Archive for September, 2016

Another successful Dynamics Ax project for Synergy Software Systems

September 29th, 2016

Final POS configuration quality checks.

Nadella enthuses about AI at impinge

September 29th, 2016

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella took the stage at his company’s massive Ignite conference to lay out his vision for how deep learning and artificial intelligence will transform the company.

“AI is at the intersection of our ambitions,” Nadella said, noting how it will allow us “to reason over large amounts of data and convert that into intelligence.” He likened AI to the arrival of books and the web and joked that we will soon create so much data that “we are getting to a point where we don’t even know what to name things.” That’s also creating problems, though. “In this information explosion, what remains scarce is human intention and time — our ability to make sense out of all of this information,” he said.

At Microsoft, this transformation is currently happening in a few different areas, with agents like Cortana, applications like SwiftKey and Office 365, and developer tools and platforms like the Cortana Intelligence Suite and the Azure cloud computing platform. As for agents, Nadella noted that the ambition here is to create an intelligent assistant that “can take text input, can take speech input, that knows your deeply. It knows your context, your family, your work. It knows about the world.” He also stressed that this agent will have to be unbounded and available on every platform and in every application — even those not controlled by Microsoft.

With Office 365, we are not just moving to the cloud,” Nadella said. “The most profound shift is in the fact that the data underneath the applications of Office 365 is exposed in a graph structure. And in a trusted, private-preserving way, we can reason over this data and create intelligence. That’s really the profound shift in Office 365.”
He also noted how tools like the focused inbox in Outlook, Skype’s real-time translation, smarter spelling correction in Word and new tools like Tap in Word, tap into this intelligence.

Nadella specifically stressed how Dynamics 365, the company’s CRM tool and one of its major revenue drivers, can make use of these technologies. “Take something like sales,” he said. “In any business application you always explicitly modeled the world. […] But there is one real problem: most of the sales activity happens outside of a CRM system. And so the goal of intelligence is to be able to reason about your sales data model. Not just inside your CRM system but outside.”In this context, Nadella also mentioned how the company could use relationship data from LinkedIn, which it acquired in June.

For developers, the way to access this intelligence in their own applications is through the Cortana Intelligence Suite. This suite of tools includes a bot framework now, too, and Nadella believes all businesses will at one point use a conversational agent to interact with their customers. Microsoft is currently working with the NFL to create a fantasy football bot and Uber is now using the Cortana Cognitive Services’ face recognition tools to verify drivers and passengers. Nadella also noted how Microsoft is working with Volvo to recognize when drivers are distracted (and then warn them).

Combine these technologies with Microsoft’s HoloLens mixed-reality headset and you bring together “the two most magical technologies of our time.” Lowe’s, for example, is working on an application that allows its customer to design a kitchen using HoloLens, for example, but the company also today talked about how it can then use the data it aggregates from multiple sessions — including the data it gathers from tracking people’s gaze — to improve the experience and be smarter about ordering items.

Given that Microsoft loves to talk about how we live in a “cloud first, mobile first” world, it’s no surprise that Nadella also talked about Microsoft’s Azure cloud. He stressed how Azure offers developers access to GPU-based machines to train deep learning models and how it recently started using FPGAs. Nadella calls this FPGA-enabled cloud the “first AI supercomputer” (though Google, which is actually using custom chips instead of FPGAs, might dispute that!) he claim the crown of being the first, if not the largest, of these kind of deployments). Some of Microsoft’s cognitive services already run on this platform and Azure is using it to speed up its networking infrastructure.

“It’s never about our technology,” Nadella said in closing. “It is really to me about your passion, your imagination, and what you can do with technologies that we create. What societal problem, what industry will you reshape. That’s really what we dream about. We want to democratize AI just like we brought information to your fingertips.”

Some recently updated advice for Dubai residents on travel, motoring etc.

September 29th, 2016

Please Note that our Offices are closed on Sunday for Islamic New Year.

Travelling with children
In order to safe-guard against child abduction and trafficking, if your children have a different surname from you or are travelling with one parent then you may be asked to prove their identity. Plan ahead and ensure you have all the necessary documentation

Costs of leaving the UAE
If you are leaving the UAE you may need to budget to move your possessions. There are four things to consider when you move.

