Archive for the ‘e procurement’ category

What is the true cost of software development?

January 9th, 2021

There ahs been much talk of both devops and citizen developers.
While these new paradigms are welcome and bring many benefits that does not mean that they replace other proven systems of software development.

There are reason why some consultancies quote significantly lower times to develop than other- usually tis lack of knowledge/awareness of what needs to be considered or they deliberately cut corners in areas like security, validation, documentation, testing, and so on.

If that sounds harsh then take a look a this recent post:
A report published last week by the Consortium for Information & Software Quality (CISQ) estimates poor software quality collectively cost companies in the U.S. an estimated $2.08 trillion in 2020.

Endpoint security against cybercrime – 7 key questions

December 17th, 2020

7 Vital Questions to Ask

Endpoint security has never been more important, more complex—or more challenging— than it is today. Given the multitude of solutions and of vendors , it is very difficult to sort through all of the competing claims to find what’s truly effective.

1. Will this solution run on all the devices in my environment?
2. How long will deployment take?
3. What will the members of my team need to know or learn in order to work with this platform
4. What types of preventative controls are in place?
5.From where does the vendor get its threat intelligence?
6. How does this solution integrate with incident response workflows? 7 Is 24×7 professional support available from the vendor?
7. Can this solution be integrated with other security services, products, or platforms from the same vendor to reduce costs and complexity?

Why Comodo?- Zero Percent Infection and Breaches for Customers

Comodo offers the only cybersecurity that stops undetectable threats.
Cloud-native cybersecurity with auto-containment stops ro-day threats that AI, ML, & other technologies miss.


Historical s scores and statistics from millions of endpoints on thousands of different networks of enterprise customers. It shows zero percent infection and breaches.

With Comodo you can “Protect without Detection.” The cloud-native framework delivers you zero day protection against undetectable threats while defending your endpoints from known threat signatures. Automatic signature updates simplifies deployment across your entire environment to lower operational costs

Contact us about Advanced Endpoint Protection 0097143365589

OMAN VAT update November 2020 -ask Synergy Software Systems

November 27th, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

VAT impact assessment,
Administration:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sector challenges

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

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

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

Registration process

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Call u son 0097143365589

SnapLogic and Data Interchange for iPaas and EDI

August 20th, 2020

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

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

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

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

Robert Steiner, CEO, Data Interchange commented:

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

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

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

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

Oman launches tax card from July 1

June 29th, 2020

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

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

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

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

KSA to add VAT on on-line purchases

June 29th, 2020

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

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

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

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

KSA Higher Customs Duty June 2020

June 29th, 2020

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

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

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

Forrester sees SnapLogic as a strategic for Enterprise integration – hybrid- cloud and on premise

December 14th, 2019

SnapLogic iPaaS provides integration in continuously evolving data environments,

According to Forrester, “The strategic iPaaS/HIP market is growing because more EA professionals see strategic iPaaS/HIP as a key element of their digital transformation agility.” Forrester adds that “vendors that can make integration easier as well as provide a broad set of integration scenarios position themselves to successfully deliver in any public, private, hybrid, and/or multicloud environment.”

In the report, SnapLogic has received the highest score possible in the “market approach” criterion.

SnapLogic’s intelligent integration platform uses AI-powered workflows to automate all stages of IT integration projects – design, development, deployment, and maintenance – whether on-premises, in the cloud, or in hybrid environments.

The platform’s easy-to-use, self-service interface enables both expert and citizen integrators to manage all application integration, data integration, and data engineering projects on a single, scalable platform.

With SnapLogic, you can connect all of your enterprise systems quickly and easily to automate business processes, accelerate analytics, and drive transformation.

For more details of why ask SnapLogic Partner Synergy Software Systems 009714 3365589

SnapLogic iPasS integration as a service – from Synergy Software Systems.

October 20th, 2019

Business Intelligence Managers/Analysts, Data/ETL Engineers, and Information/Data Architects are tasked with empowering business users to make use of
data to drive smart decisions and innovations. Data-driven initiatives can be challenging considering the explosion of data volumes due to the proliferation of sensors, IoT, and mobile computing.

