Archive for February, 2012

WikiLeaks Publishes Global Intelligence Files: 5 Million+ Emails

February 28th, 2012

WikiLeaks has been tweeting that it was about to release some “extraordinary news”. Well, it did yesterday!

The material shows how a private intelligence agency works, and how they target individuals for their corporate and government clients.

a sample:

“[Y]ou have to take control of him. Control means financial, sexual or psychological control… This is intended to start our conversation on your next phase” – CEO George Friedman to Stratfor analyst Reva Bhalla on 6 December 2011, on how to exploit an Israeli intelligence informant providing information on the medical condition of the President of Venezuala, Hugo Chavez.

Synergy recommends you adopt the new features of Management Reporter 2012

February 28th, 2012

We have recently implemented Management Reporter with Dynamics Ax 2012 for a Corporate HQ in Abu Dhabi and the users are delighted with the ease of multi-period analysis and comparison of budget and actual by: company, department cost centre etc with drill down to source.

They are going to ‘wowed’ with the new release that revolves around 4 core themes:

  • Interactive Report Viewing,
  • Deeper Dynamics ERP Integration,
  • Report Collaboration,
  • Design Flexibility.

This release removes its dependency on Internet Information Services (IIS), and allows it to run in native mode. If you are familiar with SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services, then you realise how  this will improve delivery and efficiency.

The Comments feature will please Finance and the ability to distribute reports to multiple locations at once will certainly make both Finance and IT happy.  Management Reporter 2012 allows users to enter comments at the financial, account, and transaction level of a report. This common feature request will save many customers’ hours while collaborating with others during the close process.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lysv7jyvWyk&list=PLBE027591B1C070D6&index=198

The more information you can provide on a financial report the better. This allows your users to have all of the information they need to make informed decisions. In Management Reporter, you can include the dimension codes and descriptions for a line of a report, as a result, your users know exactly from where a number derives.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvdiAc439zo&list=PLBE027591B1C070D6&index=1&feature=plpp_video

Rolling forecast headers provide users with headers that dynamically span columns based on the period and report date. This feature is great for rolling forecasts, where some columns contain Actual data, and some columns contain budget/forecast data. Each month, as the report date is changed, the headers will update also which reduces the maintenance and user error involved with creating and generating rolling forecast reports.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJ8A2MzZqrc&list=PLBE027591B1C070D6&index=1&feature=plpp_video

Report groups are an easy and convenient way to generate multiple reports in a single click. For example you may have multiple reports that are run during your month end process. Rather than selecting each of the report definitions individually and then selecting the generate report button, you can simply create a report group that contains the month end reports.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RxS_YqYUs4

 Quick links are dynamically created to let report consumers jump to key areas of a report in the Report Viewer, allowing them to quick scan the information important to them. When users open a report link from a SharePoint e-mail alert, they can choose how they want to view their personalized view of the report e.g. users can to open these reports in Microsoft Excel to perform ad-hoc analysis, like “what if” or to add graphs or to apply new  formatting.

New features of Management Reporter 2012 include the  functionality to make the install and setup experience much easier by enabling company integrations.

Rather than setting up companies manually, to import your companies from your Microsoft Dynamics ERP, you can reuse what is already  entered for both Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 and Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

Import new companies with 1-click. You will see a list of all companies in the Dynamics AX database.  Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 data mart will  automatically create all companies in your Dynamics ERP and any changes to company name will be reflected in Management Reporter without user intervention. As new companies are created these are automatically added to Management Reporter.

Roll Up 6 for MS CRM 2011

February 27th, 2012

Microsoft officially released Update Roll Up 6 for MS CRM 2011….

 Official Link: http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=28712

 Reference Links:

 http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2600640

 http://edwardsdna.wordpress.com/2012/01/23/update-rollup-6/

Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights

February 26th, 2012

The Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights’ seven principles, in  outline :

  • Individual Control: Consumers have a right to exercise control over what personal data organizations collect from them and how it is used.
  • Transparency: Consumers have a right to easily understandable information about privacy and security practices.
  • Respect for Context: Consumers have a right to expect that organizations will collect, use, and disclose personal data in ways that are consistent with the context in which consumers provide the data.
  • Security: Consumers have a right to secure and responsible handling of personal data.
  • Access and Accuracy: Consumers have a right to access and correct personal data in usable formats, in a manner that is appropriate to the sensitivity of the data and the risk of adverse consequences to consumers if the data are inaccurate.
  • Focused Collection: Consumers have a right to reasonable limits on the personal data that companies collect and retain.
  • Accountability: Consumers have a right to have personal data handled by companies with appropriate measures in place to assure they adhere to the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights.

This will bring US privacy regulations into close alignment with those of the European Union and other trading partners. The U.S.A . administration also intends to pursue legislation to extend baseline privacy protection to business sectors not currently covered by federal privacy laws

If your children use an Iphone- read this.

