Archive for March, 2014

Dynamics Ax 2012 SP3 – Demand Forecasting

March 29th, 2014

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 Demand Forecasting is an easy yet powerful tool. It lets you predict demand based on historical data, change the predictions, and import them back into the Microsoft
Dynamics AX forecast models.

It’s a cost effective solution (included in the Enterprise CAL) that takes advantage of the Microsoft technology that you are already using and are familiar with.
- To generate the baseline forecast it uses the power of SQL Server Analysis Services.
- To visualize the forecast, make changes, view or create new KPIs, it uses the extensive functionality of Microsoft Excel.

It lets you define customer order decoupling points at any level and to forecast for subcomponents. It is an ideal solution for mass customization. You can of course still use it to predict only direct
customer demand.

Key features:
• Statistical forecast
• Baseline generation at different levels of aggregation
• Forecast visualization and modification
• Importing back into Microsoft Dynamics AX
• Forecast accuracy KPI

Dynamics Ax 2012 SP3 – join Synergy Software Systems Dubai for the 10th April launch event.

March 29th, 2014

An overview of the new technology changes:

Microsoft Dynamics AX will showcase how uniting business and IT creates a dynamic business to help you engage with your customers, run agile operations and expand your business.
When: April 10, 2014
• Session 1: 11:00 AM SGT (Asia: GMT +8)
• Session 2: 15:00 GMT/16:00 CET (Europe)
• Session 3: 12:00 PM CDT (North America: GMT -6)

Watch this blog in the coming week for registration details to follow and for more introductory videos.

An introduction to the new advanced warehouse and transportation features:

Changes to UAE Company law

March 28th, 2014

The new provisions relating to Limited Liability Companies focuses on how to make the management of these companies simpler and more attractive to investors.

Significant changes are introduced to the shareholder structure, which now provides for single shareholding, and the introduction of an express provision in relation to granting a pledge over shares.

(It is uncertain how the perfection and enforcement of such a pledge would work in practice without numbered shares, or indeed any share certificates. )

The Draft Companies Law 2013 provides for the registration of share pledges and this area will of be of interest to lenders a simpler and more cost effective way to get security over this form of asset class.

The Draft Companies Law 2013 anticipates the creation of a formal companies’ register for share pledges through an e-filing system where the public may access companies’ documents. A significant move towards greater transparency and an invaluable tool in jurisdictions (such as England and Wales through Companies House) that currently operate the system.

For Public Joint Stock Companies, there are amendments to the provisions relating to the company’s share structure which include a slight relaxation on the strict pre-emption rules to allow for the issuance of new shares to a “strategic partner” which provide a route for new equity fund raising.

The Draft Companies Law 2013 introduces provisions prohibiting financial assistance to shareholders even though such concepts are the subject of de-regulation in other jurisdictions. The interpretation and implementation of this provision may cause delays, uncertainty and risk as there are no precedents.

The Draft Companies Law 2013 also provides a provision that clarifies the relationship between free zone entities and the on-shore regime. Free zone entities are exempt from the application of the Draft Companies Law 2013 provided such exemption is set out in the regulation governing the free zone. However, when the laws and regulations of the free zone permit business activities in on-shore UAE, the Draft Companies Law 2013 will apply. The provision allows for further regulations on the applicable conditions for such companies at a later stage.

The Draft Companies Law 2013 also contains numerous provisions in relation to corporate governance, following the financial crisis. The concept of ‘Social Responsibility’ is introduced for the first time but further regulations will be needed to establish this in the wider framework.

We consider that the draft supports the government policy of attracting foreign direct investment into sectors outside the oil industry by providing greater security and transparency for shareholders.

OneNote now free

March 23rd, 2014

Microsoft announced last week that it was making OneNote free. Paid upgrades and corporate sales as part of Office 365, however, still exist, and that may hint at Microsoft’s overall strategy for Office going forward.

The PC app, its note-taking service that syncs across platforms, the new Mac app, and a variety of small tools for the service are now available for anyone to use without cost.

Microsoft wants to drive up OneDrive usage, an experience that is tied closely to OneNote. So the company lowered friction to entry by increasing its platform support in OneNote and by ending pricing questions. No matter where you want to use the service, you can, and Microsoft would like to welcome you into the larger Office-as-a-Service world with open arms.

