Archive for the ‘Technology’ category

‘Delve’ into Office 365

February 11th, 2016

At convergence in Orlando last year Delve was part of of demonstrations featuring Gigjam and Cortana Analytics but what does it do? In Microsoft Office 365, Delve is the app that tracks and stores your activity.

One of the benefits of having a Microsoft Office 365 subscription is that the suite of available apps is periodically updated with new features. Many times these updates and upgrades are l incremental changes that your employees may not even notice. However, sometimes these updates are completely new application features.On January 7, 2016,Microsoft released a new feature for Office 365 Delve to simplify organized team collaboration

The new feature for Delve is called ‘boards‘. The boards concept gives employees a new way both to organize and to share content with fellow employees and the enterprise in general.

Delve can now also be the app that lets you organize your activity. For example, when working on a specific project create a board dedicated to that project, and attach every document, video, meeting, and image your team creates. From that board, share everything with some or all of the entire enterprise and potentially let everyone in the enterprise add to the board for the project, depending on what permissions you establish. Enterprise wide collaboration and document sharing .

Is this useful? There other collaborative tools from SharePoint to to Yammer, to Skype Business.
Microsoft’s vision of a global mobile workforce, means collaboration comes in the form of sharing documents and easy Skype meetings, Delve boards shared amongst team members makes sense. But sharing that collaboration, with all its rest of the enterprise seems like more of a distraction and much less useful. Much like Facebook can be full of random junk or be a targeted focus group similarly Yammer can invite constructive feedback or just be a mass waste of time with uninformed contributors making ill informed comment or reading such comments out of context. We have all suffered the email tsunami of being copied on endless minor updates on trivial matters more driven by office politics than business sense.

From the rest of the enterprise’s point of view, do we really need or want to know what every small team from finance to marketing is working on for a particular client? Most of us have enough trouble tracking our own activity, let alone worrying about everyone else’s. Will all employees will be willing to share their work with the rest of the enterprise using Delve and the boards system – what if a project is not going well? Some policy guidelines and monitoring need to be thought about before adoption.

The new mobile, always connected, social media focused, collaborative workforce of today are looking for similar features to support their work effort. But does it really help when people who sit next to each other above to communicate by email; or sit around a dinner table communicating by text messages?

Collaboration between and amongst small groups working in teams is the backbone of any enterprise. However, vast dissemination of that small group collaboration sounds like noise. Where such a tool helos is that you can self serve to find information without it having to be pushed. Users can read what they want when they need, and not have their email boxes filled multiple attachments they don’t need to read. Its easier to mass communicate when users opt in. Security policies and controls need to be considered.

Microsoft Office 365 Delve is an interesting application. Like all tools in needs training and experience/expertise to get best use. It will be particularly helpful for those teams that are part of a mobile workforce. The addition of boards gives teams a different tool to help organize and to coordinate their collaborative activity.

So well done Microsoft for keeping Office 365 fresh with new features and just as with any other office products use it when appropriate.

New Dynamics Ax launch and Dubai Summit – March 2016 – meet Synergy Software Systems

February 10th, 2016

Envision – Middle East Dynamics Summit which will be organized by Microsoft on 23rd of March, in Dubai meet Synergy Software Systems there as a Gold Sponsor

Let us show you the new web based Dynamics Ax which will be launched in March.
If you can’t wait – then call us now for a preview – Synergy’s consultants are already hands on with the beta release.

There will be a global launch event – Synergy customers who wish to tune in please contact us and we will register you. During this exciting event, to show you the new Dynamics AX hear from early adopter customers who will share how they are using the new Dynamics AX cloud service to speed up their business.
Note the time zone is PST

Theme: Increase the Speed of Doing Business
March 8, 2016 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm PST APAC
March 9, 2016 8:00 am – 9:00 am PST ROW

Microsoft’s cloud ambitions expand with Azure stack – Hybrid cloud and Metanautix

February 7th, 2016

Microsoft unveiled its new Azure Stack offering at last year’s Ignite conference as a solution that would enable users to easily run Azure cloud services in their own on-premises datacenters, thus supporting the increasingly hybrid nature of organizations’ IT environments.

Microsoft Corporate Vice President Brad Anderson, speaking at the 2015 Ignite keynote, described Azure Stack this way:
“This is literally us giving you all of Azure for you to run in your datacenters. What this brings you is you get that great IaaS and PaaS environment in your datacenters. You have incredible capability like a unified application model that gives you a one-click deployment experience for even the most complex, multi-tier applications and then you get that cloud-inspired infrastructure. We’re giving you the same software controller that we built for our network, the name is the same, network controller. We’re giving you our load balancing. We’re giving you all the storage innovation.”

