Archive for July, 2012

Ramadan – Synergy Software Systems opening hours

July 19th, 2012

The holy month of Ramadan is expected to start this weekend.During this period of fasting and spiritual reflection there will be several changes to our office routine. Note that our offices will be closed from 5pm and on Saturdays until the end of Eid.

I will be away from this weekend so blog updates may be sporadic.

 سائلين الله عـز وجـل أن يرزقكـم فيه مغـفـره ورحمه وعتق من النار.May all your prayers be answered

Microsoft summer promotion and guaranteed upgrade.

July 19th, 2012

July 18th, 2012

A recent  report on ERP implementations indicated that even the implementations of major erp  vendors  tend to go over-schedule.

 Sixty-one percent of respondents indicated a longer than anticipated implementation duration, but that this has less to do with the software chosen than it does with the other critical success factors of implementation. These are the main ERP implementation factors that respondents indicated as reasons for extended durations and the percentage of respondents who chose that particular factor:

  • Initial Project Scope was Expanded 29%
  • Organizational Issues 20%
  • Data Issues 17%
  • Resource Constraints 17%
  • Training Issues 15%
  • Technical Issues 14%
  • Conflicts in Priority of Project 12%
  • Unrealistic Timeline 11%
  • Vendor Functionality Issues 4%

Vendor functionality issues only account for four-percent of reasons for extended duration. So why the overrun? Well there are practical issues of  wishful thinking, often an underestimation of the committment needed to make things happen, the need to deal with othe r non project related day to day queries and administration, plans that are not reviewed and updated because no timeor reosurce is  is allowed in the project  plan to do this. Real world issues that arise with no contingency:

 - a project member leaves,

 a process changes,

 a business emergency arises,

hey we changed our mind about what we want, and guess what we dont’ all agree

micro planning and coordination is difficult and takes time and there still needs to be some latitude:

- maybe training for some people takes a bit longer,

 - maybe the data is not quite as perfect as was thought,

- maybe some code fails QA test and needs rework – isn’t that reason why we have QA?

We adopt a critical chain approach to ensure timelines are realistic.  Proper preparation, realistic time allocation and a JDI attitude all help, clear RACI and experienced project members eans proejct meetigns are about how to make things work not how to fidn reasons why nothing is perfect.

There is no doubt that some overruns are due for commercial reasons- small issues are magnifed to delay payments, or by consultancies that lack the depth of resources needed, or try to juggle too many projects with too few experienced staff, or client senior managers sit on the fence and expect juniors to make decision.

The early days of a project are critical in establishing responsibilities , time/resouce commitment, vs scope,  teamwork, and how the project will be run. Failing to invest adequate time to the project team building and the project planning and proces,s in a a rush  to dive in and get started often leads the team down the wrong road. It is worth taking time to ensure sure that everyone is on the right path and the same team. Its not about being friends nor about holding the other side repsonsible. Its about ensuring everone is on the same team with the same objective and understanding of the route to take and what their commitment is.

However, if someone tells you that they can implement in half the time you expect or that is quoted by other vendors then if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is. Much the same applies to consulting rates  There is a reason why some command a higher fee. Taking twice as long even at half the price is false economy especially if it still does not work! Don’t take our word for it ask our many clients who have seen over the last 21 years that it is possible to deliver succesful projects and that rapid go live should not be feared when there is  strong local support always at hand.

Financial Consolidations made easier with Prophix and Synergy Software Systems

July 18th, 2012

Financial  consolidation  is  growing  in  importance  due to globalization and the popularity of mergers and acquisitions.   Nowadays it is not uncommon for a mid-sized company to own several legal entities in different states or countries.  

Even when a company’s financial consoldation requirements may not be
very complex, it may still be a very tedous and time consuming and prone to error if done manually in spreadsheets. 

Consolidation can seem very simple—isn’t it just about  adding together a series of accounts from different companies? 

From an accounting professional’s perspective, financial consolidation consists
of a series of processes and several challenges!:

  • Extracting data from multiple entities - which may use multiple software systems
  • Mapping disparate general ledgers to a common chart of accounts
  • Converting data to a common file format for import
  • Importing the data from multiple entities that may have different fiscal calendars and Partial ownership
  • Multi currency conversion – accounting convention makes currency translation  and the use of historical (or temporal) exchange rates complex .
  • Consolidating at multiple hiearchical levels .e g, by region, division,  group
  • Intercompany eliminations aking adjustments to the consolidated data
  • Producing reports for the consolidated entity
  • Multi-level reporting requirements  
  • Financial statement reporting
  • Taxation consioderations
  • Regulatory authorities such as the SEC set  compliance requirement for publically traded companies to report consolidated  results.   
  •  In  addition  to  obeying  accounting  standards (such as GAAP or IFRS), these types of consolidations also require an audit trail or a report that explains how source data from subsidiaries has been adjusted to give the consolidated results.
  • Management reporting will want to compare numbers across the group on a common basis.

Quite apart from legislated and management reporting, there are other reasons
why companies perform nancial consolidation.  For example:

  • Formally  documenting  intercompany  sales  in  a  consolidated  entity
    that trades in multiple countries makes it easier to answer questions
    about transfer pricing and to demonstrate compliance. 
  • For  a  holding  company,  there  may  not  be  a  need  to  have  a  separate
    general ledger,  but a need to use the financial consolidation system as the system of record.  An audit trail will meet external audit requirements.
  • Future audit fees can be reduced when there are standard end-of-year
    journal  entries  that  have  been  previously  audited  and  approved  by
    external auditors, rather than using spreadsheets that need to be fully
    audited every year. 

