Archive for the ‘Technology’ category

Windows 10 scam beware

August 3rd, 2015

According to Cisco, cyber criminals are impersonating Microsoft in an attempt to exploit their user base for monetary gain. They are doing this by spoofing the email to look like it is coming directly from Microsoft ( The email purports to contain the installer package for Windows 10. The attackers are even using a similar colour scheme to the one used by Microsoft. Cisco experts have been able to unmask the attackers, establishing that the message actually originated from IP address space allocated to Thailand.
Once a user opens the email, downloads the attached zip file, extracts it, and runs the executable, the user then gets a message informing that their PC is infected and their files are encrypted by CTB-Locker. They are then told to pay a certain amount of money within 96 hours to have their files decrypted or they lose those forever.
CTB-Locker is a notorious ransomware variant. The malware uses asymmetric encryption that allows the adversaries to encrypt the user’s files without having the decryption key reside on the infected system. Also, by utilizing Tor and Bitcoin they are able to remain anonymous and quickly profit from their malware campaigns with minimal risk.
Cisco recommends keeping a current backup of your files at all times.
These backups should be stored offline to prevent them from being targeted by attackers.
Microsoft isn’t distributing Windows 10 through email attachments or links embedded in emails.
If you have signed up for the OS, it will be automatically downloaded onto your system at some point in the next few days or weeks, and you will receive a notification on your PC when it’s time.
So delete any such mails

Windows 10 in Dubai

July 30th, 2015

Windows 10, is now available in Dubai. The Start button remains.
Microsoft’s vision for this next-gen platform goes much further “third platform”, “next generation” and “mobile computing”. Microsoft management is now being driven by technologist rather than marketeers and it looks to be setting the ICT agenda again, as we are also seeing with its approach to the cloud.
The OS will initially be offered for free, which means that existing Windows users will be allowed to upgrade when the release comes out. This is very much in line with the likes of Apple, which over the years has moved to a pricing model where you pay for the hardware and the services you may run on that hardware, but software is more or less free.
With Windows 10, the same is happening for Microsoft, where the push will be around the services you run on it, whether it is Outlook 365, Office in the cloud or the OneDrive cloud storage solution.
Cortana is a prime example , it could embarrass Siri and Google Now. Cortana was Named after an AI presence in the Xbox “Halo” franchise
Cortana is supposed to be a character in a user’s daily Windows drama, taking on a cultural identity to match the localisation settings in Windows. In other words, it not only learns your habits, but adapts to the region in which your device operates. Microsoft sees Cortana as the company’s digital rep, popping up to assist even on other platforms where Redmond’s application software is installed. Eventually, Cortana will be available on Android and iOS, but for now, just Windows… and only in the US, the UK, China, France, Italy, Germany and Spain.
It featured in Microsoft’s Gigjam demo at WPC and was a big hit with the audience.
The Win10 kernel is the most lightweight in the OS’ history and the much-maligned Internet Explorer, while still present in day-one versions of the OS, will be accompanied by Microsoft Edge. (The codename for the project: Spartan has delivered a slimmed-down Web browser . Redmond is noticeably proud of the result.
Windows 10′s security features, Biometric credentials (hardware permitting – the OS supports fingerprint scanners, and if you run Windows 10 on a machine with an integrated Intel RealSense camera, you have access to facial recognition), and Windows 10 ability to mange PCs more like smart phones means a lot less effort on the part of the IT organisation.
A further option is to connect through Microsoft’s unified communications platform Azure, which offers a one-time-password (OTP) option for two-factor authentication.
In switching from laptop to tablet mode on a Lenovo Yoga Pro 3, Windows 10 asks if you want to switch to tablet mode. If you choose “yes” then you also have the option of never being asked again, but all such options are stored in the system’s Notification Centre, so you can change your mind later. We felt that the transition showed genuine thought as to the different interfaces required in working with laptops and tablets – something that reflected early promises made by Microsoft regarding its intentions for Windows 10. The Live Tiles for tablets, and the classic interface for keyboard-and-mouse use, is a dual concept.
For Microsoft to make this a success it requires support for the new Windows Store, which in turn will require the software developers to find the platform attractive. Ultimately this third-party support will play a big role in determining how much the Windows experience evolves towards the goal of lighter-weight management.
Expect Windows 10 to feature prominently at Gitex.

Windows server suport ended 14 July 2015

July 26th, 2015

As of July 14th, Microsoft is no longer providing updates or support for Windows Server 2003.
Windows Server 2003 extended support ended on July 14, 2015. This has the potential to be the “biggest security threat of 2015″ according to one IT specialist.

