Archive for the ‘e procurement’ category

European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – 2018 what should GCC countries consider?

May 30th, 2017

The UAE Ministry of Economy is raising awareness among private sector companies of the need to be ready for new European data protection rules, which comes into force one year from now.

The European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is set to become law by May 2018. The new rules govern all companies in Europe, as well as all companies trading with European companies and individuals.

The GDPR was drafted to “harmonise the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms of natural persons in respect of processing activities and to ensure the free flow of personal data between Member States

The law includes strong penalties for either misuse of data, or failure to protect the personal data of customers, with fines of up to 4% of annual turnover, or 20m euros ($22m).

HE Juma Mohammed Al Kait, Assistant Undersecretary for Foreign Trade at the Ministry of Economy, noted that the regulation issued by the EU aims to protect the data of every individual in the EU.

This not only impacts companies operating in European countries, but includes all institutions and companies that conduct business, trade and investment activities within EU countries, including the UAE business sector linked with European trade relations.

Due to this, the Ministry is working on deepening its knowledge about the new legislation, its provisions and requirements, and aims to reconcile its operational procedures with European authorities, in adherence with the framework of the GDPR, before May 2018.

Al Kait emphasized the EU is one of the UAE’s most important trade partners. Trade between the two sides generated $65.8 billion in 2016 alone. The UAE has become one of the top 10 destinations for EU exports, and is home to over 41,000 European companies, in addition to over 121,000 EU citizens.

Penalties will also apply to information controllers and processors, including cloud software companies.

The new legislation also outlines terms of approval for the use of data, to prevent companies from using legally illegitimate terms, and gives both parties the ability to easily withdraw if desired.

The compliance world will change dramatically for a number of GCC organizations on 25 May 2018. In just over one year’s time GCC organizations that:
1.have a branch, subsidiary or single representative in the European Union (“EU”);
2.do not have a physical presence in the EU, but offer goods or services to data subjects in the EU; or
3.neither have a physical presence in the EU nor offer goods or services to people in the EU, but monitor the online behavior of data subjects in the EU, will have to ensure that they are complying with the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”).

Who is likely to be affected?

Based on the test set out in the GDPR, the new regulations will likely apply to a significant number of entities in this region.
Obvious examples include:
– major airlines that fly to and from the EU,
- hotel and tourism operators who promote travel to the region to EU data subjects,
- regional banks and other financial service companies that have branches in the financial centres in the EU and online.

Less obvious examples include:
- e-commerce companies that are able to accept payments in euros and deliver to the EU
- mobile apps that can be downloaded by users in the EU and which have access to a user’s contacts, photos or location data.

All of these businesses may need to comply with the GDPR and to mitigate the risk and cost of failure to do so.
If your organization is affected it has three main options:
1. wait and see i.e. do nothing (not advisable);
2.consider what it needs to do to ensure that it does not fall within the scope of the GDPR;
3. take immediate steps to prepare to comply with the GDPR .

For option (2), if your organization does not have an establishment in the EU and does not need to target or monitor EU data subjects then you ight consider making it very clear that your website or app is not for use by EU users (e.g. including geo-blocking EU data subjects).

for option (3), if you have not started the process of ensuring compliance by now, then there is a lot to do.

1.monitor business to consumer business practices, including:
- conducting a data protection audit,
- examining the legal basis on which it processes personal data and updates its privacy policies;
2.monitor internal business practices, including:
- review and update of agreements with data processors,
- implement processes for adoption of pseudoanonymization and privacy by design
- considering the legal basis on which it transfers personal data between jurisdictions;
3.establish compliant accountability processes, including”
- processes for record keeping,
- appointment of a data protection officer or EU representative and dealing with data subjects;
4.invest in infrastructure, including:
- how to determine the severity, and impact on data subjects of a data breach
- to establish robust security processes and procedures for notifying regulatory authorities and data subjects -

The need for compliance, especially for longer-term projects such as records of processing and compliant contracting, must be addressed as soon as is practicable.

Businesses that either operate, target customers or monitor individuals in the EU should :
• Audit: to identify key remediation areas.
• Record of Processing: This mandatory record will require significant internal resources, but will also help to plan and implement GDPR processes. .
• Consider Contract Renegotiations: The GDPR requires that contracts with data controllers include additional obligations. As companies come to renegotiate contracts, ensure that adequate data protection clauses are added.
• Review and update, where necessary, employee notices to be GDPR compliant. If you currently conduct criminal records checks, then review national laws where you operate to ensure you can continue to do so . There is an emphasis on transparency in the GDPR. Notices must be clear, concise and informative. Employees must be adequately informed of all data processing activities and data transfers and the information set out in Articles 13 to 14 must be provided. Criminal records can no longer be processed unless authorized by member state law.

Consider whether your organization is processing any sensitive personal data and ensure the requirements for
processing such data are satisfied While the grounds for processing are broadly the same as those set out
in the current Data Privacy Directive, the GDPR imposes new requirements to gain valid consent. Consent can be withdrawn at any time and systems must be able to handle withdrawal request.