Debt in the UAE
Bouncing a cheque is illegal in the UAE. If a cheque is presented without adequate funds to cover the amount, you will face criminal and civil charges. After you have served your jail sentence you will not be able to leave the country until the funds have been paid in full. A recent article regarding unpaid bills can be viewed Here. The UAE Credit Bureau which opened in October 2015 has reportedly been successful in monitoring loans. See this recent news article:
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No more discount of traffic fines in Abu Dhabi
Since August 1, Abu Dhabi motorists no longer receive a 50 per cent discount on traffic fines. The discount, which was automatically applied when residents paid their fines, will not apply for any violations that are recorded from 1st August onwards, although the discount will stand for offences registered before that. Abu Dhabi Police said the decision aims to enhance road safety in the emirate.You can check out if you have any outstanding traffic fines by using these websites. Abu Dhabi and Dubai

UAE Travel Advice
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office recently updated Travel Advice for the UAE with reference to social media.
Posting material (including videos and photographs) online that is critical of companies or individuals, or related to incidents in the UAE, or appearing to abuse/ridicule the country or its authorities may be considered a crime punishable under UAE law. There have been cases of individuals being detained, prosecuted and/or convicted for posting this type of material.

Getting Married in the UAE
Are you are thinking of getting married in the UAE and need to know what documents are required from you and how to get them? Click here to see the revised web site for U.K. citizens.

Dubai Health Insurance
Health cover is now mandatory for all residents.

Pink parking for ladies
New pink and white parking spaces for ladies only have been introduced in Abu Dhabi. To find out their location click here:.

Men using these spaces may be fined or risk being towed away.

How to pass your test and get a UAE driving
If you are a UAE resident and are 18 years or over then you can apply for a UAE driving test. For more details of what is required Click here.
or here

MCSE and MSCD recent changes

September 29th, 2016

Recently, Microsoft decided to change its certification requirements, effectively eliminating the need to retake certain exams for some Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) and Developer (MCSD) certifications.
Microsoft Learning GM Alsion Cunard is looking to make earning more certifications easier for MCSE and MCSD certified professionals. She also wants to make sure the certifications are more in tune with the Centers of Excellence guidelines that are used by the Microsoft Partner Network.

In addition, Microsoft announced five new MCSE and MCSD certifications are now available:
◾MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure – focusing on skills validation for Windows Server and Microsoft Azure
◾MCSE: Mobility – focusing on skills validation for Windows Client and Enterprise Mobility Suite
◾MCSE: Data Management and Analysis – focusing on skills validation for both on-premises and cloud-based Microsoft data products and services
◾MCSE: Productivity – focusing on skills validation for Office 365, SharePoint, Exchange, and Skype for Business
◾MCSD: App Builder – focusing on skills validation for Web and Mobile app development

To be eligible to receive any of these certifications, you must first earn a prerequisite Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) certification as well as pass an additional exam as required by the corresponding Center of Excellence.

The resulting MCSE or MCSD certification will be added to your transcript and will never expire. Instead, the achievement date will signify your investment in continuing education on the technology. Every year, you will have the opportunity to re-earn the certification by passing an additional exam from the list of electives, demonstrating your investment in broadening or deepening your skills in a given Center of Excellence. Each time you earn the certification, a new certification entry will be added to your transcript.”

The certification changes apply only to MCSE and MCSD certifications; the changes do not affect MCSA certifications.

Microsoft Flow, Power Apps and Dynamics ask Synergy Software Systems about the new features

September 27th, 2016

PowerApps is a service for creating, managing and using custom business apps across platforms. PowerApps connects to your existing systems and data sources securely, allows you to build apps, forms, and workflows without writing code, and lets you publish apps instantly for web and mobile

This is a short tutorial in PowerApps that includes a speed run (a fully functional app in 2.5 minutes) followed by a detailed explanation of the steps of the tutorial.

Its just been announced that Dynamics AX is now supported in Microsoft Flow for events/Tasks automation in Dynamics 365. Along with the Common Data Model and Microsoft PowerApps, another significant component of Dynamics 365 is the new cloud based event automation service from Microsoft called as “Microsoft Flow”.

Microsoft flow is a task/process/event automation service, that allows to execute certain event (Such as sending an email notification, Creating a new record, saving/sharing files and more) when another event happens. (Such as a new record is added to Common data model, a record is modified, a new person follows you on twitter and more).

Microsoft Flow is a service for automating workflow across the growing number of apps and SaaS services that business users rely on. Along with Dynamics CRM Online(For Sales/Project Services), CRM Online/Adobe Marketing cloud (For Marketing) and Dynamics AX (For Operations), some of the other significant components of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 cloud are the surrounding apps, such as the Microsoft PowerApps, Microsoft Flow, Power BI, Office 365 and more.

On the 25th September Microsoft added an important capability to Flow mobile apps – Flow creation, available both on iOS and Android apps. Now easily create a flow from your phone by just a few simple clicks. Browse our rich template gallery, navigate through our services list, or select a various template category to drill into. For a specific service or template, search the template gallery by keyword, and a list of results focused to your needs. Finally, after creating your flow, you can come back and edit or rename it directly from within the app, from the flow properties page.