What does this mean for you? Microsoft will no longer issue security updates for any version of Windows Server 2003. If you are still running Windows Server 2003 in your datacenter, then you need to take steps now to plan and execute a migration strategy to protect your infrastructure. By migrating to Windows Server 2012 R2, Microsoft Azure or Office 365, you can achieve concrete benefits, including improved performance, reduced maintenance requirements, and increased agility and speed of response to the business

Are you prepared?

Chances are, you may not be. With the end of support behind us, according to estimates, there are still millions of servers running Windows Server 2003. It was the workhorse of choice for many years. Unsupported platforms are vulnerable to security exploits leaving your data at risk. How do you migrate to a newer, fully supported platform?.
There are many options for migrating your file, DNS, and DHCP services during your Window Server 2003 upgrade, but what about your print servers? Using the standard Windows migration wizard does not address all of your migration needs.

Synergy Software Systems can help you through this process.

WPC 2015 summary – and a sneak peek at Ax 7

July 20th, 2015

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella reinforced Microsoft’s bold mission: To empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. “Together with our partners we are transforming the business world for the next era.”

Microsoft and partner speakers outlined how this will be accomplished. Create more personal computing, reinvent productivity and business processes, and continue to build, strengthen, and evangelize the intelligent cloud. Throughout the keynote, Microsoft executives thanked partners for the essential role they play in executing on this vision to foster mutual success.

Microsoft is investing in tools, resources, and product offerings to enable its partners to take advantage of the rapidly expanding markets for cloud and mobile technologies. The imminent release of Windows 10 will ushers in a new era of personal computing with one operating system that spans all platforms and devices.

As CEO Satya Nadella said,”What makes Microsoft unique is the people in this room, this partner ecosystem.” Together, we are on the frontlines of transforming business around the world.

we saw how , Autodesk, will use HoloLens, the world’s first fully untethered holographic computing device powered by Windows 10, to fundamentally change how design professionals create, communicate, visualize, and work.

Project GigJam: empowers business workers to spontaneously summon, assign, and track information from their line of business and SaaS apps. Project GigJam breaks down the barriers between people, devices, and apps to expedite business tasks.

Cortana Analytics Suite: is a fully managed and comprehensive set of services to help businesses transform data into intelligent action, will be available this Fall as a monthly subscription, as well as through third party solutions. The Suite brings together leading technology infrastructure with perceptual intelligence to enable businesses of any size to transform themselves through the power of data.

COO Kevin Turner outlined a plan of action for reinventing business productivity and owning the cloud. “It’s an exciting moment to be in technology,” A new Microsoft-commissioned IDC study shows that 80% of business customers buy through channel partners for cloud services. The study indicates that customers of all types look for a partner who can play the role of a trusted technology advisor – the most important criteria customers look for in a solution provider. Microsoft partners are a massive competitive advantage, and this research is a validation of the critical importance of partners in the cloud era.

A peek at Ax 7

WPC 2016 will be Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Microsoft 2015 restructuring continues.

July 6th, 2015

Microsoft yesterday announced a fire-sale of its loss-making business units as CEO Satya Nadella’s restructuring strategy continues. It will offload its display advertising business to Verizon’s AOL As part of the AOL deal, Microsoft promised no layoffs and said employees of the ads division could transfer to AOL.
The US ISP will take charge of ad sales on MSN,, Xbox, Skype and some apps in a number of major territories worldwide. In addition, AOL Web searches will use Microsoft’s Bing.Microsoft has reportedly seen a $10bn loss from its online properties over the past five years and Nadella has promised that Bing will see profit in the next fiscal year.

Microfo will lso and sell some elements of its maps unit to cab-hailing app firm Uber. price tag for the Uber sale was not disclosed, but the purchase is thought to involve Microsoft’s imagery acquisition and map-data processing technologies, which it acquired when it bought Nokia’s devices division. Uber will integrate he technology with other solutions from providers such as Google, Apple and China’s Baidu. Uber has reportedly also offered to take on Microsoft employees working on the acquired tech.

“Today’s news is evidence of Microsoft’s increased focus on our strengths: in this case, search and search advertising and building great content and consumer services,” the company said in a statement.

Microsoft – what’s behind the changes?

June 29th, 2015

The last major senior management shake-up at Microsoft was a couple of years ago and was initiated by Ballmer. His reorganization involved doing away with several product divisions and folding the remains of the old units into larger, “flatter” groups to allow for improved communications among formerly disparate factions.

Nadella’s recent exec changes, particularly the ouster of Elop, whose former unit has been integrated into a new group called Windows and Devices Group (WDG), which includes Xbox, smartphones, and Surface tablets, among others, along with the Windows division. This change stands out because it undoes at least part of Ballmer’s reorg from two years past and puts even more of Nadella’s stamp on the “new” Microsoft.

