Archive for the ‘SharePoint and EPM’ category

Dynamics Dubai Careers – Synergy Software Systems

October 4th, 2015

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

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

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

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

Software selection – human considerations

October 3rd, 2015

To Organise and to manage a software selection project is not so easy. If you cannot get a critical mass of people deeply involved in the accounting software selection project, then think twice before starting. Change management is often given only superficial consideration. A new tool is of little use if no one uses it. It does little good for a company to spend $500,000 on anew accounting software, or ERP software when the people who will be using the accounting software systems cannot, or will not operate it effectively.

Is your company organized for success (culture, leadership style, business processes and finally business management . If not then you need to consider more carefully the role of the implementation partner and not blame the software.

In addition to the usual questions of :
• Can the software systems do what you the businesses needs?
• What operating and hardware configuration do I require?
Also ask
Do your employees have the ability to utilize these software or ERP solutions effectively?
Hoc an I change that?
Does my implementation partner offer industry and business knowledge and track record of enabling that change process in a company like mine?

Businesses try to work to policies- which are based on predetermined assumptions, conditions, processes, statutory and other constraints, and if effect embody pre-defined decisions. decisions.

The real world is full of exceptions. Companies use information to control day to day operations relating to the production of goods and services. This information is used to control budgets and cash flows and the best utiisation of assets. . Managers combine the latest information with their managerial experience to make sound business decisions within the policy guidelines..

The negative side is that this information is of little use when the data is not updated correctly on time, and or is not integrated. Thus all functions need to participate and collaborate- if one drops out and relies on manual or Excel systems alone then the integration loop is broken and “system” does not operate effectively. The key to the effective utilization of accounting software systems is the effective production of and access to timely a, accurate meaningful information to ensure timely informed decision making at all levels of the organisation. “Knowledge is power.”

Managers can make faster and better or worse decisions based on the available information ,but they may not even be aware they need to take a decision without information whether in an inquiry screen or a report, a bI dashboard, an alert or a kpi.

Advanced software can be sued to auto decide some decisions, or to make recommendations e.g mrp. or forecasting tools. genrall software systems do not make decisions. People do. When people are not provided with the tools they require to make these critical decisions, it’s very likely mistakes will be made. Some of these decision taking responsibilities are imposed upon by the market in which the company competes. Some are imposed by the owners or managers interpretation of how the business should be operated. However, the methods by which these decisions are made can only be formulated by each individual person, and that is why the software/human relationship is so importsnt.

Each person in any company is unique. So when defining just what software systems consider the unique needs of each person with whom the accounting software systems will “integrate” or how you will select those unique people who will be comfortable with the system

Each person who will be processing transactions (e.g. customer orders) must be given the opportunity to express their personal needs, for it is these people who will be required to operate the system. Further, each manager who will be making decisions based in part upon the information produced by the accounting software systems must express their reporting needs as well (e.g. Business Intelligence, Performance Metrics, and Exception Management ). It is only after these needs are identified and understood recognized that the broader corporate strategic needs should be defined.

At the core of these considerations is a clearly understood definition of what the company is to do strategic objectives , and it must do well in order to succeed- tactical excellence. The way a company organizes itself and controls the flow of information into and out of the accounting software systems, determines to a large degree how successful the accounting software systems will become.

As individual people define their needs, do not limit their responses to factors relating only to the software systems. Let them express their needs with respect to how they fit into the overall business, what information they require when, in what format, from other people, where potential bottlenecks may occur, and in general how the manual side of the business management processes should be controlled.

Selection of a new software systems does not eliminate the need for business process control procedures, and it is those procedures impact on the effectiveness of the new accounting software systems. Some people swear will champion software systems or ERP solutions, while others will believe those are seriously flawed and will cling to old, manual systems. Some will be reluctant to share knowledge- the basis of their experience and seniority. Some may fear new technology. others may worry more about social change – reporting to a new boss, working in a different office. Most people adopt new technology is every day life a new phone, car, tv etc, but don’t so easily change their personal relationships.-

One person sees the software systems as a friend, while the other as a threat. You cannot compare your new wife to your old girlfriend fi you want a long and happy marriage. All people, whether they have had computer experience or not, have developed some personal definition of what they consider to be “good” software systems. If the software systems you purchase meets these pre conceived notions, the task of learning and operating the system will be relatively easy. If the system does not make sense to people, then they will resist entering data, and undergoing training and errors will be made. Evaluate the degree of fit between your employees and the accounting software systems you are examining during your software selection project. The cultural fit with the consultants is equally important.

Tyr not to impose a new software systems on people. Consider whether they feel their opinion is as important as others, and that that the accounting software systems will assist them personally. WIFIM “What’s in it for me?”

While you might argue that first impressions can be changed over time, andc omputer system can seem quite a daunting challenge to . The operator, whether it is accountant, bookkeeper, or clerk can be suffering silence. This suffering might reach the point where the person is willing to consider another job.