Azure Stack represents an evolution of Microsoft’s older Cloud OS solution, which also promised to give partners and organizations the ability to build Azure environments in their datacenters, but suffered from low uptake due to its complexity. Azure Stack shares a common architecture, application model and DevOps tool set with Azure, according to Microsoft. This minimizes the work that developers need to do to make sure their apps work on both Azure and Azure Stack, as well as lets IT pros extend on-premises apps to the cloud without having to drastically change the tools they use for automation or management. Microsoft has not given a specific date for Azure Stack’s release, but because it is linked with the company’s 2016 wave of server releases, it will likely become generally available by year’s end.

While Microsoft claims 100,000 new Azure subscriptions per month, it also recognizes that many enterprises “still have business concerns around moving fully to the public cloud, such as data sovereignty or regulatory considerations.” So they are in limbo between the public cloud and on-premise; hence the need for a hybrid cloud approach that provides consistency across private, hosted, and public clouds.

Among the capabilities:
• Azure and Azure Stack feature a standardized architecture (e.g., the same portal, a unified application model, common DevOps tools); thus, developers can offer the same end-user experience as Azure delivers.
• IT professionals can transform on-premise datacenter resources into Azure IaaS/PaaS services while maintaining oversight and corporate governance, using the same management and automation tools that Microsoft uses to operate Azure.

For heavily-regulated companies, control where data resides. Highly regulated companies (SOX, HIPAA, FDA, etc.) having their data hosted at a Microsoft Azure datacenter doesn’t typically meet all of their regulatory requirements. and there is a growing demand for enterprise cloud apps, with a hybrid cloud platform product that helps enterprises deploy Azure Services in a private cloud environment.

So, businesses have the freedom to decide where applications and workloads reside – overcoming one of the most vehement objections to the cloud.

Azure Stack and Dynamics
The new Dynamics AX, which will be launching on Azure first, apparently in March. The plans to bring the new AX to private cloud and on-premise customers hinge on the release of Azure Stack for the Windows Server 2016 wave of products.

In December Microsoft furthered its pursuit of enterprise analytics with the acquisition of Metanautix, a company that makes it possible for businesses to pull together all their data and gain insights into it. Metanautix’s product can pull information in from a variety of private and public cloud data sources including traditional data warehouses, NoSQL databases like Cassandra and business systems like Salesforce. Once it’s aggregated, businesses can use SQL to query the resulting data pipeline in order to glean insights from the information. Microsoft isn’t saying much about its plans for Metanautix’s technology, but it can be expected to roll it into products like SQL Server and the Cortana Analytics Suite.

Why Azure anyway?
Managed Web Sites
Window Azure has a special mode of use just for 2-tier web sites, called Windows Azure Web Sites. Both Microsoft’s SQL Database or MySQL databases can be used. WAWS web sites use a shared VM pool, and provisioning happens in just seconds, not minutes. Customers can promote to reserved VMs if they choose. WAWS web sites are fast, easy, and superbly managed.

Window Azure Web Sites also support common open source frameworks, including DotNetNuke, Drupal, Joomla, Orchard, and WordPress. Web developers can quickly provision web sites with their desired framework.

Web developers work in different ways, and there’s no single way to deploy. Windows Azure Web Sites support several popular methods of deployment, including Web Deploy, FTP, Git, and TFS. In addition, the deployment is conveniently always to a single “server”, even when running multiple server VMs in the cloud. WAWS takes care of distributing new and updated deployment files to the individual VM instances.

Window Azure now has Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) support, to complement the Platform-as-a-Service (Paas) support. IaaS Virtual Machines are based on VHDs which are fully portable between cloud and on-prem and those are also persistent, making Windows Azure viable at last for single-server solutions and for running server products such as AD, SQL Server, or SharePoint Server.

Non-Microsoft OS & Database support

Traditionally, Microsoft has offered platform services based on Windows Server and SQL Server. With the new platform there is support for Linux virtual machines and MySQL databases. This means a broader range of software can now run in the Microsoft cloud even SAP.

VM Image Gallery
When creating Virtual Machines, select from a gallery of pre-configured images. For example, install Windows Server 2008 plain, or with SQL Server also installed or add your own VM images to the gallery.

VM Composition

Window Azure virtual machines is easily provisioned, configured, and managed in the Windows Azure portal. Once you connect to and set up a VM, capture its disk to create a reusable image that is added to your VM image gallery.

Cloud Services

The traditional Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) mode–now known as Cloud Services–not only remains, it’s getting new and updated services. An expanded virtual networking capability can interface with enterprise VPN appliances to enable hybrid cloud scenarios where segments of your local network are joined to your cloud assets. Windows Azure Media Services, a new service in limited preview right now, will allow uploading, transcoding, and delivery of media content such as video. A new identity service is coming that will extend the identity federation we currently have in the Access Control Service with expanded capabilities.

