Archive for the ‘Technology’ category

Microsoft Dynamics Ax-goodbye Rainer goodbye Ax 7

November 24th, 2015

Dynamics AX delivers a beautiful UI that is modern, touch-enabled and looks and feels like no other ERP system in the market-revolutionary. It anyone to use and to interact with the system easier than ever before democratizing . As millennials enter the workplace, it looks and works like the applications that they are used to, leading to quicker adoption and actual usage.
An elegant, modern, intuitive HTML5 experience brings the principles of highly visual, immersive applications which today’s modern user expects from their consumer apps to their enterprise business application. The user experience eliminates unnecessary clicks and pop-ups – bringing the user all the right information, and where they need it, so they can be more productive.

Dynamics AX is intelligent – more than just visualizing reports (although, Dynamics AX with Power BI does that ). The data in the ERP system is combined in real-time with data from outside the company to help people make more informed decisions.
A solution to proactively predict issues orto provide guidance to help keep you out of trouble.
For example, think of how Cortana on your Windows phone gives you notifications when you need to leave for an appointment to make it on time based on all the traffic/ weather data that it is capturing in the background. Now apply that intelligence to your business, where Cortana has the ability to tell you about a problem in your supply chain, or alert you about the need to increase your inventory of cold drinks because of an upcoming heatwave to ensure that you have the right amount of stock on hand.

This predictive nature and intelligence of business applications is the future that is delivered with Dynamics AX. This new solution removes limitations and opens up the ability for businesses to think about the “art of the possible” – and that is very exciting. Dynamics AX, together with Azure SQL and PowerBI, delivers near real time analytics, embedded pervasively across the application. Users don’t need to leave their work to use a separate analytics tool – the business intelligence they need is right in the application. Dynamics AX uses in-memory BI to give people real time operational insights so they can make informed decisions. It enables people to find, sort, visualize, and use information easily with an intuitive user interface that provides contextual insights through Power BI — embedded directly in the application. A user can now create analytics in PowerBI, publish those to Dynamics AX, and embed those directly in the application UI. Dynamics AX users can see those analytics in context, click through to PowerBI to more deeply explore the data, and even drill back to the underlying transactions.

In addition, there are new scenarios, powered by Azure Machine Learning, bringing predictive capabilities built in to the application that, for example, can help a retail seller make more effective product recommendations.

The new Dynamics AX is at the center of Microsoft’s core ambition around the reinvention of productivity and business process. With outstanding Office 365 and Skype interoperability, users have the best productivity and collaboration tools to help them be as effective as they can be. Matching how people need and want to work, scenarios seamlessly flow across Dynamics AX, Office 365 and Skype for Business.

For example, in a Budget Formulation process managed by Dynamics AX, budget requesters and approvers get to work with budget data naturally in Microsoft Excel. The new solution also introduces a powerful new concept called “Workspaces,” where users in various roles not only get a different lens on the data, tasks, and activities tailored to their role in the organization, but also an even more focused experience in the application with additional context bringing together all the data, all the processes and everything they need to get a task done.
The power of the cloud.

Cloud is more than tired buzz word, but when people talk about the cloud, it is usually limited to infrastructure – the ability to host and deliver software as a service. Ax 7 shows what the cloud means for businesses. The cloud powers the intelligence, and enables growth and the ability for people to do business anytime, anywhere, on a global scale.

The cloud enables agility that was never previously possible Microsoft Dynamics AX, no longer has a without any version or year associated with it because what you will have will always be the latest.

Speed – implementing a system quickly, the ability to get people up and running faster, changing business processes without business disruption, getting real-time insights into business to accelerate productivity and ultimately getting the fastest time to value are top of mind for every customer.
An integrated user training mode — Task Guides – helps new users complete business processes with on-screen guidance in the client experience, and that same facility can let users drive the application through voice commands to Cortana. In addition to being great on the Microsoft Edge browser, the new solution is also available on all modern browsers. That same modern HTML5 experience will be available in a Windows 10 Universal App, simplifying deployment. With an adaptive experience through Continuum, we’re enabling Dynamics AX users to get the most out of their phone device. The app will also be available for iOS and Android, reflecting Microsoft’s cross-platform commitment.

The new Microsoft Dynamics AX is expected to be available in public preview for all of our customers and partners in 140 countries by early December and to launch end of first quarter 2016. Building on planned advances to Microsoft’s on-premises technology stack, the new Dynamics AX will also be available to customers that demand on-premises deployment in 2016.