No amount of patience, encouragement, or training will reduce this suffering. Mistakes will begin to occur more frequently as well. If the person does not leave, you may have to face the grim decision that their mistakes can be corrected only by removing them from the job. Has this achieved anything positive? Certainly not! If too many critical people in the organization resist the software systems, you can consider the selection project a complete failure. That’s why this evaluation of personal needs is so very important.

Any multi-user accounting system or ERP solutions will be operated by a number of different people with different job functions and different skill levels. The larger the system becomes, the more diverse these individual abilities become, and the more critical an evaluation of their relationship to the accounting system becomes.

Perhaps the least skilled person who might be called upon to operate the accounting software systems is a warehouse manager or even a shipping or receiving clerk.
Does the system meet their needs?
Does the menu structure segregate their input screens into one logical area?
Does the language used, particularly Help Screens, talk to them on their skill level?
Will the processing methodology make sense to someone with their relative skills and educational background?
Do they have to work in multiple systems?

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of training. If you want to remove fear, then you have to build confidence.
You need to reduce errors, not only for the business to avoid fear of personal embarrassment. These result from a lack of experience I.e training and practise with the new software systems.
Invest the time in practical training – understanding a demo does not make you fluent in transaction entry or in report analysis. Reading the highway code is not enough for you to drive – you also need 40 hours on the road experience. You also need an instructor by your side for sometime and to be formally tested and certified. If the investment in training appears formidable, then beware. The major lesson that those who implement cite is that they unde-rbudgetted time for training. Don’t be fooled by those who calm they can configure and get you live in a month or so with an accelerator, or a blueprint . Configuration is a relatively simple, job. Defining the right configuration need user interaction and the testing, To make that work needs their training and practice time. Transforming a an install into a working implementation is another matter. It is not enough to buy a tool you have to understand the many different ways to use it and build up skill.

Depending upon the vendor or product reseller you have selected to provide your accounting software systems, you will probably have several options open to you. If your system is a large multi-user installation, you might want to consider sending several people to a regional or national training seminar lasting several days. While expensive on the surface, this intensive class room oriented environment will enable these people to develop a detailed knowledge which can be passed on to others. Train the trainer really works.

Demonstration accounting software systems are excellent training tools. An even better one is a training company with your own Chart of Accounts, vendors, customers, and employees. This provides people the opportunity to experience a “real” data processing environment without running the risk that errors will lead to catastrophes.

One last point should be discussed with respect to training. Some people will find it difficult, if not impossible, to make the transition to new accounting software systems, or from one accounting software system to another, perhaps more powerful ERP solution.

While you might wish the accounting system or ERP solution could be installed with minimum problems, this may be your most significant hurdle. If the installation of integrated accounting software systems is the best alternative for your company, what is to be done with those people who cannot, or will not make the adjustment?

You must face the very real possibility some people may have to be replaced. It’s not a very pleasant thought, but do not delude yourself into thinking all people will be as excited about new accounting software systems as you are. Business is not easy sometimes, and this is one of those times. I do not like the idea any more than you do, but changes may be necessary for the good of the company and its employees.

Ask yourself if you know how to organize and control an accounting systems selection project. One of the greatest dangers is people assuming they know when in fact that are ignorant. They do it rarely in their business life. Can IT or choose a finance system, do they really know how to select a vendor or a solution? Manger’s need to have confidence in their decision making but often they do not know how to evaluate facts outside their core functional area, nor even what facts are needed to evaluate a solution. Its too easy rush into a demo and to benchmark everything against the first software seen .

In practice its better to spend sometime discussing your business needs, your change management challenges, and the business case and to focus on the implementation partner understanding and expertise. the right partner will guide you through the process and will not waste your time with inappropriate solutions, and then the demo will have some relevance to your needs. and you will have a better idea how to evaluate it.

Power BI now released – try it with Syenrgy Software Systems, Dubai!

July 25th, 2015

Microsoft released Power BI as a beta earlier this year, and the new service is finally ready to exit preview and become generally available this month.
Microsoft built Power BI around three essential components: datasets, reports, and dashboards.
Power BI can draw content from a firm’s data, and leverage connections to multiple sources such as: Azure SQL Data Warehouse, Azure SQL Database, SQL Server Analysis Services and more.
Power BI currently supports 44 languages and will also work on multiple platforms.
Preview builds are already available for Android and iOS, as well as Windows, and the final release will hit mobile versions as well.

Power BI Freemium Model:
Interested customers can try out Power BI for free if they sign up with their business email address, but the free tier comes with a 1 GB data cap per user and allows users to update their data only once a day. A Power BI Pro subscription will be available for $9.99 per month for each user, boosting data capacity to 10 GB and allowing users to refresh their data every hour, in addition to other benefits.

Power BI with Dynamics CRM

Inventory aging in Dynamics Ax

WPC 2015 summary – and a sneak peek at Ax 7

July 20th, 2015

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella reinforced Microsoft’s bold mission: To empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. “Together with our partners we are transforming the business world for the next era.”

