Archive for November, 2010

List of black points for traffic offences in the UAE.

November 25th, 2010

 This wass the original list for 1 Mar 2008 – some penalties have since become much steeper.

Violations, fines and black points  
No.
Violation
Fine
Black points
In presence/ In absentia
Days*
1
Driving dangerously (racing)
2000
12
Both
30
2
Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or similar substances
Decided by court
24
Both
60
3
Driving a vehicle without number plates
1000
24
In presence
60
4
Causing death of others
Decided by court
12
In presence
30
5
Not stopping after causing an accident that resulted in injuries
Decided by court
24
Both
60
6
Reckless driving
2000
12
Both
30
7
Exceeding maximum speed limit by more than 60km/h
1000
12
Both
30
8
Driving in a way that is dangerous to the public
1000
12
Both
30
9
Jumping a red light
800
8
Both
15
10
Running away from a traffic policeman
800
12
Both
30
11
Dangerous overtaking by trucks
800
24
Both
60
12
Causing a car to overturn
Decided by court
8
Both
 
13
Causing serious injuries
Decided by court
8
In presence
 
14
Exceeding maximum speed limit by not more than 60km/h
900
6
Both
 
15
Exceeding maximum speed limit by not more than 50km/h
800
 
Both
 
16
Overtaking on the hard shoulder
600
6
In presence
 
17
Entering road dangerously
600
6
Both
 
18
Causing moderate injury
Decided by court
6
Both
 
19
Heavy vehicle lane discipline
600
6
Both
 
20
Overtaking from a prohibited place
600
6
In presence
 
21
Causing serious damage to a vehicle
Decided by court
6
In presence
 
22
Exceeding maximum speed limit by not more than 40km/h
700
 
Both
 
23
Parking in fire hydrant places, spaces allocated for people with special needs and ambulance parking
1000
4
Both
 
24
Exceeding maximum speed limit by not more than 30km/h
600
 
Both
 
25
Driving against traffic
400
4
In presence
 
26
Allowing children under 10 years old to sit in the front seat of a vehicle
400
4
In presence
 
27
Failure to fasten seat belt while driving
400
4
In presence
 
28
Failure to leave a safe distance
400
4
In presence
 
29
Failure to follow the directions of a traffic policeman
400
4
Both
 
30
Exceeding maximum speed limit by not more than 20km/h
500
 
Both
 
31
Entering a road without ensuring that it is clear
400
4
In presence
 
32
Exceeding permitted level of car window tinting
500
 
In presence
30
33
Not giving way to emergency, police and public service vehicles or official convoys
500
4
Both
 
34
Driving a heavy vehicle that does not comply with safety and security conditions
500
 
In presence
30
35
Failure to stop after causing an accident
500
6
Both
7
36
Driving a noisy vehicle
500
 
Both
30
37
Allowing others to drive a vehicle for which they are unlicensed
500
 
In presence
 
38
Loading a heavy vehicle in a way that may pose danger to others or to the road
500
6
Both
7
39
Overload or protruding load from a heavy vehicle without permission
500
6
Both
7
40
Driving a vehicle that causes pollution
500
 
Both
 
41
Stopping on the road for no reason
500
4
In presence
 
42
Stopping on a yellow box
500
 
Both
 
43
Not giving pedestrians way on pedestrian crossings
500
6
Both
 
44
Failure to abide by traffic signs and directions
500
 
Both
 
45
Throwing waste from vehicles onto roads
500
4
Both
 
46
Refusing to give traffic police name and address when required
500
In presence
 
 
47
Stopping vehicle on the left side of the road in prohibited places
500
Both
 
 
48
Stopping vehicle on pedestrian crossing
500
Both
 
 
49
Teaching driving in a training vehicle that does not bear a learning sign
500
Both
 
 
50
Teaching driving in a non- training vehicle without permission from licensing authority
500
In presence
 
 
51
Placing marks on the road that may damage the road or block traffic
500
Both
 
 
52
Operating industrial, construction and mechanical vehicles and tractors without permission from licensing authority
500
In presence
7
 