• Review and update, where necessary, customer notices to be GDPR compliant
• Consider whether your notices have to accommodate “child-friendly requirements”. he GDPR requires parental consent for the processing of data related to information society services offered to a “child” (ranging
from 13 to 16 years old depending on the member state.
• Data privacy rights. The current rights to request access to data or require it to be rectified or deleted have been expanded to include a much broader right to require deletion (“the right to be forgotten”), a right not just to access your data but have it provided to you in a machine readable format (“data portability”). Versions of the existing right to object to any processing undertaken on the basis of legitimate interests or for direct marketing and the right not to be subject to decision based on automated processing are also included and expressly refer a right to object to profiling.
These must be clearly communicated in the notices given to data subjects, e.g. privacy policy
• Privacy by design. Ensure processes are in place to embed privacy by design into projects (e.g. technical and organizational measures are in place to ensure data minimization, purpose limitation and security)

Consider what data you hold in emails, in CRM systems, Social media.
What should be your data access use and retention policies?

Personally I think it will be great if this is a way to prosecute the perpetrators of all the spam nd phishing emails I get or at least to remove data form their lists!

VAT in the U.A.E. what steps should you be taking- ask Synergy Software Systems

March 13th, 2017

By January 1, 2018, it is expected that value added tax (VAT) will be applied at a rate of 5 per cent on most goods and services in the UAE and wider GCC region. The Unified Agreement, previously referred to by the working title of a framework agreement, is an overarching agreement that will be concluded by all six GCC nations. The best acronym, albeit long, is “GCC UAVAT”.

The unity referred to in the GCC UAVAT is a unity of purpose. The GCC UAVAT is intended to make sure that VAT is introduced in the GCC in a coordinated fashion. It does not necessarily mean that each national VAT law will be identical, nor that those national laws will all become effective on exactly the same date.

The rate of VAT has been confirmed at 5 per cent, a figure that was agreed at GCC level in mid-2016.
Minister of State for Financial Affairs Obaid Humaid Al Tayer. Speaking to reporters after a joint press conference with Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the IMF in Dubai, Al Tayer said 100 food items, health, education, bicycles and social services would be exempt from VAT. Further information was provided by the Bahraini information affairs minister, who held a press conference attended by the under-secretary for finance in Bahrain. The Bahraini minister confirmed that basic food and other consumer commodities, medicines and medical supplies will be exempt from VAT. The list of exemptions signals a clear intention on the part of the GCC authorities to temper the mildly regressive nature of VAT.

VAT is an indirect tax applied at every stage of the supply chain, the end effect of the levy is on consumers who finally pay the tax while buying a good or service. Businesses collect and account for the tax, in a way acting as a tax collector on behalf of the government. A business pays the government the tax that it collects from the customers while it may also receive a refund from the government on tax that it has paid to its suppliers. The net result is that tax receipts to government reflect the ‘value add’ throughout the supply chain. VAT is said to be a “self-policing” tax because of the netting-off of input tax from output tax at each successive stage of the production and distribution cycles. Thus, administration is not confined to the national tax authority. As taxable entities, VAT-registered businesses also have administrative responsibilities. Work must be undertaken in that important regard.

There are four important stakeholders in this VAT episode: – governments (beneficiary), businesses (tax collectors), consumers (taxpayers) and consultants (VAT experts). VAT is a tax on consumption. It is ultimately paid by the consumer, in other words “the public” in some shape or form. The public does, therefore, need to be aware.

The businesses that are required to collect the VAT and deposit it with the government are the most worried . They will have to perform an extra function, which could result in additional hiring and costs, or risk of fines, although they do not receive a direct economic incentive. It is not just a question of simply collecting and remitting, , being in the ‘middle’ may bring several complexities.

if the UK and EU VAT regimes are anything to go by, the complete legislative picture will comprise a number of layers. All businesses in the UAE will need to record their financial transactions and ensure that their financial records are accurate and up to date.
– Businesses that meet the minimum annual turnover requirement (as evidenced by their financial records) will be required to register for VAT.
- Businesses that do not think that they should be VAT registered should maintain their financial records in any event, their turnover may change, and the in case the government tax team may need to establish whether they should be registered.

Registration for VAT is expected to be made available to businesses that meet the requirements criteria, three months before the launch of VAT. Businesses will be able to register online using eServices

Registered businesses will be expected to submit VAT returns on a regular basis. It is expected that the default period for filing VAT returns will be three months for the majority of businesses. Registered businesses will be able to file their returns online using eServices.

Details of the Tax Law will be made to the press and details will be published on the Ministry of Finance website. The primary source of information regarding the UAE VAT Law is the Ministry of Finance website.

There may be some special rules on VAT for organizations such as government entities as well as refunds available in some circumstances, especially where international obligations require us to make those refunds.

Everyone is urged to fully comply with their VAT responsibilities. The government is currently in the process of defining the exact fees and penalties for non-compliance.

VAT-registered businesses generally:
• must charge VAT on taxable goods or services they supply;
• may reclaim any VAT they’ve paid on business-related goods or services;
• keep a range of business records which will allow the government to check that they have got things right

If you’re a VAT-registered business you must report the amount of VAT you’ve charged and the amount of VAT you’ve paid to the government on a regular basis. It will be a formal submission and it is likely that the reporting will be made online.

