Archive for December, 2015

Microsoft Bi momentum continues with December 2015 releases.

December 26th, 2015

Microsoft has released the December update of Power BI Desktop and several updates of the Power BI service.
Microsoft is moving quickly to take the cloud market of BI services, which is still relatively unexplored (most companies still keep their data on premises), and is the only mainstream player providing a credible story of integration between cloud and on premises BI services,
Microsoft is leveraging many assets (the Tabular engine, Power Pivot, Power Query, Power View, and many other Azure’s based services. Its weak point has always been where other BI vendors focus the “last mile” of data visualization and presentation. That is being addressed with acquisitions like Datazen.
Microsoft SQL Server 2016 will be a huge release for the BI services. SQL Server Analysis Services is a very important release, being the first major upgrade since SQL Server 2012 for Analysis Services Tabular. There are many new features that will make Tabular a more “enterprise ready” platform. The magic key will be “Hybrid BI”.
SSRS will play an important role of the on-premises BI portal. integration between SSRS 2016 and Power BI will allow users to pin SSRS report items to Power BI dashboards. You can test pinning reports items to Power BI with SQL Server 2016 CTP 3.0 and later. The newly released CTP 3.2 also features the new sleek SSRS portal. Power BI is has become a focal point for cloud hosting of the main MS report artifacts i.e.: Power BI reports, Excel reports, and SSRS reports.
Last week Microsoft introduced mobile reports along with SQL Server Mobile Report Publisher, a new desktop app to to design and publish reports. You can now download a preview version of Mobile Report Publisher.

SQL Cumulative updates December 2015

December 26th, 2015

SQL Server 2014 SP1 is now available for download at the Microsoft Support site.

To learn more about the release or servicing model, please visit: CU#4 KB Article: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3106660

SQL Server 2014 RTM CU11 is now available for download at the Microsoft Support site.
To learn more about the release or servicing model, please visit:•CU#11 KB Article: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3106659

Merry Christmas from Synergy Software Systems

December 25th, 2015

Seasonal Greetings and a Prosperous New Year wishes for all my readers.

A thought for those who struggle to master the Synergy a/c controls.

Critical Outlook patch -December 2015

December 21st, 2015

Outlook “letterbomb” exploit could auto-open attacks in e-mail
Fixed by Microsoft’s latest patches, the bug could be a n “enterprise killer,” .

Flash can open right in Outlook. Ooops

One of a heaping collection of critical bug fixes pushed out by Microsoft on December 8 as part of the company’s monthly “Patch Tuesday” was an update to the Microsoft Office suite designed to close a vulnerability that would allow an attacker to sneak past Outlook’s security features. While the patch addressed multiple vulnerabilities in the way Office manages objects in memory, the most severe of those allows for remote code execution through a “specially crafted Microsoft Office file,” Microsoft reported.

Now more details of just how bad that vulnerability is have been provided by security researcher Haifei Li in a paper entitled “BadWinmail: The ‘Enterprise Killer’ Attack Vector in Microsoft Outlook.” The vulnerability allows a crafted attachment to an e-mail to bypass Outlook’s layers of security by exploiting Office’s Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) capabilities and Outlook’s Transport Neutral Encapsulation Format (TNEF)—the e-mail attachment method associated with Outlook messages’ winmail.dat attachments.

The winmail.dat file includes instructions on how to handle attachments embedded within it. “When the value of the ‘PidTagAttachMethod’ [within winmail.dat] is set to ATTACH_OLE (6),” Haifei wrote, “the ‘attachment file’ (which is another file contained in the winmail.dat file) will be rendered as an OLE object.”

OLE objects are handled differently by Outlook without the new patch—they are rendered within the e-mail and call code from the application they’re based on—breaking out of the “sandbox” that Outlook usually contains documents within to prevent malicious scripts from launching. As a result, an attacker could “‘build’ a TNEF e-mail and send it to the user, when the user reads the e-mail, the embedded OLE object will be loaded automatically,” noted Haifei.

This sort of vulnerability makes for an extremely dangerous phishing attack—the victim doesn’t even have to click on anything within the e-mail for it to execute, as it opens automatically when the e-mail is viewed. And that automatically opened attachment can even be a Flash exploit, as Haifei confirmed in testing. “By packing a Flash exploit in an OLE enabled TNEF e-mail, an attacker can [achieve] full code execution as long as the victim reads the e-mail,” he reported. “We use Flash OLE object as an example since Flash (zero-day) exploits are easy to obtain by attackers, but please note that there are other OLE objects [that] may be abused by [an] attacker.”

