Archive for July, 2010

Financial Planning, Budgeting and Forecasting

July 31st, 2010

Summer and Ramadan is here, but once the holidays are over budget time looms. Tight  deadlines, late nights , chasing mobile staff to get their  numbers in on time, detailed reworking , then multiple reports and projections and kpi calculations……there has to be a better way. Try Prophix!

 Before you decide read this  Aberdeen Report that will serve as a roadmap to efficient planning, budgeting and forecasting for improved agility, accuracy and corporate performance.

Download it free from here:

 http://www.prophix.com/common/php/forms/contact.php?tag=aberdeen-report-2009

Iran – second earthquake

July 31st, 2010

A 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck Iran’s on Saturday, disrupting communications but with no immediate reports of casualties.  The epicentre was in the rural Negar region in southwest Kerman. There were no immediate reports of casualties. A similar quake shook Iran’s northeastern province of Khorasan Razavi, on Friday injuring 170 people

Iran, including the capital Tehran, sits astride several major fault lines in the earth’s crust, and is prone to frequent earthquakes, many of which have been devastating.

Fly Dubai spreads its wings

July 31st, 2010

In the last month or so Fly Dubai has added new destinations  to Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Colombo. It also introduced on line booking services.

The latest reported news  is that it is giving all passengers a 100% reimbursement of their fare if they travel between 15th August and 6th September 2010 during the holy month of Ramadan.

Passengers will only have to pay for the taxes for certain flights booked before 1st August with travel dates between 15th August and 6th September and the fare will be given back to passengers in the form of a voucher via email on 9th September 2010. Passengers receiving these vouchers would have the privilege of using them on any flydubai route and is valid until 8th December 2010. Be quick!

Dubia Bus Services Success

July 31st, 2010

Public buses have commuted around 56 million passenger journeys so far in 2010. It is forecasted to reach  119 million passengers trips by the end of the current year. Bus punctuality has reached a high of 62%  with a drop of accidents rate to 1 accident per 100 thousand kilometers.  The bus depots at Al Khawaneej & Jebel Ali wil be opened in August this year.

Dubai -Department of Economic Development (DED) – Business Dashboard

July 31st, 2010

In July 201o the  Department of Economic Development (DED), today, introduced a new ‘Business Dashboard’ on its website, www.dubaided.gov.ae. The initiative is part of DED’s efforts to help businesses and investors save time and effort by completing the business registration process swiftly and at their convenience on-line.

In addition to a new segment, ‘Business Pulse’, which gives an overview of the current economic and business trends, ‘Business Dashboard’ serves as a one-stop facility for a range of business services. These include reserving the trade name, renewal of trade name reservation, updating the trade license data, free re-printing of the trade license, renewal of licenses, enquiries about the status of the transaction, and electronic payment. The most recent service added is electronic initial approval of licenses permits for most activities.

The site also provides a “Step by step” service, electronic newsletters and “Rasaeli”, which allows investors to contact DED staff through an account on the website. Investors can also inquire about the commercial activities, the number of licenses issued as per activity, the addresses of companies, and the estimated fees for the issuance of a license or its renewal.

introduced a new ‘Business Dashboard’ on its website, www.dubaided.gov.ae to help businesses and investors to complete the business registration process swiftly at their convenience on-line.

A new segment, ‘Business Pulse’ gives an overview of the current economic and business trends, ‘and serves as a one-stop facility for a range of business services. These include:

  •  reserving the trade name,
  •  renewal of trade name reservation,
  •  updating the trade license data,
  •  free re-printing of the trade license,
  •  renewal of licenses,
  • enquiries about the status of the transaction,
  •  electronic payment.
  •  The most recent service added is electronic initial approval of licenses permits for most activities.

 

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ApproveIt™ e-Sign – hosted on line esignatures

July 29th, 2010

ApproveIt™ e-Sign Engine, (Silanis) is a new Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering from Synergy Software Systems . It provides the quickest time to market and lowest up-front investment for extending e-signing processes to people outside of your organization.

A fully web-based solution,  no need to download, install or manage any software. People just ‘click-to-sign’ documents presented in a web browser using nothing more than their mouse.

And because e-SignLive is integrated with IBM LotusLive, you’ll get an entire host of productivity-enhancing business features for collaborating more efficiently and cost-effectively with people outside of your organization.

Discover just how easy it is to:

  Upload and prepare your existing Microsoft Word, Adobe PDF and Lotus Symphony documents for e-signing
  Drag and drop name, signature, and date fields into documents
  Invite guests to e-sign documents at no extra charge
  ‘Click-to-sign’ documents using nothing more than a mouse
  Monitor the status of e-signing activities so you know who has signed what documents and when
  Work more efficiently with people using online collaboration and business networking tools
  Host web meetings and video conferences, share files and desktop views, manage projects and business contacts, and much more.

