Archive for the ‘SharePoint and EPM’ category

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 (http://www.softwareadvice.com/ERP/), 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.

http://www.softwareadvice.com/erp/buyerview/report-2015/

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: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn169057.aspx

Install Steps for SharePoint 2013
The linked article apply to SharePoint Foundation 2013 and SharePoint Server 2013 http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc262243.aspx

Updates for SharePoint 2013
Follow this URL to get software updates for SharePoint Foundation 2013 & SharePoint Server 2013 http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/jj891062.aspx

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.

http://www.brsanalytics.com/news-events/20-great-turnout-at-basel-iii-seminar-in-dubai-internet-city.html

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

Is your business really unsupported?

August 26th, 2013

I am constantly surprised that senior executives head in the sand approach to the software systems that underpin their business. I once read a statistic that a pretty hgih % of companies that lose their system for a week go out of business within 18 months. Its dificult not be aware of the threats from hacking and virus and phishing and malware ….

Frequently we find sysrems with no proper back up, no test of back ups, no defragmentation, no reindexing, no service packs or cumulative updates. SO I suppsoe In should not have been suprriosed to read the results of a mini poll by SQL MVP Paul Randall that indicated that 53% of SQL databases surveyed were out of support and 51%

To quote Paul: “I urge you all to check your SQL Server instances to make sure they’re running as close to the latest build as possible, so you have the most bug fixes and are supported if you do have a problem.”.

All SQL Server 7.0 builds are unsupported
All SQL Server 2000 builds are unsupported as of April 9th, 2013
All SQL Server 2005 builds are out of mainstream support - extended support is an option until April 12th, 2016 (You should be at least on 2005 SP4)
Any SQL Server 2008 build before SP3 is unsupported. Mainstream support ends on July 8th, 2014, with extended support available until July 9th, 2019
SQL Server 2008 R2 RTM builds are unsupported, and support for SP1 builds ends on October 10th, 2013. Mainstream support of SP2 builds ends on July 8th, 2014, with extended support available until July 9th, 2019
All builds of SQL Server 2012 are currently supported, but support for RTM builds will end on November 7th, 2013 as that will be one year from the SP1 release

Microsoft SharePoint is mobile.

January 29th, 2013

Microsoft SharePoint has gone mobile and Harmon.ie created this video called “Don’t SharePoint While Walking” to try and get the word out. Its aimed to be pretty funny(…well as funny as it gets when you’re talking about SharePoint).

Check it out here. http://harmon.ie/dontsharepointwhilewalking/

Mobile device management

January 19th, 2013

Mobile operations via mobile devices provide faster reaction and easier management of activities. However, a mobile device increases the work for IT for support and maintenance, and also introduces more challenges of supervision and security e.g. risk of loss or theft, or misuse.  A mobile management solution is required to address 5 key aspects of device management.

We offer the award winnin , proven, affordable and feature rich Mobi Connect solution.

The adoption of mobile devices in business is growing exponentiall . BYOD or ‘bring your own device’ is now the norm for many industries i.e. work across platforms and devices.

Reduce IT’s workload and increase their effectiveness remote management, deployment of patches and isntalls etc.

 Ensure compliance to corporate policies – security lockdown, geofence tracking, disable and wipe rmeotely, alerts, detailed log

Easily synchronise  files with mobile workers

Track who and who is not logged on, and their location.

Track stolen or mislaid devices

Manage shared devices

Ask us about how to better manage your mobile devices, and also about our solutions for extending applications for mobile use e.g.:  mobile CRM or filed service management, mobile inventory and asset counting, mobile alert notifications and workflow approvals,  mobile BI etc

Is there more to choosing an erp system than keeping the CFO happy??

December 12th, 2012

We are used to to the idea that erp systems will handle financials and inventory but new technology creates new business processes, new opportuntities and new competition. These are some of the features you might also want to check on before selecting a solution a modern ERP solution:

Mobility. In our personal lives we are more mobile and connected. Sales of tablets, netbooks, mobiles etc continue to exceed projections as does the use and prolfieration of social media. We expect the same tools at work. Organizations large and small are becoming ever more mobile, to drive down costs,and  improve service.  Mobile alerts, mobile reports,  and mobile BI are now expected.   By 2013, 1.2 billion workers will be mobile—that’s 1/3 of the overall workforce. By 2014, 50% of devices used to access business solutions are expected to be smartphones. Will the solution you’re considering accommodate mobile workers?

 IT Costs. Some people claim 84% of organizations have a remote workforce – Typically true of the sales team, installation and service engieers, meter readers, delivery men, consultants trainers, etc.  But on average 85% of datacenter capacity is idle, and 70% of IT budgets are spent maintaining datacenter operations. What are inefficiencies like these costing your company?  It’s not just the software it’s the server room rental, the energy, the A/c , the hardware depreciation and obsolesence, inusrance, cleaning etc.

