Archive for March, 2012

Dubai Boat Show – Dynamics Ax

March 12th, 2012

At the Dubai Boat Show you’ll find the widest selection of the best boats from around the world. With over 750 companies and brands, and more than 400 yachts and boats on display

If you are a boat manufacturer or you run a speed boat racing team then find out how Dynamics Ax Project Managemnt Accounting features can support your business.

Management reporter 2012 imminent – let Synergy Software Systems Show you

March 12th, 2012

Management Reporter replaces Microsoft FRx and the new release is expected to be announced at the coming cnnvergence conference next week with a  launch date is in the March 2012-April 2012 time frame.

Management Reporter 2012 new features:

  •  more flexibility to design reports.
  •  collaboration with co-workers, auditors and others during the design, distribution and viewing processes.
  •  deeper integration with Microsoft Dynamics ERP systems:.
    •  the ability to drill back from the Management Reporter Report Viewer into the Dynamics ERP application for account balances and budget balances;
    • dynamically align reporting trees with Dynamics AX organizational hierarchies;
    •  new companies added in Dynamics AX 2012 are automatically added to Management Reporter and any change to the company name will be reflected in Management Reporter;
  • interactive Report Viewer lets users:
    • Attach comments to important rows in a report version that other people can also see. However, only the user who created the comments or an admin can delete the comments;
    • Quickly create a chart based upon selected report rows and columns, which is also available to anyone looking at the report;
    • Integration with Microsoft Lync to start a discussion about the report This feature is designed to improve productivity because it takes less time for you to find the answers to your questions, and to be more responsive to employee questions. Using Lync with Management Reporter increases the efficiency of your business by allowing everyone to get the answers they need in a more timely fashion.
    • Copy comments from one version of a report to another;
    • More easily navigate a report with the new paging and find capabilities;
    • Jump to key areas of the report for fast analysis. 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.
    • Locate key features in Report Viewer with an enhanced toolbar that includes more icons so you can easily identify options that are available while viewing;
    • Find a key value in a report, such as an account value or description.

A data mart option  will be provided  to report on the information from the general ledger into Management Reporter. The data is trickled into the data mart so it’s always real time and very close to live so reports are up to date at any time adn there is less time needed to pull data from Ax

 Microsoft MVP Mariano Gomez, a self-described technical guy who doesn’t often get excited about financial reporting is quoted , “Management Reporter 2012 is simply the best darn financial reporting product produced to date by Microsoft. This release revolves around four core themes: interactive report viewing, deeper Dynamics ERP integration, report collaboration, and design flexibility.”

On the ERP Software blog, Kristi Tallent, Director of Sales & Marketing, Associates Solutions Inc., also offers some insight into Management Reporter 2012 based on information from Microsoft. Tallent said the feature her company really likes is the Missing Account Analysis, to check for missing accounts before you generate reports.

 Management Reporter 2012 helps companies to distribute financial reports to multiple destinations  Management Reporter 2012 lets you specify either a single Report Library location or multiple Report Library locations, as well as multiple networks or SharePoint locations.

The ability to enter comments at the financial, account, and transaction level of a report, is a common feature request,  that will save many customers hours while they’re collaborating with others during the process. The comments can be copied to various versions of the report and they can even be exported out to excel with the reports.

Other  features include:

  •  the ability to generate multiple reports in just one click with report groups,
  • rolling forecast headers that give users headers that dynamically span columns based on the period and report dates. This feature is great for rolling forecasts, where some columns contain actual data, and some columns contain budget/forecast data. Then each month, as the report date is changed, the headers will also update, reducing the maintenance and user error involved with creating and generating rolling forecast reports.