Dynamics Ax 2012 R3 – HR and Payroll -Synergy Software Systems, Dubai

September 26th, 2016

Find out why more than 30 companies use our Dynamics Ax HR and Payroll
solution. Over the coming weeks we will run a series of post to illustrate the comprehensive range of functionality.

Let start with some standard features.

With Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3, you can answer the important questions. Need to know total headcount?
Turnover percentages for the month, year, or quarter?

You can use tools like Microsoft Excel, SQL Server Analysis Services, and Power View to create custom reports based on the data in the HR analysis cube. As you become more familiar with the data in the cube, you’ll be able to find answers to more and more of your questions, easily.

Power View provides quick and easy visualization of your data.

Access the same data just as you would by using Microsoft Excel or SQL Server Analysis Services, then quickly visualize the raw data and organize it into a library of charts that correspond to one another.

Access that library in a list format, or place any chart from the library into any role center

Many organizations do not take advantage of all the ways in which human resource management professionals can contribute to the success of the organization. HR departments are viewed as a necessary evil, keeping the organization in compliance with a plethora of legal requirements and supporting payroll processes. It is true that HR professionals dedicate a significant amount of time to those types of activities.

But that is not the most important of the HR team’s contributions to the success of an organization. The HR team’s biggest impact is in assisting in development of workforce strategy and effective workforce management. HR professionals contribute by:
• Identifying workforce requirements for an organization
• Attracting and identifying qualified candidates for open positions
• Guiding candidates and managers through the hiring process to ensure a team is hiring the right candidates
• Simplifying HR processes for managers and employees so they can focus on their jobs
• Helping to effectively motivate, develop and retain employees
• Identifying and supporting employees who need assistance
• Successfully transitioning employees out of the organization when necessary

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 offers streamlined processes, complete data tracking, and enhanced data analysis to assist HR professionals in these important objectives.

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012’s HRMS solution enables HR teams to devote more of their time to where they can provide the biggest impact on an organization: workforce strategy and effective workforce management

Synergy Software Systems leverage the core functionality to meet essential requirements for this region – WPS, Labour Laws, visa processes, expiring employee and family documents, bank letters, and much, much more. See other posts on our Ax HR and Payroll solution and watch out for more in new posts in the near future.

SQL Cumulative updates for September 2016 –

September 24th, 2016

Cumulative update 14 release for SQL Server 2012 SP2 is now available for download at the Microsoft Downloads site. Please note that registration is no longer required to download Cumulative updates.
CU#14 KB Article:
Microsoft® SQL Server® 2012 SP2 Latest Cumulative Update:
Cumulative update 5 release for SQL Server 2012 SP3 is now available for download at the Microsoft Downloads site. Please note that registration is no longer required to download Cumulative updates.
To learn more about the release or servicing model, please visit:
• CU#5 KB Article:
• Microsoft® SQL Server® 2012 SP3 Latest Cumulative Update:
• Update Center for Microsoft SQL Server:
Microsoft also just announced that Cumulative Update 2 for SQL Server 2016 is now available for download here. There are a number of fixes including one regarding the Query Store. See here – you should seriously consider if you are running QSL Server 2016.

Stephen Jones
Synergy Software Systems
009714 3365589
Visit our active blog site for news and the latest product information
Microsoft Award – Highest Customer Satisfaction 2014
Microsoft President’s Club 2015

Gartner shows Microsoft Azure as a cloud leader for the third succesive year

September 23rd, 2016

Gartner has recently identified Microsoft Azure as a leader in the analyst firm’s Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), for the third year in a row, both based on both completeness of vision and the ability to execute.

Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform enables the creation of virtual networks, servers and machines, and supports multitenant storage, object storage and a robust content delivery network for both Microsoft and other vendor solutions. Azure also provides advanced services such as machine learning and Internet of things.

The Azure infrastructure has security integrated from the ground up, and all data, whether at rest or in transit, is strongly encrypted. All of offerings are supported by a leading-edge Cyber Defense Operations Centre that monitors customer infrastructure around the clock.

Gartner’s announcement comes at a time when the Gulf region is taking strident steps towards cloud infrastructure adoption. Saudi Arabia plans to invest $2 trillion in IT projects in the coming years, with a significant portion to be invested in cloud. Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates will see a gradual growth in IT spend from now until 2020, according to a report from BMI Research. A compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.4 per cent is expected.

An accompanying decline in hardware sales together with BMI’s prediction that SaaS will take an increasing share of software sales, and strongly indicates a decisive shift to cloud for the GCC.

When Microsoft announced the G series of virtual machines, back in Q1 of 2015, it represented the most memory, highest processing power and the largest local SSD capacity of any VMs then available in the public cloud. The G series, allowed Azure to lead the market with continued innovation also supporting SAP HANA workloads up to 32 TB. Azure has industry-wide recognition too for its support of Linux and other open-source technologies having nearly one third of all Azure VMs on Linux boxes.