For some time now, Microsoft has also used OneNote as a service for experimenting with new ideas and platforms. The fact that it’s now the first of the Office apps to go freemium both on the desktop and the web could mean Microsoft is considering this kind of freemium model for other Office applications, as well. For some, OneNote could also be the gateway drug into the Office ecosystem, which, after all, already includes the free Office Web apps.

Isn’t Microsoft depreciating the value proposition of Office 365 by making a component that it once sold, free? Perhaps, but you have to wonder who was buying that service for its inclusion of OneNote, and, secondly, what the potential value-add is for Microsoft to spur new, engaged users, as opposed to a minor potential drag on sales of its Office service SKUs. A useful, but somewhat disparate service has been improved and brought into something approaching harmony.

One overlooked benefit of One note is that you can print to it and form it. This means that if you have an erp application that does not allow you tor reprint a document then you can achieve this via One Note- e.g. for cheque re-printing from Dynamics Ax.

SQL 2014 – standard version extra features

March 23rd, 2014

Recent changes in the documentation for SQL Server 2014 have include some significant changes that will have a fantastic impact on Standard Edition customers.

More Memory: The first s that the supported memory limit per instance is raised to 128 GB in SQL Server 2014

Buffer pool extensions: The Buffer Pool is one of the main memory consumers in SQL Server. When you read data from your storage, the data is cached in the Buffer Pool. SQL Server caches Execution Plans in the Plan Cache, which is also part of the Buffer Pool. The more physical memory you have, the larger your Buffer Pool will be (configured through the Max Server Memory setting). The Buffer Pool itself, is very fast (regarding latency).

The Buffer Pool Extensions itself consist of one file (the Extension File) that should be stored on very fast storage – i.e. an SSD drive. The Extension File is similar to the page file in the Windows OS. Instead of adding additional physical memory to your database server, configure an Extension File on a SSD drive – that’s it!

Memory pressure occurs when SQL Server needs more memory than is currently available. In that case the Buffer evicts pages from the Buffer Pool, which were least recently used. SQL Server uses a Least Recently Used Policy (LRU). If you have configured an Extension File, then SQL Server will write these pages into it, instead of writing directly out to our slow storage. If the page is a dirty one, then the page will be also concurrently written to the physical storage (through an asynchronous I/O operation). Therefore you can’t lose any data when you are dealing with the Buffer Pool Extensions. At some point in time your Extension File will be also completely full. In that case SQL Server has to evict older pages from the Extension File (again through a LRU policy), and finally writes those to the physical storage. The Extension File just acts as an additional layer between the Buffer Pool and the storage itself.

SQL patches March 2014

March 23rd, 2014

The SQL Server team has released SQL Server 2012 SP1 Cumulative Update #9.
• KB Article: KB #2931078
• Build # is 11.0.3412
• Currently there are 29 public fixes listed (33 total)
Relevant for builds 11.0.3000 -> 11.0.3411.
Do not attempt to install on SQL Server 2012 RTM (any build < 11.0.3000) or any other major version

March 2014 Cumulative Update for SQL Server 2008 SP3

Microsoft has also released SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 3 Cumulative Update #16
•Build # 10.00.5852
• KB Article: KB #2936421
• 2 public fixes
• Relevant for builds 10.00.5500 -> 10.00.5851
• NOT for SQL Server 2008 R2 (10.50.xxxx)

The small number of fixes (and zero fixes for the engine) is telling: this is almost certainly the last service pack for SQL Server 2008, support for this version ends in July. If you’re still on 2008 (and I know some of you are still on 2005 and even 2000, and ), its time to start considering moving on

SQL 2014 coming soon

March 19th, 2014

Microsoft released the latest version of its SQL Server database, SQL Server 2014, to manufacturing on March 18.

SQL Server 2014 will be available to customers as of 1 April 2014 (and that is not an April fool’s joke.)

The newest version of SQL Server’s biggest new feature is its built-in in-memory online transaction processing (OLTP) capability, which Microsoft has said can improve database performance up to 30 times (not 30 percent — 30 times) without any code changes to existing applications or hardware.

