Archive for August, 2010

Notice of Discontinuation of the Balance Scorecard and Business Process Management Modules for Microsoft Dynamics AX

August 28th, 2010

 The “Balanced Scorecard” and “Business Process Management” modules for Microsoft Dynamics AX will no longer be offered by Microsoft and all associated SKUs will be removed from the respective Microsoft Dynamics price lists effective December 1, 2010. This August announcement provides partners with the 120-days’ notice required pursuant to the Solution Provider Agreement (SPA).

Microsoft Dynamics Ax – Shipping Solution

August 25th, 2010

Ultimate Software’s specific Shipping Solution is an ERP system for martitime shipping companies, that is developed on the Microsoft Dynamics AX platform to  cater for shipping companies:  liners, vessel operators, agencies, ports etc

This platform integrates your operational and financial processes using the latest Microsoft technology  :

Supported Processes include
Container management
Document handling
Integrated customs
Port agents
Liner and port agents
Liner services
Port call
Property management
Resource handling
Services and fees
Transpsort dispositions
Vessel operators
Warehouse management

Its that time of year

August 24th, 2010

In the UK the summer holidays, when Paliament is closed, the newspapers are often short of main stories and  resort to fill in news items on unusual or fun topics, the so called ‘silly season’. So, with Ramadan working hours and  temperatures in the mid 40 s  the Synergy Carrom tournament is underway,  at end of each day.

Vico Office Seminar – Synergy offices

August 23rd, 2010

Last Friday 10 local construction experts gave up their Friday off day to visit our offices. Why? word of mouth across companies spread the message that  there would be a chance to find out more about BIM concpets and why ‘lean’construction techiques are having such an impact.

 Vico Office is a different way of working with BIM models.  Used for much more than visualization, Vico Office extends the basic 3D model with constructability analysis and coordination, 4D scheduling and production control with flowline principles, and 5D estimating. If you missed out contact us to learn more and read the articles on this blog site, or vist You Tube and see the many demos there.

Let me touch on just one part  f the Vico Office Suite  that will provide a rapid payback for any construction company.
Before you can get any benefit from 3, 4 or 5D BIM you need 2D drawings to start with.   Vico Doc Set Manager is an innovative solution for collating and comparing thousands of construction drawing sets.  We refer to Doc Set Manager as our 2D BIM solution because a successful 3D BIM model starts with identifying changes in the 2D drawing set.

  Each project team  uses the Doc Set Manager to store their drawing sets and to ckly identify either any missing pages, o r pages on which there have been changes. 

Using the mark-up tools, users can quickly cloud and comment on the changes, and assign additional investigation and follow-up to team members.

Does Doc Set Manager automatically highlight the changes?

Yes, it will highlight the changes; it will highlight any line work that has been manipulated or touched in any way.  It is up to you to decide “will this highlighted change impact the project?”  –  only you and your team can decide that.

Where does Doc Set Manager store the DWGs?

Doc Set Manager is a collaborative tool that supports local area networks.  This means you can locate the DWG or PDF file anywhere in the network. You just need to make sure that all project members have access to the network.

 How does the drawing compare with sheets vs. xref’s?

Comparing DWG with xref is possible. Doc Set Manager will compare anything you provide. So if you provide DWG with xref it will present the full DWG file and compare it to the other DWG file . If you would like only to compare the xref just load those to the folder and they will be listed in the Document Register and you can compare them separately.

Do clouds need to be entered in separately each time on future versions?

If you draw a cloud and it is still an active issue,then  it will always be presented and automatically be copied to future versions.

Do I need to buy Vico Office Client with Doc Set Manager?

Yes, you do.  Vico Office Client enables the collaborative workflow, assignments, resolution, and reporting in Doc Set Manager.  As noted earlier, you might like to get 2-3 extra licenses to share with your owner, architect, and subcontractors.

Would MEP designs be too complex to check in this environment?

No, definitely not.

 Does DWG comparison work in paper space?

Yes, how you might use that is to look for date changes, name changes, revisions triangle markers, etc.  If you want to check for keynotes or move keynotes, Doc Set Manager will pick up on those in paper space, as well.

