Dynamics HR, and Talent, recent updates- December 2019

December 7th, 2019 by Stephen Jones No comments »

Microsoft will continue investing in operational HR solutions with the erp version with a Dynamics 365 Human Resources to be released early next year on February 3, 2020.

This builds on the current core HR capabilities that are in Dynamics 365 Talent today
. It’s a branding and marketing change for core HR capabilities.
Microsoft will also be incorporating the ‘Ax’ partner adds on from Dynamics partners Four Vision, and Elevate, to further enhance the offering within leave and absence, time and attendance, and benefits administration. These new capabilities will begin rolling out within Dynamics 365 Human Resources in early 2020.

Expected updated licensing.

Microsoft recently announced, via a blog post. the decision to retire the Dynamics 365 Talent: Attract and Dynamics 365 Talent: Onboard apps on February 1, 2022, They will transition Attract and Onboard customers to a solution of their choice. This does not affect those who only use the core Talent module.

To allow time to opt-in, Dynamics 365 customers that are entitled to but are not currently using Attract or Onboard will have until February 3, 2020 to notify Microsoft that they intend to implement Attract and/or Onboard. You can opt- at any point between December 6, 2019 and February 1, 2020. If you are not currently using Attract and/or Onboard and want to opt-in to ensure service availability until February 1, 2022, submit a support ticket before 1 Feb 2020.

Meanwhile Synergy Software Systems continues to implement and support its own GCC localised HR and Payroll module built inside both Dynamics Ax 2012 and Dynamics 365 , and proven with around 50 company implementations.

Power BI update -Gateway recovery key, move to .Net framework 4 – Ask Synergy Software Systems, Dubai’s Power App specialist.

December 5th, 2019 by Stephen Jones No comments »

The November update for the On-premises data gateway (version 3000.14.39) is released.

Change Gateway Recovery Key
The recovery key provided by gateway admins during installation of on-premises data gateways in a standard mode could not be changed in the past. This key is used to create the symmetric key which in turn is used for encrypting credentials in data sources/connections using that gateway. With the November release of Data Gateways, you will now be able to rotate this key. More information about recovery keys, detailed description on how to perform this change and associated limitations can be found in the data gateway docs.

November version of the mashup engine
This month’s Gateway update also includes an updated version of the Mashup Engine. This will ensure that the reports that you publish to the Power BI Service and refresh via the Gateway will go through the same query execution logic/runtime as in the latest Power BI Desktop version.

Please note that this upcoming change may impact you:
PB1 will be using .NET 4.8 framework for gateways February 2020 version or higher hence some of the operating systems it used to support may no longer be supported. i.e. for many this change will also force a Windows update.

All .NET Framework versions since .NET Framework 4 are in-place updates, so only a single 4.x version can be present on a system.
In addition, particular versions of the .NET Framework are pre-installed on some versions of the Windows operating system. This means that:
• If there’s a later 4.x version installed on the machine already, then you can’t install a previous 4.x version.
• If the OS comes pre-installed with a particular .NET Framework version, then you can’t install a previous 4.x version on the same machine.
• If you install a later version, you don’t have to first uninstall the previous version.
• The .NET Framework requires administrator privileges for installation.

Microsoft to disable Office 365′s Delve Blogs from December 2019??.

December 4th, 2019 by Stephen Jones No comments »

Delve is an Office 365 capability associated with the Office Graph that’s designed to surface relevant information for end users to access Delve from the Office 365 App Launcher.The Delve Blogs feature lets Office 365 users create personal blogs.

Microsoft described its impending end in a Nov. 22 Microsoft Premier Support response letter that was published by a customer. Instead of offering a fix, Microsoft described Delve Blogs’ coming shut-off. A portion of Microsoft’s response letter, which mentioned the blog feature is to be deleted on April 17, 2020, with disablement happening earlier:

Delve Blogs to be Retired
Delve blogs are being retired. Delve blogs will no longer be available for creation, and existing blogs will eventually be removed.
Delve Blog retirement schedule:
• Beginning December 18th, 2019, tenants will not have the ability to create new Delve blogs.
• Beginning January 18th, 2020 the ability to create new posts in existing Delve blogs will be disabled.
• Beginning April 17th, 2020, existing Delve blogs will be deleted and removed from Delve profiles.