Moreover, a growing number of groups within the business want access to fresh data.

To fully harness their data, organizations must also have a cloud strategy for their digital transformation efforts, namely to migrate data from
on-premises environments to the cloud. Considering the tremendous business value of unlocking that data, it’s imperative to prioritize and streamline these
data integration and migration projects.

Gone are the days when IT needed hundreds of coders to build extract, transform, load (ETL) solutions and then maintain those by writing more code. Modern integration platforms eliminate the need for custom coding. Now, data integration projects deploy and scale, often as much as ten times faster.

iPaaS platforms ease the pain because they’re designed for flexibility and ease of deployment for any integration project. A drag-and-drop UX coupled with a powerful platform and hundreds of pre-built connectors out of the box.

The connectors are always up-to-date, so the IT organization doesn’t spend an inordinate amount of time maintaining every integration by hand. This saves an incredible amount of time, money, and frustration across the team and projects and greatly reduces risk.

Not all integration platforms are created equal. Some do simple point-to-point cloud app integrations while others transform large and complex data into a data lake for advanced analytics. Some stgill require extensive developer resources to hand-code APIs while others provide self-service, drag-and-drop offerings that can be used by IT and business leaders alike. Some are best for specific tactical projects while others provide a strategic, enterprise-wide platform for multi-year digital transformation projects.

Organizations must address four key steps during the data migration and integration process:
1. Capture data that supports both the known use cases as well as future undefined use cases (think IoT data to support a future machine learning
enabled use case).
2. Conform inbound data to corporate standards to ensure governance, quality, consistency, regulatory compliance, and accuracy for downstream
consumers.
3. Refine data for its eventual downstream application and/or use cases (once its been captured and conformed to corporate standards).
4. Delivery of data needs to be broad and prepared to support future unknown destinations.

For decades, IT has been tasked to manage integration projects by writing tons of custom code. This onerous task is even more complex with the proliferation of SaaS applications, the surge in big data, the emergence of IoT, and the rise of mobile devices. IT’s integration backlog has exploded. Not only is the deployment too much work, but there is a growing cost to maintain all of the integrations.

Deploying a tactical or departmental data warehouse solution should take days, not months. Moreover, enterprise-wide data transformation projects should take months, not years.

The best data integration platforms:
- Support multiple app and data integration use cases across cloud, on-premises, and hybrid deployments
- Offer the flexibility to be used in cloud, hybrid, or on-premises environments, regardless of the execution location
- Provide a self-service user experience aided by AI, machine learning, hundreds of pre-built connectors, and integration pipeline
templates (patterns) resulting in greater user productivity, and faster time-to-integration
- Have an underlying, scalable architecture to grow with evolving data and integration requirements
- Support different data modes such as streaming, event-driven, real-time or batch

The SnapLogic iPaaS offering is functionally rich and well-proven for a variety of use cases. It supports hybrid deployments and provides rich and differentiating features for analytics and big data integration (Hadooplex). Clients score SnapLogic as above average for cloud characteristics, functional completeness, ease of use and ability to meet SLAs.” Gartner

SnapLogic is a U.S.-based integration platform company. In mid-2013, it transitioned from a traditional software business to an iPaaS model with the release of the SnapLogic Elastic Integration Platform which provides a large set of native iPaaS capabilities that target the cloud service integration, analytics and big data integration use cases.

The flagship Enterprise Edition features a set of base adapters (Snaps), an unlimited number of connections and unlimited data volume.

Synergy Software Systems has been an Enterprise Solutions Integrator in the GCC since 1991. We are pleased to announce our formal partnership to represent Snap Logic in the MEA region.

Do you need to integrate with Azure? with SAP Data Warehouse Cloud? with Workday? With Odette compliant auto mamufacturers………..?.