The New Portal

Window Azure gets a huge usability boost in a cutting-edge new . HTML-based, management portal that can also be used on mobile devices such as iPads and Windows 8 slates. The new portal also provides a view of built-in metrics for WAWS, Cloud Services, and Virtual Machines.

New Data Centers

Two new data centres were added recently (West US and East US), bringing the number of Windows Azure data centers to 8 (four in the US, two in Europe, and two in Asia). In addition, there is supporting worldwide infrastructure including a 24-node edge cache CDN network.

Education – school scheduling – Mimosa version 6.5.9 – Synergy Software Systems, Dubai

February 4th, 2016

Mimosa version 6.5.9 update = We are pleased to announce another new update to Mimosa Scheduling Software. This new Mimosa version includes the following features and bug fixes:
• For schools or universities applying personalised (or student-based) timetables, Mimosa offers renewed Selection optimisation in Tools menu.
Based on the comparison of currently selected and required courses by students, this tool automatically finds the course selection solution for students which satisfies the set requirements and uses the available capacity evenly and effectively.
Selection optimisation can also run also after some or all of the periods schedules are fixed • The user interface in

Timetables view
• New Help file content and images added. Mimosa proactively eliminates all possible conflicts in timetables

Mimosa prices ( are still the same as last year.

Simplify your classroom, subject, class and teacher scheduling with this proven solution used by thousands of schools, colleges and universities across the world.
Call us for more information 00097143365589

Edge from IE upgrade – did you miss the 12 January 2016 deadline?

February 3rd, 2016

The upgrade-or-lose-support deadline of Jan. 12 has come and gone, and, a substantial minority of IE users remain on an outdated version.

The 17% of IE users running IE8, for example, are all on a browser that Microsoft will no longer patch; the same goes for most of the 7.3% who ran IE7 last month and for at least two-thirds of the 12.7% who have stuck with IE9. (The last will continue to receive security updates only if it’s running on Windows Vista, the 2007 OS that accounted for fewer than 2% of all Windows copies in use during January.)

If you have not yet upgraded then maybe its time to think about it!

Mobile mashups, custom controls and form preview in Dynamics CRM 2016

January 23rd, 2016

Microsoft acquires UC Commander product suite for Skype Business

January 21st, 2016

Microsoft acquired technology assets underlying the UC Commander product suite from Event Zero, a leading provider of management software for Skype for Business Online. This acquisition will expand and improve the built-in management tools for Skype for Business, and is the latest example of Microsoft’s commitment to deliver a complete, enterprise-grade communications solution at global scale with Office 365. Event Zero will continue to service its customers and partners.

Customers of the calling and conferencing services can use the Office 365 administration center to acquire and assign phone numbers to their users in minutes, and view reports of audio and video conferencing usage, and quickly access aggregated call quality information using a Call Quality Dashboard.

In the future, the newly acquired technology will add strong diagnostics and troubleshooting capabilities with even more extensive reporting and analytics for online audio, video conferencing and media streams — all within a unified management and admin system.

Partners will be able to more easily connect on-premises deployments they manage with Office 365 services, including hybrid deployments, provisioning of phones and other endpoints.

Microsoft Bi momentum continues with December 2015 releases.

December 26th, 2015

Microsoft has released the December update of Power BI Desktop and several updates of the Power BI service.
Microsoft is moving quickly to take the cloud market of BI services, which is still relatively unexplored (most companies still keep their data on premises), and is the only mainstream player providing a credible story of integration between cloud and on premises BI services,
Microsoft is leveraging many assets (the Tabular engine, Power Pivot, Power Query, Power View, and many other Azure’s based services. Its weak point has always been where other BI vendors focus the “last mile” of data visualization and presentation. That is being addressed with acquisitions like Datazen.
Microsoft SQL Server 2016 will be a huge release for the BI services. SQL Server Analysis Services is a very important release, being the first major upgrade since SQL Server 2012 for Analysis Services Tabular. There are many new features that will make Tabular a more “enterprise ready” platform. The magic key will be “Hybrid BI”.
SSRS will play an important role of the on-premises BI portal. integration between SSRS 2016 and Power BI will allow users to pin SSRS report items to Power BI dashboards. You can test pinning reports items to Power BI with SQL Server 2016 CTP 3.0 and later. The newly released CTP 3.2 also features the new sleek SSRS portal. Power BI is has become a focal point for cloud hosting of the main MS report artifacts i.e.: Power BI reports, Excel reports, and SSRS reports.
Last week Microsoft introduced mobile reports along with SQL Server Mobile Report Publisher, a new desktop app to to design and publish reports. You can now download a preview version of Mobile Report Publisher.

SQL Cumulative updates December 2015

December 26th, 2015

SQL Server 2014 SP1 is now available for download at the Microsoft Support site.