Financial consolidation solutions streamline and add value to existing processes and systems. Financial Consolidation is not the same for all companies. Depending on external or legislative reporting requirements and management’s need for information it can be very complex or relatively straightforward.  Its scope and complexity depends on how rigorous the company wants its nancial management to be. 

Before selecting a Financial Consolidation solution, it is important to be clear about your objective of the exercise and what you want as an end result. For example most  ERP  products have limited, relational reporting that cannot give consolidation accountants the  reports  they  need.  Timely automated distribution of reports in a report binder, or powerful what if ad hoc reporiting analysis, or presenting kpis in drill down dashboards are minimum expectations of the modern group CFO .   Limited  reporting functionality  is  often a key reason why many companies export general ledger data to third-party soware for their regular reporting requirements.

Packaged Applications
In  the  1980s,  specialist  software  products  were  first  developed  to  perform
financial  consolidation.    The  market  was  mainly  enterprise  level  companies
with  over  one  billion  dollars  in  revenues.    these  products  have  grown  to
be  very  sophisticated  in  terms  of  the  types  of  calculations  and  accounting
processes they can perform. They also tend to be very expensive, both in terms
of soware licenses and the services required to implement.  They are
outside the budget and technical resoruce of of most midmarket companies.

For group companies a  specialized software, such as Prophix,
is now available.  Prophix is a cost-eective alternative to high end global solutions
and Prophix offers  a  very  attractive  value  proposition  to  automate
processes  for  finance  professionals.   

Financial  consolidation  in Prophix is fully integrated with all other Prophix components such as easy-to-use reporting, data import, data collection, workow, report distribution and ad hoc OLAP querying of data.  Using Prophix, it is not necessary to keep a record of all the transactions in an account that is translated using historical rates. Beginning-of-year balances are sufficient for Prophix to accurately keep track of ongoing account balances for accounts requiring historical exchange rates. This integration lowers costs by minimizing training requirements and lowering the complexity of software installation. typically Prophix implementation time is  1/3 to 1/2 of other solutions.

Prophix is built on the Microsoft platform and has extensions for SharePoint. There are many techncial features built into Prophix to reduce comaplxity for users and their IT departments and I will cover these in a future post.

Spend more time on value added work and less time on tedious tasks

Prophix can create, schedule, design and run business type rules and processes to facilitate consolidation and global data manipulation in one point-and-click interface to eliminate repeatable, recurring processes. The Prophix Process Manager facilitates tasks by automating manual adjustments, such as intercompany eliminations, allocations and minority interest calculations, ensuring data is accurate and up to date.

Consistent completion of data

Prophix provides organizations with a way to bring together financial information from different financial models or general ledgers in order to create a consolidated view of the business. When extensive analysis is necessary, every consolidated number links directly to a single data source, which assures the single version of the truth.

Faster closes

Closing the books quickly is an important event: every month, quarter, and year, yet many challenges stem from the accuracy of reported numbers and business logic used in closing processes. Prophix ensures that the process is consistent and assures fast closes by providing inherent accounting logic, such as debits and credits, ensuring secure workflow processes, and allowing for quick journal adjustments. Adjust data using journal entry templates with support for recurring and auto- reversing entries, create allocations based on any measure, and create repeatable intercompany elimination journal entries to automatically eliminate balances at the correct consolidated levels and generate matching reports.

Adaptability when changes are needed

As regulatory pressures increase and companies are being asked to change structures, processes and policies very quickly, Prophix’s fully integrated, centralized business model supports, controls and manages the change. Adding new reporting hierarchies, entities, currencies, line items, or consolidation processes is within business leaders’ reach

With budget season approaching for most CFOs in the last quarter of the year, and year end cosnolidaiton and reports and audits to follow now is a good time to think about how to streamline your processes.

Sneak peek at Office 2013

July 17th, 2012

Microsoft announced the details of Office 2013  on Monday. So what’s new? 

It looks as you might expect like  the  Windows 8′s new Metro UI. Most of the translucent effects and gradients that were present in Office 2010′s Ribbon menus are replaced bysimple, flat fields in white and solid colors.The enhanced File menu, the “Backstage View” in Office 2010, is now like a full-fledged Metro app. that takes over the entire screen with a minimalistic, touch-friendly UI. When launched, each application presents a gallery of document styles with large,  previews

Launch screen screenshot from Office 2013 preview.

Word screenshot from Office 2013 preview

This is a very touchy-feely build,: expansion/contraction pinch controls, swiping between functions within Office and for  selecting fonts and type styles using rotary controls. A stylus can be integrated  either to annotate documents or to act as a pointer during presentations. The ribbon is still there, but it’s hidden until the user touches or clicks on the menu system.

Some applications offer a “touch mode” button above the menu bar, to reconfigure the UI so that icons are farther apart andthe  controls are larger, and easier to activate with touch screens. The overall UI doesn’t  change much in touch mode for traditional desktop PCs, but it’s useful when a traditional keyboard and mouse aren’t available. (Applications that rely heavily on keyboard input, including Word and Excel, lack the touch mode).

