Archive for the ‘Project Management’ category

OMAN VAT update November 2020 -ask Synergy Software Systems

November 27th, 2020

The International Monetary Fund, Oman’s economy is expected to shrink by 10 percent this year, the biggest contraction in the Gulf, and its fiscal deficit could widen to 18.3 percent of GDP from 7.1 percent last year.

Last year Oman enacted on June 15 an electronic system for registering excise taxpayers, setting the stage for residents to be taxed on products deemed harmful to public health and the environment after a 90-day grace period. The Omani “sin tax” involves a 100% levy on tobacco, pork, alcohol and energy drinks and a 50% tax on carbonated drinks. This year it increased the tax on alcohol to 100%

Oman announced that it expects to introduce an income tax on high earners in 2022, the finance ministry said in a 2020-2024 economic plan, new details of which were published late on Sunday, as the Gulf state seeks to restore finances battered by low oil prices.

The plan also aims to redirect state subsidies to those groups who need it, rather than subsidize all users. Electricity and water tariffs will be changed gradually in the coming years, the document said.

Meanwhile Oman Royal Decree No. 121/2020 was passed, and the VAT Law was published by the Official Gazette of Oman on 18 October 2020. The date of implementation is expected to be 16 April 2021 (i.e. 180 days from the date of publication of the VAT Law). The Executive Regulations will clarify certain aspects of the VAT Law and those are expected to be published soon by the Official Gazette.
In the next 4-5 months’ time, businesses in Oman should consider the implementation impacts on the entire business, operations, procurement, sales, administration, human resources, information technology, etc. We advise an internal steering committee with a representative from each function.

The VAT Law published is exhaustive with the benefit of the experience of other GCC VAT Laws.

Registration
Muscat has set a voluntary registration threshold of 19,250 Omani riyals and mandatory registration for businesses and individuals with turnover of at least 38,500 riyals.
Non-resident businesses that provide taxable supplies will be required to VAT register. Unlike resident businesses, there will be no minimum threshold that needs to be met before nonresident businesses must register for VAT with Omani authorities. A non-resident business will probably have an option to appoint an agent in Oman – that does not have to be jointly and severally liable, nor a fiscal representative of the principal. More detail is expected in the executive regulations.
Rules for digital service providers based outside of Oman are still in development. Digital service providers based outside of Oman, as well as e-commerce services, will need to pay careful attention to regulations over the coming months to ensure compliance.

VAT impact assessment,
Administration:

• VAT registration and gathering information from customers
• VAT recovery issues and VAT grouping
• VAT litigation avoidance strategies

The VAT fiscal impact,
• budgets, cash-flow, working capital, etc. Financial record keeping it is to be expected, that any company found to have kept inadequate records or issued incomplete invoices may be subject to potentially severe fines.
IT impact,
Ascertain the impact on the accounting system software and hardware such as gathering and loading data, developing statutory reports, amending other financial reports.
• The law sets out rules for proper record keeping and invoicing. All VAT-registered entities must keep specified records, including customs and invoicing documentation, and retain these records for at least 10 years. Archive storage space/cost and the impact of future planned system upgrades needs to be considered.
• The law specifies mandatory filing requirements, including documentation required when filing VAT returns. Now might be a good time to look at both document management systems and RPA e.g. for data entry validation, or VAT reconciliation or for data entry to government websites.

Process and documentation impact,
Redefine the processes under VAT – quotes, contracts and terms and conditions will need revision. Update your process documents for audit purposes.
VAT is a transaction-based tax, so the underlying legal documentation (ie, the contract or terms) detailing the supply of a good or service is the start of the review process. Review your contracts to determine the Omani VAT impact. Does the contract account for VAT (and/or other taxes)? When a contract is ‘silent on VAT’, this could well mean that the amounts specified therein are treated as inclusive of VAT. To avoid misunderstanding, such “silent” contracts should ideally be updated. Parties may need to (re)negotiate the considerations to account for non-recoverable VAT.
Businesses should also review the contracts to determine whether they reflect economic reality. Are the parties to the contracts the actual supplier and recipient of the service or goods? This is important in relation to the invoices issued by the supplier and, the right of the recipient to potentially recover VAT.
To apply the correct VAT treatment of the supply of a service or good, the supplier may need to obtain additional information from the recipient.
Contracts and/or terms and conditions may need to be revised in order to collect or store such information and to ascertain the correct Omani VAT treatment of the services or goods supplied.

Invoicing
Chapter 8 of the law outlines invoicing requirements. Any person making a taxable supply of goods or services will be required to issue a tax invoice, which may be in the form of an e-invoice rather than in paper format.
The details required to be disclosed on a tax invoice, the language in which invoices must be issued, rules for simplified tax invoices, and other similar requirements are expected to be set out in the executive regulations. Currently, it is expected that invoicing will be permitted in English and that use of Arabic will not be compulsory. The executive regulations are expected to specify when a business will be exempt from issuing tax invoices.
The requirement to issue tax invoices is also triggered in other circumstances, e.g., the receipt of advance payments that generate a requirement to account for VAT, or the making of deemed supplies.
For businesses issuing invoices in a foreign currency, the VAT amount must be stated in Omani Rials (OMR) and be converted using the average purchase and sale price of the relevant currency published by the Central Bank of Oman on the date on which the VAT is due. The tax authorities are expected to clarify whether any other conversion methods will be permitted.
This may affect your accounting system because you may sue different rates contractually or for corporate budgets or period end revaluation.
User training
e.g.
- how to add a customer TRN,
– how file a return,
- how to draft anew quote or contract.
- system changes

Transition management
Based on the VAT implementation in other GCC countries, there are challenges to be expected during the process. Complacency is a major risk, as is starting the implementation and transition activity late, and not allowing adequate time to test system and process changes.
Consider for example instances in which goods or services are paid for prior to the law coming into effect, but are only delivered once the law is in place?
The regulations indicate that VAT will have to be paid in such circumstances. However, further questions are raised in terms of invoicing and filing. More details are expected to be provided on precisely how compliance will function under these transitional circumstances
Appoint a proven implementation expert, to walk you through each type of business transaction and its treatment to avoid penal consequences.