This is a major transformation for Dynamics AX and the beginning of a new era for Dynamics – and for reinventing business process and productivity.

Recent Dynamics Ax Compatibility Updates November 15

November 12th, 2015

Note that Technet pages are not always current.
The system requirements documentation was updated in October 2015 and is available to our customers on request.
Both Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 Cumulative Update 8 (and above) and that CU9 update of Dynamics AX 2012 R3 are now compatible with Windows 10.

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 Cumulative Update 8 and 9 are now both compatible with SQL Server 2014 SP1, and with .NET 4.6

AX 2009 SP1 is compatible with SQL Server 2008 R2 SP3 since September.

A new version (v of Microsoft Dynamics AX Intelligent Data Management Framework (IDMF) is now available on LCS Tools.

Holo lens – augmented reality

October 24th, 2015

Both Microsoft and Google are trying to replace your computer, your tablet, and your smartphone with the next step in personal computing: augmented reality.

In the future — so the idea goes — you’ll interact with your digital life seamlessly in reality. Everything from email to video games to navigation will simply be overlaid into the world around you using sunglass-like shades that provide the functionality of your computer/smartphone/tablet/etc.

But that’s still in “the future.” What we’ve got right now is Microsoft’s HoloLens and Google-backed Magic Leap. Here’s the incredible Microsoft augmented reality set that turns your hand into a laser gun. This is HoloLens:

There are many ways to apply the technology – visualising BIM models -or collaborating on design across geographies.

Synergy Software Systems at Gitex 2015 – Microsoft and IOT

October 22nd, 2015

It was good to catch up with old friends at Gitex and to meet so many new faces looking for our solutions.

Windows 10 IoT will power a range of intelligent, connected IoT devices. From small devices like gateways, to mobile point- of- sale to powerful industry devices like robotics and specialty medical devices, Windows 10 IoT offers a converged platform for devices with enterprise-grade security from the device to the cloud, and native connectivity for machine-to-machine and machine-to-cloud scenarios with Azure IoT Services. The newly released Azure IoT Suite offers preconfigured solutions built on Microsoft’s cloud platform.

Azure IoT Suite integrates with the device assets and IoT systems that customers already have. This lets businesses quickly pull together a more complete view of what’s happening. With the Azure IoT Suite, immediately see when a business asset or device needs attention. This allows a business to move from reactive to proactive maintenance—and then to full automation.

The Microsoft stand was as busy as ever – Jennifer Vaz, Synergy Software Systems, Executive Director, added a touch of glamour during her visit.

LinkedIn, Lithium, and Dynamics CRM

October 17th, 2015

CRM integration saves up to 30 minutes of time every day while increasing sales productivity by 17%, per rep. Source: Accenture study

To enable companies to more easily connect their social selling activities to their customer engagement efforts. LinkedIn are building deeper integration between LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

LinkedIn online professional network, claims more than 364 million members worldwide. With LinkedIn information embedded right into Dynamics CRM, sellers can better identify and build relationships with new and existing customers.

With the LinkedIn Sales Navigator integration, sellers can send connection requests, view the latest lead and account updates, discover similar decision makers, and send InMail messages directly from Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

In June this year Microsoft entered into an nalliance agreement to integrate Lithium social interactions and community data into Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

That agreement extends Lithium’s community platform to customers who rely on Microsoft Dynamics and offers enterprises more capabilities and choice in their customer relationship management (CRM) needs.

Lithium provides a community platform with more than 100 million members participating in the Lithium-powered community every month.

The close integration of Lithium community data within Microsoft Dynamics offers businesses greater insights from the wealth of customer signals embedded in communities.

Management Reporter updated CU13 files

October 17th, 2015

A critical issue was found in CU13 that could impact any customer setting up a new Management Reporter installation and using SQL authentication.

The original installation files were removed from CustomerSource and a new set of installation files were posted last month. The re-release also contains the hotfix for the missing web viewer scroll bar.
• Delete any downloads containing the 2.12.13001.13 build
• Download the new CU13 build 2.12.13002.1.
This can be used as an upgrade from the initial CU13 release, or as the CU13 full install including the fix for this issue.
Go through the Configuration Console to perform a quick update
• If you choose to not apply the new install at this stage then you will receive the fix with the Management Reporter CU14 upgrade

• Any additional bug fixes released as a hotfix will rely on the new 2.12.13002.1 Re-release build as a prerequisite for the hotfix
• Both the EN-US and localized versions are available to download now.