Screenshot of Outlook in touch mode from Office 2013 preview
Selecti Open from the File menu to see a myriad of file sources, including not just the local drive but also SharePoint servers and Microsoft’s SkyDrive cloud storage. Connect to any of these sources – much easier than Office 2010.
Cloud integration screenshot for Office 2013 preview
We’ve transformed Office to embrace design concepts shown in Windows 8 and Phone 8 and in Metro. This wave of Office is the biggest and most ambitious we’ve ever done.” Steve Balmer
By default, Office applications will store preferences, custom dictionaries, and – most importantly – documents, in the cloud via SkyDrive. Microsoft has also integrated a lot more functions into Office, allowing Bing and other services to add in content. You can, for example, highlight an address to bring up a Bing Map, or publish on multiple platforms such as Facebook and then amend or remove content with other Metro devices, with the software remembering your last actions and offering a quick window back to the work in progress.

 Microsoft has made SharePoint more social-friendly. The new interface looks very like a social network site, and it will provide a news feed with threaded discussions, video, and shared applications, and suggest documents you might be interested in. Registered users get a “people car” that contains notes about them, an aggregation of all their social feeds, and ways to contact them via phone.

Skype is integrated directly with Office and the Phone 8 operating system so there’s little difference between VoIP and traditional telephony modes. (Yammer integration is also on the cards.)

 Microsoft says this build is the smartest yet. In Excel, for example, the computer will suggest the best kind of charts and tables, and suggest automatic filling of cells based on past content.

Redmond also demoed a large-screen version of the new Office build on an 82-inch screen which comes from Microsoft’s recent Perceptive Pixel purchase. Redmond is pitching these as the perfect meeting tool, and one that can allow a style of collaborative working and on-screen videoconferencing that Ballmer said he hopes will stop people concentrating on pencil and paper.

Office on Perceptive Pixel screen

Ballmer said he expects most people will use Office as a service rather than an installed base. No date was given for the final launch of Office 2013.

Fun personality quiz – its Thursday – relax!

July 12th, 2012

Be honest and do not cheat by looking up the answers.

 The mind is like a parachute, it works best when it is opened.

 Follow the instructions very closely.

 Do not cheat. Only 5 Qs – Give an answer for each item.

The first thing that comes to mind is usually your best answer.

 Remember– no one sees this but you.

Put the following 5 animals in the order of your preference:

1. Cow, Tiger, Sheep, Horse, Pig

 2. Write one word that describes each one of the following:

 3.Dog, Cat, Rat, Coffee, Sea.

 4.Think of someone, who also knows you and is important to you, which you canrelate them to the following colors.

 Do not repeat your answer twice. Name just one person for each color:

 Yellow, Orange, Red, White, Green.

 Finally, write down your favorite number, and your favorite day of the week.

 So what does it all mean???????

 1. This  defines your priorities in your life.

  Cow Signifies CAREER

 Tiger Signifies PRIDE

 Sheep Signifies LOVE

 Horse Signifies FAMILY

 Pig Signifies MONEY

 Your description of dog implies your own personality.

 Your description of cat implies the personality of your partner.

 Your description of rat implies the personality of your enemies.

 Your description of coffee is how you interpret sex.

 Your description of the sea implies your own life.

 Yellow: Someone you will never forget

  Orange:Someone you consider your true friend

 Red:Someone that you really love

 White: Your twin soul

  Green:Someone that you will remember for the rest of your life

Some WPC 2012 Announcments

July 11th, 2012

Announced at WPC- Microsoft Dynamics AX will be available on Sept. 1 on Enterprise Agreement (EA) in Volume Licensing.

Microsoft will also roll out simplified pricing for SMB ERP products as part of the release of Dynamics NAV 2013 and Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 later this year.

Other Notables
Windows 8 RTM first week of August
Windows 8 to be released end of Oct
Windows 8 Pro upgrade from a new Windows 7 PC is $14.99
Windows To Go – a USB stick that can install and run Windows 8, company apps, BitLocker, and any personal data you want to store

AX Anywhere – new release – metro interface

July 10th, 2012

Dynamics Anywhere recently achieved the important milestone of 100 Customers

Streamline  your warehouse operations -   real time bookings – and reduce data errors with bar code data entry.

 Very easy for end users – cut training costs – licence by device not by user.

In a large, busy, 24×7 operation labour savings alone will often give a payback in under 1 year. Where you need to do detail tracking by serial number  there is both a huge increase in inventory transaction bookings and increased risk of data error and thus bar code input is essential. In a  fast moving pick pack operation with Just in Time replenishment real time udpates are essential.

 All you need is a mobile device and access to the internet.

 The 3 top reasons our customers choose Dynamics Anywhere are:
- extended functionality out-of-the-box – and you can modify and extend further�
- ease of customization – all done inside AX
- integral part of Microsoft Dynamics – no separate application to maintain or learn

The newly released  version of AX Anywhere has great new features:
- Retail store functionality
- Extended Field Sales functionality
- New features in the AX Anywhere framework
Metro-style User Interface!

Social networking services? No thank you.

