Archive for December, 2011

UAE ranks 27th happiest country

December 12th, 2011

The latest Legatum Index ranks 110 countries on their overall level of prosperity.

UAE ranks 27th based on various parameters including: economy, entrepreneurship, governance, education, health, safety, personal freedom and social capital.

India is ranked at No 91. Yet, many Indians are optimistic about their economic future as well as about business opportunities, the survey reveals.

Rwanda, at 98, is ranked below Iran (97). The country faces a small domestic market, poor standards of living and high inflation. Kenya’s economy is one of the worst performing in the world with very dissatisfied citizens, most of which are deeply suspicious of their country’s politics. Kenya is ranked at No 102. Nigeria (104) faces an inflation rate of around 11%

Yemen has high unemployment, low output, and poor prospects for future growth; not to forget the civil unrest. The country is ranked at No 106. Pakistan is one more Asian country in the bottom 20 ranks. Ranked 107, Pakistan does not perform well on most macroeconomic variables. Its political system suffers from a lack of competition and low accountability

Volvo Ocean Race 2011 – Abu Dhabi

December 12th, 2011

The six-strong Volvo Ocean Race fleet begins its historic journey from Cape Town to Abu Dhabi today, as the emirate completes plans to become the first Arabian destination to host the gruelling, 39,000 nautical mile, round the world ‘Everest of Sailing’.

Public beta of Windows 8

December 10th, 2011

Microsoft on Tuesday confirmed that it will release a public beta of Windows 8 in late February, 2012.

The company broke the news at a San Francisco developers event Tuesday, where Antoine Leblond, vice president of Windows Web services, touted Windows Store, the app market that will be the sole distribution channel for applications designed to run in Windows 8’s new “Metro” interface.

Windows Store will open to the public at the same time Windows 8’s beta ships,. While Microsoft has yet to talk about an official launch date for Windows 8, the beta’s timing hints at a fall 2012 debut, assuming the company paces Windows 8’s final development and testing as it did Windows 7’s.

Data by the zeta byte

December 10th, 2011

The November 2011 edition of Popular Science magazine isdevoted to data and how to use it to “transform the world”.

In 2010, there was around1.2 zetabytes of data (a zetabyte is a trillion gigabytes), and tby the end of 2011 there will be about 1.8 zetabytes.

Impressive numbers (and maybe  a good time to  self: invest in some hard drive company shares),but  raw data is, by itself, worthless. For data to be useful, it must be analyzed and interpreted. Storing data is easy, putting it to good use can be very difficult, and organizations are trying hard.

Google is in the process of collecting every word published since the year 1500, about 500 billion words so far. It has already created an entirely new field of study called culturomics, for the study of human behavior and cultural trends through the analysis of digitized texts, which are then used to predict future trends.  ( Isaac Asimov’s Foundation book series, where a science he calls psychohistory,  combines the knowledge of history, sociology and mathematical statistics to make predictions about the future).

Today I  read in Gulf News Business section an interview with Harold Goldjin, the founder of Tom Tom for in car navigation systems which was adopted faster than fax, email etc. Now you can get such services cheaply on your phone, so the company profits started to fall and they evolved a new business model. One of these allows the individual car GPS to send data back to a central database along with other drivers route plans to predict where bottlenecks may occur and re-route drivers accordingly. It could extend to  an in car sim providing data for car sharing arrangements, or for car insurance charges based on miles driven and the current road conditions, traffic and risk.

Also today in Gulf News there was a pertinent article about (Gordon) Moore’s Law (1965) ie. that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit doubles about every 2 years. Since I first worked on silicon chips in 1970 with Plessey Research the number has amazingly  grown from just 1,000 to 2 billion.

As use of mobile applications increases and You Yube becomes one of the most used websites (6 million hits daily from the Gulf region)  ,  and video and audio streaming etc increases rapidl,y so does the amount of data flowing and the neeed for increased bandwidth.

