Archive for the ‘Corporate Perfomance Management’ category

IPaaS – Snaplogic for rapid integration – ask Synergy Software Systems

July 1st, 2020

Forrester TEI Report – contact us for a copy. Learn how Box easily integrated 30 apps and saved $1M

the latest additions to a growing liwt of awards.

Oman launches tax card from July 1

June 29th, 2020

The Oman Tax Authority will launch a new tax card system from July 1, which will be the proof of the registration for any taxpayer from the tax Authority. The card will be issued for RO 10.

All ministries, public authorities and institutions, and companies, which has more than 40 percent holding by the state must request the taxpayer to submit a copy of the tax card when issuing any contracts, or directly undertaking any transaction with the taxpayer. The chairman of the Oman Tax Authority may impose a fine in the event of failure to obtain the tax card.

Every taxpayer must apply to obtain the tax card when initiating the incorporation or licensing procedures for practicing the activity or registration in the commercial or Industrial registry and shall request for renewal upon the end of the validity of the card.

The Tax card will replace the tax certificate currently in use at the Authority that is required by some government authorities, except in cases where the tax certificate Is requested for the purposes of canceling a commercial registry. dissolution, merging. or liquidation of any company.

KSA to add VAT on on-line purchases

June 29th, 2020

Saudi Arabia announced it will levy 15 percent value added tax (VAT) on items bought from online sellers and online stores based abroad. The Saudi customs authority said on Sunday (June 28) the new rule will be applicable to all products shipped to the kingdom on or after July 1. Saudi Arabia is tripling its VAT from 5 percent to 15 percent starting on July 1. It will also suspend the cost of living allowance to its citizens on July 1.

The online order placed before June 30, 2020 is delivered to the buyer after June 30, then 15 per cent VAT will apply on the selling transaction, whereas the seller should issue an additional tax invoice pertaining to the difference of the applicable tax due. E-commerce companies should ensure to collect additional 10 per cent from the buyer if the products will be delivered to the buyer on or after July 1, 2020 because they have to pay 15 per cent VAT at the time of custom clearance of the goods.

With the implementation of VAT on online selling, e-commerce companies are expected to collect additional fees from buyers if products are delivered to Saudi Arabia.

The kingdom will also suspend cost of living allowance from next month in order to shore up state finances, which have been battered by low oil prices and the coronavirus. The revised higher VAT rates will be applicable to all supplies of taxable goods and services in the country.

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.

Economic Substance Regulation (ESR) in the U.A.E. ask Synergy Software Systems

June 16th, 2020

Existing companies should have complied with the regulations by now, since the starting date was 30th April 2019.

(If an entity fails to meet the requirements or if inaccurate information is given to the regulatory authority, annual administrative penalties of AED 10,000 to AED 300,000 will apply. If they fail to meet the requirements for consecutive years, the penalties will increase and might force the authorities to suspend, revoke or deny renewal of an entity’s license.)

(In the case of new entities, regulations must be complied with upon receiving its trade license.)

This legislation (collectively, referred to as the “Economic Substance Regulations“) were issued in response to the UAE’s inclusion in the European Union’s list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes, and their aim is to facilitate tax transparency and fair tax competition in the UAE’ The Economic Substance Regulations apply to natural or juridical (legal) persons, including all UAE onshore and free zone companies, branches, foundations, non-profit organisations and partnerships (referred to as “Licensees“) that carry out one or more of the following “Relevant Activities” in the UAE -see below for the details. With the introduction of ESR, UAE has been removed from the blacklist of tax havens.

BEPS [Base Erosion Profit Shifting)] Base Erosion Profit Shifting directives are regulations issued by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD] to combat corporate policies for Tax Planning which would shift the profits of companies from low tax rate jurisdictions to high tax jurisdictions. Thus “eroding” the tax base in high tax jurisdictions.

The appropriate regulatory authority varies depending on the type of Relevant Activity and the location in which it is undertaken. Each regulatory authority will set out the form of the reports to be filed and the mechanisms for submitting such forms.

What is the economic substance test?
The economic substance test requires a Licensee to demonstrate that:
• the Licensee and the Relevant Activity are being directed and managed in the UAE;
• the relevant Core Income Generating Activities (“CIGAs“) are being conducted in the UAE; and
• the Licensee has an adequate number of employees and adequate physical assets and expenditure in the UAE.