The in-memory OLTP engine is codenamed “Hekaton.” with capabilities to complement the in-memory data-warehousing and business-intelligence capabilities that are already in SQL Server.

With traditional database models, the assumption is that data lives on disk and is stored on disk pages which creates a lot of overhead when you try to access records. When data lives totally in memory, much, much simpler data structures can be used. Hekaton indexes of data structures and storage structures are optimized on the basis that when a table is declared memory-optimized, all of its records live in memory.”

New concurrency-control mechanisms remove barriers to scalability. It moved away from a partitioned multi core approach to a latch-free/lock-free design. (Latches are synchronization mechanisms designed to avoid data corruption caused when multiple users try to modify a data structure concurrently, .)

The indexing system for high-speed data access, is referred to as the “Bw-tree.” which gives much improved processor-cache performance, in SQL Server 2014t.

SQL Server 2014 is also designed to back up more simply and seamlessly to Windows Azure, enabling users to back up their on-premises data to the cloud at an instance-level for disaster-recovery purposes. Backups can be automatic or manual, and a backup can be restored to a Windows Azure Virtual Machine, if need be.

Only the Enterprise version of SQL 2014 includes Hekaton support. The Standard, BI, Web and Express SKUs do not.

Power BI and BI4Dynamics

March 13th, 2014

We will show you how to take advantage of Power BI to:

· Connect external sources and create new structures.
· Visualize data with Power View.
· Explore geospatial data using Power Map.
· Answer questions with natural query language.

Let us show you:

How BI4Dynamics data structures can work together with Power BI?

Which visualization features offered with Power BI are even better than standard Excel features.

Prophix 2011 – see what is new. Proven in the U.A.E.and K.S.A.

March 11th, 2014

Prophix delivers the best value by combining high-end functionality, low total cost of ownership, and the fastest implementations in its class. Indeed, leading industry analysts like Gartner, have ranked us #1 for Customer Satisfaction and #1 for Time to Deployment and Best Value in the CPM space.

Prophix is a single integrated performance management application that empowers organizations with budgeting, planning, forecasting, reporting, consolidations and personnel planning capabilities. Prophix enables organizations to create measurable targets against their business strategies ensuring that corporate objectives are met.

With over 20 plus years in this space, Prophix is the only solution provider in the marketplace to deliver cost-effective Enterprise level reporting and planning functionality in an easy to use and fast to deploy solution that generates virtually no IT resource burden. Today, Prophix has 2,000 plus customers worldwide and continues to grow and set the standard for Corporate Performance Management Solutions year after year.

Dynamics Ax 2012 Sp3 – coming to Dubai 1 May 2014- ask Synergy Software Systems for more information

March 9th, 2014

New features will include:

Application Lifecycle Management – Azure based set of tools, called Lifecycle Services (LCS), provided as the central point of engagement for customer and partner activities throughout the application lifecycle. New LCS functions enable: creation and managing support cases with Microsoft, knowledge base issue search and install resolution updates. The LCS Business Process Modeller is improved, connecting business processes and design gaps with business goals and objectives, and requirements traceability.

Retail – a new “Modern Point-of-Sale” – metro-styled POS client designed for mobile clienteling activities. A new set of functions for Call Centre sales and improved Catalogue features. Loyalty Programs and Gift Card handling has been redesigned, enabling these to operate across all companies within the AX database, adding: earning loyalty points based on an activity and new redemption rules. Customer affiliations influencing price/discount.

Advanced Warehouse Management – a new module that improves operational excellence for warehouse processes, containing; license plate identification, wave picking, new inventory reservation hierarchy, transport load planning and rating, mobile/handheld support, and freight invoice matching.

Demand Forecasting
– a basic planning function to create an Item SKU level demand forecast, leveraging the broader Microsoft technology stack, SSAS time-series algorithms and Excel data visualisations.

Master Data Management – managing the synchronization (push and pull) of master data changes from multiple environments, with conflict resolution, and batch scheduling and automation.