The OLE method can even be used within the content of an e-mail message sent as an attachment. Outlook automatically sees .msg files as “safe” and opens them in an Outlook message view rather than sandboxing them—and as a result, any OLE content within them will also automatically be opened. This makes the vulnerability “wormable,” Haifei noted—an exploit could re-send itself as an attachment from the first victim to others in the victim’s address book, spreading the exploit quickly across whole organizations. In effect, a single e-mail simply read by a targeted individual could result in the compromise of a whole company, as a message forwarded by a colleague would be more likely to be opened.

The vulnerability, identified as CVE-2015-6172, affects Office 2010 and later, as well as Microsoft Word 2007 with Service Pack 3. If you haven’t been able to apply the patches from December 8 yet, Microsoft has recommended turning off the message preview pane for Outlook to prevent malicious messages from being automatically opened and changing settings to view all e-mails as plain text.

Haifei also suggested making registry setting changes with an “Office kill-bit” to block Flash content from automatically opening via OLE, by blocking the CLSID D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000 with Windows Registry Editor:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\Common\COM Compatibility\{D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000}]“Compatibility Flags”=dword:00000400

Changing this setting will prevent OLE-embedded Flash exploits within other Office documents from being executed as well.

Nanotechnology printing

December 21st, 2015

Thanks to a new revolutionary laser printing technology, it is now possible to print this blog article in colour on an area no bigger than a hair. This breakthrough in nanotechnology will be published on 14 December 2015 in an article in the scientific journal Nature Nanotechnology.

A nanotechnology breakthrough from DTU revolutionizes laser printing technology, allowing you to print high-resolution data and colour images of unprecedented quality and microscopic dimensions.

DTU researchers from DTU Nanotech and DTU Fotonik reproduced a colour image of Mona Lisa which is less than one pixel on an iPhone Retina display. The laser technology allows printing in a mind-blowing resolution of 127,000 DPI. In comparison, weekly or monthly magazines are normally printed in a resolution equivalent to 300 DPI. She is 50 micrometres long or about 10,000 times smaller than the real Mona Lisa in the Louvre in Paris.

Printing microscopic images requires a special nanoscale-structured surface of rows with small columns with a diameter of merely 100 nanometres each. This structured surface is overed by 20 nanometres of aluminium.A laser pulse is transmitted from nanocolumn to nanocolumn, and the nanocolumn is heated locally, after which it melts and is deformed. The temperature can reach up to 1,500°C, but only for a few nanoseconds, preventing the extreme heat from spreading.

The intensity of the laser beam determines which colours are printed on the surface, since the extent of column deformation decides which colour is reflected. Low-intensity laser pulses lead to a minor deformation of the nanocolumn, resulting in blue and purple colour tone reflections. Strong laser pulses create a drastic deformation, which gives the reflection from the nanocolumn an orange and yellow colour tone.

Professor N. Asger Mortensen from DTU Fotonik explains: “Every time you make a slight change to the column geometry, you change the way it absorbs light. The light which is not absorbed is the colour that our eyes see. If the column absorbs all the blue light, for example, the red light will remain, making the surface appear red.”

There is considerable scope for application of the new laser printing technology. Professor Anders Kristensen from DTU Nanotech elaborates: “It will be possible to save data invisible to the naked eye. This includes serial numbers or bar codes of products and other information. The technology can also be used to combat fraud and forgery, as the products will be labelled in way that makes them very difficult to reproduce. It will be easier to determine whether the product is an original or a copy.”

The new laser printing technology can be used on a larger scale to personify products such as mobile phones with unique decorations, names, etc. Foreign companies which produce parts for cars, such as instrument panels and buttons, are already taking a keen interest in the technology to simplify production. Today, a large number of different instrument panels must be adapted to the various accessories that the car has, including airconditioning, USB, cigarette lighters, etc.

The technology has been patented, and researchers will now focus on developing the technology, so that it can replace the conventional laser printers .

Windows 10 for 2016

December 21st, 2015

Windows is still Microsoft’s most important product.
The company has managed to fix many of the issues that bugged users, businesses, and anyone else who came across Windows 10. (though it has just pulled the mobile version) The next update to Windows 10 — internally codenamed “Redstone” —will refine many of the features and improvements introduced in 2015.