To learn more about the release or servicing model, please visit: CU#4 KB Article:

SQL Server 2014 RTM CU11 is now available for download at the Microsoft Support site.
To learn more about the release or servicing model, please visit:•CU#11 KB Article:

Critical Outlook patch -December 2015

December 21st, 2015

Outlook “letterbomb” exploit could auto-open attacks in e-mail
Fixed by Microsoft’s latest patches, the bug could be a n “enterprise killer,” .

Flash can open right in Outlook. Ooops

One of a heaping collection of critical bug fixes pushed out by Microsoft on December 8 as part of the company’s monthly “Patch Tuesday” was an update to the Microsoft Office suite designed to close a vulnerability that would allow an attacker to sneak past Outlook’s security features. While the patch addressed multiple vulnerabilities in the way Office manages objects in memory, the most severe of those allows for remote code execution through a “specially crafted Microsoft Office file,” Microsoft reported.

Now more details of just how bad that vulnerability is have been provided by security researcher Haifei Li in a paper entitled “BadWinmail: The ‘Enterprise Killer’ Attack Vector in Microsoft Outlook.” The vulnerability allows a crafted attachment to an e-mail to bypass Outlook’s layers of security by exploiting Office’s Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) capabilities and Outlook’s Transport Neutral Encapsulation Format (TNEF)—the e-mail attachment method associated with Outlook messages’ winmail.dat attachments.

The winmail.dat file includes instructions on how to handle attachments embedded within it. “When the value of the ‘PidTagAttachMethod’ [within winmail.dat] is set to ATTACH_OLE (6),” Haifei wrote, “the ‘attachment file’ (which is another file contained in the winmail.dat file) will be rendered as an OLE object.”

OLE objects are handled differently by Outlook without the new patch—they are rendered within the e-mail and call code from the application they’re based on—breaking out of the “sandbox” that Outlook usually contains documents within to prevent malicious scripts from launching. As a result, an attacker could “‘build’ a TNEF e-mail and send it to the user, when the user reads the e-mail, the embedded OLE object will be loaded automatically,” noted Haifei.

This sort of vulnerability makes for an extremely dangerous phishing attack—the victim doesn’t even have to click on anything within the e-mail for it to execute, as it opens automatically when the e-mail is viewed. And that automatically opened attachment can even be a Flash exploit, as Haifei confirmed in testing. “By packing a Flash exploit in an OLE enabled TNEF e-mail, an attacker can [achieve] full code execution as long as the victim reads the e-mail,” he reported. “We use Flash OLE object as an example since Flash (zero-day) exploits are easy to obtain by attackers, but please note that there are other OLE objects [that] may be abused by [an] attacker.”

The OLE method can even be used within the content of an e-mail message sent as an attachment. Outlook automatically sees .msg files as “safe” and opens them in an Outlook message view rather than sandboxing them—and as a result, any OLE content within them will also automatically be opened. This makes the vulnerability “wormable,” Haifei noted—an exploit could re-send itself as an attachment from the first victim to others in the victim’s address book, spreading the exploit quickly across whole organizations. In effect, a single e-mail simply read by a targeted individual could result in the compromise of a whole company, as a message forwarded by a colleague would be more likely to be opened.

The vulnerability, identified as CVE-2015-6172, affects Office 2010 and later, as well as Microsoft Word 2007 with Service Pack 3. If you haven’t been able to apply the patches from December 8 yet, Microsoft has recommended turning off the message preview pane for Outlook to prevent malicious messages from being automatically opened and changing settings to view all e-mails as plain text.

Haifei also suggested making registry setting changes with an “Office kill-bit” to block Flash content from automatically opening via OLE, by blocking the CLSID D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000 with Windows Registry Editor:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\Common\COM Compatibility\{D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000}]“Compatibility Flags”=dword:00000400

Changing this setting will prevent OLE-embedded Flash exploits within other Office documents from being executed as well.

Nanotechnology printing

December 21st, 2015

Thanks to a new revolutionary laser printing technology, it is now possible to print this blog article in colour on an area no bigger than a hair. This breakthrough in nanotechnology will be published on 14 December 2015 in an article in the scientific journal Nature Nanotechnology.

A nanotechnology breakthrough from DTU revolutionizes laser printing technology, allowing you to print high-resolution data and colour images of unprecedented quality and microscopic dimensions.

DTU researchers from DTU Nanotech and DTU Fotonik reproduced a colour image of Mona Lisa which is less than one pixel on an iPhone Retina display. The laser technology allows printing in a mind-blowing resolution of 127,000 DPI. In comparison, weekly or monthly magazines are normally printed in a resolution equivalent to 300 DPI. She is 50 micrometres long or about 10,000 times smaller than the real Mona Lisa in the Louvre in Paris.