If you’ve charged more VAT than you’ve paid, you have to pay the difference to the government. If you’ve paid more VAT than you’ve charged, you can reclaim the difference.

VAT differs from sales tax which is only imposed on the final sale to the consumer. This contrasts with VAT which is imposed on goods and services and is charged throughout the supply chain, including on the final sale. VAT is also imposed on imports of goods and services so as to ensure that a level playing field is maintained for domestic providers of those same goods and services.

Not all businesses will need to register for VAT. In simple terms, only businesses that meet a certain minimum annual turnover requirement will have to register for VAT. That is, many small businesses will not need to register for VAT. The specific conditions (such as minimum annual turnover) that will help identify businesses that do not need to register for VAT are not expected to be announced before October.

Four-step guide to help companies in the UAE to prepare for VAT implementation, (which can take between eight and 12 months). It may take longer if some of the activities are outsourced, for example IT.
1. Impact assessment
• Complete an impact assessment to understand VAT and its commercial effects.
• Prioritise issues and prepare for implementation.
• This is a key step.
• The assessment looks at its various effects on the organisational, operational and financial levels.
• Typically, an impact assessment needs between eight and 12 weeks to complete and that leaves a relatively short time, no more than nine months, to affect implementation.

2. Project preparation
• Prepare a project plan and secure the necessary internal and external resources and ensure the stakeholders in the business are informed.
• VAT is not just a finance project. It affects all transactions and so touches every aspect of the organisation.
• VAT affects IT systems, finance, human resources, legal teams and even inter-organisation transactions.
• IT systems are integral to the process because they need to be updated to handle the VAT.
• Preparation will entail a cost that companies will need to budget.

3. Design and implementation
• Based on the impact assessment, they need to develop a road map for identifying the changes required, understanding the scheduling requirements and planning for work.
• Implementing the changes across various levels in the organisation starts with mapping the transaction footprint to understand the VAT obligations of the business. This should form the basis for making changes across different verticals in the organisation such as IT, supply chain and human resources.
• Businesses need to design the systems and reports and train their staff on the process requirements for VAT.
• This may require a new software/ new release, or upgrade, Consider:
 COA changes,
 Contract changes
 Order, receipt and invoice formats
 Cash flow and budget updates
 Impact on open orders on1 Jan 2018
 Whether any interfaces are affected
• Businesses must implement necessary changes to systems, controls, reporting and governance in good time.

4. Registering and testing
• Businesses need to register for VAT .
• They need to test that their business systems are capable of compliance and reporting.
• Businesses need to integrate the changes made into the operations and train relevant staff about their new roles and responsibilities to achieve the desired result.
• Testing the VAT system, processes and controls during a “live” phase (expected from January 1, 2018) is important to allow for the complete and accurate completion of the first VAT return.
• Make sure to test adequate volumes of data – e.g. processing a quarterly Vat return on all sales and purchase transactions may involve a lot of processing for some companies.
• Make sure to test interfaces.

Technology trends for retail in 2016

May 5th, 2016

Last year was a banner year for mobile. Mobile search overtook desktop for the first time, heralding the smartphone as the connected digital device of choice. We also saw further market penetration for new mobile platforms such as wearables and mobile pay.

A study by MasterCard found that eight out of 10 consumers now use a computer, smartphone, tablet, or in-store technology while shopping.

Forrester also predicts that cross-channel retail sales with reach $1.8 trillion in the US by 2017.

The mobile device is increasingly becoming an essential part of the customer’s shopping journey. Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Beacons, NFC and QR codes are the latest proximity technologies on offer to retailers, providing an opportunity to engage with customers via their smartphone.

Retailers are increasingly experimenting with mobile to facilitate click-and-collect. Sam’s Club [Walmart], use mobiles to send notifications whenever an order is ready for in-store pickup. Nordstrom in May 2015, started testing a service that lets customers text or call their Nordstrom associate as they near the store. The store employee will head down and meet the customer outside, so they don’t even have to get out of their car.

We anticipate that more retailers will also adopt social selling solutions such as Soldsie (selling through comments) and Like2Buy (user generated content galleries). Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest all released buy buttons in 2015, and while none of them gained widespread adoption, we can expect social networks to continue investing in social commerce.

We also expect that users will continue using social networks to discover and talk about products, so retailers should keep investing in their social media initiatives. Forty-three percent of social media users respond that they have purchased a product after sharing or favoriting it on Pinterest, Facebook, or Twitter.

42% of customers will conduct research in-store
When a customer starts looking at their phone in-store, studies have shown that 42% of customers of them may be doing in-store research, to help them find the perfect product. Using mobile to improve the in-store experience can help to convert these shoppers. Cosmetics brand Sephora’s app gives consumers easy access to product reviews and ratings, allowing in-store shoppers to access this information before deciding whether to buy. Similarly Macy’s mobile app also lets users scan product barcodes in-store, so that they can view online reviews, promotions, and more.

On lien stores can offer more choice of unlimited products but users tire of endless searching. Retailers that seem to be winning, whether on line or on premise are the ones that ‘curate assortments’ i.e. who carefully select the top styles, show the top models, or a showcase of ‘good, better, best’ instead of trying to stock every color, or every single SKU.”

