Archive for November, 2016

AzureExpress Route for fast secure connection to Dynamics 365 Operations

November 24th, 2016

Azure ExpressRoute support for Dynamics 365 for Operations deployments on Microsoft Azure.

ExpressRoute lets customers connect their on-premises infrastructure to Azure data centers using a dedicated, private connection that’s: highly available, highly reliable, and with a low latency that is supported with a published 99.95% financially-backed SLA.


This new AzureExpress Route offering addresses my of our concerns about how to connect business applications to cloud services over the public Internet with minimal latency while ensuing for data privacy and privacy and security perspective. It removes concern about inconsistent connectivity, local infrastructure, or high latency, especially for emerging global markets.

Once configured, in addition to connecting to Dynamics 365 for Operations, customers can also connect to a variety of other applications: Office 365, supported Azure services including virtual machines and cloud services deployed in virtual networks, Azure Websites, Azure Active Directory, Key Vault, Visual Studio Team Services, the IoT Hub, and the Cortana Intelligence Suite.

Extend your on-premises networks into the Microsoft cloud over a dedicated private connection facilitated by a connectivity provider. Connectivity can be from an any-to-any (IP VPN) network, a point-to-point Ethernet network, or a virtual cross-connection through a connectivity provider at a co-location facility.

Key benefits include:+
• Layer 3 connectivity between an on-premises network and the Microsoft Cloud through a connectivity provider.
Connectivity from: any-to-any (IPVPN) network, a point-to-point Ethernet connection, or through a virtual cross-connection via an Ethernet exchange.
• Connectivity to Microsoft cloud services across all regions in the geopolitical region.
• Global connectivity to Microsoft services across all regions with ExpressRoute premium add-on.
• Dynamic routing between your network and Microsoft over industry standard protocols (BGP).
• Built-in redundancy in every peering location for higher reliability.
• Connection uptime SLA.
• QoS and support for multiple classes of service for special applications, such as Skype for Business

You can create a connection between your on-premises network and the Microsoft cloud in three different ways:
Co-located at a cloud exchange
When you are co-located in a facility with a cloud exchange, order virtual cross-connections to the Microsoft cloud through the co-location provider’s Ethernet exchange. Co-location providers offer either Layer 2 cross-connections, or managed Layer 3 cross-connections between your infrastructure in the co-location facility and the Microsoft cloud.

Point-to-point Ethernet connections
You can connect your on-premises datacenters/offices to the Microsoft cloud through point-to-point Ethernet links. Point-to-point Ethernet providers can offer Layer 2 connections, or managed Layer 3 connections between your site and the Microsoft cloud.

Any-to-any (IPVPN) networks
Integrate your WAN with the Microsoft cloud. IPVPN providers (typically MPLS VPN) offer any-to-any connectivity between your branch offices and datacenters. The Microsoft cloud can be interconnected to your WAN to make it look just like any other branch office. WAN providers typically offer managed Layer 3 connectivity. ExpressRoute capabilities and features are all identical across all of the above connectivity models.

ExpressRoute supports the following features and capabilities: +
Layer 3 connectivity
Microsoft uses industry standard dynamic routing protocol (BGP) to exchange routes between your on-premises network, your instances in Azure, and Microsoft public addresses. Establish multiple BGP sessions with your network for different traffic profiles.

Redundancy
Each ExpressRoute circuit consists of two connections to two Microsoft Enterprise edge routers (MSEEs) from the connectivity provider / your network edge. Microsoft will require dual BGP connection from the connectivity provider / your side – one to each MSEE. You can choose not to deploy redundant devices / Ethernet circuits at your end. However, connectivity providers use redundant devices to ensure that your connections are handed off to Microsoft in a redundant manner. A redundant Layer 3 connectivity configuration is a requirement for our SLA to be valid.

Connectivity to Microsoft cloud services
ExpressRoute provides private network connectivity to Microsoft cloud services. Infrastructure and platform services running in Azure often benefit by addressing network architecture and performance considerations. Therefore we recommend enterprises use ExpressRoute for Azure.

Software as a Service offerings, like Office 365 and Dynamics 365, were created to be accessed securely and reliably via the Internet. Therefore, we only recommend ExpressRoute for these applications in specific scenarios.

Important
Using ExpressRoute to access Azure is recommended for all enterprises.

ExpressRoute connections enable access to the following services:
• Microsoft Azure services
• Microsoft Office 365 services
• Microsoft CRM Online services

Connectivity to all regions within a geopolitical region
Cc=onnect to Microsoft in a peering location and have access to all regions within the geopolitical region.+
For example when connected to Microsoft in Amsterdam through ExpressRoute, you will have access to all Microsoft cloud services hosted in Northern Europe and Western Europe.

Global connectivity with ExpressRoute premium add-on
Enable the ExpressRoute premium add-on feature to extend connectivity across geopolitical boundaries. For example, when you are connected to Microsoft in Amsterdam through ExpressRoute, you will have access to all Microsoft cloud services hosted in all regions across the world (national clouds are excluded). You can access services deployed in South America or Australia the same way you access the North and West Europe regions.

Connectivity to national clouds
Microsoft operates isolated cloud environments for special geopolitical regions and customer segments.