Cortana Analytics any time soon – powerful, predictive analytics for the IoT

October 13th, 2015

Cortana Analytics refers to a cloud-based ecosystem hosted in Microsoft Azure for building and deploying elastic, scalable modern data warehousing and advanced analytics solutions. The entire data workflow — from event ingest/data capture, to data storage, to analytical processing and transformation, to modeling, to real-world deployment — is covered by a set of cloud-based services are intended to be combined to collect events and data and turn them into actionable intelligence, enabling human or automated action
- Cortana Analytics is a fully managed big data and advanced analytics suite that enables you to transform your data into intelligent action.
- Cortana Analytics Suite enables core analytics scenarios such as real-time recommendations, customer churn forecasting, fraud detection, predictive maintenance and many more.
- Take action ahead of your competitors by going beyond looking in the rear-view mirror to predicting what’s next.
– Enhance your business applications with machine intelligence to evolve from simple descriptive analytics to prescriptive recommendations.

The Cortana Analytics Suite encompasses a set of these data-oriented Azure PaaS offerings, including:
• Azure Event Hub
• Azure Data Catalog
• Azure Data Factory
• Azure Data Lake
• Azure SQL Data Warehouse
• Azure Stream Analytics
• Azure HDInsight
• Azure Machine Learning
• Power BI
• Cortana

Integrate with Cortana, a personal digital assistant that works with the Cortana Analytics Suite to enable your business, and your customers’ businesses, to get things done in more helpful, proactive, and natural ways.
• Helpful: By intelligently learning about your business needs over time,
• Cortana is increasingly helpful when connecting data to intelligent action.
• Natural interaction: Interact with you data with natural language and speech, through Cortana.
• Proactive: Cortana can analyze business and customer data to pro-actively suggest helpful actions, trends and insights.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health System, the largest hospital in northern New England, USA is developing a remote monitoring and predictive analytics solution called ImagineCare using the Cortana Analytics Suite. Leveraging predictive analytics, ImagineCare will enable dynamic treatment plans based on the individual patient’s history and profile and patterns observed from a broad corpus of data. ImagineCare aims to significantly enhance patient outcomes by predicting the probability of catastrophic events such as heart attacks and emergency readmissions before they happen.

Rockwell Automation created a solution to monitor expensive capital assets for petroleum capturing data from the well to the forecourt pump. It uses that data to improve efficiency, drive better performance and enable innovation. Based on Microsoft Azure Internet of Things services, the solution collects, integrates, and organizes sensor data from remote equipment across global supply chains to support real-time insight, predictive analytics, and preventive maintenance.

Corporate Vice President James Phillips describes how Microsoft is reinventing business intelligence (BI) with Microsoft Power BI, a rapidly growing business analytics service with groundbreaking data analysis and visualization capabilities.

Cortana Analytics Suite will soon be available as an integrated offering with a simple monthly subscription model that takes advantage of all the relevant analytics and big data capabilities. Make better, timely decisions and intelligently automate operations. The offering, while customizable to fit the unique needs of organizations, will also provide preconfigured solutions to speed deployment of common scenarios we see across many industries, such as fraud detection, churn analysis and recommendations

• Compliant: Ensure infrastructure compliance with your industry through our broad set of compliance standards such as ISO 27001, HIPAA, FedRAMP, SOC 1 and SOC 2
• Scalable: Elastically scale to petabytes of data as your business needs grow over time, while keeping the flexibility and choice to manage multiple data repositories in the cloud

For ideas on how Cortana Analytics can help your business see

Windows 10 mobile and Continuum

October 7th, 2015

Windows 10 Mobile is looking like a tool business users,- it could be the phone that replaces the PC for a lot of users.
Do you remember when Microsoft’s mission statement was to put a PC in every home? How things have changed. Teens are walking around these days with smartphones that have more functionality and connectivity than your PC with a 28,800 modem could have ever achieved. And something new is coming
People in developing nations couldn’t afford a PC or a laptop; instead they went for a feature phone. Apple, followed by Android, shook the world up and gave us smartphones where the primary function isn’t to make phone calls, but to give us access to cloud services
At Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) 2014 keynote, Microsoft COO Kevin Turner announced that Microsoft held only a 14 percent share of all devices, and yet that still accounts for their dominant 90 percent plus share of the PC market. It’s clear that the PC is now the minority device.