More importantly, Microsoft’s recent exec changes better align it with the first pillar of Nadella’s “mobile-first, cloud-first” initiative. Nadella’s mobile strategy has always been more than simply building Lumia smartphones or selling more Xbox units: though some may still look at quarterly sales and believe Microsoft is dropping the mobile ball. But there’s more to it than that.

There seems to be a move to technology rather than marketing in the management changes

Mobile-first: more than devices
If there was any doubt about Nadella’s vision for mobile, even after (finally) announcing Microsoft’s wildly successful Office solution is now compatible with Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS, those should have been dispelled with the introduction of its Windows for iOS and Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) dominant Android OS. The pending Windows 10 OS is said to provide an even better integration experience for users, regardless of device .

Similar to Google’s strategy behind its free Android OS, getting Windows into as many devices as possible — regardless of manufacturer — accomplishes several things. Microsoft’s Bing will be the default search engine, and with last quarter’s 21% jump in search ad revenues, Bing is quickly becoming more than an afterthought.

More devices running Windows should help maintain, the growing number of consumer Microsoft Office 365 users — a figure that increased a whopping 35% last quarter sequentially. integrating Windows into as many devices as possible ramps up Office 365 usage and boosts other app sales like Dynamics CRM.

Nadella’s new WDG division headed up by Terry Myerson better aligns Microsoft with its plans for a more holistic approach to mobile.

With Office 365, Microsoft is placing more emphasis on tools that enhance the entire online platform instead of focusing exclusively on content management

Rather than a “big bang” release every few years, Microsoft is becoming more nimble and shifting toward smaller, more frequent releases whether for Dynamcis, or Office 365

Work is not where we go, but what we do. The workplace is changing and so is the workforce. The enterprise must adapt to new ways of working—whether employees are at the office, working from a café, or from the lobby before a big presentation. Employees expect to be just as productive no matter where they’re at or what device they’re using. VPN clients, intranet access, or home office productivity, or Office 365 in the cloud.

Security has to be rock solid in order for all of this mobile, BYOD, and sharing functionality with partners and customers to work. Microsoft made a point to highlight security in the Ignite keynote. Office 365 has been verified to meet requirements specified in ISO 27001, EU model clauses, HIPAA BAA, and FISMA. It can also support the most complex scenarios around eDiscovery, device management, and DLP.

Social functionality within the workplace is now proven. It provides more effective and time-efficient methods for your employees to work together than traditional methods that require that employees know who to go to for help (e.g., sending an email to a specific recipient vs. posting a question on a forum that anyone can respond to). New functionality in Office 365 is heavily focused on leveraging this model e.g Yammer

BI, big data predictive analytics and dashboards, which highlight cross-team interaction and provide data on how and when you work to help maintain work-life balance. Understanding all of this usage data is key to ensuring effective use of technology, as well as staying attuned to your users’ needs. See the Office telemetry dashboard.

Office Graph is the next iteration of search + cloud + Azure machine learning. It is the “brain” behind features such as Clutter and Delve. To work effectively, it is important for organizational details (e.g., role, hierarchy, team name, location) to be up to date in Active Directory to be able to find:
1) content without query;
2) content trending around you;
3) content you didn’t know existed;
4) colleagues by expertise or interest.
In addition, Microsoft will expose Graph via an API to develop custom apps directly against it.

SharePoint is now positioned as one function of the Office 365 platform. The platform has evolved. With Office 365, Microsoft is placing more emphasis on tools that enhance the entire online platform instead of focusing exclusively on content management. With this broader focus, there is more choice, and with that the need to clearly define business cases for each technology.

What does this all mean?

Groups, Delve, Microsites, Team Sites, OneDrive, and Yammer, do you know which provides the best fit and value for how your team works?

The emphasis on mobile underscores the importance of responsive, fast user experiences. Many core elements of an on-premise solution (e.g., structured navigation, content query web parts) have implications on performance that are magnified in the cloud. In addition, heavily customized user experiences often leverage custom master pages. By using custom master pages, we can miss out on new experiences and features being rolled out on the Office 365 platform

A move to the cloud provides an opportunity to reassess current information architecture. Has your business remained static since you first deployed SharePoint? Take advantage of the opportunity to ensure that all of the assumptions, process definitions, and changes since are reflected in a manner that provide an experience that supports and enhances how your employees work.

In an age of social collaboration and online productivity, new roles are required to ensure an organization is working in the best possible way. Site or community ownership is no longer a passive role. Site owners will evolve into community managers and shift their focus from governance to content curation.

New technology also spawns new roles, such as machine-learning engineers and data experts who strive to garner knowledge from new ways of looking at data that were not possible in the past.

Microsoft’s increased focus on social collaboration and dashboards, which highlight cross-team interaction and provide data on how and when you work to help maintain work-life balance. Understanding all of this usage data is key to ensuring effective use of technology, as well as staying attuned to your users’ needs.

when you’re deploying a new solution for a client, individual users resist changing the way they get their work done and their performance suffers, making them a drag on workgroup productivity and profitability.