Supported bandwidth options
You can purchase ExpressRoute circuits for a wide range of bandwidths. The list of supported bandwidths is listed below.
• 50 Mbps
• 100 Mbps
• 200 Mbps
• 500 Mbps
• 1 Gbps
• 2 Gbps
• 5 Gbps
• 10 Gbps

You have the ability to increase the ExpressRoute circuit bandwidth (on a best effort basis) without having to tear down your connections.

Flexible billing models
You can pick a billing model that works best for you.
Unlimited data. The ExpressRoute circuit is charged based on a monthly fee, and all inbound and outbound data transfer is included free of charge.
Metered data. The ExpressRoute circuit is charged based on a monthly fee. All inbound data transfer is free of charge. Outbound data transfer is charged per GB of data transfer. Data transfer rates vary by region.
ExpressRoute premium add-on. The ExpressRoute premium is an add-on over the ExpressRoute circuit. The ExpressRoute premium add-on provides the following capabilities:
Increased route limits for Azure public and Azure private peering from 4,000 routes to 10,000 routes.
Global connectivity for services. An ExpressRoute circuit created in any region (excluding national clouds) will have access to resources across any other region in the world. For example, a virtual network created in West Europe can be accessed through an ExpressRoute circuit provisioned in Silicon Valley.
Increased number of VNet links per ExpressRoute circuit from 10 to a larger limit, depending on the bandwidth of the circuit.

Dynamics 365 – Customer Service at its best

November 23rd, 2016

Take a tour of the Service area in Dynamics 365 and step through a few of the most common activities like creating a case, finding similar cases to draw solutions from, and adding notes so that everything that is said and done is tracked. All the details are stored in Dynamics 365 where all your team everyone can have access to relevant information.

Microsoft Dynamics Ax 2012 R3 CU12 release – ask Synergy Software Systems, Dubai.

November 22nd, 2016

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 CU12 is available to our customers for download on Lifecycle Services. Cumulative Update 12 build number is 6.3.5000.138.

Contact us to learn more about the latest changes which include a new module, Cortana Intelligence services management, that allows you to integrate to the Microsoft Cognitive services – Recommendations API right from within Dynamics AX, without have to learn data science or big data technologies.

These are some of the other enhancements we particularly like:

– The Data Import/Export Framework (DIXF) is enhanced with multi-threading

- The changes in this hotfix include support for printing reports in HTML5 format. This functionality was introduced in Reporting Services 2016. This hotfix adds a new HTML5 file output option, which is available when the Reporting Services version supports it.

- To provide more visibility of the Invoice register voucher, after the invoice is approved, an additional column that is labeled Registered voucher is added to the Vendor transactions form. This column appears after the Voucher column. Data is entered in it when Ledger voucher changes exist for the voucher. This change is applicable only when KB 3097024 is loaded.

- All pending Vendor invoices are now included on the list page, regardless of their save status.

- A user can also now recover invoices that were put in the active state by users who are no longer signed in.

- Payment schedules did not work correctly when manually updated or partially invoiced. This has been addressed with a new check box , named ‘Copy precisely to invoice’.

- There is enhanced support for Support for automated depreciation runs across legal entities.
there are many enhancements in Retail and MPOS.

- Planning BOM levels are now calculated in separate threads.

– The processing performance of BOM level calculations is improved.

- Issue margin is now considered in the calculation of ship dates whenever explosion is run, even during CTP
calculation.

- Users can now override the expected delivery date on the planned order without affecting the re0quired date on the PO Requisition.

- A new option to Search for a purchase agreement is added to the Dropship workbench form. When this option is selected, the system looks for existing purchase agreements when purchase orders are created for the direct delivery.

- To prevent planned orders from being scheduled in the past, regardless of how MRP is set up in terms of futures messages, select the ‘Ensure that planned orders are not created prior to master planning run date’ check box on the master plan that is to be run.

- When running regeneration mrp safety stock demand will be the last type of demand that is fulfilled.

You can now backflush material, that is not reserved, from the production input location, provided that the product backflushing is set to FEFO.

- Changes to packing slip processing improve the posting performance of packing slips for sales orders.

– In Enterprise Portal requisitions, validation logic is added to make sure that only available vendors i.e. approved Vendors appear in the lookup. The behavior resembles the behavior for purchase requisitions in the rich client.

– A new work policy prevents the creation of warehouse work for raw material picking and put-away of finished goods for a set of products at specific locations.

- You can now reverse loads when the shipment is confirmed and therefore enabled. Therefore, you can change loads up until the actual shipment. You can also cancel packing slip updates for sales orders and product receipts for purchase orders. Therefore, you can reverse loads even after these updates have been completed.

in the On Hand form an additional column is added to show the available physical inventory on the exact dimensions that are shown. When some dimensions in the reservation hierarchy are missing, a warning icon appears as a notification that the value in the new field cannot be calculated.

- The speed of response is improved when users open Microsoft Dynamics AX projects from Microsoft Project.

– You can now consolidate the content of different License Plates into one LP. The work that is associated with the LPs will be merged.