Printing microscopic images requires a special nanoscale-structured surface of rows with small columns with a diameter of merely 100 nanometres each. This structured surface is overed by 20 nanometres of aluminium.A laser pulse is transmitted from nanocolumn to nanocolumn, and the nanocolumn is heated locally, after which it melts and is deformed. The temperature can reach up to 1,500°C, but only for a few nanoseconds, preventing the extreme heat from spreading.

The intensity of the laser beam determines which colours are printed on the surface, since the extent of column deformation decides which colour is reflected. Low-intensity laser pulses lead to a minor deformation of the nanocolumn, resulting in blue and purple colour tone reflections. Strong laser pulses create a drastic deformation, which gives the reflection from the nanocolumn an orange and yellow colour tone.

Professor N. Asger Mortensen from DTU Fotonik explains: “Every time you make a slight change to the column geometry, you change the way it absorbs light. The light which is not absorbed is the colour that our eyes see. If the column absorbs all the blue light, for example, the red light will remain, making the surface appear red.”

There is considerable scope for application of the new laser printing technology. Professor Anders Kristensen from DTU Nanotech elaborates: “It will be possible to save data invisible to the naked eye. This includes serial numbers or bar codes of products and other information. The technology can also be used to combat fraud and forgery, as the products will be labelled in way that makes them very difficult to reproduce. It will be easier to determine whether the product is an original or a copy.”

The new laser printing technology can be used on a larger scale to personify products such as mobile phones with unique decorations, names, etc. Foreign companies which produce parts for cars, such as instrument panels and buttons, are already taking a keen interest in the technology to simplify production. Today, a large number of different instrument panels must be adapted to the various accessories that the car has, including airconditioning, USB, cigarette lighters, etc.

The technology has been patented, and researchers will now focus on developing the technology, so that it can replace the conventional laser printers .

C Executive collaboration in erp selection

December 13th, 2015

A Gartner survey last year , “Survey Analysis: Critical CFO Technology Needs: 2014 Gartner FEI Study,” June 23, 2014, http://bit. ly/1Ga5I50 highlighted the importance of C level Executive collaboration when selecting an erp system.

A critical component of any successful technology integration project is teamwork—especially among those with decision-making power and departmental oversight. In the case of ERP, the CIO and CFO should work hand-in-hand to determine which solution is best positioned to support the business and technology requirements of teams across the enterprise. They also need to jointly provide the highest value for the technology dollar—affordable to purchase and implement, economical to operate (low total cost of ownership), and capable of facilitating long-term financial stability and growth.

While an organization’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) may have differing perspectives on a host of issues, common ground can must be found between them to select and implement an appropriate ERP solution. Because both CIO and CFO are driven by role-specific ambitions and targets, reaching a mutual decision can prove challenging. To mitigate against differing points of view leading to a project delay or cancellation, the following recommendations are hints for CFOs and CIOs on how to reach a common ERP selection and implementation strategy:

1. Determine how each ERP option supports overall organizational strategy. According to the 2014 Gartner Financial Executives International CFO Technology Study, out of a survey sample of 210 executives, the CFO authorized 29 percent of IT investments. This surpassed even the CEO for decision-making in this space. CFOs are clearly interested in ERP costs in both the near and long term. The issues around how well each solution supports the company’s comprehensive goals for current and future operations are just as critical,. Analysis requires input from, and partnership with, the CIO ad other C Executives.

The CIO has to worry about wider issues such as compatibility, support, upgrade path, security, connectivity, reporting features and the day to operational costs, such as a/c/ energy support contracts, IT training and so on. There is also a strategic role to play to keep abreast of, and to leverage new technology to better leverage the deployment and use of the erp functionality e.g. mobility, predictive analytics, IoT Executives should eb able to articulate clearly how each proposed solution /functionality /feature either does or does not supports strategic growth.

To crystallise thoughts identify a realistic solution ROI.
That will help to set a budget early and help in priosiritising requirements, and must have vs nice to have features. It also helps to understand what is a sensible level of investment to drive the system in top gear rather than in 1st gear.

As CFOs take a more hands-on approach to technology decision-making, they are strategically prioritizing their options, and placing ERP software high on their list of potentially transformative tools. In the Gartner study, 47 percent cited enterprise business applications in the top three most important technology investments, with 23 percent putting them at the very top of the list. Forty-two percent of CFOs cited these applications as their most important technology investment over the next three years. Similar results are seen in surveys of CPM software, and the bottom line results also show that leaders in bottom line performance measures are those with the right systems.

CIOs and CFOs should both be looking for the same thing—ERP software that delivers the highest possible return on investment (ROI) with minimum risk, maximum agility, and scaleablity. A system that not only helps to compete today but that can adapt and grow with the business. Determining the required ROI for the business as well as the likely ROI of competing solutions goes a long way toward clarifying the value of available options. Similarly, a budget helps to narrow the software choices to those most likely to drive and sustain long-term growth and profitability or to ensure that additional investment in more features enhance rather than undermines the strategy. Budgets are not tablets of stone -they are acceptable benchamarks- that does not mean they cannot be changed if you have good reason. The key is to how will you decide and ROI is a good test.