 In 2010 the the data capacity in the region was  379 gbps (equivalent to 250,000 movie downloads) and its increasing rapidly and that is without considering Iraq yet to come on stream. Business regularly now presents over the web. Medical experts collaborate with sophisticated imaging, cloud based computing, SharePoint etc   will all drive demand for bandwidth . The Gulf Bridge International cable network is the answer.  It will use 40G fibre optic (industry norm is 1o Gb)  and will be the first subsea cable operator with 100 GB connectivity.

This is a major plus  for both businesses in the region and for personal use.

Microsoft Dynamics Ax 2012 – enterprise software for Dubai

December 10th, 2011

The 3 P’s  of successful erp selection are:

  1.  processes – which are key to your business –  does it make that much difference when you change your back office  software, or is it in your sales and manufacturing where you make money?
  2. partner – a good partner  will not sell you an inappropriate solution and will make an average product work for you – a good solution with  a bad partner  will be a disaster
  3. platform – scalebability, performance, integation, ease of adaptation to your business, workflows,

Here are jsut 3 reasons why  Microsoft Dynamics Ax 2012  from Synergy Software Systems is recommended  for Enteprrise requirements: 

A single vendor for all your end-to-end business management process requirements
With Microsoft and Microsoft Dynamics AX you get it all. You get the Microsoft stack which includes office productivity, middleware, collaboration, project management, secure access and communications. Only Microsoft and Microsoft Dynamics AX offer you all of this integrated functionality from a single, software powerhouse.

 Global familiarity
Microsoft Office and Microsoft Outlook is a universal, business fact. Global work force familiarity with traditional Microsoft Office productivity software equates to superior ease-of-use and a greater degree of comfort and confidence when it comes to your most important asset – your people. This one simple fact translates into a lower-cost Dynamics AX ERP implementations, greater staffing flexibility, easier ramp-up, faster end-to-end business processes, and quicker innovation cycles.

 The backing of the Microsoft brand
Microsoft has been, is, and will continue to be there with you. With Microsoft you get it all – optimum risk management and innovative thought and industry leadership. By implementing Microsoft Dynamics AX for your manufacturing business, you won’t have to worry about whether or not your software partner is keeping up with industry trends. Microsoft publically announces their R&D budgets yearly.

Some U.A.E. events December 2011

December 10th, 2011

Monday is ‘Children’s Day’ at Al Ain Zoo this December – As part of its community commitment, Al Ain Zoo kicks-off Children’s Day and grants free access to the zoo for children aged three to 12 every Monday …

Al Hallab camel competiton returns just before the start of the fifth Al Dhafra festival in Zahyed City Al Gharbi

 Scotland won the inaugural Falcon Cup at Yas Links Golf Club this weekend

 Chef Juan Amador a three Michelin-starred chef prepares to open Rotana’s new signature restaurant at the Park Rotana hotel, which is on track to open its doors on 9th February and become a focal point of the Anu Dhabai mirate’s fourth Gourmet Abu Dhabi culinary festival, which runs from 8th to 23rd February.

Dutch street soccer group Streetkings have set up a new home in Abu Dhabi and will host the one-day tournament on Saturday 17th December from 4pm. Open to footballers of all age groups and abilities, players will be categorised into Under 12s, Under 17s and 17 and over and each team of two will go head to head in a series of nine games.

Budding street soccer stars who want to fine tune their skills ahead of the tournament can take part in a Streetkings clinic the day before, on Friday 16th December from 3pm to 5pm at the Dome@Rawdhat. Streetkings’ founder and former professional Dutch footballer Edward van Gils will be joined by his team of street football experts to offer free advice and showcase their skills

Intenational Falconry festival -Al Ain

December 10th, 2011
Held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, the festival is organised by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) in cooperation with the Emirates Falconers’ Club and the Council of British FalconersThe festival aims to preserve falconry as an important element of UAE national heritage and is also being held in celebration of Al Ain’s recent registration on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

This year the festival’s organisers have also introduced a number of special races for salukis, camels and falcons, with qualifying heats being held in Al Ain on the 11th, 12th and 13th December, and for the first time a special Falconry Conference will run alongside the festival at the Al Ain Rotana Hotel.