For detailed information on Microsoft Dynamics Ax 2012 R3 CU12 release, please refer to the release notes official KB document KB3199741

Please note, as happened for AX 2012 R3 CU10 and CU11, the application version will show a different number of: 6.3.5000.133 if you apply CU12 to an existing install of Ax2012 R3. This is due to all the individual models that are applied to your system through the CU12 install. The one model indicating all models for CU12 has been applied has version number 6.3.5000.133.

Use a slipstream process as detailed in the Installation guide tog et a single full model applied for CU12 with build number 6.3.5000.138. The Slipstream build is only available from the LCS updates tile. The version of your binary files will also have build number 6.3.5000.138 listed.

To learn about known issues in cumulative update 12, log into LCS and in the Issue search box, enter “CU12 known issue” as the query for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3.

- Both Microsoft SQL Server 2016 Standard Edition, and Enterprise Edition are supported with AX 2012 R3 CU 12.
– Master Data Management (MDM) is currently supported with SQL Server 2016.
– Microsoft Office 2016 is now supported with AX 2012 R3 CU 12.
- Both Microsoft Edge and Chrome browser are supported since cumulative update 11 for AX 2012 R3 and cumulative update 9 for AX 2012 R2 with KB 3198005
- SQL Server 2014 Service Pack 2  is supported with the following updates:
– Cumulative update 11 for AX 2012 R3
– Cumulative update 9 for AX2012 R2

Security and data privacy – vigilance needed more than ever

November 19th, 2016

The personal details of millions who signed up to a sex hook-up website in the past 20 years have been exposed in one of the largest ever data breaches.
The email addresses and passwords of 412 million accounts have been leaked after the meet-up website AdultFriendFinder and sister sites were hacked. At least 5.2 million UK email addresses were stolen in the breach, which also included the date of last visit, browser information, some purchasing patterns.
AdultFriendFinder describes itself as “one of the world’s largest sex hook-up” websites, with more than 40 million active users. The hack, against its parent company Friend Finder Networks, also involved data from Cams.com, a live video sex site, and Penthouse.com, an internet porn site that was sold in February.

The attack, occurred in October and is one of the biggest on record, following closely behind Yahoo, which recently reported the loss of half a billion users’ details. It eclipses last year’s Ashley Madison hack, in which the personal information and sexual preferences of 37 million people were exposed.

The passwords and usernames were stored in a way that is easily decoded, meaning 99 per cent of those stolen were legible to the hackers either in plain visible format or SHA1 hashed. Neither method is considered secure.

The stolen data included the details of 15 million accounts that had been deleted by the users but remained on the company’s servers.

Companies still tend to underestimate the risks related to web applications, and consequently put their customers at huge risk. With this breach of 400 million accounts expect a domino effect of smaller data breaches with password reuse and spear-phishing.  

Don’t re-use passwords. One ultra-secure one won’t be any good if someone finds it
While combining upper and lower case passwords with numbers to alter a memorable word – M4raD0na – is often advised, these are more easily cracked than you might think
Good advice is to make a memorable, unusal sentence: “I am a 7-foot tall metal giant” is better than “My name is John”, and use the first letter of each word with punctuation: “Iaa7-ftmg”
The best way to protect yourself is to use two-factor authentication, which will send a text with a code or use an app to verify your log-in.

The aim of spear phishing is to trick people into handing over sensitive information, such as card or login details, with an email that appears to be from a person or business they know and trust.
It is more targeted than phishing, which is when emails are sent out that contain either links or attachments that either take you to a website that looks like your bank’s, or installs malware on your system.
A report by Verizon into data breach investigations has shown that 23% of people admit to having opened phishing emails.
Many phishing attacks come from East Europe so be very suspicious is you see RTU in the email address domain.

The bank or will never phone you for your PIN or password.
They don’t send you mails form a hotmail account.
No company will send someone to your home to collect financial information or your bank card. Neither will they ask you transfer money to a new account – even if only for fraud reasons
No business or individual needs to know your personal financial information – including the bank or the police. Do not disclose your PIN, password or personal details unless you are sure of who you are talking to
Do not assume a caller is genuine if they know personal details about you. This could have been garnered elsewhere or pieced together through other means or email and may be trying to gather more information such as answers to security questions.

When you receive an email asking you to check your account manually type the company’s website into your browser rather than clic on a link that could take you to a fake version of the site

SQL 2016 Sp1- this is a big deal – Synergy Software Systems

November 19th, 2016

In addition to a consistent programmability experience across all editions.

SQL Server 2016 SP1 also introduces all the supportability and diagnostics improvements first introduced in SQL 2014 SP2, as well as new improvements and fixes centered around performance, supportability, programmability and diagnostics based on the learnings and feedback from customers and SQL community.

SQL Server 2016 SP1 also includes all the fixes up to SQL Server 2016 RTM CU3 including Security Update MS16–136.

SQL editions have traditionally been differentiated by features- this meant that essential features for day to day database use were not present in express or standard versions. Our view is that this is not desirable and that ther is core set of features needed in all editions, and that differentiation should be more about hardware size and resource supported.

Well Sql 2016 sp1 now brings us close to that wish so its a really big deal for the SMB and mid market customer.