February 26th, 2012

http://www.hanselman.com/blog/Its2012AndYourKidsHaveAnIPhoneDoYouKnowWhereTheyAreIDo.aspx

Location tracking can reveal your child’s whereabouts without their knowledge, or yours to almost anyone,  desirable or not. Read this article and ensure your children are not exposed

Try ‘Denali’ SQL 2012 in Dubai

February 26th, 2012

A Virtual Launch of SQL Server 2012 with an initial set of sessions streamed on the 7th March and again during the day in the Gulf on the 8th March followed by many indepth sessions and content leading to the general availability of SQL Server 2012 later in 2012. Visit www.sqlserverlaunch.com to register

Dynamics Ax 2012 -Project success

February 24th, 2012

We do not generally write about out project successes, because they are an everyday occurrence -typcially 30+ projects a year. In January we went live with Ax 2012 and also with our first implementation of Management Reporter with Ax. This was enabed by our role in the Ax 2012 TAP testing programme for Ax 2012 and by ensuring our consultants attended the Microsoft training courses as wella s our internal training and undertook re-certification on the new Ax 2012 release

As I write we are also about to go live on the first phase of an  Ax mobility implementation and also to go live for a large utility compamny. We have also just started new Ax projects in Oman and KSA .

The expanded features, enhanced technology, the recent release of Ax Retail, the imminent release of a new version of Management Reporter  are attracting a great deal of interest.   We are also getting increasing inquires from clients who have had their fingers burned with cut price implementations and want the reassurance of a large, stable, local  implementor with its own  consultants, employed on our visa in  Dubai, with certified experise and a referenceable track record over many years. 

Implementing erp successfully takes more than wishful thinking and a D I Y or sub contract by the hour basis. When you invest in a  strategi business system you need a strategic partner.   That is why so many international clients have been our customers for over 10 years and why so many international partners trust us to deliver projects for their global clients in this region on their behalf. . Unfortunately there are far too many failed projects in the region that highlight the dangers of  the alternative.

What does someone in IT really do?

February 22nd, 2012

http://www.logixml.com/6-views-it-leaders

If you work in IT then you will appreciate this graphic of different perceptions of what you really do.

Plan to fail, or Fail to Plan – erp success is possible In Dubai with Synergy Software Systems

February 22nd, 2012

  http://www.zdnetasia.com/it-industry-accepting-failure-as-the-norm-62303508.htm An interesting article by Eddie R Williams who has over 20 years of experience as a project and program manager for system/software engineering and Information Technology (IT) development and management. he makes the pionjt that failure does nto ahve to the norm and that professioanl proejct management does make a difference.  With around 40 years experience myself in this field I have extracted some points that I believe are worrh noting.

  The percentage of failed projects in the past and the current percentage of projects, small and large, including ERP, are still failing ……….

Here are the top 10 reasons most projects and programs become troubled and/or fail:

  1. The absence of senior management’s support and commitment
  2. The lack of competent and knowledgeable leadership
  3. Unrealistic or inadequate planning
  4. The lack of consistent communications and training
  5. Failure to clean up complex business processes (re-engineering) prior to implementing new systems such as ERP
  6. The absence of complete, stable, and mutually agreed-to and approved requirements
  7. The absence of requirements management–business, user, functional (product/system, application, etc.)–and alignment of the project to business needs
  8. The absence of a good architecture, or high-level design, to determine priorities and functionality releases for a system or product
  9. Core team not built with the appropriate skill sets, considering availability, retention, backup, and resource planning
  10. Not addressing risk identification and management up front, early and continuing throughout a project and program. Contingency planning being an afterthought. Projects proceeding forward at go, no-go decision points when significant issues and problems existed or had not being resolved. Serious downgrades to meet unrealistic expectations, marketing schedules, and deadlines

…….

Obtain written and documented support and commitment from senior management. (This also ensures that business management, Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), and users will be expected to participate.)

You can decrease project failure rate where it starts–with your attitude, belief, and resulting behavior and actions

Power View- Sql 2012

February 20th, 2012

 Power View, formerly known as “Project Crescent is the interactive data exploration, visualization, and presentation tool for end users shipping with Reporting services in SQL Server 2012 for easy to use ad-hoc reporting and data exploration.

Reports can be created from data in PowerPivot workbooks or tabular BI Semantic Models deployed to SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services. Power View runs  in a browser, powered by SharePoint Server 2010, and enables users to present  highly interactive visual presentations.

This video is a great intro: http://channel9.msdn.com/posts/SQLShorts-SQL-2012-Power-View-on-SharePoint-2010

For a deep-dive into the overview, see the TechNet page :http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh213579(SQL.110).aspx#PresentationReady

Multiple vulnerabilities are reported in Microsoft Internet Explorer

February 19th, 2012

Multiple vulnerabilities are reported in Microsoft Internet Explorer, which can be exploited to bypass certain security restrictions, disclose potentially sensitive information, and compromise a user’s system.

1) An error exists when handling copy and paste operations. For more information:
SA48031

2) An error when accessing a deleted object within certain HTML layout handling can be exploited to corrupt memory.

3) An error when handling NULL bytes during the creation and initialisation of strings can be exploited to read process memory.