July 9th, 2012

I have been a  Luddite with regard to social networking.  I understand the paradigm shift and the potential for business as well as for social collaboration,  I dont understand why facebook sites need to send me an email each time my hcildren update it  - they might just as well email me the content or better still speak to me. I dont find tweets much use and what is useful is buried in thousands of drivel messages etc.  menahwile the amount of spam mail and phsing attacks  I need to filter out  keeps going up

So I was interested to read  todaycourtesy of Tech Republic a n article written by  enttled  10 reasons why I avoid social networking services beause it sums up my concerns.This  is a mildly  precised version

 Just 8% of all Facebook users fall into my age group. Nonetheless, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, social networking is popular and still growing. While only 8% of adult Internet users used social networking sites in 2005, that number had grown to 65% by 2011. Why then do some people in general and older Internet users in particular avoid social networking services?  

1:  Privacy concerns

 Putting your personal information in the care of others, no matter how diligent their stewardship, increases your risk of that information getting into the hands of third parties. Our image is, in part, defined by our words. Each of us should ask how much of ourselves we want to give to people we don’t even know. Once gone, that private piece of our lives can never be retrieved.

 2: Ownership of content is unclear

Who actually owns and who controls “your” intellectual content .: If you don’t control it, do you really own it? It  The Twitter Terms of Service as of July 4, 2012, clearly states that you own the content you post:  “You retain your rights to any Content you submit, post or display on or through the Services….But what’s yours is yours — you own your Content (and your photos are part of that Content).” According to a New York judge,, Twitter owns your Tweets. That should at least cause you to pause before posting anything at any site other than your own.  

3: It’s too impersonal

Social networking offers an easy way to meet people — perhaps too easy. No commitment is required, and you can invest as much or as little of your time as you wish. Social networking services can be a great way to keep people at a distance: Interact only when and where you want with whom you want. . I prefer more meaningful ways to interact, like face-to-face and over the phone. People value your full attention and time. Social interaction is only as rewarding as you are willing to make it, whether in person or online.

 4: I want to minimize online gaffes

There is that risqué limerick you shared while in high school or those embarrassing statements you made about a former employer that can be found with a simple Web search. Pity the poor job interviewee grilled by an interviewer who did his homework and found your ignorance, or worse, the bad information you posted about a topic for which you are supposed to be an expert. …, abstinence means never having to say you’re sorry.

 5: I want to minimize data points for possible data mining

Make a spelling mistake or grammatical error and you can be dinged for it forever. For me, it would be embarrassing and a blow to my ego but not a great loss. To a younger person interviewing for a job …..,  It’s  it isn’t that difficult to collect such data  

6: I don’t subscribe to social fads

Call me a rebel, please. I don’t like following the sheep to gain their acceptance. Clothing from Sears has always been my fashion statement, though the local thrift store has of late been getting my business. Twitter and Facebook may just be another fad that comes and goes, like AIM and MySpace

7: I don’t like being pressured to join

The sinister way that social networking services sneak into even the most ardent holdout’s daily life is through invitations from friends and family members.. I became a rotten friend when I politely turned down a request to be in a friend’s LinkedIn professional network. Thank goodness my nephews and nieces have yet to ask me to “join up.” I would hate to be a terrible uncle too.  (even worse is that many businesses e.g. airlines, are making facebook membership an essential part of how they communicate  and its a choice  of join or miss out- I choose to miss out).

 8: I don’t need the abuse

Why would I risk being verbally flogged for posting what others might perceive as flame bait? I still don’t need the abuse but, thankfully, I no longer take name calling like “idiot” or “nimrod” as personally as I once did. Being flamed has instead become part of the profession “writer” and a badge of honor.

 9: It’s more work

If your work is anything like my experiences in the cubicle, you already spend enough time typing when you answer emails, update status reports, and write code. It’s just no fun coming home to more of the same.

 This may not apply to you, but when you write for a living, it’s not a lot of fun interacting socially with the written word. I just can’t afford to give away my wisdom for free.

 The bottom line…

…is that it’s just not me (#10). Some of us prefer to keep ourselves to our self. I have heard about certain sites that cater to the courtship rituals of modern Homo sapiens, but every day that goes by I become less modern than the day before. ……..Then there’s the fact that I have yet to find a reason why I should tell countless others how totally devoid of meaning my life really is.

 According to an analysis of tweets by Pear Analytics, 40% of all tweets are pointless babble. I have better ways to atrophy my brain, better ways to slowly turn my gray matter into mush. ….. Personal social interaction could become a lost art. And it would be a shame for humanity to become so impersonal.

Register SIM cards in the UAE by end of December 2013 latest

July 8th, 2012

Mobile phone users in the UAE have 18 months to re-register their SIM cards or risk having their telephone services cut off as part of a new campaign aimed at cracking on illegal handsets. Users can register their SIM cards along with their passport or national ID at du or Etisalat registration points from July 17, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) said in a statement.

Mobile phone subscribers are expected to fully update their data and ensure that the sim cards they’re using are registered under their names,”

Operator Etisalat has 105 registration points across the UAE while du has 46, said the TRA. All customers will receive notification of the programme either through text message or phone call.

“Registration will be a very easy process and there will be a number of reminders before any phone could be cut off,” officials said.

“[Re-registration] prevents any unauthorised or criminal usage of sim cards and helps in curbing legal or social violations besides reducing frauds that have been noticed during the last few years.”