Dr Nick Fox, technical supervisor of the festival and a member of the Board of Directors of the Falconry Heritage Trust in the UK, said, “We thought that falconry was practiced in only 65 countries. However, we received responses from about 80 countries when we announced the organising of this Festival. 75 of them will take part in this session.

“This makes the festival worthy to be the ‘Falconry Olympics’. We’re expecting about 700 falconers from overseas.”


Infor Financials SunSystems 4.4 – Synergy – Dubai

December 10th, 2011

Infor Financials SunSystems 4.4 is now generally available. The 4.4 release of SunSystems introduces the following new and enhanced functionality.

User Interface

New user experience: quick and efficient access to SunSystems functions – users can still work with keyboard access and established shortcuts. Standard menu access for each operator is complemented by a “Favorites” option, allowing a user-defined menu with personalized entries. The traditional SunSystems modules are represented as tabs. Within each module/tab, the content is organized in newer-style categories represented with icons. The majority of forms are enhanced to include descriptive content in dropdown boxes, calendar controls, and checkboxes for standard Yes/No options, and the formar character responses are preserved throughout.

Help for SunSystems 4 (core languages): The interconnected suite of Help files, , is now delivered in all languages in which the SunSystems 4.4 user interface is delivered (English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese [Simplified], Chinese [Traditional], and Japanese).

Security and Control

SunSystems Security: The separate, centralized security facility introduced with SunSystems 4.3 (4.3.1) is now an integral part of SunSystems 4.4 with a single, combined installation routine.

Permission Control on Allocation Marker Updates: The application and removal of allocation markers in Account Allocation, On-Line Allocation, Journal Entry, Journal Import, and Reconciliation Manager can now be restricted by Operator Permissions. A new Allocation Marker Restrictions tab has been added to Operator Group Database Miscellaneous Restrictions in User Manager. Access to On-Line Allocation has also been made subject to Operator Permissions; a new action has been added to the Database Menu Selections for Journal Entry in Ledger Accounting.

Audit Reports: Reference and Transactional Audit Reports have been enhanced to include timestamp data.

Audit Control: Audit Control can now be configured for individual databases rather than functioning system-wide. A simple facility to copy existing audit control settings from one database to a second or all databases is available.

Customer-driven Enhancements

Account Allocation and Account Inquiry: Selection criteria to extract by due date have been added to these functions to facilitate better debtor and creditor control.

Sales Invoicing: A user’s own bank details can be recorded and made available for inclusion on the sales invoice. Default own bank details can be defined on the “Own Address” Names and Address record. This can be overridden by alternative own bank details on individual customer Chart of Accounts records.

Portuguese Invoicing: Changes have been introduced to meet new sales invoicing regulations introduced by the Portuguese government at the beginning of 2011. This functionality is enabled by the introduction of a user hook and works using an encrypted hash total.


Platform Updates: Infor Financials SunSystems 4.4 is now available for Oracle 11g R2.

Windows Printing: Windows Printing has been reworked, enabling the user to identify and setup suitable Windows printers via User Manager and SunSystems for ad hoc print use. Local or network printers can be easily assigned to an existing SunSystems printer profile in a new User Manager dialog. Once Windows printing is enabled, a standard Windows print dialog is presented to the user when the print function is selected. Further amendments such as printer selection, number of copies, paper orientation, etc. may be made at this time before the print is confirmed.

Windows Database Collation: A native Windows database collation has been introduced. Data and screens now operate using a Windows collation and code page, replacing any previous DOS collation. European language users upgrading from earlier releases must convert SunSystems backup files generated from their previous SunSystems installation before restoring into version 4.4. A new CodePageConverter.exe utility has been made available for this purpose in the SunSystems program directory. 

