Archive for September, 2010

Dubai Statistics Center’s annual “Labour Force Survey” for 2009

September 29th, 2010

 The Dubai Statistics Center’s annual “Labour Force Survey” for 2009 gives insights into recent changes in Dubai’s workforce.

A decline in unemployment of 19 percent, The unemployment rate for the emirate for 2009 was just 0.8 percent, with 11,152 people recognized as unemployed in an economically active population of 1.36 million. The economically active population formed 86.6 percent of the total population of 1.57 million, according to the figures.

This compares favorably with the OECD’s average of 8.5 percent, which is not expected to fall in the near term. Of those unemployed, 7,139 were expatriates and 3,973 were Emiratis.

Other key details:

  • Unemployment rates were higher for university graduates.
  • More female expatriates are out of work than males, but more Emirati males are out of work than females.
  • Among Emirati’s the employment rate is 8.7 percent. 6.8 percent of those over 15 in Dubai are Emiratis, but they make up only 3 percent of the working population.
  • The working age population grew by 7.2 percent, and more than 80 percent of Dubai’s working population is male
  • More than 58 percent of working Emiratis had jobs in “public administration and defence,” while almost 43 percent of expatriates worked in construction.
  • Almost 69 percent of working expats earn less than AED 3,000 a month,

However, analysts are currenlty bullish on the UAE. Investor confidence  posted marked gains following the announcement of Dubai World’s restructuring proposal, and the Emirates as a whole is now seen as an economic bright spot in the region.

SHUAA Capital last week announced a “dramatic, positive change in investor sentiment towards the UAE,” according to the results of their GCC Investor Sentiment Index

Steven “Guggs” Guggenheimer at gitex

September 28th, 2010

Steven “Guggs” Guggenheimer returns to Dubai and Gitex to present an update on Microsoft Innovation and how that equals Opportunity for You. Steven will share Microsoft software innovations for phones, slates, netbooks, laptop PCs, gaming PCs, television, servers and the Cloud. Mr. Guggenheimer will demonstrate how Microsoft technology provides the bridge to connect devices to the cloud to share content which will enhance your business and personal productivity. He will also share how Microsoft’s extensive experience managing major data centers can be used to manage your data storage needs and expand your cloud based services

  Date:     Monday, 18 October 2010
Time:     2:00PM
Venue:   Dubai World Trade Center, Sheikh Maktoum Hall

Vico Office Named to Top Commercial Construction Products List

September 28th, 2010

Constructech Magazine Gives Nod to Vico Office for Uniqueness and Momentum

 Vico Office, the virtual construction platform from Vico Software, was recently  named to Constructech Magazine’s Top Commercial Construction Products list. The products were judged by Constructech’s editorial team on leading-edge features, uniqueness in the market, customer adoption rates, and usability.

 With Vico Office, General Contractors can combine BIM models from multiple sources (like the architect, structural engineers, and subcontractors) and in multiple formats (such as IFC, Tekla, ArchiCAD, CAD-Duct, and Revit). With the models inside the Vico Office platform, users can take the 3D model all the way from clash detection for coordination and quantity takeoff to 4D scheduling and 5D estimating. The solution permits local-area-network access, so project stakeholders can take part in constructability analyses, cost planning, schedule look-ahead meetings, and budget review sessions.

 “Construction professionals are looking for the solutions that can give them the most bang for their buck. They are looking to make their company better with the implementation of technology, as well as stay up with the latest trends in the construction industry,” says Mike Carrozzo, chief editor of Constructech. “The technology firms with products meeting that demand may prove to be the most successful.”

Vico Software recently announced new functionality for the Vico Office platform, including a new clash detection module. (Please read the corresponding press releases, Vico Software Releases Vico Office Upgrade, and Vico Software Announces Vico Office Constructability Manager.)

 “The Constructech Top Products Award validates the 5D virtual construction vision that Vico has pioneered,” confirmed Mark Sawyer, CEO and President of Vico Software. “We believe that providing an integrated workflow for virtual construction can power data-driven decisions. In bringing efficiencies and savings to construction projects, the transition to 4D and 5D is just as compelling as the preceding moves from paper to computer and from drawings to 3D models.”

Microsoft Dynamics Ax – Gold Partner

September 27th, 2010

You will be pleased to know that we have had confirmation that our Microsoft Gold Partner status for Microsoft Dynamics Ax  has been confirmed again for the coming year. The qualification targets have been increased signficantly to ensure that only the best partners achieve this status.

 We also  attained the Microsoft Server Platform Competency.

RIM – Blackpad release?

September 25th, 2010

While RIM is struggling with Middle East regualtors to come to agreement about the location of its servers there is widespread specualtion that the announcement of the Black Pad may be the main news at  a big press event Monday in San Francisco and that Research in Motion has been quietly promoting.