71% of those shoppers who research in-store say it’s an important part of the experience
Retailers need to keep up with this trend and provide customers with the in-store mobile technology they need. More retailers are now able to appreciate the ROI of their mobile strategies , and the majority are looking to further their investment in mobile. Innovations include: beacons to send coupons, information and offers to customers’ smartphones, while they shop. According to a report published by Eagle Eye, beacons will be used to distribute around 1.6 billion coupons to smartphones annually by 2020.

Starbucks, recently streamlined this process by updating its app’s barcode screen to show available rewards, offers, and coupons. to ensure users won’t forget that they have a redeemable reward and they don’t have to pull up a separate screen to redeem the offer.

Omnichannel shoppers spend more money
The key focus for retailers in 2016 will be omnichannel. No matter what industry you’re in or how complicated your operations are, bringing online and offline together is important in every facet of your retail business.

To attract consumers who spend more, it turns out that an effective mobile strategy is key . In 2015, IDC research found that shoppers who buy on and offline have a 30% higher lifetime value than those who only shop via one channel.

Omnichannel strategies will also drive more retailers to adopt cloud-based apps, because these solutions enable them to scale quickly, work from anywhere, and get real-time insights into various aspects of their business. Maintaining an item file, accurate inventory levels, and managing a pricing system between channels is one of the foundational roadblocks for a lot of retailers who are not necessarily managing their stores and their online business with the same platform.

In 2016, we’ll see more small and medium retailers adopt single-view and cloud-based tools. Since these businesses are a lot more nimble and aren’t usually tied down to large, complicated legacy systems, they’re in a great position to switch to omnichannel technologies.

Omnichannel retailing introduces a lot of complexities, not just in terms of operations and order fulfillment, but also when it comes to fraud prevention.
65% of retailers believe they lack the tools to effectively manage omnichannel fraud.

By 2019, 9.1% of all retail sales will be made on mobile
The rise of mobile commerce isn’t set to slow down In their report, ‘The Future of M-Commerce’, Barclay’s predict that 9.1% of all retail sales will be made on mobile by 2019, in comparison to the 3% of retail sales that were made on mobile in 2014. This figure equates to sales of around £32bn. Retailers who don’t invest in mobile will miss out.

Nearly half of shoppers say they are more likely to visit mobile-orientated stores
It’s a common misconception that consumers will abandon bricks and mortar stores in favour of online shopping. However, a report by VoucherCodes.co.uk and Centre for Retail Research found that 44% of consumers would be more likely to visit mobile-orientated stores, making it clear that mobile commerce is actually driving shoppers back onto the high-street – and into your retail store.

40% of consumers feel that the mobile experience could be improved
The same report also found that 40% of consumers feel that the mobile experience could be improved, suggesting that retailers could be doing much more to cater for mobile shoppers. This echoes how many retailers feel about the importance of improving the mobile experience, with 66% saying that investment in mobile would help them to drive growth.

51% of consumers expect transactions to be easier on mobile

Shopping on mobile is about convenience. Consumers want to be make purchases on-the-go, without the hassle of switching to a laptop or computer – and this requirement raises the bar for retailers in terms of mobile usability. Ensure that your mobile website offers a seamless customer journey– particularly because 40% of people will switch to a competitor’s site after a bad mobile experience.

Frictionless shopping has always been an objective of omnichannel. In 2016, we anticipate companies will further explore ways to reduce friction in the shopping journey. We can already see signs of this happening. The Amazon Dash button, for instance, makes re-ordering possible with literally just a push of a button.

Millennials are the most coveted audience among brand advertisers and retailers, and this year they grew to be larger than even the baby boomers. They are also the demographic most driving wearable device adoption, owning 50 percent of that market. Other industries have developed wearable interactions that bring utility, convenience and delight to customers – from ordering Ubers to updates on changing airport gates. Retailers have only scratched the surface to this point

Awareness of mobile payment has risen 10 percent in the last year but adoption has only gained one percent. Even with the slow growth, we are starting to see the category give rise to payment agnosticism. Retailers understand that they need to accommodate the transaction any way their customers want to pay, and that the walled garden may ultimately not work for them in future. This trend will only continue in the coming year as the benefits of mobile pay are more fully realized.

PayPal, recently rolled out the PayPal Here Chip Card reader. PayPal’s device is compatible with iOS and Android devices, and is built to accept both EMV and magnetic stripe cards, as well as NFC payments such as Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay.

Similarly, Mercury, is a payment solution that equips retailers with the hardware they need to accept EMV cards as well as mobile payments. There’s also Poynt, a smart terminal that supports several payment technologies including magnetic cards, EMV, NFC, and QR codes.

As retailers increasingly adopt these payment solutions, expect more stores to start accepting additional payment types, most notably EMV cards and mobile payments.

Loyalty and promotions?
According to a study by MasterCard, only 18% of respondents considered promotions as important. The study also found that “in choosing a retailer, omnishoppers prioritize value, track record and convenience, over loyalty rewards.”

3% of people expect to do more mobile shopping in future

It’s simple: the ability to easily shop on mobile is what consumers want. A worldwide study by Latitude found that 63% of people expect to do more mobile shopping over the next few years, with 77% of smartphone users shopping regularly on their mobile, even when they’re at home.