So what is Continuum?
Continuum is a Windows 10 feature for devices, such as the Microsoft Surface.
- When you have the keyboard attached, the device is desktop-centric and features keyboard and mouse as the primary input methods.
- When you remove the keyboard, the device switches to a touch interface by featuring a Start Screen.

But there’s another trick to Continuum.
◾One OS: Windows 10 focuses on IoT devices, such as Raspberry Pi or your next microwave cooker, tablets, PCs, HoloLens, Surface Hub, and Windows Phones.
◾Universal Apps: A developer can write a program once and have it work across all Windows 10 devices.

A feature that enables this cross-device functionality is dynamic screen scaling. Microsoft is releasing Office 2016 as a universal app at around the same time as Windows 10, and it will work in this way — one Office, lots of devices.

Continuum is for hybrid devices and Microsoft never limited that description to just tablets with attachable keyboards. In fact, Microsoft also intended the smartphone to be a hybrid device.

So, in theory, use your smartphone like your PC today with Microsoft Office and plenty of business apps . Edit a spreadsheet, write a Word document, and wirelessly present a PowerPoint presentation
In theory but a five-inch screen might be okay for checking Twitter , but it’s not great for editing documents or interacting with business applications. The screen is too small, a touch UI is not as efficient as keyboard and mouse input.

Continuum was created for Windows Mobile that it cna also work with full-sized peripherals, and a bigger screen. Use your phone as your primary device e on the go. When you get home or to the office, plug your phone to charge, and connect a monitor, keyboard, and mouse to the phone. The phone will display the normal Windows 10 desktop on your monitor. Interact with it as you would on the PC — and the same Windows 10 OS. Click the Start Menu, and instead of a Windows 10 Start Menu, you’ll get the Start Screen of your phone for a consistent experience. Click Excel, and Excel will open in a window or full screen on the monitor, just like it would on the PC — it’s the same Microsoft Office thanks to Universal Apps.

Microsoft has not been good at taking hardware to market- it needs to use all its channels with this.
we also have to recognise that not all corporations want their data mobile, and that it may take along time before bespoke application like erp, finance and payroll, are all updated and compatible with Windows 10 and that means a lot of some pcs will stick around for a while yet.

If you go down this route, then think about back ups, and security and support e.g If you lose your phone – second-factor authentication – optic nerve, fingerprint or facial recognition authentication – someone else logging on auto blocks the device etc.

If you are truly mobile with your business apps and devices then think abuot mobile network management e.g patches, anti virus updates, geo fending etc

The future of the enterprise desktop is stateless (i.e. mostly online) clients.

Phones and tablets can not be stateless devices because mobile focused devices are offline too much.

Thus a future phone based enterprise will be maybe more of support nightmare than the current windows desktop. Its unlikely at least for now that you will have only one device – we don’t live in a single use case world. Entertainment focused mobiles are a very different use case to a work device( Just as we need shopping trolleys cars, lorries etc..)

Dynamics Dubai Careers – Synergy Software Systems

October 4th, 2015

Synergy Software Systems is a member of the Microsoft President’s Club and has provided stable employment since we were founded in 1991. Synergy is also the also the oldest Microsoft Dynamics partners in the region and has an experienced stable consulting team that is respected globally for its knowledge delivery and support. This is reflected in our membership for several years as the Middle East partner for Ax Pact a global alliance of some of the best Dynamics partners.

Our practise continues to thrive and to expand into new verticals and geographies. If you are a seasoned consultant with 10 years or more professional and consulting experience and at last 5 years in Dynamics, or at the start of your career have strong academics in relevant subjects. Even better if you have proven documentation skills, product exposure, and can speak good English and ideally also Arabic or French and lot more! We provide an excellent learning and support environment but there is also strong peer expectation (and competition). The result is one of the most senior and stable consulting Dynamics teams, and customer bases (many with us more than 15 years).

Next year the future includes Dynamics CRM 2106, Dynamics Ax 7, Sql 2016, Edge browser, Windows 10 Office 2015, Cortana Analytics, Holo lens, and much, much more with an azure platform that is built to dominate the cloud. Where is your future. We also have other world class practices fr example Enterprise Time and Attendance.

Do you have what it takes to be a Synergy consultant? Don’t expect to start at the top – without the credentials but Synergy on our cv will give your worthwhile experience. There is still a global recession there are many troubled areas and refugees – try Dubai and Synergy Software Systems for challenging work, ongoing career enhancement and stable employment.

Dynamics CRM and FantasySalesTeam

September 28th, 2015

Microsoft is trailblazing in customer relationship management (CRM) software with a foray into gamification.