Licensees carrying out a holding company business or a high risk IP business are subject to different economic substance test requirements.

See: https://www.mof.gov.ae/en/StrategicPartnerships/Pages/ESR.aspx for some useful documents including a flow chart.

The Regulations require UAE onshore and free zone companies and other UAE business forms that carry out any of the “Relevant Activities” listed below to maintain an adequate “economic presence” in the UAE relative to the activities they undertake.

Relevant Activities:
• Banking Business
• Insurance Business
• Investment Fund management Business
• Lease – Finance Business
• Headquarters Business
• Shipping Business
• Holding Company Business
• Intellectual property Business (“IP”)
• Distribution and Service Centre Business

The Regulations provide a definition to each of the above Activities. The provisions of the Regulations shall not apply to Companies in which the Federal Government of the UAE or the Government of any Emirate of the UAE, or any governmental authority or body or any of them has at least 51% direct or indirect ownership in their share capital.

Entities that are governed by the Regulations will need to submit a notification to their Regulatory Authority (defined under Cabinet Decision No (58) of 2019 issued on 4 September 2019) from 1 January 2020 onwards, and prepare and submit to the same Regulatory Authority an economic substance declaration within 12 months from the end of their financial year (e.g. 31 December 2020 for entities with a financial year ending 31 December 2019).

An entity is not required to meet the economic substance test and file an economic substance declaration for any financial period in which it has not earned income from a Relevant Activity. Failure by an entity to comply with the Regulations shall result in administrative penalties, spontaneous exchange of information with the Foreign Competent Authority (as defined in Article 1 of the Regulations), and potential suspension, revocation or non-renewal of its registration.

In the DIFC, the ESR will be administered by the Registrar of Companies (“Registrar”) for all DIFC entities, including entities that are regulated by the DFSA. Key points to note about ESR and how to prepare your business for it :
1. All DIFC entities are required to submit an economic substance notification by 30 June 2020 in the DIFC Client Portal
2. The UAE Ministry of Finance has issued a Relevant Activities Guide which should assist you in determining whether your business conducts a relevant activity and falls within the scope of the ESR.
3. Your business may also be required to file an economic substance return (“ES Return”), within 12 months of your financial year end, to demonstrate that your business meets the ESR requirements. Information relating to the ES Return will be issued in the second half of 2020.

There is a requirement for a business to use the “Substance over Form” approach when evaluating whether they undertake a relevant activity or not. This means that companies will not only be evaluated on what activities are stated on their commercial license but their activities will be evaluated and ESR applied accordingly.

It is not a requirement that a UAE entity is directly engaged in the performance of a relevant activity directly. When an entity is earning income passively from a relevant activity, it will be sufficient for the application of Economic Substance Regulations [ESR].All Entities which assess that they are involved in the performance of a Relevant Activity will carry out the Economic Substance Test for Economic Substance Regulations [ESR].

The Economic Substance is composed of two parts:
1. The Direct and Managed Test:
The Entity needs to be directed and managed in the UAE with regards to the relevant activity carried out in the Emirates.

2. The Core Income Generated Activities Test [CIGA]:
1. The Entity that performs the relevant activities for the purpose of application of Economic Substance Regulations [ESR], need to demonstrate that the CIGA’s are undertaken in the UAE.The activity which constitutes as a CIGA varies with the activity being performed.

The Entities which exist in the United Arab Emirates and carry out relevant activities within its jurisdiction need to follow certainly and comply with certain reporting requirements. The entities will be required to submit an annual notice to their Regulatory Authority indicating that they are carrying out a Relevant Activity in the preceding Financial Year and whether there has been any Income from the Relevant activity that has been subject to Taxation outside the United Arab Emirates.

UAE entities that qualify for an exemption from the Economic Substance Regulations, or those that did not earn any income from their Relevant Activities will still be required to file a notification with the Relevant Authority.

UAE Entities which qualify for submission of notification, and those that earned any income from the same, will also be required to file an Annual Economic Substance Return. The purpose of the Return is to make an assessment of the requirements of economic substance regulations are met, the income earned, qualifications of the staff involved, and information about the premises and other assets used in carrying out the relevant activity.