Retailers will use mobile devices
In 2016, we anticipate the continued adoption of mobile devices such as mPOS systems and in-store tablet. A merchant using mobile technology well is cookware retailer Borough Kitchen, which runs Vend on their iPads.A tablet-based POS system improves the customer experience and speeds up. During their peak hours and the holiday season add new tills by switching on additional iPads to reduce queues and ring up sales much faster.

Mobile devices are just the beginning. In addition to using mPOS systems and in-store tablets, some retailers (particularly larger merchants) will likely look into ways they can leverage the Internet of Things (IoT) in their locations.

A study by McKinsey found that the uses of IoT in retail could have an economic impact of $410 billion to $1.2 trillion per year in 2025. That may be a long way off go, but what are your competitors doing now?

Big data and video analytics will clarify and add value to the personal shopping conversation.

Ask us about TCPOS, and Microsoft Dynamics Retail.

Filehold – ask Synergy Software Systems about document management for the U.A.E.

November 30th, 2015


Courier documents


Mobile document management

http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/8031-best-windows-document-management-software.html

“We recommend FileHold as the best document management system for businesses using Windows. We chose FileHold from dozens of document management system options.
Why FileHold?
Ease of use
FileHold is a self-hosted document management system for businesses using Windows computers. It has the same look and feel of programs you’re already accustomed to using, and the interface is designed specifically with Windows Explorer in mind. The filing structure incorporates the same cabinet, drawer, folder and subfolder approach that Windows uses. So, once the software is installed, employees should have no trouble grasping how to use and navigate it.
We like FileHold’s clean interface. It isn’t cluttered with icons or images. All you see when logging in is the file library running down the left-hand side of the page and a search bar along the top. The majority of the page remains blank until you start filing, searching for or opening documents. This approach keeps you on the same page the entire time you’re using the system. Many of the other systems we examined force you to toggle back and forth between pages depending on the task you’re working on.
The FileHold library structure is designed with Windows Explorer in mind.
Adding to the system’s ease of use are the MyFileHold folders, which are placed on top of the general library of cabinets and drawers on the left-hand side of the page. The MyFileHold section features separate folders for employees’ “favorite” documents, their checked-out documents, any alerts or reminders they have, the files they recently accessed and the files they recently added to the system. This provides a quick snapshot of the documents currently being worked on and the files that need immediate attention.
Each employee can customize various portions of the system with their personal preferences. This option isn’t offered by all of the document management systems we examined. When looking at specific documents, employees can choose the tools they want to be quickly accessible. Quick links can be added for a variety of tasks, such as adding files, linking documents together and checking out files. Additionally, you can choose the metadata attributes — like document type, version, number of linked files and the author — that are shown alongside the file’s name.
Filing documents within the software is simple and can be done in many ways. You can drag and drop files already on your computer or network, as well as scan documents directly into the system. The Microsoft Office integration also allows you to add documents you are working on in Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook or PowerPoint with just a click of a button.

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

February 18th, 2015

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPERs01GEOM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be open to change

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

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

Key factors

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

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

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

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.

Gitex 2014 – day 1 with Synergy Software Systems

October 13th, 2014

After the official opening visitor increased through the afternoon-
The 281 inch Tv featured by our neighbours showing our Prophix Corporate Performance Management Software:

Solutions that attracted a lot of interest on day 1:

BRS Analytics – regulatory reporting for banks

Dynamics Ax – Education Admissions module
Dynamics Ax – Middle East Payroll module
Dynamics Ax – Flex property

BI4Dynamics

TCPOS – for retail and restaurants

Handpunch biometric for access control and T@A

AEC construction – BIM and Autocad tools were key points of interest in this amazing construction solution.

Infor Sunsystems – particularly for the hospitality sector

Prophix -Corporate Performance Management (Budget, consolidation, forecast, planning, BI workflow and reporting – one solution for all.)

This was one of the more colourful visitors to our stand.

Forecast Pro TRAC Version 3 – year end offer – improve your sales forecast for 2013

December 1st, 2012

Forecast Pro TRAC Version 3, the latest release of our comprehensive forecasting and forecast management system. I want to remind you that our special offer to save $1,000 when you order Forecast Pro TRAC v3 will expire on December 31, 2012!

Let us show you how Forecast Pro TRAC can improve your forecasting.

 Simply request a live Web-based demo for your forecasting team—we can even use your own data.

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GCC Projects – Project Management software solutions – Synergy Software Systems Dubai

July 8th, 2012

There multiple projects costing $ billions /millions in this region.  

There are many considerations  run a  successful project:

Manpower varies project by project and the number of concurrent projects also varies . SaaS  licensing can be very advantageous in this case. Vary the number of licences you need by month, only pay for hardware usage based on the number of users and amount of data storage needed month to month.  No time delay for new servers for a new project, no wasted licences or hadware capacity when the project is over – predictable costs that are easily identified to charge to project.

Managing the process from lead to opportunity to quote to estimate to budget, forecast etc

RFQ, PR, PO MR approvals, many other document centric workflow approvals

Planning – high level phasing , detailed WBS, resource scheduling, programme management,

Risk management

Secure Collaboration – projects are a paper factory of multiple commericalcontracts, insurance, certifications, with the need for  version control, expiry dates, document approval workflows, digital signature, fast search across and within contracts

QA , inspection, incidents  and investigation 

Budgeting, consolidation and financial compliance

Grant and fund management

Timesheets, access control at site, payroll across countries, multi shift, sub-contractor labour, mobile between project.

