Archive for June, 2010

Microsoft Dynamics AX for you and SAP for Corporate

June 25th, 2010

SAP ERP may be used at a company’s corporate headquarters, it if often easier to accomdoate a localisation or a verticala requirement ro to deploy cost effectively ina  region or industry with Microsoft Dynamics AX

 Microsoft makes decision easier with a Microsoft Dynamics two-tier connector for SAPs.  The two-tier connector enables common business process integration for : 

  •  Financial consolidation.
  • Intercompany supply-chain integration.
  • Plant automation- decentralized manufacturing operation with  centrally orchestrated planning processes

Insider’s Point of View survey of next-generation IT leaders, conducted by Altimeter Group analyst Ray Wang, found that 32 percent of survey respondents are  considering a two-tier ERP applications strategy over a single application deployment in their organizations.

The key drivers to moveto a two-tier ERP approach, are purpose-built  industry-focused solutions and  the fact that existing systems are too expensive to implement and to upgrade at the subsidiary level.

Microsoft Dynamics AXs flexibility in global and vertical customizations and low total cost of ownership through integration with other Microsoft products is a proven strategy.

To buy or not Du-bai

June 23rd, 2010

http://tobuyornotdubai.tumblr.com/

Fun blog on the the exoticness and hilarity of cultural differences found at our local shops

Sunsystems – INFOR FMS

June 23rd, 2010

Reports about all the risksthat  financial managers face aren’t news to you—you live with these every day! .

The time to run quarterly reports has been cut in half, and data is more reliable.”

Aldo Canton,
Accounting and Tax Manager
for MAPFRE Argentina on Infor FMS SunSystems

You need financial management solutions that:

  • Reduce your costs. 
  • Shorten process cycle times.
  • Achieve data consistency. 
  • Enforce global financial standards and processes.
  • Improve financial transparency.

Solve those problems with Infor FMS. It’s powerful, customizable, and implements quickly, without disrupting your business - quick payback and quick results. Ask any of the 20,000 customers in over 180 countries who reach their financial goals with the help of Infor FMS .

Infor Financial solutions can help you improve:

Financial Accounting—See your entire financial position instantly and streamline your reporting.
Project Accounting—Keep a sharp eye on project costs and get better results.
Banking Solutions—Build customer relationships, and boost the productivity and profitability of your operation centers.
Expense Management—Slash expense account spending while getting more value for your travel dollars.

Synergy Software Systems has implemented Sunsystems at over 100 sites across the Middle East

 

 

Survive with Prophix – financial planning, budgeting, and forecasting

June 23rd, 2010
Few companies remain unscathed in the aftermath of the economic crisis. The economic uncertainty of the last few years made it difficult to set clear goals and objectives and sustain a financial plan to support them. Even as the global economy works its way out of a recession, CFOs have to rethink their attitudes and approaches to financial strategy and planning.PROPHIX is pleased to offer you this free report from Aberdeen Group ($399 value!) that reveals how driving improvements in active financial planning, budgeting, and forecasting can help companies to emerge stronger as the economy recovers.

Five Compelling Facts from the Research, Providing Actionable Benefits for Readers:

  1. Best-in-Class companies forecast with 36% greater accuracy than Laggard companies, 11% better than the Industry Average
  2. Best-in-Class companies are 106% more likely than Laggards to be able to reforecast as market conditions change
  3. Best-in-Class companies have more visibility into the organization as they are 66% more likely to be able to drill down to successive levels of detail from summary positions
  4. Best-in-Class companies are 58% more likely to have established enterprise-wide collaboration across departments / divisions during the financial planning process
  5. Best-in-Class companies have made 20% gains improvement in profitability in the last year through better planning, budgeting, and forecasting

This $399 “Financial Planning, Budgeting and Forecasting: Will the Economy Emerge?” report by Aberdeen Group is brought to you by PROPHIX. Watch the NEW 8-minute PROPHIX Autodemo to see why thousands of finance leaders around the world use PROPHIX to empower their organizations and gain greater insight into business performance.

Learn more at PROPHIX.com.