What are the Penalties for Non-Compliance of [ESR]?
In addition to an exchange of information by the UAE with countries which are a member of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD] to remove the possibility of Base Erosion and Profit Shifting, failure to comply will cause the levy of administrative penalties not less than 10,000 AED and not more than 50,000 AED for failure to comply for the first year. In case of failure to comply with ESR, the minimum amount of penalty will be increased to 50,000 AED and the maximum amount to 300,000 AED. In addition to this, additional penalties, such as suspending, revocation of UAE Trade License may also be levied.

Security, Agile and DevOps

June 13th, 2020

As we move to an era of no code citizen developers there is increasing risk that security remains an afterthought when organizations are building software. The latest Verizon threat report identified that web application attacks have doubled, and that cloud-based data is under attack. The surge in web app security breaches in 2019 further solidifies that ‘crowd funded’ testing is no substitute for proper QA. The whole agile /DevSecOps approach has done much to improve user feedback to developers to improve the functionality and speed to market of business solutions, but informal end user tests alone are not sufficient where security is concerned,

With the rush to embrace digital services, organizations are too often focused on the speed of release rather than on the quality of services. To accelerate the pace of digital transformation, security must be a fundamental part of software development. To develop code faster, you should also identify vulnerabilities sooner. Otherwise, you run the risk of DevOps, simply creating software with vulnerabilities, more quickly.Embed security within all aspects of your software deign and development process rather than expect it to be bolted on as an afterthought. The threat is real sophisticated and growing. Criminals also use automation and Machine intelligence to identify and to attack vulnerabilities faster.

Attackers recently hijacked powerful machine-learning clusters inside Microsoft’s Azure cloud-computing service so that they could mine cryptocurrency at the expense of the customers who rented services. The nodes, which were misconfigured by customers, made the perfect target for so-called cryptojacking schemes. Machine-learning tasks typically require vast amounts of computing resources. By redirecting thsoe to perform the compute-intensive workloads required to mine digital coins, the attackers found a means to generate large amounts of currency at little, or no cost.

The infected clusters were running Kubeflow, an open source framework for machine-learning applications in Kubernetes, which is itself an open source platform for deploying scalable applications across large numbers of computers. Microsoft said compromised clusters it discovered numbered in the “tens.” Many of those ran an image available from a public repository, apparently to save users the hassle of creating one themselves. Upon further inspection, Microsoft investigators discovered it contained code that surreptitiously mined the Monero cryptocurrency.

After finding the infected clusters, investigators turned their attention to how the machines were compromised. For security, the dashboard that allows administrators to control Kubeflow is, by default, accessible only through istio ingress, a gateway that’s typically located at the edge of the cluster network. The default setting prevents people across the Internet from accessing the dashboard and making unauthorized changes to the cluster.

This week Yossi Weizman, a security-research software engineer in the Azure Security Center, said : “We believe that some users chose to do it for convenience. Without this action, accessing the dashboard requires tunneling through the Kubernetes API server and isn’t direct. By exposing the Service to the Internet, users can access the dashboard directly. However, this operation enables insecure access to the Kubeflow dashboard, which allows anyone to perform operations in Kubeflow, including deploying new containers in the cluster.”

Once attackers have access to the dashboard, they have multiple options for deploying backdoored containers in the cluster. For instance, attackers can create what’s known as a Jupyter Notebook server that runs on the cluster. They can then place a malicious image inside of the Jupyter Notebook. If a Jupyter Notebook is already installed, it can be maliciously modified.
Weizman wrote.:” Azure Security Center has detected multiple campaigns against Kubernetes clusters in the past that have a similar access vector: an exposed service to the Internet. However, this is the first time that we have identified an attack that targets Kubeflow environments specifically.”

SnapLogic May 2020 many enhancements – ask Synergy Software Systems

May 14th, 2020

We are thrilled to announce the general availability of the May 2020 release of the SnapLogic Intelligent Integration Platform (IIP).

New Iris artificial intelligence (AI) innovations within this release allow you to build painless integrations, increase collaboration within your organization with new Stickies, and automate workflows with new SAP S/4HANA Snaps, among many more.

