Archive for the ‘Microsoft Dynamics CRM’ category

Optimisation advisor – Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations

February 18th, 2019

Telemetry, A!, Big data analytics are just some of the features that are part of the Azure cloud that are leveraged by Microsoft Dynamics. One example is the Optimisation advisor that can help business users and implementors to adopt best practices to optimize the business processes that they own.

Incorrect configuration and setup of a module can adversely affect the availability of features in Finance and Operations, system performance, and the smooth operation of business processes. The quality of business data (for example, the correctness, completeness, and cleanliness of the data) also affects system performance, and an organization’s decision-making capabilities, productivity, and so on. The Optimization advisor workspace is a tool that lets power users, business analysts, functional consultants, and IT support functions identify issues in module configuration and business data. Optimization advisor suggests best practices for module configuration and identifies business data that is obsolete or incorrect.

Optimization advisor periodically runs a set of best practice rules. A default set of rules is released together with Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations version 8.0 (April 2018). However, users can also create rules that are specific to their customizations, solutions from independent software vendors (ISVs), and business data.

Optimize configuration choices to improve for example the performance of inventory closing, or wave processing, or work creation in the warehouse.

To get the best out of your Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations System contact Synergy Software Systems your Dubai Dynamics Partner (since Ax v2.5 2003) – with over 200 consulting man years of experience in implementing and supporting this solution.
0097143365589

Azure in the G.C.C. updates

February 17th, 2019

AT the end of 2018 Microsoft announced that the. Azure Kubernetes Service has added the open-source system, Moby, to provision containers and deliver more frequent upstream patches.
Additionally, the team reduced cluster provisioning time, fixed a Stream Watcher error and updated a Linux kernel for a second GitHub problem.

Azure Monitor Logs UX was in preview last year, users can now click on charts and tables in Log Analytics in view the new Logs UX instead, with a new query editor and full schema view.

On January 2, Qatar’s prime minister, H.E. Skeikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani opted to help setup a large Azure data center. The prime minister and the Cabinet issued a draft law creating a “Media City” with an independent budget that will host the data center. Microsoft already operates a Content Delivery Network (CDN) in the country, but it has no cloud regions active in the Middle East. That is about to change, though – last year, the company announced that it would open data centers in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in 2019.

Ankabut, the United Arab Emirates’ Advanced National Research and Education Network (NREN) an initiative of Khalifa University, offers academic institutions connectivity to other education networks around the world. It has partnered with Huawei, to launch a cutting-edge new cloud solution in the UAE, Microsoft’s Azure Stack.

This will be the first implementation of Microsoft’s Azure Stack solution in GCC and the ME Region. Through this partnership, Ankabut aims to take the education infrastructure in the UAE to the next level of innovation and intelligibility by implementing the platform that will offer educational institutes cloud-paced innovation and computing management simplicity, cost optimization, higher quality, huge potentials and capabilities, in addition to more reliability and added value services.

(if your idea of surfing is on the beach rather than the internet then try http://azure-beach.com/

Cloud back ups or on-premise?

February 16th, 2019

Pretty scary.
We have suffered catastrophic destruction at the hands of a hacker, last seen as aktv@94.155.49.9 This person has destroyed all data in the US, both primary and backup systems. We are working to recover what data we can.

Though they’re back up and running, who knows if customers will stick by them, or will sue them.
What impact that had on infrastructure mail servers, backup servers, and SQL Servers for customers is hard to judge.
A large number of people might have lost their mailboxes and previously stored mail that was in IMAP storage.
This is likely an annoyance for individuals, but potentially catastrophic for businesses. Imagine your small business hosted with them and all your mailboxes were lost with customer communications and who knows what else.

Could this happen with a cloud provider like Azure O365, Google Apps or AWS?
Maybe but they will have DR backups,
But what if you store back ups on the cloud but run on premise- how long would it take to mass restore multiple, customers? Do you still have ad3qute on premise test systems to restore on and the staff and the time to do it?

Do you assume that you will always have either a primary server and an online backup server/share/bucket/container and can download data.
The problem is that online systems that connect to the primary can be accessed.
If an attacker were to access one, they potentially could access the second.
The world seems to be moving towards more online storage, or in the case of cloud vendors, a reliance on snapshots. That might be good enough for cloud vendors, but is it good enough for your on-premise system.
It’s likely that an attacker, possibly even with insider help, would wipe out backups first, then primary systems.
Some sort of disconnected offline backup of data, especially database servers gives you a third line of defence.
don’t forget that back up- need to be tested- if the back up software compatible with old versions, does your back up use the same version as the current erp software installed on your primary, or the same SQL version (i.e when you upgrade do you also upgrade your back ups, or maintain an older environment?)