SQL Server 2012 now available – benefits for Dynamics Ax

March 12th, 2012

SQL Server 2012 enables a cloud-ready information platform that will help organizations unlock breakthrough insights across the organization as well as quickly build solutions and extend data across on-premises and public cloud backed by capabilities for mission critical confidence

AX 2012 will be able to take advantage of:

  •  the new SQL Server Always On Availability Groups to allow for some of the general benefits of high availability and failover,
  •  improves reporting performance f from AX allowing ISVs to “leverage the read-only secondaries in SQL Server
  • AlwaysOn Availability Groups to offload some of the data warehousing needs to help reduce the load on the OLTP database.”
  •  improve the options for developing new reports and surfacing these in the right places, e.g. SharePoint. For example, AX 2012 integrates with the PowerView report building tool,
    • PowerView users have the ability to mash-up data with external data sources using PowerPivot to drive in-depth analysis.
    • Developers have the ability to build custom tabular BI models using aggregated as well as detailed data from Microsoft Dynamics AX.
    • Resulting models (whether built using PowerPivot or using BI development tools) can be explored using SQL server Power view or from Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Role centers.”
    • Microsoft plans to improve the AX BI and reporting capabilities further with AX 2012 R2,due in 2013.

Some more  SQL 2012 features

  • Deliver required uptime and data protection with AlwaysOn
  • Gain breakthrough & predictable performance with ColumnStore Index
  • Help enable security and compliance with new User-defined Roles and Default Schema for Groups
  • Enable rapid data discovery for deeper insights across the organization with ColumnStore Index
  • Ensure more credible, consistent data with SSIS improvements, a Master Data Services add-in for Excel, and new Data Quality Services
  • Optimize IT and developer productivity across server and cloud with Data-tier Application Component (DAC) parity with SQL Azure and SQL Server Data Tools for a unified dev experience across database, BI, and cloud functions

Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Documentation:

Why Dynamics Ax 2012 Retail for Dubai? Ask Synergy Software Systems

March 11th, 2012

Today’s retail landscape offers unprecedented opportunity and this also presents new challenges.

Global supply chains are affected by global economic  pressures. Consumers ahve increased choice in products and shopping formats, and unparalleled access to information throguh social networks, Today’s empowered shoppers,  expect more from their retail experiences. As the line between social networking and commerce blurs, delivering on the brand promise and retaining consumer loyalty are more important and more difficult than ever before.  There is  a multi channel  paradignm shift and a  new retail reality has emerged.

http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/microsoft-dynamics-ax-2012-for-retail-demo-agile-item-and-organization-management/qmto1pgj?from=#

http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/microsoft-dynamics-ax-2012-for-retail-demo-social-commerce/qm9cas54?from=

http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/microsoft-dynamics-ax-2012-for-retail-demo-mobile-point-of-sale/qmltnwnv?from=

Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail POS

It’s Powerful.

Dynamics AX for Retail 2012 is a powerful, integrated solution — get operational efficiency by reducing complexity.

Technology is changing the ways in which  customers shop, and retailers  market and sell

  • Purpose-Built for the New Requirements of Retail
    • Immediate, accurate insight  -  a unified solution at the store, headquarters, supply chain, and beyond
    • Complete and centralized control of hardware, UI, and user profiles to manage  a rapidly changing workforce and multiple store formats
  •  Customer Service:
    • Fully customizable UI tailored for both mobile & customer-facing devices – personalized engagement to build loyalty
    • Quick access to real-time information – offer better s customer choice and satisfaction
  • Empowers Your People :
    • Role-Based UI e.g. different for  Cashier and Store Manager, drive security, reduce shrinkage, and improve speed of service
    • Tailored Role Centers, e.g. Merchandise Manager and Purchasing, provide instant access to relevant  to prioritize tasks, and to reduce training time

It’s Agile.

Dynamics AX for Retail 2012 is an agile solution to esnure organizational responsiveness to market opportunities and expansion into new retail channels.

  •  360 Degree View of the Business:
    • Cross channel support customer
    • Optimize the customer experience with a better managed supply chain through channel transparency
  • Scale and  flexibility :
    • Extensibility model  – optimizes workflows and competitive differentiation
    • Dviersify, verticlally itnegrate, and penetrate emerging markets quickly with a global, multi-country solution built on a unified natural model
  • Leverage of marketplaces & social commerce:
    • Cloud-based commerce service enables new points of customer engagement and visibility through marketplaces e.g. Amazon, Ebay, Shop.com
    • Leverage social networks as e.g. Facebook & Twitter as a valuable new sources of revenue, customer feedback, and digital marketing

It’s Simple.