New Mask Snap, powered by Iris AI: Simplify data masking!

As you work with a variety of data in your dev and test environments, it is always good practice to shield and protect sensitive information. Masking sensitive or personally identifiable information such as: social security numbers (SSN), email addresses, names, street addresses, and birthdates is easy with our new Mask Snap.

With the Mask Snap, Iris AI is embedded in every step :
- suggestions on the fields you should mask,
- recommended search mode,
- recommended match mode,
- recommended masking options

You can remove or mask fields, and it works with all data types, including highly-nested JSON.

We continue to enhance our industry-leading AI technology to make it easy for you to build integrations and automations, easily and painlessly. With the new May 2020 release, as you are configuring a database or an application Snap, Iris AI now provides configuration recommendations such as schema name, object name. To provide these recommendations, Iris employs over five years of metadata information and usage patterns to intelligently determine the most commonly used schemas and objects in your organization.

From source to destination, Iris AI continues to simplify schema mappings – map even complex schemas in minutes. With the May 2020 release, Iris now provides target recommendations in Mapper for exact matches between source and destination schemas.

Boost collaboration with peers using Stickies!
SnapLogic customers who have previewed our May 2020 release have embraced our new Stickies feature with great enthusiasm. Stickies enables better collaboration and documentation of your pipeline building efforts. Stickies allow you to create and post notes on the Designer canvas to annotate different parts of the pipeline and document the workings of a pipeline in detail.
Stickies provide a great collaboration tool between IT teams, who might create pipelines, and business teams, who might want to customize and run pipelines based on their specific needs.

Stickies reside at the pipeline level, thus, they complement the Snap level ‘note’ feature already present in the platform. Additionally, Stickies are part of a pipeline’s metadata – export stickies along with your pipelines.

Deeper operational insights with Insights dashboard and task monitoring

In the May 2020 release, to provide you with trends data on operational parameters and task level insights into your SnapLogic deployment, there are significant updates to the Dashboard tab.

USe the enhanced Insights tab to improve operational efficiency with a view of historic usage and trends across key performance indicators (KPIs) such as :
- documents processed,
- pipeline executions,
-Snap executions, etc.

Filter these KPIs by specific criteria and personalize the view stohave the most relevant visualizations at the top.

The May 2020 release introduces a new tab, called ‘Task’, to provide a task level view of your SnapLogic deployment. Monitor the performance and health of your tasks and drill down into historical information to identify where certain tasks are failing or underperforming. Significantly improve your efficiency as you troubleshoot the root cause of a dip in performance or failure.

Automate your customer journey with new SAP S/4HANA Snap Pack

Another key update in the May 2020 release is the new SAP S/4HANA Snap Pack. SAP S/4HANA, is a modern enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that leverages SAP HANA, an in-memory database. Here are a few key use cases k:

- Order-to-Cash from Salesforce to SAP S/4HANA
- Real-time inventory management from databases to SAP S/4HANA
- Advanced financial planning with data from SAP S/4HANA to Anaplan
- Managing and engaging talent with automations across Workday and SAP S/4 HANA
- Managing organizational spend across Coupa or SAP Ariba and SAP S/4HANA

The SAP S/4HANA Snap Pack provides Create, Delete, Read, and Update Snaps and massively simplifies data modeling as you build automated business processes to connect SAP S/4HANA with other systems.

Build a single source of truth for your customer profile data inAdobe Experience Platform

We have updated the Adobe Experience Platform,( previously referred to as Adobe Cloud Platform Snap Pack). Use it as the single source of truth for your customer profile data. Update and maintain customer data in real-time to power accurate, up-to-the-moment, insights for your sales, marketing, and support teams. This Snap Pack update consists of a Write Snap, an S3 connector, and an AEP File Generator to leverage the capabilities of the Adobe Experience Platform and eliminate data silos for your customer profile data.

Connect with other Snap updates with confidence

Cassandra Snap Pack: now updated to support v3, with an updated JDBC driver
Snowflake Snap Pack: updated to JDBC driver version 3.12.3.
ServiceNow Snaps: now certified against Madrid, Orlando, and New York versions.
Oracle Snaps now supports version 19c.