Microsoft and other large vendors have had downtime whether self induced by releasing code too early, or due to hardware failure, or malicious attach . What is important to realise is just how infrequent are just issues given the number of clients they have across a range of solutions, and how little was the downtime and how fast they are at in addressing issues that arise. The think about how you would have been able to deal with the same issues in your own server room?

There are increasing risks, and increasing issues of statutory compliance with regard to data protection e.g, GDPR. The cloud generally offers cheap storage nd robust systems, yet it needs to be part of a holistic approach to reduce overall risk and cost, and not the only line of defence.

SQL Server 2016 SP2 CU5, SP1 CU13 – many fixes

January 25th, 2019

Many fixes inside SP2 CU5 and SP1 CU13, e.g.:
• Access violation when you compile a query
• Access violations and unhandled exceptions with Always On Availability Groups automatic seeding
• Dynamic Data Masking doesn’t when there’s a cursor involved
• Access violations for XML data types
• Query Store blocks transactions and log truncation
• Out of memory errors
• Non-yielding schedulers with heavy use of prepared statements
• Can’t restore compressed backups of encrypted databases
• High CPU usage when there are many batch requests (which we would expect?)
• SQL Server service crashes when you cancel CHECKDB (on a “large database” – doesn’t that apply to all? )
…. lots more

Dynamics 365 April19 update – release notes

January 25th, 2019

https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/dynamics365/2018/12/12/announcing-the-dynamics-365-april-19-release-timeline/

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/business-applications-release-notes/April19/index

The April ’19 release signifies a key milestone for Dynamics 365. It is the first major update where all customers across Dynamics 365 will be on the same latest version and on a consistent update schedule. It is also a template of how major updates will be done going forward in April and October every year. The most obvious change is the move to a Unified fluent interface.

The enhancements to Dynamics 365 applications in the April ’19 release include hundreds of new capabilities across Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Portals, Field Service, Project Service Automation, Finance and Operations, Talent, Retail, and Business Central. Includes a new set of mixed reality experiences using Microsoft Layout and Microsoft Remote Assist. These are described in the links above and in a lengthy ‘What’s new” document

The April ’19 release delivers continued Artificial Intelligence capabilities that leverage the power of Microsoft AI research, tools, data, and the Power Platform to help organizations transform customer service, sales, and marketing functions.
• AI for Sales provides actionable insights to drive personalized engagement and proactive decision-making.
• AI for Market Insights enables business users to gather actionable insights based on what consumers say, seek, and feel about their brands and products. Optimize your customer service experience through AI enhanced analysis with Customer Service Insights.

Microsoft Layout
Design spaces in context with Dynamics 365 Layout. Bring physical designs from concept to completion with confidence. Import 3D models to experience room layouts as holograms in the physical world or in virtual reality.1 Share with stakeholders2 and easily edit layouts in real-world scale, to make better decisions before you build.

Dynamics 365 Remote Assist
Modernize your field service operations, so you can make the most of your time and money. With heads-up, hands-free video calling on Microsoft HoloLens, technicians can collaborate with any remote expert on PC or mobile to troubleshoot issues in context. Enable on-site technicians to share what they see with remote experts, while staying heads-up, hands-free with Remote Assist on Microsoft HoloLens. With modern tools like mixed reality video calling, annotations, and file sharing, technicians and remote experts can work together to solve problems in context.3

Dynamics 365 One Version – April 2019 is fast approaching

December 16th, 2018

If you are running Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations and you are on version 7.3 or below, then be aware that the product will be considered as end of service after March 31, 2019. Note however that other Dynamics 365 Apps are also impacted e.g. Customer Engagement and Field Service.

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/get-started/faq-update-policy

From April 2019, all Microsoft Dynamics 365 customers for all Dynamics solutions, will run on the same version and code base. This means from Microsoft point of view that it is still possible to have own customizations and ISV solutions in your own environment. The standard application will be the same for all customers.

As of April 2019, the product version number will be 10.0. From then expect major releases every April and October.
In between there will be continuous updates for platform, application and financial reporting fixes as well as smaller functional features and regulatory requirements. Version number ‘9’ will be skipped for Finance and Operations. Customer engagement is on version 9 so to have a single product range on the same vision, Microsoft has to align the version numbering to be the same across all of the Dynamics apps.

The service will also end for version 8.0. We advise to move to version 8.1 as soon as possible. If you are already on version 8.1, then you are already enrolled in the continuous update plan. The 10.0 version will then be an update when coming from this latest version; not an upgrade.