Release date: Given the time it takes to code, test, and roll-out an entire operating system, a June time frame makes sense. It is rumoured that “Redstone” will be released in two halves: One in June and then one later in November. Microsoft has given no indication of when the update will be introduced beyond a vague 2016 time frame.
A small update in June: According to reports, there will be a small update earlier in 2016 that will include a new Skype app, extensions for Microsoft Edge, and various other smaller — but essential — changes.

Microsoft has worked to make Windows 10 the digital hub for all your activities. The operating system works on almost any device — from the Internet of Things to a PC to a server — and this theme will continue in the “Redstone” update.

It will not be called Windows 11: Microsoft skipped on Windows 9 and it looks like it will skip on Windows 11 for the time being, according to ZDNet. The smaller update to Windows 8 was given a “point” name — 8.1 — and its likely that Microsoft will take the same tact for Windows 10.

Windows 10.1 will likely be free: Microsoft has shifted to a “Windows-as-a-Service” model which means the operating system is free and all of the services that come with it — such as the Windows Store — are used to make money. This, in many ways, is similar to how Apple delivers OS X, the operating system for Macs.

Microsoft will likely continue to work on ithenew Windows features, such as Universal Windows Apps and Microsoft Edge, the replacement for Internet Explorer.
HoloLens: Since Microsoft’s futuristic headset is set to launch to developers in 2016 and will runs Windows 10, just like a PC, Microsoft will likely be looking for optimised Windows Holographic apps — which is every app — to work on the headset.

To summarise, the “Redstone” update to Windows will be an attempt by Microsoft to make the operating system better, without changing everything . The Windows 8 and 10 updates both took away and introduced a lof of features but it seems Microsoft has found a formula — part tablet-optimised, part PC-optimised — that it likes.

ERP Project Failures

December 16th, 2015

Reports have appeared of two more high profile SAP project failures, one at Deutsche Post DHL, the other at Dow Chemical.

Deutsche Post DHL Group is struggling with a software upgrade in its DHL Global Forwarding division. The upgrade gone wrong has already led to a write-off of €345 million. Dubbed the New Forwarding Environment (NFE), the upgraded software for DHL’s Global Forwarding division was to enable a variety of new capabilities, including better shipment visibility through improved capture, management and display of operational milestones, and a reduction of paperwork through greater use of a document management system. It was originally used by SAP as a global reference for SAP TM 9.0 when it was released in February 2015, so this failure is particularly embarrassing for SAP.

Dow Chemical Co. spent eight years and $1 billion implementing a new enterprise resource planning system that didn’t deliver value as quickly as hoped and said that another eight year project was ‘unimaginable’.

It is easy to point fingers. There will no doubt be many lessons to learn about the challenges of large scale project management, scope creep, budget, training, partner selection and channel capacity, etc. Another factor that is often overlooked is what can reasonably be expected to work in the real world. Long projects risk more staff changes, more consultant changes, more business changes, more technology changes and the urgency of day to day issues tend to take higher priority.

We don’t live in a perfect world, its easy to dream up automatic processes, detailed field by field segmentation of duties, directed workflows for every step of every process, with hundreds of reports, kpis , dashboards etc
The result is often over engineered and over complex solutions. It takes a long time to build, even longer to test, and by then the user has changed, or the business requirement has changed, a new code version, new database version, new operating system are released, the government changes taxes, etc, etc.

Users resent being micro managed, the project adds more work to their daily load etc.

Does a global solution provide efficiency and standardization, ease of support, and global rollout or or does it stifle local autonomy and agility, and result in inflexible systems that need external workarounds to meet local requirements?

Rethink the rfp – ‘what can I live without for now? “rather than ‘what else can I conceivably demand?’.

be realistic about the team size and effort needed internally – its at least as big as the consulting effort. Who really has the experience to make the policy decisions? – how much time can they sped away from day to day business tasks?.

One of our most successful clients has grown from 100 to 2500 +staff in the last 5 years. What is important is done excellently, but they don’t automate for the sake of it, they understand that complex data structures, and processes and workflows and security provide ongoing maintenance challenges, they don’t reinvent the wheel, They also take ownership of their system.

The difference between success and failure is not always that great. When you firs town a car, ease of use, reliability, proper driving instruction are more important then whether its BMW or a Mercedes. Before worrying about the stereo, and the colour work decide whether it is right for your needs or do you need something else like a Van or a HGV.

Consider why management want the system then consider why the users will use this system – are the reasons aligned?

Microsoft Dynamics CRM On-Premises Price Increase December 2015

December 14th, 2015

Note from December 1st, 2015, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server and Device CALs are subject to a 10% price increase and User CALs to a 25% price increase.