SnapLogic eXtreme enhancements

Offering enhanced account encryption and cross-account IAM roles, SnapLogic eXtreme gets a big security boost with this release. These two new enhancements help your organization improve its security posture while delegating access to AWS EMR resources that SnapLogic eXtreme leverages to execute Spark-based pipelines.

Enhanced Account Encryption leverages Amazon KMS asymmetric keys– you no longer need to put in the secret key associated with your account in the SnapLogic UI.

Cross-Account IAM Role enables SnapLogic to assume an authorized role for the purpose of managing the lifecycle of Amazon EMR clusters that run Spark mode data transformations, so you don’t have to do it..

SnapLogic eXtreme is broadly applicable with support for any JDBC compliant data store.

Use a Spark mode pipeline to read from or to write to any JDBC compliant database.

Important for big data workloads – no longer need to use a data lake like S3 for staging.

Synergy Support during covid-19 lockdown

April 6th, 2020

As a precautionary measure instructed by our Government for COVID-19 to be Safe at Home to protect our staff and to protect the community Synergy, consultants are instructed to work from home for at east the next two weeks.

To help us to provide continuous support please follow these guidelines to ensure our queries are recorded and assigned to be addressed in addressed as soon as possible.:

1. Send an email with a clear description in the email Subject line”, which will be helpful to track the email chain.
2. Please mention any internal issue/ticket number assigned, the user, and as much detail as possible e.g. transaction detail such as: order number, vendor code, item code – take a screenshot – copy any error message and attach those details to the email. Better still record the steps e.g. with e.g. webex, or task recorder.
3. If you are not on your work telephone number, or email, e,g when working from home yourself, then ensure you provide contact information for us to reach you.
4. To understand the issue, we may need to connect to the user PC through a screen sharing app such as Microsoft TEAMS, or Go To Meeting. Please ask your admin take appropriate action to ensure we can dial in remotely to your systems if needed, Even when located elsewhere they will also able to join such sessions.
5. Every request is given a ticket number and is then assigned to a consultant. For follow up communication please mention the ticket number. That will make it easier for us to find and review the details and actions to date. It’s possible that more than one consultant may be involved and they will be working remote from each other. This will save time for everyone .
6. Once the support request/ issue is resolved, upon receipt of confirmation email, the request will be closed.
7. When needed to discuss pending issues we will also be available to have a conference call via Microsoft Teams. issues @ mutual agreed time.
6. All support request to be sent to Axapta.support@synergy-software.com and we suggest copy in the lead consultant and account manager with whom you normally deal’
7. Please circulate this information to respective users and department heads, so that everyone working from home is aware that we are still available to support you as best we can and that they know how to help us, to help them.

Plan beyond covid-19 with Prophix CPM, and Synergy Software Systems

April 2nd, 2020

Prophix has seen significant growth in many areas over the past fiscal year. The company established itself as the leading CPM provider in specific vertical markets such as construction.

Part of the international success can be attributed to deployment, offered both an on-premise solution and a cloud alternative. This is important in regions outside of North America where the adoption to cloud hasn’t been as rapid. A recent report published by BARC, a respected industry analyst that focuses on European markets, noted that “the cloud is on the rise [in European countries] and a ‘cloud-first policy’ is already supported by a large proportion of companies”. Similarly, they highlighted that “the cloud offers scalability for modern planning” and consequently, is an attractive option for those looking to deploy a CPM (Corporate Performance Management) solution.

With this market momentum as a foundation, and the added focus and leadership now in place, we expect continued growth of Prophix in the GCC.

We are living in unprecedented and uncertain times. The rapid spread of COVID-19 has disrupted businesses around the world, rapidly changing market conditions and rendering most corporate 2020 plans futile. The coronavirus is a stark reminder of the volatility of our global business environment.

For C-suite executives, it’s hard enough to accurately budget, plan, and forecast in a time of digital disruption. When faced with an evolving and unpredictable situation, CFOs must quickly evaluate the impact on their organization’s revenue planning, costs, production, headcount, and overall business performance. This puts significant pressure on CFOs, as well as finance teams, to manage the financial implications of the current pandemic and position their company for continued success moving forward.

So what can CFOs a do to quickly respond to changing conditions and ensure business continuity, while improving planning processes and minimizing organizational risk.

