Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

Microsoft – Cloud Platform roadmap site and its plans to embrace big data and open soutrce

March 18th, 2015

Microsoft has revealed its Cloud Platform roadmap site, with the resource providing a view of the improvements and developments across the Cloud Platform business. The roadmap spans cloud services like:
- Microsft Azure, Intune, Power BI, and Visual Studio Online,
- and server offerings such as: Windows Server, System Center, SQL Server and Visual Studio.
- and Converged system appliances are also displayed, such as Cloud Platform System, Analytics Platform System and StorSimple.

Microsoft intend that this site will ensure a comprehensive and open view of the company’s current roadmap; where they are focusing on and what technology is currently in development or coming out within the next few months.

Takeshi Numoto, corporate vice president of the Cloud and Enterprise Marketing Group at Microsoft, wrote in a blog: “With this view, you will be able to understand and plan for what’s coming next. In addition, you will be able to easily view newly available products and services, including those in public preview, to help you take full advantage of our expanding portfolio. ..”We believe this site is an important step on that journey. As the site grows and matures, we’ll look forward to your feedback on what is working and where we can improve, to ensure this resource is a valuable asset for your business.”

Microsoft clearly wants its Azure cloud platform to be the default place for organizations to run their workloads. In an ideal Microsoft world all those workloads would also be built upon proprietary Microsoft MSFT technologies so Redmond is keen to make Azure as palatable for non Windows workloads as it is for Windows ones.

This week sees the Strata + Hadoop conferenceis taking place, and its the home of open source big data discussions, Microsoft will further embrace other technologies. The company announced today that it is launching a preview of its Hadoop-based cloud tool that runs on Linux. At the same time it is making its existing Azure ML service, a machine-learning tool-set, more widely applicable with support for Python. This is in addition to the already-announced support for the R language. Readers will recall that just last month Microsoft acquired Revolution Analytics, the company behind the open source R language.

Microsoft is also going to make Storm, an open source stream analytics tool, available for the HDInsight platform with support for .NET and Java. This is in addition to the existing Azure Stream Analytics offering that the company plans to continue to sell. It is also looking at deal with data integration vendor Informatica. to join the Azure Marketplace so that that means is that the Informatica Cloud agent is available in Linux and Windows virtual machines on Azure. That will enable enterprise customers to create data pipelines from both on-premises systems, and the cloud, to Azure data services such as Azure HDInsight, Azure Machine Learning, Azure Data Factory and others, for management and analysis.

K. Ranga” Rengarajan, corporate vice president, Data Platform and Joseph Sirosh, corporate vice president, Machine Learning wrote in a blog post that:

“Our goal is to make big data technology simpler and more accessible to the greatest number of people possible: big data pros, data scientists and app developers, but also everyday businesspeople and IT managers. Azure is at the center of our strategy, offering customers scale, simplicity and great economics. And we’re embracing open technologies, so people can use the tools, languages and platforms of their choice to pull the maximum value from their data.

Microsoft is in a direct race with Amazon Web Services to win the battle of the cloud vendors. Opening up to all these other solutions adds yet another value proposition for customers looking to decide between Azure and AWS.

“Amazon Web Services leads the infrastructure as a service pack, but Microsoft’s Azure is closing; there’s a lot of room for apps to move to the cloud; and more enterprises are going with hybrid approaches, according to RightScale’s annual survey of cloud adoption. RightScale’s survey of infrastructure as a service usage covered 930 respondents with 306 enterprises with 1,000 employees or more. Of the respondents, 24 percent were RightScale users. Of the companies surveyed, 45 percent had 1 to 100 employees with the remainder 100 workers or above. By region, 62 percent of respondents were from North America, 18 percent from Europe and 12 percent from Asia. The remainder was in other regions. (ZDNet 02.18.2015)”
“More than half of all public cloud deployments use Amazon Web Services (AWS), but Microsoft Azure is gaining ground. According to an annual survey of 930 IT professionals, conducted by cloud management specialist RightScale, 57% of SMEs and large enterprises use AWS public cloud, compared with 54% in the same study last year. (Computer Weekly 02.20.2015)”
Research conducted by Tata Communications, a leading provider of A New World of Communications™, has found that organisations with 500+ employees are seeing tangible benefits from cloud computing. 85% say cloud had lived up to industry hype, with 23% declaring that cloud had exceeded their expectations. According to the global survey, this groundswell of positive opinion has been contributed to by enterprises experiencing tangible benefits when using cloud services – with 83% of enterprises feeling they have experienced benefits they did not expect to see. The most popular of these benefits cited by respondents were: increased productivity (69%), better access to data (65%), and reductions in costs (63%). (BusinessWire 02.26.2015)

Management Reporter CU11

January 11th, 2015

Here’s a summary of the new Management Reporter CU11 features:
• Drill into TOT rows from Web Viewer Drill down on total rows in the web viewer :
When viewing a report, it’s often helpful to not only be able to drill into the support account and transaction detail, but also into the total rows (TOT). With Management Reporter 2012 CU11, we can now drill into those total rows (TOT) from the web viewer.