Once you have an application using SQL Server 2016 Standard Edition, you can just do an Edition Upgrade to Enterprise Edition to get even more scalability and performance, and take advantage of the higher license limits in Enterprise Edition. You will also get the intrinsic performance benefits that are present in Enterprise Edition.

The table compares the list of features which were only available in Enterprise edition, which are now enabled in Standard, Web, Express, and LocalDB editions with SQL Server 2016 SP1. This consistent programmatically surface area allows developers and ISVs to develop and build applications leveraging the following features which can be deployed against any edition of SQL Server installed in the customer environmen

This is a bold move by Microsoft, and should increase Standard sales, and customer satisfaction, without cannibalizing Enterprise sales. Standard Edition customers can use these features both to consolidate their codebases and, in many scenarios, build solutions that offer better performance.

There are many of new features available across all editions of SP1.
There still differences in Enterprise:

Availability features like: online operations, piecemeal restore, and fully functional Availability Groups (e.g. read-only replicas) are still Enterprise only.

Performance features like parallelism still don’t work in Express Edition (or LocalDB).

Automatic indexed view usage without NOEXPAND hints, and high-end features like hot-add memory/CPU, will continue to be available only in Enterprise.

Operational features like: Resource Governor, Extensible Key Management (EKM), and Transparent Data Encryption will remain Enterprise Edition only.

Others, like Backup Encryption, Backup Compression, and Buffer Pool Extension, will continue to work in Standard, but will still not function in Express.

SQL Server Agent is still unavailable in Express and LocalDB. As a result, , Change Data Capture will not work. Cross-server Service Broker also remains unavailable in these editions.

In-Memory OLTP and PolyBase are supported in Express, but ere unavailable in LocalDB.

Virtualization Rights haven’t changed and are still much more valuable in Enterprise Edition with Software Assurance.

Resource limits on the lower level editions remain the same. The upper memory limit in Standard Edition, is still 128 GB (while Enterprise Edition is now 24 TB).

I feel that Standard Edition is expensive enough that its memory limits should never be so dangerously close to the upper bound of a well-equipped laptop and maybe we should expect the limit to increase at least with each new version. If you when you are on Standard Edition and scale is required, then you can now use many Enterprise features across multiple Standard Edition boxes or instances, instead of trying to scale up.

All the newly introduced Trace flags with SQL Server 2016 SP1 are documented and can be found at http://aka.ms/traceflags.

SP1 contains a roll-up of solutions provided in SQL Server 2016 cumulative updates up to and including the latest Cumulative Update – CU3 and Security Update MS16–136 released on November 8th, 2016. Therefore, there is no reason to wait for SP1 CU1 to ‘catch–up‘ with SQL Server 2016 CU3 content.

The SQL Server 2016 SP1 installation may require reboot post installation

25 years in Dubai – Synergy Software Systems.

November 17th, 2016

Our official 25th Anniversary today.

It started well with this appreciation message from a Finance Director of major local hotel g following another successful project

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the Wonderful trainng and support you have provided for Sunsystem upgrade and to make the system live without error”
Of course we regularly receive praise from clients for our Susystems teams delivery and support -go with Synergy and sleep at night” but it was all the more special to receive it on our anniversary.

Then followed a meeting with a senior IT manger from the Dubai government Protocol department who similarly praised our CRM team.

At midday the staff gathered to mark the occasion. Dubai has changed a lot in the last 25 years – no Internet City, no Marina, no Emirates Mall Dubai Mall, Festival city, no Burj Al Arab or Burj Khalifa, and few roads, or road signs, no metro, no parking meters! For a bright eyed young girl from India who did not speak Arabic, to come here and set up then was a daunting challenge, but for anyone who has met Jennifer will know her mettle. They will also know the inspiration she gives others and the staff showed their appreciation with a surprise presentation of an elegant watch.

So here we are twenty five years on, and the company has grown and diversified and has an enviable client base of international companies, regional groups and Government offices. In a rapidly world of Brexit, Trump, cloud, Blockchain, Social media, political tensions, global warming and an International Dubai, what will the next 25 years bring? Well the last 25 years brought a few grey hairs and extra kilos and many fond memories and friendships, and we face the next 25 years with the same enthusiasm and principles to guide us.
And she is still bright eyed and ready to take on the world.

Project Service Automation for Microsoft Dynamics 365

November 13th, 2016

The project service automation capabilities for Microsoft Dynamics 365 empower organizations to bring people, process and technology together to deliver on-time, on-budget professional engagements. Project management tools help you to:
- Effectively estimate work
- Forecast resource requirements when projects are in the pipeline
- Enable team members to collaborate on projects and maintain current and accurate project status at all times
- Proactively identify and resolve potential threats to the success of each and every engagement.

– Provide work estimates for a project during the sales process (Project Service Automation)
- Create a project (Project Service Automation)
– Schedule a project with a work breakdown structure (Project Service Automation)
- Determine project cost and revenue estimates (Project Service Automation)
- Track project progress and cost (Project Service Automation)
- Create a project template (Project Service Automation)
- Submit resource requests (Project Service Automation)
- Create an Office 365 Group for a project (Project Service Automation)
- Add documents to a project (Project Service Automation)
- Track a project’s status (Project Service Automation)
- View project team members and manage bookings (Project Service Automation)
- View and edit project estimates (Project Service Automation)
- Approve time and expenses (Project Service Automation)
- Review project actuals (Project Service Automation)
- View and send invoices (Project Service Automation)
- View dashboards and reports (Project Service Automation)

There are 2 primary options/for Professional/Project Services Automation in Dynamics 365.