Gartner’s report singled out Microsoft’s “rapid rollout” of these new features and many others, signaling that the company’s brand and history, both with its customers and with its delivery of enterprise-class solutions and services, combine to allow the company to ‘rapidly attain the status of strategic cloud IaaS provider’.
“Microsoft Azure encompasses integrated IaaS and PaaS components that operate and feel like a unified whole,” Gartner analysts wrote.

Microsoft has been rapidly rolling out new features and services, including differentiated capabilities. It has a vision of infrastructure and platform services that are not only leading standalone offerings, but also seamlessly extend and interoperate with on-premises Microsoft infrastructure (rooted in Hyper-V, Windows Server, Active Directory and System Center), development tools (including Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server [TFS]), middleware and applications, as well as Microsoft’s SaaS offerings.”

Gartner’s analysts also cited Microsoft’s “deep investments” in engineering and “innovative roadmap” as crucial factors in the company’s current IaaS market standing. The report further recommends Microsoft Azure for General business applications and development environments that use Microsoft technologies; migration of virtualized workloads for Microsoft-centric organizations; cloud-native applications (including Internet of Things applications); and batch computing.

Microsoft is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more.

Microsoft Gulf opened its Dubai-based headquarters in 1991 the same year as Synergy Software Systems.

For cloud hosting, or to back up to the cloud, or for applications like Dynamics 365 or Ax RTW (7) or Synergy MMS, or our xRM HIS, or Imaging storage, and Document management, or for cloud based monitoring of your clouds and on premise networks, find out how we can help with your move to the cloud.

Cloud – IaaS,PaaS,SaaS – what does this mean for Microsoft Dynamics?

September 20th, 2016

•<IaaS – Infrastructure as a service shares a huge gird of raw computing power and storage, including databases, rules engines, processing power and other infrastructure capabilities. A cloud provider makes this power accessible on an “as needed” basis. Its usually charged as a utility – you pay for what you use. for many comanies this is a way to outsource much of their day to day IT server management and strategy. The cloud provider takes care of hardware and database and operating systems upgrades, patches. log management, database tuning and expansion, and support, together with the associated overhead cost of energy, staff, server room – (no fit out, space to rent,n or A/c needed no separate maintenance contracts, no need for back up and anti virus software, etc)
PaaS - Platform as a service. This allows developers to access tools to create their own applications. The building blocks are made available by the software vendors to provide a jump start on development. PaaS is what your supply chain IT support or third party consultants can use to create customized workflows or tools specific to your needs. This may also for example be a temporary environment for testing
•SaaS – Software as a service. The business process application (“solution” in vendor-speak) layer in the cloud. Users can ‘rent’ or subscribe to applications on a per use basis to tackle specific business issues. SaaS is what you log on to use without any customization. Some vendors may also offer a rent to buy option.

Dynamics CRM is available on the cloud as part of the Office 365 suite ,and also on premise.

Ax can be run on premise, or the on premise licenses can be hosted on a cloud such as Azure i.e. IaaS charges are based on the server and database option selcted, the amount of storage space , the number of environments and a per month cost based on usage.
Both CRM and Ax are also available on a SPLA i.e rental licence basis/per user role either premise or on a hosted platform.
Third party hosting providers may offer a fixed priced SPLA and IaaS offering, for example Synergy Software Systems provides this option via our partner SaaS Plaza.

The current version of AX, released under the codename “AX 7″, or sometimes as Ax RTW provides both infrastructure and platform as a service, and you could also say software as a service for many businesses. It is currently only available as a cloud offering with a minimum of 20 Enterprise users or equivalent (this minimum number was reduced to 20 this month)

Note Historically AX has been a favored development platform and is often bought with the purpose of customizing the logic to match the exact needs of the business, instead of a company attempting to adjust their business processes.

The next step will be Dynamics 365 which will launch in the USA in November this year and we expect to see in the U.A.E. mid 2017. This will be an integrated solution with a common database, common data layer (out of the box master data integration), office productivity (Word Excel …) and communication tools (Skye Business,) collaboration tools )SharePoint, Yammer..) CRM, A Business logic layer which until recently was called ‘madeira’ this will extend to include sales, purchases finance … and will be an excellent solution of the SMB sector and medium size businesses. For the Enterprise customer Dynamics Ax 7 will also be an option finally set of tools will work across this solution stack Power Apps (think Xamarin, AsxStudio) Power BI, Microsoft Flow etc. And that’s not all there will also be an apps store and it will be easy for developers to push new apps into the store.

we will be covering lot more in this topic in coming months.