Microsoft and partner speakers outlined how this will be accomplished. Create more personal computing, reinvent productivity and business processes, and continue to build, strengthen, and evangelize the intelligent cloud. Throughout the keynote, Microsoft executives thanked partners for the essential role they play in executing on this vision to foster mutual success.

Microsoft is investing in tools, resources, and product offerings to enable its partners to take advantage of the rapidly expanding markets for cloud and mobile technologies. The imminent release of Windows 10 will ushers in a new era of personal computing with one operating system that spans all platforms and devices.

As CEO Satya Nadella said,”What makes Microsoft unique is the people in this room, this partner ecosystem.” Together, we are on the frontlines of transforming business around the world.

we saw how , Autodesk, will use HoloLens, the world’s first fully untethered holographic computing device powered by Windows 10, to fundamentally change how design professionals create, communicate, visualize, and work.

Project GigJam: empowers business workers to spontaneously summon, assign, and track information from their line of business and SaaS apps. Project GigJam breaks down the barriers between people, devices, and apps to expedite business tasks.

Cortana Analytics Suite: is a fully managed and comprehensive set of services to help businesses transform data into intelligent action, will be available this Fall as a monthly subscription, as well as through third party solutions. The Suite brings together leading technology infrastructure with perceptual intelligence to enable businesses of any size to transform themselves through the power of data.

COO Kevin Turner outlined a plan of action for reinventing business productivity and owning the cloud. “It’s an exciting moment to be in technology,” A new Microsoft-commissioned IDC study shows that 80% of business customers buy through channel partners for cloud services. The study indicates that customers of all types look for a partner who can play the role of a trusted technology advisor – the most important criteria customers look for in a solution provider. Microsoft partners are a massive competitive advantage, and this research is a validation of the critical importance of partners in the cloud era.

A peek at Ax 7

WPC 2016 will be Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Synergy Software Systems, Dubai – in top 5% of Microsoft Enterprise Resource Partners

June 17th, 2015

We received confirmation from Microsoft of our attainment of the new Enterprise Resource Competency which has been by less than 5% of Microsoft Global Partner Network.

That ‘s why you can be assured of a successful, Synergy Software Systems Implementation – a 100% track record of successful projects with Dynamics Ax since we started the practice in 2003. Its also why the Highest Customer Satisfaction Award for 2014 also has Synergy’s name on it.

We are proud of our professionals.

We receive similar accolades across our solutions- for years the word in the hospitality industry is “go with Synergy and sleep a night” and why many of our Sunsystems customers have been loyal for over 15 years.

Value ultimately comes from competence and attitude and the results consistently shows that the right partner will give the right solution, service, support and price and deliver the right value.

Erp? What’s it all about – ask Synergy Software Systems. Dubai

February 18th, 2015

Although the term mrp was coined by Joe Orlicky back in the 1940s and ERP came along in the late 80s there are still many organizations that don’t truly understand the value of ERP.

While streamlining and automating your financial processes is a huge benefit, that is only one piece to a much larger puzzle.

Successful ERP solutions enable businesses to capture, manage and translate data into business insight from a wide range of activities.

An erp system is not just a typewriter- it makes the right data available in the right context for informed contextual decision making at all levels of the operation.

Both for key business tactical operational decisions, the Sales and Operation plan, the budgets, forecasts and strategies, the short and the long term, erp is the glue that aligns your business processes, plans delegates work, monitors and reports and notifies progress and helps to evaluate changes, threats and opportunities and to manage constraints and priorities

Erp can help create new levels of efficiency and reduce manual tasks through streamlining, and directed process automation, a and exception reporting and dashboards.. It can reduce errors with profiles, policies and templates, and provide more control with workflow processes, and analysis tools.

ERP provides a platform to re-engineer your business processes to fit with best practices, and adapt to changing technology and market demands and opportunities. Understand your real across and how you make profits-which customers and products. What if different scenarios.

Ultimately, ERP is a platform on which to design a better business. Organizations who don’t share this vision for ERP will struggle to reach a solid ROI.

ERP used to be reserved for large organizations, who could afford to take on such an expensive transformation. However, thanks to advances both in technology and infrastructure, and changes in licensing modules, and the emergence of cloud technology ERP solutions are accessible and affordable to businesses of any size through the cloud.

Organizations no longer have to invest half their earnings into hardware and IT staff, and can get up and running much quicker than ever before.

Be open to change

ERP is not about fitting your existing practices to a technology system. While that may apply in some aspects, the goal is really to improve your processes with a system that can enhance their accuracy, automate them, and integrate with your partners and suppliers.

While a budget usually can put a cap on ERP projects, don’t settle for less than what’s possible. There are many ways to utilize ERP when you understand what others have done and what is possible. Don’t buy a Ferrari and drive it in first gear and skimp on servicing and driver training. Don’t spend money on endless reports and customisations to suit every employee’s whim. Be prepared withy our report design, business processes and data – use self elearning resources, get involved early so you can do your own testing, and use consultants for where they can most add value without wasting their time.