• Ability to select closing period(s) in Management Reporter managed in Microsoft Dynamics AX

• Improved performance for integration and report generation

Note its important that this is CU11 build 2.1.11001.1 release or later( the initial release version 2.1.11000.32 was bugged.)

**NOTE:
- AX 2009 customers must be on CU8 in order to use MR 2012.
- Prior versions of AX 2009 will use MR v2.0.

- MR 2012 CU6 – CU11 can only be used with:
– AX 2012 RTM CU4-CU7,
– AX 2012 R2 (RTM and all CUs),
– AX 2012 R3
– AX 2009 CU8 SP1**

Dubai British Embassy consular news January 2015

January 8th, 2015

Passport Applications
If you are applying for a UK passport for the first time you should allow 8 weeks from the date the application is received at Her Majesty’s Passport Office in the UK to the passport being delivered to you. . If you are renewing an existing passport it will take at least 6 weeks.

Emergency Travel Documents
Emergency travel documents for First Time Applicants are only issued at the Embassy in exceptional circumstances. Although special measures were put in place by Her Majesty’s Passport Office last summer and the Embassy was able to assist with determining nationalisation, these measures have now been withdrawn.

Notarial Services
Please remember an appointment service is in operation for all Notarial services provided by the British Embassy. In the first instance you should send an email enquiry to consular.uae@fco.gov.uk. Please make sure you bring with you all the original documents needed

PO Box renewal
Residents in the UAE are urged to renew their PO Boxes before the end of January 2015 to avoid fines. Residents can visit any post office, postal agency or visit website www.epg.gov.ae to make the renewal. Residents can visit any post office or apply on line at www.epg.gov.ae to renew. An Emirates ID card is required and applicants can pay by credit card. .

Mobile phones
Using mobile phones whilst driving is illegal don’t get caught out. You can now get a Dhs 200 fine and 4 black points on your licence if you are caught. Click Here for more details.

2015 U.A.E. Public Holidays
Public holiday for 2015 for the UAE have been announced by the UAE Government.
The Abu Dhabi Government has announced the list of public holidays planned for 2015.

“The official reference to determine Islamic occasions, such as the beginning of Ramadan or Haj, is the Hijri Calendar. It is based on the phases of the moon. Hence, the exact dates of Islamic events vary from one Gregorian year to another as they depend on the local sightings of the moon,” the announcement reads.

Public sector workers in the UAE can expect at least 11 more public holidays in 2015.

Although the list of holidays was released only on the Abu Dhabi Government website, most other emirates tend to follow a similar schedule.

All federal ministries, public departments and institutions will be closed on the following holidays:

- January 1, New Year’s Day
- January 3, Prophet Mohammed’s Birthday
- May 16, Israa and Miraj Night*
- June 18, Ramadan expected to begin*
- July 17, Eid Al Fitr*
- September 14, Haj season*
- September 22, Arafat Day*
- September 23, Eid Al Adha*
- October 15, Hijri New Year*
- December 2 and 3, UAE National Day

* Please remember Islamic holiday exact dates are subject to moon sighting and may differ from date given.
According to the website:
– the UAE National Day holiday will be two days,
– Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha will both be three days,
– and the others will be one day
.
Top Tip
Passport Next of Kin Details
Remember to complete the next of kin details in your passport in case of an emergency.

Contact Numbers:
British Embassy
Abu Dhabi Tel: 02 610 1100;
Dubai Tel: 04 309 4444

Gov.uk Website
The UK’s worldwide pages and consular information have moved to the new government’s single website Gov.uk. There is useful information about the UAE on there and it is also the new home of our travel advice.

Innovative companies and erp implementation

January 7th, 2015

Do innovative companies manage their ERP implementations differently than more average organizations?

In many cases the answer is yes. Three ways in which innovative ERP implementations differ from the norm:

1. They aren’t overly concerned with hard and fast budgets and timeframes. This may sound surprising to CFOs, but this is an important differentiator for innovative versus average implementations. While the average company is constrained budget and project plan , more innovative companies recognize that there’s a lot that they don’t know when they first establish their project plans and budgets- budgets area guideline not a set of handcuffs that stop management making good decisions. In addition, innovative companies realise that innovation means change of needs and that flexibility is important to achieving significant improvements to their business models.