So the cloud is coming and offers more options than ever. Many companies will have a mix of on premise and cloud based solutions for the foreseebale future.Azure technology stack is due mid next year and will enable on premise Ax 7 as will as other hybrid cloud options There are many other azure solutions, e.g. for cloud based back up, or Cortana Analytics for Bi or the Azure IoT stack.

All the major IT vendors are now focused on the cloud. As the world becomes more mobile, and business models more disruptive expect its adoption to accelerate -we already mass use cloud systems One note, drop box, Facebook Linked-in Google apps, Hotmail, You tube, Vimeo,…. and many mobile apps already in our personal lives and the new ‘generation z’ employees now entering the job market expect the same power, agility and simplicity f se in their work tools.
So if the cloud, social and mobile are not part of your IT strategy then you have already ‘missed the bus’.

Windows Server 2016 – Synergy Software Systems, preview.

September 19th, 2016

Microsoft will launch Windows Server 2016 at the upcoming Ignite event on September 26-30. (The event is sold out, but sessions will be available online).
Security is the main focus areas for this release. Windows Server 2016 includes layers of security that help prevent attacks and detect suspicious activity with new features to control privileged access, protect virtual machines and harden the platform against emerging threats.

- Better detect threats using Microsoft Operations Management Suite and new Windows Server 2016 security events
- Use Microsoft Operations Management Suite with the new Windows Server 2016 security events
- Protect credentials from ‘Pass the Hash’ attacks using Credential Guard and Remote Credential Guard:
- Deploy Shielded Virtual Machines
- Device Guard, helps to control what runs on your server so that you can lock down highly sensitive servers and make sure your environment is running authorized code
- Manage privileged identity using ‘Just Enough’ administration.

Why the ‘cloud’? What is a hybrid cloud? Ask Synergy Software Systems, Dubai

September 19th, 2016

Buy or rent?. On premise or SaaS.? The answer to the questions, for enterprise computing, goes in cycles. When mainframe computing was at its peak, many organizations did not own such expensive machines outright and many companies rented processing time on these machines when needed, an arrangement known as time-sharing.
Moore’s law changed that. The era of mini — and then micro — computing made processing power so cheap that many organizations chose to own. As enterprise computing infrastructures became more complex, and the cost and difficulty of finding expert IT staff increases, so renting or subscription as it now called, has come back into vogue once more, in the form of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and cloud computing

The terms “cloud” and “data center” may sound like interchangeable technical jargon or trendy buzz words. A data centre is ideal for those companies that need a customized, dedicated system that gives them full control over their data and equipment. Typically those with many integrations, and uncertain internet connections, and an internal IT team will consider this route. Since only the one company will be using the infrastructure’s power, a data centre is suitable for organizations that run many different types of applications and complex workloads.

A data centre, however, has limited capacity — once you build a data centre, you will not be able to instantly change the amount of storage, or processing power to accommodate for example significant changes in workload and data processing. On the other hand, a cloud system is scalable to your business needs. It has potentially unlimited capacity, based on your vendor’s offerings and service plans. When you are looking at big data processing for predictive analytics, of have high day end or seasonal workloads, then the ability to ramp up and down is important to avoid oversizing. For project based companies both the number of user licences required, and the processing power may vary from year to year. For a rapidly expanding company hardware and server room expansion and management is a challenge on premise.

In a recent IDC (International Data Corporation) Multi-Client Study, CloudView 2016) respondents to the survey said that they expect to increase their cloud spending by approximately 44% over the next two years, and 70% of heavy cloud users are thinking in terms of a “hybrid” cloud strategy.

The idea of a hybrid cloud is to get the best of on-premise deployment by leveraging cloud services. Some work is done on premise, some on the cloud e.g. BI or payment gateway. A combination of both public and private platforms, a hybrid cloud is meant to provide organizations with greater IT and infrastructure flexibility, as well as visibility and control over their cloud usage. The result should be that a, hybrid cloud enables business agility, including streamlined operations and improved cost management.

Sounds good but what does it all mean and what are the challenges? First let’s review some of the basics concepts.

Public Cloud
A public cloud is one in which the services and infrastructure are provided off-site, over the Internet. Data centre hardware is not owned by clients and so you face no capital expenses. Instead, providers sell hosting as a ‘utility’ or rental service. Providers offer maintenance, disaster recovery and backup, however basic this may be. This is typically a multi-tenant software solution. Individual company data sits in separate blocks in a common clustered hardware. Data for individual organisations is kept separate and protected with robust security. Breaches of data with a reliable provider are rare. However, some security standards are not suitable for very sensitive data, rigorous audit trails or industry-specific compliance.