AX 2012 Product Guide is now available – for details ask Synergy Software Systems, Dubai

July 8th, 2012

This product guide gives a good overview of the main features .  It will be useful for C level exectuives to get an overview of the solution and its many enhancements and and how it supports a globl exnteprrise, without getting bogged down in excessive detail  or technical jargon.

To request a copy  contact Bikram or Sharmilli.

Dynamics AX 2012 CU3

July 8th, 2012
Microsoft  Cumulative Update 3 (CU3) for Dynamics AX 2012 contains hotfixes that were fixed since the release of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.
Note The build number of this cumulative update package is 6.0.1108.670.

GCC Projects – Project Management software solutions – Synergy Software Systems Dubai

July 8th, 2012

There multiple projects costing $ billions /millions in this region.  

There are many considerations  run a  successful project:

Manpower varies project by project and the number of concurrent projects also varies . SaaS  licensing can be very advantageous in this case. Vary the number of licences you need by month, only pay for hardware usage based on the number of users and amount of data storage needed month to month.  No time delay for new servers for a new project, no wasted licences or hadware capacity when the project is over – predictable costs that are easily identified to charge to project.

Managing the process from lead to opportunity to quote to estimate to budget, forecast etc

RFQ, PR, PO MR approvals, many other document centric workflow approvals

Planning – high level phasing , detailed WBS, resource scheduling, programme management,

Risk management

Secure Collaboration – projects are a paper factory of multiple commericalcontracts, insurance, certifications, with the need for  version control, expiry dates, document approval workflows, digital signature, fast search across and within contracts

QA , inspection, incidents  and investigation 

Budgeting, consolidation and financial compliance

Grant and fund management

Timesheets, access control at site, payroll across countries, multi shift, sub-contractor labour, mobile between project.

Project stores and inventory control. Capital projects, Rental,Asset tracking, Mobiel and bar code solutions

Reporting and dashboards

Our Software solutions help you better manage all these areas

BIM integrated model for design, estimation, control and planning

Mind mapping for high level plans that export direct to MS Project, use for lessons learned, PESTEL risk analysis, meeting agendas, project team strucutre and many more uses for project managers

Dynamics CRM  track future projects and meetings with influencers that create the specifications, track opportunties and quotes through user defined stages, also maintain details of meetings and contacts with vendors, subcontractors, financial and legal advisors , government  contacts, auditors, H@S inspectors etc. Mobile options SaaS options

Dynamics Ax incudes a full PSA features, advanced project management accounting, grant and fund management, integration to MS Project, and additonal module options for construction projects Advanced multi company financials, make and buy to project options, integrted workflow engine for RFQ, PR etc, advanced mrp, HR, resource scheduling, Service module , case managmeent, QA module, multi company process, eg intercompany journals, orders, cosnildiated requsitoons and central pruchaisng, centralised productionplanning across companies etc. Mobil and SaaS options

Confidential secure document storage and collaboration workspaces are required for most projects  so that material can be accessed by multiple, authorised stakeholders from many locations. Whether an M&A project, a new product launch, a prestige new building design, an exhibition or event, a commercial tender or  a feasibility study all need secure storage authorised collaborative access,version control, ease and speed of search, controls on: who can see what, who can copy and print, who can approve what.

Digital signatures with documemt workflow speed up decision making processes and reduce risk of fraud. Mulitple signatories each approving a  specific  segments of a document, the ability to mass sign every page of a document, or to sign multiple POs at one go,   in built version control and audit features are soem of the features that help auotmate process while increasing control.

Fixed asset depreciation only buy the licences you need for the FA users- works with most erp systems and is much easier, more functional and more cost effective very easy flexble aquistion,  depreciation and disposal .  Optional modules for Asset tagging, counting and tracking, capitalise asset projects, planned asset maintenance. Ask about our asset tagging, and take-on and annual count  service.

Detailed consolidation, budgetting, forecasting and planning – many feature – top down bottom up, based on prior priod seasonality and % change etc  Built in dashboards and ad hoc what if querying, reforecast, period on period comparison by multiple dimensions, KPIs ,  etc. Use SSRS and Poer Pivot for further analysis and reporting.

Construction companies often have  a multitude of legacy solutions to integrate our  specialist mapping tool makes this easy especially when there are system upgrades.

When you have thousands of workers at site, who may be deploye dot dfferent tasks accessed via different entrance gates  you need a robust access controland T@A system that can hold all the  templates and share the across the network,-  that means a very small file size- per worker, at shift chage over there is little time so   that needs a very fast device with low rate of false reading.  Devices need to work when labourers have cut fingers, dirty hands. Devices need to be easy to use, to not lose transactions in a power cut, to hold staff rostas and to integrate with Payroll systems. only the Ingersoll Rand Hand Punch and the Interflex Software can provide all those features, which is why it is used by  large airlines, ports, event organisers like the Olympics, of football stadiums, and those with complex shifts and 24×7 opertions like hospitals, retail stores, and hotels. Devices can be installedon buses so workers can clock in  as they leave the bus, or mobile gate units  can be installed at sites. 

Paryroll and HR systems become useful when you have mote than 50 employees  nn to have when you have more than 100 employees and essential when you are dealing with thousands of employees.  Tracking employyee accrused benefits across projects and countries with timesheet integration, for mutiple benefts and deductions, multiple shift patterns, and different treatment by grade, nationality etc needs both experienced implementors, and a powerful payroll engine that can handle multiple languages and currencies.