1. Create a Business Continuity Plan
First and foremost, executive leadership and finance teams should focus on developing a plan for business continuity.

A business continuity plan is an outline of the policies and procedures that will keep your company running during major disruptions. This can include but is not limited to a reassessment of capital investments, evaluating existing cash flow, and devising a plan to acquire debt.

For most organizations, the Office of Finance will play a critical role in the creation of the business continuity plan, as they have the most insight into the company’s data and financial health.

However, to assemble an accurate continuity plan, finance professionals should consider:

“What-if” scenarios,
Cross-company financial planning,
Forecasting,
And Budgeting.

2. Prepare for a Successful Tomorrow with Scenario Planning
As a result of COVID-19’s impact on the markets, finance teams must consider countless “what-if” scenarios, such as:

How long will the outbreak last and how will it affect the markets?
What unpredicted costs will we incur (i.e. production, real estate, equipment, headcount)?
What liabilities might we incur?
How will this impact our workforce?
How will this impact our revenue and profitability?

All of these are valid concerns and questions that the Office of Finance must endeavor to answer.

Luckily, there are processes and software that can minimize the time, effort, and errors associated with spreadsheet-based planning processes that would traditionally be used to model these “what-if” scenarios.

Corporate Performance Management (CPM) software can easily model “what-if” scenarios to provide insight into your businesses’ potential future state, helping you reorganize and plan for a successful tomorrow. At the foundation of successful “what-if” scenario planning is cross-company financial planning.

3. Leverage the Collaborative Nature of Cross-Company Financial Planning
Never has there been a more opportune time for businesses to leverage agile cross-company financial planning to rapidly plan for the future with a detailed and collaborative approach. Cross-company planning incorporates key business variables into a budget and flexible plan that can adapt to growth and uncertainty.

At the foundation of agile cross-company planning are three pillars:

People – Foster an environment of collaboration by identifying, including, and empowering key roles within your company. With the right processes and technology in place, it should be easier to keep your stakeholders engaged in the process.

Process – It’s a best practice to map the planning cycle and have regular touchpoints to follow-up on. It is also helpful to employ a tool that can help you drive your processes through workflows.

Technology – Your technology should integrate with all your business systems and enable you to have a single view of your data. This purpose-built tool should bring together your people and processes to facilitate budgeting, planning, and forecasting processes, while also providing insights to your stakeholders. Many finance-specific solutions can also simplify high-value repeatable processes like dynamic or rolling forecasts (more on that later!).

The primary benefit of cross-company financial planning is that it centralizes your data from disparate systems. As such, it is best suited to businesses that have different employees, departments, and systems that handle financial data.

With a financial planning solution like Prophix, your data is immediately accessible to all users, allowing them to evaluate the financial performance of your organization through the lens of their expertise. This will enable you to quickly and accurately evaluate the profitability of your business in the coming years, giving you a distinct competitive advantage. This type of centralized data is not available to those companies that are still leveraging manual processes and spreadsheets.

The collaborative nature of cross-company planning encourages the finance department to involve a wider set of stakeholders, which is critical during periods of uncertainty. The more perspectives involved in the planning process, the better equipped the company is to deal with foreseen and unforeseen outcomes. Collaboration is optimized with a cloud-based CPM solution. Cloud not only offers a highly available and scalable solution, but it is also available 24/7 to anyone, anytime with an internet-connected device.

What is the necessity of forecasting,? Why is a collaborative approach to planning is critical in these uncertain times ?

4. Reduce Risk with Rolling Forecasts
With the right tools and processes in place, companies create rolling short-, medium-, and long-term forecasts for their company. Rolling forecasts allow you to “view opportunities and challenges beyond the fiscal year and to fight the myopia that comes with an overemphasis on current-year targets” (CFODive). This can provide an “incentive for long-term, value-maximizing behavior over short-term, bonus/target-based decisions rooted in the current fiscal year” (CFODive).

Rolling forecasts are a critical part of the risk management process, especially in light of current economic and social conditions. Corporate Performance Management (CPM) software can assist finance departments in compiling and analyzing the data necessary for a long-term forecast, as well as “what-if” scenarios and cross-company budget and planning, which are critical parts of a business continuity plan.