Key factors

An ERP implementation can literally transform your business, but also carries a certain level of risk. Projects can fail to reach positive ROI if the following factors aren’t met:
◾Support from senior management
◾Planning: time, roles, scope, budget and process analysis
◾Consultation and support, both functional and technical
◾Go-live process: phased vs. big bang
◾Training, available resources, and user willingness to adopt. ◾Test! Test every aspect of the system with each of your users as much as possible before going live.

Find out why every Synergy project goes live on time to budget- in 23+ years no Synergy project has ever failed to go live and none has ever needed reimplementation.

Ask our customers. Find out why we were awarded highest customer satisfaction by Microsoft.

Project success factors

January 31st, 2015

ERP implementation projects vary in expectation, scope, size, and complexity and risk.
So its no surprise that there are various proposals, duration, cost and different degrees of success and failures.While numbers vary, failure rates are high and even worse overall customer dissatisfaction is even higher. Its always surprising to me that new erp adopters somehow feel that the guidance of professionals and the evidence of many years of erp implementation experience don’t apply to them.

Experience is always important and helps to build a framework which guides the implementation project from inception to conclusion. All projects have a similar framework, you have to have some sort of organisation, some sort of definition of requirement, some design some build, some testing, some training and so on.

Each project an, project team and company is also very unique. Companies have unique cultures. They have different approaches to how optimize the trade off between the long and the short term, between optimisation of profit, quality and service, They have different ideas about empowerment, and knowledge sharing and control and segmentation of duties. Some have fixed polices and budgets, others are more agile and adaptive. Companies all to often indulge in wishful thinkng expect erp to subetitute for managerial shortcomings in such areas.

Implementation partners also confuse the process- they claim to have an agile philosophy but implement every customer the same way. While an accelerator or blueprint or core build makes sense for rollout across the same group where operations are similar e,g a retail chain, or a franchise, in a staple industry e.g. making bricks – it does not necessarily transfer so well to: another group in the same vertical, or across a group with diverse verticals, or to a group which is more fashion or design orientated.

Team roles vary and members have unique personalities, and hugely variable experience and skills both in their day to day functions and for project implementation. Often functions are in daily conflict-sales want instant production flexibility, manufacturing wants long runs. Purchasing wants to buy in bulk at a low cost, finance wants to conserve cash and reduce carrying costs. Marketing want to run a large tv advertising campaign manufacturing want the money to build a new factory. So it may take time to build a team. Often team members don’t know how their own business works outside their own function.
Change management and team building is a process. You have to do something for it to work. Its not enough to throw people together and talk about it for 10 minutes at the kick off. Those with ideas may not be the best documenters. those with most knowledge may not be the best trainers. Those with most project experience may not understand the business.

Managers have a unique style of leadership which impacts employees and creates unique interactions between the vendor and users. One individual in authority can overshadow decision making. Often IT or finance led projects do little for the operational areas who fid themselves tied up in layers of security and approval and budget control bureaucracy. Other mangers may sit on the fence until they see whether the project tis a failure or a success.

Companies strive for a unique competitive advantage which impacts the solution deliverables. The point important to understand. Even with a proven implementation methodology, there are variables within each unique implementation project which need to be managed to achieve a successful go live.

A Clearly Defined Project Scope Document – The goal of the project scope or user story document is simple; define how the “out-of-the-box” software will be used and agree what customizations or workarounds (if any) are required to fill in the gaps between the capabilities of the software and unique needs of the customer.
While the goal is simple, the creation and execution of the scope document is often a complex exercise. There are a couple of reasons for this.
First, there are differences in interpretation. As an example, a WMS might have specific cycle count capabilities. However, the customer’s expectation of what cycle counting provides may be different from that of the software. If this gap isn’t identified in the project scope then the delivery of cycle counting will not be satisfactory to the customer.
Second, it is very common for the customer to identify and document 95% of their operations. But it is the 5% that comes up at testing or after Go-Live that causes considerable problems.
Report definitions are left late and it turns out the out of the box report is not so useful, and necessary data is not captured in the transaction to create new report, and now re-engineering is needed.
So expect to invest time in the early stages of a project in enough training to understand the out of the box features and to do early protoyping different options. Plan a detailed walk through of every screen and function of the software is performed.
Detailed Security and report definition just be done as part of the design not be bolted on afterwards.

A gap is not identified, if it is not documented. Once the scope document is finalized and agreed to by the any issues that arise that were not covered in the scope document are understood to be handled as out of scope changes. Before you ask for a customisation define the test script – that is the easiest way to avoid later dispute and to minimize rework.

Understand the respective roles of the customer and the implementation partner – It takes two hands to clap. Its customer’s project not the partner’s. Its not construction project built to an external architect’s design with a fixed set of plans.

What is expected of the Implementation partners – are they just hired to perform specific tasks like install and configuration of a standard design ads fast and as cheap as possible, or to lead change, and to introduce best practise. Does it make a difference what skills and experience are needed to meet the different objectives of the different project and expectations of each customer?. If implementers are expected to be obligated to perform those tasks competently and within the project budget. then the customer also has the obligation to assign the correct resources an skills and to take the timely decisions necessary to meet the project objectives.