Dynamics AX for Retail 2012 is an easy-to-use solution that drives adoption and lowers costs –  simplify every stage of the retail lifecycle

  • Ease of upgrade:
    • Phased deployment and rollout protects the store channel
    • Consistent API’s protect investment and encourage innovation
  • Ease of implementation –  build a solid foundation for user adoption and customer loyalty:
    • RapidStart, upgrade advisors, and other powerful tools drive simple, template-based configuration
    • ‘Out of the box’ Retail-specific pre defined roles based screens  and security deinfitons accelerates user adoption
  • Connect store associates with  the rest of the organization through integrated self-service collaboration :
    • Streamline  organization collaboration with self-service store and vendor portals and ad hoc, end-to-end business process integration through Sites Services
    • Find information quickly  through Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Business Connectivity Services

Ax 2012 upgrade 101 Dubai What you need to know – gotchas and tips

March 10th, 2012

Ax 2012 offes many compelling reasons to upgrade and  a suite of tools and white paers to assist  but its not all plain sailing. 

A 2 -5 day worskhop with our team will give you a fast start and help you avoid and mininise a lot of issues.

 These are just some of the thngs you may need to learn about:

new ui

table normalisation and refactoring and the implications

new number sequence framework

new exchange rate framework

intelligent new data management framework

 the new organisation and dimensional frameworks,

new policy framework

new framework for product release

 the change to SSRS and the undocumented features,

changes to cubes

why some processes may run many times faster but simple tasks may be very slow

new set up best practices

 the new management reporter,

new workflow engine,

 new sysetm hardware and oeprating requirements,

 new and deprecated technical and functional  features, new modules

new security model

security ugrade advisors tool

security development tool

flexible authentication in EP

new licensing rules

data upgrade best practices

wrting upgrade scripts

using the upgrade state transfer tool

migrating edt relations

changes ot the AIF and the use of document services

meta data, web and query services

data import limitations

virtual company considerations

Ax trace and crash dumps

Models and how to deploy cusotmisations across layers

reverse engineering tool

How to copy company data now the feature is deprecated

and lots more

What will make your project better than 50-50?

March 8th, 2012

About 50-percent of ERP projects analyzed mange to achieve 50-percent or more of their expected business benefits.

Hardly, a compelling statistic for a CFO to invest millions of dollars in a new ERP system. They realize that ERP failures and lack of business benefits is only partially down to the software.

Software vendors have tried to use industrial engineering techniques the software the easy part of an ERP implementation. SAP offers customers ASAP (Accelerated SAP) and RDS (Rapid Deployment Solutions) methodologies, Oracle has a business accelerator toolset, Microsoft has rapid Start, Sure Step and elearning and even the Tier II ERP vendors have developed methodologies and toolsets designed to make the ERP implementation process repeatable.

Despite these best intentions, however, most ERP projects still fallshort. In addition to the longer-term ramifications of the 50/50 rules on the business benefits side, many ERP implementations take longer and cost more than expected. In fact, the implementation cost overrun of over 20-percent ar almost  a norm for many implementations, and these metrics haven’t improved much over the years.

These rapid implementation projects often take longer and cost more than expected. SaaS ERP vendors all promise fast deployments and even quicker business benefits, surely it can’t all be the software’s fault, can it?

There are several sides to the story.