Data leakage

June 22nd, 2010

Typically more than 25% of data stored on your network should be classified as personal, sensitive or critical data. Identify these data, classify, and secure it by using our world-class Data Leakage Prevention (DLP) . Examples of protection you can implement:

  • Strongest AES-256 encryption of data on any file-server, NAS, and SAN
  • Notebook encryption, workstation, and removable media encryption
  • Data Leakage Prevention including Plug&Play device control, application control, print-screen control, clipboard and copy&paste protection
  • Control of thousands of endpoints from a single management center
  • Audit-proof logging of all sensitive data access including user name, IP, time, read/write access

Dubai does it bigger again – 45 Gigapixels

June 17th, 2010

http://gigapan.org/gigapans/48492/

http://jazarah.net/blog/dubai-in-45-gigapixels/

Amazing photo of Dubai  (this was shot on the morning of 23rd April) by the GigaPan, a project that consists of three elements:

  • a robotic camera that captures very high-resolution panoramic images using a standard digital camera (gigapixel and up);
  •  a long with custom software for constructing very high-resolution gigapixel panoramas;
  •  a new type of website for exploring, sharing and commenting on gigapixel panoramas and the detail  users will discover within 

4,250 individual shots taken with a Canon 7D and the 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L zoom at 400mm. Total shooting time circa 3 hours 30 minutes, in 37C heat (that’s the temperature in the shade – the camera and lens were almost too hot to touch at the end of this).

Gigapan EPIC Pro.

Autopano Giga software.

Gigapan uploader.

PC – i7-920, 12GB RAM, 2x 300GB Velociraptors (not RAID).used a 2TB disk !

Model-Based (BIM) Estimating

June 17th, 2010

Are  interested in a tool that derives precise, construction-caliber quantities, based on the geometry from Tekla, Revit, and ArchiCAD models.?

 Is it true that can use use model based estimating systems very early in the design process, even when there is no model, only sketches and a narrative.

How can you quickly access the multiple quantity types in the model and customize  their specific calculations to account for consumption rates, waste factors, and conditions?

How can you work closer with subcontractors to  jointly reeuce costs and  negotiate mutually-beneficial contracts witha  clear scope ?

Can you convert  a legacy estimating database into a model-based system se.g. Timberline, MC2, or RIB ?

How cna you use a 5D model, estimators to guide the Owner through budget impacts:

  •   What would happen to the cost and the schedule if we added a 5-floor parking garage?
  •  How to determine the correct mix of retail and residential in mixed-use buildings.
  •  Compare green materials in terms of installation time, cost, and projected energy savings.
  •  Pinpoint which decisions have the greatest impact on the budget.

Whether you team works with Tekla, ArchiCAD, or Revit models, we can show your team how to derive construction-caliber quantities from the model geometry. See how to edit formulas for model-based and non-model-based quantities.

Access the information from past projects built with Vico Office, or bring in data form tioehr estimating systems  via Excel Import, and leverage all the data collected by linking it to the 3D model and its quantities.

As more and more detail is known about the project see the benefits of creating iterative cost plans  presented in an easy-to-read Excel-like interface. Click on any of the line item to highlight the components contained in the model to determine whether the estimate is missing any scope… and add it back in quickly.

 With the model and cost plan in place, the estimating team can work with the owner to examine the budget. With a simple stoplight color scheme, the estimator can quickly determine which building elements are causing a budget overrun, or perhaps have not been calculated properly

Model-based estimating is conceptually no different than the paper-based processes in place now – there are just different inputs and huge benefits. Let us show you!

Professional Services for Microsoft Dynamics AX

June 15th, 2010

With recent growth at 20 percent a year, the professional services organization (PSO) industry is one of the world’s fastest-growing industry segments. Yet in this highly competitive field, maximizing efficiency during the life of a project or engagement is still a  challenge.

 Measuring the degree of project completion often undertaken in remote sites is difficult.. Employee turnover in the services
industry is high and adds ot the difficulty of forecasting and managing resource utilization.  Global resource deployment capabilities  are needed to  ensure that the right skills are assigned to the right project. 

PSO customers  expect an increasing range of services, for
smaller budgets in faster timelines without compromise on quality and innovation. Project complexity comes with demanding accelerated schedules and expectations that PSOs will leverage knowledge and experience to rapidly produce results.

Because the value of any service firm is built on people and knowledge, PSOs need tools to build team synergy and to maximize the effectiveness of employees’ knowledge and experience.

With established project management tools and methods, PSOs can proactively organize projects and effectively manage time, equipment, capital, and human resources.  Designed especially for PSOs, Professional Services for Microsoft Dynamics ®  AX is a comprehensive
business management solution that integrates project, financial, and resource management capabilities to help companies increase revenues, lower costs, and simplify compliance.

 Cost reduction comes from automating core business processes, improving invoicing, and streamlining administration and resource
management.  One of the top reasons for investing in a PSA solution is the increased revenue and profitability that results from improved resource utilization, which ultimately leads to improved customer satisfaction and repeat business. 

Timely and accurate access to resource and project data  enhances business decision-making to prioritize strategic services, projects, resources, and funding. With the enhanced visibility that the PSA solution provide, project and operational managers can optimize resources and acheive on-time and on-budget delivery.