A Public cloud is y used to host web servers or develop applications. It is attractive to small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) when they are happy to use out-of-the-box menu specifications. Virtual machines are configured quickly – often within hours. Some SaaS (Software as a Service) services are placed within a public cloud when they have high levels of built-in security.

Private Cloud
A private cloud is one in which the services and infrastructure are maintained on a private network. It operates on an isolated network and is extremely secure. It keeps data behind a firewall and is built either on-premise or in a ring-fenced section of a data centre. A Private cloud is a single tenant solution, with the hardware accessed by one, or multiple businesses. It’s an ideal solution for enterprise organisations or specialist firms with high levels of security and compliance. Clients generally maintain their own cloud system and own their hardware.

Security and compliance on private cloud is configured to meet compliance standards. Private cloud systems cost much more than public cloud and re-configuring is more complex and lengthy.

Hybrid Cloud
Hybrid cloud uses public and private cloud for different elements of computing. Only some elements will require high security and customisation but others will not. Hybrid cloud offers private cloud for sensitive data but keeps non-sensitive, generic data (e.g. customer literature) in a cheaper public cloud environment. Hybrid cloud is usually hosted by different cloud providers – one for public and one for private. Hybrid cloud benefits companies who experience seasonal spikes so extra computing power is deployed quickly and cheaply in public cloud while keeping sensitive information in its private cloud.

A Hybrid cloud is the biggest growth area in cloud computing for enterprise businesses. As servers become ‘smarter’, hybrid cloud is estimated to represent 75% of future enterprise cloud computing.

A Hybrid cloud does not mean failover to onsite, for which a failover solution or a clustered install is needed and the failover can be to any other site whether local, remote or on cloud. Nor does hybrid mean offline working on premise option.

IBM’s Institute for Business Value (IBV) polled more than 1,000 C-level executives to reveal that 78% of respondents deploy a cloud initiative that is fully integrated or coordinated — an increase from 34% in 2012. Enterprises may be embracing the cloud, but they are not yet fully invested in a cloud-only strategy. Across 18 industries, 45% of workloads are expected to remain on-premise in the near future.

A hybrid cloud deployment is a collaboration of public cloud, private cloud and traditional IT platforms that allow enterprises to customize a cloud solution that meets the particular needs of their company. The top motivating factors for adopting hybrid cloud solutions, according to the IBM study, include lowering the total cost of ownership, facilitating innovation, improving efficiency and meeting customer expectations.

Among the companies that embrace cloud computing, 76% responded that they were able to expand into new industries, 71% created new revenue sources and 69% supported new business models.

Security remains a concern, however, and has become a hurdle for companies and a deterrent from fully investing in the cloud. Nearly half of respondents expressed that security and compliance risks are a challenge in IBM’s study, while 41% of respondents expressed that the cost of the cloud was a deterrent and 38% feared a disruption to company operations by introducing a new cloud solution.

When survey respondents are segmented by performance, IBM concludes that twice as many high performers have fully integrated their cloud initiatives compared to low performers.

Nati Shalom, recently discussed in his post Achieving Hybrid Cloud Without Compromising On The Least Common Denominator, a survey that demonstrates that enterprises these days are often leveraging as many as six clouds simultaneously, and the list just keeps on growing with new technologies sprouting up by the minute. IT markets are not just moving to the cloud — they are moving to ‘clouds’,” said Ed Anderson, research vice president and Sid Nag, research director at Gartner in their report: “Market Trends: Cloud Adoption Trends Favor Public Cloud With a Hybrid Twist,” published August 4, 2016. “Evidence is mounting that as organizations mature in their usage of cloud services they are opting to use multiple cloud services, bound together through hybrid implementations.”

That’s why solutions like the Azure Stack, that are also geared towards multi-cloud scenerios in the context of app migration to the cloud from traditional data centers, especially while taking all of the enterprise-grade considerations involved in such a transition into account, are critical.

Many solutions don’t provide the extensibility and interoperability that enterprises need for future-proofing, application deployment portability among other popular use cases across clouds. Hybrid cloud itself has also has proven that it isn’t immune to future proofing with disruptive technologies arising every day

Azure users now have a set of building blocks for managing the entire application stack and its lifecycle, across clouds, stacks and technologies. And with Microsoft now having the most open source developers on GitHub, yup – ahead of Facebook, Angular, and even Docker – Azure is uniquely positioned to achieve this level of openness and interoperability.
This will also ultimately provide a higher degree of flexibility that allows users to define their own level of abstraction per use case or application. In this manner, cloud portability is achievable without the need to change the underlying code, enabling true hybrid cloud.

Fifty-five percent of CIOs surveyed by Gartner indicated that by 2020 they will structure more than half of their applications as SaaS or manage them in a public cloud infrastructure. To manage and govern public, private and hybrid cloud services requires a focus on cloud management. This, in turn, requires new roles, processes and technologies.