Customer-business transitions to cloud-based and hybrid cloud and on-premises solutions are making the “people” side of adoption and change even more important. At the same time, increased use of cloud and mobile applications means upgrade-time cycles are becoming extremely quick. Microsoft is adjusting the previously stately pace of Windows upgrades to accommodate the accelerated expectations of the market.

Change management is important. Agile powerful and simple is the Dynamics Ax mantra and is major factor in user adoption . Some of the basic keys to starting a good Adoption and Change Management (ACM) project are:

•Situation Awareness: a clear, broad, and deep awareness of the way the people in the company do business today, how they’ll be doing business in the future, and what the gaps are between those two scenarios.

•Sponsorship: Understand the power structure in your organization, and determin who is for and against the changes being planned.

•Resistance: Find out whether there are individuals or groups that will be resisting the planned changes and what the root causes are for their feelings.

•Incentives: Determining what employee incentives are in use in the client company. WIFM “What’s in it for me” for many it is fear of the unknown rather than belief in a better future .

•Training: Understand how new and existing employees are to be trained on new business tools and processes.

•Communications: Survey how client management communicates with employees across the company and within workgroups.

•Expertise: A change management team leader who’s trained, knowledgeable and, experienced in change management.

One benefit of using consultants is their exposure to change management every day. Its easy to pinpoint the need but it takes time and conscious effort to out theory into practice and manager also need to go through a change process.

SQL Server Management Studio 2015 – new version (June) – with Check for Updates!

June 27th, 2015

Today, Microsoft announced a new standalone SQL Server Management Studio download

“This is our first effort to release SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) in a mechanism outside of the SQL Engine releases. Our goal is to update this frequently with new features, fixes and support for the newest SQL Server features in SQL Server Engine and Azure SQL Database.”

Microsoft might start shipping updates to SSMS outside of the regular SQL Server Service Pack scenario! This telegraphs a couple of interesting things: first, surely they have to do it because Azure SQL Database ships updates much faster than SQL Server does. So this gives Microsoft a way to enable those updates in SSMS without releasing a separate service pack.

This implies that SQL Server Management Studio is now considered The Way to Manage Azure SQL Database. There isn’t a separate tool coming, nor will designer/developer tools like Visual Studio become a management tool. That sounds good news.

Microsoft Office on Android – 24 June 2015

June 27th, 2015

Microsoft has announced that their line of Office applications has made its way to Android smartphones. With the latest release, Microsoft now supports essentially every Android device. Whether your screen is big or small, and your processor ARM or Intel, you’ll be able to use Office on your Android device.

Microsoft’s partnerships with phone manufacturers mean that these apps will also come preloaded on many future smartphones and tablets.

After launching the first touch-optimized version of Office on the iPad, Microsoft has gradually been building out support for Android. It began with Office for Android first launching as a preview for ARM based tablets running KitKat, with the final release working on Lollipop. Shortly after, Microsoft began supporting Android tablets that use Intel processors, like the Dell Venue 8. Throughout all this, support for Android phones was still absent. With some Android devices having screens that are 6″ or even larger, creating a version of Office for those devices makes a lot of sense.

Using Office 360 gives access to additional features:…
The default assumes you will sgn onto the Mcorsft cloud but for clarification, you can click the “skip” option at the bottom of the first screen after installing it to bypass signing in. and proceed to the app

‘Non selected’ countries may find that many of the Microsoft apps have to be side-loaded – the link says that they are available from Galaxy Apps worldwide. You can also try Google Playstore.

SQL Server 2014 – Latest Builds end June 2015

June 27th, 2015

Since Service Pack 1
Regardless of your branch or patch level, be sure to check KB #2964518 : Recommended updates and configuration options for SQL Server 2012 / 2014, which is full of useful advice. Please always perform full regression testing before installing any SQL Server update in production. It’s becoming more and more clear that you might find an issue Microsoft missed.

SQL Server 2014 Service Pack 1 was re-released after being pulled on April 15th due to an issue described in this post. The initial build number was 12.0.4050 but that has been updated to 12.0.4100. The official knowledge base article has been moved to KB #3058865,

Service Pack 1 includes a number of enhancements; these were the most interesting to us:
•The behavior of trace flags 1236 (see KB #2926217) and 9024 (see KB #2809338) will now be enabled by default.
•Several fixes for buffer pool extensions, including the ability to use instant file initialization.
•Improvements in columnstore performance and new extended event coverage for columnstore inserts.