Project stores and inventory control. Capital projects, Rental,Asset tracking, Mobiel and bar code solutions

Reporting and dashboards

Our Software solutions help you better manage all these areas

BIM integrated model for design, estimation, control and planning

Mind mapping for high level plans that export direct to MS Project, use for lessons learned, PESTEL risk analysis, meeting agendas, project team strucutre and many more uses for project managers

Dynamics CRM  track future projects and meetings with influencers that create the specifications, track opportunties and quotes through user defined stages, also maintain details of meetings and contacts with vendors, subcontractors, financial and legal advisors , government  contacts, auditors, H@S inspectors etc. Mobile options SaaS options

Dynamics Ax incudes a full PSA features, advanced project management accounting, grant and fund management, integration to MS Project, and additonal module options for construction projects Advanced multi company financials, make and buy to project options, integrted workflow engine for RFQ, PR etc, advanced mrp, HR, resource scheduling, Service module , case managmeent, QA module, multi company process, eg intercompany journals, orders, cosnildiated requsitoons and central pruchaisng, centralised productionplanning across companies etc. Mobil and SaaS options

Confidential secure document storage and collaboration workspaces are required for most projects  so that material can be accessed by multiple, authorised stakeholders from many locations. Whether an M&A project, a new product launch, a prestige new building design, an exhibition or event, a commercial tender or  a feasibility study all need secure storage authorised collaborative access,version control, ease and speed of search, controls on: who can see what, who can copy and print, who can approve what.

Digital signatures with documemt workflow speed up decision making processes and reduce risk of fraud. Mulitple signatories each approving a  specific  segments of a document, the ability to mass sign every page of a document, or to sign multiple POs at one go,   in built version control and audit features are soem of the features that help auotmate process while increasing control.

Fixed asset depreciation only buy the licences you need for the FA users- works with most erp systems and is much easier, more functional and more cost effective very easy flexble aquistion,  depreciation and disposal .  Optional modules for Asset tagging, counting and tracking, capitalise asset projects, planned asset maintenance. Ask about our asset tagging, and take-on and annual count  service.

Detailed consolidation, budgetting, forecasting and planning – many feature – top down bottom up, based on prior priod seasonality and % change etc  Built in dashboards and ad hoc what if querying, reforecast, period on period comparison by multiple dimensions, KPIs ,  etc. Use SSRS and Poer Pivot for further analysis and reporting.

Construction companies often have  a multitude of legacy solutions to integrate our  specialist mapping tool makes this easy especially when there are system upgrades.

When you have thousands of workers at site, who may be deploye dot dfferent tasks accessed via different entrance gates  you need a robust access controland T@A system that can hold all the  templates and share the across the network,-  that means a very small file size- per worker, at shift chage over there is little time so   that needs a very fast device with low rate of false reading.  Devices need to work when labourers have cut fingers, dirty hands. Devices need to be easy to use, to not lose transactions in a power cut, to hold staff rostas and to integrate with Payroll systems. only the Ingersoll Rand Hand Punch and the Interflex Software can provide all those features, which is why it is used by  large airlines, ports, event organisers like the Olympics, of football stadiums, and those with complex shifts and 24×7 opertions like hospitals, retail stores, and hotels. Devices can be installedon buses so workers can clock in  as they leave the bus, or mobile gate units  can be installed at sites. 

Paryroll and HR systems become useful when you have mote than 50 employees  nn to have when you have more than 100 employees and essential when you are dealing with thousands of employees.  Tracking employyee accrused benefits across projects and countries with timesheet integration, for mutiple benefts and deductions, multiple shift patterns, and different treatment by grade, nationality etc needs both experienced implementors, and a powerful payroll engine that can handle multiple languages and currencies.

Enterprise Project Management (EPM) is the latest release of Micorsft Project Server and now sits on SharePoint. If you are supporting multiple proejcts e.g roll-out out of a chain of retail stores or hotels , then each site will have multiple projects, from construction, to fit out, to multiple software projects.

To discuss your requirement and learn more about how our solutions will  help youmange your  projects please contact us. 0097143365589

Dubai – control purchase costs and expenses with Synergy Software Systems

January 12th, 2012

http://www.arabianbusiness.com/supply-kickbacks-rife-in-dubai-hotel-industry-440174.html

This worrying article is an action call for Hotel Managers and catering to introduce more formal controls. 

Any member of staff may need to requisition services or supplies so chosoe a system that is easily accessible, requires little training and has a cost effective licensing policy for company wide deployement, Requsitioners and approvers are ad hoc users do not need to raise purchase orders and should not need expensive licences. notifcations and alerts should also be inherent in the solution

Solurions like Birch St are specifically designed to manage the procurement request and approval cycle for restaurant operators and caterers and is used by major international groups. (Synergy is the regional distributor for Birch St.)  Buying approvals processes may be quite different for food items, consumables, fine wines, flatware, linen engineering items, kitchen items, refurbishment projects etc.