Enterprise Project Management (EPM) is the latest release of Micorsft Project Server and now sits on SharePoint. If you are supporting multiple proejcts e.g roll-out out of a chain of retail stores or hotels , then each site will have multiple projects, from construction, to fit out, to multiple software projects.

To discuss your requirement and learn more about how our solutions will  help youmange your  projects please contact us. 0097143365589

Hyper-V Server 2012 – (free powerful hypervisor)

July 3rd, 2012

 Microsoft TechEd North America, featured Hyper-V Server 2012. This is the free hypervisor  (not to be confused with Windows Server 2012 with the Hyper-V role); although the codebase is quite similar, these are officially different products.

Hyper-V Server 2012 will bring incredible scale to the free virtualization space;  no other free offering comes close. The free version of Hyper-V will support up to 4 TB of RAM on the host, individual virtual machines with 1 TB of RAM, and guest vCPU assignments up to 64 cores. This seems  incredible. A free hypervisor that really seems to exceed many charegeable offerings. The capabilities of this free hypervisor are very high. Couple that with the free migration technologies that don’t require shared storage, and it’s pretty clear that Microsoft is serious in the virtualization space.

The release candidate for Hyper-V Server 2012 is available under certain access levels from Microsoft from resources such as a TechNet subscription. The release candidate installs just like any version of Windows or Hyper-V Server that is available today, quick and painlessly.

Ax in the cloud – why use Synergy Software Systems Services?

July 3rd, 2012

Aside from giving me the alliterative title this a serious question. We have heard the cost saving claims, but what are the pitfalls?  All clouds are not the same so look beyond the marketing claims to the fine

1. Integration

Cloud integration vendors tlak baou this but for most others, this is a missing message.  What happens if you use need to integrate a non-cloud system? . . Build this cost, management, and implementation into your deployment upfront.

2: Hidden costs, or future pricing tiers

Cost saving is a fundamental premise of the cloud, what should you consider tiher than  initial monthly subscription fees. Make sure you fully understand the complete pricing model and how your cost might change based on increased number of users, capacity, features, etc. Does the vendor charge a “per support” charge? Are upgrades to new versions included?

Are there  pricing tiers? What happens when you hit that tier, will your costs can significantly increase, are these costs understood?. This is particularly important if your company is new to cloud consumption, as your ability to show success with an initial deployment will influence future implementations.

3: Real uptime numbers

Do cloud providers have asecret formula to uptime, as nearly everyone claims four or five nines. All networks go down sometimes , but how quickly they recover or how the infrastructure is architected for failover and disaster recovery is key to the impact any downtime has on your business. While few vendors will fully disclose their metrics for absolute uptime, you can ask for reports on the past few months, ask about their maintenance schedules, check with other customers, etc. Do they offer  contractual compensation if they miss their promises?

4: Who is responsible for cloud security of your data?

You are! While the cloud vendor should have best practices around security at all layers — data, application, infrastructure, and personnel — don’t assume you have zero responsibility. A survey by the Ponemon Institute on the Security of Cloud Computing Providers revealed that neither cloud providers nor customers feel responsible for data security in the cloud. In fact, a majority (two-thirds) of cloud providers believe it is their customers’ responsibility to secure the data they store. That’s not good, because it means both sides will be pointing fingers if a data breach occurs.

Make sure you know for what you are responsible  and what the cloud vendor handles when it comes to data protection. Don’t assume the cloud solution covers all security aspects. You may still need to handle your own encryption or policies. For IaaS and other infrastructure-related clouds, chances are you could be fully responsible for the security (and reliability) of your cloud instance.

5: Who holds the key

In this case, I’m talking about the encryption key. How your data is protected is vital, but beyond overall security and privacy, the details around encryption are rarely discussed. First make sure your data is encrypted at ALL times, both in motion and at rest. Then, find out how the vendor manages and secures the encryption keys, specifically around access control rules and policies governing encryption key management. This is vital for all companies, but particularly if you are in a regulated industry, such as healthcare or finance.

6: The real speed of data restoration

Cloud-based data storage and backup can offer  real data protection issues, but the backup is only as good as the data recovery. Once your data is safely in the cloud, can you get it back, and quickly, when you need it? Ask questions about data restore . Is this chargeable – it should be if you want proper help. Data restore is not just dependent on the cloud solution or provider’s capabilities, it may also depend on your bandwidth. For critical systems  run your own tests and make sure you know what is possible based on your actual upload and download times. This affects not only data restore but the initial data seeding to the cloud.

7: If multi-tenancy is really isolated

Many cloud applications and platforms use multi-tenancy to separate your data or view of a solution from others. If architected correctly, multi-tenancy is a great way to enable multiple companies to leverage a single platform with absolute security and privacy. However, multi-tenancy can have vulnerabilities, depending on how the cloud provider automatically provisions virtual servers, starts up operating systems, and assigns storage, among other areas.

8: How to move your data to another cloud or solution

Migration or transition from one technology or application to another is never fun. But with cloud solutions, it’s could be  catastrophic. Make sure you know upfront how you get your data “out” of the cloud and how easy or hard it is to move it to another solution. In some ways, this goes hand in hand with integration — you need to know how to move data across clouds or between on-premise and cloud solutions all the time. How would you would manage the move>.