  • Most erp systems can do more than you need or at least more than you have the time and budget to implement in one project. So you have to have a realistic appreciation :
    • That the scope, timeline and budget should be realistic – starting  with a timeline based on a wish , and a budget based on a finger in the air guess the first vendor you meet is not the way to ensure a project scope and resource are adequate to deliver.
    • Your users have  to use the system and own it they can’t sit on the fence- once the management pollcy decision to implement is taken they need to be clear of their responsibility to adapt and to adopt.
    • Forget about the term User Acceptance Test. You have already bought the software. Don’t set an expectation that junior end users can reject it just because they can’t be bothered to attend training or to do adequate testing. Use the term QA and pilots (intensive, confidence building repetitive practice)
    • If the implementation partner has presented a convincing methodology then don’t cut corners yourself and don’t let the partner cut these either.  It’s natural for many people to duck responsibility. Don’t let people sit on the fence. Charters and requirements documents, test scripts, report designs, sheets ,and milestone sign offs should be signed by all relevant team member on both sides. If there is a reason not to, then deal with it before progressing. Project success is about accountability.
    • Recognise that the implementation partner can’t work for free- and that to do a  job properly needs skilled resources. A 60% lower quote means little when the project inevitably fails. If you squeeze the margins then the work will be squeezed- there many features that cannot be delivered an will not be volunteered when the budgeted resource and timeline is too tight
    • It takes two hands to clap. Don’t kid yourself about how much time your people can spare, or how perfect are your business processes, and data, or how bright and hardworking are your people, or that they can run a  fulltime job and be an effective, accountable  full time project member.  Better to settle for a workable scope that adds value and can be achieved with acceptable quality on time and budget. Then add ore functionality as the business need justifies and the availability of resources allows.

Many issues have very little to do with the software. Most modern ERP software “works” and is relatively easy to deploy from a technical perspective, but none of that matters when employees and end-users don’t embrace and won the system to perform their jobs within  integrated business processes.

Users typically do not resistance technical change, they adopt new mobile phones and tvs regularly. They resist loss of power and status. They resist social change- who they work with report to, go to lunch with whether they are now office or home based or mobile . Change management and lack of understanding of how erp provides increase dpowet o an orgnaisaiton rather than just more controls is one of the root causes of most ERP failures.

 Another key factors that contribute to user resistance is the “usability” of the software . 

  • Is the interface familiar and appealing
  • Is it easy to find filter, sort
  • Is it easy to inquire , is there a drilldown audit trail, are reports easy to create and run
  • Is it easy to share data with user productivity tools like Word and Excel and SharePoint and Outlook
  • Are short cut key strokes, and icons familiar  -“windows like’
  • Are there complex menus , can ‘favourites’ be stored in a user defined menu
  • Is there in context on line help?
  • Is a multi language UI  supported
  • Can screen b personalized to add, resize, relabel,  or remove fields or to change their on screen order
  • Is there easy navigation from a field to the underling table
  • Does the system support data groups and data templates
  • Can transactions be selectively copied
  • Is useful information presented to the users with on lien cures or fact boxes or in a user specific portal  e.g. notifications, alerts, reports, statistics
  • Can you drill back to source data for reports
  • Are wizards available to guide new users
  • Are there workflow processes
  • Are file attachments supported to data and transactions
  • Are there automated posting reversal options
  • Can user specific text messages be easily added to data and transactions
  • Can standard transaction texts be saved for reuse
  • Can screen content be easily be exported to excel or be printed without need to create a specific report
  • Is there any self documentation tool
  • Can the system be easily modified to make data more visible e.g colour coding or different companies or instances, or different types of data addition of attribute fields, or images etc.
  • Is it easy to integrate to supplementary systems – mobility, bar coding, payroll,
  • Are there vendor and customer and employee self service portals
  • Can the system integrate with Linq, Office Communicator, etc.

CU for SQL Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 now out

March 5th, 2012

Cumulative Update 5 contains a roll-up of hotfixes released since the initial release of SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1.

Cumulative Update #12 for SQL Server 2008 R2 was also released last week

SQL 2012 – what’s new?

March 5th, 2012

Well quite a lot but these are three things to think about:

xEvents

Extended events  with the  xEvents Wizard  to create and manage sessions that are running inside your instance.

Will SQL Profiler  be deprecated and disappear? and be repalced by SQL Audit, and xEvents.? Probaly so  put xEvents on your priority learning list.

ColumnStore

What is this? Basically it delivers faster queries through smarter compression. SQL Azure Data Sync

Azure sync

The Cloud is here.so learn about SQL Azure and how to migrate data to and from the Cloud  bedore someone asks you questions.

Why erp? How to succeed?

March 4th, 2012

A recent article http://www.pmhut.com/ by Giana Rosetti  forms the basis for these guidelines.