 Sometimes highlighting doesn’t work so well. For example an unchanged line sometimes is color coded as changed. How does that work in the system?

That’s where the Document Register is most helpful in that the Register will tell you that the drawing has or has not changed from the last set to the newer set.  If the Register has indicated red and that the drawing has changed you can work with the color scheme to find any problem but it should not be that difficult with the flexibility of all the tools in the color palette.

 Does this work with Revit?

The answer is yes and what you would do is export the view or drawing that you wanted as a PDF and you would be all set to compare.

  Can I batch plot the actual DWG’s including the mark ups?

Yes, if you have a set of files with mark ups on these then you can print all together as one report with all the clouds and the ability to zoom in the clouds to get more detail.

 If I’m working in Revit, how can I make a PDF so it will be useful for this software?

You can use the export to PDF function or if you have a PDF virtual printer you can use this to create the PDF files.

 Can two or more persons work on one comparison file together?

Yes, absolutely. The product is designed for a collaborative environment meaning multiple users can access the same project: view the same file, compare the same file, create clouds, etc.  All this can be done simultaneously.

  Q: How long has Vico software been on the market and how widely is it used at this point?

 A: About 6 years. So the customers that started have been using this software for that whole period. There are sabout  200 clients globally… More than 100 GC’s in the U.S.  There are more than 1000 trained users in the U.S.  In addition, the Vico Construction Services Team have guided over 350 BIM projects around the world.

…………and if you really want to save a lot of time and money consider line of balance scheduling (a oncept used for the Empire State Building!)

Vico Control is a unique construction scheduling software because it features flowline theory.  This allows the scheduler to work collaboratively with the superintendent to create an optimal schedule based on quantities by location and productivity rates.  Equally important is the ability to “control” the schedule on-site to forecast crew pile-ups and interferences based on actual productivity rates. With this real-time data, the scheduler and superintendent can work together to adjust crew sizes by location to keep the project on track.

More about this in a future post


Cumulative Update #11 for SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 3

August 21st, 2010

Keep your system up to date with the most recent cumulative update package for SQL Server 2005 SP3. This package contains all of the SQL Server 2005 hotfixes that have been released since the initial release of SQL Server 2005 SP3.

How much data do you have? What’s it worth?

August 21st, 2010

How much of your business data is stored in widely accessible files on shared network storage. -stored  files typically make up as much as 80% of business data, according to market analyst firm IDC.

Not only is this data  valued by businesses and regulators, but it is prized by malicious insiders. For example,

  •  last July, a former Goldman Sachs worker was arrested for downloading software source code with the intention of taking it with him to a new employer.
  • in 2009, a Microsoft employee was accused of stealing documents he planned to use in a lawsuit against the company.
  • , in March 2010, the Canada Revenue Agency, Canada’s equivalent to the US Internal Revenue Service, disclosed that CRA employees had been accessing hundreds of files and using the information for everything from financial gain to providing preferential treatment for friends and relatives.

. Regulations that address data security–such as Sarbanes Oxley (SOX), Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and others–apply equally to files, databases, applications, etc. So, even if an organization uses financial applications and databases to manage their finances, when financial data that is governed by SOX is exported to a spreadsheet for manipulation, the handling of the spreadsheet must also comply.

Mid-level managers use Business applications and databases to export interesting data for analysis, reporting, presentations and other legitimate business activities. For example, six months of sales data from your CRM to   assess ales trends or to identify operational issues are legitimate sues – but when  and presentations containing exported information are stored on shared file systems for enhanced communications and collaboration, then  you have a data security risk that it will each competirs

 If that data is financial in nature, includes credit card information or has customer details, you may also have a SOX, PCI or personally identifiable information (PII)-related compliance issue to address.

Group based file security policies, diabling usb drives and ports etc is one line of defence

The other is a network monitoring system with alerts and dashbaord indicators that allow you to quickly identify possible breaches and to drilldown to the soruce  of who copied,or  prined, or emailed or chatted about what to whom and when with an evidence trail. This certainty of detection is perhaps the biggest deterrent.