Plan to use alternative methods of blogging. We recommend creating Communication sites using News, Yammer, and Stream as a modern way of engaging with your audience. To learn more about how to setup a great blogging site, please review Creating a blog with communications sites and news posts.

Microsoft’s Delve Blogs retirement message also arrived earlier this week for administrators via the Office 365 Message Center. Microsoft’s deadlines and communication approach are “quite aggressive” for organizations, but the Delve Blogs is likely getting axed because too few organizations use the feature.

So far, there’s hasn’t been any apparent public communication from Microsoft that Delve itself will be going away. Communications Sites in SharePoint is a possible substitute for Delve Blogs but not for all organizations because “not all users can create sites for themselves.” To address the coming deletion of Delve Blogs, end users should start saving their blogs as document files..

Hyper-automation with UiPath and Synergy Software Systems

November 26th, 2019 by Stephen Jones No comments »

Hyperautomation? Gartner just named hyperautomation as its #1 strategic technology trend for 2020 (from their recently published “Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2020″ report). Hyperautomation was the most discussed topic at Gartner Symposium events over the past 60 days in Orlando, Barcelona, and Goa.

Hyperautomation is the combination of several process automation tools and technologies that increase the ability to automate more work. It starts with robotic process automation (RPA) at its core, and adds artificial intelligence (Al), process mining, analytics, and other advanced tools to expand automation capability. With hyperautomation, an organization can automate more and more knowledge work, and engage everyone to be part of the transformation.

We are excited about hyperautomation because it aligns with how we see the future of Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

Hyperautomation builds on the real success that underlies the phenomenal growth of RPA: ease of automation, speed to outcomes, and a now proven path to applying artificial intelligence (AI) to improve business operations. RPA has delivered digital transformation faster than any other technology by starting with the business first and foremost.

RPA is now moving beyond task-based automation to include support for more complex processes and long running workflows. Software robots can now interact with business users across core business processes, directly impacting customer experience and satisfaction. In other words, a future where anything that can be automated most likely will be.
Hyperautomation is key to scaling sophisticated automation across the enterprise with speed and efficiency

Automation first
An automation first mindset encourages users to imagine a future of work that prioritizes human engagement, creativity, and productivity. C-suites engaging an automation first mindset consider how an integrated workforce of humans and robots can best solve any new problem.

Revenue recogntion Dynamics 365 – ask Synergy Software Systems, Dubai

November 26th, 2019 by Stephen Jones No comments »

The new revenue recognition standard is for compliance with ASC 606 and D365FO. it became available last month in generally release 10.0.5
To use this feature enable the module through license configuration when in maintenance mode.
System administration> Setup> License configuration. ( or go to the home page and use Advanced Search. Type “license configuration” and click on the “License Configuration” option.) Find the revenue recognition module under the General ledger node and select the module so that it is available for use.

To use the functionality set up schedules under Revenue recognition / Setup / Revenue schedules.
Set up five new posting types have been added to the inventory posting set up.

This video explains the basics of revenue recognition in Dynamics 365 Finance and how it’s used on sales orders. Customers will learn how different revenue schedules can be defined per item and how revenue schedule details are created upon invoicing a sales order.

Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 support will end January 14, 2020- ask Synergy Software Systems about options.

November 16th, 2019 by Stephen Jones No comments »

On January 14, 2020, support for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will end. Only 2 months away
That means the end of regular security updates.

Don’t let your infrastructure and applications go unprotected.

We’re here to help you migrate to current versions for greater security, performance and innovation.
009714 3365589

Azure Arc in preview manage hybrid data across cloud platforms……

November 16th, 2019 by Stephen Jones No comments »

Now in preview, Azure Arc helps simplify enterprise distributed environments by managing everything via Azure services (like Azure Resource Manager). Connecting hybrid infrastructure via Azure Arc improves security for users via automated patching, and provides improved governance, with everything ‘under one roof’. Azure Arc, a tool that lets organizations manage their data on: the Microsoft Azure cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform or any combination.