53
Modifying vehicle’s engine without permission
400
In presence
 
 
54
Modifying vehicle’s chasses without permission
400
In presence
 
 
55
Changing vehicle’s colour without permission
400
In presence
 
 
56
Exceeding maximum speed limit by not more than 10km/h
400
Both
 
 
57
Driving with a driving license issued by a foreign country except in permitted cases
400
In presence
 
 
58
Violating the terms of the driving license
300
In presence
 
 
59
Parking behind vehicles and blocking their movement
300
Both
 
 
60
Towing a vehicle or a boat with an unprepared vehicle
300
In presence
 
 
61
Driving a vehicle that omits gases or fumes with substances exceeding permitted rates
300
Both
 
 
62
Leaving a vehicle on the road with its engine running
300
Both
 
 
63
No lights on the back or sides of trailer container
200
Both
 
 
64
Lights on the back or sides of container not working
200
Both
 
 
65
Taxis, which have designated pickup areas, stopping in undesignated places
200
4
Both
 
66
Prohibited entry
200
4
Both
 
67
Blocking traffic
200
 
Both
 
68
Vehicle unfit for driving
200
 
Both
7
69
Driving a light vehicle that does not comply with safety and security conditions
200
 
Both
7
70
Not lifting exhaust of trucks
200
 
Both
7
71
Not covering loads of trucks
3000
 
Both
7
72
Using vehicle for purposes other than designated
200
4
In presence
7
73
Heavy vehicle prohibited entry
200
4
Both
7
74
Violating loading or unloading regulations in parking
200
4
In presence
7
75
Carrying and transporting passengers illegally
200
4
In presence
7
76
Writing phrases or placing stickers on vehicle without permission
200
 
Both
 
77
Not taking road safety measures during vehicle breakdowns
200
 
Both
 
78
Turning at undesignated points
200
4
Both
 
79
Turning the wrong way
200
4
Both
 
80
Loading a light vehicle in a way that may pose a danger to others or to the road
200
3
Both
7
81
Overload or protruding load on light vehicles without permission
200
3
In presence
7
82
Stopping vehicle without keeping the distance specified by the law from a curve or junction
200
 
Both
 
83
Transporting passengers by vehicle undesignated for this purpose
200
4
In presence
 
84
Sudden swerve
200
4
In presence
 
85
Driving a taxi without required license
200
4
In presence
 
86
Carrying passengers in driving-training vehicle
200
4
In presence
 
87
Driving a taxi with an expired warranty
200
 
In presence
 
88
Reversing dangerously
200
 
Both
 
89
Taxi refusing to carry passengers
200
4
Both
 
90
Falling or leaking load
3000
12
Both
30
91
Not securing vehicle while parked
200
 
Both
 
92
Parking in prohibited places
200
2
In presence
 
93
Parking in loading and offloading areas without need
200
 
In presence
 
94
Parking on road shoulder except in cases of emergency
200
 
In presence
 
95
Using multi-coloured lights
200
 
Both
 
96
Not wearing helmet while driving motorbike
200
4
Both
 
97
Exceeding passenger limit
200
3
In presence
 
98
Driving with tires in poor condition
200
 
In presence
7
99
Driving with an expired driving license
200
3
In presence
 
100
Not renewing vehicle registration after expiry
400
 
In presence
 
101
Driving unlicensed vehicle
200
 
In presence
7
102
Violation of laws of using commercial number plates
200
 
In presence
 
103
Not fixing number plates in designated places
200
2
In presence
 
104
Driving with one number plate
200
2
In presence
 
105
Driving at night or in foggy weather without lights
200
4
In presence
 
106
Using unmatching number plates for trailer and container
200
 
Both
 
107
Not fixing reflective stickers at the back of trucks and heavy vehicles
200
 
Both
 
108
Not using indicators when changing direction or turning
200
3
In presence
 
109
Not giving way for vehicles to pass on the left
200
 
Both
 
110
Not giving way to vehicles coming from the left where required
200
 
Both
 
111
Stopping a vehicle in a way that may pose danger or block traffic
200
3
Both
 
112
Failure to have vehicle examined after carrying out major modification to engine or body
200
 
In presence
7
113
Using training vehicles outside of timings specified by licensing authority
200
 