Add-on Operator Permissions: The previous version 4.3.3 super user ZO=Maintain Add On Op. Permissions is replaced. With the introduction of the new Navigator menu interface, the installation of add-on products now requires the addition of new modules and functions to both Navigator and User Manager. A new ThirdPartyInstaller.exe utility is made available for this purpose in the SunSystems program directory. An XML file containing all required updates is required in conjunction with this utility.

Infor10 ION Suite 10.1 Is Now Available from Synergy in Dubai

December 8th, 2011

Infor is pleased to announce the general availability of Infor10 ION Suite version 10.1. This is the third release of ION this year and continues to set the foundation for interoperability, business process management, and more.

 ION 10.1 includes 40+ new features focused on:

  • New connectivity options for mobility and enablement through Infor10 CloudSuite
  • Enhanced document flow modeler with brokering capabilities
  • Business process management improvement with external alerts

 In addition, significant enhancements have been delivered in event management, such as creating a workflow from an alert, and sending alert notifications to suppliers, customers, etc. ION 10.1 features new enhancements to power ION Pulse on mobile devices. Also, ION Pulse allows end users to subscribe themselves to mission-critical information and follow it.

Asian CFO’s – Infor survey on market changes -how does it affect your strategy?

December 8th, 2011

Need to manage a multi-national organization?

You can handle it, but can your financial management systems?

Taxes, regulations, multi-currency, reporting. You must be able to manage a high degree of complexity and react quickly to change.

Download this white paper to get a step-by-step checklist for evaluating your multi-national readiness. You’ll learn critical system requirements in areas such as transfer pricing, the transition to IFRS, reporting, regulatory management, and much more.

 CFOi Report: or

Here is an extract from this CFO Innovation’s recently completed research into the trends regarding   market   focus   for Asian companies and changing strategies  for  business  growth  reflects some  of  the  major  challenges  and trends  that  Infor  is  seeing  amongst the more than 70,000 customers we support   globally.   Financial   executives  in  particular  are  coping  with  a high  degree  of  change,  with  their roles  becoming  more  complex  and diversified. It   not   surprising,   therefore,   that one  of  the  major  trends  amongst Infor’s  customers  is  the  increasingly strategic   role   of   CFOs   and  the finance   departments   they  run.

No    longer    viewed    as    a    simple transaction   processing   engine, finance  departments     are  being asked  to  manage  highly  analytical, complex   assessments   of   business strategies and the progression toward organizational goals. More and more CFOs are moving from the backroom to the boardroom, playing a role that goes   far   beyond   simply   reporting financial  information. They  are  now expected to play a prominent role in determining  business  strategy,  with critical  decisions  being  made  based on the input they are able to provide.

A second major trend is the challenge of      managing      highly      complex multinational   business   operations and   the   regulatory   requirements that  are  part  and  parcel  of  doing business  in  the  global  environment.

The  impact  of  the  global  economic downturn   and   the   ever-expanding reach  of  our  global  economy  have resulted  in  a  heightened  awareness of   the   opportunities,    risks,    and complexities of operating in markets outside a company’s own borders.

Because   the   operational   requirements  of  expanding  into  new  markets are a necessity for executing an international business strategy, they are typically planned to a high level of  detail.  However,  it  is  not  uncommon for preparations on the financial management  side  of  the  equation to  be  vastly  underestimated.  Often, non-financial executives assume that the systems and processes currently in place  will  simply  be  adapted  to meet the reporting, regulatory, compliance,  and  taxation  requirements of local markets. But as any CFO who manages   multinational   operations knows,  there  is  little  that  is  simple about it.

Playing    the    strategic    role    now required   of   a   CFO   tasked   with managing  a  multinational  business requires    systems    and    processes that can be easily adapted to meet a highly  diverse  set  of  requirements.