Key Employee roles for the Hybrid cloud
Database professionals to filter out business critical data from the data overload we have today. A Big Data Foundationprofessional will be familiar with – Hadoop and MongoDB.
Software developers no longer just push code, they are pivotal to the user experience and thus the user adoption of cloud solutions.
Information security managers must appreciate the risks involved with business data and discuss this across the organization (at all levels) to align key stakeholders in positions to invest in and implement security measures.
Enterprise architects. Today solution architects, need the skills to adapt to cloud computing and hybrid cloud environments. Companies want to avoid working with ad hoc systems implementations, and architects who understand cloud computing and all its service models are in high demand. to design a scalable and sustainable cloud infrastructure which optimizes the use of private and public cloud.
Business managers working in the cloud need to understand how the technical infrastructure supports the business strategy get the benefits of cloud computing to drive their objectives.

Microsoft’s Hybrid cloud blog:

If you are considering how the cloud can benefit your business then contact us to explore the many options.

Find out out about the new integrated Dynamics 365 offerings. e.g.
Ask about specific vertical solutions like Synergy MMS for hotel facility management, or 7 Medical HIS and imaging solutions
Host your applications in a secure managed cloud – with both fixed price or based on use billing.
Monitor your on site global networks with cloud based monitoring systems.
Use Cortana Analytics and Power BI to turn data into information.
Back up to the cloud.
Skype Business
and much, much more.

Dynamics Ax – Post Implementation reviews, audits, health checks, performance tuning.

September 14th, 2016

Synergy regularly undertakes reviews of Dynamics Ax projects, often to turnaround failing projects.

One of the benefits of a Dynamics AX Health Check service by Synergy Software Systems is that as an experienced and multi certified partner partner we see many different clients. Our long term relationships with Microsoft -since 1993 – and 14 years of working with Dynamics Ax -since v 2.5 Axapta gives us depth of relevant experience. We’re also on top of how Dynamics AX interacts with the Microsoft stack technology and we can leverage that experience and for our clients

We’ve of course see a wide variety of issues and situations but there are many common issues we can quickly pinpoint which means we can usually deliver quick wins.

As a consultant with more than 12 years of AX experience, and 30 plus years of erp experience across more than 40 countries I’ve come across many operational and technical challenges, that other people haven’t had the time or the opportunity to see. I spent my first year in consultancy devising a suite of audit methodologies, tools and checklists, and for several years was kept fully occupied with reviews of global company erp systems. So there are things that I would know to check in your system that may not be obvious and often a minor configuration policy change has significant impact on how a system per4forms in support of a business process.

Setting the standard

How do you know whether your system is running well, or as well as it should do? Who or what are you comparing against?
A consultant performing a Health Check will explore things like:
◾Are your batches running appropriately?
◾Have you allocated enough resources to that have?
◾Have you looked at your security within AX?
◾Have you looked at your event logs to see what is happening?
◾How are you deploying code?
◾ Are your licenses appropriate
◾ Is your system patching up to date
◾ What maintenance routines are in place?
◾ Are initial default settings no longer appropriate as the numbers of users or transactions and history data increases?
◾ Are there unused system features?
◾ Is there timely month end close?
◾ Does financial data reconcile tot he sub ledgers?
and much, much more.

What don’t you know?

There are many different areas that are reviewed during your Dynamics AX Health Check and it is meant to be more of an overall system-wide analysis, not just how is SQL doing or what are your queries doing?

All companies change over time, they open new branches, their staff changes, their customer base and products evolve. The regulatory and statutory requirements change, and technology offers new ways of working.

With a Health Check, another set of eyes will review and recommend. Sometime you are so close to a problem you can live with it and not notice how it is deteriorating.

Identify performance and operational risks, downtime. The true value of a Dynamics AX Health Check by an experienced resource is the potential for increased productivity from your team and a system that operates at maximum performance.

Learn more about a Dynamics AX Health Check or Performance review for your company.

Financial challenges -new regulatory requirements

September 7th, 2016

Financial institutions in particular are affected by several new standards issued by the IASB and FASB that require replacing the current incurred-loss models with expected-loss accounting for financial instruments. It’s one of the most significant rules changes in financial standards..

It’s a lot of work for a company’s lean financial reporting group to adopt on top of VAT introduction within the next 12 months. Most companies are behind schedule with plans to adopt the new revenue recognition standards despite a one-year delay in the effective date that FASB and the IASB announced last year. This is a concern because many will need systems change and as well as process re-engineering and staff retraining.