In presence
 
114
Using training vehicles in places not designated by licensing authority
200
 
Both
 
115
Overtaking from the right
200
4
Both
 
116
Overtaking in a wrong way
200
3
In presence
 
117
Driving an unlicensed vehicle
200
 
In presence
7
118
Abuse of parking space
200
3
Both
 
119
Number plates with unclear numbers
200
3
Both
 
120
Violating tariff
200
6
Both
 
121
Light vehicle lane discipline
200
2
Both
 
122
Parking vehicles on pavement
200
3
Both
 
123
Not showing vehicle registration card when required
200
 
In presence
 
124
Not showing driving license when required
200
 
In presence
 
125
Not fixing taxi sign where required
200
 
Both
 
126
Not fixing a sign indicating licensed overload
200
3
In presence
 
127
Using interior lights for no reason while driving
100
 
In presence
 
128
Failure to abide by specified colour for taxis or training cars
200
 
In presence
 
129
Failure to display tariff of buses or taxis or not showing them when required
200
 
In presence
 
130
Broken lights
200
6
In presence
 
131
Using horn in prohibited areas
200
2
In presence
 
132
Driving below minimum speed limit
200
 
Both
 
133
Failure to keep taxis and buses clean inside and outside
200
 
In presence
 
134
Smoking inside taxis and buses
200
 
Both
 
135
Using hand-held mobile phone while driving
200
4
In presence
 
136
Not abiding by taxi drivers obligatory uniform or not keeping it in good condition
100
 
In presence
 
137
Calling on passengers in the presence of signs
100
 
Both
 
138
Not displaying truck’s load on both sides
100
 
Both
 
139
Not carrying driving license while driving
100
 
In presence
 
140
Not carrying vehicle registration card while driving
100
 
In presence
 
141
Driving without spectacles or contact lenses
100
 
In presence
 
142
Not using interior light in buses at night
100
 
In presence
 
143
Broken indicator lights
100
2
In presence
 
144
Using horn in a disturbing way
100
2
In presence
 
145
Having no red light at the back of vehicle
100
 
Both
 
146
Opening left door of taxi
100
3
In presence
 
147
Pedestrians crossing from undesignated places (If any existed)
200
 
In presence
 
0
* Vehicle confiscated/Days

UAE economy – what next?

November 25th, 2010

Further concern for local investors in troubled real estate projects, becuase a UAE developer has filed for liquidation, according to the Financial Times. The move is the first court-mandated bankruptcy of a distressed property project since the financial crisis began. Al Murjan Real Estate, the owner of the $3bn 8,000-home White Bay project in Umm Al Quwain, filed for insolvency in the Sharjah courts. Investors in the development, which includes two man-made islands and waterfront housing, must use  the legal process to recover their down-payments alongside other creditors.

In the third quarter, the all-residential index fell by 4.75 percent against the same period last year. Apartments dropped by 7.48 percent, while villas rose by 0.90 percent. Further data revealed that prices of the smallest apartments fell by 18.30 percent in October, year-on-year, and that mid-range (51 to 100 square metres) flat values dropped by 7.94 percent. REIDIN.com  said that its full residential index was only 59 percent higher than its January 2003 base value.

Around $72bn worth of construction contracts are due to be awarded in the Gulf by the end of the year. The  GCC Building Construction Industry Report 2010  was unveiled at The Big 5 2010 exhibition, the largest building and construction exhibition in the region and concluded that nearly a third of the contracts, or $23.5bn, will be awarded in the UAE. Five key sectors, including retail, commercial, residential, tourism and leisure, were analyzed, with retail highlighted as the most promising sub sector for growth.

There are still concerns about asset quality given all the banks’ exposures to real estate and infrastructure lending, though profitability has actually been quite resilient. Banks in the UAE suffered as non-performing loans surged during the global financial crisis, forcing lenders to take provisions on debt. State-owned Dubai World said in September it reached an accord with most of its creditors to restructure $24.9bn of debt. Nakheel, a unit of Dubai World, said on July 14 that a group of its creditors unanimously supported a plan to alter the terms on $10.5bn of debt.

  • Mashreq bank has cut 50 jobs as part of restructuring process and is the second such announcement by a Dubai-based bank in the last two days. Mashreq, which is controlled by the Al Ghurair family, said the job cuts were part of a reorganisation of the lender’s small and medium-sized lending business. In an email statement on Wednesday, the bank confirmed that it will no longer provide its small business-owner loan product.
  • The announcement follows hot on the heels of Noor Islamic Bank, a Dubai government controlled bank, which on Tuesday confirmed that it had laid off more than 30 employees. “Thirty something” employees were let go a few weeks ago, Hussain Al Qemzi, the bank’s CEO, told Bloomberg in an interview in Manama. .

 More than $15bn of borrowings mature in 2011 and most of them will need to be refinanced,

However,  Passenger figures at Dubai International Airport are expected to hit 90m by the end of this decade, -  the world’s busiest international passenger traffic. Growth will be driven by a projected 10 percent increase in Emirates Airline passenger numbers and a  doubling FlyDubai traffic

For 2011  passenger growth at Dubai International Airport will grow by 13.1 percent in 2011, breaching 50m for the first time. . Freight traffic is will alsoby 4.8 percent to 2.2m tonnes next year. Total aircraft movements will rise by around 12 percent to 328,900.