SP1 Cumulative Update #1 includes 141 fixes, including all of the fixes from the RTM Cumulative Updates published up to and after SP1 was released (CU #6, CU #7, and CU #8 – One of the more important fixes is one that involves partial (and thus incorrect) results from a clustered columnstore index with a corrupted rowgroup (more gory details in this blog post and KB #3067257).

Recommendation: Install this Cumulative Update.

Service Pack 1 12.0.4100 KB #3058865 2015-05-15 29 (29)
Service Pack 1 (pulled) 12.0.4050 N/A

RTM Branch

If you are on the RTM branch, SQL Server 2014 is now at Cumulative Update #8 (including well over 400 fixes and enhancements). If you are applying Cumulative Updates at all, or want any of the interim fixes, we highly recommend using the latest update
The Build is 12.0.2546. This cumulative update has 38 public hotfixes . This CU may be less attractive now that Microsoft has also released SQL Server 2014 SP1 CU1. I because many people may get onto the SP1 branch, now that the first CU on top of SP1 has been released, and the branches are back in synch.

Build Name

Build #

KB Article


New fixes (public)

Cumulative fixes (public)

RTM Cumulative Update #8 12.0.2546 KB #3067836 2015-06-22 40 (38) 486 (432)

One of the more important fixes here is one that involves partial (and thus incorrect) results from a clustered columnstore index with a corrupted rowgroup (more gory details in this blog post and KB #3067257).

Recommendation: Install this Cumulative Update.

COD Hotfix for Azure Premium Storage Support 12.0.2506 KB #3063054 2015-05-19 1 (1) 450 (398)
COD Hotfix for intraquery parallel deadlock 12.0.2505 KB #3052167 2015-05-19 1 (1) 449 (397)
COD Hotfixes for SSIS / CCI 12.0.2504 KB #3058512 2015-05-05 2 (2) 448 (396)

A hotfix has been issued to address two completely different issues: (1) a problem with the Unpivot transformation task in SSIS (for more info, see KB #3058512), and (2) a problem with join performance when using a clustered columnstore index (see KB #2999809 for more details).

Recommendation: Install this hotfix only if you are using SSIS with Unpivot or clustered columnstore indexes.

RTM Cumulative Update #7 12.0.2495 KB #3046038 2015-04-23 47 (41) 446 (394)
COD Hotfix for Parallel Batch-Mode Deadlock 12.0.2488 KB #3048751 2015-04-01 1 (1) 401 (355)

A hotfix has been issued to address a potential problem where a parallel, batch-mode scan may lead to a deadlock, and the deadlock cannot be automatically resolved. This should only affect customers using Columnstore indexes. The hotfix can be downloaded from KB #3048751. It is included in Cumulative Update #7 (under a slightly different KB article: KB #3048752).

Recommendation: Install the latest cumulative update above, which includes this fix.

COD Hotfix for Availability Groups with CLR UDTs 12.0.2485 KB #3042370 2015-03-16 1 (1) 400 (354)

A hotfix has been issued to address a problem with CLR UDTs in Availability Group databases. The hotfix can be downloaded from KB #3043788 and is described in KB #3042370.

Recommendation: Install the latest cumulative update above, which includes this fix.

RTM Cumulative Update #6 12.0.2480 KB #3031407 2015-02-16 64 (55) 399 (353)
COD Hotfix for Availability Groups NOT SYNCHRONIZING 12.0.2474 KB #3034679 2015-02-04 1 (1) 338 (301)

A hotfix has been issued to fix Availability Groups reporting as NOT SYNCHRONIZING, an issue caused by CU #5 below. That issue is documented in KB #3033492 and explained further in this SQL Server blog post.

Recommendation: Install the latest cumulative update above, which includes this fix.

COD Hotfix for SSMS (Azure SQL Database) 12.0.2472 KB #3032087 2015-01-28 1 (1) 337 (300)
COD Hotfix for query compile waits 12.0.2464 KB #3024815 2015-01-05 1 (1) 336 (299)

A hotfix has been released that helps alleviate RESOURCE_SEMAPHORE_QUERY_COMPILE waits during concurrent compilation of large queries. A trace flag is also required (-T6498).

Recommendation: Install the latest cumulative update above, which includes this fix. The trace flag is required whether you apply the COD hotfix or the Cumulative Update.

RTM Cumulative Update #5 12.0.2456 KB #3011055 2014-12-17 54 (48) 335 (298)

Cumulative Update #5 has a known issue with Availability Groups reporting as NOT SYNCHRONIZING.

Recommendation: Avoid this update if you use Availability Groups. Apply the latest cumulative update above instead.

COD Hotfix for Availability Groups remote hardening 12.0.2436 KB #3014867 2014-11-27 1 (1) 282 (251)

A hotfix for an issue involving exception handling for remote hardening issues in Availability Groups was released on November 27, 2014.