3. Access. Think about how people can interact with their solutions. Employees struggle when they can’t collaborate with people who don’t have full access to important data. Can people outside the solution or organization be given web and mobile access to specific reports, charts, graphs, and KPIs? Is the data real-time? Marketing these days is frequently a  self service activity, as in many case are business processes like booking on-line or checking in for a flight via  kiosk with a bar code on your mobile for a boarding pass, or searching a knowledgebase for help. Project teams are geographically remote but need to uodate each other and to share plans.

4. Simplicity. Workers at home use laptops, phones, tablets—all their preferred devices—with a common experience, to make those all easier to use. What do your staff really need?

I might throw in;

  •  Cross platform, cross company workflows – for both centralised and decentralised services, faster responses and automation
  •  Seamless integration with other applications, e.g. messaging and social media, or SharePoint or office
  • Scalable architecture- businesses and technology both change fast and your systeme should enable not constrain your growth
  • Compliance and collaboration tools – why have expensive offices, why waste staff time on travel,  mobility, internet presentation tools, collaboration portal workspaces, and cross supply chain collaboration are all factors but you also have to think about security and compliance – what support do you have for these?
  • Competitive edge – you will not outstrip your competition just with new back office systems - can your solution provide vertical specific features, can you adapt it to streamline your specific processes
  • Can you easily handle data imports? new budgets, forecasts costs
  • Can you easily handle new reporting requirements?
  • Can you easily handle new subsidiaries and acquisitions – language, currency, vertical requirements, localised statutory compliance?

Does it matter? Watch your competitors and see what they are doing but don’t wait too long!

Year end is a good time to rethink your strategies and your systems. if there are aspects of your business or systems that are not delivering or you are not sure what is possible then why not undertake a mini business review and let us help you understand how technology can help you to cut cost or add value or reduce risk and to evaluate whether there is a business case.

Cut price erp projects?

December 11th, 2012

It’s easy to quote low to win a project just write a few clauses in the small print:

 • Out of the box reports – but do any of these really work for you?

• Load your own data – is that easy? And what so the right sequence and validation

 • Use of out of the box security profiles – do these really fit your organisation structure where people do more than one job?

• Use a standard chart of accounts and the same analysis codes as every other industry?

 • Don’t implement features the customer doesn’t know about

• Leave the difficult work out of the scope e.g. budgets and consolidation, or forecasts and master scheduling

• Make all customisations a chargeable extra

 • Etc

 So how do you get a quality implementation that makes the most of your software investment without an open ended budget? Be realistic about the scope and the business case when you set the budget. Don’t start with a budget and work backwards. If a feature adds value and there is a payback then its worth doing properly. If there isn’t a quantifiable return then don’t implement it just because it’s nice to do. If it adds value then implement it properly.

Understand what value the consulting partner can add and what is a routine task you can do yourself. Understand the difference between quantity and quality of consulting contribution. If you face a big challenge in your personal life :you need an operation, or a tooth removed, or have to fight a legal battle then you find the best dentist, the best doctor or the best lawyer not the cheapest. However, you don’t need a dentist to tell you how to clean your teeth or a doctor to stick on a plaster, or a lawyer to write basic letters. You know your business and your data. There is much you can do beforehand to define requirements, processes, reports, and to clean up data, and bring employee basic IT skills up to scratch etc. A little bit of advance diary preparation can save the need to repeat training. Data clean up reduces time on validation and reload.

What happens in a project? Plan it, define the requirement, build it, test it, train users are common steps whatever implementation methodology is followed. But where is the real work content? Is that properly assessed? How much could you do yourself with the right training and tools? There add on modules for most software solutions. Tools for report writing, print output management, and data loading are examples. Typically these areas account for over half the mandays on projects and even more for budget overruns and project delays. Yes, these put up the cost of software investment but these put much more of the scope and cost of implementation and future system maintenance under your own control.

Have you really allowed enough time for training and practice. If training is expensive, then how costly is ignorance? Why is inadequate time spent on training one of the most frequently cite causes of project failure? Usually, because training happens late in the project, when timelines and budgets are already squeezed. Most of the training was given to the project team not to the end users etc. No training needs analysis done. No post training evaluation of trainees done. No time scheduled for practice before go live. Little time spent on prototyping or reading help files or e-learning. All of these issues can largely be managed internally to reduce cost and to increase success.