 Taxi drivers however seem to be faring more badly despite the Dubai fare surcharge  from Sharjah. More than 100 taxi drivers gathered on Wednesday morning outside the Ministry of Labour in protest against the decision to deduct 52 fils per kilometre from their monthly revenue.  Since the rule was implemented on November 1, taxi drivers from all five franchise companies complained that the decision was unreasonable since it leaves them with less than half of their previous monthly revenue.

  • As one taxi driver commented ‘… If I want to make the same commission as before [30 per cent] I need to work double. But customers are much less because they find taxis expensive. ‘
  • ‘A ministry official told us that we have no other choice but to abide to our contracts. I would rather leave get my end of service benefits, instead of working for free and leaving my family back home with debt,” said another driver.

In response to the protest, Sharjah Transport released a statement yesterday saying: “The working relationship between the driver and the franchise company operating the service of taxis in the emirate is ruled by the Labour Code, and the law guarantees all of their rights. The rules are legally binding and were agreed upon by both parties, [the company and its employees]. If the employees disagree with the contract, then they have every right to hand in their resignation at the Ministry of Labour in Sharjah

And despite the doom merchants the DUbai growth rate seems to have eben 2.3% in the first six months of 2010 as trade and manufacturing improved along with tourism, the Dubai Statistics Centre said. The sectors of manufacturing, transport, logistics, services, wholesale and retail trade, hotels, restaurants and government services achieved positive growth,” Arif Obaid Al Muhairi

The economy of the emirate, which accounts for some 80 per cent of the UAE’s non-oil trade, expanded 5.7 per cent in real terms in 2008.Official 2009 GDP data for Dubai are not available, although the IMF estimates a 0.9 per cent contraction.Concerns about Dubai’s liabilities, estimated at around $115 billion, have eased after Dubai World reached a deal in September to restructure almost $25 billion (Dh91.8 billion).

 

Dubai Strata Law – what next?

November 24th, 2010

Wednesday 13 October 2010 was the deadline for developers to comply with – Law No 27 of 2007 concerning Ownership of Jointly Owned Properties in the Emirate of Dubai (the “Strata Law“) s introduced in 2007 to regulate jointly owned properties.

A jointly owned property is land or a building divided into units owned individually (such as an apartment or villa) and common areas, being those parts of the property designated for common use by all the owners and occupiers (the “Jointly Owned Property“).

In May 2010, the Land Department issued directions pursuant to the Strata Law (the “Directions“) effective from 13 April 2010 which imposed an obligation on developers to register a Jointly Owned Property Declaration (a “Declaration“) with respect to every Jointly Owned Property within six months . The Declaration is a legal document that sets out relevant information regarding the jointly owned property and the rights and obligations of the owners.

Upon registration of the Declaration and associated survey plans, an association will be formed made up of all owners in the Jointly Owned Property (the “Owners Association“). Once formed, developers can hand over the operation and management of the Jointly Owned Property to the Owners Association.

The Directions provide that a Declaration must be lodged by 13 October 2010.

For complex mixed-use developments that contain a variety of different uses (such as hotel developments) this is proving difficult, costly and time consuming.With respect to developers who are not in a position to lodge their Declaration, the Directions provide that any three or more owners in the Jointly Owned Property may serve a notice on the developer requiring the developer to submit a Declaration.

If the developer refuses or fails to take “substantive steps” to submit a Declaration, the Owners may themselves submit a Declaration to the Land Department and claim the cost of doing so from the developer. In addition, the Director General of the Land Department may take such action that he considers appropriate to enforce the developer’s obligations including preventing the transfer of any unit in a Jointly Owned Property where a Declaration has not been registered.

Typical steps

  • calling a meeting of the Owners to elect an Interim Board to consult with the Developer with respect to service charges and the handover of affairs to the Owners Association and has communicated this process to RERA;
  • the appointment of a lawyer to assist in structuring the development and to prepare the Declaration and any other contractual or constitutional documents; the appointment of a surveyor to commence the drawing of survey plans; and
  • the appointment of an association manager to assist in the registration process and transitioning of the building to the Owners Association.

The Directions grant the Land Department extensive discretion with respect to non-compliance. Developers who are not taking substantive steps to progress compliance will likely test the tolerance of the Land Department with respect to such discretion.

There are extensive disclosure requirements required to be met when selling units in Jointly Owned Property especially when selling off plan. Interim Disclosure Statement must be attached to any contract for the sale of a unit within a Jointly Owned Property where the title to the unit has not been issued by the Land Department and the seller is the developer. The Interim Disclosure Statement must include extensive detail of the project and the unit as prescribed by the Directions.

The interim disclosure provisions will expire on 13 January 2011, from which date a full Disclosure Statement must be attached to any contract for sale. The Disclosure Statement must include a copy of the proposed Jointly Owned Property Declaration for the project as well as extensive detail of the project and the unit as prescribed by the Directions.