By accurately calculating resource time and expense and project progress, PSOs can reduce billing cycle times. Accurate invoicing helps to reduce customer challenges so that PSOs can speed invoice processing, resulting in reduced costs and a greater ROI. 

When manual entry or separate systems must be used to invoice customers for services, you can lose funds through “revenue leakage”—the result of errors or incomplete or lost paperwork. Minimizing this leakage includes accurately accounting for all billable time, chargeback, or equipment and material usage on service-related projects.

 This effective PSA solution aggregates and centrally exposes this data with key performance indicators (KPIs) and reports. By acting as a data provider, data consumer, and data presenter, the solution provides a single location where data is analyzed and presented to give a holistic view of the organization.

  • Ceate and manage complex budgets based on time and materials
    using a variety of customer-specific formulas or negotiated rates.
  • Reconcile Project budgets in real time budget with  change-control mechanisms to ensure profitability and customer satisfaction
  •   measure profitability  at multiple levels—enterprise, office, customer, brand, product, contract, project, and even task

Use Professional Services for Microsoft Dynamics AX to:  

  • Generate contracts, quotes, agreements, and staffing, and to create customer records in your accounting and project management systems.
  • Execute the project and manage the customer relationship.
  • Close the projects or contracts.

Professional Services for Microsoft Dynamics AX includes contract and project setup routines that conform to your customer and company standards, such as a flexible work breakdown structure (WBS) and business rules that are configurable at the customer, project, or sub-project levels.

Professional Services for Microsoft Dynamics AX also provides you with reusable customer and project templates, multilanguage and multicurrency support, split billing, and configurable revenue recognition methods.  Automatically create projects and budgets  from approved quotations, and eliminate redundant data entry to save time and improve accuracy.

 Professional Services for Microsoft Dynamics AX has bi-directional integration with enterprise project management systems like Microsoft ®  Office Project Server 2007. The solution also provides scheduling capabilities based on milestones or tasks, configurable automated workflows, a document repository, and program alerts and notifications. In addition, customer contact records are centrally managed and accessible to the entire organization through the Customer Master.

Accelerate revenue recognition and formalize project closing with the ability to administer project review scorecards and review project metrics; electronically archive digital project assets; choose between
milestone, percent complete, or time-based billing; and manage retainages. The Revenue Recognition Wizard proactively reviews project data and proposes recognizable revenue so that you can manage by
exception and avoid client conflicts with accurate billing that is based on actual progress. The solution also provides tools to assist with time and materials reconciliation, and it supports your organization’s efforts to
comply with Sarbanes-Oxley regulations and customer- or contract-specific standards or requirements.

 Increase business agility with the ability to:

  •  Create client, team, department, and project sites as needed.
  •   ssign resources, establish billing rules and revenue recognition
  • Report at any level of detail necessary (including company, client, brand, product, project, sub-project, and task) with flexible planning and reporting WBSs.
  • Capture and report project data through parallel financial and execution activity breakdown structures.
  • Personalize and group the delivery of information  
  • Layer information so you can see both high-level (executive summary) and drill-down (detail) views of company and project information.
  • Deploy multicompany and multicurrency support
  • Create easy-to-use client profiles and templates with matrix rules for WBSs roles, rates, billing rules, and expenses.
  • Customize powerful revenue recognition and project billing rules
  • Track financial transactions within and between different departments and subsidiaries for an accurate overview of revenue and cost flows.
  • Accurately calculate and compound burdens, overheads, and other indirect cost components and effective labor rates to help ensure full cost recovery and compliant billing.
  • Identify aging accounts and projects.
  • Monitor variations in estimates and costs to  track trends in profitability. 
  •  Check project financial status with inquires across your organization to view high-level or drill-down information
  •  Track items throughout the supply chain with full traceability. 
  •  Reduce manual work and redundant effort when generating sales and purchase orders.
  • Find and assign team members to projects and tasks from within the company using Inter-company Resource Sharing, which exposes resource data between companies.
  • Quickly set up fee-based projects with a project wizard that helps ensure project information is entered completely and sequenced accurately.
  • View and analyze proposed team member availability and workload before booking them on projects to avoid conflicts and over-allocations.
  • Keep management and team members abreast of changes to projects, documents, and tasks with dashboard and e-mail alerts.
  • Increase team collaboration and ease of use through full bi-directional integration with Microsoft Office Professional 2007.
  • Synchronize project, personal, and team calendars with Microsoft Office Outlook ®  and Microsoft Exchange Server

Microsoft Office Web Apps

June 14th, 2010

June 7 -Microsoft officially turned on  Office Web Apps as a  free service  at office.live.com (Microsoft’s official line is that this is available to people in the US, UK, Canada, and Ireland). To log in, create a Windows Live ID.