There is a right cost to any service and a right amount of effort for any project. There is also a huge cost to failure, delay and unrealised benefits. Understand the quote assumptions, and challenge how those worked out on other projects. Understand the project methodology. If implementation  quotes vary is there a reason?  – what steps are being riskily cut or overlooked, or are not included e.g. post go live hand holding, first month end support, system personalization, audits, etc. Recognize that high skills and experience are needed to deliver complex projects with predictable timelines and costs. Inexperience comes cheap for a reason.

Budget for what you need with some contingency to allow for business changes, staff changes, etc. Control the spend, and use some of the ideas suggested here to achieve more at lower cost.

Erp Success or failure

December 1st, 2012

Studies show that 60-70% of ERP implementations fail. What??

We have  worked with a lot of customers who  approached us  to reduce their stress around ERP, and to help pull in the right resources to get  situations back on track after trying the wrong partners.

Partners play a critical role in ensuring their customers understand the key factors and best practices that make the other 30-40% successful. ·

The #1 factor—Trust: Customers need to trust that the people on the team implementing the solution understand the business and have the ability to execute. Base  decisions on the reputation of the companybut also meet the project manager and the individuals that will be doing the work. Trust works two ways the partner also has to trust the client not to misrepresent the scope, and the challenges e.g ‘dirty data’, shortages or resources, unusual critical needs and interfaces etc

 · Data migration strategy: Customers always want their data migrated. It’s the partner’s job to help them determine at what level. Migrating data introduces risk and higher costs. Does your customer really need 10 years of data, or is it better to migrate master records, bring in beginning balances, and leave historical data in the legacy system?  Is the effort of ocnversion and reconciliation really understood, is the need real or just a comfort blanket? What can be migrated at summary elvel, or be held in the legacy system and be accessed via a BI tool that merges data from old and new systems, this can be especially useful when upgrading e.g from Ax 2009 to Ax 2012 

Customization: Excessive customization is a major cause of failed ERP implementations. Differentiate customizations you want from what you need. Maintenance and cost increase (and ROI decreases) with the level of customization. If a high level of customization is required, then customize in smaller chunks through a phased approach. Customisation is most worthwhile where it gives you a vertical competitive edge  not in standarrd back office functions.

 Is there a proven solution or tool already available? Report wrting is the hidden part of the customisation iceberg.  You have to: define precisely, desgin and develop, create test data and transactions and run processes, then test layout, content, printing, and distribution and security.  For example Lasernet for report writing can save days of  consulting time and reduce risk. This is especially true when ugrading to Ax 2012  and SSRS let lasernet capture the SSRS output and thenn easily modify the report design in a favoruite tool like MS word. Often without any need for coding. Similalry, some BI tools such as BI4Dynamics provide you a core set of reports that deal with most requirements.

Complexity: Companies often implement new ssytems because they outgrew the old oine and this  leads to a restructure of their organisation and charts of accounts when they change ERP systems. ensure they’re not making the redesign is not too complex. Dynamics Ax is an example of  a very flexible orgnaisation framework and powerful and flexible  COA  for multi-company operations and consolidation that has many features to make users life eaiser. Management Rpeorter which is free for Dyamics Ax users supports multi level aggregation and  powerful drilldown features that leverage the dimensional and organisational frameworks.

Dig past the pretty charts: Today’s ERP systems have a lot to offer and demos are full of shiny objects. Cut to the chase and understand which features are most important to make the needed business change. Consider how deployment options and specific features tangibly impact your specific business processes.

Work with a partner that has a formal project methodology and a track record of delivery and local support. Project management that comes free or part time is unlikely to ensure success. 

If you are bogged down and all of this advice is too late for your project then let us help you to get it back on track-we have audited and turned around many projects.  Let us help you be successful.

SQl 2000 – it’s time to upgrade

August 26th, 2012

An impotant topic for many companies absed on this post: Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)

If you are using SQL Server 2000 then upgrade to SQL Server 2012. SQL Server 2000 is now 12 years old. 

Now is the time to catch up with the latest trends. There are many security and performance reasons why you should not to mention many great new features. Its also  likely that yout appllciation software will not be compatible for much longer with older unsupported releases so at least budget.it for next year.

Note that you can’t upgrade directly from SQL Server 2000 to SQL Server 2012. You need to first upgrade to either SQL Server 2005/2008/R2 and then further plan to upgrade to SQL Server 2012. There is no direct upgrade path for SQL Server 2000 to SQL Server 2012.

If you follow the  rule to let something continue if it is not broken and working fine and are still using  SQL Server 2000 at elast upgrade to  SQL Server 2000 SP4 and update it with latest Security updates.

Here are two important SQL Server Security Updates.

Security Update for SQL Server 2000 Service Pack 4 (KB983811)

Security Update for SQL Server 2000 Service Pack 4 (KB983812)