Place of Supply
Understanding the concepts of “Supply”, “Place of Supply” and “Time of Supply” is critically important for effective implementation of Oman VAT. The place of supply shall be determined on the basis of the final consumption place of the supply, regardless of the product originating place,. When the supplies are consumed within Oman, they shall be levied to VAT. Services supplied outside of Oman to its residents will be treated as supplies in Oman. Some exemptions will apply to certain services provided to end-users outside of Oman.

For services, the place of supply depends on (i) the type of recipient (is the service business-to-business or business-to-consumer?) and (ii) the type of service. Special rules may apply to certain services such as real estate related services or electronically supplied services (or e-services). Real estate related services and e-services are always deemed to be supplied where the real estate is located respectively where the recipient is located. Particularly, overseas business-to-consumer suppliers of e-services should be aware that they will need to charge, collect and remit Omani VAT to the tax authorities.

Businesses in Oman which import services or goods may need to account for Omani VAT by means of a reverse charge mechanism. Such VAT would in principle be recoverable if and to the extent the business renders VAT taxable activities.
e-services are subject to VAT when the recipient of such services is located or residing in Oman. A reverse charge mechanism applies in case of business-to-business supplies of e-services, under which the burden of VAT is shifted from an overseas supplier to the Omani recipient. As of April 1, 2021, foreign and domestic e-service suppliers should obtain customer information (ie, verified VAT number) to determine their customers’ status (business or consumer).

Free zones
Businesses operating within free zones, special economic zones and duty free zones are likely to be subject to special VAT rules. Concessional VAT treatments are likely to be applicable for supplies within, to and from the customs duty suspension zones, free zones or special zones. Importers, who avail themselves of customs duty suspension benefits under the GCC Common Customs Law, would also likely be eligible for similar benefits under VAT. Dealing with this may require your accounting system to be able to handle a ‘reverse charge’ process.
Responsible person
All businesses will be required to have a responsible person who oversees VAT compliance. This person is liable to any penalties for failures to comply. This is similar to the UK’s Senior Accounting Officer concept, where a person can be fined up to £5,000 for not taking appropriate actions to stay compliant.
In Oman, the responsible person can personally be fined up to 10,000 OMR (nearly £20,000) with a prison sentence of up to one year. The fine can be doubled and the jail sentence doubled for repeat offenders. Any late submissions are subject to a 1% fine on the owed tax every month.
The severity of the punishments put the responsible person under considerable pressure to get things right. In a complex business, multiple users make VAT decisions, often with minimal VAT training and if you are relying on others to input data correctly then it’s imperative they do it correctly as the consequences of non-compliance are life changing.
If I were in this position, I would be doing everything in my power to achieve full compliance by using the best resources and tax technology available to me. I would also document all my recommendations.
The sensible way to mitigate the possibility of non-compliance is to minimise the risk of human error. For large businesses this means automating their VAT determination. Integrated finance/erp systems and RPA are two obvious solutions.
Most enterprise level businesses will be processing thousands of transactions a day, so human error will naturally occur when choosing tax codes, especially while VAT is a new concept in the country and wider region. Eventually staff become complacent or change jobs and new hires induction and training is less risky with automated systems.
Contact us for more information on systems we have already localised for VAT compliance, and how RPA automation can reduce cost and risk.

Exemptions:
Supply of foodstuffs, medicines and medical equipment is to be determined by the decision of the President, after coordination with the competent authorities. Some of the basic foodstuff will also be exempted from five per cent VAT. In addition to financial services, provisions of healthcare and education and their related goods and services, other exemptions are undeveloped lands (bare lands); resale of residential properties; local passenger transport; and renting real estate for residential purposes, Investment gold, silver and platinum, supplies of international goods and passenger transport and related services; supply of rescue aircrafts, boats and auxiliary ships; supply of crude oil and its oil derivatives and natural gas; import of maritime, air and land transport vehicles for transport of goods for commercial purposes as well as import of related services; and supplies for the disabled and charity organisation have been designated as zero rated.

Sector challenges

Retail sector: Certain food items may be zero-rated as per the VAT Law. The list of items which are zero-rated is not yet published. Businesses need to map the product with the list (consider the composition of the product, purpose, etc.). Incorrect classification could lead to a wrong zero-rating position.

Pharma sector: Medicines and medical equipment are zero-rated. However, the zero-rating is expected to apply in cases where the medicines are approved by / registered with the Competent authorities. The approval could be generic, or it may apply for certain period / certain class of medicines. For each sale / purchase there may need to be validation whether the medicine is approved to apply zero-rating.
Financial services: Banks and large financial institutions should classify their products into margin / fee-based income because margin is exempt from VAT and fee-based income is subject to VAT. Businesses must also consider the customer location because margins earned from a customer outside Oman will be zero-rated.
Certain charges which are penal may have a different VAT treatment. In the majority of the transactions, Islamic finance products will follow the treatment of non-Islamic finance products; however, there are some exceptions. The financial services sector may have a substantial portion of income which could be exempt, input tax apportionment.
Logistics sector: International transportation, i.e. movement from Oman to outside Oman and vice-versa is zero-rated whereas local passenger transport is exempt and local transport of goods is subject to VAT at 5%.
However the entire transportation journey involves freight forwarder, agent, shipping line, feeder operator, etc,. so ascertain the VAT impact on different charges for providing services. More clarity is expected from the Executive Regulations.
Export of services: Providing services to a customer based outside Oman is zero-rated subject to certain conditions. One important condition is that the benefit of services should accrue to the customer outside Oman. In other words, benefit should not be received by any other person in Oman. This may be subjective and depend on the arrangement with the customer and the nature of charge / services. It is advisable to identify such arrangements and to evaluate the VAT treatment. Other GCC countries are divided in terms of VAT treatment on such transactions.
It is likely that sector-specific guidance will be issued by the Oman Tax Authority to clarify the VAT treatment for different industry verticals.