Microsoft says that deployments can be set up “in seconds” via Azure data services anywhere, a feature of Azure Arc.

Azure Arc also supports Kubernetes clusters and edge infrastructures, as well as on-premises Windows and Linux servers.
No final release date yet but there is a free preview of Azure Arc .


Microcode BIOS Updates coming from a Microsoft Update

November 13th, 2019 by Stephen Jones No comments »

Intel Microcode Updates coming from a Microsoft Update or the Windows Catalog.
The security implications of why you should update the microcode on your processors are covered in these links

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4093836/summary-of-intel-microcode-updates

https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/security-center/advisory/intel-sa-00233.html

https://www.amd.com/en/corporate/product-security

Microsoft is collaborating with Intel and AMD on these microcode updates.

When processors are manufactured, they have a baseline microcode baked into their ROM. This microcode is immutable and cannot be changed after the processor is built. Modern processors have the ability at initialization to apply volatile updates to move the processor to a newer microcode level. However, as soon as the processor is rebooted, it reverts back to the microcode baked into their ROM. These volatile updates can be applied to the processor one of two ways – System Firmware/BIOS via OEM and by the Operating System (OS). However, neither updates the microcode in the processors ROM. If you were to remove the processor from one computer and to install in a computer with an older System Firmware/BIOS and an un-updated OS, then you will again be vulnerable.

Windows offers the broadest coverage and quickest turnaround time to address these vulnerabilities. Microcode updates delivered via the Windows OS are not new; as far back as 2007 some updates were made available to address performance and reliability concerns.

You could jus take the OEM System Firmware/BIOS Updates, but often Microsoft Update hasthe microcode updates to address issues much sooner.

When the processor boots, it has versioning to make sure it is utilizing the latest microcode updates regardless of from where it came. Install of System Firmware/BIOS updates and microcode updates from Microsoft Update is therefore O.K. It is possible that the OEM updates the microcode to one level and the OS updates the microcode to an even higher level during the same boot.

Microcode updates install like any other update. They can be installed from Microsoft Update, WSUS, SCCM or manually installed if downloaded from the Catalog. The key difference is that the payload of the hotfix is primarily one of two files:

mcupdate_GenuineIntel.dll – Intel
mcupdate_AuthenticAMD.dll – AMD

These files contain the updated microcode and Windows automatically loads these via OS Loader to patch the microcode on the boot strap processor. This payload is then passed to additional processors as they startup as well the Hyper-V hypervisor if enabled.

Azure Synapse – BI for petabytes of data

November 11th, 2019 by Stephen Jones No comments »

Microsoft introduced Azure Synapse Analytics last week as , the “next evolution” of Azure SQL Data Warehouse.

It promises better performance and more capabilities, than Azure SQL Data Warehouse, and existing customers will “automatically benefit” from the enhancements that are now in preview.

Azure Synapse is a “limitless” analytics service, and accommodates all data warehouses, data lakes, machine learning, and BI needs, either with a serverless or provisioned resources approach.

Among the benefits of Synapse:
• The service can query both relational and non-relationship data using SQL
• It can “apply intelligence” over all data, including Dynamics 365, Office 365 and SaaS services that support the Open Data Initiative
• It offers a unified experience for data prep, data management, data warehousing, big data, and AI
• Privacy and security features include: automated threat detection, always-on data encryption, column level security, and dynamic data masking

In an Ignite demo, Rohan Kumar, Microsoft corporate vice president for Azure Data claimed a petabyte scale query across multiple data sources ran in Synapse in 9 seconds, versus over eleven minutes in Google’s BigQuery. He also claimed that both AWS Redshift and BigQuery degrade more as concurrent load increase

Micorsoft Power Platform Enhancements -ask Synergy Software Systems

November 11th, 2019 by Stephen Jones No comments »

• Microsoft Flow is renamed to Microsoft Power Automate, to better align with the Microsoft Power Platform.
Robotic process automation (RPA) is added to Microsoft Power Automate, to deliver end-to-end automation solutions that span AI, APIs, and UI on the Microsoft Power Platform.
Microsoft Power Virtual Agents—a no-code/low-code app that allows anyone to create, and to deploy, intelligent, AI-powered, virtual agents.
Many security enhancements for Microsoft Power BI, no matter where analytics data is used and accessed.
Microsoft Power Platform and Microsoft Teams, As organizations encourage a data-driven culture, it’s important they break down silos and ensure that the right people in the organization have the data they need to be involved in the decision-making process. Teams and Power Platform brings together the best of workplace collaboration and data-driven business into one place.