Why do so many companies want to implement erp systems?

  • Losing market share due to increasing global competition
  • Poor cost vs. profit ratios resulting in falling or stagnant stock values
  • Competition with faster time-to-market
  • Changing economic conditions that force downsizing
  • Effective use of fewer resources caused by downsizing
  • Implementing new technology to become more efficient
  • Managing changes brought on by dynamic growth
  • New executives who have seen it add value elsewhere
  • Owner executives need  a way to pass on their knowledge to a new generation
  • Command and control with informal systems beocmes too difficult once a business expands and diversifies
  • Compliance demand from investors, banks, governments, industry bodies and trading partners.
  • The reasons are compelling, but there is understandable concern about the obstacles and the risks.

    The solution for many companies is positioning. The group charged with the implementation of project management should be in the upper levels of the company. It is critical that all levels of workers and managers see that the executive level supports it without hesitation. Without support from the top, it won’t get off the ground nor can it hope to succeed.  When the CEO asks every day ‘how is the project going?’ it is a high % of  the communicaton most junior staff have with him. A negative remark about the project from on high similalry has a disproprtrionate impact. Those at the top throw a long shadow.

    Executives or people in charge of the project management implementation should focus on several activities:

    • Choose the right project mix – which will leverage the company’s best resources to bring large, measurable value to the stakeholders.
    • Ensure the correct scope – Align projects and content cross-functionally. Many of today’s projects have technical scope relevant to a single, functional area, but lack the organization-wide policy, measurement and content changes necessary to have a significant impact on organization goals.
    • Be pragmatic. What is the organisation’s capacity to manage change?. What is quick to do what is easy to do what will have the biggest immediate impact, what changes will free up time?. The answers will help to scope, phase and prioritise and resource a project.  Must have, need to have, or nice to have?
    • Execute quickly, in the correct sequence – Executives must understand and convince the organization to adhere to the organization’s project capacity. Project managers must manage expectations and monitor project execution to ensure that out-control situations are quickly recognized and acted upon.

    Data Quality – Data cleanse- Data audit – Data synchronise -

    March 1st, 2012

    Improve Data Quality and Data Accuracy - Increase the Productivity of your erp system 

    Data consistency and quality significantly impacts the efficency of your erp systems.

    • Do all your items have assigned costs, prices, lead times. and mrp parameters?
    • Are item codes consistent between your different companies to support inter-compoany and cross-company processes, inquiries and reports?
    • Are you able to participate in extended supply chains with EDI, vendor self-service portals, common bar codes, etc.

    Cleanse, normalise and improve data quality, to streamlins integration with internal systems and outside trading partners.

     Synchronizer enables companies to evaluate vendor changes in item information before pushing those changes into production.

     Thorough on-line audit abilities of all vendor supplied data, help to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley legislation in ways not otherwise possible. 

    Product Event Manager
    Synchronizer’s Product Event Manager incorporates user-defined cleansing rules and process automation to ensure data from all your companies conforms to company-specific standards.

    Built-in workflows guide users through the process while the transformation
    engine
    automatically populates the enterprise product repository. A syndication engine rapidly filters and distributes customized versions and formats to any number of internal or external audiences.

    Workflows can be tailored to key user roles, (such as category manager, supplier account manager, supervisors, buyers and pricing managers) that correspond to
    product information or attributes.

    Synchronizer’s rule engine includes powerful analytics that evaluate the impact of each change. The alert engine measures the effect of a change on the enterprise data and notifies the appropriate user to exceptions for proper handling.

    Enterprise Product Repository – Synchronizer provides a flexible, extensible, out-of-the-box product information management solution using our Flexible Data Model or integrated into your existing application portfolio using our Virtual Product Repository. 

    Product Information Gateway – Synchronizer’s Product Information Gateway supports standard interchange formats as well as product content services like UCCnet, Trade Services (PFMS, eDataFlex) and IDEA (IDW, IRD).

    Contact us (00971  4 3365589) to learn more:

    Infor10 Distribution Business (SX.e) epaCube Synchronizer