Exempted Supplies from VAT
Some supplies based on transactions and others on nature will be exempted from VAT.
Supplies exempted based on transaction include:
• Any supplies transacted between the same group of the VAT group (e.g. a parent company and subsidiary or branches)
• Any supplies transacted between the same group of the VAT group (e.g. a parent company and subsidiary or branches)
• Business ownership transferred by one taxable person to another
• Any insurance claims made within the Sultanate of Oman
• All imports made by Armed forces, Army, and Air force in Oman
• All imports made by diplomats, embassies, consular bodies, international organizations. (subject to conditions)
• Supplies imported for charities and not-for-profit organizations
• Supplies brought to Oman by travellers and passengers as gifts or personal use only
• All supplies imported for people with special needs including medical aid equipmentIn addition to receivers’ or person utilizing the supplies, some supplies will be exempted from VAT by nature of product/service:
• Financial Services
• All Health Care services including the imports of medical supplies and equipment
• All educational services including the import of supplies for educational purpose
• Resale of the Real-estate and leasing of real estate properties for residential purposes only
• Non-developed land i.e. empty or barren land
• All local means of transportation for passengers

Registration process

The registration process is likely to start in January 2021 according to the Tax Authority in Oman. All registration process will be through its online e-services portal. The Applicant will have to provide the company ownership and business-related information. The necessary information required to register with the portal may include:
• Copy of trade license
• ID card and Passport copies of business owner and partners
• Company’s Memorandum of Association
• Contact details, E-mail for registration and other contact details
• Bank account details
• The income statement for the last 12 months
• Nature of business and activities performed
Each registering entity will be allotted a VAT registration identification number other than their currently held tax number.

Filing returns
Article 72 of the law prescribes the following minimum information to be provided in the periodical return:
• Value of taxable and exempt supplies;
• Total value of imported goods;
• Amount of output VAT on revenue transactions;
• Amount of recoverable input VAT on costs; and
• Net VAT due for the period.
Article 73 provides an option to amend tax returns within a period of 30 days from the date of discovery of any error or omission.

VAT payment
VAT will be payable to the tax authorities within 30 days from the end of the VAT period, together with the filing of the return. Unpaid VAT will be subject to a penalty of 1% of the tax due per month or part month, unless waived by the tax authorities in accordance with article 82 of the law

Mode of Payment
All entities entitled against the VAT requirements will have to deposit the VAT returns electronically through the E-Services portal.

VAT recovery
VAT recovery will normally only be possible in the case when the recipient has received a tax invoice which adheres to the Omani VAT invoice requirements. These requirements include details on the supplier and recipient. Any incurred VAT on incorrectly issued invoices (e.g, wrong issuing party, wrong VAT rate and/or other missing requirements) may not be recoverable. Businesses operating in Oman should define policies to ensure a proper VAT administration and invoicing.

A VAT group is a facility that allows two or more taxpayers to be registered for VAT purposes as a single taxpayer. The VAT group scheme is of interest to taxpayers with a restricted VAT recovery rate which is part of a group with non-restricted businesses. Inclusion of such payers in the VAT group may provide for (additional) VAT recovery.
Although VAT may be recoverable, the recovery itself generally takes a certain period of time. This cash flow aspect should be one of the considerations during the (re)negotiation process, particularly with large supply contracts spanning several years.

If you need advice on preparing for VAT and updating and automating your financial or erp systems then we have implemented VAT for more than a hundred companies in UAE, KSA and Bahrain. we are gold Partners for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Fiinance, Infor Sunsystems and UiPAth RPA.

Call u son 0097143365589

Dynamics 365 Dubai partner Synergy Software Systems

November 12th, 2020

There is much talk about digital transformation but what does it mean for your company?
For selected Enterprise clients we work with Microsoft to deliver curated workshops to ‘inspire-quantify-empower- achieve’

Further to our recent seminar contact us now to avail of free upgrade and migration reviews to Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain

Synergy Software Systems is the oldest Dynamics. partner in the EMEA region and has implemented solutions on Axapta 2.3 Axapta 3 Dynamics Ax4, Ax 2009, Ax2o12, Ax2012 R2, Ax2012 r3, and of course Dynamics 365.

We have also implemented every version of Dynamics CRM since version 3.

As Microsoft partners we also implement and support Office 365 and Microsoft365 . Exchange server, Teams, and the azure stack

We also have a practise for Power Bi/Power Apps/Power Automate, so we are able to help you to fully leverage the entire Dynamics 365 platform.

To take your business on the first step into the cloud with Dynamics call us: 009714 3365589

Power Bi- October Server update, discounted Synergy training, and end of support for PBi on Windows 7

November 6th, 2020

After 10 years, support for Windows 7 ended on January 14, 2020. In line with this, Microsoft will stop support for Power BI Desktop on Windows 7 on Jan 31st 2021. After that, Power BI Desktop will only be supported on Windows 8 or later version.

The January 2021 release of Power BI Desktop Optimized for Report Server will be supported in accordance with the Modern Lifecycle Policy i.e. supported until the next release (currently scheduled for May 2021), after which it will only receive security updates until January 2022, after which support will stop.

As always there were many enhancements to Power BI Report Server in the latest monthly update (October 2020)

Reporting

Modern ribbon
Canvas watermarks
Total labels for stacked visuals
Added general visual option to maintain layer order
Gradient legend
Relative time filter
Slicer improvements
New options for expand/collapse icons
Icons now scale with font size
Ability to customize indentation for child items
Ability to further customize slicer header text
Mobile authoring enhancements
New phone emulator
Updated visualization pane
Support for overlaid visuals
Bookmark available in the Mobile layout view
Turn off gridlines and snap to grid
Visualizations

Line chart dot formatting options
Modeling

Enhanced Dataset Metadata
Performance improvements to IF and SWITCH functions
Support for Excel financial functions
Model view enabled for live connect
Updates to Model view
Data preparation

Automatic Table Detection from Excel files
Automatic Table Detection from JSON files
Global option to disable automatic type detection
Other

Export data source to PBIDS in Power BI Desktop
Desktop splash screen dismiss

To learn more about Power BI there is still time to join our discounted webinar introduction course on 14th November – $100

contact us for details: 0097143365589

Dynamics 365 Finance and SCM upgrade and migration offer from Synergy Software Systems

November 4th, 2020

Over 60 companies tuned into our Webinar with Microsoft last week about the benefits of Dynamics 365 cloud and the upgrade or migration journey.
Note that the special subscription offer incentive, and free uggrade assessments are only available till year end, for a limited number of applicants and first come first served basis . There were also additional discounts offered by Synergy Software Systems till end November 2020.