Management Reporter CU8 Training in Dubai – Synergy Software Systems

March 8th, 2014

SOME OF THE FEATURES THAT YOU WILL SEE CU8:
Dynamic calculated column headers. No more hard coding of Months within the column definition.
Currency translation using DDM Data Mart provider. This should start the phasing out of the legacy adapter.
Ability to create a side by side balance sheet by using a section break option in row definition.
Triangle symbol to indicate negative balances; needed for specific geographies but available for all countries.
Option to include line numbers on generated reports.
Translation support for XBRL configuration.
Ability to set all columns in definition to Autofit by default without having to set each column.
Collection of Excel formatting improvements.
Major performance enhancement in generating reports.
Additional fixes for identified product issues.

A much requested enhancement if for reports that require calculated periods or where you need to perform some calculations to get to your final report format. With CU8 of Management Reporter, apply autotext codes such as @CalMonthLong and @FiscalPeriod to print the period name, period description, and other date related autotext codes in calculated column headers.

The following autotext codes are now available within a CALC column.
•Month name (@CalMonthLong)
•Abbreviated month name (@CalMonthShort)
•Period number (@FiscalPeriod)
•Period description (@FiscalPeriodName)
•Fiscal year (@FiscalYear)
•Calendar year (@CalYear)
•Start date (@StartDate)
•End date (@EndDate)

A side by side balance sheet where assets are on one side and liabilities and owner’s equity are on the other is often required. With Management Reporter CU8, this can be done with a simple format code in the row definition.

Check out the video see how easy it is to create side by side reports.

Customers want to be able to compare their Profit and Loss accounts at the weighted average or average rate to the month end rate. (see video)
Each ERP allows one currency translation method to be applied to the account, so a report will help you accomplish this goal.

This video explains how to create a report that shows you the month end rate and apply it to the profit and loss accounts so you can compare and get a currency translation adjustment. The high level steps are:
1. Pick an account that uses the Current calculation method and add it to an Income Statement. In the example, Cash is used. It will never change, and it will always use the month end rate.
2. Hard code your functional currency in a column using Currency Display, so that when you change currency, it will remain in the base currency. In the example, USD is specified in column B.
3. Add a calculation column to divide the columns to get the spot rate. The entire column will be divided, but we only care about the first row.
4. Add formatting to hide columns and rows. Add a normal periodic column. This column will be translated at each accounts currency translation method.
5. Create another calculated column. The formula should be the USD amount column * the spot rate row. In my case, this was B*E.130.
6. Add a Currency Translation Adjustment column to subtract the two columns and show the difference.

If you are interested in attending our forthcoming training course later this month then please contact Bindu on 0097143365589 as soon as possible to reserve a place because our training courses are usually oversubscribed. This course will also benefit Dynamics GP users.

Microsoft some expected upgrade releases 2014

March 8th, 2014

Based on official company statements and media reports, here’s what you can expect to see from Microsoft in the months ahead:

Windows 8.1 Update Anticipated release: Spring 2014 Office 2013 SP1
Exchange Server 2013 SP1 Released
SharePoint Server 2013 SP1 ) Released
Lync Server ’2014′ Anticipated release: Q2 2014
Dynamics CRM ‘Leo’ Anticipated release: Q2 2014
Dynamics AX 2012 R3 Anticipated release: May 1, 2014
SQL Server 2014 Anticipated release: Q1 2014
SQL Server 2012 SP2 Anticipated release: Q4 2014
Windows Server 2012 R2 Update Anticipated release: Spring 2014
Windows Phone 8.1 ) Anticipated release: April 2014
Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 Anticipated release: Spring 2014
Power BI for Office 365 Released
‘Mohoro’ Desktop as a Service Anticipated release: Second half of 2014

Why does a Middle East bank need a regulatory reporting system?

March 7th, 2014

Most banks and financial services firms intend to devote more resources to regulatory change over the next two years, and difficulty lies ahead for many businesses. Major areas of budget on are IT and HR. Both are expensive, and resources are finite.

There are talent shortages in the market for financial services staff with
regulatory skills. That’s reflected in rising salaries in regulatory roles in financial services, where salaries have risen by 11%, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Many businesses cut back on compliance staff and consultants when they were desperate to reduce costs during the height of the financial crisis. With increasing legislation they have inadequate systems and lack of in house resources to cope with the increasing demands for more detail in shorter timescales.