If you are running on version 7.3, then in general you also have to be on version 10.0 starting April 2019. If you have submitted extension requests, then you are expected to have no issues for upgrading and your 7.3 environment will be considered as end of service starting April 2019. That also means you need to move all over-layered coding into extensions. If you use an ISV module then check with the ISV vendor whether is ahs issues with over-layered code to resolve.

There is limited time to prepare and test, (and limited D365 technical skills, in the market to move all customers at the last minute, and it does not happen in a day.) Starting with the April 2019 update, you can validate major updates in a sandbox environment in advance of the update release. This will help you assess productivity and efficiency gains of the new capabilities, as well as train your end users about new capabilities

It’s important to do this sooner than later. The move from 7.3 is a significant exercise i.e. it’s an upgrade. Thereafter the advantage of the new platform is that in future it will be updates. The ongoing April and October updates will be backward compatible.

There are many enhancements both technical, and functional in 8.0/B.1. So plan time for some additional end user training and testing days.

Sql 2014 Sp2 Update 15

December 15th, 2018

The 15th cumulative update release for SQL Server 2014 SP2 is available for download at the Microsoft Downloads site.
Registration is no longer required to download Cumulative updates.

CU15 KB Article: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4469137

Microsoft® SQL Server® 2014 SP2 Latest Cumulative Update: https://www.microsoft.com/download/details.aspx?id=53592

Update Center for Microsoft SQL Server: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-US/sqlserver/ff803383.aspx

Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations on-premise v 8.1 – ask Synergy Software Systems

December 3rd, 2018

Microsoft published last month that version 8.1 was released for on-premise version of D365FO.

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/unified-operations/dev-itpro/migration-upgrade/on-prem-version-update-policy?toc=/fin-and-ops/toc.json#dynamics-365-for-finance-and-operations-on-premises-release-dates.

Synergy has completed the upgrade, and also upgraded its D365 Payroll and HR admin modules for this new release and for the latest kernel..

Note: All customers must be on the latest version of Finance and Operations by April 30, 2019. However, Microsoft will make an exception for customers who have unfulfilled extension requests that have been submitted to Microsoft. Those customers can be on version 7.3 until April 2020.

Layered code is not supported after version 7.3

See:
docs.microsoft.com/…/apply-updates-on-premises
docs.microsoft.com/…/redeploy-on-prem

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/unified-operations/dev-itpro/migration-upgrade/upgrade-latest-update

If you need proven expertise toupdate your D365 from v 7 then contact U.A.E. Dynamics partner Synergy Software Systems 0097143365589.

Shared Access Signature (SAS) token authorization model and Dynamics 365 systems

November 29th, 2018

In November 2018, all ACS components were permanently shut down. This affects all requests to the service i.e. those fail. This includes the Access Control management portal, the management service, secure token service, and token transformation engine rule. Microsoft made changes to Azure Service Bus that affect Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Azure connector, and impact email workflow approvals, companion/mobile applications, and vendor portals. It also affects any other application or service that uses Access Control Service (ACS).

If for example you use Dynamics AX 2012 mobile or tablet applications for time and expense management, and/or approve workflows via email, then be aware of the changes to Azure Service Bus. The Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Azure connector uses the Access Control Service (ACS) for user authentication. The management of authorization rules is managed inside by the Azure Active Directory Access Control Service (ACS), and the tokens obtained from ACS are then passed to Service Bus to authorize access to functionality in AX.

ACS is now replaced by Shared Access Signature (SAS) token authorization model. A shared access signature (SAS) provides you with a way to grant limited access to objects in your storage account to other clients, without exposing your account key. A shared access signature provides delegated access to resources in your storage account. With a SAS, you can grant clients access to resources in your storage account, without sharing your account keys. This is the key point of using shared access signatures in your applications–a SAS is a secure way to share your storage resources without compromising your account keys.

To continue using email workflow approvals, mobile applications, and other Dynamics AX features, if you have nit already done so then you will need to migrate your components previously using Access Control Service (ACS) to Shared Access Signatures (SAS). This token model is provided directly by Service Bus and can be used without any intermediaries through access to the SAS rule name and rule key.