A problem that all customers face is that an implementation project is above and beyond their normal work or company role. Nobody ahs the luxury of a full time project team sitting around. For many manager’s due to competitive pressures they are already stretched and overloaded due in their full-time role. Within the project, the manager must assume additional roles which take considerable time and effort and new skills. Few companies really understand this workload nor do they properly look a the constraints – they expect a partner to provide a detailed time and cost plan, before design is done and without any consideration of their won resource constraints(holidays exams, maternity, exams, audits , visits exhibitions, month ends, other projects…) nor do they seek ways to address those constraints with e.g. temporary staff, or temporary lightening of routine workloads, or paying for the consultant to do more of the work..

If the new roles are outside of the comfort zone of the employee(s), then they will attempt to shift the responsibilities to others and often back to the implementation partner. A warehouse manager spending an additional 20 hours per week testing may not be able to cope and will try to shift that effort to the vendor. This causes the vendor to consume budget hours more quickly which then results in cost overruns and the testing which should be done under the careful scrutiny of the customer is less likely to be successful. It is important to define the roles, responsibilities and expectations of the project team up front. The Project Charter should be created up front and be signed by the Executive and the project team- Maybe 5% of project teams get around to do this. Those tend to be the successful ones.

A realistic timeline – which is based on realistic resource availability and realistic scope – with a short as possible path to completion –
“Time kills all deals”. Projects that are planned to be long often lack focus and urgency short term. Those projects lose momentum, and struggle to allocate resources for such a long time, must contend with staff turn-over, and change in business needs and change in solution technology – eventually the initial design eventually become irrelevant leading to failure.

It is also problematic when a project is rushed to completion with only half the work done. Like Goldilocks, the project team must develop a timeline that is “just right” balancing the need to complete the project tasks thoroughly while striving to minimize delays. This is easier said than done. First, determine the timeline required to do the project tasks. A critical chain approach plans fast but builds in contingency. Each milestone is completed and signed off before the next starts.
Determine the possible Go-Live dates (notice the plural). Find the Go-Live date that fits the timeline but also allows you to schedule “flex” or “catch-up” blocks before critical milestones. These blocks drive the project back on schedule.
Customer Dedication to the Project – I can’t over emphasize the importance of the entire customer team being dedicated to the success of the project. And yet there are projects where members of the executive management team provide little or no assistance to the success of the project because they didn’t vote for it. There are internal politics between departments resulting in resources not being adequately allocated at key tasks. All too often there is a picture painted by both customer and vendor that it is the almost sole responsibility of the vendor to do the work. This approach almost guarantees failure. A successful implementation project requires dedication from upper management and throughout the department stake holders. A project needs a project champion. Everyone in the business is impacted if management is tied up so they all need to understand its importance to the company and to their future. That needs a communication plan.

Prototype and Test, – Your project plan timeline should have one of its largest allocation of time set aside for training and testing. Prototyping identifies how changing parameters can better impact operations. Testing investigates specific scenarios and data to identify and problems before Go-Live. It helps to identify process variations that might have been missed in the Scope Document. It provides training reinforcement which, in turn, makes users more proficient on the system. Create a large and high quality volume of test data – this is useful training practise. A good test will involve hundreds (yes hundreds) of transactions as will a good pilot dress rehearsal. You can test inquiries, reports, and response time with a few transactions.

Progress Meetings – At the end of the day, the customer should want to know whether the project is on-track or failing. Regular status meetings keep lines of communication open between the team members. These should be short (10 to 15 minutes) but can be longer if there are important issues which need to be discussed. At a minimum the team should review the project plan providing an update on tasks that were assigned during the previous week and an overview of tasks assigned for the upcoming week. Tasks that are no longer on schedule need to be addressed immediately and a plan created to get the tasks completed and the project back on track.

Steering committee reviews are also needed to review risks, resources, constraints, budget, scope changes, policy decisions where users cannot agree, etc.

Even more important is the post go live support- and what happens next. Users are frightened of new systems, They need hand holding to avoid early rejection. As they get familiar personalisations and fine tuning needs a rise. Initial month ends in areas lime inventory close, financial close, payroll runs neall ed expert guidance.

Once the system is operational system maintenance tasks become important. Staff turnover, new upgrade releases , wider use of system feature and enhancement of operations, new customer or statutory demands means there should be periodic reviews and expected investment in system maintenance and enhancement. Will the same consultant be around to do this?. How stable is that partner, and his team? Are they local, offshore or freelance? What is the worthwhile premium for a system that works. What does the reference evidence show – does the partner consistently deliver, what is his support track record?