Office Web Apps includes stripped-down versions  of: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote a Microsoft employee said that these may be the largest JavaScript Web apps on the planet.

The apps run fast, the interface is familiar and you get 25GB of free space  with SkyDrive. It works well in non-Microsoft Web browsers and on mobile devices.

Rents up or down?

June 14th, 2010

Dubai house prices, have halved since mid-2008, and may drop another 15 percent to 20 percent this year on as more real estate projects are completed, Credit Suisse Group said,

Real estate services company CB Richard Eliis (CBRE) said it expects 31,194 new homes in 2010, 29,388 in 2011 and 21,870 in 2012.

However house prices in Dubai rose on average by two percent in the first quarter of 2010 compared to the same period last year, according to the  house price index released by Colliers International in May.

SQL Server 2008 R2 – SQL Server utility

June 13th, 2010

SQL Server 2008 R2  introduced SQL Server utility as the center of operations to consolidate and to monitor the managed instances of SQL Server.  Launch the utility explorer from the View option in the Menu in SSMS.

The SQL Server Utility models an organization’s SQL Server-related entities in a unified view. Utility Explorer and SQL Server Utility viewpoints in (SSMS) provide administrators a holistic view of resource health through an instance of SQL Server that serves as a utility control point (UCP). Entities that can be viewed in the SQL Server UCP include:

  • Instances of SQL Server
  • Data-tier applications
  • Database files
  • Storage volumes

Resource utilization dimensions that can be viewed in the SQL Server UCP include:

  • CPU utilization
  • Storage space utilization

SQL Server Utility Demo by MVP Brent Ozar – http://sqlserverpedia.com/blog/sql-server-2008/sql-server-2008-r2-utility-demo/

How To” topics on SQL Server Utility http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee210564(v=SQL.105).aspx

PowerPivot- DAX

June 13th, 2010

Two new features have been introduced in SQL Server 2008 R2 to provide self service capabilities to the end users.  Those are: SQL Server PowerPivot for Excel 2010 and PowerPivot for Sharepoint 2010

This used to using the term DAX for Microsoft Dynamics Ax will find that is has another meaning in Power Pivot. Data Analysis Expressions (DAX),

Computex 2010

June 12th, 2010

 Computex 2010from Taiwan had just about everything: protests, strange costumes, and lots of booth babes -even the latest technology including a 3D camera for consumers.

Postini – June promotion

June 10th, 2010

With Postini you will realize immediate capital and operating cost reductions; your costs of email security and compliance will be known and predictable, month-to-month.

  • Postini’s patented technology platform provides highly accurate filtering, multiple redundant layers of threat protection, granular administrative controls, and unmatched performance. 
  • Postini Email Security delivers the highest enterprise-class service levels for availability, reliability, support, and scalability. With multiple redundant data centers around the world, massive storage and bandwidth,
  •  Postini is able to promise and deliver 99.999% availability,
    and 24×7 support both directly and through FVC, as its local partners.
  • Postini Email Security ensures email is free from threats and junk mail, increasing productivity.
  • It blocks spam, viruses, phishing, and email threats, and provides sophisticated message management and policy enforcement.
  • Policy compliance is assured via Postini’s automated archiving, which provides a Google-like interface for email discovery and retrieval.
  • Postini’s on-demand service deploys quickly, requiring no on-site hardware or software.

In Abu Dhabi, the National Corporation for Tourism & Hotels (NCT&H) was formed in 1996 as a semi-government joint venture with the Abu Dhabi Investment Company. NCT&H selected Postini because it fitted its criteria perfectly.

It did not need any hardware infrastructure investment and could be deployed immediately.
Result
Since its deployment, Postini has reduced NCT&H’s spam and malicious mail to almost zero for all its users.

Paper Monster in Your Office? Try Lasernet.

June 9th, 2010

There are significant unbudgetted costs associated with managing paper document . The average cost of materials and labor to fill a four-drawer filing cabinet is calculated at around $28,000 !!

  •  Average time to retrieve one document : Paper: 7 minutes Digital: 4 seconds
  • Average time to re-file Paper: 3 minutes Digital: 0 minutes
  • Average total cost of retrieval and re-filing Paper: $2.00 Digital: $0.20
  • Average cost of an unavailable file Paper: $120.00 Digital: $0.00
  • Average annual cost of maintaining a file Paper: $3.44 Digital: $1.81

(Information from the Dartnell Institute and ODDSAR Publication. Dollar amounts based on a US $12.00 per hour wage, includes salary, fringe benefits, overhead and taxes. Includes materials, space and labor.)

What did it cost to produce those documents- paper, printer costs, labour costs, IT software??