9: The fine print regarding privacy

There’s a reason it’s called “fine” print, as so read it anyway. When it comes to privacy or your data and your personal information in the cloud, what type of cloud it is can vastly affect the vendor’s privacy rules. For example, if the cloud depends on advertising for its revenue, chances willit  use your information to give advertisers data on its users. If the revenue comes from the end users, the vendor has an incentive to keep your information protected so you stay as a paying customer.

10: How “green” is the cloud?

The cloud often promises just that. However, every cloud has a physical infrastructure and cloud computing is driving a massive data center build out. According to a recent Greenpeace report, nearly $450 billion dollars is  spent annually on new data center facilities.  The EPA reports that some 2% of North American electricity consumption comes from data centers and servers and it expects that to continue rising. Greenpeace suggests cloud computing is responsible for 2% of global carbon emissions. So if going green is one of your cloud goals, make sure your cloud is greener than others. You can use the Greenpeace scorecard to help. of course local servers, local A/c etc may be far more inefficient (and costly).

So what do we offer for e.g. Micorsoft Dynamics Ax?

SECURITY
For many, the issue is always data and systems security, and no wonder: security is a constant battle against myriad international forces and elements—a battle in which most in-house teams are simply overmatched. But in the Cloud, security is assured.

Your AX from the Cloud solution will run in a Tier 3 data center where data is physically and digitally protected and preserved in the best possible way, with extensive intrusion checks and back-ups made and delivered daily. Data is simply more secure in the Cloud—safeguarded around-the-clock by security-dedicated experts—than when it’s with the often over-taxed and/or multitasking staff members in the IT department.

FLEXIBILITY
The Cloud = true flexibility.  There are no restrictions on how you would customize your solution. And here are no restrictions on how many or how few users. There are no restrictions, period

With the Cloud, accessibility requires only a web connection. Login, and you’re “home.”

Simple, per user/per month cost to manage. This includes everything: infrastructure, services, and maintenance, and all software, including the AX license! Run the numbers against any on-premise offering and you’ll find that AX from the Cloud practically guarantees a lower TCO. 

 

SLA

In addition to 24/7 support, this pricing, functionality, and flexibility comes with an unparalleled Service Level Agreement with a 99.9% up-time guarantee for your AX Cloud solution—in writing, and with financial penalties in place. Your AX ERP platform is available, or you’re compensated: it’s as simple as that.

This compensation includes: A 10% discount on monthly expenses of the Services involved, with a maximum of 40 %, for each 0.1% below the Availability percentage of such Service(s).

SLA performance and the related compensations are recorded and settled per calendar month based on the SLA report of the prior month.

#1 in Dynamics Cloud computing –with 14 years of experience  running more than 450 Microsoft Dynamics Cloud solutions, and recently earned Microsoft’s first-ever ERP Hosting Partner of the Year award (2011). The Cloud offering is built on the strongest foundation there is—the complete Microsoft Stack—and in addition to Synergy local support the cloud infrastructure is supported by >100 engineers, and an international team that’s provides cover  all day, every day.

Our provider has the highest security certifications available (ISAE 3402 and SSAE 16), housing  servers in Tier 3 data centers, and both the systems, and the  employees, are audited and vetted annually. With Synergy, security isn’t an afterthought; it’s a mindset.

Is my ERP data safe in the Cloud?

More safe than it would be on-premise in most every case. And there are five reasons: compliance, redundancy, infrastructure, software, and provider.

  1. Compliance: Your Dynamics AX Cloud solution is under the umbrella of a virtual regulatory system set-up to ensure safety and security, such as SAS70 Type II certification (now replaced by SSAE16 and ISAE3402). Every year, our Cloud platform Partner is audited by PWC for its ISAE 3402 and SSAE16 certification. These certifications are, of course, available on request.

 

  1. Redundancy: A large driver fueling demand for Cloud platforms is recovery and redundancy. There are regular backups within servers and data centers, and there are also redundancies via different data centers that span the globe. On the other hand, if something happens to the “premise” in on-premise, your data may no longer be secured; worse, it may be destroyed.

 

  1. Infrastructure: Your data and solution is housed in Tier 3 data centers (dual power, 99.95% uptime, highest level of physical protection—manual ports disabled, security/surveillance—72 hour power outage protection). How solid is Cloud security? Here’s an example: within the data centers, network access ports are disabled by default so that no one may physically connect to our network from a data center.

 

  1. Software: Our Cloud platform has a multi-level security structure with four layers of firewalls, with customer data stored in the deepest layer. The network is segmented and layered to filter and restrict access, and any administrative access over any public is encrypted to ensure no capture of data during transmission.

 

  1. Provider: Each employee involved with hosting in the cloud  screened before hiring (e.g., with background checks),and trained  in the latest security standards and practices, and then re-screened and re-train them each year to ensure every employee is 100% up to-speed in all security best practices.

    There are  strict policies on access list and password management for our operators. Every act in systems and storage devices is logged and kept for security audits. Specialized third party companies offer Intrusion Detection Services, guarding 24/7 if there is someone trying to get unauthorized access through via the outer ring of firewalls protecting the Cloud.

Here are some typical FAQs:

Will I lose control of my data in the Cloud?