OPTION 1: A Fully integrated PSA solution within Dynamics 365 for Operations. This is the fully integrated Enterprise ERP solution that supports both project operational and financial automations, all within one solution.
Project operational processes such as project management, project accounting, end to end project procurement and end to end project sales & distribution, and seiban manufacturing are fully supported in this. For those who are familiar with Dynamics 365 for Operation (Known as New Dynamics AX earlier), this is really the Project Management and Accounting module and it’s built in integration with the other modules of AX.

Traditionally customers always had to build integrate Dynamics AX with Dynamics CRM if they wanted to establish the seamless flow of customer and project data from Lead to Project delivery. Within Dynamics 365, the built in integration of Dynamics 365 for Operations and Dynamics 365 For Sales/Marketing is already off to a great start.

OPTION 2: Dynamics 365 For Project Service Automation service/solution, A stand alone solution which can be integrated with Dynamics Financials or any other financials solutions. This  supports key project service processes such as: project management, resourcing, project execution and billing up to some extent (Not Advanced Billing). This is the new version of the Project Service Module of Dynamics CRM online, for Dynamics 365.

Dynamics 365 Operations (AX) On-Premise Deployment Option – update

November 12th, 2016

In Q1 2016 Microsoft’s flagship Dynamics Ax ERP system now known as Dynamics 365 for Operations, (I will call it DMO 365) was re-built on and for the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.

This move to the cloud raises questions for existing on-premise clients and prospective new clients that are interested in maintaining an on-premise deployment of the application.

Microsoft previously committed to delivering an on-premise option in calendar year 2017, but hadn’t provided a lot of details around how they would deliver this model. It was clearly dependent on the yet to be released Azure technology stack which went into beta in July and into preview in September. This approach which was still being discussed in WPC at Toronto seemed to be to create a private cloud on premise. That approach raised a lot of issues, at least form us, and I am pleased to say has now been significantly revised, and is no longer dependent on the Azure technology stack, not on speclialised hardware.

The upcoming on-premise solution will not be a self-contained on-premise deployment like we’ve seen in the past. It will be a hybrid deployment, with components delivered both in the cloud and on-premise, that are designed to work together and to complement each other.

Microsoft believes that this approach will provide the best of both worlds – the control of an on-premise deployment, with the benefits of a cloud deployment in areas like: disaster recovery, and advanced intelligence capabilities.

So for organizations that are waiting for a pure, 100% on-premise solution, there is not current road map other than to stick with Ax 2012 R3 (which has an extended life).

This hybrid deployment model of Dynamics 365 Operations will start with a cloud component that is deployed on Azure in LCS. The application will provide the overall enterprise view, and will have built-in disaster recovery, and the use of the Cortana intelligence suite for machine learning and advanced intelligence. The customer can then also implement a component of Dynamics 365 Operations in to their own on-premise data center. This on-premise component – is currently being called “My Workspace” but may be renamed.

The previous vision for on-premise deployments was to leverage the “Azure Stack” which had very specific (and high-end) hardware requirements with limited vendor choice. (That was the reason given at Toronto WPC for the delay in release). With this new, deployment approach, that moves away from the need for the Azure Stack, this requirement has been removed.

So customers that have already invested in an IT infrastructure will still have that ability with DMO 365 . Someone will simply have to install Windows Server on the on-premise hardware, along with a Lifecycle Services (LCS) agent which will pull the container of code down from LCS to the local hardware.

The way we understand that this hybrid deployment will work is that each “Company” in Dynamics 365 Operations can be defined either to live entirely in the cloud, or to primarily be an on-premise company.

This distributed environment will all be invisible to the end user – users will simply connect to Dynamics 365 Operations, and the data will be replicated up into the cloud into the enterprise view.

The on-premise components will be designed to run offline, so should the connection to the cloud components breaks, then they can continue to run locally, and then the on-premise and cloud components will synchronize when the connection is re-established. This also opens many potential opportunities for field sales and services.

Specific examples that Microsoft give where this type of hybrid configuration could be desirable are:
• Retailers that need a local store server on-premise so that they can continue to process orders if the Internet is down.
• Manufacturing companies that have multiple plants, and may want to maximize system performance at some or all of their plants by having users connect to local hardware
• Distribution companies that may want the control of having their warehousing operations on-premise in their distribution centers
• Operations in countries or locations where Internet latency is a major problem
• Operations in countries that have data sovereignty laws where data must originate in-country as opposed to in a foreign country datacenter or in the cloud

In all of these cases, Dynamics 365 Operations will be able to run on hardware that is local to that entity. The transactions will happen on the local hardware, and will then replicate to the cloud.

This can be a 1:Many configuration for an organization that has a larger number of decentralized, on-premise, deployments around the world, that all replicate to the total enterprise view in the cloud.

This hybrid scenario will provide the ability to manage and to control the entire environment through Lifecycle Services (LCS). That includes the built-in telemetry and other components that assist with performance diagnostics and other management tools.