Microsoft has acquired FantasySalesTeam, a sales gamification platform that allows sales teams to run engaging and productive competitions.

It incentivizes sales teams to hit milestones via a game-like achievement tracking system that is similar to that of many fantasy sports platforms.

FantasySalesTeam has helped hundreds of companies increase revenue and improve adoption of CRM software. Its collaborative and team-based approach discourages old-school “lone wolf” sales attitudes and it will now become part of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM offering

SANA ecommerce Web shop – ask Synergy Software Systems, Dubai

September 15th, 2015

The solution has interfaces for Dynamics Ax, Dynamics NAV and SAP

Sales portals for manufacturing
There are many reasons to sell online Find out what B2B e-commerce can do for your company
Customers expect to directly find what they’re looking for at any moment of the day. Self-service “Pull marketing is replacing “Push marketing”.
Provide customers with an online sales portal for your manufacturing company to meet these expectations. Your competitors are already doing this.
The way B2B customers purchase goods is transforming, the manufacturing business. Technology has fundamentally transformed the way customers move online. Nowadays, every B2B client is used to a great online experience. Not only do they want to spend less time on searching for the information they need, they also want this information to be rich and valuable and easily accessible
B2B business is transforming rapidly as a result of the shift from offline to online. Therefore ‘business to business’ need an online sales channel.
But where to start?
And what are the benefits of selling online?
Although everyone is aware of the trend, only a few know how it works.
Contact us for a copy of our whitepaper
‘Things They Don’t Tell You About B2B E-commerce’

Learn more about:
- Why is the market changing?
- What exactly is B2B e-commerce ?
- What are differences between B2B and B2C e-commerce?
- What are the advantages of selling online?
- What is the role of your ERP in B2B sales?


Our e-commerce solution helps companies master the transformation of their business.
Our mobile field sales ordering app supports your sales agents when they are outside the office, anytime, anywhere.

Synergy MMS- for hotels – updated 3.6.0 released!

September 14th, 2015

SAI has completed the update for all properties using SynergyMMS.
Some of the changes incorporated into this update.

Duplicate checking now allows checking based on completed work request.

New Languages for the Desktop and Voice:
New Language for Voice only:
Manage Pools easier – Review the Pools based on Outputs and or MOD’s. You can now find all the Pools that an Output is used in by the click of a button.

Work Request
Receipts – Return receipt sent to the person who created the work request, upon completion. Never wonder if your work got done. Simply setup an Email address in the Employees area for the team members then they can choose per work request if they want to get a receipt or not when the work is complete.

See the Pool and the Output – The Dispatches tab now shows not only the output the work request is delivered to, but also the pool that that output is in.

Custom Views now show not just PM, but PM Generator vs PM on Demand.

Cancel Dispatch - Users with modify pooling rights are able to cancel an in progress work request. This means further delivery to the pool and or escalation will not happen. A new status symbol is then displayed.

Override Auto-Dispatch - Users with modify pooling rights allowed now have the ability to ‘NOT’ dispatch when in

In some cases Trade pools were evaluated not taking their time in account. We now evaluate the pool as a whole (Trade, Day and time) and if the work request doesn’t fit then it would look for Department pools to fit.

Preventive Maintenance
Grouping – Group PM’s to generate together (Simultaneously) or after completion of one (Sequentially). Group one or more PM’s to trigger generation at the same time as a parent, or after the parent is completed. Also easily review the grouped PM’s.

PM on Demand – SynergyMMS now shows the Check out date where interfaced to a PMS. This makes it easy to generate PM’s based on availability of the room.

Occupancy is now included on the Morning report. It is also retained for historical purposes.
Favorite Report Names are now longer. SynergyMMS now allows you 100 characters to name your reports and make these more meaningful.

Chinese text is displayed correctly for reports.

PerfectRoomIVR (only)
SynergyMMS automatically calculates and assigns rooms to Guest Room Attendants (GRA) based on credits and types of rooms. This allows for 75% of the process to happen with no user interaction beyond the click of a single button. Use the new IVR interface to receive assignments, complete service and update room status via any house phone. A printable list of assignment is also available for each GRA.

