Archive for December, 2009

Microsoft Dynamics AX- Aurigo BRIX Solution

December 16th, 2009

Microsoft Dynamics AX- Aurigo BRIX Solution

One of India’s leading Infrastructure companies houses; Unity Infra Projects Limited, (listed on the BSE with offices across India), has chosen the Aurigo BRIX – Microsoft Dynamics solution for their entire business automation needs! Brix successfully beat SAP, Oracle and a few home grown application vendors who were fiercely competing on this account thanks to the Aurigo product advantage.

Unity Infraprojects, one of India’s largest civil contractors and a listed company on the BSE, is an ISO 9001- 2000, 14001-2004 and OHSAS 18001-2007 major construction company. It is the flagship unit of the Mumbai based KK Group of Companies which has its interests spread across a wide spectrum of businesses such as concrete block manufacturing and quarrying, hotel and organized retailing industries.

MindManager® 8 Service Pack 2

December 16th, 2009

Mindjet is pleased to announce release of MindManager® 8 Service Pack 2 which provides compatibility with Microsoft® Windows® 7. Take full advantage of the following Microsoft Windows 7 features:
• Task-bar Integration
• Multi-touch Support
• Ink Support / One-Touch
• 64-bit Support
And much more

Day in the life of an IT Geek

December 15th, 2009

http://www.microsoft.com/click/serverquest/

If you are a geek taking Christmas holiday then you can while away the hours with this game if you do not find the videos funny then there is a skip button on the lower rigjht of most screens – a Microsoft toy with some not very subtle embedded plugs for Microsoft products

Road Deaths

December 14th, 2009

19 people die on Saudi roads every day – official – Number of people killed in crashes in kingdom seen rising nearly 10% in past year

Wet roads alter driving conditions and need more care – today’s news of another 5 road deaths is a warning against compacency.It is blessing that road deaths in Dubai have decreased this year and the RTA are to be congratulated. They have rightly taken a tough stance on careless motorists and have announced a campaign against drink driving ( which means carless will = carless) , With the festive season approaching and bad weather around its all our interests to think and to extend the season of goodwill to a little more courtesy on the roads.

Sunsystems serialisation

December 14th, 2009

Reminder – Please note our previous post on this topic.

Users of older versions may need to apply a patch or to upgrade to ensure the serialisation continues to function. This needs to be done before year end.

Sunsystems Year End Training

December 14th, 2009

Just a reminder that we will be running a training course on Sunsystems year end processes in our new training room in our offices in Karama:

19 December Sunsystems V4

21 December Sunsystems V5

Spaces are limited, so please confirm your booking asap. Please contact your Account Manager or the support desk for more information.

Year End Training

December 10th, 2009

A full classroom of accoutants spent a valuable day with a hands on course to review all aspects of year end activities. A high instructor to student ratio and user friendly manuals ensured students gained maximum benefits. The bird’s eye view of the Karama Park and the Sheik Zayed Road skyscrapers from our new office extension gave them all a new perspective of this part of Dubai.

RFID?

December 10th, 2009

Should companies invest in RFID? Is it dead?

Why is Wal-Mart quietly back tracking on their initially aggressive RFID initiative.

Many technologies become over-hyped. Service providers and consultants are tempted to proclaim they can solve virtually any problem with the latest and greatest technology. Within the supply chain world no technology capability has been more hyped in the last ten years than RFID. But as with many technologies that do not live up to the hype, companies become dismissive of the potential benefits the technology could provide.

RFID undoubtedly can provide tangible value to companies….when they deploy it correctly, for the right reasons.

Ad hoc projects of limited scope, done at the bleeding edge, provide little or no benefit. A recent study by four university professors entitled “Empirical Evidence of RFID Impacts of Supply Chain Performance” found that for an organization to realize significant value from RFID the technology needed to be deployed across the entire business operations or supply chain. Even deploying RFID throughout your company may not deliver significant net value unless you are working closely with your extended supply chain (suppliers, manufacturers, logistics service providers, etc.). To remain competitive companies are required to collaborate and work more closely with their supply chain partners. This will be a pre-requisite for companies looking to really leverage the value of RFID (in a non-closed loop scenario).