Failure to attach an Interim Disclosure Statement, or from 13 January 2011, failure to attach a full Disclosure Statement to a contract for sale of a unit will result in issues with enforceability of the contract.

Microsoft CRM for Financial Services

November 22nd, 2010

Banks, Insurance companies, and Securities firms must drive down the costs of their internal processes and provide better customer service to grow their businesses in the face of strong competition. These challenges are causing financial services firms to change the way they manage operations and client relationships. With the right customer relationship management (CRM) solution, financial services firms will more effectively support their clients with more value-added services while streamlining business processes and lowering costs. 

Microsoft Dynamics CRM, provides holistic client information by pulling it from disparate data sources and then delivering it to users through intuitive prospecting and customer relationship management tools that are natural extensions of Microsoft Office system applications.

Give your customer-facing advisors and representatives access to the right information at the right time with  Microsoft Dynamics CRM to provide greater client insight, improve customer service, and to attract and retain profitable clients.

- Provide a comprehensive view of the client Gain real-time visibility into customer data from multiple databases.
- Track all customer-facing interactions across multiple communication channels.
- Monitor and analyze customer needs to maximize cross-sell/up-sell opportunities and quickly adapt for changing customer needs.
- Reduce the administrative burden on financial advisors
- Enable financial advisors to work more efficiently across information sources and distribution channels.
- Integrate sales, marketing, and customer service.
- Easily incorporate changes for regulations and compliance. Improve banking customer service
- Renew channels, such as ATMs, call centers, teller systems, or in-branch advisor systems, with reusable business components.
- Improve consistency of customer service across channels.
- Link disconnected insurance processes and systems
- Integrate applications and workflow processes that span distribution networks, service providers, policy administrators, claims processing, and re-insurance.
- Create a seamless link with the customer.

Microsoft CRM saves 75% v Salesforce.com

November 22nd, 2010

Smead a privately held, 100% woman-owned maker high-quality, environmentally responsible organizational home and office systems, has switched from Salesforce.com to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and reduced Costs by 75 Percent

In one month since switching CRM systems, Smead said it has reduced its annual subscription cost by 75%. Smead said it also increased user adoption by 20%, improved collaboration among employees and provided better business intelligence to its managers.

Smead said that the switch to Microsoft Dynamics CRM enabled it to operate more efficiently. It also allowed it employees to work in a familiar environment as the company was already invested in Microsoft Office, Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft SharePoint.

Denali

November 14th, 2010

At the recent PASS Summit, Microsoft announced the release of SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse (formerly project Madison) , and  Project Atlanta, to help better configure SQL instances, and the first public CTP of the next version of SQL Server, version 11 with the  code name  Denali, (which I assumne  will  be released toward the back  end of next year as SQL Server 2011. )

This week we have lots of blogs from all around the SQL Server community where it seems that there are already quite a few people working with the product. MVPs could download it a week or so ago, and I’m sure quite a few of them were looking for changes and waiting until the public release to blog their impressions.

Denali will introduce the  Project Hadron enhancements. move database mirroring to new technology that for improved failover, and more options,  to better  your systems and data,  so if you need ETL process support, then start  migrating your packages to SSIS. TS support, is also removed in Denali

A new ad hoc reporting and data visualization experience codenamed “Project Crescent” is introduced and a new Business Intelligence Semantic Model (BISM) in Analysis Services that will power Crescent as well as other Microsoft BI front end tools : Excel, Reporting Services and SharePoint Insights.

See this MSDN link for more information: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb500435%28v=SQL.110%29.aspx

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

November 11th, 2010

Synergy Consultants and Sales Staff were very impressed at the partner introduction to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 heldyesterday  at Microsoft  offices in Dubai.

The are 500+ enhancements coming with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, which is currently in beta and is expected to be released to market in January 2011. It looks to be  a world beating release.