Advanced ERP software functionality such as advanced mobility and analytics typically does not get implemented until later in the implementation cycle and then conveniently gets forgotten. Innovative organizations realise that once they have incurred the cost of server, installs training etc, they can leverage the system to maximum advantage and ensure that they find the resources to implement these important business processes.

2. They are more likely to explore creative and alternative implementation strategies perhaps with most a phased strategy rather than a big-bang approach. Some will deploy an iterative, implementation approach perhaps retyping different scenarios and configurations rather than more typical waterfall methodologies. These agile approaches can enable quicker realized functionality, or a more appropriate configuration when compared to more standardized approaches.

3. Innovative companies focus on post-implementation benefits realization. Some companies implement ERP systems for compliance, or technology sake, or are forced to because their legacy systems have become outdated. Innovative organizations have more business-focused justifications that drive their overall ERP implementations. This philosophy helps focus the project team throughout the implementation, such as how they handle business process management and organizational change management.

This business focus shows how their ERP systems are managed after implementation. Forward-thinking organizations define specific performance measures and target levels of performance that they expect to see from their ERP implementations. This disciplined approach is more likely to translate to tangible and measurable business benefits in the long-term.

Innovative companies may not find their ERP implementations to be easy wins, but they are often more effective and successful in their initiatives.

ERP solutions can revolutionize the way companies produce goods and services. They can integrate and automate process across d different parts of a company and thereby ensure smooth flow of information across the enterprise quickly. Innovative companies realise this and are less likely to build functional silos – driven by segementation of duties and security concerns outweighing the need for efficiency and effectiveness base don informed in context decision making.

ERP solutions have been popular in Europe for a long, North American companies for only the last decade and other regions perhaps for the last 5 years.
:
Some of the factors that contributed to ERP growth are the trend towards globalization, perceived Year 2000 problems, mergers and acquisitions, more stringent regulations, new technologies and better offerings to increase performance and drive down the cost of ownership and familiar user interfaces encouraging user adoption.

ERP systems i.e enterprise systems – are by their nature often very large and complex and warrant a careful planning and execution of their implementation. They are not mere software systems; they affect how a business conducts itself.

How a company implements an ERP system determines whether it creates a competitive advantage or becomes a corporate headache. The top contributor for a successful ERP implementation is strong commitment from upper management, becuse an implementation involves significant alterations to existing business practices as well as an outlay of huge capital investments.

other important factors are the issues related to reengineering the business processes and integrating the other business applications to the ERP backbone. Upper management plays a key role in managing the change an ERP brings into an organization.

Organizational commitment is paramount due to possible lengthy implementation and THEcosts involved.

Once implemented, an ERP system is difficult and expensive to undo.

Since no single ERP solution can satisfy all the business needs, organizations may have to implement custom applications in addition to the ERP software. Integrating different software packages poses a challenge, and the integration patchwork adds risk and expensive and may be difficult to maintain.

Selecting and managing consultants pose a continuous challenge. There is a shortage of skilled consultants in the market. ERP vendors bring out industry-specific solutions and newer methodologies to cut the length and costs of implementation. Organizations try to reduce the total cost of implementation and to reduce customization by adapting to the ERP’s built in best practices as much as possible. Innovative companies are more worried about the cost savings after implementation and whether value is added. They will customise where it gives a competitive edge e.g. vertical solutions and use standard industry processes e.g. matching an invoice where those are proven.

Selecting the right employees to participate in the implementation process and motivating them is critical for the implementation’s success in innovative companies they are already used to embracing new ideas and change, and improving processes. Such companies also understand how important it to train the employees to use the system to best effect.

The people at the keyboard make important decisions about buying and selling — important commitments of the company. They need to understand how their data affects the rest of company. Some of the decisions front-line people now make with an ERP system were formerly the responsibility of a manager.

Managers in Innovative companies understand and welcome this change in their job and encourage the front-line people to be able to make those decisions themselves so they can manage upwards and outwards rather than downwards and inwards. ERP systems demand rigorous training, and intensive practise. It is difficult for trainers or consultants to pass on the knowledge to the employees in a short period of time. This “knowledge transfer” gets hard if the employees lack computer literacy or have computer phobia. In addition to being taught ERP technology, the employees also have to be taught their new responsibilities. In an innovative company users of the ERP systems are continuously trained to leverage new technology and features to meet the changing needs both of the business and employees.

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.