Some of the reasons for upgrade include:

As of October 2021, Microsoft will no longer support Dynamics AX 2012 R3. That’s not so far away, and now is the time for remaining AX 2009 and 2012 users to move to a new ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution. Such a project will seem daunting, but Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain & Finance Management will be your last and best upgrade.

An immediate reason Dynamics AX users who have a current Microsoft Dynamics annual enhancement plan to choose Microsoft Dynamics 365 at this time is that can currently receive an intial discount on the Dynamics 365 cloud subscription.

Contact us today to learn more. Keep reading to find out why we think you’ll love Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Advantages of the Microsoft Cloud
When you move from on-premise Dynamics AX to the Dynamics 365, its more than an update of patches or even an upgrade of features. It’s a paradigm shift to compete in the modern digital economy. Dynamics Ax 2was always very versatile and could be customised to meet your specific needs. However that flexibility came at the cost of upgrades to a later version. There might be statutory changes such as introduction of Vat or Revenue recognition, or patches need to fight cybercrime, or business expansion that outgrow existing features and hardware. However the significant challenges, of upgrade constrained the business from making timely ‘agile’ changes.

Additional complexity arose to update integrations, ISV modules and specialist reports, and integrations. With Dynamics 365 Finance & Supply Chain
Management on the Microsoft Cloud, – you will continuously update. The updates are automatic, performed in the background, immediately available, and accommodate your customizations and integrations. You’ll be able to lower your ERP costs, while always benefiting from the latest innovations Microsoft has to offer.

Apps in the Microsoft app store will deploy rapidly without worry about code conflict.

Seamless remote connectivity
Cloud-based solutions such as Dynamics 365 Finance & Supply Chain Management allow out-of-the-box mobile access and anytime, anywhere connectivity. Empower your teams to do their jobs even while working remotely. Give them access to the information and processes they need, whether working from home, on the road, or in the field. Seamless operations provide increased user and customer satisfaction, and increase efficiency.

Built-in disaster recovery
The pandemic and recent natural disasters have shown us that calamity can strike without warning and affect any business. Locating your information and processes in Microsoft’s secure Cloud gives you high-performance, remote access to all your ERP data and processes.
It also guarantees built-in disaster recovery for your organization. You’ll be able to be up and running even if you can’t get to the office. Your information will be secure from both physical disasters and cyberattacks.

Easier integrations
Dynamics 365 Finance & Supply Chain Management is built on a Common Data Service, which connects, ERP, Power Platform (including Power BI) and all the other Microsoft business productivity tools such as Microsoft 365. That enables all of those programs to work together seamlessly. Send and receive data, build workflows, automate processes, and create custom functionality. Your teams will be connected using processes with which they are familiar.

Lower IT costs
A cloud-based solution eliminates the expense of owning and maintain on-premises hardware.
- Hidden but significant savings Include” SQL licenses and support, Windows Server licences, Anti malware software for servers, back up software.
- Save on server room costs for space, electricity, and IT resources.
- No additional BREP charge,

Enhanced performance
The Microsoft Cloud guarantees high performance and ongoing improvements.
Your environment is primarily managed and maintained by Microsoft.
You will never again have the expense of upgrading servers, buying extra data storage, and paying for external hosting. All that will be covered as part of your Dynamics 365 subscription.

Stronger Security
Microsoft’s cloud platform has unparalleled security to safeguard your data.
Dynamics 365 Finance & Supply Chain Management has built-in, role-based security features such as Segregation of Duties (SODs).
Count on Dynamics 365 Finance & Supply Chain Management to support your compliance efforts and meet all your security requirements.

Innovations
Such as AI, virtual agents, connected field service, and more
Advanced tools such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, virtual agents, and connected field service were once out of reach for mid-sized company. Now with Dynamics 365 Finance & Supply Chain Management, you too can leverage the latest technology advancements to unlock new opportunities and gain a competitive edge

Contact us on 0097143365589

Important considerations for a ransomware attack

October 31st, 2020

This post contains general information only offered in good faith and cannot consider every customers’ environment or risk. Synergy Software Systems is not, by means of this publication, rendering accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or any other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should you use it as a basis for any decision, action or omission that may affect you or your business. Before making any decision, taking any action or omitting an action that may affect you or your business, consult a qualified professional advisor. You acknowledge that Synergy Software Systems shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by you or any person who relies on this publication.

If your network experiences a ransomware attack, then it is likely that your IT staff will want to immediately research and work to stop the attack before they get assistance from an outside incident response firm. This guidance is to help you to prepare your strategy, policies and and responses procedure and checklists to aid your first responders to identify important response priorities for containing a ransomware attack and to avoid common pitfalls that can hinder later investigation and recovery activities.

• Notify your incident response partner and cyber insurance agent (if you have these relationships in place).
• Be aware of any statutory and legal or contractual requirements e.g. to notify authorities, or trading partners relying on your services or integrated systems perhaps with SLAs and financial penalties, or perhaps GDPR related.
• Stop any malicious encryption software that may still be running.
• If you suspect servers and workstations are still encrypting data, power down as quickly as possible to reliably stop further encryption.
• If continued encryption is not a concern on a system, leave the system powered on but disconnect it from the network (as RAM may contain forensic data).
• Disconnect network attached storage (NAS) systems from the network immediately and until you can validate that all systems are free of ransomware.
• Isolate critical systems to prevent further spread of the malware.
• Isolate backups and backup servers.
• Shut down servers or disconnect them from networks.
• Shut down wide area network tunnels.
• Disable any employee remote access services that do not use multi-factor authentication (MFA).
• Disable VPNs or whitelist source IPs to known employees.
• Disable Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) services or whitelist source IPs to known employees.
• Disable existing domain administrator accounts.
• Create new domain administrator accounts for critical IT staff.
• Disable all other domain administrator accounts (to prevent logins and use of issued Kerberos tickets).
• Disable malware command-and-control channels.
• Disable outbound web traffic.
• Disable all other outbound services/protocols through the firewall.
• Collect and retain logs that are not already in a centralized archive.
• As Windows security event logs can by default be overwritten within days, copy the folder c:\windows\system32\winevt\logs from any domain controllers, RDP servers and other key impacted servers to a safe place.
• Since many firewall logs and VPN are also overwritten quickly, work to export VPN access logs and firewall traffic logs to a safe place.