In house or external You may be happy with your in house implementation but are you really qualified to judge? You may not know that you don’t know enough. Is the server and database really optimised and maintained? Are you still driving a Ferrari in first gear without knowing how to tune the Sat Nav, or radio,

There tasks it makes sense to do in house e.g adding new users, taking back ups, fine tuning workflows and security, data retention policies, update of costs and prices and budgets, external reporting etc.
However self medication and surgery can be dangerous. Maybe be not now but in 3 month or 1 2motmnhs alter when] slow running code or overblown tables start to hit performance or database back ups shoot up in size. Or worse you start coding or working manually when there is out of the box functionality readily available. You develop new code but who does the best practise checks, the documentation, the move form dev to test to live, the recompilation. And yes those are some of the reasons why projects fail.

A recent survey indicated that senior mangers are broadly equally happy with successful erp projects form any of the major software authors i.e. a round 85%satsifactiion . However when it came down to end users there as a significant i.1. around 20% preference for Microsoft systems. Whether the end user adopts the system willingly is a major factor in both the short and the long term success, especially when new users are taken on and expert users leave.

Power BI for Dynamics: Ax, and CRM – ask Synergy Software Systems, Dubai

January 27th, 2015

Power BI is a cloud service that lets you share, collaborate and access your Excel reports anywhere on any device.
This toolset is regularly being updated with new features e.g.: – dashboards, new visualizations, support for popular software-as-a-service applications, a native iPad app and live “hybrid” connectivity to on-premise SQL Server Analysis Services tabular models.

Dynamics Ax provides in built cubes and Power BI for Power BI use- ( see our Dynamics Ax HR and Payroll Powwr BI demonstration.)

Power BI dashboards
Users can create personalized dashboards to monitor their most important data. A dashboard combines on-premises and cloud-born data in a single pane of glass, providing a consolidated view across the organization regardless of where the data lives.

Users can easily explore all their data using intuitive, natural language capabilities and receive answers in the form of charts and graphs. They can also explore data through detailed reports that target specific aspects of their business. Visuals from these reports can also be pinned to their dashboards for continuous monitoring. As part of this experience new visualizations have been added including combo charts, filled maps, gauges, tree maps, and funnel charts.

What is Power BI Q&A?
Use natural language queries to find answers in your own data.
With instantaneous natural language querying, Q&A interprets your question and immediately serves up the correct answer on the fly—in the form of an interactive chart or graph. And these visualizations change dynamically as you modify the question, creating a truly interactive experience with your data
Start with a question, and have fun traveling through your data refining or expanding your question, uncovering trust-worthy new information, zeroing in on details and zooming out for a broader view.
You’ll be delighted by the insights and discoveries you make.

Power BI Q&A presents your answers in the form of visualizations. As you type a question, Power BI Q&A picks the best visual to display your answer; and the visual changes dynamically as you modify the question.

The experience is truly interactive…and fast! Powered by an in-memory storage, response is almost instantaneous.

Connectivity to New Data Sources
• Exchange: Support for connecting to your Microsoft Exchange account and retrieving information about your Mail, Calendar, People, Tasks and Meeting Requests.
• Dynamics CRM Online: Power Query’s OData support to consume OData feeds from Dynamics CRM Online.

also Facebook, Salesforce, Sybase etc.

Connect live to on-premises Analysis Services models

With the new Power BI connector for SQL Server Analysis Services, customers can realize the benefits of a cloud-based BI solution without having to move their data to the cloud. Customers can now create a secure connection to an “on-premises” SQL Server Analysis Services server from Power BI in the cloud. When users view and explore dashboards and reports, Power BI will query the on-premise model using the user’s credentials.

With this hybrid solution, organizations can continue to retain, manage and secure their data on-premises, while securely enabling users to benefit from that data via Power BI.

Mobile Apps
A wave of native mobile apps for Power BI. These apps will allow users to access their Power BI dashboards and reports through immersive mobile experiences for iPad, iPhone, and Windows tablets. The first of these – the iPad app is available today and can be downloaded from the Apple App Store, with other platforms following in the coming months. All Power BI mobile apps enable users to share insights and collaborate with colleagues so that they can take immediate action, from anywhere, anytime.

Power maps

Power Bi Designer preview

January 22nd, 2015

The Power BI Designer is a new companion application for Power BI.

It is a standalone Windows Desktop application that can be downloaded from the Power BI site.

This application combines Power Query, Power Pivot Data Model and Power View into a seamless experience that will allow customers to build their Power BI elements in an offline fashion and then upload to the Power BI Service.

The Add-ins for Excel 2013 and later are still available and customers can continue to use that to model their data and build reports.

The Power BI Designer will be another option and allow customers with an older version of Office to be able to create reports.

SMB erp survey of buyers – what really matters

January 20th, 2015

Software Advice (, a review firm that specializes in ERP software, recently wrote to advise us of the key findings of a random sample of 250 SMB inquiries.

Since purchasing and implementing ERP software can be an intensive process that can take up to a year for companies to complete, its important to work with a company that takes the time to understand how software matches your current and future needs and alleviates the most important pain points in 2015.

For SMBs used to owner management, the time comes when a more formal command control structure to delegate work and to get feedback becomes essential to continued growth.

The owner manger who is used to having all the key knowledge and decision making authority needs to spend more time looking outward and evaluating different scenarios and less time micro managing systems, e.g. by using: budget controls, kpi dashboards, alerts, workflows and exception reports.