WorldWide Telescope beta release

September 25th, 2010

Microsoft released the first free public beta of its WorldWide Telescope  that lets amateur and professional stargazers explore the universe from their PCs. This  rich Web application  accesses high-resolution images taken by  the Hubble Space Telescope, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory Center, and the Spitzer Space Telescope etc. Read Steven Musil’s blog for more details.

 The main screen of the Worldwide Telescope contains stars that are visible to the human eye which are mapped into constellations. Navigate with your mouse in any direction and zoom in or out with its scroll wheel–points of interest appear when you mouse over. Use the top menu or search to find celestial bodies. Discover that the edge of the Big Dipper’s cup really does point to Polaris, the North Star.

Moon Day

September 25th, 2010

One of the advantages of living in Dubai is that you get exposed to so many different national cultures and customs.

Today is the mid autumn moon day when family members and friends sit together to admire the full moon and eat moon  cakes.

5D Virtual Construction Workflow – new release of Vico Office Suite

September 21st, 2010

September 21, 2010 -  Vico Software, the leader in 5D Virtual Construction™, announced a new release of its award-winning Vico Office Suite.

 Vico Office is the first, purpose-built construction software that allows users to “plug in” the BIM authoring application of their choice and then perform:

  • constructability analysis,
  • quantity takeoff,
  • a model-based schedule,
  • model-based estimate,
  • on-site production control,
  • all in an integrated workflow.

 “We know that winning the deal and building the project require more than just creating a 3D model,” stated Clay Freeman, Chief Product Officer at Vico Software. “The Vico Office platform is designed to help GCs, Architects, and Owners work together to thoroughly understand the project: from clash, to quantities, to scheduling, and estimating. One workflow, one platform, all model-based and compatible with many 3D modeling systems.”

 Freeman adds, “There are many enhancements included in this software release, but ourmain objectives were :

  •  Extending the choices of BIM-authoring systems. New Importers. In addition to publishing ArchiCAD, Revit, and Tekla BIMs into Vico Office, users can now import IFC and CAD-Duct files.
  •  Creating a BIM-based cost estimating system. Excel Import. Now users can convert any estimating database to our model-based system within a day. This helps our customers leverage their historical estimating data.
  •  Compare and Update. The “compare and update” utility analyzes project data sets giving the user a complete overview of changes and differences on a number of key metrics. Quantities, unit prices, system costs, and even Takeoff Item names can be compared between projects, or from two different points in time within a project, to give the user a quick report on where differences exist.
  •  Adding coordination and integration to RFI tracking to the 5D Virtual Construction process. Constructability Manager. This new module allows users to combine and compare models, perform automatic and manual clash detection, identify constructability issues, and escalate serious issues to RFI’s.”

For more information on Constructability Manager and its many cost saving features, please contact us on 009714 3365589

 “As an estimator for the majority of my career, and now as Haselden’s Virtual Construction Manager, I’m really excited with the new improvements that Vico is releasing in this version,” stated Todd Ellsworth of Haselden Construction. “One great new feature is having the ability to import from an excel file which will make it possible now to use a standard company database directly inside of Vico Office. This database could come from any of the more widely used estimating programs out there. This feature alone will allow us to continue to be a leader in BIM/VDC while expanding our capabilities to real time estimating from our internal database. I see the ‘Compare and Update’ feature being a wonderful tool to use to help our estimating department and project clients see changes, which will in turn, lead to better management of project budgets. The enhancements that Vico is making in this release are once again pushing their product and us, as well, to be one of the leaders in the 5D arena and with the new importers, allowing for even more models to be used as part of their process.”

 ###

 About Vico’s 5D Virtual Construction Workflow
The BIM process starts with 2D construction drawing set comparisons in Vico Doc Set Manager. After the BIM models are completed, users can publish, augment, and compare 3D models from multiple project stakeholders all within the Vico Office Client. For example, the architect can contribute an architectural model in ArchiCAD; the structural engineer can contribute a structural model in Tekla; the mechanical subcontractor can submit a model in Revit MEP; the HVAC subcontractor can submit a model in CAD-Duct.

 These models  combine in Vico Office Constructability Manager where BIM object clashes are identified and resolved. Any  issues not resolved,  are promoted to an RFI and tracked through the project management data flow.

 After the models are coordinated,  the Vico Office Takeoff Manager generates construction-caliber quantities. With these quantities in hand, usersproceed to Vico Control for 4D model-based scheduling and production control.

 Also with those quantities, as the models’ level of detail increases, estimators use Vico Office Cost Planner to create multiple iterations of the 5D estimate. With the estimate in place, the users can track the project budget in Vico Office Cost Explorer, and  the Owner recognizes which decisions have the most impact on the budget and schedule.

Watch This 8-minute Video and See the Future of Corporate Performance Management

September 21st, 2010

The latest release from PROPHIX takes the automation of financial processes to a whole new level. You have to see PROPHIX 10 to believe it.

This unified Performance Management solution fully integrates budgeting, reporting, planning, scenario management, dashboards, and in-depth analysis capabilities, providing a forward looking view of company performance to stakeholders across the organization in a single extensible platform.