Call Kamlesh to sign up for a free 30 day trial 00971 4 3365589

Oasis for hotels – slash PMS and POS costs

July 29th, 2010

In the current economic downturn everyone needs to cut costs. Adopting new software when opening a new hotel is just one of mutliple projects to manage simultaneously. 

 Oasis offers a new approach. Rapid implementation is assured by the easy to use browser interface with a common system for both PMS and POS.

There are often many hidden IT costs – server licences and installs, CAL licences, multiple,  interfaces, maintenance costs for those, expensive servers, needing storage space and energy and so on.

Oasis comes with compettive functionality and pricing that will appeal to the budget hotel and serviced apartments segment of the market.  

Oasis takes full advantage of Linux and open source systems to significantly reduce both the acquisition and the implementation costs  and the ongoing cost of ownership. Extremely stable and cost effective Oasis is used the Grand Lisboa Macau, hotel chains like the Holiday Inn Express, IBIS  and independent resorts like the Villa-Maly in Laos.

  • Hotel PMS software
  • F&B POS software
  • PABX Call Billing software
  • Interface software
  • Server Mirroring software

Call Deyafa Systems, the exclusive Middle East dealers to learn more.

Tel: Madhav –  0097143240066

Oasis  is successfuly implemented  with  Sunsystems  the market leading back office finance solution for hotels– (available from Synergy Software Systems) :

Mindjet 9 is coming

July 29th, 2010
  • Expanded project planning capabilities and integrated Gantt charting
  • New and improved dynamic Microsoft Outlook integration
  • New presentation and printing capabilities
  • Significantly faster performance

Ramadan – Dubai changes in times for parking fees and metro

July 28th, 2010

Metro

 Dubai Metro service hours during the holy month of Ramadan

  • Weekdays:  6am to 1am during
  • Fridays:   2 pm to 1 am

Parking charges – times.

 Al Tayer announced that the RTA has revised the working hours of paid parking zones during the holy month,

  • Morning session unchanged:   08:00am to 01:00pm
  • Evening session: from 07:00pm  to  midnight.

So afternoon free parking is extended but parking from 9 – midnight is now chargeable.

So the same number of hoursfor using parking zones in the evening session - Revising the parking timing in the evening session is intended to ease the pressure on parking users in the afternoon up to Iftar time.

Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act

July 26th, 2010

Earlier this week President Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act into law in the U.S.A.

While the legislation is focused primarily on overhauling the U.S. financial regulatory system, the Act contains eight provisions addressing corporate governance and executive compensation that will have a significant impact on public companies.

Strong corporate governance policies and practices can help restore public trust in public companies and solidify the foundation for a broad economic recovery.  With the passage of the bill, now the hard work begins for regulators and public companies who are preparing for these changes, much of which will likely occur in time for the 2011 proxy season

 This is likely to affect international branches of companies headquartered in the U.S.A. It raises questions about management control systems, audit requirements, reporting etc.

One of the few erp solutions to address this is Microsoft Dynamics Ax which has built a comprehensive Compliance Portal -  effectively a rich featured SharePoint Site  bringing together alerts,workflows, reports, kpis, and document librarires - all in  the core product.

Call us for a demo: 009714 3365589

The latest videos about Microsoft Dynamics CRM and industry related solutions,

July 26th, 2010

This week the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference show cased the latest videos about Microsoft Dynamics CRM and industry related solutions, you can find most of them here: www.microsoft.com/industry/wpc.

July 26th, 2010

  Forrester Research Inc cited  Microsoft Dynamics CRM as a Leader in both  The Forrester Wave™: CRM Suites for Midsized, Q2 2010 (June 2010) and The Forrester Wave™: CRM Suites for Large Organizations, Q2 2010 (June 2010) reports.

….. many CRM technology projects were deferred or cancelled in 2009, our latest research spotlights that organizations of all sizes are now investing again to improve the customer management capabilities they’ve neglected during the past 18 months. If you are a business process leader in a large [or midsized] organization, you’re challenged to pick the best CRM solution to enable your company to capitalize on the upturn,”  .. William Band, vice president and principal analyst, Forrester Research,….. “Microsoft Dynamics CRM shines by offering flexibility for large and midsized organizations.’

 The Forrester Wave reports evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of 19 customer relationship management (CRM) suite solutions against 516 criteria reflecting the requirements of midsized organizations and 18 CRM solutions for large organizations against 516 criteria reflecting the requirements of large organizations. These criteria included, among other factors, offering a multifunctional CRM application suite, a solution targeted to multiple industries, and a product now in general release and in wide use by customers.