Most companies have competing priorities. Number one, they’re trying to run a business Theyhave the annual reporting period and the quarterly reporting periods, month end close, budget cycles, and financial auditors etc. to cope with. Meanwhile with a tough economy collections and cash management are immediate priorities. Many are constrained by human resources, or lack financial resources. This is where proven systems, built on familiar platforms, and cloud based can reduce up front implementation and support costs and reduce the dependency on acquiring expertise that is in short supply.

So many companies and their leaders, particularly the CFO are somewhat overwhelmed right now. Economic uncertainty and disruptive changes to technology and business models require agile business with dynamic forecasting and frequent rebudgetting, micro cost control in a world of ever stricter compliance. Flexible systems with automated processes are essential.

First things first. Revenue recognition is a standard whose implementation date is coming up first, and for many companies, it may be the most challenging of the three standards to implement. Start and more important finish your revenue recognition assessment. This is a process that while led by i finance should also involve process-focused and IT-focused personnel so that a company can come to a conclusion collectively on what changes need to be made to systems and processes.
By year end affected companies need to finish that process of collecting the information and need to design the changes they need to their systems and processes. That will give them 6- 12 months to design and implement those systems and processes.
Tax The new revenue recognition rules and the introduction of VAT will require tax-compliance processes, which may also need a review of transfer pricing.
Examine your current lease structure.
As companies begin their lease accounting implementation, they need a project plan. based on an understanding of what is the current lease environment], a centralized FA system, or subsidiaries that may maintain multiple [systems] that have to be aggregated? What is the level of data in the system?

Companies generally are not having much trouble identifying contracts and collecting data from their real estate portfolios because real estate usually involves large sums of currency managed under an existing system,.
But the data being captured for real estate leasing often don’t incorporate the terms or data needed to help account for the leases in the future. Leases for items such as copiers, computers, equipment, and auto fleets often are managed offline in a spreadsheet, Chances are, there are terms in the lease contract that aren’t being captured in current systems
As a result, extracting data from lease contracts can be a challenge.

Be mindful of debt covenants.
The lease accounting standard will bring new liabilities onto company balance sheets, it has the potential to affect debt covenants that may be based on debt-to-equity ratios. Bankers may seek to adjust debt covenants to allow for the reduction in net-worth ratios. Companies should have a discussion with their bankers as soon as possible about the impact of the standard on the balance sheet.

Multinationals may have dual solution to credit losses. The expected credit loss standards in IFRS 9, Financial Instruments, and FASB’s recently issued standards are not converged and use different models to measure impairment.
IFRS 9 takes effect for annual periods beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2018; for SEC filers, FASB’s expected credit loss standard will take effect for fiscal years and interim periods within those fiscal years beginning after Dec. 15, 2019.

Multinational banks may wish to expedite their assessment of the FASB standard to take advantage of work they are already doing for the IASB implementation, The costs of regulatory compliance with Basel II and Basel III and FATCA etc. are very high for this whole sector, and where they can find efficiencies and scalability, I would think that’s in the interest of the banks.

Potential efficiencies may cause banks to adopt the FASB standard early, but they won’t be able to begin reporting under the standards at the same time. FASB’s early adoption period begins for fiscal years and interim periods beginning after Dec. 15, 2018—nearly a year after the IASB standard is required to be adopted.

CPM and Reporting tools, workflows, and automation, are going to be increasingly important.

Fast accurate year end close, streamlined budgets, Prophix CPM with dynamics Ax webinar

September 7th, 2016

Stop relying on spreadsheets and start automating your budgeting, forecasting, and reporting. It is time to take your Dynamics ERP to the next level with a CPM (Corporate Performance Management) solution. Visualize real-time data to track your business’s performance in real-time.

Join this webinar to learn how your role in Finance can make better sense of the abundance of data from Dynamics and all other data sources (ex. CRM, HR System, etc.) to have a faster year end close and offer valuable insight into your company to make strategic decisions that boost financial performance.

The webinar will explore:

-How to integrate Dynamics and all other data sources
-How to supercharge Dynamics NAV/GP/AX with advanced budgeting, reporting and forecasting
-How to save time, money and resources by automating your budgeting process
-How to close out your year-end faster

See a live demo of Prophix CPM software in action.

Suprecharge Ax financial year end close with Prophix

Dynamics CRM and AdxStudio from Synergy Software Systems, Dubai

September 5th, 2016

Adx Studio overview
Adxstudio Portals supercharges Dynamics® CRM into an interactive, web-based sales, services, support and social engagement application platform.
Transform your customer web experience with Adxstudio Portals.
Learn how Adxstudio Portals can help extend your Microsoft Dynamics CRM to the web with powerful, easy-to-build, self-service portals for retail, government, vendors, partners, conferences, and much more.

- Build Powerful, Secure, Self-Service Portals
- Create Content Rich Websites Published with Integrated CMS
- Optimized for Desktop, Tablet and Mobile Devices