Prepare for Ax 7 – ask Synergy Software Systems, Dubai

September 6th, 2015

Microsoft is number four and the biggest R & D spender as reported in Fortune magazine’s November 2014 article ‘The Biggest R & D Spenders Worldwide’. This amounts to 10.4 billion dollars annually. . Microsoft employs over 1,000 doctorate holding researchers and countless developers and thus Microsoft is constantly improving their products to help companies drive more business value by running processes efficiently, managing change easily, and competing globally. In the context of enterprise resource planning, Dynamics AX is considered the flagship of the Microsoft Dynamics family.
Microsoft Dynamics AX 7 (also known as “Rainier”) will be released by the end of 2015, and the release will bring a change in paradigm from on-premises hosting to the cloud. The product strategy followed for Microsoft Dynamics AX 7 will be mobile first – cloud first.
• Mobile first – the new enhancements ensure that the application experience, regardless of the device platform it’s accessed on, remains the same for the user.
• Cloud first – is focused on AX 7’s new optimized platform which is suitable for both public and private cloud deployments with a “what you need, when you need it” approach on Windows Azure.
Now that we’re in the second half of the year, it’s the right time to start thinking about how to prepare for this new version.
How you should prepare for AX 7 depends on from where you are starting – whether you are currently an AX R3 user, an AX user on an older version, or are not an AX user but are thinking of implementing in the near future.
Scenario 1: You are an AX 2012 R3 user.
You can upgrade to AX 7! There are several things to consider: upgrade needs, cost, and cloud readiness.
Implementation: Right now, your AX ERP is hosted on-premises on your server. If you stay on premise then you may need to update your server, and your operating system, database version, bowser etc. As you use more of the software and move to later versions then the underlying platform also has to be considered. For many that is a reasons to move to the cloud. Should your company’s data need to be migrated to the cloud then all applications and customizations will also need to shift to the cloud.
So consider which applications and third party solutions are already integrated with AX.
Understand how you will connect those applications with your cloud AX and whether they are compatible with the latest releases of operating system, database , browser etc.

Selecting the right partner who can help move the existing application and customize from on-premises to cloud is critical. The upgrade process will take a few months.

As an R3 user, you paid a one-time license fee and pay an annual BREP as % of the license value you have purchased for on-going software enhancement. Going forward, you will have subscription-based user licenses for cloud access. For many industries this will offer advantages for several reasons. If your business is seasonal, and you have high users for only a few months, then there is no need to pay for the entire year anymore. For example ice cream and cold drinks in the summer, harvest time, retail Christmas sales, or Thanksgiving Eve and Super Bowl Sunday. It doesn’t make sense to purchase a huge number of servers just for two days’ worth of traffic. But with everything on the cloud, such companies can pay for just what they need when they need. The same holds true as you scale up and down for any reason.
Some users will have intense data processing perhaps only at month end- whether for reforecasting, scheduling, budget updates, month end close, consolidation, BI etc. However through the month there may be a more even workload.

Cloud Readiness: If you are a global AX user, identify where your AX 7 access will occur. You can purchase more than one access point to avoid any time delays or access issues. You should also review infrastructure needs. If you have a large number of users that you think will be on the ERP, then you may need to increase infrastructure bandwidth for speed and data usage, to connect to the cloud. The bottom line for R3 users is that you are well-positioned for an AX 7 upgrade, as long as you pay attention to a few issues along the way. The first of which is to get upgraded to CU or 9. The second is to ensure you have configured the new Warehouse module correctly. The third is to understand the license changes.

Scenario 2: You are an AX user, but do not have R3.

If you have not upgraded to or implemented AX 2012 R3, then you cannot go to AX 7 right away. The first step is to upgrade your current system, whether it’s AX 2009 or AX 2012 R2, to AX 2012 R3. Depending on which AX version you currently have, and how complex your system is, there will be different timeline implications.
You will also need to pay for the upgrade work and to consider your own testing time. Once all of this is complete, you’ll find yourself in “Scenario 1” and migration to AX 7 can happen immediately after.
However for many customers a reimplementation will be a better option – faster, cheaper and less business disruption because they can then take advantage of new features without being constrained by legacy data. For example the new COA dimensions at Ax 2012 may lead you to change your COA structure for enhanced analysis and reporting. In a new implementation that change will new straightforward, however if you want to migrate legacy data then the task will be significantly more complex and costly and will take at least 2 to 3 times as long. To validate and reconcile the data conversions

An important consideration is licensing. In older versions many modules had to be purchased separately, and user licenses were concurrent. At Ax 2012 all modules are provided within one AOS license. Ax 2012 and Ax 7 are both licensed as named users. There are different levels of user at Ax 2012. License type needed is based on system use and is tied to role based security and actual tasks undertaken. Microsoft licensing does not restrict your use or the number of users-which gives flexibility if users adopt more functionality over time. However, you are expected to pay for what you use and to update your license when needed and Microsoft like other erp vendors has the right to audit the use of its licensed software and to require that you become compliant. This is similar to the approach adopted for other Microsoft products like SQl for those on an EA (Enterprise Agreement). It is likely that at Ax 7 Microsoft will further align licensing of its solutions and introduce the option of Ax 7 on azure within a package of e.g, Office 365, Exchange, ADFS, CRM, Skype Business etc..