3. Consider a solution with built-in Business Intelligence (BI) capability: When executives in the Gartner study were asked to identify the business priority they believed most required technology support, 62 percent indicated “facilitating analysis and decision making.” To this end, executives are increasingly looking to BI tools to capture insights across the enterprise, and realizing that ERP solutions such as Microsoft Dynamics AX provide this critical capability as a built-in feature. For both the CIO and CFO then, it will be paramount both to understand which software options include this functionality (and how deep that functionality goes) and to require vertically-focused expertise from potential vendor partners to determine which tool best supports the organization’s use case.

4. Schedule your ERP rollout to maximize the functionality that will provide the foundation to grow and to control costs: Given the potential disruption as major systems are implemented and adopted, CIOs and CFOs should bring together relevant information from their respective areas of expertise and influence to carefully plan a timeline for project planning, implementation, and support that protects against financial risks, system downtime, and process changeover lag. Gartner suggests a “pace-layered strategy” to minimize these types of integration risks, reduce costs, and maximize security. Under such an approach, companies can categorize each business application (including ERP) as a system of record, differentiation, or innovation, then apply differentiated management processes for each, driving more thoughtful, collaborative, and high-value integrations.

The Value of Executive Partnership in Driving Technology Investment

It comes as no surprise that a successful ERP deployment hinges on partnership—and that synergy among department leaders is essential to securing the executive approval, team unity, and partner relationships required to implement a successful and even transformative long-term software solution. By working together to identify common goals and arbitrate diverging viewpoints, CIOs and CFOs can ensure the final selected system is one that not only meets their individual needs, but is also optimally positioned to meet business requirements and operational objectives enterprise-wide, securing sustainable growth and profitability.

Synergy Software Systems reviews enterprise technology trends for 2016

December 3rd, 2015

The generation of millennial workers views the world through a digital lens. They grow up with technology woven into their lives, and expect any information they need to be at their fingertips. As the move up the corporate ladder, they expect the business to capitalize on the data and technology assets that are available. They don’t have patience with disconnected and inefficient processes that put the business at a competitive disadvantage.

This is one of the key factors that is driving business application technology: cloud-based ERP, mobility and cross platform programs, integration of business apps with productivity tools and social media, with a consistent, user friendly interface. No matter the size of your company, you can now provide the digital business environment to:
• Give workers who are comfortable working from home, in the office, and on the road easy access to secure business systems. Any time anywhere access.
• Work cross platform on any device.
• Enable collaboration inside and outside your organization to build stronger relationships between vendors, customers, and employees.
• Provide project portals, inventory data, and customer information that empower remote employees to provide excellent service.
• Deliver powerful real time analytics with rich visuals

Recently Gartner highlighted 10 technology trends:

The Device Mesh: This trend refers to what types of methods, or endpoints, people will use to access information or interact with others. According to Gartner, this includes mobile devices, wearables, home electronic devices, etc. Gartner claims that, “While devices are increasingly connected to back-end systems through various networks, they have often operated in isolation from one another. As the device mesh evolves, we expect connection models to expand and greater cooperative interaction between devices to emerge.”
Wearable technology devices are increasingly available. Enterprise Apps Today recently reported enterprise software is available on smartwatches. Business professionals can access ERP services using a wearable device, and companies are exploring how convenient ERP utilization will change their practices.
Manufacturing plants install sensors and other connected devices to monitor processes and ensure product quality. Production lines are more intelligent than ever before, which means they need vast amounts of data to operate.

Ambient User Experience: The dawn of virtual reality is upon us, and the ambient user experience trend means that “user experience preserves continuity across boundaries of device mesh, time and space.” This means that the user can experience a blend of environments including physical, virtual and electronic that incorporates an array of different devices.

3D Design and Printing Materials: 3D printing is increasingly common in a wide range of industries using a wide range of materials. You can purchase 3D-printed objects on websites like Amazon! Gartner predicts that the use of 3D printing will continue to expand over the next 20 years, with an increase in the types of materials that will be printed .
3D printing is also a way of creating 3D design models for better visualization of a new product. 3D graphic tools are also providing similar advantages whether via BIM construction models (such as our AEC solution), 3D planograms, walk through real estate visuals, etc ., or with tools like Holo lens with Surface hub to support collaborative 3D design visualisation.