The wheel of change spins ever faster and it is harder for internal staff to keep up with requirements. Many banks in this region have to report to more than one regulatory regime and what happens in USA and Europe tends to also find its way here. For example:

Basel III reforms, under which banks must increase the capital and liquidity buffers they impose. The new rules were first announced in 2010, but the size of the buffers required under the rules has repeatedly been changed. This year alone, the Basel Committee on Banking Standards has extended the timetable for implementation and redefined “liquid assets,” changing the rules of engagement again and again for the banking sector.

“Management consulting firm Booz & Company recently conducted a study of capitalisation and liquidity levels at 64 regional banks. The results were sobering, as many institutions face the prospect of capital and liquidity shortfalls in the near term, particularly as Basel III rules are phased in between 2013 and 2018. In response, banks will need to manage their capital and liquidity levels more proactively — and soon.The capital shortfall for GCC and Levant banks could increase from about $11 billion in total in 2012 to a range of $12 billion to $27 billion in 2017, based on various economic scenarios ”
<em>http://gulfnews.com/business/banking/gcc-banks-could-face-capital-and-liquidity-shortfall-1.1298026
and
http://www.thenational.ae/business/industry-insights/finance/gcc-and-levant-banks-warned-against-complacency-on-capital-requirements-ahead-of-basel-iii”

Last Wednesday, Sultan Bin Nasser Al Suwaidi the U.A.E. Central Bank Governor warned in his speech, at the Global Financial Markets Forum in Abu Dhabi, that Basel III banking rules could curb the growth of small and medium-sized business worldwide.

As our recent blog post mentions the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) EU reforms that will affect anyone dealing in or processing financial instruments across Europe is to be introduced but it is still not clear when MiFID II will be implemented and in what form – only that the new regulation is coming – due for implementation in 2015

Solvency II Directive: EU reforms intended to harmonize insurance regulation – details still to be confirmed, due for implementation in 2016

› G20 Financial Transactions Tax: efforts to introduce a “Tobin Tax” across the EU continue despite opposition in many parts of the world – details and timetable unknown

› Global derivatives regulation: watchdogs around the world are negotiating over how to police the $700 trillion over-the-counter derivatives market – details and timetable unknown

And there is a lot more e.g. Islamic Banking compliance, FATCA compliance.

In such circumstances it is important that a bank has a regulatory reporting system framework that can take away the black magic and dependence on scare resource. The system should automate the ETL processes and be able to adapt rapidly to the changing requirements.

Hard copy reports will soon be replaced by electronic XBRL style reporting formats. As new technology such as parallel processing and in memory processing becomes more widely available central banks own systems will get faster and their appetite for even more data to process will become even more voracious.

When banks globally are all reporting against the same regulatory frameworks then the local regulatory report formats are all much the same data content with variations on the calculation formulas. This allows a standard reporting framework built, on standard industry technology, to be quickly and cost effectively adapted to local requirements – without need to restructure the banks operational systems and charts of accounts.

BRSAnalytics has been proven over the last 7 years to address the needs of most mid-sector banks. To find out how it can help you to realise your compliance strategy while reducing risks and costs please contact us for a demonstration.

Call: Hasan on 00971 3365589

XP – time is running out to upgrade.

March 7th, 2014

Microsoft will cease support of XP from 8 April this year, so now is the time both to update your software and to migrate to a new operating system.

Mobile e-signing

March 7th, 2014

Dubai is taking the lead in smart government and moible apps.

Synergy has long offered digital signature on the desktop from Silanis software, the undoubted market leader in the field. Today, business also use tablets and phones in innovative ways to capture signatures, to bolster evidence and to strengthen authentication in electronic transactions.

The proliferation of mobile devices is making electronic signatures more necessary but also more personal and easier to use than ever before. According to Forrester Research, by 2020 the majority of e-signature transactions will be launched from mobile devices. Silanis now also offers eSignLive for mobile e signature capture.

Featured use cases:
• Retail installment contracts e-signed on iPads at dealership
• Truck drivers use smartphones to complete insurance paperwork on the road
• Mobile e-contracting on smartphones at a hospital
• US Department of Defense e-signs with tablets and smartcards
• SMB customers e-sign ACH authorizations on smartphones
• Advisors use tablets for investment account openings with clients