CRM 4.0 support for Explorer from Jan 2016

December 14th, 2015

Beginning January 12, 2016, only the most current version of Internet Explorer available for a supported operating system will receive technical support and security updates.

Because Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 ​relies on Internet Explorer 8 and Internet Explorer 9 when running on Windows 7, it is critical that customers understand the need to migrate to a newer version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM in order to remain
supported.

C Executive collaboration in erp selection

December 13th, 2015

A Gartner survey last year , “Survey Analysis: Critical CFO Technology Needs: 2014 Gartner FEI Study,” June 23, 2014, http://bit. ly/1Ga5I50 highlighted the importance of C level Executive collaboration when selecting an erp system.

A critical component of any successful technology integration project is teamwork—especially among those with decision-making power and departmental oversight. In the case of ERP, the CIO and CFO should work hand-in-hand to determine which solution is best positioned to support the business and technology requirements of teams across the enterprise. They also need to jointly provide the highest value for the technology dollar—affordable to purchase and implement, economical to operate (low total cost of ownership), and capable of facilitating long-term financial stability and growth.

While an organization’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) may have differing perspectives on a host of issues, common ground can must be found between them to select and implement an appropriate ERP solution. Because both CIO and CFO are driven by role-specific ambitions and targets, reaching a mutual decision can prove challenging. To mitigate against differing points of view leading to a project delay or cancellation, the following recommendations are hints for CFOs and CIOs on how to reach a common ERP selection and implementation strategy:

1. Determine how each ERP option supports overall organizational strategy. According to the 2014 Gartner Financial Executives International CFO Technology Study, out of a survey sample of 210 executives, the CFO authorized 29 percent of IT investments. This surpassed even the CEO for decision-making in this space. CFOs are clearly interested in ERP costs in both the near and long term. The issues around how well each solution supports the company’s comprehensive goals for current and future operations are just as critical,. Analysis requires input from, and partnership with, the CIO ad other C Executives.

The CIO has to worry about wider issues such as compatibility, support, upgrade path, security, connectivity, reporting features and the day to operational costs, such as a/c/ energy support contracts, IT training and so on. There is also a strategic role to play to keep abreast of, and to leverage new technology to better leverage the deployment and use of the erp functionality e.g. mobility, predictive analytics, IoT Executives should eb able to articulate clearly how each proposed solution /functionality /feature either does or does not supports strategic growth.

To crystallise thoughts identify a realistic solution ROI.
That will help to set a budget early and help in priosiritising requirements, and must have vs nice to have features. It also helps to understand what is a sensible level of investment to drive the system in top gear rather than in 1st gear.

As CFOs take a more hands-on approach to technology decision-making, they are strategically prioritizing their options, and placing ERP software high on their list of potentially transformative tools. In the Gartner study, 47 percent cited enterprise business applications in the top three most important technology investments, with 23 percent putting them at the very top of the list. Forty-two percent of CFOs cited these applications as their most important technology investment over the next three years. Similar results are seen in surveys of CPM software, and the bottom line results also show that leaders in bottom line performance measures are those with the right systems.

CIOs and CFOs should both be looking for the same thing—ERP software that delivers the highest possible return on investment (ROI) with minimum risk, maximum agility, and scaleablity. A system that not only helps to compete today but that can adapt and grow with the business. Determining the required ROI for the business as well as the likely ROI of competing solutions goes a long way toward clarifying the value of available options. Similarly, a budget helps to narrow the software choices to those most likely to drive and sustain long-term growth and profitability or to ensure that additional investment in more features enhance rather than undermines the strategy. Budgets are not tablets of stone -they are acceptable benchamarks- that does not mean they cannot be changed if you have good reason. The key is to how will you decide and ROI is a good test.

3. Consider a solution with built-in Business Intelligence (BI) capability: When executives in the Gartner study were asked to identify the business priority they believed most required technology support, 62 percent indicated “facilitating analysis and decision making.” To this end, executives are increasingly looking to BI tools to capture insights across the enterprise, and realizing that ERP solutions such as Microsoft Dynamics AX provide this critical capability as a built-in feature. For both the CIO and CFO then, it will be paramount both to understand which software options include this functionality (and how deep that functionality goes) and to require vertically-focused expertise from potential vendor partners to determine which tool best supports the organization’s use case.