DEVELOP A RECOVERY STRATEGY
At this point evaluate and develop an investigation and recovery strategy. Examples of key next steps include:
• When needed, completing contracting with a legal firm and/or incident response firm
• Determining the state of storage systems and status of online and offline backups
• Creating an inventory of impacted systems
• Prioritizing applications for recovery
• Creating an inventory of sensitive or high-risk data that could have been stolen
• Evaluating potential risk to cloud email accounts or other cloud services

PITFALLS TO AVOID
In the case of an incident, your organization will want to avoid the following.
• DESTROYING CRITICAL DATA
Many times, IT staff may delete encrypted files or impacted virtual machines to free space for recovery, only to learn that the associated backups are missing or corrupt. Be sure to retain copies of all encrypted or impacted files and systems until after backups are validated and restores are complete, even if it means you have to slow down recovery to add temporary storage and copy potentially unneeded data.

• DESTROYING EVIDENCE
Deleting files or virtual machines, or performing other recovery activities before taking steps to preserve disk images, logs and other evidence, can destroy artifacts that could be used later to help tell the story of how the attacker got in and what data they stole.

• OPTIMISTIC ASSUMPTIONS
There is often a tendency to underestimate an attacker early on and to assume that it is unlikely that the attacker accessed some critical system or set of sensitive data. Perhaps because of a belief that the data would have been too hard to find or too difficult to extract. The organization, may then base its decisions about investigation and notification activities on these optimistic assumptions.

• LEAKING INFORMATION TO THE ATTACKER
Be aware that the attacker may be monitoring your communications during and after the attack. For example, don’t disclose your insurance policy’s ransom coverage limit in a public board meeting discussing the community’s response options, or the attacker will increase their demand to match the policy limit. Social media comments by staff may worry your customers. So, consider also how you will handle communications to your trading partners.

As cybercrime becomes ever more targeted and resourced ensure you have a strategy in place- just in case. Review the security tools you use. Define policies and ensure they are followed for example:
• use of secure regularly changed passwords, or dual authentication passwords
• back ups
• training of new users, and refresher training

Install and use security systems e.g.
• Physical access controls
• Firewalls,
• Anti-malware tools
Consider whether cloud migration or managed services are a better option.

Agile business with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and SCMO Webinar with Synergy, Redington & Microsoft.

October 22nd, 2020

Agile business and digital transformation with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and SCM
Webinar with spears from Synergy Software Systems, Redington and Microsoft.

Also features a local case study for a leading UAE real estate group.
Date and Time: UAE – 28th October 2020 | 10:00am -11:30

For existing Dynamics customers looking to upgrade there will be a special offer announced by Redington and Synergy.

Please register on the link :


If you are unable to attend this session and would like to know more about Dynamics 365 then call us on 00971 4 3365589.

DymaxIO Subscription Licensing -all Condusiv products now rolled into one for fast data.

October 21st, 2020

All of the technologies in V-locity®, Diskeeper®, and SSDkeeper® have been rolled into one new product – DymaxIO™.

New DymaxIO is fast data software. Whether on-premises or in the Cloud, DymaxIO returns more than 40%+ of your hroughput that is being robbed due to I/O inefficiencies of Windows, SQl and virtualisation.

Fix your application slows, freezes, timeouts, slow SQL queries, reduce cloud compute costs, and more, at the source – no new hardware needed.
A software solutlion to a software performance problem.

DymaxIO is sold as an annual subscription which saves you money. Subscriptions are available for client, server, and host systems.

A new DymaxIO site license is also available to conveniently and cost-effectively optimize the performance of all Windows systems.

To improve performance across your systems callus on 009714 3365589

SSD performance degrades over time- prevent this with DymaxIO

September 29th, 2020

Can SSD performance degrade over time and is there a way to prevent this? The answer is YES and YES. the same solution that addresses the inefficiencies of iops in Windows , SQL and VMs can also help you to maintain the performance of your solid state disks.

The reason for this degradation is an undesirable SSD phenomenon called the Write Amplification Factor (WAF), . This is a numerical value that indicates the actual amount of data that was written to an SSD in relation to the amount of data that was requested to be written from the Host (i.e. Windows OS System)

WAF = the data written to the SSD / the data written by the host

For example, an application on the Windows Server system writes out 128kb of data to the SSD, but internally on the SSD, 512kb of data is written on the SSD for this to occur. This will degrade SSDs write performance.

In this example, the WAF = 512kb/128kb = 4 ! This is bad, a 128kb write from the host that resulted in 512kb of internal writes on the SSD

Ideally, you want a WAF = 128KB/128KB = 1

Why does this occur. Unlike HDDs, data cannot be directly overwritten on a disk. On SSDs, data can only be written to erased spaces. When you have a brand new initialized SSD, all of the pages are in a free/erased state, and there is no problem for it to find free/erased spaces to write new data. But as the SSD starts to fill up with data, resulting in erased spaces having to be created that causes the WAF to increase. I can go into more detail on this but will save it for another time. Suffice to say, a higher WAF value means SSD performance degradation.

Do SSDs degrade over time?

The answer is YES but this has to do more with the SSDs filling up over time. Some recommendations on the web advise to keep free space on SSDs anywhere from 10% to 30% to avoid this degradation. With less free space on a highly I/O intensive system, a couple of things occur:

-There are less free spaces to write to, extra overhead may have to occur like block erasures to allow the new updates to occur. This increases the WAF – Not a good thing.
- With less free space, file data may get spread out to different locations on the SSD. For example, in the best case, 10 pages of file data that is being updated are all on the same block.
- When the block needs to be erased to be updated, then just that one block needs to be updated. If those 10 pages are on 10 different blocks, then in the worst case, those 10 blocks have to be erased and re-written – More overhead and a higher WAF.