To learn more call us on 009714 3365589

SQL Server 2016SP2 Cumulative Update 8

August 3rd, 2019

The urgent security update earlier this month is not the only patch for SQL Server 2016 in July,
Microsoft has released SQL. SP2 CU8 (build number: 13.0.5426.0)
• Restores of compressed encrypted backups fail
• Data masking doesn’t
• DAXquery needs memory 200x larger than the database size
• Peer-to-peer replication fails when your host name isn’t uppercase
• QueryStore cleanup can fill the transaction log and cause an outage
•DistributedAvailability Groups cause memory dumps when automatic seeding
• AGreplication stops working due to internal thread deadlocks
•The deadlock monitor can cause an access violation
• Query a view with a union on a linked server,
• Concurrent inserts into a clustered columnstore index can deadlock
•Infiniteloop when FileTable is used for a long time without a restart
•SSAS2016 randomly crashes ( maybe not completely random if they fixed it)
•TransparentData Encryption doesn’t encrypt if it’s restarted mid-encryption

And much more.https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4505830/cumulative-update-8-for-sql-server-2016-sp2

I guess we will get a similar patch for Sp1 but by now you should be on a later patch

“Disbursements & Reimbursements’: U.A.E. – VAT clarification

July 31st, 2019

The Federal Tax Authority (‘FTA’) has released a Public Clarification on “Disbursements & Reimbursements” which addresses how to distinguish reimbursements and disbursements, and to clarify the applicable VAT treatment.

U.A.E. businesses incur expenses and subsequently recover such expenses from another party. The VAT treatment of the subsequent recovery of expenses depends on whether the recovery is a “disbursement” or a “reimbursement”.

The first step to determine whether a recovery is a disbursement or reimbursement is to establish whether you have acted as a principal or an agent in purchasing the goods or services

General principles to determine the VAT treatment of such recoveries:
Where a taxable person acts in the capacity of an agent, the recovery would generally amount to a disbursement.
A disbursement does not constitute a supply and is,therefore, not subject to VAT

Where a taxable person acts in the capacity of a principal, the recovery would generally amount to a reimbursement.
A reimbursement is part of consideration for the supply and follows the same VAT treatment as the main supply.

Principles

* The other party (from who you are recovering such expenses) should be the recipient of the goods or services;

* The other party should be responsible for making the payment to the supplier;

* The other party should have received an invoice or tax invoice in their own name from the supplier;

* The other party should have authorized you to make the payment on his behalf;

* The goods or services paid for should clearly be additional to the supplies you make to the other party;

* he payment should separately be shown on the invoice and you should recover the exact amount paid to the supplier, without a mark-up.

* You should have contracted for the supply of goods or services in your own name and capacity;

* You should have received the goods or services from the supplier;

* The supplier should have issued the invoice in your name;

* You have the legal obligation to make payment to the supplier;

* In case of goods, you should own the goods prior to making any onward supply.

Examples

Company A procured group medical insurance from a local insurance company and received an invoice directly from the insurance company.

* Company A requested Company B to make the payment on its behalf.

* The subsequent recovery of the amount by Company B from Company A will amount to a disbursement, and would not be subject to VAT.

* Company A should ensure that the Tax Invoice is addressed to it from the insurance company and should recover the input tax through its UAE VAT return, subject to the normal input tax recovery rules.

Company A entered into a contract with Company B to provide marketing services.

* The contract stipulated that Company A would be eligible to reimburse the expenses from Company B.

* Company A incurred the expenses in its own name and subsequently recovered the amounts from Company B as per the terms of the contract.

* The recovery of expenses from Company B would follow the same VAT treatment as that of the main supply.

We recommend;

* Identify the nature of your contract and agent/principal relationships (if any) based on the above principles;
* Ensure that all disbursements have proper authorizations (contracts); and
* Re-view all inter-company disbursements/ reimbursements (cross-charges).

Integration as a Service – ask Synergy Software Systems, Dubai about Snap Logic

July 2nd, 2019

Why do companies like Adobe, AstraZeneca, Box, GameStop, OSN, Verizon, and Wendy’s choose SnapLogic?