The process of 3-D printing – also known as layered manufacturing – creates exact replicas of items based on data loaded into the equipment. Companies can scan objects and produce precise physical copies or create their own designs.
Layered manufacturing is not as fast as traditional assembly lines, and it costs a bit more. Industry experts, however, predict more industries will adopt 3-D printing technology as the science improves. In August 2015, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first 3-D-printed pharmaceutical product. The product’s designer said layered manufacturing helped create a better performing pill. Many medical fields use 3-D printing to create items for optimal functionality and to improve outcomes with individual patients

Information of Everything: As new devices are developed and are able to communicate with each other, more and more information is used and transmitted. “This information goes beyond textual, audio and video information to include sensory and contextual information.” Gartner predicts that information will also be able to be more easily analyzed.

Advanced Machine Learning: “In advanced machine learning, deep neural nets (DNNs) move beyond classic computing and information management to create systems that can autonomously learn to perceive the world, on their own.” These DNNs will automate the new and complex information that comes in from different data sources. They enable machines to seemingly learn and act on their own.

Autonomous Agents and Things: Will robots become widely used? Autonomous machines like robots, self-driving cars and other smart machines will become more common. Consider virtual personal assistants (VPAs) like Microsoft’s Cortana and Apple’s Siri. “The emerging notion of assistance feeds into the ambient user experience in which an autonomous agent becomes the main user interface. Instead of interacting with menus, forms and buttons on a smartphone, the user speaks to an app, which is really an intelligent agent.”

Internet of Things Platforms: According to Gartner, “The technologies and standards in the IoT platform form a base set of capabilities for communicating, controlling, managing and securing endpoints in the IoT.” The platform will make sure that data is transferred effectively from endpoints.

One of the recent trends fueling cloud adoption is a hybrid implementation strategy. Companies don’t want to throw out old systems and start over with a cloud-deployed service. Some companies use hybrid cloud solutions to test a change in process. They move select datasets to the cloud to see if the service offers the flexibility and convenience they predicted. Hybrid cloud options allow companies to explore functionality without making huge investments. As cloud-deployed ERP solutions prove easier to adopt, more businesses should become interested.

Convergence Barcelona 2015 – what’s new

December 2nd, 2015

Ax native power BI

The next release of Dynamics AX — a product which is dropping the year as part of its name — will be an Azure-hosted service that’s more tightly integrated with a number of Microsoft’s other cloud services. Dynamics AX is moving to a cloud-first model, meaning the Azure-hosted version will debut ahead of the on-premises complement. The next on-premises version of Dynamics AX won’t be out until the latter part of calendar 2016, and will make use of new capabilities in Windows Server 2016 and SQL Server 2016, both of which are also due for release in 2016.

Dynamics AX includes an overhaul of the client, which will be a fully-browser-based HTML one available for Windows 10 Edge users, as well as users on other modern browsers on iOS. Users will be able to extend the client themselves and build business-specific mobile applications. The client app for Windows will be wrapped and made available as a Universal Windows Platform app, so it will work with Continuum on PCs, tablets and phones, he said.

The new Dynamics release also includes a new “guided” user experience that looks and works like Microsoft Office and is tightly integrated with Dynamics CRM, Office 365, Skype, Azure machine learning and Power BI.

The tighter integration with other Microsoft cloud and enterprise products and services makes sense given Microsoft’s decision earlier this year to move its Dynamics CRM and ERP engineering team to the Cloud & Enterprise division.

Another new feature in the release will be “Workspaces,” which allows users in different roles to get a different view of activities in Dynamics AX that are tailored to their roles, with all the data, processes and other information they need to complete tasks. “Task Guides” will provide on-screen guidance and support for using Dynamics AX using Cortana voice commands.

The public preview of the next Dynamics AX cloud release will be available in early December 2015. This December is also when Microsoft will talk about pricing.

Like its other software products that are evolving into regularly updated services, such as Windows 10 and System Center Configuration Manager, Microsoft’s Dynamics AX product is going the same route

According to Jean-Philippe Courtois, President Microsoft International, building a digital business transformation is a team sport, and CEOs must reinvent their roles to drive the transformation. It is more than implementing a piece of technology, to become a digital business you have to adopt a digital-first mindset, reimagine your business and connect everything.

In this week’s release of Skype for Business, 10,000 people can be on a conference call at once, and documents can – for the first time ever – be live edited by multiple people while live video calling- a new feature called Skype Meeting Broadcast
Microsoft revealed that Power BI and Delve Analytics would both be coming to Office 365 immediately. This makes Office even more effective as an analytics tool, as it will now take advantage of Delve’s Graph-powered machine learning capabilities.
Microsoft’s enterprise version of Skype now has several new features, including the ability to dial into meetings from a traditional phone. The cloud-powered private branch exchange (PBX) feature enables enterprises to cut out the need for separate PBX systems required to manage calls between local and external phone lines, while PSTN calling allows Office 365 users to opt for Microsoft-managed calling plans and phone numbers.