It is important that you consider the complete spectrum of data capture and communication options. There are different technologies for data capture and transmission e.g. pen and paper, kanbans and barcodes. Many companies have advanced to: two-dimensional barcodes, multi-part barcodes, voice technology, etc. Is RFID (passive or active) the right data capture and communication solution to make a difference for you throughout the touch points of your extended supply chain?

One reason RFID’s will continue to drive business process enhancement is that the cost of the underlying technology is rapdily becoming much cheaper – due to both new production technology and higher volumes of RFID tags produced. In addition there have been several advancements in reading the RFID tags which in some cases have dramatically lowered the hardware costs as well as the underlying costs and performance of wireless networks, servers, mobile devices etc and dot net middleware to reduce the cost of turning the RFID data into a meaningful set of transactions for an erp system.

YEAR END – FOR IT

December 9th, 2009

Year-end – a perfect time to roll into the office late, leisurely grab a second cup of coffee, and finally enjoy a slowdown on the help desk. With so many holidays, staff burning additional vacation, and year-end shutdowns, the IT department can finally catch its breath, right?

With large numbers of employees out of the office, this is a prime opportunity to get a little housekeeping in order.

Here are 10 best year-end technology practices businesses tofollow to ensure systems and data are properly maintained.

1: Restore backups to confirm proper operation
You run backup operations every day but are those backups completing properly? The media upon which they’re stored — is it dependable?
Gartner is routinely quoted as saying that as many as 71% of tape recoveries fail.
Recover backups to test systems to confirm that the appropriate data is being backed up and that the backup media enable recovering the data properly.

2: Review disk image inventory and status
If your organization deploys workstations or servers using disk images or leverages disk images as backups, confirm that those images are current.
Test redeploying disk images to nonproduction systems to make sure those enable proper deployment or recovery and make adjustments for any new hardware or software applications introduced during the past year.

3: Physically examine and clean servers and pcs
Depending upon the physical environment, laptops, desktop pcs, and servers can become contaminated with dust, dirt, and debris.
Open systems and remove dust and dirt from the intake and exhaust vents, cpu fans, cooling sinks, and the like. Use a special electronics vacuum, as canned air often just blows contaminants deeper into fans, heat sinks, and other components.
Check for physical damage of cables, plugs, casing cracks etc
Hygiene cleaning of keyboards, phones etc

4: Clean up, and Defragment hard disks
Possibly the most tiresome task it professionals complete, even in the age of supposedly self-defragmenting operating systems, is defragmenting hard disks.
Laptops, desktops, and servers all require regular defragmentation, especially if you want to prolong disk life and maximize performance. Consider deploying a third-party utility or writing custom scripts to schedule defragmentation routines during off hours.
Either way, any good year-end maintenance checklist requires confirming that disks are properly defragmented.
But back up first just in case!

Also a good time to:
• clean up useless registry entries
• delete unwanted cookies
• delete temp files
• clear old event logs
• empty recycle bins
• delete unauthorised software
• update white lists
• archive old mails, delete old mails, especially those with large attachments (Ask us about Exclaimer products)

5: Audit software licenses and media
When failures or disasters occur, the biggest obstacle to quick recovery is the inability to locate license keys, registration codes, and installation media.
All small and midsize businesses should regularly audit application licenses and installation software site-wide, including all branch and remote locations. Confirm that all license information and installation media are safely stored in a secure location.
Check for patches, serialisation renewal dates, support agreement renewals.

6: Perform network stress tests
Over time, employees and departments install or deploy additional workstations, systems, and even networks.
It’s not uncommon to find a single ethernet drop with eight additional workstations via a network hub or switch.
Year-end provides a great opportunity to test networks for problems. Several network tools are available,.
On a more simple scale, perform rolling ping (ping -t) checks to make sure workstations aren’t dropping packets when connecting both to local servers and wan-side sites.
Such sustained tests help confirm proper physical cabling, eliminate nic issues, and verify routers, switches, and other network equipment is performing properly.

7: Audit user accounts
Human resources and information technology departments get busy.
Various projects and initiatives arise throughout the year.
Occasionally, users may leave the organization without word getting back to the it department.
Schedule a quick meeting with an administrative staff member who can provide an accurate list of current employees and authorized contractors
Crosscheck that list against the user accounts listed within active directory (or your organization’s equivalent user database) to confirm that no user accounts exist for staff who have left the organization.
Kill accounts that are no longer required.
Review need for password changes.

