare,
- education
- buildings earmarked for charity.

The seventh title clarifies provisions relating to products and services exempt from value added tax, namely:
- the supply of certain financial services as specified in the Executive Regulation,
- the supply of residential (non-zero-rated) buildings either by sale orby lease,
- the supply of bare land,
- the supply of local passenger transport.

The eighth title addresses accounting for tax on:
- specific supplies and includes articles relating to supplies with more than one component,
– general provisions in relation to import of goods
– applying a reverse charge on goods and services,
– moving goods to implementing states
– imports by non-registered persons.

The ninth title address Designated Zones in article (51),

The tenth 10 provides further detail on:
- calculating due tax,
- recovery of input tax relating to exempt supplies,
- input tax not recoverable, a
- special cases for input tax.

The eleventh includes:
- article (55) on apportioning input tax
- article (56) on adjusting input tax after recovery,

The twelfth title addresses:
- the capital asset scheme in article (57)
- adjustments within the capital asset scheme in article (58).

The thirteenth title includes:
- article (59) on tax invoices,
- article (60) on tax credit notes
- article (61) on fractions of the fils.

The fourteenth title discusses Tax Periods and Tax Returns,

The fifteenth title 15 goes into recovery of excess tax in article (65).

The sixteenth title 16 tackles recovery in other cases and includes:
- article (66) on new housing for nationals,
- article (67) on business visitors,
- article (68) on tourists
- article (69) on foreign governments.

The seventeenth title includes:
- article (70) on Transitional Rules,
- article (71) on record-keeping requirements
- article (72) on keeping records of supplies made.

The eighteenth title discusses closing provisions.

The draft text of the Executive Regulation for Federal Decree-Law No. (8) of 2017 on Value Added Tax, is to be published on the UAE Ministry of Finance’s website –
and the Federal Tax Authority’s website​​

Some comments:
The Executive Regulation is clear that prices must be expressed inclusive of VAT unless something is being supplied for export or where the customer is registered for VAT i.e. for B2C retail sales

This will prevent preventing businesses from misleading consumers by adding 5 per cent to the price at the till, but it s gives rise to complexity where businesses are supplying to a combination of consumers, non-registered businesses and registered businesses, and where they make both domestic and international supplies.

There is reference to “Designated Zones” being treated as outside the UAE in the Decree-Law, but the Executive Regulation makes it clear these must be “a specific fenced geographic area [which] has security measures and customs controls in place to monitor entry and exit of individuals and movements of goods to and from the area”. It simply wasn’t permissible under the GCC Framework Agreement, or the design of VAT generally, to treat the Dubai International Financial Centre differently from anywhere else in the UAE.

Banks, will need to work through Article (42) of the Executive Regulation to determine which of their supplies are exempt and which are standard rated. For example, supplies cannot be exempt if they are “conducted in return for an explicit fee, discount, commission, and rebate or similar”.
Furthermore, in relation to Islamic finance products, the drafting is currently unclear on whether each separate part of a product will need to be certified as Sharia compliant, or whether only a product generally has to have been certified.

Challenges remain for certain sectors. Healthcare services, which are generally zero rated, are defined as a supply “that is generally accepted in the medical professions as being necessary for the treatment of the recipient of the supply including preventive treatment”. That’s not just a question for a tax lawyer. That’s a question for a doctor.

The UAE Executive Regulation now takes a more considered approach than the simpler but ultimately unsatisfactory approach taken in the Saudi legislation with regard to existing contracts. Under the Executive Regulation, when a contract is silent on VAT, the consideration will be treated as exclusive of VAT, and the recipient will be required to pay VAT in addition if, broadly speaking,
(i) the recipient of the supply is registered for VAT;
(ii) the recipient of the supply has the right to recover the VAT charged in full, or in part.

It is still unclear regarding VAT on supplies to government entities – for example, whether an entity is in fact a government entity, whether a government entity is required to be registered, and whether it has the right to recover VAT?

October 2017 updates for Dynamics 365 for Field Service.

October 24th, 2017

Field Service (v Enhancements enabled for this upgrade release:
• Added a new view that shows only Field Service based Quotes and Field Service based Orders and link it to sitemap in Field Service.
• Added switch to turn off address suggestions at Field Service settings.
• Handled querying Service Territory offline to improve performance.