Power Platform applications dashboards, apps, and automations are available within Teams, so they are easier to find, share, and use on an everyday basis. The conversational nature of Teams enhances how users interact with Power Platform applications. Adaptive cards and bots let users engage with these tools directly through conversation. This integration gives IT Administrators high fidelity control and prioritization of features.

Power Apps creators can publish their apps directly to their company’s app library in Teams. By the end of 2019, users will be able to pin Power Apps to their Teams left rail, to provide easy access to regularly used apps.

New triggers and actions for Power Automate are available within Teams to streamline the completion of common team and personal tasks, such as scheduling focus time, and automating document approvals.

New features coming to Power BI next year include the ability to create rich adaptive cards in Teams conversations, to help users see and act on their data. An improved Power BI tab experience in Teams will make it easy to select the correct reports..

The American Red Cross is leveraging Power Platform integration with Teams to improve disaster response times.

• New, prebuilt models for AI Builder to add more advanced AI models to Microsoft Power Automate and Microsoft Power Apps.

These new features and products provide the Power Platform with an unmatched set of capabilities that enable everyone to: analyze, act, and automate across their organization, so as to transform businesses from the ground up.

Saturday 9 November will be a National Holiday, Synergy Software Systems offices will be closed

November 7th, 2019 by Stephen Jones No comments »

Saturday 9 November (12th of Rabi Al Awwal) will be a National Holiday to commemorate the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). Synergy Software Systems offices in: Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar will be closed.

Mohammad (PBUH) was an Arab religious, social and political leader and the founder of Islam. He was a prophet, sent to present and confirm the monotheistic teachings preached previously by Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and other prophets. Muhammad (PBUH)united Arabia into a single Muslim polity, with the Quran as well as his teachings and practices forming the basis of Islamic religious belief.

The name Mohammad (PBUH )means “praiseworthy” and appears four times in the Quran. Mohammad’s birthday is celebrated as a major feast throughout the Islamic world,( excluding Wahhabi-influenced Saudi Arabia where these public celebrations are discouraged). When Muslims say or write the name of Muhammad (PBUH), they usually follow it with the Arabic phrase ṣallā llahu ʿalayhi wa-sallam (may God honor him and grant him peace) or the English phrase peace be upon him
In casual writing, the abbreviations SAW (for the Arabic phrase) or PBUH (for the English phrase) are sometimes used; in printed matter, a small calligraphic rendition is commonly used.

Enhanced HA and DR benefits for SQL Server Sofware Assurance from 1 November.

November 5th, 2019 by Stephen Jones No comments »

The enhanced benefits to SQL licensing for high availability and disaster recovery that are listed below are now applicable to all releases of SQL Server for a customer with SQL Server licenses with Software Assurance. The updated benefits will be available in the next refresh of the Microsoft Licensing Terms.

Business continuity is a key requirement for planning, designing, and implementing any business-critical system. When you bring data into the mix, business continuity becomes mandatory. It’s an insurance policy that one hopes they never have to make a claim against in the foreseeable future. SQL Server brings intelligent performance, availability, and security to Windows, Linux, and containers and can tackle any data workload from BI to AI from online transaction processing (OLTP) to data warehousing. You get mission-critical high availability and disaster recovery features that allow you to implement various topologies to meet your business SLAs.

A customer with SQL Server licenses with Software Assurance has historically benefited from a free passive instance of SQL Server for their high availability configurations. That helps to lower the total cost of ownership (TCO) of an application using SQL Server. Today, this is enhanced for the existing Software Assurance benefits for SQL Server which further helps customers implement a holistic business continuity plan with SQL Server.