Knowledge has to be codified and stored so that the business can transition to the next generation of managers. Investors and auditors want to see formal controls, robust scalable platforms, with automation that allows the business to grow and manage acquisitions, or expand into new territories, or lines of business while reducing the relative % administrative overheads and better utilize the management skills

The UAE has a lot of owner managed companies, and also small sales offices of international companies that have outgrown their initial start up days. New technologies offer different competitive advantages – cloud, mobility, any time anywhere decisions- more powerful BI. Different licensing modules now put powerful enterprise solutions within their affordability range.

The key factor to consider is not the cost but what is the right rate of adoption for the available cash flow.
- What are the real business priorities and ROI, and will this be an investment in my balance sheet that adds value to my business?
- Will customers rate more highly if I deliver more consistent service and can demonstrate improved operational controls?
– If I cut down my estimation time can I get out more proposals?
- If I am already breaking even and making a profit and increase my business just 10% how significant is that to my total annual profit% if all my fixed costs are already paid?
- Will my business be more saleable, or more attractive to investors, or for an ipo, and at a higher price when it comes with a proven enterprise system for managing operations, IFRS compliance and statutory reporting, ?

Implementation cycles these days need to be shorter than buying cycles. Agile user friendly systems with a familiar interface that works in the same was other office tools points towards Microsoft-office 365, Dynamics CRM ,Dynamics Ax, Share Point. Learning curves are reduced and user acceptance and productivity increased. The modern architecture of these solutions allows rapid adaptation to the changing business needs that leverage an integrated technology stack all from a single vendor.

Some Key Findings:
1.Two-thirds of buyers do not currently use an ERP system, and 44 percent rely on a combination of disparate systems to execute ERP processes.
2.Fifty-nine percent of buyers cite the need to improve the integration of data between different business processes as a top reason for seeking an ERP system.
3.Forty-seven percent of all buyers cite the need to improve their customer relationship management (CRM) database as a reason for wanting to purchase an ERP system.
4.Among buyers currently using ERP systems, 24 percent cite lack of support and 19 percent cite cost as their primary reasons for wanting to switch to a new system.
5.Twenty-seven percent of buyers who do not currently use an ERP system cite company growth as their reason for wanting to implement one.

Prophix 11 Service Pack 3

December 17th, 2014

Gitex end – Synergy Software Systems. Dubai

October 18th, 2014

A very busy week – thank you to the many visitors vendors, customers, friends and the curious. Also a very tiring week and everyone ready for the weekend

Thank you to all the staff who manned the stand, the administrative tram behind the scenes, and those keeping the business going who covered work for their colleagues at the show.

A particular thank you to our partners Computime who joined us on the stand to help present BRSAnalytics for Banking regulatory reporting

For the many visitors from around all around the region interested in our solutions we will be in touch – but please be patient for a day or two there are a lot of you!

What’s next:
17th November 2014 at Microsoft Gulf Offices, we will be holding a morning seminar on BRSAnalytics and up to date information about the latest regional information on regulatory reporting. See for example regulatory reports in the regional Central Bank mandated formats.

In the afternoon we will be holding a Dynamics Ax 2012R3 seminar for the Construction and Property Management sector which will highlight Flex Property module, AEC BIM construction and tools, our localised GCC module for HR and Payroll, and our exciting offerings for BI (Management reporter new features, Atlas6, BI4Dynamcs and an incredible new cross platform app to visualise your Dynamics Ax (and other system) data

We will be running another Management reporter course soon – watch this blog for details.

In December we will also run our annual course on Year end closure for Dynamics Ax-there is always a high demand for this course so book early. New features in Ax 2012 and R3 for example budgets, and encumbrance accounting now also need to be considered.

Document Management – Dubai, U.A.E., Qatar, Kuwait, KSA, Oman, Bahrain – anywhere! Synergy Software Systems

March 4th, 2014

As we move more and more into the digital world the need to access documents electronically, anytime anywhere is of increasing importance. To complement our financial and erp systems we have also provide solutions such as fax software, print management software and document management. Many erp systems have some facility for document linking or attachment e.g Dynamics CRM and Dynamics Ax. However the document repository is usually best kept outside the erp system for many reasons e.g.:
- Users need an erp license to access documents stored in an erp system
- Documents stored in an erp system are usually static in contact because those relate to specific transactions and time and should not be subject to changes and version control.
- Documents take up database space and increase the size of the erp system back ups thereby extending downtime on the operational system
- There may be document workflow processes outside of erp.
- OCR scanning and searching are generally not supported within erp systems

Filehold is a modern feature rich comprehensive document system which integrates with SharePoint and we extend it with Arabic OCR. It is available on premise or on-cloud.