Components of an AX solution will be able to run on-premise. Christian Pedersen Dynamics 365 General Manager explained: “It’s clear we have considered using Azure Stack to run pure-Azure-based code in data centers. We’ve decide to allow you to adopt these components on premise without Azure Stack. If you decide to use Azure Stack, we will support that as well. We think that’s important for data center investments you’ve made.”

Pedersen, and the DMO 365 for Operations GM, Sri Srinivasan gave a range of reasons at the recent AXUG why they recognized that AX users may have a feel a need to have on-premise scenarios, including data sovereignty, regulatory compliance, and existing data center investments. He explained: “We want to bring the on-premise approach the benefits of the cloud. A benefit of the cloud is that updates are constant. And our cloud infrastructure will monitor many things and will discover and fix many things before anyone notices it. We want to bring the same services to deployments in your own data centers. And make anything running your data center an extension that works to a large degree as if it was running in the cloud.”
The idea with the hybrid model, Srinivasan said, is to allow organizations to “transact locally and scale globally.” He continued: “With this on-prem model it is a scale out solution that has long eluded us. It allows us to answer tough questions like how do I deal with the idea of a global sku? How do I buy something in the US and service it at a retail location [in another country]? Today that scenario would require a data warehouse, but [the new hybrid layout] can handle that scenario. We can use the right mix of on-prem and cloud to meet your needs.”

You can view their presentation here: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/92170675 start around the 30 min mark for the discussion of DMO 365 Workspaces on premise .Summary

• LCS will first be used to deploy the enterprise components in the cloud and to configure the architecture for the on-premise pieces.LCS will then containerize the bits of code that need to be pushed down to the on-premise servers.

• An LCS agent on the local hardware will pull down the container of code and deploy it on the local servers.

Microsoft will not be able introduce all erp capabilities at once. So expect a phased release. Some scenarios will require more complex or special handling because there is more involved than simple replication, particularly for processes like inventory reservations. The general timing guidelines are as follows, (which are all subject to change):
• Retail scenario – available today (2016)
• Manufacturing and warehousing scenarios – targeted for H1, CY2017
• Support for other ERP scenarios – TBD
• Licensing details for this model are expected to be available at some point in early 2017.

Office 365 – many tools

November 3rd, 2016

Office 365 and Dynamics 365 have many useful tools. Lets take a look at one or two:

Planner

Built-in intelligent assistance

Stay focused and work faster with smarter ways to find information or the feature you need.
Work smarter with the built-in Researcher

Add reliable sources to your documents with help from Researcher—the handy research assistant that helps you find and incorporate content related to your topic without leaving Word. Pull related material into your document with one click. Researcher automatically adds properly formatted citations and references to help you create a solid first draft in fewer steps.

Improve your writing with Editor

Editor is a built-in digital writing coach that helps you communicate your ideas with confidence—with intelligent guidance and suggestions for improving your writing style that expand over time.
Sharpen your skills with advanced, contextual editing, grammar, and style recommendations based on machine learning and natural language processing, to help bring out your best writing.

Find the right command in seconds with Tell Me
Find the feature you need in seconds—just type what you want to do in the intelligent “Tell me what you want to do” search box and go directly to the command you’re looking for.

Quickly get context on a term using Smart Lookup, and find help topics for features or commands.

PowerPoint Designer is an intelligent, built-in tool that helps you create high-quality slides in seconds.

– The Morph transition effect creates cinematic motion in one click, seamlessly animating between your slides.
- Use Zoom to easily create interactive, non-linear presentations.
- Present your ideas your way, in whatever order is best for your audience, with smooth, effortless navigation in and out of any slide.

Captivate your audience with Sway

Create and share dynamic presentations, reports, and personal stories with Sway.
- – Add multimedia to an online canvas that looks great on any device.
- Use the built-in design engine to bring your content together with beautiful styles, so you worry less about formatting and focus more on storytelling.
- Discover insights with data trends and patterns
- Excel one-click forecasting visually predicts trends based on history and seasonality.
- New charts, like Treemap, Sunburst, and Waterfall simplify and bring complex data to life.

Do more with digital ink
Streamline editing documents with digital inking.
Use your finger, pen, or stylus to annotate and highlight text.
Handwrite an equation in OneNote, and the Ink Math Assistant
not only converts it to text, but it also teaches you the steps to solve it.

- – Use Ink Replay to rewind and replay the sequence of mark-ups made by others to better understand their thought process.
With Ink Editor
, you can use ink intuitively to edit documents directly. Strike through words to delete them, circle text to select it, and automatically snap highlighter ink to text.

Microsoft Teams -see our previous post and watch Sathya’s presentation here :

Microsoft Teams – now available

November 3rd, 2016

Microsoft Teams—is a new chat-based workspace in Office 365.

Microsoft Teams brings together people, conversations and content—along with the tools that teams need.
Team members can easily collaborate to achieve more. Create a digital workspace for high performing teams

It’s naturally integrated with the familiar Office applications and is built from the ground up on the Office 365 global, secure cloud. Starting today, Microsoft Teams is available in preview in 181 countries and in 18 languages to commercial customers with Office 365 Enterprise or Business plans, with general availability expected in the first quarter of 2017.