The result is

➣SSDs are overprovisioned. For example, a 1TB SSD actually contains 1.1TB of data space. This extra space (seen only by the SSD internals) helps to allow the WAF to remain low.
➣SSD Garbage collection and Trim. Both of these processes include freeing/erasing spaces in the background so new writes can occur quickly on these newly erased spaces.

How doies DymaxIO™ help with SSDs Degrading?

DymaxIO has technology to keep the WAF low.

The patented IntelliWrite® technology enforces efficient Sequential Writes to occur rather than smaller Random Writes from the Windows Host. Sequential writes are more likely to place data in the same blocks which can decrease the WAF

Optimization engines keep the free space contiguous when needed on the host logical side. This will help enforce larger sequential writes to occur which decrease the WAF.

There are also a few more benefits of enforcing larger sequential writes.
- Sequential I/Os out-perform Random I/Os on storage, both HDDs and SSDs, so this ensures you are getting the optimal performance from your storage.
- Keeping the WAF low and writes lower on the SSD helps to extend the lifetime of the SSD.

IntelliWrite technology in DymaxIO does both of these functions automatically
- Keep sufficient free space on your SSDs
- Enforce Sequential Writes rather than Random Writes.

Fix at the source. 2X SQL application performance, accelerate Windows throughput 40+%, extend hardware life 2 to 3 years, reduce timeouts, crashes, and more. A software solution to software problems Just install, DymaxIOno code changes, no reboot necessary.

Call Synergy Software Systems 0097143365589

Microsoft Power BI new license option – called Premium Per User, or Premium Gen2. Ask Synergy Software Systems

September 25th, 2020

A recent, Microsoft Ignite 2020 announcement of a new licensing plan for Microsoft Power BI, called Premium Per User, or Premium Gen2.

We already have license options for:
Per user Pro
One of the most common licensing options is the Power BI pro account, that gives the user enough access to do *almost* anything they want in the world of Power BI development, building solutions, creating workspaces in the service, sharing the content to the users, etc. This licensing is priced $9.99 USD per user per month.

Good enough to cover the analytics needs of a small to medium scale business with usual analytics requirement. Requirements such as getting data from multiple sources, combining it, building superb visualizations and sharing among a reasonable number of end-users.

Premium: capacity-based
Another popular option is to purchase a dedicated capacity (a dedicated node of certain amount of CPU cores and RAM power) to host the Power BI content on it. The dedicated capacity comes not only with a better performance, but also, with extra features. Such as using AI abilities, some extra features in the dataflow development, geo replicas for the data model, paginated reports and many other features. Dedicated capacity comes in two modes; embedded, and Premium. and the minimum entry for Premium is $4,995 USD per node.

Good for enterprise scale businesses with advanced analytics requirement, such as working with big data, building computed entities in the dataflow, leveraging AI functionalities, and requiring high performance for their big data analytics.

Pro is cheap enough to get every business started with analytics, and Premium is powerful enough to cover sophisticated analytics requirements. However, there is a large group of small to medium scale business which have advanced analytics needs. Premium capacity-based licensing for this group is too expensive. For a company with l only 10 to 20 users, there may not be an ROI to pay $4,995 per month for analytics. On the other hand, Pro is too limited. They need some features that are not available in this licensing.

The details of how much the licensing would cost are still to be determined, as the licensing for Premium Per User, or Premium Gen2 will come later this year (2020). It means that a small scale business can pay for the analytics requirement with a per-user licensing , which may be a worthwhile option. That means business can scale with advanced analytics features like an enterprise customer.

Windows performance problems – one major cause.

September 1st, 2020

12 substantial Windows performance problems that can cause the most frustration and chew up valuable time can be directly traced to a single source.

1. Slow Application Performance Familiar?. A company runs a large application such as EMR/EHR or ERP o which the entire enterprise depends, and users have to end wait endlessly for data. A sales team operating on a CRM application, and speaking with prospects loses the sale while waiting for data. It could be an LMS, used for the vital administration of educational programs. Other applications such as SharePoint, MS Exchange, VDI, POS and even legacy and proprietary apps all suffer from this same malady. The phone line and support desk tickets is overwhelmed with user complaints.

2. Application Crashses This t brings everything to a dead stop. Freezes and crashes are the biggest headaches of IT, there is nothing worse than angry users. When the application has crashed this will affect others accessing that application, too. When this happens, often a user will yell out, “What’s wrong with the computer?!” But of course, it’s not the computer. We’ll get to that at the end. Meanwhile, log files fill up, transactions or batch tasks don;t complete, and data gets corrupted. There may be downtime to reboot the server, or users may need to rekey data.

3. Missing SLA targets SLAs are the delivery backbone of many companies. Service quality and availability are service aspects written into contracts, and when those re not met, it not only means lost income, it can also mean lost business and clients. This is especially true today in a SaaS environment, in which a client can simply pull the plug and go to another provider. A primary cause of missed SLAs is slow performance. Yet again, it traces to the same source .

4. Slow Data Transfer Rates There are many reasons for heavy data transfer, including backups to other locations, and importing data to new locations, integrations and BI , When transfer rates are slow, it means waiting. And waiting. And waiting. This Windows performance problem eats up system as well as staff resources. Slow data transfer rates are traceable to this same source.

5. SQL Query Timeouts and Latency Enterprises run on data, which means they’re also living and dying on database queries. When a query is originated, the process through which the query was made will wait until the query is satisfied. The longer the wait (latency), the longer a data record, or computing resource is locked to other users. When a timeout occurs, that means that the query must be started again. This, of course, can mean a serious delay.

6. SQL Deadlocks This phenomenon occurs when two or more processes are waiting for the same resource. Each process is then waiting for the other process to complete before continuing. On the user end, SQL deadlocks produce the same result as timeouts: endless waiting.