However,   a   large   percentage   of CFOs  are  working  with  antiquated financial management solutions that were either developed in-house and highly  customized,  or  that  rely  on  a one  size  fits  all  ERP  technology  that is not flexible, or responsive enough to  meet  the  dynamic  nature  of  their global operations. 

The result is not just inefficiency and excess  costs,  but  more  important-ly  –  risk.  CFOs  today  need  financial management   systems   that   enable them  to  meet  growing  expectations –  ones  that  can  effectively  manage the  modern-day  complexities  of  the global business world in which they operate.  Without them,  the  finance department’s ability to play a strategic role will be severely limited, and achieving desired results from international  business  strategies  will  be far from guaranteed.

The  following  criteria are  essentials  for  an  effective  global financial  management  solution  and can be used as a standard for CFOs to conduct  a  high-level  analysis  of  their existing systems’ global readiness:

•  The ability to communicate seamlessly   with   business   systems company-wide. Businesses today spend  too  much  valuable  time on trying to get their systems to work  together.  When key  business  systems  operate  in  silos,  a holistic   view   of   organizational performance is difficult or impossible  to  obtain.  CFOs  also  often receive information that is dated and even worse, inaccurate.

The    growth    of    multinational business   and   the   complexity of   managing   business   entities in  highly  diverse  locales  have moved company-wide system integration  from  a  nice  to  have  to a must-have. CFOs should make this  a  fundamental  criterion  for any  system  replacement  or  upgrade. 

•   The ability to augment transactions as   a   result   of   changes   in   the business or requirements for local reporting.  Often  known  as “smart transactions”,    these    transaction types     enable     companies     to capture  additional  data  whenever it  is  demanded  and  begin  doing analysis    on    that    information immediately.      As      a      result, businesses can accommodate local reporting   requirements   without making radical,  time-consuming, and  expensive  changes  to  their financial    management    systems and processes.

•   The   ability   to   support   multi-company,    independent    locale. Finance  departments  should  be able  to  independently configure business  units  so  that  each  can have its own base currency, chart of accounts and business rules as required to meet local standards.

The   ability   to   manage   entities using an independent setup or to support multiple companies within a   single   business   entity   gives CFOs  the  flexibility to efficiently and  effectively  manage  diverse and complex organizations.

•   The    ability    to    support    4-D multi-currency.   Most  financial management      systems      offer multi-currency  capabilities,  but the  degree  to  which  they  do  so plays  an  important  role  in  the system’s   overall   effectiveness.

A  global-ready  solution  should provide   the    ability    to   carry parallel  currency  dimensions  on all  source  transactions,  catering for   local   accounting   currency, alternate   base   currency,   and reporting   currencies   while allowing   every   transaction   to carry   all   four   values   and   the actual  rates  of  exchange  used.

The availability  of  an  additional “variable”   currency   code   also allows for management of more sophisticated requirements, such as branch accounting in different currencies.

•   The     ability    to   accommodate multiple financial calendars. Global-ready systems should allow finance departments   to   create   different accounting periods  for  reporting purposes  and  re-aggregate    to different periods as required.

•   The   ability   to   provide   global access.     Multinational     finance departments    are    often    faced with   operational   challenges   on the   ground   in   diverse   locales.

Internet  connectivity  and  access to  IT  support  can  vary  widely  by country.  As  a  result,  deployment options  are  a  critical  component of a global financial management system.   Companies   should   be able to install the solution centrally as  a  shared  service  or  access  it via  a  Web  interface. The  system should   also   be   straightforward to  implement  and  provide  a  low total cost of ownership to increase its  viability  as  a  solution  for  all geographies.

Make your financial management systems work the way you want it to with the new Infor10 Financials Business (SunSystems).

Manage growth with ease, drive profits and meet change with confidence with Infor10 Financials Business.