Teams are now more agile and organizational structures more flat to keep communications and information flowing. A more open, digital environment that makes work visible, integrated and accessible—across the team—so everyone can stay in the know.

Chat for today’s teams
Microsoft Teams supports not only persistent but also threaded chats to keep everyone engaged. Team conversations are, by default, visible to the entire team, but there is of course the ability for private discussions. Skype is deeply integrated, so teams can participate in voice and video conferences.
Everyone can add personality to their digital workspace with emojis, stickers, GIFs and custom memes to make it their own.

A hub for teamwork
Microsoft Teams brings together the full breadth and depth of Office 365 to provide a true hub for teamwork.
Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, OneNote, Planner, Power BI and Delve are all built into Microsoft Teams so people have all the information and tools they need at their fingertips.

Backed by the Microsoft Graph, intelligent services are surfaced throughout the workspace to help with information relevancy, discovery and sharing.

Microsoft Teams is also built on Office 365 Groups—the cross-application membership service that makes it easy for people to move naturally from one collaboration tool to another, preserve their sense of context and share with others.

Customizable for each team
All teams are unique, and people can customize their workspace, with rich extensibility and open APIs available at general availability. For example, Tabs provides quick access to frequently used documents and cloud services.

Microsoft Teams shares the same Connector model as Exchange, to provide notifications and updates from third-party services like Twitter or GitHub.

There is full support for the Microsoft Bot Framework to bring intelligent first- and third-party services into a team environment.

The Microsoft Teams Developer Preview program, is now open and allows developers to extend Microsoft Teams.

Security teams trust
Finally, Microsoft Teams provides the advanced security and compliance capabilities of Office 365 customers expect.
Data is encrypted in transit and at rest. A transparent operational model with no standing access to customer data. Microsoft Teams will support key compliance standards including EU Model Clauses, ISO 27001, SOC 2, HIPAA and more., Microsoft Teams is served out of Microsoft’s hyper-scale global network of data centers, automatically provisioned within Office 365 and managed centrally, just as any other Office 365 service.

Microsoft Teams joins the Office 365 universal toolkit
Microsoft Teams joins the broadest and deepest portfolio of collaboration applications and services to help solve the diverse needs of people and organizations globally.

Among the 85 million active monthly users, all groups have a diverse set of needs
• Exchange is the undisputed leader in corporate email and according to Gartner has “80 percent share of companies using cloud email with revenue above $10 billion.”
• SharePoint provides intranets and content management solutions to more than 200,000 organizations and 190 million people.
• Yammer is the social network for work, enabling cross-company discussions for 85 percent of the Fortune 500.
• Skype for Business provides real-time voice, video and conferencing and hosts more than 100 million meetings a month.
• Office 365 Groups is our cross-application membership service that makes it easy for people to move naturally from one collaboration tool to another.

Frequently asked questions
Q. Which Office 365 plans will include Microsoft Teams?
A. Microsoft Teams is available to Office 365 commercial customers with one of the following plans: Business Essentials, Business Premium, and Enterprise E1, E3 and E5. Microsoft Teams will also be available to customers who purchased E4 prior to its retirement.
Q. What action do Office 365 IT admins need to take to access the preview of Microsoft Teams?
A. To turn on Microsoft Teams, IT admins should go to their Office 365 admin center, click Settings > Services & Add Ins > Microsoft Teams.
Q. When will Microsoft Teams roll out broadly to all eligible Office 365 customers?
A. Microsoft Teams is available in preview to eligible Office 365 commercial customers beginning November 2, 2016. We expect the service to become generally available in the first quarter of calendar year 2017.
Q. What platforms does Microsoft Teams support?
A. Microsoft Teams runs on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and web platforms.
Q. What level of security and compliance does Microsoft Teams support?
A. Microsoft Teams is expected to be Office 365 Tier C compliant at launch. This broad set of global compliance and data protection requirements includes ISO 27001, ISO 27018, EUMC, SOC 1 Type I & II, SOC 2 Type I and II, HIPAA and FERPA. Microsoft Teams also enforces two-factor authentication, single sign on through Active Directory and encryption of data in transit and at rest.

Dynamics CRM Project Services Automation – PSA for the U.A.E. – ask Synergy Software Systems

November 3rd, 2016

Project Service Automation (PSA)was added to Dynamics CRM in the May update 1 and is a brand new capability within Microsoft Dynamics CRM. While Microsoft Project has long been available as part of the Microsoft Office portfolio, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Project Service Automation differs by enabling specific business processes for managing projects (including: planning, scheduling, project management, and billing).

PSA will provide direct integration Microsoft Project client for its rich planning and schedule design capabilities.

The initial focus of PSA includes: professional services, internal project organizations, and field service organizations as an extension of field service scenarios.

For example, your company sells solar power equipment and projects include the installation and configuration of the purchased products. It’s a great fit for organizations in the manufacturing, construction, professional services, consulting, or other fields where tracking of projects, physical and employee resources, and time spent on projects.