Modern erp systems like Dynamics Ax 2012 include features like PO requisition and aprroval workflows, Encumbrance accounting and PO budget controls, pdcs, L/cs , alerts etc. (Synergy was the only regional practice to participate in the beta testing and has the first certifed Ax 2012 consultants in the region, and the first Ax 2012 go live)

Travel and expense management is another area that benefits from document flow approval workflow and automation . Fraxxion is an example of a cost effective solution

Buy Better save money and improve cash flow with Birch Street Systems – Synergy, Dubai

December 14th, 2011

When times are tough you need to manage cash flow and costs.

eProcurement offers both.

The cloud based SaaS module approach reduces up front cost and provides predictable IT costs – no hardware, no patch or upgrade worries , regular product enhancements and a central systme to ensure  group standards.

Thousands of hotels, assisted living facilities, country clubs and restaurants in over 40 countries have chosen BirchStreet Systems for their e-Procurement, AP Automation, Inventory Control, Recipe Management and Capital Projects solutions.

Specifically designed for hospitality and food service organizations, BirchStreet’s solutions gives you better control over your supply chain, and your back-office operations.

Available in several languages, the SaaS-based BirchStreet applications are incredibly easy to use, customizable, and are delivered securely over the Web, so there’s no hardware to buy or maintain. Minimal setup and low subscription costs ensure a low total cost of ownership and immediate ROI.

Having one easy-to-use online system will improve our productivity and allow us to maintain a higher degree of control over our purchasing activities.”Deshia Goldman
InterContinental Chicago

Take a look to understand why out Marriot and Hilton have both signed global agreements with BirchStreet Systems.

Dubai in the cloud? Office 365?

December 7th, 2011

When you are starting up or need a new solution fast then a cloud based solution rather than an on-premise one  will get you up and running without the cash flow hit.  . . . at least in the short-term. However, if you implement a major business application then you still need comprehensive business process mapping, data cleansing, organizational change management, end-user training , data migration local support etc.

 The cost structure of cloud ERP avoids paying a lump sum up-front, either for hardware , software, product install, or day to day IT staff  but  organizations must pay for yearly subscriptions to their cloud provider. So it’s an easy way to amortize a large upfront expense witrhout punitive bank loans or mortgages.  You also don’t need to worry about the cost of applying patches and upgrades or resizing hardware, or the cost of back up tapes nor the space costs of a server room (what is the opportutnity cost of the space in a amjor city?)  and the energy costs that go with it, not to mention insurance and support costs for the hardware.

 However if the business cash flow should cash dry up, then you may find it  impossible to pay for the subscription – you dont just lose support, you may lose your entire system.   Vendors need to make a profit so ultimately they have to cover the cost of the up front finance. Cloud applications therefore generate more predictable revenue and higher long term revenue.

There are many successful solutions particularly in the CRM space.  Why am I writing about this now? Well Microsoft recently invited me to particpate in one of the partner surveys about our awarenes of, and our business plans, re the cloud and use/planned sales of specifically Azure and other providers like Amazon web  services. So I ahd to think – we sell some cloud solutions but we not likely to be a host  of the cloud – we implement and support. So how might it change our future and offerings?

In this region there has been cautious adoption . Of course most of us use the cloud  without thinking about it when we buy books on line or upload photos, or use web email, or Facebook etc.

So what about erp solutions like Dynamics Ax . We have been able to offer this for a long time on the cloud but clients in this region are still concerend about proven reliability – there have been some prominent site outages this year, and about  risks to their data. I am less conerend about secuirty – if you choose a major provider then they will have  a Fort Knox equivalent data centre physical security with appropriate back up,  disaster recovery, firewalls, virus protection, and skilled staff  etc that will be far safer than most on premise networks. For me the problem is more about the contractual and support side which seems much less clear..

 2. Will we still own our data? a crucial question to ask your ERP cloud provider before the purchase-  how and in what format will  the cloud provider deliver your data to you when you cancel your contract – how long will that take  .

3. How to choose the ERP cloud provider? Few will have a cloud track record, but  lots of satisfied customers is always a good sign .  Check the uptime guarantees, service level agreement (SLA) and other terms and conditions and whether these cna be substantiated and what happens if those are not met . Check the vendor is operating on a large enough scale with redundant infrastructure facilities in the case of a natural disaster at their primary facility. What is their financial stability. WIll your data be in the sama server as others on a shared database, or will it be dedicated for you? How does the application licensing work if the cloud provider is not the application vendor?

4. What if  we want to bring ERP back in-house? . Some vendors only support cloud deployment,

5. Will a cloud-based ERP system be able to integrate with the other line of business applications that we use?  ERP solutions with integration tools will allow you to integrate to other on premises and cloud based solutions. Can you customise for your business, or is it a common build offered to all clients – i.e if the system is enhanced for you then all other users similarly benefit. A common build will tend to be continually improved and be easier to upgrade maintain – Birch St is a typical product that works on this module for Hospitality procurdment.

6. Will there be connectivity and response time issues   Check the latency and   bandwidth requirement per client – consider report printing and BI.  Response time is a key factor for the user with a cloud based system. Flex system is a powerful user friendly cloud BI system – its in memory processing ensures exceptional processing response time. Ask us! Its a well kept secret here but is widely used in financial services in Asia.