Starting Nov 1st, every Software Assurance customer of SQL Server will be able to use three enhanced benefits for any SQL Server release that is still supported by Microsoft:
• Failover servers for high availability – Allows customers to install and run passive SQL Server instances in a separate operating system environment (OSE) or server for high availability on-premises in anticipation of a failover event. Today, Software Assurance customers have one free passive instance for either high availability or DR
• Failover servers for disaster recovery NEW – Allows customers to install and run passive SQL Server instances in a separate OSE or server on-premises for disaster recovery in anticipation of a failover event
• Failover servers for disaster recovery in Azure NEW – Allows customers to install and run passive SQL Server instances in a separate OSE or server for disaster recovery in Azure in anticipation of a failover event

With these new benefits, Software Assurance customers can implement hybrid disaster recovery plans with SQL Server using features like Always On Availability Groups without incurring additional licensing costs for the passive replicas.

A setup can use SQL Server running on an Azure Virtual Machine that utilizes 12 cores as a disaster recovery replica for an on-premises SQL Server deployment using 12 cores. In the past, you would need to license 12 cores of SQL Server for the on-premises and the Azure Virtual Machine deployment. The new benefit offers passive replica benefits running on an Azure Virtual Machine. Now a customer need to only license 12 cores of SQL Server running on-premises as long as the disaster recovery criteria for the passive replica on Azure Virtual Machine is met.

If, the primary. or the active replica. uses 12 cores hosting two virtual machines and the topology has two secondary replicas: one sync replica for high availability supporting automatic failovers and one asynchronous replica for disaster recovery without automatic failover then . the number of SQL Server core licenses required to operate this topology will be only 12 cores as opposed to 24 cores in the past.

These high availability and disaster recovery benefits will be applicable to all releases of SQL Server. In addition to the high availability and disaster recovery benefits, the following operations are allowed on the passive replicas:
• Database consistency checks
• Log backups
• Full backups
• Monitoring resource usage data

SQL Server 2019 also provides a number of improvements for availability, performance, and security along with new capabilities like the integration of HDFS and Apache Spark™ with the SQL Server database engine.

Prophix CPM- 2019 Fall Release – Synergy Software Systems

November 5th, 2019 by Stephen Jones No comments »

The Prophix 2019 Fall Release provides some exciting enhancements such as Journals Manager, while also seeing improvements to Template Studio, a new Classification Dimension, Improved Security and more. In addition, to there are recently released Artificial Intelligence capabilities that enable the Prophix Virtual Financial Analyst. These new capabilities are designed to improve the user experience enabling customers to “budget, plan and report” more efficiently than ever before.

If you are seeking to implement a modern productised no code Corporate Performance Management solution then contact us to learn more.

Customer data platform – Hospitality

November 4th, 2019 by Stephen Jones No comments »

The hospitality industry, is built on the premise of welcoming and delightful experiences for guests and patrons.

Advancements in technology have led to more automated and self-service functions across hospitality organizations like online booking and reservation. However, it is important not to lose the personal touch and service that makes a travel, entertainment, or dining experience so memorable.

With the vast amount of data already available to organizations today, the hospitality industry can refine its approach to customer engagement, and leverage customer data and insights to empower every employee to deliver exceptional experiences to guests.

Customers have more options available than ever and are increasingly more selective. They expect brands to use their data to personalize recommendations and experiences and are even willing to pay more for a personalized experience. Engagement should not only be personalized, but also convenient, guided and consistent across every channel, to provide guests with the same, seamless and intelligent experience at every touch point – whether online, mobile app, phone, or in person.

Harness customer data generated at every interaction: website activity, search histories, previous visits, social engagement, transactions, and more – hospitality organizations can better understand their customers in order to anticipate and serve their needs.

What might a data-driven engagement strategy achieve in the hospitality industry?:

Restaurants
• Unified customer profiles enable hosts and servers to provide highly personalized service – they already know a guest’s drink or table preference or food allergies
• Analyze customer data to predict churn and to trigger personalized dining offers to guests who haven’t been back in a while
• Make informed changes to menus, events, or specials based on guests’ preferences and response

Hotels
• Empower every employee, from reservation agents to onsite hotel staff, with holistic customer profiles that enable personal engagement at every touch point, like knowing a guest’s preferred room location, or special requests before they need to ask
• Seamlessly connect online and offline experiences like hotel staffhaving a customer’s name and reservation details surfaced as soon as they call in about a booking made online
• Use search data and previous stay history or preferences to deliver personalized follow-up. Offer previous guest a loyalty offer for a discounted rate at another location they searched;
• Make better, timely, informed business decisions and adjustments to offerings based on rich customer insights and feedback.