Recommendation: Install the latest cumulative update above, which includes this hotfix. Install this specific hotfix only if you are using Availability Groups and your applications use OLEDB or JDBC (ODBC / SNAC are unaffected) and you don’t want any of the additional fixes in more recent CUs.

RTM Cumulative Update #4 12.0.2430 KB #2999197 2014-10-21 66 (54) 281 (250)
RTM Cumulative Update #3 12.0.2402 KB #2984923 2014-08-18 40 (32) 215 (196)
MS14-044 QFE Security Update 12.0.2381 KB #2984340 2014-08-12 1 (1) 175 (164)

A denial of service / privilege escalation vulnerability was identified and patched August 12, 2014.

It is described in Security Bulletin MS14-044 and KB #2984340.

Recommendation: Install the latest cumulative update above, which includes this QFE update.

RTM Cumulative Update #2 12.0.2370 KB #2967546 2014-06-27 52 (48) 174 (163)
RTM Cumulative Update #1 12.0.2342 KB #2931693 2014-04-21 121 (114) 122 (115)
MS14-044 GDR Security Update 12.0.2254 KB #2984340 2014-08-12 1 (1) 1 (1)

A denial of service / privilege escalation vulnerability was identified and patched August 12, 2014.

It is described in Security Bulletin MS14-044 and KB #2984340.

Recommendation: Install this GDR update only if you are at a build less than 12.0.2254 and only if you *don’t* want all of the fixes from the latest cumulative update above.

RTM 12.0.2000 2014-04-01 – –

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Asset Management and Tracking in the U.A.E.

June 18th, 2015

It is no secret that Synergy Software Systems and Deyafa Systems work closely together in the hospitality sector.
One of the key technologies used is mobile tracking of assets with RFID and bar code.

Our solutions are implemented and supported by us for major groups in the region. This includes both the physical and financial asset lifecycle management

The Real Asset Management’s (RAM( asset tracking application form allows your customers to perform regular audits and to keep a central, up to date register of their assets at all times.

The mobile app can use existing iOS, Android or Windows mobile devices to track and count assets, quickly and accurately at lower cost.

This app is an ideal solution for finance teams where routine asset tracking, or regular physical audits are often delegated to other department staff..

The mobile app integrates fully with RAM’s fixed asset accounting module for a financial asset register with comprehensive management of depreciation and asset values There is no need to purchase expensive scanning equipment.

Find out how you can :
• Minimise the number of lost assets
• Improve asset utilisation
• Quickly build a central asset register of all valuable or roaming assets
• Keep an up to date register for insurance purposes, warranty, and manufacturer details
• Manage the transfer, issue and return of assets to record accurate asset lending and location
• Flag items as transferred, located, missing
• Upload audited data to the central asset register
• Streamline your annual asset count and financial year end close and audit.

Bitlog WMS seminar 15 June 2015- fully booked

June 14th, 2015

We look forward to meeting all registrants tomorrow at Microsoft Gulf. The seminar is fully booked.

If you are unable to attend or were too late to register then please contact us.

2015 WMS Trends

New regulations -FDA Drug Quality Security Act (DQSA) – manufacturers to serialize all pharmaceutical inventory for human consumption – to counteract counterfeit pharmaceuticals
How BITLOG WMS helps:
• Serialization allows for more accurate ingredient traceability throughout the supply chain.
• End-to-end audit trail by serial number helps manufacturers to recall more efficiently and effectively.
Decreased profit margins and competition
- Patents Expiring losing major revenue streams, seeking cost savings.
- Generic Drugs Patents expiry more generic products – , reduces the profit margins for all manufacturers.

Pharmaceutical companies search for SCM cost savings to maintain profit margins.
How BITLOG WMS helps:
- Real-time data capture and inquiry – accurately track inventory and raw materials, reduce excess on-hand inventory
- Improved WMS = higher order fulfillment = higher sales less admin, = higher brand loyalty
- Bitlog WMS efficiently handles fast moving complex distribution strategies such as direct to consumer

Now 37% of the U.A.E. economy
Aerospace MRO and spare manufacture is now a major industry in the UAE
Airlines only make money when flying. Service providers must offer exceptional service levels. When outsourcing, the main concern of air carriers is not how much it costs, but how the service provider will do what needs to be done.
Risk is compounded by the reduction in the number of suppliers from hundreds to dozens. The same is true of logistics providers: aerospace providers want to work with only one or two that understand the industry’s specialized needs and have the WMS systems to handle the scope and the SLA’s.
Aerospace supply chain managers must meet increasingly tight delivery time windows.
Aerospace companies are frequently requesting that 3PLs manage vendor relationships and inbound logistics.
SWAT—Space Warehousing Accelerated Transformation. To reduce inventory – without raising risk airlines may collaborate to centralise spares to reduce inventory while maintaining service levels.