Scenario 3: You are evaluating ERPs but currently are not an AX user.
Whether you have another ERP, are planning to implement an ERP for the first time, or want to go from NAV or GP or other ERP system to AX, then you can consider going straight to the cloud and AX 7.
Identify a proven implementation partner and complete the usual business process study, fit-gap analysis, and lay down the implementation blueprint. It’s also worth doing a price comparison of the price per user per month cost of SAP, Oracle, or any other ERP vs AX 7. Understand what the price covers, and consider how a fully cloud-hosted solution will work to your advantage. Even if your current ERP is on the cloud, inquire where it is hosted and how efficient is the hosted solution. Bear in mind your initial usage, (and thus the cloud resources needed), while loading data will be quite different than when there are active users and live transactions and processes like payroll or mrp, or month end, or BI and it may take a year or more to ramp up to full system use for a multi-site operation. ‘
A question that people evaluating Microsoft Dynamics ERP often ask is, “How many companies are using Microsoft Dynamics?” These are the recently updated numbers from Convergence 2015 provided by Jim Desler, Director, Corporate Communications at Microsoft.
2015 Breakdown of the Microsoft Dynamics customer numbers worldwide by product:
Microsoft Dynamics® AX 20,000 companies
Microsoft Dynamics® GP 47,000 companies
Microsoft Dynamics® NAV 110,000 companies
Microsoft Dynamics® SL 13,500 companies
Microsoft Dynamics® CRM 40,000+ companies 4.4 million users
Microsoft Dynamics Retail: 46,500
Microsoft Dynamics C5: 85,000
Microsoft XAL,C4/Apertum: 30,000

Cloud or on premise?
When you estimate the sizing and costs, consider how many backs up you will take? Don’t forget the need for separate development test /training environments, and maybe to run both old and new versions during upgrade. If you want your implementation partner to access your system for data load, or for support, then also consider the cost of those licenses. The different environment may have different sizing and user numbers.
As you can see, dependent upon which category you find yourself in, there will be different ways to prepare for the AX 7 release, which will be initially offered on the Azure cloud, and with an on-premises version offered shortly after.

Also keep in mind that AX 7 is a new product release; as with any new release, there may be some initial issues. The issues will definitely get resolved, but for some may make sense to plan to go live a little later. One reason for this is that the Microsoft road map indicates there some features that may not be available in the initial release so it depends whether those features are needed. The fewer the modules you use, and the more standard i.e out of the box your system the sooner you can plan to move to Ax 7. For many customers on legacy versions they may find that complex customisations are no longer needed because of the significant product enhancements introduced at Ax 2012, and Ax 7.For others those new features may be a compelling reason to reimplement.

Whether or not to go on premise or on the cloud again has many pros and cons depending on the company. The cloud can reduce initial cash flow and investment and lead to faster deployment. Whether a company has a large IT department, or finds it difficult to recruit and retain such resources, and whether it has multiple interfaces to other solutions, or whether it uses Office 365 will influence the technical decision.

For example a company with a mobile workforce e.g. one that does international contracts may value the new web client for ‘anytime anywhere/ access more than any other feature. If internet connections are a problem in the country where the company operates, then on-premise may be a more sensible option.
Whether to move to the cloud is often seen as a cost or a cash flow issue. This will make sense for many however this is not so clear cut an assessment as it may seem. More important is the management philosophy of whether they want to vertically integrate operations, and see IT as a strategic competitive weapon, or whether they want to outsource back office functions to concentrate on the core business.

Knowing how to prepare for the soon-to-be-released AX 7 will help plan and make the upgrade or implementation a much smoother process. Besides the points stated above, how else are you preparing for AX 7? Do you have any other questions about what it will take to get ready, either from a technology or business point of view?
Budget now and take time to understand the issues and to evaluate and to plan appropriately.