4. Schedule your ERP rollout to maximize the functionality that will provide the foundation to grow and to control costs: Given the potential disruption as major systems are implemented and adopted, CIOs and CFOs should bring together relevant information from their respective areas of expertise and influence to carefully plan a timeline for project planning, implementation, and support that protects against financial risks, system downtime, and process changeover lag. Gartner suggests a “pace-layered strategy” to minimize these types of integration risks, reduce costs, and maximize security. Under such an approach, companies can categorize each business application (including ERP) as a system of record, differentiation, or innovation, then apply differentiated management processes for each, driving more thoughtful, collaborative, and high-value integrations.

The Value of Executive Partnership in Driving Technology Investment

It comes as no surprise that a successful ERP deployment hinges on partnership—and that synergy among department leaders is essential to securing the executive approval, team unity, and partner relationships required to implement a successful and even transformative long-term software solution. By working together to identify common goals and arbitrate diverging viewpoints, CIOs and CFOs can ensure the final selected system is one that not only meets their individual needs, but is also optimally positioned to meet business requirements and operational objectives enterprise-wide, securing sustainable growth and profitability.

Sixth report from the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision

December 12th, 2015

A report to G20 Leaders on implementation of the Basel III regulatory reforms continues to promote a resilient financial system maintaining public confidence.
This is the sixth report from the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision to update G20 Leaders on
progress in implementing the Basel III regulatory reforms by the 27 Basel Committee member jurisdictions.
1 It summarises the outcomes from the Committee’s Regulatory Consistency Assessment Programme (RCAP), which comprises three parts:
(i) monitoring the progress in adopting Basel III
standards;
(ii) assessing the consistency of national or regional banking regulations with the Basel III standards;
(iii) analysing the prudential outcomes that are produced by those regulations.The current report updates G20 Leaders on progress in the implementation of the Basel III regulatory reforms since the last report November 2014.

Within the report Basel III standards include banks’ progress in bolstering their capital and liquidity positions. It was also is accompanied by a separate report from the Committee to G20 Leaders on finalizing the post-crisis reforms.

The report summarises the steps taken by Basel Committee member jurisdictions to adopt the Basel III standards, banks’ progress in bolstering their capital and liquidity positions, the consistency of implementation in jurisdictions assessed since the Committee’s last report and the Committee’s implementation work plan. It is accompanied by a separate report from the Committee to G20 Leaders on finalising the post-crisis reforms.

The only regional assessment was for Saudi Arabia’s implementation of the Basel risk-based capital framework which was found to be closely aligned with the Basel III standards. All 14 assessed components were found to be “compliant”, and the overall
framework of Saudi Arabian capital regulation was graded “compliant”.

Saudi Arabia’s overall implementation of the LCR standard was graded “largely compliant”. Of the two assessed components, implementation of the LCR disclosure requirements was found to be “compliant”. Implementation of the LCR was found to be “largely compliant”, due to one material finding with respect to the definition of HQLA.

Management Reporter 2012 CU14 RTM (version 2.12.14001.45)

December 10th, 2015

Management Reporter 2012 CU14 RTM (version 2.12.14001.45) is released.
CU14 contains the following functional enhancements:
• Report Options for Web Viewer (DDM only): Change Period and re-generate report from Web Viewer
• Keyboard accessibility for Drill to Dynamics
• Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 enhancements for budget submodels with multiple parents
• Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Budget Control enhancements including new attributes
• Many fixes for exporting to XPS
• Additional fixes for product defects
NOTE: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 customers will have their data mart automatically reset upon upgrade to re-integrate data to support several of the new features.

**With the Keyboard accessibility enhancement, users now see an option appear when drilling into an amount at the account detail level:
• Users will see this dialog anytime they drill into an FD column amount and are at the account detail level
• For users who prefer to repeatedly drill into report transaction level within Management Reporter, they can click on the DESC or ACCT columns to automatically drill down without being prompted
• If the report detail level does not include transaction detail level, drilling from the account detail level will not prompt and will automatically attempt to Open in Microsoft Dynamics

***Issues (Bugs) fixed in Management Reporter 2012 Cumulative Update 14 (CU14) 2.12.14001.45: https://mbs.microsoft.com/files/customer/MgmtReporter/Learning/Documentation/UserGuides/ManagementReporterCU14FixList.pdf

Version History Information (CU14): Management Reporter CU14 RTM – 2.12.14000.45

If you have any question with regards to ERP versions supported by this release, please review the compatibility list here.