5. Unlock Your Budget
It’s only March but it’s likely your 2020 budgets and forecasts are no longer relevant. Now is the time to “unlock your budget” and reconsider what line items are critical to your businesses’ success (CFO).

Address the risks and opportunities posed by a range of virus scenarios, building high-level models of business cases to quantify the impact to P&L, cash flow, and balance sheet” (CFO).

Further suggestions include assessing the implications on productivity, investigating potential hidden costs, and addressing driver-based scenarios (i.e. customer regions, units, and pricing, quarterly phasing/timing, etc.) (CFO).

This can be done in conjunction with your rolling forecasts to give you a better understanding of all possible scenarios, which can further inform your business continuity plan.

While the outlook for the coming months is still unclear. The business world will always be filled with some level of uncertainty – it’s how you react to it that determines your success. Assemble a business continuity plan that includes “what-if” scenarios, a short-, medium- or long-term forecast, and a cross-company financial budget and plan.

Businesses cannot replan and forecast and what if ind replan and reforecast in a timely manner with spreadsheets as their primary finance tool . It is now essential to survival to urgently adopt a Corporate Performance Management (CPM) solution to automate and accelerate their financial processes, while improving accuracy and reducing organizational risk.

Contact us to learn more- about Prophix which is ‘productised’ for rapid configurable implementation.
0098714 3365589

.

Another security breach affecting millions.

April 2nd, 2020

The personal information of as many as 5.2 million Marriott guests may have been illegally accessed online, in the hotel group’s second major data breach in less than two years. The firm revealed Tuesday that information may have included names, phone numbers, birthdays, loyalty information and room preferences.

Marriott spotted an ‘unexpected amount’ of guest information had been accessed at the end of February using login credentials of two employees at a franchised property. whose logins have since been disabled while the group assists authorities with their investigation to track down the digital thieves. ‘The company believes that this activity started in mid-January 2020,’ Marriott shared in a statement.

In November 2018, the firm announced that 500 million guests’ data may have been exposed in breaches of the system for its Starwood portfolio that began in 2014. The recent data breach, according to Marriott, did not seem to include credit card information, passport numbers or driver’s license information. it is is offering affected guests free enrollment in a personal information monitoring service for up to one year.

U.A.E. National Nutrition Guidelines ask Synergy Software Systems

March 18th, 2020

Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHaP) launched the National Nutrition Guidelines (to serve as a unified national reference on food and nutrition education in the UAE’s community and health institutions. The guideline aims to:

- improve the nutritional status of the UAE’s community and raise awareness about healthy eating behaviour and lifestyle-related diseases
- reduce the prevalence of chronic and malnutrition diseases such as:obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, anemia, osteoporosis and vitamin deficiency
- scale down non-communicable diseases and mortality rates
- encourage individuals to engage in physical activities for better health.

The guidelines consist of six guides. These are:

- to support and promote a healthy living system through healthy food and physical activity
- to maintain healthy food intake at all stages of life
- to reduce calories resulting from high sugar, saturated and trans fats and to reduce salt intake
- to eat variety of diet food and drinks that are rich in nutrients and high in nutritional intensity
- to adopt healthy food patterns
-to achieve food safety.

The National Nutrition Guidelines were developed in collaboration with the U.A.E’s Food Security Office, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Gulf Nutrition Committee and the local government bodies across the U.A.E.

If you are involved in food preparation and menu planning and need access to comprehensive nutritional databases and easy to use software then callus and ask about our Nutrition solution.

SQL Server 2016 SP2 Cu12 is available

March 1st, 2020

There’s a new feature: the default system health Extended Events session can now store a lot more data and you can edit how much it should hold.