They have a problem that many other companies are facing today. On one side, business managers rely more and more on SaaS applications and big data for daily tasks yet IT is responsible for integrating the applications. These business managers need daily access to accurate information but can’t always wait for IT. On the other side, IT is managing multiple projects, including integration requests and is working with far fewer resources. Requests can take weeks or even months to complete and business leaders can’t wait that long, so end up making decisions based on less than perfect data.

The Snaplogic Enterprise Integration Cloud comes with Iris Artificial Intelligence built in. Take away he complexity of dealing with multiple applications, big data, complex APIs, and IoT and abstract it into drag and drop components, all in one platform. SnapLogic’s Iris AI further democratizes the use of data by empowering users from all departments and teams to make data-driven decisions quickly and easily with higher accuracy. Business manager can now do their own analysis with minimal support from IT and make informed, data-backed decisions quickly.

IT people can spend less time building routine integrations and more time helping the business grow. SnapLogic is already helping many businesses with these challenges. GameStop reduced the amount of time it took to build integrations by 83%. Business processes cut across functions and applications. Transform business processes faster and stay focused on managing your business with data-driven insights rather than spend time on writing and maintaining code.

General Electric’s (now Suez Water) employees are 4 times more productive when it came to onboarding partners through its multiple systems.

AstraZeneca has more than 500 users around the world who are performing self-service integrations.

Box has connected 40 applications and is processing more than 15M transactions daily with only 1.5 full-time developers needed to support this volume.

Corporate performance management or Big data analytics from multiple, disparate corporate erp and finance systems, hybrid cloud and on premise integration, migrating to the cloud or to new software versions, IoT, T@A, EAM systems, WMS systems, Payroll systems, there are many integration challenges.

To support your digital transformation call us on 0097143365589

Oman and VAT – Ask Synergy Software Systems to help prepare and update your systems

June 30th, 2019

Oman government representatives have said that the state is looking to implement a 5% VAT regime from 1 September 2019. In 2017,
it signed the Gulf Cooperation Council VAT Framework Agreement, which included: Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Bahrain and Kuwait. Local media reports in March 2019 quoted a senior official from Oman’s Ministry of Finance as saying that the date of implementation of VAT in Oman is under review. The official reportedly indicated that the target date had been 1 September 2019 but that this is not confirmed, although the intention clearly remains to implement VAT as early as possible. Businesses should take this as a cue to continue their VAT implementation plans in Oman, or restart and reinvigorate those if the work has been put on hold.

A key lesson from our experience of VAT implementation projects in UAE, KSA and Bahrain, across more than 100 companies is that companies that started their VAT planning and implementation projects early had a smoother transition to VAT, than those that waited for the final publication of the domestic law and regulations. A ‘wait and see’ approach backfired on many businesses in the UAE, KSA and Bahrain where there was minimal time between the release of the law and regulations and the go-live date for adequate training, data preparation and testing, and a shortage of resources in the market to cope with the backlog.

There are practical steps to take now. the first is to form an internal VAT working group of key stakeholders to monitor developments in VAT and ensure that VAT is on the Board agenda and is included in budget discussions. The working group will be best placed to negotiate professional services to support implementation, to train end users, and to define test scenarios, etc.

Next ensure there is VAT awareness is key – customers, vendors, and staff. Many in the region have never dealt with VAT, and a solid understanding of the mechanics, scope and terminology of the tax takes time, and that is a necessary foundation for the next steps.

Document your transaction flows . VAT is a transaction tax, with each transaction triggering a potential VAT consequence. This will help you to identify: software changes, processes to update, training needs, data collection needs, commercial document redesign, financial report redesign etc.

Review Contract to ensure they are ‘future proofed’ for the introduction of VAT. For example, to identify whether they include suitable clauses allowing VAT to be charged in addition to contractually agreed prices. The UAE VAT law clearly mandated that communication be sent to all customers within a specific timeline stipulating whether their contracts will be treated as exclusive of tax, failing which customers can dispute the tax being charged in the contract. Therefore, revisiting contractual obligations for both customers and vendors and determining cutover dates, incorporating tax clauses and revising prices and quotations will play a pivotal role to safeguard the business interests of all parties to a contract.