Share the schedule board:
You can now share the schedule board with specific people, everyone, or yourself only.
Just me – Only the owner of schedule board settings record sees it. This must be a Dynamics 365 user.
Specific people – Only users with read access to that schedule board settings record see this. This can be based on having higher security rights, or if the record is shared using Dynamics 365 Share functionality.
Everyone – If the user has access to use the schedule board, they will see these boards.

Dim unavailable resources: When searching for availability on the schedule board, resources that are unavailable in the search can either be dimmed, or removed from the schedule board. A user who only wants to see a specific set of resources can choose to dim unavailable resources instead of removing resources that are not a match while a user without this requirement can have unavailable resources completely removed from the board. This setting can be changed in the schedule board tab settings.

Fixes for this upgrade release:
•Schedule assistant is not displaying resources as per Requirement Resource Preference (Restricted/Preferred) on IE11 Browser.

NOTE: This upgrade release can only be installed/upgraded for Dynamics 365 9.0+ org.

Universal Resource Scheduling Enhancements

Fixes for this upgrade release
•Schedule board error when time zone set to GMT-3
•Schedule board shows no resources available until switching from Hours view to Day view.
•Map pins are not refreshed when moving to next page of resources while in RM.
•Requirement map pin loses focus when searching for availability.
•Handle escaping requirement name on Schedule Board.
•Maintain Bookings not opening in the correct view.
•Cancel bookings route also showing in the mini map in schedule board.
•Hide inactive resource characteristics from resource fly out.
•Booking duration and percentage is not changing when cancel the booking after the moved bookings to different day.Cannot sort or filter fields added to requirement view on schedule board from other entities.
•Changing territory filter on board does not take immediate effect on the requirement tabs when Apply Territory Filter is enabled.
•On Schedule board, inconsistency in calculating the available capacity between hourly and daily view.
•Duration value is not updated when the requirement detail is deleted.
•Incorrect duration time on view details tooltip template in RM mode.
•On click of “Load Default filter” not clearing all controls in Filter control.
•Resource driving directions print window, print icon is missing next to print label.
•Add Fulfilled/Remaining Duration fields to the Requirement form.

NOTE: Enhancements and bug fixes for Universal Resource Scheduling apply for Field Service and Project Service Automation as well as other schedulable entities.
Documentation site at, and then choose the What’s new tile.

KSA new taxes 2017

February 14th, 2017

In addition to support for the introduction of VAT at 5% in January 2018, Saudi Arabia announced at the end of 2016 a timeline for implementation of a tax on harmful products. The Fiscal Balance Program 2020 report, published by the Saudi government , said the kingdom would impose a 50 percent tax on soft drinks and a 100 percent tax on tobacco and energy drinks from the second quarter of 2017.

The taxes were proposed by the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in December 2015, but Saudi Arabia’s Finance Ministry only signed the agreement this month, the report said.

No other Gulf country has yet announced a date for implementation of such taxes, although they have been mulling them since 2012. Studies in the GCC have found regional beverage prices to be the lowest when compared to the rest of the world and a key factor behind high rates of childhood obesity and diabetes. For example, soft drinks are priced at around AED1 (US0.27) in the UAE.

In November, the World Health Organization (WHO) suggested retail prices of sugar-sweetened drinks be increased by 20 percent through taxation, to bring about a proportional decline in consumption. The Saudi government’s Program 2020 document revealed that the country was working on plans to include “sugary snacks and drinks” in the tax segment, to fight obesity and diabetes among its population, especially children, and that this tax would be introduced from the second quarter of 2017. “The excise tax is a special tax that will be implemented on specific products with harmful health effects to disincentivise consumption of such products,” it said.

The document also said the kingdom would increase the “expat levy” payable by sponsors from the third quarter of 2017, with the fee rising every year to up to $213.30 (SR800) per worker by 2020. At present, companies pay a levy of $53.33 (SR200) per month per expat in cases where expat employees exceed the number of Saudi employees.

A new fee on expat workers’ dependents will come into effect from July 2017, the document said.

Happy Christmas

December 25th, 2016

Christmas morning at Meadow Farm.

As we approach the year end seasonal greetings to all.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 now available in the U.A.E. – ask Synergy Software Systems

November 1st, 2016

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a suite of cloud services to help companies to accelerate their digital transformation with purpose-built apps to address specific business needs.

Dynamics 365 unifies CRM and ERP functions into applications that work smoothly together across all divisions: sales, customer service, field service, operations, financials, marketing, and project service automation. These apps can be easily and independently deployed and scaled on demand.

Start with what you need the most.

