Archive for November, 2009

WPS – points to note

November 17th, 2009

Emiratis will need a labour card to get an employee id if they are to be paid via WPS

Companies should negotiate and agree the transfer fees with their bank

Advise employees asap of the changes – payments have to be in AED ¬ and to a local bank  – some employees may need to set up standing orders for salary transfers overseas

Expect some hiccups – its doubtful that every bank or agency  has fully tested this system, or  even whether they have enough staff or computer processing power for multiple, additional companies doing transfers at month end – so advise your staff  to ensure they should budget to have enough cash at month  should the system have delays that hold up salary transfer in the initial months.

Do a  thorough check on your employee data especially to ensure correct MOL employee id and bank route and account details are held.

There is a backlog of companies who have taken appropriate action – and only a finite number of bank staff and HR and payroll consultants in the market ,and even the MOL itself cannot handle  inquiries from multiple companies simultaneously.  With EID holidays, and year end approaching its important to take early action

Dubai news

November 16th, 2009

Work starts on Dubai amphitheatre, giant screen

Plans confirmed for Rihanna’s Middle East debut -Plans confirmed for Rihanna’s Middle East debut

UAE’s Hard Rock hotel plans face big delays

500 Emiratis blacklisted over attitude to jobs
Emirates National Development Programme gets tough over lax job seekers.

Movenpick Hotel group says its Royal Amwaj hotel will debut concept including all food, drink costs

Beach soccer- Champions Brazil aiming to win their fourth consecutive title at Jumeirah Beach

New Compatibility Testing Results for Microsoft Dynamics AX

November 16th, 2009

New Compatibility Testing Results for Microsoft Dynamics AX 

The Microsoft Dynamics AX Sustained Engineering Team has completed the following compatibility tests for the new releases of the following Microsoft stack components:

Microsoft Product Dynamics AX version
Windows 7 Dynamics AX 4.0 SP2 and Dynamics AX 2009 RTM and SP1Supported as a client only, in 32 bit and 64 bit mode
Windows Server 2008 R2 Dynamics AX 4.0 SP2 and Dynamics AX 2009 RTM and SP1Operating System Supported in 64 bit only

 Note: for upgrade from Windows Server 2008 to R2 with SharePoint 2007 already installed please refer to KB962935 and the following Technet article.

Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 Dynamics AX 4.0 SP2 and Dynamics AX 2009 RTM and SP1Operating System Supported in 32 bit and 64 bit mode
Windows Terminal Services Dynamics AX 4.0 SP2 and Dynamics AX 2009 RTM and SP1
Office 2007 Service Pack 2 Dynamics AX 4.0 SP2 and Dynamics AX 2009 RTM and SP1

Synergy update Nov

November 15th, 2009

Don left last month and is now enjoying life in the USA after a Synergy send off in our new office extension. He is replaced by Ajamal who brings networking skills to the team and is now learning about Windows Server .


Abhinav has joined with a wealth of experience with Dynamics Solutions, and Asim has joined the Sunsystems team, again with a lot of useful experience. Belated welcome also to KK who brings a lifetime of experience and certifications and helped our VOIP telephone upgrade project and is now working with our Time and Attendance systems.

Congratulations to Subbaraj for certifying in Microsoft Dynmaics Ax Trade and Logistics  (with 97% score) while on holiday.

An intensive one week  Microsoft Dynamics Ax  boot camp  for regional senior management was conducted in  our office and was immediately followed by a request to run it again the next week for another senior manager.

Following Ramadan, extended school holidays EID, and of course Gitex and with the new WPS salary transfer legislation and a fast approaching year end there has been a lot of requests for meetings and solution demonstrations keeping us all busy. Our new website and of course this blog are also factors in increased activity. However, another batch of appreciation letters from satisfied clients indicate the main reason clients continue to work with us. We show in our reknowned support that we value their business and their success is our  reward.

Finally best wishes to Rafik for a rapid recovery and we hope to see him again soon.

Disaster recovery

November 15th, 2009

Regional businesses not prepared for disaster says a recent study

Virtualisation concepts offer easy cost effective solutions


Where's Klaus? Protect your children on the Internet.

November 14th, 2009

Watch this CEOP authorised video. 

CEOP is a government body (affiliated to the Serious Organised Crime Agency – SOCA) it also has an industry partnership involving Visa, O2 and Microsoft among others  to help in a number of ways including training as many children as possible to be able to be safe on line.

This is all about making sure children can have fun using the internet, have control of their online personas, and know what to do to report any abuse such as clicking on this logo


e.g. Windows Live Messenger. Facebook

There is a public web site where you can find out more, ThinkUKnow , to which you can also point your children.

The internet should be fun for you and your children, which means that what you do to protect them on line should be the same as what you do off line.

Windows 7 DirectAccess

November 14th, 2009

Windows 7 DirectAccess – in Windows 7/ Windows Server 2008 r2.