There will be transactions which are closed before the go-live date, and there will be instances where payment is received post the go-live date or where the supply is scheduled post the go-live date, but where the relevant invoices are paid prior to it. Failure to assess and communicate/agree on the VAT impact between all parties to the transaction on such spillover transactions might increase the cost of such transactions and either of the parties may be out of pocket in such scenarios, and there may be unwelcome friction with trading partners, if not managed.

IT infrastructure will be the ‘backbone’ of the VAT compliance function from issuing VAT compliant invoices to producing the VAT return.

Identify VAT resource requirements, particularly external consultants and auditors. Skilled VAT resources are drawn from a diminishing pool of individuals. Take advantage of the experience gained by service providers implementing in Dubai, KSA and Bahrain. There are many wrinkles, not immediately obvious.

Industry associations can raise common issues and concerns with the Ministry of Finance, particularly in advance of the formal publication of the VAT law.

While you can choose to defer VAT implementation be ready to demonstrate to your owners/investors/respective boards and shareholders, that you have done so only after undertaking an appropriate level of due diligence of the likely preparation of the VAT environment. Some key areas include:

Upgrades to ERP systems and user acceptance testing Reporting
Timely VAT registration, (company by company or at Group level?)
Timely Collection of Tax registration numbers for Trading partners
Timely returns, accrual and and payment of taxes
Scoping the need for professional service and selection/references, time for reaching agreement with partners.
Unforeseen penalties
Cash flow management – how will this change? the delayed inflow on account of receipts from customers; outflow after the discharge of tax liabilities on supplies without consideration/deemed supplies (if any); outflow on account of payment to vendors; and additional outflow due to the payment of taxes (net of input tax recoverable) to tax authorities.

Tracking changes in law/ public clarifications

Some businesses in the UAE and Saudi Arabia faced challenges when ERP systems were not implemented in time to capture VAT on transactions or to generate customised VAT payable or receivable reports. The first quarter of the respective VAT regimes required substantial manual effort to properly account for transactions.

Another hurdle was training staff on the upgraded ERP software as well as new reporting standards

In a test system for financial or erp system, for training and requirement scope you could get early familiarity with the Dubai or KSA framework – there are unlikely to be major changes in the Oman framework.

If you current system is largely manual, or has significant limitations then now be the time to plan for upgrade, or reimplementation or a new system. The UAE VAT law has a penalty provision whereby every incorrect invoice can trigger an AED 5,000 fine (approx. OMR 500), irrespective of the value of the invoice. Exposure to these fines can be significant in industries where high volumes of transactions are made per day, for example the retail, utilities and banking industries. Compliance depends on a robust system and operations preparedness. The audit trail of the process, and other documents, help to ensure correct and timely filing of the returns as well as avoiding any unwarranted penalties.

Businesses across the globe tend to see a fall in demand where the display prices on products do not include VAT, specifically in the case of products which are price sensitive. The implementation of a new indirect tax law will have an impact on turnover and consumer preferences. Some prices ma need to be rounded up or down. You may need to show VAT separately, item by item on a receipt or invoice – is your software able to do that?

Given that the potential VAT rate in Oman may vary between 5 per cent, exempted, non-taxable and zero-rated, businesses should ascertain the price impact of VAT on imports which are recoverable and non-recoverable, final product pricing and alternative sourcing if imports are expensive, and vice versa.

Calorie display on Dubai menus – are you ready? Ask Synergy Software Systems.

June 30th, 2019

It will soon be mandatory to display the caloric value of each and every item in the menu, in whichever form it is. The Food Safety Department announcement is that:
All food outlets in Dubai have to display calorie content of ready-to-eat foods by January 1, 2020.
An early deadline of November 1, 2019 is set for establishments with more than five branches to implement it.

The circular and guidebook is posted on municipality’s portal www.dm.gov.ae and has clear instructions for labelling nutritional value with examples for manual calculation in Excel-sheet templates.