4) An error when accessing a deleted object within VML handling can be exploited to corrupt memory. Successful exploitation of vulnerabilities #2 and #4 allows execution of arbitrary code.

Solution
Apply patches.

WPS for JAFZA – Dubai – need help?

February 18th, 2012

This is the download link for the Companies Responsibilities Guide – UAEWPS-CRG01 – Version 3.4.0

http://www.jafza.ae/media-files/2011/08/16/20110816_WPS-CRG-Version-3-4-0.pdf

What does it mean for an employer? These are the key responsibilities.

Employers shall
a)  Install systems and/or services from 3rd parties to produce the salary file in the mandated format as described in Section  7.
b)  Employ the services of their bank to facilitate the transfer of the salary file
to the WPS at CBUAE
.  Kindly note that the funding of the salaries must only
by way of providing the salary file through any bank where the account is
held. One or more banks can be employed to fulfill the salary funding obligation
for any month.
d)  Charges imposed by Banks & Agents cannot be deducted from the
wages/salaries of the employees
.
e)  All employees must be paid in the National currency (Arab Emirate Dirham)  through one of the agents of the WPS in the country.

Synergy Software Systems provides specialist HR and Payroll solutions to many clients in the region and has develoepd the necessary WPS interface and also the different file encryption required by certain banks.

If you require to select or imnplement a software solution , or guidance on what are the requirements and what processes you have to follow then consider booking a workshop for your management with one of our experienced HR and Payroll consultants.

AX 2012 R2 roadmap (all roads lead to Synergy in Dubai!)

February 9th, 2012

AX 2012 R2 is on the roadmap for the first half of 2013 :

  • The Project Crescent reporting engine – AX 2012 data can be pulled into the new crescent reporting engine where reports can be built and run on the fly. e.g  revenue and past due reports by customer,with drill downs into an individual customer’s data.  One of the flashier features is the ability to animate a graphical report, showing performance changes over time like the sum of receivables for a customer over the course of a year.
  • Support for advances in the application platform
  • Simplified international deployments that can be localized in a single instance of AX. to meet the  increased interest form international customers who want to simplify deployment based on complex needs.
  • “Pervasive BI” through improved integration of SSRS and data cubes
  • Completion of planned local compliance features, including support for 11 added countries including BRIC
  • New capabilities for cross-channel/multi-channel commerce
  • Public sector budget formulations for more complex budget requirements including Excel export, tracking reports, and work flow approvals
  • Advances in Human Capital management, improving employee life cycle management, including position control and tighter budget integration

Choose an erp partner in Dubai –

February 9th, 2012

In a background of economic uncertainty, and raid expansion it is as importnat to chosoe the right parter as it is to choose the right solution. Panorama Consulting recently advised about the need to ensure erp vendor viability:

Infor recently acquired Lawson, Epicor and Activant were acquired as part of a private equity buyout, and JD Edwards and PeopleSoft were both acquired by Oracle several years ago. Some of the leading ERP vendors, including Oracle, Infor, and SAP, have been extremely aggressive in acquiring other ERP software solutions, as well as best of breed points solutions, to augment their core solution offerings. With each of these acquisitions comes uncertainty – will the new parent company continue providing maintenance and support? Will it invest in future enhancements? Or will it force a costly and risky migration to another product?

Similarly a  CEO, CFO, or CIO concerned with business risk shoul validate the viability of their local implementation partner. 

  • How long have they been in business.
  • Do they have on the ground presence with adequate depth and breadth of skills.
  •  Is there evidence that they invest in the necessary infrastructure and staff training?

Some simple checks:

  • Whan was the comapny first registered?
  • Is the company registered with the Chamber of Commerce?
  • Visit their office - does the size seem adequate for the supposed staff size? od they have adequate training facilities?
  • Do they use a formal helpdesk system?
  • Do the consultants have a National id card and Labour card?
  • When did they first become a certifed partner for the software?
  • Do they have certified Consultants, Trainers, and Project Managers?
  • Do they struggle to offer reference sites? is there evidence that a customer has used their services for many years?
  • Can they provide bank references ?
  • Do they have supporting networking and DBA, and interfacing skils?
  • Does the managment team seem to understand the product and your vertical? What is their  length of service and credibility?
  • Do they have international alliance for international project support?
  • Have they ever undertaken successful projects of this size, and duration?. Do they have the scaleability to take this on? Support staff, Project managers, Lead consultants, Qa staff, Test systems etc.

Such simple questions are prudent to consider – these may not guarantee the  very best partner but they will help ensure they are competent and that you avoid the worst!

 

Abu Dhabi gets its chips!

February 7th, 2012

‘Abu Dhabi’ is the codename for AMD’s new server chips   due out in 2013 with 16 cores,  To  boost performance rather than to add more cores servers are being redesigned to match the chips . 

Abu Dhabi is targeted at two- and four-socket servers and will be based on a new processor architecture code-named Piledriver. The chip will be socket-compatible and be a straight plug-in replacement for Opteron 6200 chips, which are based on the Bulldozer core. .