 Discover:

  • The new User Interface, Sales and Service :  The Ribbon, The Get Started panes, The Most Recently Used options, Forms and Views, Multi-Currency, Negative Pricing, Opportunities, Sales Goals, Connections, Articles, and Queues.
  •  New Dynamic Marketing List, Activities, Security and Dialog features that include: Custom Activities, Recurring Appointments, Bulk E-mails with Attachments, Teams, Business Units, Security Roles and Field Level Security.
  • Solutions Management and Web Resources features that  include:  Solutions and Jscript Libraries.
  • New Form Design features  include: Global Option Sets, Filtered Lookups, System Views, and Role Based Forms.
  • New Installation, Configuration and Application features included for Microsoft Office Outlook. These features include: Multiple Organization Integration, Data Filters, and ABP Enhancements.
  • New Data Import and Auditing features  include: Templates and Data Maps.
  • New Upgrade, Install and Application features for  Mobile Express include: Field Level Security and Role Base Forms.
  • New Reporting and Data Virtualization features include: Reporting Extensions, SQL-based Reports, Fetch-based Reports, Reports in Solutions, Grid Filtering, Charts and Dashboards.
  • New E-mail Router features include: Smart Matching.
  • New Installation, Upgrade and Setup features included in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. These features include: SharePoint Integration

The Ten Things Every BIM Manager Should Know

November 9th, 2010

It is very exciting to be in construction today despite the problems with the global economy and the real estate issues governments are funding large infrastructure projects. Projects that are pushing the envelope with design, materials, and sustainability. The new BIM software makes these massive projects viable in time and costs - from 3D visualization to construction-calibre quantity takeoff with Lean ‘flowline theory’ scheduling with and evolutionary cost planning.

 It’s also  a great time to be a BIM Manager to support your company’s  strategy  with the tools that they need to win new business and to successfully execute profitable projects.  

Too often, BIM Managers stumble when they try to introduce BIM to other departments. Why?

Here is a list of 10 things every BIM Manager should know:

 1. Learn early that spinning models can only get you so far. The true value of BIM has nothing to do with your laptop configuration and having a ripping graphics card. Develop your communications skills and presentation skills, and above all, listen to the questions. Being a key member of the presentation team is an honor because you are representing your company’s history as well as future. Treat the future BIM strategy with as much respect as you honor the past.

 2. Speaking of strategy, articulate yours. Many BIM Managers craft a mission statement, post it on the company intranet, and forget about it. Just as the papers you wrote in high school look dated and antiquated now, so too will your original BIM strategy because the technology is evolving so quickly. This doesn’t mean, however, that you update your strategy every time a vendor announces a new product. Know how far you want to take BIM… and then push it farther.

 3. You should know the pulse of Owners in your geography and the types of deliverables they need. Your goal is to balance output: what deliverables will cement your relationships with Owners AND help your firm deliver a profitable project? Our experience tells us it’s a model tied to budget and schedule so that the Owner can see how a design change impacts cost and time.

 It’s a constructability report showing the clash and resolution in 2D and 3D. It’s resource-loaded schedules to prove to Subs and the Owner that the schedule works. It’s a work in place report. It’s a cash flow forecast.

 4. Respect your elders and learn all you can from them. You probably don’t have construction field experience, so learn as much about means and methods as possible. All the BIM software in the world won’t help you if you don’t have building in your blood.

 5. Where do you get your models now? And where will you get them in the future? In our experience, you’re starting to receive models from architects, engineers, and subs, but they are all at different levels of detail. Start researching the Model Progression Specification and develop a plan for working together with outside firms and partners. This is an opportunity for you to play a key role in leading these relationships.

 6. You have probably defined your firm’s process for clash detection and coordination. Consider taking it a step backwards AND and a step farther. Implement a drawing check-in process and identify changes in construction drawing sets before you start modeling them. Basically, you’ll be clearing up clashes before you ever model them. Then consider learning about Coordination Resolution and how to run your meetings much more efficiently.

 7. Speaking of taking coordination farther… now that you have coordinated models why don’t you use them for model-based quantity takeoff? The more precise the quantities, the more precise the estimate and schedule. For example, you could create a quantities by location report which could save your operations crew hundreds of planning hours. This will help you drive BIM across departments and out to the jobsite.

 8. And speaking of the schedule, you are probably asked to create sequencing movies for some pursuits. Instead of manufacturing a movie to fit an artificial schedule, consider deriving a schedule from the aforementioned construction-caliber quantities by location and introduce a new Lean scheduling technique called flowline.

 9. So now you have the model geometry and properties from which you can derive the quantities. Using this information and the model you can help the PM inspect the subs’ bids for accuracy. Tying together these disciplines with BIM at the core will set your firm apart from others in your geography.

 10. Designs and models change ALL the time, so don’t be misled by “linking” instead of “integrating.” Your BIM information needs to be seamless. Every time the model changes, your budget and schedule should update automatically. You should not have to go back and manually update all the links. That’s not strategy – that’s glueware. See the big picture and evaluate your IT choices accordingly.

 As you can see, there’s a lot riding on your role in the company. Learn how your BIM strategies impact the rest of the business. Start forming your opinions over what will become commoditized and what you want to keep in-house. Think about how you can do coordination better. Consider the role that quantities play in both scheduling and estimating and take a stand. Respect that adopting new technology is less about learning where to click than learning a better process and how to work in concert with other departments. Know that BIM is about winning new business and keeping the projects profitable.