Why Project Service Automation?
To optimize the customer experience in project oriented services, a couple of key drivers delivering those projects on time and on budget. That’s the minimum requirement from a customer perspective. From a company perspective, it’s important to deliver those projects at profitable margin and to template or systematize those projects where possible.
Project-based organizations can improve these aspects of their business by bringing people, processes, and technology together. Combing these aspects improves the customer experience by delivering value at every interaction. On-time, on-budget service delivery requires collaborative experiences as well as efficient and effective tools to improve our processes.

Microsoft has built a comprehensive solution that runs on Microsoft Dynamics CRM and provides an end-to-end solution for project based sales, resourcing, delivery, and billing. CRM opportunities become projects with their associated project types, quotes, contracts, and other elements that build continuity across sales and delivery.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Project Service Automation closes the gap between sales and service by seamlessly and easily incorporating project estimates and details into the sales process. With one button, all the estimating performed by delivery becomes the details behind the quoting of new projects.
Project departments are the hub of this strategy with a clear view of the current client portfolio – and can better understand the relationship and cement a firm-wide approach to prioritization and pursuit of clients.

Now we have Dynamics 365

Key Features of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Project Service Automation
The key features of Project Service Automation include:
• From lead generation, to quote, to opportunity, to delivery, to invoice in a single system
• Planning, estimating and pricing simple or complex projects
• Optimizing resource utilization, helping manage the right resources for the right projects
• Tracking and approving project tasks
• Managing and tracking time and expenses
• Monitoring key performance metrics

Project Service Automation offers many more impressive capabilities, some of which are listed below. We will provide a deeper dive in our upcoming Webcast:
• Project Service Automation Series Outline
• Project vs Field Service: What’s right for me?
• Resource Management
• Sales to Project Process
• Projects and Templates
• Finances and Forecasting
• Project Execution and Tracking
• Opportunity Management
• Project Planning
• Resource Management
• Team Collaboration
• Time Expenses
• Customer Billing
• Analytics & Integration

Other features i:
Sales and opportunity management – Manage leads, prospects, accounts and opportunities in a single, integrated system. Teams work much more collaboratively when they have visibility and access to what is happening with each and every customer.

Project management – Centralized project management features including project setup, project progress, client invoicing and cost tracking increases productivity and efficiency. It’ gives back the one thing service organizations value most…time. Assess project risks with real-time view of over-budget and under projects, unmet milestones, unpaid invoices and pending proposals. Utilize built in workflows to improve team efficiency and automat mundane activities to improve visibility of project status, productivity, resource costs, expenses and invoicing.

Resource management – Track, schedule, book and forecast resources including people, equipment and things. Assign resources to projects, based on certifications and skills, availability and other important attributes. Streamlines administration functions including talent acquisition, onboarding and time and expense entry.

Collaboration and mobility – Mobile features enable access to project information, task completion, expense entry and team collaboration anytime, anywhere and on any device. The optional client portals enable customers to view the progress and status of projects and any related information you choose to share.

Project accounting and billing – Track, view and analyze costs and revenues with budgeting tools that give project managers and accounting deep visibility into project details. Forecast utilization by role or resource, and get project budgeting information down to the activity level. Handle all aspects of contract management and revenue recognition from contract initiation to renewals, realignments and billing frequencies.
Reporting and dashboards – Monitor the heartbeat of your projects, and work faster and smarter. All project details can be viewed in dashboards with drill down to the underlying project and task information. Dashboards enable project managers to bring data together and create personalized dashboards to analyze and present information more effectively.

Delivering project excellence with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Project Service Automation
Delivery execution is another key element of a PSA solution, and Microsoft delivers on this. If you are a resource manager, project manager, practice manager or executive, you need the right people, skills, time to deliver project excellence. PSA helps you with this by having a single screen view of Resource Availability. This is a fully interactive, filtered view of people and skills across a timeline horizon, allowing you to much more easily make decisions to and assign people with the right skills to the right projects. In a single system, everyone can have visibility into resources and their availability, as well as submit requests to a resource manager to review and find the right person, skill, and cost for a project.

Utilizing the Power of BI in project service automation
As part of the Dynamics platform, you can also utilize Microsoft Power BI to tap into the rich information about projects and performance. With informative and interactive visualizations and anywhere, anytime access, everyone can see their forecasts, project details, resources, utilization, and more. Delivered across any device and any browser, Power BI is the tool to maximize your insight into your service organization performance.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 now available in the U.A.E. – ask Synergy Software Systems

November 1st, 2016

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a suite of cloud services to help companies to accelerate their digital transformation with purpose-built apps to address specific business needs.

Dynamics 365 unifies CRM and ERP functions into applications that work smoothly together across all divisions: sales, customer service, field service, operations, financials, marketing, and project service automation. These apps can be easily and independently deployed and scaled on demand.

Start with what you need the most.

All apps are delivered through easy-to-use, mobile experiences and feature offline capabilities.  

Users can rely on Power BI, Cortana Intelligence and Azure IoT functions which are natively embedded.

In addition to that, Dynamics 365 and Office 365 are deeply integrated.  Since Dynamics 365 uses a new common data servicel, customers can extend functionality and build custom apps using PowerApps, Microsoft Flow (News: PowerApps and Flow available) as well as professional developer solutions.

To find out more call us now on 00971 43365589.