Airline parts are high-value and have a limited lifecycle.
Each is monitored and replaced on a specific schedule.
Governments impose strict rules about tracing the location and history of airline parts, down to the serial number.
Reverse logistics is a part of the job —not only moving the parts, but monitoring those through repair, and return for service, and providing visibility to the carriers.
Tracking expectations are increasingly sophisticated and granular, with more data collection points and greater detail.
Air carriers want to search databases by reference, project, or purchase order number.
Parts are more specialized, with less ability to share these across airlines, thus complicating inventory management.
RFID and GPS are emerging to increase visibility and tracking of aircraft components.
Modern WMs systems are essential.

AEC Construction Software Provides Rapid ROI to Dubai projects

June 10th, 2015

Nagarjuna Construction Company
Real, bottom line, profit increases in rapid time- less than 3 months.
Find out how we can bring your construction operations into the 21st century – see our videos on this blog site and call Vijay to learn more 00097143365589

WMS – Bitlog Launch Seminar, Dubai 15 June 2015

June 10th, 2015

Attend our free breakfast seminar and network with local industry logistics and WMS professionals.
FAST ROI for Distribution and Retail
Monday15th of June, 2015 , 08:00~11:00Microsoft Gulf, Building 8 Dubai Internet City, UAE

08:30 Registration & Breakfast
09:00 Introductions
09:05 Market and industry changes and WMS selection
How to choose the Right Product + Right Partner
Stephen Jones, Director, Synergy Software Systems
09:30 Next Generation WMS, Fred Boström, Bitlog
10:00 Reach fast ROI with Bitlog WMS, Hultafors Group case study
10:15 Bitlog GCC Launch offer
10.30 Discussion & Coffee

Bitlog WMS Launch event benefits :

Current trends that impact warehousing operations
How to select a warehouse management system,
Meet a proven new, innovative player in the GCC-market,
Meet the implementation partner
Find out how you can optimize your warehouse management,
to reduce cost, increase on time fulfillment and create more profit
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Ax 7 is coming to a cloud near you

June 2nd, 2015

Dan Brown, Microsoft’s AX R&D general manager, in keynote sessions in Orlando last week said that the next major version of Microsoft Dynamics AX, codenamed AX 7, is expected to be released at the end of the year exclusively on the Microsoft Azure platform.

An on-premise version is expected to be available six months later release.

Three primary updates will characterize AX 7:
- a new user experience,
– the extended use of Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services (LCS),
- the prevalence of the Microsoft Cloud, or Azure.

The AX 7 workspace is reimagined as a panorama of colorful, pictured tiles that quickly allows the user to view to-do tasks, urgent actions, and any other work-related activities. This will enable users to share common activities with other end-users.

With the LCS task recorder, users can record and annotate tasks and keep other end-users informed.

There’s also the ability to link two browsers enabling users to collaborate side-by-side on a double screen.

We are trying to eliminate clicks and give the production planner power within this user experience,” says Brown.

With AX 7 Microsoft is also making efforts to improve interoperability with its other products like Visual Studio, Office 365, Power BI, SharePoint, and Yammer.
AX 7 will more deeply embed Management Reporter in the interface, to make it the corporate performance management tool of record for AX ad an integral part of the initial deployment. “The more we bring these things together so you are just using the product, the better the overall experience,” Brown said.

X++ code customizations should remain unchanged, making upgrading to AX 7 seamless. However, developers should prepare to work with Visual Studio as their AX 7 development environment. AX will retain its X++ programming language, which is effectively a .NET language now, Brown said. The process for packaging and deploying X++ to an AX 7 instance is done through LCS.

Version 7 will be the first major release since last year’s AX 2012 R3, which added warehouse and transportation management, retail features, and tablet-based point of sale (POS).

This month i.e. June, AX 2012 CU9 will include rolled-up hotfixes, regulatory requirements, and platform capabilities, including compatibility for any new version of Windows.

Microsoft recognizes that not every business is keen on going from 0 to 120 mph on the cloud. “The idea of a hybrid cloud is not new,” says Brown. “We want to evolve to the cloud with you.”

Once the AX 7 on-premise version is released, you’ll have the option of using as much or as little of the cloud that you want. The software will also run on Azure Pack, identically packaging your data both on the cloud and on-premise, resulting in more symmetry and less friction.

Still, when it comes to Azure, companies still have questions about :security, privacy, and sovereignty of data. and ho to budget the cost “I think trustworthy computing is partially about privacy, but it’s also about high availability and disaster recovery, and redundancy,” said Brown. “Microsoft and Azure are investing heavily in data protection and security, and monitoring in our data centers. Microsoft has the widest range of data centers in the world.”