What’s next?

http://www.prophix.com/resources/cpm-autodemo/demo.html

PROPHIX 10 delivers the best value by combining high end functionality, low total cost of ownership, and the fastest implementations in its class. It’s new, and it’s from PROPHIX.

Synergy Software Systems is the only certified regional distributor and implementor – contact us now to find out how Prophix can ease your consolidation budgeting and reporting at an affordable price.

Budget time! …with Prophix

September 19th, 2010

With the summer holidays over, Ramadan and Eid gone for another year and the children back at school its time for ….. budgets.

Customers utilize PROPHIX to align strategic objectives with tactical plans, and for daily monitoring, as well as financial, and variance reporting. This unified PROPHIX solution fully integrates: budgeting, reporting, planning, scenario management, dashboards, and in-depth analysis capabilities, providing a forward looking view of company performance to stakeholders across the organization in a single extensible platform.

 Save the midnight oil and try Prophix. Call 009714 3365589 and ask for Pankaj and fidn  out moe about high end functionality, low total cost of ownership, and the fastest implementations in its class.

erp implementation lesson

September 19th, 2010

Training Cost for End User
Gartner research found that companies with a budget less than thirteen percent of their costs for training are three times more likely to see their ERP projects run over time and over budget when compared with companies that spend 17 percent or more on training.

The Microsoft Dynamics Ax erp system addresses both the cost and importance of training in several ways:

  • A known user friendly Microsoft Windows style interface that reduces the time learning navigation
  • On line, e learning, on demand is provided as part of the Annual Enhancement plan
  • Detailed on line help
  • a built in Task Recorder to simplify creating internal training notes by capturing best practice from a  key user 
  • Certified implementation partners (Synergy consultants are among the most highly certifed in the world and we also have two Microsoft Dynamics AX Certified trainers)
  • A rapid implemntation toolkit covering the core modules with presentation recorded demos and template test scripts
  • And Synergy has created its own supplementary training materials to fast track your implementation.

 

2nd Annual Hotel Technology Middle East

September 19th, 2010
08:00-17:00 Sunday, 19 September 2010 To Wednesday, 22 September 2010
Amwaj Rotana, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai
Look out for the unique atVision ipTv – on loan from our board room – and find out what makes it so special.

There’s gold in them there hills

September 19th, 2010

A UAE mining company is currently exploring for gold mines in Yemen- seems appropriate with record gold prices – but the recent Ramadan sales in the UAE were down 15% on last year.

Thani Dubai Mining Company is exploring for the precious metal in mines in the Hadramout and Hajjah provinces in Yemen.

It has already dug over 80 wells in fifteen sites in Madan Valley and collected over 8,718 rock samples from mineralised zones and their environs, the Yemen News Agency (SABA) said, quoting the Geological Survey and Mineral Resources Board (GSMRB) of Yemen.

SQL Azure website

September 18th, 2010

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/sqlazure/default.aspx

All you ever wanted to know on this new site!

Recent ‘critical’ Microsoft patches

September 15th, 2010

Security PatchesMS10-061/KB2347290 – Critical (XP, Vista, 7, 2003, 2008, 2008 R2): This patch closes up a remote code execution vulnerability in the print spooler of all places. Since your print spoolers should never be exposed from the outside, and because no computer shares printers by default, this patch can safely wait until your regular patch window. (In a few rare cases, XP machines with certain printers installed are vulnerable even without sharing the printer)

 MS10-062/KB975558 – Critical (XP, Vista, 2003, 2008): A problem in the MPEG-4 codec can allow remote code execution attacks when viewing a malformed file or stream. Video files are common enough to warrant installing this patch as soon as you can.

MS10-063/KB2320113 – Critical (XP, Vista, 2003, 2008): The portion of Windows that handles Unicode has a bug that could allow remote code execution exploits to be performed. The attacker would need to feed you a document or a Web page with an embedded, malformed font. That’s trivially easy, so you will want to install this patch immediately.

MS10-064/KB2315011 – Critical (Office XP, Office 2003, Office 2007): Outlook is open to a remote code execution attack if it opens an email while connected to an Exchange server in Online Mode. This is a common scenario in the business world, so you will want to treat this patch as “right now” item.

MS10-065/KB2267960 – Important (IIS 5.1, IIS 6, IIS 7, IIS 7.5): This patch corrects a remote code execution problem, an escalation of privileges issue, and a denial of service vulnerability in all modern versions of IIS. The holes can be exploited with a malformed HTTP request. Microsoft labels this problem as “Important” – it reads more like “critical” and I suggest that you patch this as soon as you can.

  MS10-066/KB982802 – Important (XP, 2003): There is a remote code execution attack vulnerability in RPC that this patch addresses. RPC should not be visible outside the firewall, and the attack requires that the user of the exploited PC initiate the connection. As such, this patch can wait until your usual patch time to be installed.