7. SQL Server 15-Second Warnings An I/O request should complete within milliseconds. The 15-second warning that SQL Server has been waiting for longer than 15 seconds for an I/O request to complete indicates a serious performance problem—once again traceable to the same issue.

8. You Upgrade Hardware…but Performance Still Slow Many think the easy way to solve performance problems is to upgrade hardware. It can help but what happens when you upgrade hardware, and performance is still sluggish? This is a very expensive way to indicate that you have “solved” the wrong problem. Yes, performance was an issue, but the reason behind it was not hardware related. Yes, you guessed it: the cause is the same as all of these other problems.

9. Slow SSD Read/write Speed Companies install SSDs to improve performance—and given the substantial performance difference between SSDs and HDDs, that performance difference should be much better. Sometimes the read/write speed to SSDs is still slow because you’re still suffering from the same problem.

10. Storage Performance Problems Storage is very a sophisticated with solutions designed to improve storage performance. Performance problems you experience with storage are only partly due to the hardware…but to the same cause as the rest of these issues.

11. Slow Server Performance This is the generally sluggish performance phenomenon, the causes of which can be tough to trace down. For that reason, many don’t try—they just decide that hardware must be upgraded: new servers, new storage, perhaps even a new network. Slow server performance is most often rooted in the same cause as all of these other issues. Servers don’t come cheap and they consume utilities

12. VM Density and Consolidation Issues
Its now common practice to consolidate several VMs into one physical server. The higher the VM density is, the more efficient the system may be but those Vms have to talk to each other and the system tBoth VM consolidation and VM density contain the same inherent performance problem as each of these other scenarios and may be preventing you from loading more VMs onto a single host.

The Basic Problem

All of these Windows performance problems that cost you peace of mind can be traced back storage I/O efficiencies.
Virtualization has been great for server efficiency, ba big downsides to virtualization is that it adds complexity to the data path – known as the I/O blender effect that mixes and randomizes I/O streams.

There are 2 severe I/O inefficiencies causing this.

The Windows file system will break up data ‘writes’ into separate storage I/Os and send each I/O packet down to the storage layer separately. This causes I/O characteristics that are much smaller, more fractured, and more random than they need to be – this along with the I/O Blender effect results in bad storage performance. This is a “death by a thousand cuts” scenario – everything is running, but not running nearly as fast as it could.

You could opt to throw more hardware at the problem, but this is expensive and disruptive and can be premature – it is much better to tune what you already own to get the performance of which the server is capable.

Storage I/O contention occurs when you have multiple systems all sharing the same storage resource.

Windows breaks up that I/O profile into a smaller, more fractured, more random I/O profile than it needs to be. when clean that up on one VM then all of the data from that one VM to the host is all streamlined, but then you have all the data from neighbor VMs that are still noisy and causing contention.

So, your performance is penalized once, twice by storage I/O efficiencies. This means systems process workloads are typically about 50% slower than they should on the typical Windows server. Far more I/O than s needed is used to process any given workload. This is a major cause of Windows performance problems

The Solution: ensure large, clean, and contiguous read and write I/Os from all sources, and eliminate the I/O blender effect.

Larger, cleaner, sequential I/Os result in fewer I/Os to process and thus faster data transfer rates for peak performance. In such a case, you can have 1G of data, but instead of transferring it in 100,000 I/Os, you can accomplish it in 70,000, or less.

The next factor is to read and to write I/Os sequentially, instead of randomly. When dealing with storage, sequential I/Os always out-perform random I/Os on hard disk drives, SSDs and flash storage.

These factors work together to transform the nature of the I/O to improve performance:

Larger I/O
Sequential I/O
Less I/O

The overall effect is that the OS workload is reduced, because there are fewer I/Os to process, and they are occurring sequentially.
DymaxIO

This is the solution brought into effect by the DymaxIO fast data software: (A software Solution for a software problem)

-Fewer I/Os, because they are larger
-Sequential I/Os
– Read I/O served from memory DymaxIO accomplishes these improvements through proprietary technology that optimizes and streamlines with both reads and writes.

Write performance: IntelliWrite® patented technology eliminates small, fractured I/Os caused by Windows splitting files into multiple write operations. DymaxIO enforces large, clean, contiguous writes for more payload with every I/O operation.

Read performance: IntelliMemory® patented technology reduces read I/Os from storage by caching hot data server-side. Reads are cached right at VM level from otherwise-idle, available DRAM. Not only does this enormously decrease the I/O latency time, but also decreases the I/O traffic to the storage unit, thus freeing up the storage bandwidth for other work.

Because of these substantial improvements, DymaxIO is able to regularly provide 30 to 40 percent faster data transfer speeds, eliminating a myriad of Windows performance problems.DymaxIO improves the performance and reliability of Windows systems.

Are your servers good candidates for DymaxIO ? Find out quickly and easily without investing a lot of time –
Our I/O Assessment Tool. will:

Analyze data across 11 performance metrics
Easily identify systems suffering from performance issues
Graphs display averages and peaks for each hour

Contact us to learn more: 0097143365589

SnapLogic and Data Interchange for iPaas and EDI

August 20th, 2020

SnapLogic and Data Interchange have joined forces to bring together market leading iPaaS and EDI solutions
SnapLogic provides the #1 Intelligent Integration Platform.

The company’s AI-powered workflows and self-service integration capabilities make it fast and easy for organizations to manage:
- all their application integration,
- data integration,
- API management,
- B2B integration, a
- data engineering projects on a single, scalable platform.

Hundreds of Global 2000 customers — including Adobe, AstraZeneca, Box, Emirates, Schneider Electric, and Wendy’s — rely on SnapLogic to automate business processes, accelerate analytics, and drive digital transformation.

This new partnership will combine SnapLogic’s award winning Intelligent Integration Platform, with Data Interchange’s cloud based EDI solutions – Web EDI, and DiNet –to enable forward-thinking customers to drive internal digital transformation processes from a central platform, providing self-service integration up to ten times faster than other existing technologies.