Windows 10 – WaaS – Windows as a Service

August 24th, 2015

Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise editions have a new upgrade delivery method called Windows as a Service, and the inclusion of Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) as an SA benefit.
Windows as a Service acts as the transition from periodic major releases to continual updates, and it gives enterprise organizations added flexibility in how they update user devices.

Microsoft has three methods by which customers can receive updates:
1.Current Branch: Updates will stream to devices, akin to the present Windows Update. However, Current Branch users cannot delay updates.
2. Current Branch for Business: This model regularly delivers security updates, and it permits update deferrals for eight months, giving IT the chance to install updates after broad preview validation. Business customers can start testing as soon as preview features are released via the Windows Insider Program.
3. Long-Term Servicing Branch (LTSB): Under this more traditional model, security updates and fixes are delivered regularly, and organizations will be able to update at a service pack-level pace.

Windows 10 gives customers several options to manage delivery of updates based on their needs.
For example, Windows 10 Enterprise includes LTSB, which caters to devices with strict change management policies where only security and critical updates are required and feature updates are not delivered. Customers that purchase the Enterprise edition can add SA coverage to gain access to Current Branch and Current Branch for Business, along with the ability to deliver new feature updates after increased assurance of validation. On the other hand,
Windows 10 Professional only includes Current Branch and Current Branch for Business.
Windows 10 Education Current Branch and Current Branch for Business is available to active SA customers.

It’s important that customers understand the delivery method included in each Windows 10 edition, so that they can license Windows based on how they want updates to be delivered to end-user devices.

What in the SA coverage?

MDOP was a subscription license a customer needed to buy in addition to SA to take advantage of a suite of technologies that personalize the user experience, simplify application deployment, improve application compatibility, and assist in management and device security. With the release of Windows 10, MDOP is now included through SA coverage.
Customers interested in MDOP can purchase the Windows 10 Enterprise Edition with SA to receive this benefit.
Organizations renewing SA, through either the Enterprise Cloud Suite or Windows Enterprise, need to plan for a price increase due to the inclusion of the MDOP technologies.

On Aug. 17, Microsoft released MDOP 2015 with complete support for Windows 10, and it is now available for download for volume licensing customers (as well as MSDN subscribers). Microsoft has more details on enhancements to the MDOP suite.

In addition, Microsoft has published Windows 10 content to help organizations with planning and deploying Windows 10. Those resources include: technical demos, IT Pro FAQ and forums, system requirements, and details on key features.

Mobile malware coming your way every day

August 24th, 2015

This is a summary of a blog post by Michael Canavan is the Vice President, Sales Engineering, Kaspersky Lab North America
That I feel is important enough to share.

Malware is a threat to all platforms not just to Windows devices.
The more popular the O/s the more it is targeted , and the more vulnerabilities are found.
Smartphones connect us with social media accounts, banking services, and retailers.
The important question for a mobile device is not just whether its operating system is secure, but whether it has an effective security patching strategy for when (not if) the latest malware eludes a device’s safeguards.
The mobile device market is dominated by two operating systems.
Android owned 81.5 percent of the market in 2014, compared to 14.8 percent for iOS
However, only Apple can patch its mobile operating system similar to the way desktop OS manufacturers patch security holes and shortcomings.
Android’s openness is a strength, but is also its greatest security weakness – Google doesn’t have the last say when distributing security updates and patches – the OEMs and service providers hold that power. Google is virtually powerless to stop malware from compromising an Android device, unless the program comes through the Play Store.
Controls that block the installation of unknown, third-party software are easily circumvented, which an easy means of attack for cybercriminals.
Mobile malware — 99 percent in fact —mainly targets Android devices.
The number and kinds of attacks of mobile malware are growing at a staggering pace,
In 2014, the number of mobile malware attacks against Android more than quadrupled, affecting about one in five Android devices.
When you consider that mobile devices now often store critical information – credit card numbers, online banking logins, etc. – and are more vulnerable to a host of attacks, it’s critical to defend devices against malware. Most users don’t get updates in time, or at all.
Users are installing unknown, third-party software and no controls (e.g., security software) in place to detect malicious apps or activity.
Complicating matters is Apple’s controls for iOS. It’s true that software sources are more tightly controlled through the App Store, but protection software is banned, and it’s unclear how often iOS devices are compromised.

In these days of BYOD this raises questions for the safety of your corporate systems.
If the mobile devices are provided by your company the you can restrict what is loaded by whom, enforce patching, control what sites are accesses us etc.
Ask us about mobile device management.