 In Forrester’s evaluation of multiple CRM solutions, Microsoft Dynamics CRM got high marks for ease of use and relatively fast deployment times.

Buyers like Microsoft Dynamics CRM’s usability, lower price and its quick time to value compared with traditional CRM applications

The Forrester Wave™: CRM Suites for Midsized Organizations, Q2 2010 and The Forrester Wave™: CRM Suites for Large Organizations, Q2 2010 reports are available at: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/itanalyst/default.mspx. More about Microsoft Dynamics CRM is available at http://www.microsoft.com/dynamics. In addition, people can follow the Microsoft Dynamics conversation daily and engage with the community at http://www.twitter.com/msdynamics and http://www.twitter.com/msdynamicscrm.

Microsoft Upstream Reference Architecture Initiative

July 25th, 2010

The Microsoft Upstream Reference Architecture Initiative will develop on-going consensus for an information technology (IT) framework for the global upstream oil and gas industry.

 Created in close alignment with Microsoft Corp. and its widespread ecosystem of industry software vendor and systems integrator partners, this initiative is an ongoing collaborative effort to create a common architectural approach to IT to further the flow of information across all upstream business units.

This design enables multiple parties using numerous technologies to work together efficiently, integrating business applications, processes, people and data to facilitate more consistent workflows across and within organizations.

Microsoft has launched what it calls the “Microsoft Upstream Reference Architecture Initiative” together with 20 partners to date – a kind of manual for how to do IT for the upstream

Imagine a manual which on how to put together information technology systems for the upstream, so that it works – this is  what Microsoft is putting together – it won’t tell you exactly how but it will  give you broad principles which are tried and tested. The reference architecture is not limited to just Microsoft products, and does not exclude companies which are in competition with Microsoft.

Production operations is seen as the critical area  – there are complex daily decisions to be made which rely on a large amount of information. 

Oiil companiesdiffer  but they all  own and manage subsurface assets, and monitor what is coming through the wells. So systems can be developed to do these standard tasks, such as automate how a well test works.

Cumulative update package for SQL Server 2008 SP1

July 25th, 2010

This package contains all of the SQL Server 2008 hotfixes that have been released since the initial release of SQL Server 2008 SP1

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/sqlreleaseservices/archive/2010/07/19/cumulative-update-9-for-sql-server-2008-service-pack-1.aspx

Data leakage

July 25th, 2010

About 42 percent of small and midsize companies have lost proprietary or confidential information, according to Symantec’s SMB Information Protection Survey,  published last month. 

  •  23 percent blamed insiders inadvertently losing data;
  •  14 percent of breaches were blamed on a broken business process.

In another survey released last year, Symantec researchers found that, of SMBs that suffered at least one breach,

  •  44 percent blamed a lost device,
  • about 40 percent blamed human error,
  • about  20 percent attributed the loss to outdated security procedures or inadequate employee training.

SMB Employees mix personal and business technology and the companies are not prepared to deal with smartphones, social networks, .

Workers who employ these next-generation technologies are usually not educated in the online threats. In its annual data breach report, Verizon Business found that insider errors were a factor in two-thirds of all breaches it investigated on behalf of clients.

Some SMBs might shy away from security tools and practices because of the cost, but technically savvy companies can prevent many leaks with low outlay.

For example, most browsers now dynamically check links against a known list of bad sites, preventing accidental surfing to malicious destinations and companies can update their firewalls with block lists provided by one of the many free services that offer these, such as MalwareDomains.com.

Patching is a critical element in protecting against unintentional data leaks.  All applications — especially ubiquitous ones, such as Adobe Acrobat and Flash — need to patched frequently.

 While some companies attempt to ban social networks, these sites are becoming an important business tool – so it’s better to monitor the users.

Monitoring is a double-edged sword. More monitoring means more data  to collect and analyze — and the more data you collect, the less chance that you will use it. This is where Spectorsoft’s drill down dashboard approachand screen recording tools are  really useful and why it is adopted by so many large corporations. It can also monitor chat, email and Web postings for confidential information that is transferred to competitors, what has been copied or printed, or for identifying time wasting activities, or surfing inappropriate websites. It also provides the legal evidence needed to take action. Once installed there is usually a significant increase in employee productivity as they spend more time on work rather than social related activities- and savings in internet and broad band useage costs. downloading music, jokes movies etc slows your network and affects everyones producitivity.

Data-loss protection (DLP) systems minimise the risk that users will unintentionally disclose confidential information or that unauthorised personlel wil be able to access it. this includes group policy based folder encryption and programs designed to manage devices to prevent inadvertent or malicious copying of data to USB devices.

Synergy offerr specialist solutions as well as penetration testing.