Several hotfixes
• SQL Server can shut down when you hit the max number of sessions
• SQL Server can shut down due to lock conflicts during error message processing
• “SQL Server crashes frequently” when you check a clustered columnstore index for corruption
• AGs may have “interruption”
• Stack dumps when transaction replication has a heavy workload on the publication database
• Stack dumps when you query persisted computed columns
• Stack dumps when you run a batch mode query with multiple joins (that’s columnstore indexes in 2016)
• Scalar functions run slower than they did on SQL Server 2008 R2
• Non-yielding scheduler when the primary AG replica runs low on memory
• AG may think there’s a missing log block when the database isn’t very active
• AG automatic seeding may fail
• AGs with persistent log buffers: “all of the secondaries in the AG become unavailable”
• Change tracking auto cleanup causes access violations and stack dumps
• Access violations when Extended Events tries to capture query text on busy servers
• Error when stored proc in database A pulls data from database B while being audited in database C
• Stack dumps when you alter database-scoped configurations
• Incorrect statistics histograms when they’re updated in parallel – which also means that after you apply this CU, you should probably update your statistics.

Cumulative updates (CU) are now available at the Microsoft Download Center.

Only the most recent CU that was released for SQL Server 2016 SP2 is available at the Download Center. Each new CU contains all the fixes that were included togetrher with the previous CU for the installed version or service pack of SQL Server.
•Microsoft recommends ongoing, proactive installation of CUs as they become available: •SQL Server CUs are certified to the same levels as Service Packs, and should be installed at the same level of confidence.
•Historical data shows that a significant number of support cases involve an issue that has already been addressed in a released CU.
•CUs may contain added value over and above hotfixes. This includes supportability, manageability, and reliability updates.

•Just as for SQL Server service packs, we recommend that you test CUs before you deploy them to production environments.
•We recommend that you upgrade your SQL Server installation to the latest SQL Server 2016 service pack.

UIPath recognition award for Synergy Software Systems, Dubai

February 25th, 2020

Synergy today was awarded the first Gold Partner status earned in the Middle East, and recognised as the Partner for its high number of implementations with its own certified resources.

The award was made at the Annual Partner Kick off at the Marina Address Hotel today, which focused on hyper-automation.

Azure Misconfiguration Exposes 250 Million Microsoft Customer Accounts

January 24th, 2020

Microsoft warned its users this week that their customer support case information might have been exposed at the end of 2019 due to security misconfigurations in an Azure-hosted database. According to Microsoft’s investigation, customer data was left unprotected from Dec. 5, 2019 through Dec. 31, 2019.

Most of the personally identifiable information in these customer support records was “redacted” or obscured by “automated tools.”

However, some customer information, if it was slightly off-format, may then have been exposed. Microsoft’s example of such exposed data is a URL that contained extra spaces. The records contained logs of conversations between Microsoft support agents and customers from all over the world, spanning a 14-year period from 2005 to December 2019. All of the data was left accessible to anyone with a web browser, with no password or other authentication needed.

Microsoft took swift action to secure it. ‘I immediately reported this to Microsoft and within 24 hours all servers were secured,” said Bob Diachenko who led the Comparitech security research team that discovered the issue. “< em>I applaud the MS support team for responsiveness and quick turnaround on this despite New Year’s Eve.”

Comparitech also gave this good advice:
the dangers of this exposure should not be underestimated. The data could be valuable to tech support scammers, in particular.

Tech support scams entail a scammer contacting users and pretending to be a Microsoft support representative. These types of scams are quite prevalent, and even when scammers don’t have any personal information about their targets, they often impersonate Microsoft staff. Microsoft Windows is, after all, the most popular operating system in the world.

With detailed logs and case information in hand, scammers stand a better chance of succeeding against their targets. If scammers obtained the data before it was secured, they could exploit it by impersonating a real Microsoft employee and referring to a real case number. From there, they could phish for sensitive information or hijack user devices.

Microsoft customers and Windows users should be on the lookout for such scams via phone and email. Remember that Microsoft never proactively reaches out to users to solve their tech problems—users must approach Microsoft for help first. Microsoft employees will not ask for your password or request that you install remote desktop applications like TeamViewer. These are common tactics among tech scammers.

This follows many high profile beaches e.g.:
•267 million Facebook user IDs and phone numbers exposed online
•2.7 billion exposed email addresses from mostly Chinese domains, 1 million of which included passwords
•Detailed personal records of 188 million people found exposed on the web
•7 million student records exposed by K12.com
•5 million personal records belonging to MedicareSupplement.com exposed to public
•2.8 million CenturyLink customer records exposed
•700k Choice Hotels customer records leaked

If you need to improve your system security call Synergy Software Systems on 0097143365589 to learn more of our solutions.