You can find the download for Management Reporter CU14 here: https://mbs.microsoft.com/customersource/northamerica/MR/downloads/service-packs/MROverview

Dynamics Ax new release for 2016 overview

December 8th, 2015

The term Ax 7 and the use of version numbers is dropped and in future the solution will just be Dynamics Ax
The first release on azure will be out end of Quarter 1 for new customers
Upgrade tools, and on premise versions will come later

Microsoft Dynamics AX 7: SQL Azure for Cloud Deployments

Microsoft’s cloud platform, known as Azure, allows users to build, deploy, and manage different applications across global networks. Microsoft Dynamics AX 7 will use SQL Azure for cloud deployments.

Dynamics AX will make available a single-tenant deployment model.

Unlike the multi-tenant model, which promotes file and application sharing using the same software product, in the single-tenant model, each user gets a separate instance of software, which will run on an isolated piece of infrastructure. The single-tenant model uses Azure’s infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), and offers each customes total control over virtual machines and network configurations.

The new Microsoft Dynamics AX deployed on SQL Azure will provide two major services: platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and database-as-a-service (DBaaS).

Although the PaaS model doesn’t allow you to control or manage the software and network servers, you’ll be able to customize the system and create new applications using the tools included in the new AX.

Use the DBaaS model, to develop and manage applications. Microsoft will manage the system and servers,

Dynamics AX will also use Microsoft’s model-driven layered architecture (MDLA), which facilitates the development of individual application objects for each company. This means that you can develop your own tables, code units, reports, etc. according to your organization’s needs.

Why SQL Azure?

Delivering a powerful combination of IaaS, PaaS, and DBaaS, SQL Azure lets users build, deploy, and manage applications any way they want. In addition, it is:
• Encouraging innovation, SQL Azure supports various frameworks, tools, and systems, including the upcoming Microsoft Dynamics AX 7. SQL Azure also guarantees above 99 percent availability along with round-the-clock service monitoring and tech support.
• With SQL Azure, you can offer a wide variety of services to customers, build new applications that work on any device, and benefit from a package that can be scaled up and down to match your demands.
•Hybrid ready – Delivering an intelligent enterprise-proven cloud solution, SQL Azure allows you to combine the functionality of your datacenter with private and public clouds. With this platform, you can expand your IT options and add new features so that your organization becomes more efficient.

SQL Azure also enables users to build new infrastructure models with the same tools and virtual machines they use on-premise. For instance use the features and tools included in Dynamics AX to develop a variety of applications for Windows, iOS, and Android devices and leverage the full power of SQL service in the cloud to get a single sign-on across popular SaaS applications, such as Office 365, SalesForce, Google Apps, DocuSign, and Dropbox.

Furthermore, SQL Azure makes possible business data monitoring and user account management.

Built on SQL Azure, Dynamics AX will require users to write less code, accelerating the application development process. Additionally, the system will simplify the generation of industry-specific solution models, which will enable the delivery of customer-specific customizations more quickly. As well, it will improve product lifecycle management, positively impacting the application ownership cost, from design, implementation and configuration to operation and upgrade.

Synergy Software Systems reviews enterprise technology trends for 2016

December 3rd, 2015

The generation of millennial workers views the world through a digital lens. They grow up with technology woven into their lives, and expect any information they need to be at their fingertips. As the move up the corporate ladder, they expect the business to capitalize on the data and technology assets that are available. They don’t have patience with disconnected and inefficient processes that put the business at a competitive disadvantage.

This is one of the key factors that is driving business application technology: cloud-based ERP, mobility and cross platform programs, integration of business apps with productivity tools and social media, with a consistent, user friendly interface. No matter the size of your company, you can now provide the digital business environment to:
• Give workers who are comfortable working from home, in the office, and on the road easy access to secure business systems. Any time anywhere access.
• Work cross platform on any device.
• Enable collaboration inside and outside your organization to build stronger relationships between vendors, customers, and employees.
• Provide project portals, inventory data, and customer information that empower remote employees to provide excellent service.
• Deliver powerful real time analytics with rich visuals

Recently Gartner highlighted 10 technology trends:

The Device Mesh: This trend refers to what types of methods, or endpoints, people will use to access information or interact with others. According to Gartner, this includes mobile devices, wearables, home electronic devices, etc. Gartner claims that, “While devices are increasingly connected to back-end systems through various networks, they have often operated in isolation from one another. As the device mesh evolves, we expect connection models to expand and greater cooperative interaction between devices to emerge.”
Wearable technology devices are increasingly available. Enterprise Apps Today recently reported enterprise software is available on smartwatches. Business professionals can access ERP services using a wearable device, and companies are exploring how convenient ERP utilization will change their practices.
Manufacturing plants install sensors and other connected devices to monitor processes and ensure product quality. Production lines are more intelligent than ever before, which means they need vast amounts of data to operate.