7. What if the internet connection goes down? Consider a  redundant internet service to ensure continued operations even when your primary ISP goes down this may also help you to load balance and peak times . Many organizations find that a redundant system also helps with load balancing during high usage time.

8. What if the cloud provider is offline? The SLA (Service Level Agreement), should define   uptime guarantees and explanation of the redundant systems in place to protect against major system failure – 99.9% uptime  means in the worst case scenario that your system isdown less than 8.76 hours per annum – probably better than an in house system .

9. What  about add on customised developments?   Will these  work with a cloud based application ? This will become more common as the cloud usage expands, but there will be an additional cost to adding ISV applications to your hosted or cloud system.

What about office tools- these are less crtical than erp solutions Most of us use a hotmail gmail ,yahoo or equivalent mail account. Google apps has a large footprint of users – and Zoho also has its fans,

Microsoft has now entered this space with 2 million clients for Office 365 in a very short time. For small businesses this is a quick way to get up and running at a known cost with Office Professional, SharePoint, Exchange server and Lync with the only requirement being an internet connection,- instant productivity with the possibility of Skype or other VOIP phone systems. Ask us for details. However, it can also be a big boon for large companies as a way of outsourcing these IT functions – useful when skilled resources are scarce /costly, and when office rents are high, and the company wants to stay compliant with ITIL, and the latest technology, or has   variabe staffing e.g a project based company  or is experiencing rapid growth which is outstripping systems.

This seems to me where the cloud will get established and  will  lead to wider acceptance of erp on the cloud. Meanwhile apps stores are increasingly adding business apps and Microsoft now also runs an apps store to complement its products.  expect to see SaaS models evolve around web services e.g pay for a credit card gateway on an ad hoc  per use basis.

ERP Partner, Dubai Middle East, Dynamics Ax, Sunsystems, Microsoft CRM

June 6th, 2011

A paintbrush is just that, a paintbrush that in the right hands can wield art that is priceless.

So goes the way of ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems. Erp is a business  tool (albeit a sophisticated one) and like any other tool, in the hands of a skilled craftsman can work wonders  for an organization.

Why is this relevant? Time and time again we see prospective customers looking into the depths of an ERP system demo, orcreating  1000 quedstion rfp for a capability to meet a “requirement,” but don’t use the same scrutiny when looking for the partner to implement and to support the system. A reference check may be completed, but a serious discussion around ideas to IMPROVE their business does not take place. They end up with a new paintbrush and use it the same way. To change metaphors this is what we call changing the piano and playing the same tune.

An ERP implementation partners all have a set of brushes and they can all paint, but some have significantly more expertise in wielding the same brush as another.

So  don;t paying so much attention to the system being implemented and start paying more attention to the partner  chosen, and when you look s the cost quesiton whether his works are really  masterpieces.

A good partner does not recommend a bad system and will make the system work for you. Even the best system implemented by novices and amateurs will fail. The use of sub-contract labour is also a consideration. What happens when you want to repaint if the expert painters have left, how much more  committed to quality is a partner providing local support with its own resources?  Why do some partners charge more than others- maybe you get what you pay for – no partners want to lose business so if they have been in business a long time, then they will price at market rates – if that seems high you have to wonder why another would undercut and  what else they cut in quality and service.

Most cars can list a similar list of features, a  driving wheel an engine, 4 wheels, brakes lights etc so why doesn’t everyone just drive the cheapest one? After all they get you from A to B. Why go to a certified garage when freelancer engieerss will cut the cost?  Why buy branded spares? 

No support ocntract is like no insurance cover? And not all insurance polices are the same. Is there a skilled, manned helpdesk to answer queries?

So why use a different basis of selection for your key business system and partner?.

Buying a new car to rpelace oen witjh bugs, or a new paintbrush that is easier to use is  relatively painless comapred to having to switch implementation partners mi- project.  In the long run the right solution implemented by the right partner is the most effective, and the fastest, and the cheapest.

Hotel Show 2011 starts tomorrow.

May 16th, 2011

http://www.thehotelshow.com/page.cfm/ID=1  17-19 May 2011

Don’t forget!

Synergy has implemented software solutions in over  150 prestigious  hotels  across the region.

Our solutions include:  Sunsystems Financials, Human Capital Management, Asset Tracking,  Birch St  e-procurement, One Vision ipTV, Access Control and Time and Attendance and specialist technology soltuions.

Come and see our award winning solutions.

Hotel Show Dubai 2011 – BIRCH ST

May 3rd, 2011

See us at the hotel show where we will demosntrate  Birch St a Saas  e procuement solution used by over 3000 major hotels. The new recipe management module comes with 1200+ in built and youchefs can add their own  regional recipes. If your recipes give measurements in cups and spoonfuls and you need to scale up for a banquet of several hundreds then Birch St will do the conversions for you. It will also provide nutrional analysis and help you with menu engineering. 

A powerful e procurement workflow is an essential control in any hotel. This has to be available for multiple requesters and approvers within a sensible licence cost. The Saas based module means fast implementation, with no additional hardware, database or operating system costs, no upgrade costs, lower up front investment costs for a new property and less work and worries for IT staff.