For more information on inexpensive solutions to safeguard your valuble information call us and  ask for Kamlesh -00971 4 3365589.

Dubai – Jay walking fines

August 21st, 2010

Dubai RTA has fined over 12,000 jaywalkers this year. wtih fines increased to Dh 200 this is now becoming an effective deterrent. 

Note that crossing a road with a speed limit of 80 kph, or greater, is illegal other than at designated crossing points.

It would be nice to see some of the fines spent on creating more safe crossing points for those without cars who often have a very long walk in high temperatures to reach a crossing.

Maybe something will also  be done about cyclists who  wear  dark clothes and who ride on  the wrong side of the road in the dark, and who switch lanes without any concept of looking, or giving a signal -usually because they have no mirrors.

Dubai – is it really the hub of the world?

August 19th, 2010

The world has been ‘shrinking’ for a long time with modern transport and ease of travel. More recently the internet, emails , mobile phones, text messages, on line chat, Twitter , RSS feeds, Facebook , You Tube, Skype  etc have provided real time information and communication about almost everything, at any time, both from and to any location.

One benefit for our clients is that we are able to give rapid, dial-in web support to anywhere in the region. We are similarly able to get collaboration, training  and support from our global  partners and access on line knowledgebases and updated help files.

Although operating out of Dubai we  support clients in every country in the region from Lebanon to Egypt. Currently we have projects running in KSA, Bahrain, Egypt, Philippines as well as the U.A.E.

Synergy’s focus on implementation for  international clients  and its reputation for solution architecture, delivery and support has always meant that we work with the leading global vendors and implementation partners.   This came home to me this week when I realised that in this month we have already had new inquires for our services in: Turkey, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, India, KSA, Canada, Nigeria, Malaysia and for local implementations from partners in UK and U.S.A.  and Europe.

Worldwide Availability of Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail

August 19th, 2010

This week marks the worldwide general availability of Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail,

A new solution for midsized, specialty retailers it  offers a deep level of integration across point of sale, store management, supply chain, merchandising and financialsin a single solution.

Retailers face ever-expanding opportunity with more channels to reach their customers and to grow globally,  and unprecedented serve an empowered consumer with access to more information and choice than ever before.

Retail customers search the web for comparative prices. and cross-shop for the latest promotion or competitor down the street  Retailers need to leverage IT in new ways to drive visibility across the organization to react quickly, seize new opportunities, and to build customer loyalty.

According to a recent analyst report*, as many as 84 percent of retail respondents recognized they do not have good integration and connectivity between stores, headquarters and the supply chain, preventing them from having the visibility they need. Retailers mustalso  find new ways to make their most valuable asset – people – more productive.

To address these challenges, retailers can adopt  a “Connected Experience for Retail.”to capture customer information at the point of sale and to populatethe data  in real time at headquarters and across the entire chain of stores to be acted upon immediately.

 A  store associate who can provide real time visibility to a customer about product availability and location – helps to build loyalty and differentiated service;

A RoleTailored user experience for each employee optimized to drive speed of service, reduce training times, and drive organizational efficiency.

 Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail offers all of this and more out of the box. It’s more than another retail solution – it’s a new philosophy in how to deliver a retail solution, to reduce complexity, and to address the pains  that retailersface.

With the initial launch, Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail is available in more than 16 markets, including Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Africa, the U.K. and the U.S.

In the coming months it will expand to an additional 22 markets while delivering a number of new capabilities. see for more information about Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail.

Microsoft free e-books

August 16th, 2010

 Visual Studio 2010 and SQL Server 2008 R2

  • Moving to Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 : a book that will help professional developers move from previous versions of Visual Studio (starting with 2003 and on up). the emphasis is on new tools and features from Visual Studio 2010

  • Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 : Part I, “Database Administration,”introduces
    readers to the numerous innovations in SQL Server 2008 R2.  Part II, “Business Intelligence Development,” covers components new to the SQL Server data platform, and the significant enhancements to the reporting component.