You enjoy even more control than you do on-premise: it stays your data, 100%. But with Dynamics AX in the Cloud, your data is now available to you no matter where you are or what hardware you’re using. The Cloud will make you “device- and location-independent.”

Is the Cloud public, private, or both?

Short answer is it can be both. Public, however, does not mean wide open like a public park; it merely means “shared” and we offer both private Clouds and public Clouds. The only real difference is in how they’re managed. Additionally, we can offer a hybrid model that takes advantage of other public clouds, providing the private Cloud in conjunction with a public Cloud, such as Azure.

Will I lose performance in the Cloud?

Our cloud solutions are delivered according to Microsoft reference architecture recommendations. We guarantee this level of performance and will scale up infrastructure to fulfill this promise without charging extra. That’s a performance guarantee you can take to the bank.

Do I have to replace my software and systems?

Absolutely not. Working with a Cloud-based ERP or CRM system will feel the same as working with an on-premise solution. The only difference is that you no longer have to maintain or support your platform. And if you have existing licenses, we can help you use them in the Cloud with ease.

Integration is a concern for me. Will my Cloud solution work with my legacy systems?

Yes, you are dealing with a knowledgeable and supportive provider that can enable the integration of any service via custom integrations and usual protocols, or with third party products like Bizztalk (from Microsoft).

What about vendor lock-in? I don’t want to be stuck with something I’m not using.

Vendor lock-in is simply impossible in the Cloud. It’s always only ever a one-month commitment, and a back-up of your latest data is available with very first request you make.

Can I migrate my existing data or existing licenses to the Cloud?

Yes, migration services for your Dynamics AX data and licenses are available. And the process is always executed with minimal disruptions to your business operations.

How do I access my Cloud solution?

You simply open a browser and our web portal, and click the Dynamics AX icon (and if you’re running CRM or SharePoint via the Cloud as well, it’ll be available through the same portal).

 Can I customize my Cloud solution?

Of course! Putting Dynamics in the Cloud makes customizations easier than ever, and there are virtually no restrictions.

 Are there issues with system availability?

There is a comprehensive Service Level Agreement (SLA) that guarantees availability. And we guarantee 99.9% application uptime, which means that your system may be offline for only 1/3 of day per year, total. This is typically 5 x less than most on-premise solutions, which often go down for Windows and SQL updates, etc.

 What about data back-ups? Failovers? Recoveries?

Back-ups are done daily, and there are 3  data centers to ensure failover: two in Europe, one in the US, and one more will be set up (Q3, 2012) in Singapore. With recovery, you have three options, priced at a percentage of your service fees

 “Cold” scenario (20% of service fee)

    • RPO* of 24 hours
    • RTO** of 62 hours
    • “Warm” scenario (30% of service fee)
      • RPO of 4 hours
      • RTO of 24 hours
      • “Hot” scenario (40% of service fee)
        • RPO of 1 hours
        • RTO of 4 hours

 *RPO is recovery point objective, which dictates the allowable data loss.

**RTO is recovery time objective, which is the time you go without a specific application.

Does the Cloud require an up-front capital investment?

Absolutely not. One of the major financial benefits of moving to the Cloud is there is no capital expenditure for infrastructure required: zero,. When you move to the Cloud, technology stops being a capital expense and instead becomes an operating expense, and one you can easily manage. There is one off fee for set up of our environment and Ax system.

 Sounds like I save money up-front, but what about the long run? What about TCO?

Putting Dynamics AX on the Cloud results in a lower total cost of ownership every time. For one reason, you don’t need your own IT staff to run the application. For another, you don’t need to purchase or maintain hardware. Computer energy costs, A/c costs, and insurance costs and the rental cost of storage space, are other hidden cost savings such  as: firewalls, Windows licences, Sql licences, access control systems, fire protection systems, cleaning costs, downtime costs for patches etc.  For another, 46% of all acquired software becomes “shelfware” (Gartner). With the Cloud, you only pay for what you use! All in all, going to the Cloud can reduce TCO by 30% in as little as three years.

How does pricing work?

Easiest part of being in the cloud: per user, per month pricing. You can start with as little as one user for only 30 days. (The cost is based on the type of software you need, the level of service you require, etc.)

Who do I call for support?

Synergy is your first port of call and we are backed by a 24×7 support for the infrastructure

So what exactly do I get for my monthly fee?

Big picture: a complete and secure Dynamics AX system for as many (or as few) users as you require. One that never needs updating, upgrading, or maintain, and that will empower you with a level of flexibility that will make you feel about on-premise the way your first smartphone made you feel about landlines.

 Here is a detailed list of some deliverables (outside the standard features and benefits your AX solution will deliver).

  • Acquisition and usage of required infrastructure
  • Licenses: Operating system, SQL (if applicable), Terminal Server (if applicable)
  • Secure, daily backups
  • Support desk with 24×5 support, standard
  • Maintenance of infrastructure and middleware software components
  • Management and security maintenance of the infrastructure
  • Technical application management (for Supported and Adopted service levels)
  • SOX compliancy of your Cloud provider
  • Annual SSAE16 and SAE3402 certification of your Cloud provider
  • All upgrades, services packs, and patches included—for no additional cost
  • SQL implementation
  • AX Object customizations can be added to your build at no extra SaaS cost
  • Web-client support
  • Advanced Printing
  • Microsoft EasyPrint
  • Run Object Designer