Robert Steiner, CEO, Data Interchange commented:

“A partnership between SnapLogic and Data Interchange is a win/win. Many organisations not only have the need for strong and reliable integration systems, but they also need a good EDI partner with state-of-the-art functionality and their own VAN. Combining SnapLogic’s self-service iPaaS platform with our own self-service cloud based EDI platform and VAN provides customers with everything they need,”
“Working with SnapLogic has also enabled us to expand our market reach and capabilities. Integration is not only about application to application communication but also about automated data flows and supply chain management.”
Through the new partnership customers will be able to combine the trading world of EDI, including communication protocols like AS2 and OFTP, as well as a VAN, with a modern JSON, API-first platform. This ensures customers are able to push forward with their transformation initiatives using a single augmented, integrated platform covering EDI, data integration, AI/ML, application integration and streaming. Taking this approach means more re-use, reduced IT debt, faster time-to-market, and increased transformational agility with deeper and wider connectivity.

Roger Coles, Channel and Alliances Director EMEA at SnapLogic commented on the partnership:

“EDI has become increasingly important within organisations today, as they seek to streamline processes and automate various functions with the business. So we are excited to be announcing this new partnership with Data Interchange. By combining our two best-in-class solutions we will be able to provide a combine offering which we feel will be well received by our customers thanks to the unrivalled depth and breadth of functionality Data Interchange provides through its EDI solutions.”

If you need a faster and more robust way to develop, manage and maintain interfaces, with pre-built ‘snaps’, ETL, and streaming data callus ot learn more: 0097143365589

Modernise sales with Synergy Software Systems.

August 13th, 2020

Did you know that 55% of sales reps think their company’s sales tools are an obstacle instead of a facilitator?

Technology has rapidly changed the way customers buy. Customers now have more options on how when and where to buy, access to greater amounts of information, and communication channels have multiplied. As the complexity of sales increases, managing the sales process across multiple accounts can be challenging for sales teams. To better manage this complexity and help their sellers get more done, innovative organizations are modernizing their sales productivity.

Sales force automation and AI capabilities enable sellers to better manage lead. These intelligent solutions accelerate deals with an end-to-end, immersive experience for opportunity management; and integration with familiar tools—like Dynamics, Teams, Excel and Outlook—into their workflows to help increase collaboration and productivity.

- Focus on what’s most important and tailor interactions with your customers
– Streamline seller workflows, and get more done with integrations with familiar tools, like Office 365, that make work easier and faster
– Start with a sales solution that meets your needs and grows with your business

All of this means that sellers can spend less time on administrative work and more time meeting and communicating with customers, which leads to better solution design, more deals, higher revenue, and happier customers.

Please contact us to learn more about how Synergy Software Systems can help boost your revenue through modernizing your sales productivity with the latest automation tools.

callus on 0097143365589

Why do data warehouses fail? ask Synergy Software Systems for the latest research report

August 6th, 2020

Organizations are increasing their data warehouse investments, however, the process of identifying and moving data into a data warehouse is not always straightforward.

IT leaders report that organizational and technical challenges are hindering success, according to new research from SnapLogic and Vanson Bourne. This research firm surveyed hundreds of IT decision makers (ITDMs) and recently published their findings.

Key findings:

• Nearly nine in ten (88%) of ITDMs experience challenges trying to load data into data warehouses, major inhibitors are: legacy technology, complex data types and formats, data silos, and data access issues tied to regulatory requirements
• The average enterprise has 115 distinct applications and data sources, with almost half of those (49%) siloed and disconnected from one another
• 89% of ITDMs are worried about those data silos.
• ITDMs report that, on average, 42% of data management processes that could be automated are currently being done manually, taking up valuable time and resources
• As a result, almost all respondents (93%) believe improvements are needed in how they collect, manage, store, and analyze data

Building a data warehouse is one thing. continuously updating it with high data volumes, and rapidly and easily maintaining and updating multiple interfaces with low risk as software updates and business and regulatory requirements change is an ongoing challenge.

Find out how prebuilt snaps, data management tools, data streaming, and low code rapid integration development are supported with an integration platform as a service iPaaS.

Contact us today for a copy of the report and to see demo of Snap logic. 0097143365589

KSA Higher Customs Duty June 2020

June 29th, 2020

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has published the new list of goods on which higher customs duty rates which are effective from 20 June 2020.

Earlier the Customs duty increased was supposed to be effective from 10 June 2020.

Further, in view of the VAT rate increase to be effective 1st July 2020, it is recommended for the businesses operating in KSA to do an impact assessment to identify the impact of VAT and Customs duty increase on their business.

KSA VAT changes 1 July 2020

June 29th, 2020

The Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA)announced that the Value Added Tax (VAT) rate will increase to 15% from the current 5%, effective 1 July 2020.The increase is one theof additional measures taken by the KSA government in response to the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis, due to the decline in government revenue resulting from lower oil prices, reduced economic activity and increased healthcare expenditure.

How could this impact your business?
In addition to the increased VAT rate, businesses in KSA should expect an increased level of scrutiny from the General Authority of Zakat and Tax (GAZT), as VAT becomes a more important source of revenue.

Businesses whose sales are partially or fully VAT exempt, will experience an increase in costs as a direct effect of the rate increase. Nevertheless, the rate increase will impact all industry sectors in KSA and not primarily the Financial Services, Insurance and Real Estate sectors. All consumers will finally bear the brunt of the increases and it is not clear whether a lower rate of VAT, may still continue to apply to such items as food and utilities, to mitigate the impact.

We advise to review existing contracts that provide for continuous or periodic supplies of goods/services, and consider the required documentation changes that should be effected before 1 July 2020. Be clear on the correct rate of VAT to charge on contracts and supplies that span both June and July 2020. As o the 2018 introduction of VAT shows, transitional rules can be difficult to implement.

The rate increase will also impact cash-flow for businesses due to the timing difference between the payment and recovery of VAT, so cash flow planning will take on renewed significance.

Review the internal systems and processes to reflect the increased VAT rate. What systems and report need update and testing when.

We remind taxpayers that the window for voluntary disclosures without incurring penalties remains open only until tomorrow 30 June 2020, he rate increase heightens the importance for businesses to ensure they are fully compliant from a VAT perspective.