Ambient User Experience: The dawn of virtual reality is upon us, and the ambient user experience trend means that “user experience preserves continuity across boundaries of device mesh, time and space.” This means that the user can experience a blend of environments including physical, virtual and electronic that incorporates an array of different devices.

3D Design and Printing Materials: 3D printing is increasingly common in a wide range of industries using a wide range of materials. You can purchase 3D-printed objects on websites like Amazon! Gartner predicts that the use of 3D printing will continue to expand over the next 20 years, with an increase in the types of materials that will be printed .
3D printing is also a way of creating 3D design models for better visualization of a new product. 3D graphic tools are also providing similar advantages whether via BIM construction models (such as our AEC solution), 3D planograms, walk through real estate visuals, etc ., or with tools like Holo lens with Surface hub to support collaborative 3D design visualisation.

The process of 3-D printing – also known as layered manufacturing – creates exact replicas of items based on data loaded into the equipment. Companies can scan objects and produce precise physical copies or create their own designs.
Layered manufacturing is not as fast as traditional assembly lines, and it costs a bit more. Industry experts, however, predict more industries will adopt 3-D printing technology as the science improves. In August 2015, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first 3-D-printed pharmaceutical product. The product’s designer said layered manufacturing helped create a better performing pill. Many medical fields use 3-D printing to create items for optimal functionality and to improve outcomes with individual patients

Information of Everything: As new devices are developed and are able to communicate with each other, more and more information is used and transmitted. “This information goes beyond textual, audio and video information to include sensory and contextual information.” Gartner predicts that information will also be able to be more easily analyzed.

Advanced Machine Learning: “In advanced machine learning, deep neural nets (DNNs) move beyond classic computing and information management to create systems that can autonomously learn to perceive the world, on their own.” These DNNs will automate the new and complex information that comes in from different data sources. They enable machines to seemingly learn and act on their own.

Autonomous Agents and Things: Will robots become widely used? Autonomous machines like robots, self-driving cars and other smart machines will become more common. Consider virtual personal assistants (VPAs) like Microsoft’s Cortana and Apple’s Siri. “The emerging notion of assistance feeds into the ambient user experience in which an autonomous agent becomes the main user interface. Instead of interacting with menus, forms and buttons on a smartphone, the user speaks to an app, which is really an intelligent agent.”

Internet of Things Platforms: According to Gartner, “The technologies and standards in the IoT platform form a base set of capabilities for communicating, controlling, managing and securing endpoints in the IoT.” The platform will make sure that data is transferred effectively from endpoints.

One of the recent trends fueling cloud adoption is a hybrid implementation strategy. Companies don’t want to throw out old systems and start over with a cloud-deployed service. Some companies use hybrid cloud solutions to test a change in process. They move select datasets to the cloud to see if the service offers the flexibility and convenience they predicted. Hybrid cloud options allow companies to explore functionality without making huge investments. As cloud-deployed ERP solutions prove easier to adopt, more businesses should become interested.

Convergence Barcelona 2015 – what’s new

December 2nd, 2015

Ax native power BI

The next release of Dynamics AX — a product which is dropping the year as part of its name — will be an Azure-hosted service that’s more tightly integrated with a number of Microsoft’s other cloud services. Dynamics AX is moving to a cloud-first model, meaning the Azure-hosted version will debut ahead of the on-premises complement. The next on-premises version of Dynamics AX won’t be out until the latter part of calendar 2016, and will make use of new capabilities in Windows Server 2016 and SQL Server 2016, both of which are also due for release in 2016.

Dynamics AX includes an overhaul of the client, which will be a fully-browser-based HTML one available for Windows 10 Edge users, as well as users on other modern browsers on iOS. Users will be able to extend the client themselves and build business-specific mobile applications. The client app for Windows will be wrapped and made available as a Universal Windows Platform app, so it will work with Continuum on PCs, tablets and phones, he said.

The new Dynamics release also includes a new “guided” user experience that looks and works like Microsoft Office and is tightly integrated with Dynamics CRM, Office 365, Skype, Azure machine learning and Power BI.

The tighter integration with other Microsoft cloud and enterprise products and services makes sense given Microsoft’s decision earlier this year to move its Dynamics CRM and ERP engineering team to the Cloud & Enterprise division.