It’s like a VPN without all of the grief poor network performance.

Network Access Protection (NAP) checks the health of your machine e.g.  anti-virus software is up to date as well as all software updates.

Internet access is not routed through the VPN, and also the VPN doesn’t slow down Live Meeting and Office Communicator.

Doesn’t require any special ports to be open, so if you have internet access at a hotel airport lounge or a customer site then this will work

Technical overview of how it works here.


November 12th, 2009

Nokia N900 will be sold next week - Nokia’s first device running open source software will not have Arabic support

ArabCrunch.NET a social networking site aims to bring together entrepreneurs from the Arab world

U.A.E. – Construction update Nov 09

November 12th, 2009

Gulf firms upbeat about 2010 prospects – 1,845 construction projects worth $657Bn active in U.A.E.


United Development Co president says company is in talks on projects worth up to $3bn.

Pearl Qatar developer upbeat on Q4 performance

Saudi company chiefs optimistic on Q4 – survey

Saudi Aramco sees oil demand rising by 1m bpd from 2010

Russ Ackoff

November 12th, 2009

The venerable management thinker Russ Ackoff died a few days ago. Some of his valuable insights and aphorisms that will live on:

All of our problems arise out of doing the wrong things righter. The more efficient you are at doing the wrong things the wronger you become.  It is much better to do the right things wronger than the wrong things righter. If you do the right thing wrong and correct it you get better.

Organisations fail more often because of what they have not done, not because of what they have done.

The less managers expect of their subordinates, the less they get

The only problems that have simple solutions are simple problems. the only managers that have simple problems have simple minds…. Complex problems do not have simple solutions.



Vico Software BIM Constructability and Clash Analysis

November 12th, 2009

It’s easy to think that you’re done with BIM after you’ve run a clash detection.

But in actuality, the true BIM has just begun. Not only do you need to organize objects in space, but you also have to organize the project timeline.

 RFIs turn into Change Orders which greatly impact the duration and cost of your project.

 When we hear the word clash, we are more likely to think about pipes running into HVAC cutting through a floor. That certainly is one very important definition. But Vico proposes there are many other types of clashes. Spot t misalignment issues discovered in Doc Set Manager and resolved in the 3D model. Look at scheduling clashes: too many crews in the same space and crew size/duration issues that lead to conflicts. Leveraged integration of coordination creates more opportunities to develop a better bid and a better schedule – true differentiators in a hard bid world.

 Hard bids have become the de facto bidding . You want to develop hard bid strategies quickly, but might not have time to develop a BIM;. You know you’ll discover change orders during the project, but you want to find those sooner;. You understand that coordination is more than polygonal clash detection. Speak to our Team about coordination projects, from the first drawing to the final brick.  Good software is critical, but best practices distinguish you from the other bidders; and constructability analysis versus clash detection is key.


November 11th, 2009

Despite being a relative ‘newcomer’ Infor has rapidly established itself as a major, profitable IT company and is showing that it is serious about enhancing its products. The MY DAY portal and the new multi ledger functionality are just some examples. Infor is better known for its solutions such as  Sunsystems, EXE, Datastream etc and this now includes the former Softbrands range. The company is now starting to establish is own brand name with a series of Inforum events across the globe, and update of its logo and even a more prominent office sign in Dubai  (near Oracle’s!). Expect to see a lot more marketing activity from Infor next year. They have introduced a ‘Flex’ programme to make is easier for clients to upgrade to latest releases or more functional solutions in the range.

 It will be interesting to see how the new’ ‘down with big erp campaign’ works out.

November 11th, 2009

‘The UAE is to be covered 90% by fibre optic network by 2011′ – Etisalat chairman

SQL tip

November 10th, 2009

A useful tip – when SQL Server executes a stored procedure, it first checks to see if it is a built-in stored procedure (system supplied). It checks the master database for the existence of this procedure. If the procedure is not found, then it will search the user database. In a high transaction environment, the slight performance hit will add up.

If Microsoft creates  a system stored procedure with the same name as the procedure you wrote.then  your procedure will stop working and the one supplied by Microsoft will be executed.

SQL will actually execute the one in the master database

SQL Server 2008 R2

November 10th, 2009

SQL Server has new benchmark records: TPC-E: 2,012 tpsE – best speed on x64 & IA64 at lowest price.  TPC-H 3TB: 102,778 QphH – world-record on Windows. Dynamix CRM: 20K users with sub-second response time.  Impressive speed that many of us will never be able to (or need to achieve), but there is a subtler realization from this announcement: TPC results must be issued six months within the release of the product.  This means SQL Server 2008 R2 will RTM by the beginning of May! 

Builder 3.0 will support integration with scale out data warehousing as a source and also include Report Gallery capabilities (reuse items from a repository like charts), sparklines, and data bars

lots lots more features