All apps are delivered through easy-to-use, mobile experiences and feature offline capabilities.  

Users can rely on Power BI, Cortana Intelligence and Azure IoT functions which are natively embedded.

In addition to that, Dynamics 365 and Office 365 are deeply integrated.  Since Dynamics 365 uses a new common data servicel, customers can extend functionality and build custom apps using PowerApps, Microsoft Flow (News: PowerApps and Flow available) as well as professional developer solutions.

To find out more call us now on 00971 43365589.

SQL Server 2014 SP1 CU6 is released

April 23rd, 2016

Cumulative Update #6 for SQL Server 2014 SP1

Management Reporter – Updated budget control integration for AX2012 in CU14

February 22nd, 2016

(This capability is also available for AX 2012 R2 and requires a hotfix KB 3091042 similarly there will be a hotfix for Ax 2012 RTM)

Management Reporter CU14, introduced a new method of integration for budget control related data. Previously budget control category data was integrated as book codes; for instance, FY2015 – ConfirmedEncumbrances or FY2015 – ConfirmedPreencubrances.

Management Reporter CU14, has a single budget control book code per budget model (ex. FY2015-BudgetControl) and the budget control categories (ex. Original budget, Draft Encumbrances, Encumbrances, etc) integrate as attributes allowing for greater flexibility and consistency in regards to report design.

Budget reservations for draft actual expenditures is incorporated into the new design.

Below is an example of how to create a budget funds available column definition using a single budget control related scenario (book code) and filtering columns for specific budget control categories. Notice that the Book code = FY2015BudgetControl (where FY2015 is the name of the budget model). The attribute filter is set to the budget control category to display in this column.

Addi columns for actual expenditures, encumbrances, and Pre-encumbrances in the same manner:


When using this column definition within a report definition, mark “Posted and unposted activity” in the Provisional field if to include any draft amounts for budget control categories.


Future CUs will provide a budget funds available report by default to use as a starting point for your report designs.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM On-Premises Price Increase December 2015

December 14th, 2015

Note from December 1st, 2015, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server and Device CALs are subject to a 10% price increase and User CALs to a 25% price increase.

Convergence EMEA 2015 – Chris Capossela

December 1st, 2015

For the full record of the remarks made by Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Chris Capossela at Convergence EMEA 2015 in Barcelona on Nov. 30, 2015 see this Microsoft news page.

it reiterates and builds on the messages from WPC
- Millennials work in a different way
– Mobility, cloud, Cortana. Windows 10, Predictive Analytics and rich visuals, Surface Hub, Skype Business, Office 365, an integrated way of working, cross platform, with scalability and new insights and agility.

U.A.E. Shows solidarity with France

November 18th, 2015

The recent terrorist actions in France do not seem so far away when we read about the regional troubles in our daily newspapers.
I felt proud of the UAE when I visited the Burj Khalifa yesterday and saw it lit up with the colours of the Tricolore echoing the display at the Eiffel tower.

Windows 10 Introduction

August 12th, 2015

Coolan- TCO for cloud or data centre- how to cut or at least know your costs

June 4th, 2015

At the 2015 summit of the Open Compute Project (OCP), Amir Michael, a well-respected data-center engineer and a founder of OCP, offered a surprise during his presentation. “Something not often talked about in the industry,” Michael mentions. “There is a trend of people moving off the cloud.”

The purpose of Coolan, an analytics platform, is to help data-center operators reduce downtime and lower infrastructure costs by analyzing metadata on how the servers are performing.

Trying to figure out the TCO (Total-Cost-of-Ownership) for your compute infrastructure is no easy task,” explains Michael. “With the proliferation of public, private, and hybrid clouds, not to mention the ever-growing number of Buzzword-as-a-Service paradigms, anyone in charge of their company’s infrastructure faces a difficult decision: Should you build or acquire your own data center, lease space in a co-located facility, or rent a piece of the cloud?”

Some of the cost points the TCO Model addresses include:
•Whether to build your own servers or buy OEM
•What type of hardware components to use
•Whether to upgrade systems or deploy new ones
•The cost of capital
•The data-center PUE
•The amount of power the network is consuming

And the ultimate question: stay in the cloud, go colo, or build a private data center?
•Managed services in the cloud wins if a company requires more computing power than storage.
•In a related sense, the amount of storage required has a huge impact on choosing a deployment method.
•The cost to grow is less for in-house data centers than cloud-managed services or leasing more colocation space.