The updates were unveiled alongside Microsoft’s introduction of its PowerApps service, a tool that allows the easy building of mobile apps with access to corporate data in enterprise

Microsoft announced the brand new CRM 2016, yes Dynamics CRM 2016 is now available!
It is deeply integrated into Office 365 and mean that office, using newly Azure-powered CRM 2016, can pull in relevant contact data on your next meeting, arrange your schedule and even suggest future sales opportunities.

Available both as CRM Online and on-premises in 130 markets and 44 languages, Dynamics CRM 2016 is focused on empowering employees to deliver the optimal experiences to customers, as well as engaging customers across all channels. We’re bringing all Microsoft has to offer in productivity and intelligence into a single experience.
Advanced analytics and machine learning capabilities of the Cortana Analytics Suite f or intelligent, adaptive processes for sales, customer service and social:
•Intelligent selling with cross-sell recommendations so sales reps can predict which products and services a customer will need during the sales cycle.
•Intelligent customer service with knowledge articles recommendations to empower service agents with answers to questions so they can more effectively resolve customer cases and solve problems on the spot.
•Intelligent social with machine learning capabilities powering sentiment analysis, as well as the ability to process significant streams of data to detect social posts that are most likely to be customer service cases or new leads.
•Intelligent collaboration with Delve functionality to surface trending content that is most relevant to what a person is working on.

In addition, significant enhancements in productivity, mobility and customer service:
•Productivity – Capabilities in CRM 2016 are seamlessly embedded into productivity tools, including Office 365. In CRM 2016, we’ve enhanced the CRM app for Outlook, delivered templates for our immersive Excel experience, simplified the creation of personalized sales documents in Word and enabled seamless access to contextual CRM documents across SharePoint, Office 365 Groups and OneDrive for Business.
•Mobility – CRM 2016 features full offline mobile capabilities for phones and tablets, the ability to create task-based mobile apps, Mobile Application Management with Microsoft Intune and next generation Cortana integration that surfaces CRM data for key sales activities, accounts and deals, and mobile marketing with SMS capabilities available with Dynamics Marketing in four countries.
•Unified Service – CRM 2016 delivers a single, unified solution for Customer Service across self-service, agent assisted service and field service. Building on the integration of Parature knowledge management in spring 2015, we now have a new role driven agent experience with the Interactive Service Hub, native Knowledge Management, surveys to capture voice of the customer and field service capabilities with our recent acquisition of FieldOne.

Microsoft also revealed that the Office 365 cloud-powered productivity suite has gained several new features. The first is a series of security and compliance features that give administrators more control over who has access to data in Office 365. The Advanced eDiscovery tool adds machine learning and text analytics to Office 365 to reduce the cost and risk of managing large quantities during e-discovery in litigation or government investigations. The second is what appears to be the tighter integration of Microsoft’s Power BI data visualisation tool, and a new feature called Delve Analytics that takes the Office Graph-powered machine learning capability of the Delve app and adds it to Office 365.

Filehold – ask Synergy Software Systems about document management for the U.A.E.

November 30th, 2015

Courier documents

Mobile document management

“We recommend FileHold as the best document management system for businesses using Windows. We chose FileHold from dozens of document management system options.
Why FileHold?
Ease of use
FileHold is a self-hosted document management system for businesses using Windows computers. It has the same look and feel of programs you’re already accustomed to using, and the interface is designed specifically with Windows Explorer in mind. The filing structure incorporates the same cabinet, drawer, folder and subfolder approach that Windows uses. So, once the software is installed, employees should have no trouble grasping how to use and navigate it.
We like FileHold’s clean interface. It isn’t cluttered with icons or images. All you see when logging in is the file library running down the left-hand side of the page and a search bar along the top. The majority of the page remains blank until you start filing, searching for or opening documents. This approach keeps you on the same page the entire time you’re using the system. Many of the other systems we examined force you to toggle back and forth between pages depending on the task you’re working on.
The FileHold library structure is designed with Windows Explorer in mind.
Adding to the system’s ease of use are the MyFileHold folders, which are placed on top of the general library of cabinets and drawers on the left-hand side of the page. The MyFileHold section features separate folders for employees’ “favorite” documents, their checked-out documents, any alerts or reminders they have, the files they recently accessed and the files they recently added to the system. This provides a quick snapshot of the documents currently being worked on and the files that need immediate attention.
Each employee can customize various portions of the system with their personal preferences. This option isn’t offered by all of the document management systems we examined. When looking at specific documents, employees can choose the tools they want to be quickly accessible. Quick links can be added for a variety of tasks, such as adding files, linking documents together and checking out files. Additionally, you can choose the metadata attributes — like document type, version, number of linked files and the author — that are shown alongside the file’s name.
Filing documents within the software is simple and can be done in many ways. You can drag and drop files already on your computer or network, as well as scan documents directly into the system. The Microsoft Office integration also allows you to add documents you are working on in Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook or PowerPoint with just a click of a button.