The department will verify the accuracy of the calculations through auditing. It will also at a later stage, provide an electronic-platform for computing the calories

Eateries, including fast food chains, must display caloric value of food items either on the menu or at the point of sale. There are some establishments that already declare calorie content on packaging, flyers, tray mats, websites etc. However, the municipality wants everyone to display the caloric value, against each item in the menu from which diners choose items at the point of sale. When there is no menu, then it should be in the menu boards or the menu displayed on tablets — basically, whichever form of the menu which the consumer checks for choosing the food.

Dubai eateries will have options how to calculate calorie contents for display in the menus to comply with a new regulation that aims to help diners make informed choices. For most a software package will be administratively simplest to ensure compliance.

For online menus displayed for food ordering services, the rule will not be mandatory, for the time being, since the department is not regulating electronic platforms for food delivery.

Dubai Municipality says that Food establishments in Dubai should declare in their menus the calorie content of all ready-to-eat food items.

The primary objective of the rule is to help diners make healthy food choices for reducing obesity and related diseases. The Food Safety Department of Dubai Municipality hopes to make a big difference in food decisions taken by diners just with the knowledge of how much of calories they consume.
The population of Dubai is three million. As per our calculations, we expect more than one billion food decisions to be based on the calorie count displayed in menus in a year,” Iman Ali Al Bastaki, Director of the Department
.
During the six months of the World Expo 2020 starting on October 20, 2020, Dubai expects to welcome 25 million visitors. Hence, the number of food decisions taken based on displayed calories is expected to be multi-billion during the Expo.

For example, a food outlet making a traditional meal with a lot of oil will have to display a high caloric value for the meal. When consumers prefer to go for another meal with less calories or a smaller portion of the same meal, the establishment will encourage its chefs to reduce the use of oil, thereby reducing the calories and providing a healthier meal.

Dubai, is the first emirate in the UAE to implement such a rule. It referred to similar practices in countries like the US and Canada. Dubai already has a system of nutrition labelling that displays all nutritional values in packaged food items e.g.: sugar, sodium, fat.

For cooked or prepared food that is ready-to-eat, the first step in declaration is the basic declaration of calories. The municipality wants to ensure the readiness of the market before moving to the next level of detailed nutrition labelling in cooked foods.

This is part of a holistic approach that Dubai Municipality has been working on to improve health and to reduce obesity and diabetes in Dubai that include healthy meal project in school canteens, an initiative to reduce salt and sugar content in bakery items and verification of claims about healthy food items.

With over 100 branded hotels and industrial caterers, and other food producers as our customers we have more than 20 years extensive experience in the F@B area, and our solution for nutrition data is widely adopted.

If you need, a software solution or to integrate our nutrition data to your erp system or F@B software, then contact us to learn more about our solutions.

Synergy Software Systems: 00917 43365589
Deyafa Systems: 00971 4 3240066

AI why will it make any difference?

October 1st, 2018

For all the talk around the rise of AI, or Artificial Intelligence, the technology isn’t new. We use AI in our daily lives.

Predictive text is the most visible example.Google searches, Word spellcheck are examples. You frequently text a friend to meet at the mall. You type: “Meet me at the …” Your phone suggests “park” or another common place to meet. Over time, your phone learns, and the suggestions start to prioritize “mall” over other words.

A basic case is that AI:
• takes data,
• analyzes it,
• implements a solution (suggesting the next word),
• evaluates the results (recognizing that you almost always type “bar” with that friend),
• and then repeats the process with improved recommendations based on data.
• Over time, the system grows smarter.

Typically ‘triggers’ to execute a ‘script’ were ways to automate processes. A log fiel is mintored and akey word triggers a support ticket, or runs a script.Over time thje system learns and can predict and run checks before the error happens.
Other examples of AI in everyday life include pricing on ridesharing apps, facial recognition in social media and even non-player characters in video games.

Until recently, the technology was available to a few companies with deep pockets. To take advantage of AI, you had to have a big data center, specialized software and data scientists in house. We’ve reached a tipping point. With cloud-based technology, companies of all sizes can more easily plug into AI-infused applications at a much lower entry cost.
AI is the next big disrupter in many industries.