Microsoft Mobile productivity apps – is Wunderlist the next ?

June 4th, 2015

Rumors hit the Internet that Microsoft might be in talks to acquire the popular “to-do” app Wunderlist, a new report in The Wall Street Journal, indicates Microsoft has purchased the company behind the app, the German-based 6Wunderkinder, for between $100 and $200 million.

Neither company officially confirmed this deal, but is seems that the Wunderlist team will remain in its home office in Berlin, Germany to continue working on the app.

This is the latest acquisition by Microsoft for a mobile productivity app company. It bought the e-mail client Acompli in late 2014 and put its technology into the latest versions of its Outlook mobile apps. Microsoft also acquired Sunrise Calendar in early 2015.

So why Wunderlsit- well its maybe the least intimidating Task Manager

Wunderlist Features

Lists: One of the easiest things to grasp is that you get to set up lists, and put things in those lists.
Even I can do that in Wunderlist without any guidance so it is easy to use. Set up lists and put stuff in the list, and tick things off when done

Hashtags: You have multiple lists, and an item on one list that is related to items in other lists. Hashtags in Wunderlist lets show items that may exist in one or more of your lists together in one place.

Collaboration: One of the advantages of a digital list over a paper one is the ability to share it with others. With the simplicity of Wunderlist, once you invite someone to share a list with you, they won’t need you to give them a long explanation of how to use it. Share, add items, tick things off, add comments, assign tasks, attach files, and you have a system that will allow you to work together without sending emails like “Can you do this?” or “Here’s that file”

Platforms: One of the reasons why productivity tools fail is that no one wants to use won’t use a system if it isn’t handy – i.e. wherever you are. It’s great to have your lists available in a browser, or on whatever device you’re using with Wunderlist.

Email : The whole point of using these productivity tools is to get out of email. It’s more than that. It’s about separating tasks and resources so you’re not digging through piles of emails to find that attachment someone sent or what the deadline was for the report you have to write. It’s about working from your own clearly prioritised plan, rather than letting your inbox dictate your day and your priorities. Wunderlist also has some email notification options that you can use to work efficiently without getting sucked back in to a sea of email.

Wunderlist is good for:
• People on the go, with multi-platform availability.
• Non techy people, with one of the simplest interfaces I’ve seen.
• GTD enthusiasts, with things like hashtags to manage contexts.
• Small teams, for sharing and commenting functionality.

Wunderlist may do well in every day use
• Shopping lists
• ‘Read later’ lists, if you don’t use something like Pocket
• Idea lists, like blog posts about productivity…

Comparisons with other task list tools

Wunderlist vs Todoist

Todoist is good for managing tasks. The tree structure in Todoist gives visibility of high level tasks and their breakdown into sub-tasks all at once. Wunderlist supports sub-tasks, but you can only see those when you have the main task within the list selected.

Todoist labels are equivalent to hashtags, and you have to upgrade to premium Todoist to use these whereas hashtags in Wunderlist are available in the free version.

In general, Todoist can be a bit more intimidating for someone new to such tools

Wunderlist vs Trello

Items on a Wunderlist list are a bit simpler than cards on a Trello list. It means they have less functionality, so this could be a positive or a negative .

View and group multiple lists and their items in one screen on Trello, using boards. Wunderlist can only view one list at a time, even though it’s still possible to use drag & drop to move things between lists.

Trello has the edge when it comes to an intuitive visual representation but if you don’t need that ‘big picture’ view, then Wunderlist is O.K..

Wunderlist vs iOS Reminders

Wunderlist offers the simplicity that you get when using the native list app on iOS but adds extra functionality . When you use hashtags, attachments, comments or sub tasks then it’s worth installing the Wunderlist app.

An advantage of Reminders is Siri integration. Press a button and speak makes adding something to a list the simplest process possible ensures you actually use a list rather than scribbling on sticky notes. If you’re struggling to get into that habit of a technology-based solution, this could be what makes it stick

Integrations: So many apps and systems so how will; a new onework with what we already have. Here are a couple of useful Wunderlist integrations:
• Dropbox for your file storage.
• Calendar view of tasks or other items with due dates.
• IFTTT recipes that integrate Wunderlist with other systems, although Wunderlist isn’t actually supported you can do lots through email commands.

For such a simple and easy to use product, Wunderlist has lots of functionality and it’s great for people who are trying to get in the habit of using an app to improve their productivity and they find the other options intimidating.