There are several considerations to select and to introduce a document management system. For example:

How many documents?
What types of documents?
What is the mix of document types e.g., what % are created soft copy by applications e.. erp systems, email systems and thus don’t need scanning or physical printing and filing , and how many are received as hard copies e.g. faxes, or printed contracts?
Do you receive faxes as hard copy print outs or do you use a fax software to send and to receive?
How many users?
How many locations?
Will hard copy documents need to be scanned?
If so, then will there be a central scanning department or will users have individual access to scanners?
Do you already have scanners in place?
Is OCR scan conversion required?
If so then does this need to be multi lingual e.g. Arabic or English?
Do you need to ocr scan dual language within the same document? e.g. a bi-lingual Arabic-English contract?
How much integration is needed to other systems and how easy is this e.g. from within email systems, or within erp systems?
will the document management system work with you collaboration system e.g. SharePoint?
Does it offer version controls?
Does it offer workflow approval processes?
What will be done about legacy hard copy documents- how many are there?
How long would it take to unbind, scan, ocr convert, index, and then re-file?
Does it provide the right security Access controls to digital documents rather than to physical documents?
Which physical documents will still also be filed?
How should it be phased in e.g. by one function or one department at a time?

Business case?
For a knowledge-worker time is money. If the average annual cost of an engineer is ~$100k then how much of that workers time is consumed searching for amendments in paper contracts?

Modern businesses create complex contracts that often require multiple revisions and many authorizations. Creating and managing those contracts electronically in a document management system saves time and frustration and ensures that everyone is working with the most current version of a document.

Filehold provides important features for contract management that : maintains security, allows users to collaborate, provides alerts and reminders as to contract expiration or renewal dates. It is essential that the solution allows project users at site users to look at and even check out contract documents from anywhere in the world from where they have access to the Internet.

Engineering organizations and engineering departments create large and complex design and report documents. Being able to put these documents into a document management workflow for review and approval saves time and money. Tight version control ensures everyone uses with the most recent version of a document.

There are obvious cost saving benefits stemming from document management such as reduced printing, postage, and physical storage costs. The more significant benefits from the business impacts:
• Rapid find and search of key data and files for timely decision making based on all the related information
• Version control to ensure the correct prices, designs and contractual terms are used.
• Streamlined electronic processes,
• Support for compliance and audit trails and avoidance of legal disputes

If you are drowning in documents and want to streamline our business, reduce errors, improve collaboration, reduce errors and ensure compliance then document management is often one of the fastest solutions to implement with the quickest ROI.

Ask us for a demo: 00971 43365589

SharePoint 2013 and Dynamics Ax 2012

September 23rd, 2013

Enterprise Portal for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 now supports SharePoint 2013
For details on prerequisites required in order to deploy Enterprise Portal integrating with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 on Microsoft SharePoint Server/Foundation 2013 have TechNet article:

Install Steps for SharePoint 2013
The linked article apply to SharePoint Foundation 2013 and SharePoint Server 2013

Updates for SharePoint 2013
Follow this URL to get software updates for SharePoint Foundation 2013 & SharePoint Server 2013

Great Dubai seminar turn out – BRSANALYTICS, BASEL lll and FATCA

September 18th, 2013

The challenges posed by new regulations and the impact on local banks are significant and growing.
Seminar attendees appreciated the balance of conceptual overview ‘top of the triangle’ to help see the woods for the trees provided by Synergy Software Systems, Director: Stephen Jones. The real meat then came from the selective presentation of the key details for Basel lll and FATCA reporting requirements presented by banking systems analyst Andrew Bonnici from Computime (authors of BRSANALYTICS).
The evidence of a significant number of incidents of late reporting and regulatory fines is sobering.

Attendees welcomed the low risk, rapid implementation approach of a purpose built ‘out of the box’ solution for regulatory compliance reporting. They also appreciated that:
- it is supported by Synergy Software Systems established local company that specialises in Financial solutions, with financially qualified consutltants.
- it is developed adn maintained by Computime an established solutions provider since 1994, with a clear future road map
- there is proven succesessful adoption evidenced by a several case studies presented by Computime International Channel manager Daniel Buttigieg.
- Synergy Software Systems is a Microsoft Information worker partner for many years, and has experienced certified consultants in the underlying Microsoft technology stack (SQL, SSRS, SSAS, Excel etc) to ensure high quality delivery and support.

Synergy Software Systems and Computime have been associated companies for many years both implementing Sunsystems. If you could not make today’s seminar – then we plan to repeat it next month, and you can also meet us at Gitex, in Hall 7. For the next seminar we will build and show some example FATCA reports because we expect Dubai authorities to complete their consultation exercises and to put this into effect by year end. Although FATCA reporting does not come into effect till 2015 the reports will need to cover 2014 which is is not so far away. FATCA affects pretty much any financial services company with any clients anywhere in the world that are USA citizens or companies and its a pretty broad net. The implications and costs of compliance are huge and little understood. Andrew cited this quote from the U.K.: HMRC estimates the cost for UK business over the first 5 years to be £1.1bn-£2bn, running thereafter at an annual cost of £50m-£90m Non-compliance potentially leads to a 30% witholding tax on your USA operations.

If you have challenges with regulatory reporting and need expert guidance and a proven solution then please contact us. 00971 43365589