Brown hinted that he foresees more capabilities for mobile and on-premise in the future. ”
About Wendy Scheuring

Inflationary Wave Theory

June 1st, 2015

Is 2015 a turning point in global inflation and, if it is, what can you do to weather the storm? Pete Comely, author of a new book ‘Inflation Matters: Inflationary Wave Theory, its impact on inflation past and present … and the deflation yet to come’, explains…

Recent inflation data show that average prices in the UK have remained static for a second month in a row. History suggests that because of demographic changes we may now be about to enter a period of near-zero inflation for a lot of this century. This is going to have major implications for many aspects of life, but especially managing wealth.

Average prices were unchanged in the year to March, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index. This was due to a combination of a decline in the price of goods (-2.1 per cent) such as petrol, energy bills and food being balanced by increases in services (+2.4 per cent) including train and plane fares. However the declines are largely one-off changes and in a year when they fall out of the calculation, CPI will more than likely return to nearer 2 per cent again. But the current period of near-deflation is a symptom of a larger effect taking place across the globe that few have grasped the implications of yet.

The lower commodity prices we are seeing are as a result of supply exceeding demand. Moreover as we go forward in the 21st Century demand is going to fall still further and deflation is going to become a frequent theme. Populations in most countries are ageing. The average number of children women are having is below the replacement level of 2.1 in every developed market. The UK is 1.9 and Japan just 1.4. It is also low in South America and most of Asia. By 2050, some estimate that world population may even start to decline. In addition the ageing populations around the globe are consuming less too. The net effect of these demographic changes will be lower demand and prices.

This switch towards deflation also fits with longer term trends in inflation. We have seen significant price rises since 1900 but history shows that inflation exhibits a clear wave-like pattern and there are often periods of more stable prices.

A century of rising prices: Inflation has rocketed over the past century.
In his latest book, Inflation Matters, he shows that what drives the underlying trend is population growth and competition for resources.
A wave-like form is created when man realises prices are starting to rise again and attempts to exploit the situation. Investors buy assets that will keep their value during the inflation i.e. property/land and shares. They borrow money to invest, knowing that inflation will erode the true value of their capital and repayments. However that borrowed money increases the money supply which then fuels more inflation in the economy. Governments also join in and encourage inflation, as it allows them to spend more and let inflation deal with their deficits.

There comes a point when this inflation gets too far away from the underlying trend or there is a change in the population demand curve, which we starting to see now. Historically some form of deflationary shock occurs when prices collapse by about a half in a space of 5 years or so.
(What does that say for the swings in the value of property, oil stock markets etc in recent years??????)
Thereafter a bounce back follows in prices but they never reach new highs.

Over time prices gradually decline as technology and productivity improvements reduce the costs of production. The technology tipping point and exponential performance increases discussed in a recent blog is going to dramatically impact this – big dats, parallel in memory processing, nano chips, even recently chips made of wood are already here

Is 2015 a turning point for inflation?
What to do? Short-term, governments have a strong incentive to keep inflation growing as long as they can against these demographic headwinds. It helps reduce the value of their escalating debts. To this end, they have and will continue to encourage their central bankers to print money and will keep interest rates low. This will favour assets such as shares and property. On the flipside, all forms of salary, cash savings and bonds will be gradually eroded by the combination of very low yields and the inflation rate that governments manage to create.

However all that will change when we enter the transition period and the inflation trend actually changes. It is impossible to predict exactly what will cause this to happen and when but a likely candidate could well be a bond market crisis.

Transition: Which assets are best as the inflation cycle turns?
At some point the ever increasing level of worldwide government debt will inevitably collapse and with it destroy a large portion of wealth not only in that area but in nearly all financial assets due to domino effects. The reduced the money supply will impact consumer prices, as will lower velocity of money as fear spreads. During this brief turbulent period, the key asset to hold might be gold. Digital currencies may well come to the fore, if they have credibly established themselves by then. Holding cash might also be a good idea, but it is an easy target for governments.
The world will be different after the trauma of the transition. It would return to some form or normality. There may well be some growth in shares and housing, but it may probably be limited to genuine supply and demand effects.

(for example the main return from holding shares will revert to be dividends of maybe 3 per cent. However in a world of average inflation of -1 per cent, that would still be a net return of 4 per cent, not far off historical levels. Therefore investing for the long-term over the coming decades is going to be a challenge, but maybe not an impossible one. In a world of zero inflation business will look as much at cost control and efficiency as to sales growth and technology and systems can be expected to have major impact.

The nature of society , how we communicate what jobs and skills are needed are all going to be impacted much sooner and much more significantly than we may realise.

(Pete Comley’s book Inflation Matters: Inflationary Wave Theory, its impact on inflation past and present … and the deflation yet to come is available in Kindle format and in hardback from Amazon.