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/active-directory/develop/active-directory-acs-migration

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/customer-engagement/developer/walkthrough-update-service-endpoint-acs-sas-authorization

Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations is to add EAM next year- ask Synergy Software Systems

November 27th, 2018

Microsoft is targeting the October 2019 release i.e, a year away,to offer enterprise asset management (EAM) natively to Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (D365FO) using the solution from ISV partner Dynaway The company “will be making it available natively” in D365FO, writes GM Muhammad Alam. Microsoft acquired the rights to the solution rather than purchasing the company or the IP. The EAM solution, includes asset tracking, preventive and predictive maintenance, spare parts tracking, and analytics..

This move provides a springboard for further AI-focused updates in the EAM space to bring together Dynamics 365, Power Apps, Power BI, IoT, MR applications, and Machine Learning. An EAM solution also complements the Dynamics 365 for Field Service application –so I expect the same integration there that they are planning for integrating CRM PSA and Dynamics 365 Finance and operations Project Accounting.

Other recent acquisitions include enterprise credit management and catch weight.
Synergy Software Systems has implanted and supported EAM and asset tracking solutions in the region for over 20 years.

For more information on dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations contact Synergy Software Systems, Dubai your U.A.E. Dynamics partner since 2003.
call: 0097143365589

RPA certifications for Synergy Software Systems, Dubai

November 25th, 2018

I am pleased to announce that following extensive training over recent weeks two of our consultants have already achieved certifications.

If you have an ROA project in mind and need support for your project from a proven, local. UAE partner then please call Synergy Software Systems on 0097143365589

Microsoft to open two Data centres in S Africa at the end of 2018

November 25th, 2018

18 months ago Microsoft said it would deliver two new data centres one based in South Africa North in Johannesburg and South Africa West in Cape Town.
Microsoft South Africa’s Director of Commercial Partners, Lionel Moyal, recently announced, while speaking to entrepreneurs and startups at the Global Entrepreneurship Week 2018 in South Africa. that the two Azure datacenter regions are due to go live “within weeks” at the end of 2018. Calling the centres “a cloud for Africa”, he noted that “latency will not be an issue any more.” Lionel encouraged workers to skill up in cloud technologies, machine learning, AI, mobile technologies, development tools, noting that he expected South Africa to add 112,000 IT specific jobs by 2022.

The announcement follows Amazon saying in October 2018 that AWS was to open Data Centers in South Africa by 2020.

Microsoft Kaizala – secure mobile chat app for the U.A.E. mobile enterprise -ask Synergy Software Systems

November 21st, 2018

What is Microsoft Kaizala?
A disconnected value chain hinders productivity, slows down decision making, prevents the ability for insights to surface from the field, and creates potential for customer dissatisfaction. Today’s workplace extends well beyond organizational boundaries, and there is an increasing need to connect your entire business value chain, including your Firstline workers, vendors, partners, suppliers, and customers..

Today, consumer messaging apps are often used between people across the value chain, but this poses security, privacy and compliance risks to company data. Microsoft Kaizala aims to solve a lot of these challenges, especially in mobile-first, developing markets.

Microsoft Kaizala is a simple and secure mobile chat app for work, with easy sign-up using just a phone number.
It enables networks of people to connect and coordinate work across their roles, spanning Firstline workers, vendors, partners, suppliers, customers, and citizens. Many organizations are already doing amazing things with Kaizala.

Communicate across dynamic networks: Kaizala supports diverse group types such as: hub and spoke, hierarchies, and public groups – which model the
communication needs of your organization. Use it to connect with your customers and partners or your Firstline workers. Temporal and geo-fenced groups make the set-up and discovery of groups easy, and large group size of up to 1 million users enables scenarios such as government-to-citizen communication.

Digitize business processes to coordinate work and gather field insights: Across every business, there is valuable data that originates at the front lines and out in the field, from sales metrics, to customer experience and operational insights. The problem is that much of it is either still paper-based or not getting recorded at all. Kaizala makes it. Gather field insights in mobile-first, dynamic environments with built-in actions such as surveys, polls, jobs and more.

Integrations with Office 365 services such as Power BI and Microsoft Flow allow you to quickly build customizable business workflows that use Kaizala’s chat interface. Kaizala allows you to integrate with existing applications and systems so you can connect your business end-to-end and digitize manual, paper-based procedures.

The built-in reports on the management portal let you visualize and analyse the data – giving you real-time insights into your business and helping drive day to day efficiencies. You can also build custom cards to support your line of business tasks using Kaizala aggregation service.

Manage and secure your data: Kaizala is served from the hyperscale global network of Azure datacentres and data is encrypted at rest and in-transit. Advanced IT administration capabilities with the Kaizala management portal allow business owners to view reports, create and manage groups, define group policies etc. Kaizala supports key compliance standards such as ISO 27001, SOC2, HIPAA, GDPR and more.