Let’s look at the wholesale trading industry. Here are two ways you can leverage AI to benefit a business:
Optimize where a team spends their time.
- Imagine the ability to direct your Accounts Receivable team to the late-paying customers that are most likely to respond.
– AI can help distributors differentiate between those who aren’t going to pay and need to be turned over to collections, and those who are more likely to pay with just one phone call.
- AI could also direct a call centre team to focus on certain times of day to increase the likelihood someone picks up the phone. Given the importance of cashflow to distributors, this is a powerful application of the technology.
- The same idea goes for a sales team. With which customers should they be spending more time? AI can identify the data points that influence purchasing, such as whether a prospect downloaded a whitepaper, they have an account exec assigned to them, or they have previously purchased related products.

It could even be something you can’t control, like the weather forecast. If it’s going to be 110 degrees, you can expect an uptick in sales of air conditioning units or parts to fix them in certain geographies. AI can identify these opportunities for salespeople. AI then adjusts those recommendations based on how customers respond, and the cycle continues.

Grow sales and margin with existing customers.
When a customer is checking out on a website, via your call center, at the counter or through another channel, how can you engage them more? Enter AI. For example, let’s say that data show that electrical contractor customers of a particular size regularly buy red, green, white and black 10-gauge copper wire at the same time. So when an electrical contractor of that size selects just red, green and white, a salesperson should be prompted to ask: “Are you forgetting black?” Chances are, the customer will add black wire to the basket.

To identify those relationships, however, and to code them into your system is a lot of work. We can do much of this already with BI analysis and on screen prompts.Add to that the evaluation of whether the offers were effective – how often they were accepted, how often they weren’t (and why) – and adjusting for that on the next sale, or updating sales scripts and offers. It becomes increasingly difficult if not impossible to do that manually across thousands of products.
AI can do this far more quickly and effectively than a human can, and can have a big impact on the top line. A foodservice distributor grew sales volume by 5% nearly overnight after turning on an AI-powered cross-sell and upsell recommendation engine on their website.

This is not just about selling online. Sure Distributors use cross-sell/upsell technology to grow share across their channels. However, they can also provide more meaningful, targeted content to make the customer’s selection process smoother and better informed, to draw his attention to designs or offers that are likely to be of interest, and so on. The ROI can be huge, and it requires very little upfront work by humans.

Pricing software is a more mature application of AI-based technology, determining the optimal price for a particular item based on lost sales, historical sales volume, competitor pricing, and potential for up sell or cross sell or repeat sell. and other data points. Hotels and airlines use revenue yield management. If it’s a business trip they may feel you will spend more in their restaurant on an expense account. I may only book when rates are cheap but I might always eat in house use, pay tv, and order wine with my meal and be a more profitable customer. If my rooms for tonight or my airline seats are less than 50% sold then I might discount heavily to ensure I sell enough to cover costs, but once past 80% I may charge a premium price because you may be desperate with little choice and a few high value sales will make up for the one or two I lose.

If a product has excess stock and is nearing the end of its shelf life, or a cinema is going to be half empty then AI can auto trigger instant sms sales promotions or happy hours but can it learn and predict and better tune the films shown in a given cinema, and whether average clothes sizes are trending bigger, or whether some colours and sizes will sell better in one branch than another and how that correlates with other data, How much is spent on marketing, what other sales are happening nearby, are temperatures going to rise, what si te epxcted change on the exchange rate or inflation rate or oil price and will that affect the number of tourist, and will revised parking fees affect who shows where and when?

is this a Big Brother nightmare, or does it mean that we are going to get better service because what we need to buy is going to be in stock even before we realise we need it.

As new younger generation z employees are hired into purchasing roles, they expect the kind of customer experience that AI-powered technology can deliver. This technology is here now. It’s not just a technical decision. There are real business benefits to using AI, including growing average order size, boosting margins and tightening customer relationships.