Mind Manager Offer till end November 2010

November 8th, 2010

Mindjet is offering all  customers who purchase 5 or more MindManager Version 9 licences with MSA by 30 November 2010 a free Home Use License.

  • The Home Use License allows customers to enable their employees to also use MindManager at home.
  • Eligible customers must request their Home Use License by 30 November 2010 or within 30 days purchase.
  • MindManager 8 for Mac is also available as a Home Use License.

 Call us on 00971 43365589

 

Offer timeframe: until 30 November 2010

Oracle v SAP

November 7th, 2010

Oracle accuses  arch-rival SAP AG of plundering password-protected Oracle web sites and dealing a $2 billion blow to Oracle’s business. SAP admits its subsidiary secretly siphoned off instruction manuals and technical specifications for Oracle’s software.

Oracle said an SAP subsidiary, TomorrowNow, created bogus accounts to get access to walled-off Oracle Web sites. Once inside, Oracle said, TomorrowNow deployed computer programs that powered through page after page of support documents, “scraping” and saving the contents of those pages as they went.

Oracle spotted the fraud when it noticed an extraordinary amount of downloads coming from accounts that were registered with clearly bad information, such as bad phone numbers (“777-7777″) and made-up names (“Tom Now”) seemingly connected with the SAP subsidiary. Oracle technicians were also easily able to tell that the downloads went to TomorrowNow servers.

SAP, which is based in Walldorf, Germany, has admitted that the now-shuttered subsidiary secretly siphoned off instruction manuals and technical specifications for Oracle’s software. But SAP argues that Oracle’s claims of injury are exaggerated. It says it owes Oracle just tens of millions of dollars, a fraction of the $2 billion Oracle is seeking.

The jury trial is expected to last six weeks

Oracle has spent $40 billion  over the past six years, particularly with its $10.3 billion acquisition of PeopleSoft in 2005 to buy companies that  sell business applications, the  SAP core business. Oracle alleges that SAP  resorted to thievery to poach customers, Shortly after Oracle announced its intention to buy PeopleSoft, SAP bought TomorrowNow, a company that supported PeopleSoft software. It was a bid to take support business from Oracle and eventually to upgrade PeopleSoft customers to SAP

Oracle MY SQL

November 7th, 2010

Oracle has hiked up the price of MySQL, killing low-priced support options and more than doubling what it charges for the commercial versions of the database.

Essential hotfix for Sql 2008 R2 on Windows Server 2008 R2

November 7th, 2010

if you are running SQL Server 2008 on Windows Server 2008 R2 (specifically this OS only) then you should absolutely ensure that you’ve installed the following fix:

976700  An application stops responding, or experiences low performance, or experiences high privileged CPU usage when many large I/O operations are performed in Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;976700

In this scenario, the key symptom is high kernel times, – see the perfmon counter: Process(sqlservr)\% Privileged Time

Environmental Sustainability Dashboard for Microsoft Dynamics AX

November 4th, 2010

This  fulfilled the requirements of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Certified Software and Tools Program,  that the Dashboard includes accurate GRI Sustainability Reporting Framework content.

The Dashboard helps companies collect auditable data on four of the core environmental performance indications identified by the GRI  for energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, including direct on-premise fuel consumption and the carbon footprint of their power usage with utilities and other vendors.

This certification verifies that the GRI content within the Dashboard is correctly applied and that reporting is encouraged, so companies using the Dashboard can rest-assured that their reporting is in accordance with the GRI Guidelines.

Nelmara Arbex, Deputy Chief Executive of Global Reporting Initiative, said: “We’re glad to add the Environmental Sustainability Dashboard for Microsoft Dynamics AX to the list of GRI Certified Software. The GRI Certified Software and Tools Program guarantees that software providers are giving their users – people who prepare sustainability reports – accurate GRI content. Microsoft and its clients are on the right path to monitoring sustainability issues, ultimately promoting improvements to sustainability practices.” The Dashboard is one of only four technology products to have received this certification so far, and is the only solution specifically for mid-sized organizations.

Happy Diwali – what’s it all about?

November 4th, 2010

The traditional festival of Diwali is the biggest event of the year for Hindus and Sikhs.  Some Indian business communities begin the financial year on the first day of Diwali, hoping for prosperity the following year.