8: Confirm equipment inventory
Perform a physical count of hardware assets. Build a detailed inventory.
Catalogue network devices, laptops, desktops, servers, and other equipment your department is tasked with managing. Include printers, monitors and similar peripherals within the asset list you build.
Finally, compare the asset list to the prior year’s inventory. Compensate for decommissioned or newly purchased equipment and confirm all organization assets are accounted for properly.
(Our Asset tracker solution is an ideal tool )

9: Clean printers
Printers are the workhorse of many businesses, yet the only maintenance many network printers receive is toner cartridge replacement.
Visit all network printers. Vacuum those of loose toner, clear exhaust vents of dust and debris to ensure proper cooling, and consider running specially formulated cleaning pages to help clean internal components.
You can also perform other laser printer cleaning, such as using toner cloth to clean printer cartridges.

10: Plan and organise
Get organized. The start of a new year is just around the corner and you’re going to get to do it all over again.
Check your serialisation updates, your support agreement renewals
Plan and agree the new year system outages well in advance and communicate these – hardware and software upgrades and installs, audits, maintenance and tests,
What IT policies and procedures need update?
What training is needed for end the IT staff and users?
Which exhibitions will you attend?
Which new technology do you need to consider? Cloud, SAAS, SOA, VOIP, Unified messaging, Mobility, RFID, virtualisation , low energy, collaboration tools, endpoint security, data encryption ??
What upgrades may be needed – office, sql, windows anti-virus??

Compliance

December 8th, 2009

Organizations want their customer data to be private, often companies use the “honor-system” when it comes to exactly how careful their employees are with sensitive data. For that reason, security and audit controls are increasingly becoming drivers for ERP decisions as companies move from less sophisticated systems. According to Forrester Research, over 75% of companies include security and audit as drivers for their decision.

With our solutions  you can have confidence that your data can be protected. The good news is that our customers are already well on the way to compliance. Our solutions  provide a secure auditable environment but just because you already use these doesn’t mean you’re automatically compliant. There may be a few tweaks to make, including: Set up encryption on the SQL Server. Enforce secure password policies using Microsoft Active Directory. For example, enforce mandatory password changes every 45 days and use complex passwords with at least 8 characters and a combination of numbers, symbols, or uppercase/lowercase letters. Set up enhanced levels of security in your ERP system using roles. Review your security to ensure for appropriate segregation of duties. Limit access to the system administrator username/password. Use tools to audit any changes made by the system administrator and other users. Tack who has access to data, who made a change, and who deleted or added information from either within or outside the system.  For enhand security we can also advanced endpoint solutions.

Microsoft Dynamics Ax 2009 Year End Training

December 7th, 2009

Compliance and timely year end close of the fiscal year is a challenge for many companies. In addition to the financial close, reconciliation and reporting there are other operational considerations such as: fixed asset depreciation, stock checks, new budget loads, inventory revaluation, new forecasts, and new contracts to negotiate and set up. 

This professional  course will be held in our offices on Thursday 10th December to provide informed guidance from experienced consultants, with hands-on practice in Microsoft Dynamics Ax,  supported with our detailed notes and a high instructor student ratio.

Book now

Microsoft Office 2010

December 7th, 2009
Microsoft Office 2010, the successor of Office 2007, is planned to be released in June 2010. 

 Web browser or Smartphone - access your files from virtually anywhere, users can now collaborate and share applications over the Web, . Hence, in the new Office 2010, users can store their data locally or in cloud based environment or in web

a free stripped-down, advertising-supported version of office 2010 on new PCs from 2010. The new version is meant to replace the Microsoft Word and will only be available on new PCs sold by OEMs. It is available in three different versions, called Home & Student, Home & Business or Professional editions and there will be no expiration.

The new edition, called “office Starter 2010,” will contain only Word 2010 and Excel 2010 that means it is devoid of PowerPoint 2010 and OneNote 2010. However, the Home & Business edition will also have Outlook 2010.

Companies Sapped by SAP

December 7th, 2009

The Real Stories of Companies Sapped by SAP and their consultants (their words not mine!) A very interesting site entitled http://saphorrorstories.com

 from which I’m sure you can draw your own conclusions.