How do I get access to Kaizala?
Customers that are currently licenses on Office 365 and Microsoft 365 Business products (Office 365 Business Essentials, Office 365 Business, Office 365 Business Premium and Microsoft 365 Business) in eligible 28 markets* will be able to utilize Microsoft Kaizala starting mid-November.

Kaizala is now turned on by default in these products, with the ability for tenant administrators to opt out. A more detailed on the communications timeline is found below:
• Communications sent to tenant administrators letting them know about the Kaizala backfill (end October)
• Message Center Admin comms (11/5)
• Blog post on the Kaizala Microsoft Tech Community, outlining the product value prop, availability with Office 365 and how to access the product
• Kaizala backfilled in SMB tenants (Mid-November)

What next?
Contact your UAE Microsoft 365 partner Synergy Software Systems 0097143365589
Download the Kaizala mobile app for free from Google Play Store or App Store

ROI On Microsoft Dynamics

November 14th, 2018

what’s the true return on investment (ROI) for an average Dynamics 365 deployment?”

Thanks to a newly released independent analysis from Nucleus Research, we can reveal the answer:

For every dollar spent, companies realize an average of $16.97 in returns.

According to the report summary, “this is significantly higher than the average for both enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM), which deliver, on average, $7.23 and $8.71 respectively. Nucleus found that companies taking advantage of Microsoft’s investments in cloud and usability, as well as integration and analytics, were able to achieve significant returns by increasing productivity and revenues and reducing costs.”

The report dives in the value drivers for the cases, and revels that the common elements to the financial success of deployments include:

• The ability to integrate Microsoft solutions with existing applications and data sources
• The enablement of new lines of business, such as cross-selling and up-selling with field service
• A focus on a standardized, easy-to-use user interfaces—the familiar Microsoft look and feel that can help speed up onboarding and user adoption
• Cost savings and greater innovation realized by deploying cloud-based Microsoft business applications
• The focus on improving user productivity by automating, or standardizing, repeatable manual processes

The report is a fascinating read that we invite you to explore on your own. If you are interested in investing in the modern Dynamics enterprise system system then contact Synergy Software Systems and we will send you a copy.

0097143365589

End of Support for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 on July 9, 2019

November 2nd, 2018

End of Support for:
- SQL Server 2008, and 2008 R2, on July 9, 2019
and
- Windows Server 2008, and 2008 R2, on January 14, 2020

Risks with an outdated data platform include:
• Non-compliance with GDPR and other market standards
• Exposure to unexpected attacks and security breaches
• Higher costs and inefficient data management
• Incompatibility with modern releases of business applications
• Missed opportunities for innovation and business intelligence

Options:
Upgrade to SQL 2012 or 2017
Ask us about our Advanced SQL database tools – and our special discounted bundled price offer to year end to support GDPR compliance.

Migrate to the azure cloud platform
If it also time to upgrade your servers then now might be a good time to look at a move to the cloud.

Azure Hybrid Benefit
• Save up to 40% on windows Server with Azure Hybrid benefit
• Save up to 55% on migration to Azure SQL database with Azure hybrid benefit
• Go at your own pace – move a few workloads or entire datacenters
• Maximize your investment in Microsoft software.

Paths to Upgrade and Stay Protected
Migrate apps to Azure VMs: get free extended security updates for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 VM’s for 3 years after deadline.

Migrate Data to Azure managed instances or VMs
Azure SQL Database Managed Instance offers a version-free option.
Get free Extended Security Updates for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 in Azure VM’s for three years after the deadline

Modernize when ready
Upgrade in Azure when ready
Or transform apps and data with Azure services

To reduce the cost of on premise servers ask about our Firewall Solutions that provides may other integrated features. Reduce the number of servers needed and the cost of supporting multiple server systems, vpn, sms, ftp, anti virus, and more all in one solution.

To discuss your options contact Synergy Software Systems a Microsoft partner since 1993.
If you are considering a Microsoft Dynamics solution on the cloud then when comparing costs do’t forget that the subscription includes not only the hardware platform but also the significant cost savings of the database, Windows server, and firewall and anti-malware software licenses, but also the savings in server rooms and electricity boils both to power the servers and the server room air conditioning. Nor is there any extra cost is for license enhancements fee for continuous upgrade versions of the ljcences. That also redcues yoru GDPR compliance challenges.

If your SQL database, or your servers, or your Windows Server licenses are due for renewal, or its time to move an any time anywhere, any device new business system then call Synergy Software Systems to discuss your options

Microsoft partner since 1994
Dynamics Partner since 2003