Another new feature in the release will be “Workspaces,” which allows users in different roles to get a different view of activities in Dynamics AX that are tailored to their roles, with all the data, processes and other information they need to complete tasks. “Task Guides” will provide on-screen guidance and support for using Dynamics AX using Cortana voice commands.

The public preview of the next Dynamics AX cloud release will be available in early December 2015. This December is also when Microsoft will talk about pricing.

Like its other software products that are evolving into regularly updated services, such as Windows 10 and System Center Configuration Manager, Microsoft’s Dynamics AX product is going the same route

According to Jean-Philippe Courtois, President Microsoft International, building a digital business transformation is a team sport, and CEOs must reinvent their roles to drive the transformation. It is more than implementing a piece of technology, to become a digital business you have to adopt a digital-first mindset, reimagine your business and connect everything.

In this week’s release of Skype for Business, 10,000 people can be on a conference call at once, and documents can – for the first time ever – be live edited by multiple people while live video calling- a new feature called Skype Meeting Broadcast
Microsoft revealed that Power BI and Delve Analytics would both be coming to Office 365 immediately. This makes Office even more effective as an analytics tool, as it will now take advantage of Delve’s Graph-powered machine learning capabilities.
Microsoft’s enterprise version of Skype now has several new features, including the ability to dial into meetings from a traditional phone. The cloud-powered private branch exchange (PBX) feature enables enterprises to cut out the need for separate PBX systems required to manage calls between local and external phone lines, while PSTN calling allows Office 365 users to opt for Microsoft-managed calling plans and phone numbers.

The updates were unveiled alongside Microsoft’s introduction of its PowerApps service, a tool that allows the easy building of mobile apps with access to corporate data in enterprise

Microsoft announced the brand new CRM 2016, yes Dynamics CRM 2016 is now available!
It is deeply integrated into Office 365 and mean that office, using newly Azure-powered CRM 2016, can pull in relevant contact data on your next meeting, arrange your schedule and even suggest future sales opportunities.

Available both as CRM Online and on-premises in 130 markets and 44 languages, Dynamics CRM 2016 is focused on empowering employees to deliver the optimal experiences to customers, as well as engaging customers across all channels. We’re bringing all Microsoft has to offer in productivity and intelligence into a single experience.
Advanced analytics and machine learning capabilities of the Cortana Analytics Suite f or intelligent, adaptive processes for sales, customer service and social:
•Intelligent selling with cross-sell recommendations so sales reps can predict which products and services a customer will need during the sales cycle.
•Intelligent customer service with knowledge articles recommendations to empower service agents with answers to questions so they can more effectively resolve customer cases and solve problems on the spot.
•Intelligent social with machine learning capabilities powering sentiment analysis, as well as the ability to process significant streams of data to detect social posts that are most likely to be customer service cases or new leads.
•Intelligent collaboration with Delve functionality to surface trending content that is most relevant to what a person is working on.

In addition, significant enhancements in productivity, mobility and customer service:
•Productivity – Capabilities in CRM 2016 are seamlessly embedded into productivity tools, including Office 365. In CRM 2016, we’ve enhanced the CRM app for Outlook, delivered templates for our immersive Excel experience, simplified the creation of personalized sales documents in Word and enabled seamless access to contextual CRM documents across SharePoint, Office 365 Groups and OneDrive for Business.
•Mobility – CRM 2016 features full offline mobile capabilities for phones and tablets, the ability to create task-based mobile apps, Mobile Application Management with Microsoft Intune and next generation Cortana integration that surfaces CRM data for key sales activities, accounts and deals, and mobile marketing with SMS capabilities available with Dynamics Marketing in four countries.
•Unified Service – CRM 2016 delivers a single, unified solution for Customer Service across self-service, agent assisted service and field service. Building on the integration of Parature knowledge management in spring 2015, we now have a new role driven agent experience with the Interactive Service Hub, native Knowledge Management, surveys to capture voice of the customer and field service capabilities with our recent acquisition of FieldOne.

Microsoft also revealed that the Office 365 cloud-powered productivity suite has gained several new features. The first is a series of security and compliance features that give administrators more control over who has access to data in Office 365. The Advanced eDiscovery tool adds machine learning and text analytics to Office 365 to reduce the cost and risk of managing large quantities during e-discovery in litigation or government investigations. The second is what appears to be the tighter integration of Microsoft’s Power BI data visualisation tool, and a new feature called Delve Analytics that takes the Office Graph-powered machine learning capability of the Delve app and adds it to Office 365.