Diwali is often referred to as  the Festival of Lights  –  Lights are the most important accessory at this time. Lights represent inner light and supposedly banish the dark and evil spirits. Anything that illuminates can be used, but diyas (oil lamps) are most common. The name Diwali is itself a contraction of the word “Deepavali” (Sanskrit: दीपावली Dīpāvali), which translates into row of lamps

For Sikhs, Diwali is particularly important because it celebrates the release from prison of the sixth guru, Guru Hargobind Ji, (hence also called “Bandi Chorr Devas“), and 52 other princes from the Gwalior Fort in 1619. The Mughal Emperor Jahangir had imprisoned Guru Har Gobind and 52 other Hindu princes fearing the Guru’s growing following and power. The Emperor was asked to release Guru Har Gobind which he agreed to do. However, Guru Har Gobind asked that the Hindu princes be released, too. The Emperor agreed, but said only those who could hold onto his cloak tail would be allowed to leave the prison. This was in order to limit the number of prisoners who could leave. However, Guru Har Gobind had made a cloak with 52 tassels and so each King was able to hold onto one tassel and leave prison. The Sikhs celebrated the return of Guru Har Gobind by lighting the Golden Temple and this tradition continues today.

In Jainism, Diwali marks the attainment of moksha by Mahavira in 527 BC. In Sikhism, Deepavali commemorates the return of Guru Har Gobind Ji to Amritsar after freeing 52 Hindu kings imprisoned in Fort Gwalior by Emperor Jahangir; the people lit candles and diyas to celebrate his return. This is the reason Sikhs also refer to Deepavali as Bandi Chhorh Divas, “the day of release of detainees”. Deepavali is considered a national festival in India and Nepal.

Central to Hindu philosophy is the assertion that there is something beyond the physical body and mind which is pure, infinite, and eternal, called the Atman. Just as we celebrate the birth of our physical being, Diwali is the celebration of this inner light, in particular the knowing of which outshines all darkness (removes all obstacles and dispels all ignorance), awakening the individual to one’s true nature, not as the body, but as the unchanging, infinite, immanent and transcendent reality. With the realization of the Atman comes universal compassion, love, and the awareness of the oneness of all things (higher knowledge). This brings Ananda (joy or peace). While the story behind Deepavali and manner of celebration varies from region to region (festive fireworks, worship, lights, sharing of sweets), the essence is the same – to rejoice in the Inner Light (Atman) or the underlying reality of all things (Brahman).

Deepavali marks the end of the harvest season in most of India. Farmers give thanks for the bounty of the year gone by, and pray for a good harvest for the year to come. Traditionally this marked the closing of accounts for businesses dependent on the agrarian cycle, and is the last major celebration before winter. Lakshmi symbolizes wealth and prosperity, and her blessings are invoked for a good year ahead.

There are two legends that associate the worship of Lakshmi on this day. According to the first legend, on this day, Lakshmi emerged from Kshira Sagar, the Ocean of Milk, during the great churning of the oceans, Samudra manthan. The second legend (more popular in western India) relates to the Vamana avatar of the big three Vishnu, the incarnation he assumed to kill the demon king Bali. On this day, Vishnu came back to his abode the Vaikuntha; so those who worship Lakshmi receive the benefit of her benevolent mood, and are blessed with mental, physical and material well-being

Colourful garlands and flowers are a must for any Diwali celebration – they’re used to adorn the body, to decorate doorways and homes and to offer to the gods.

Rangoli (coloured powder and sand) – sprinkled in different patterns and shapes, such as stars, flowers or to simply spell out ‘Happy Diwali’. Dubai’s desert location is handy for this tradition:  drive out to the desert, collect a bucket of sand and add some watered-down food colouring, let it dry in the sun and then get sprinkling.

Sugary sweet treats -  a must for any traditional Diwali celebration. Look out for karanji (baked or fried flour dumplings stuffed with dry coconut), ladoo (aka semolina balls), and rasgulla, a Bengali speciality served with cottage cheese and semolina cooked in syrup. If like me you don’t have a sweet tooth, try the savoury buttery chakli – crisp swirls of dough with a salty, or a chilli flavour.

Deepavali is celebrated for five days according to the lunisolar Hindu Calendar. It begins in late Ashvin (between September and October) and ends in early Kartika (between October and November). The first day is Dhan Teras. The last day is Yama Dvitiya, which signifies the second day of the light half of Kartika. Each day of Deepavali marks one celebration of the six principal stories associated with the festival. All the days except Diwali are named according to their designation in the Hindu calendar

We wish you all a Happy Diwali whatever your religon and will enjoy seeing the lights.

Donate blood – 6 November 2010

November 4th, 2010

Donating blood, 6 November 2010 at Ibn Battuta Mall.