Airlines
• Providing personalized ticket pricing based on customers’ past spending behaviors, or search criteria,
• Create a consistent and intuitive experience across all channels, enabling customers to engage how and where they want to, from website to call center to mobile app to in-flight experiences
• Deliver highly personalized service at every interaction when a reservation agent already knows a customer’s preferred seating choice and meal selection when booking a flight
• Proactively identify and engage at-risk customers who had a bad travel experience by sending a tailored loyalty offer or discount

Deliver an exceptional, personalized guest experience from the first interaction to post-visit helps secure guest loyalty and keeps them coming back, increasing brand advocacy and customer lifetime value.

According to a recent report by McKinsey, guests report being 61 percent more willing to recommend a hotel that gets the entire customer experience right, versus those that merely focus on individual touch points.

How a customer data platform will help

Hospitality organizations can collect customer data across many systems and channels that guests interact with. Yet without the ability to effectively unify and interpret all of this data at scale, it can be difficult or impossible to derive the holistic customer profiles and actionable insights necessary to deliver a hyper-connected, personalized guest experience.

With a customer data platform (CDP) like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights, organizations can bring together customer data from all sources to gain a truly 360-degree view of customers, leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning to unlock rich insights that increase customer loyalty and lifetime value with personalized experiences across all channels

Dynamics 365 Dynamics 365 Customer Insights – Customer data platform

November 4th, 2019 by Stephen Jones No comments »

The CDP Institute’s latest research indicates that 34 percent of B2B companies plan to start deploying a customer data platform (CDP) in the next year, compared with just 19 percent of B2C companies.

B2Bs have significantly longer and more complex sales cycles that create huge volumes of data, and the relationship-driven nature of B2B business requires a persistent and holistic view of the customer across the entire customer journey.

B2B buyers are changing the rules of the game. Accustomed to fast, frictionless, and personalized buying experiences in their everyday life as a consumer, they bring those high expectations to their roles as B2B buyers. They are technically savvy and comfortable engaging via digital channels, which means their data is scattered across different systems.

Without unified customer data, it’s impossible for companies to personalize experiences with B2B decision-makers.

A CDP provides B2B organizations with the means to unify customer data and gain a complete view of customers. This unified data is the foundation for gaining insights, from better account segmentation to predictions about customer behavior, that drive intelligent and personalized experiences.

A CDP brings together customer data from all sources – CRM, ERP, email, website, POS, cases, partner systems, firmographics, and social networks like LinkedIn – and performs identity resolution at the contact and account level to generate unified profiles for individuals and accounts.

The data combined with AI generates insights – accounts to target, content to share, products to recommend, and the best time to call. Insights are activated when they are integrated with business applications and tools like sales applications, marketing applications, workflow, and analytics. In today’s fast-paced, competitive environment, a robust CDP is an essential tool for delivering personalized B2B experiences:

Account-based marketing – Complete customer profiles and the resulting intelligence lead to better prioritization of high-potential customers and alignment of B2B sales and marketing teams in delivering coordinated and personalized experiences.
Sales enablement – Organizations that equip their B2B sales team with rich customer data, curated content, and insights from across the customer journey, without salespeople having to search for it, can have more intelligent conversations, deepen relationships, and be more productive.
Recommended next best action and automated workflow – Proactive recommendations and automated processes based on unified customer profiles including product usage data, ensure a well-orchestrated customer journey. For example, when product trial usage exceeds a threshold, an alert is automatically sent to the salesperson to follow-up with a call.

To deliver personalized experiences at scale, needs a firm foundation on which to better understand and engage target customers. Microsoft’s CDP solution, Dynamics 365 Customer Insights, is a pre-assembled and ready-to-go CDP solution that helps B2B organizations achieve a 360-degree view of customers and deliver personalized omnichannel experiences, making B2B experiences as engaging as B2C experiences.