Archive for May, 2015

Kurzweil and Moore’s law and the IOT – what lies ahead?

May 28th, 2015

New figures released by the ITU (the UN agency for information and communication technologies) indicates 3.2 billion people online worldwide by the end of 2015 with — 2 billion of them — live in developing countries.
Since the millennium,mobile subscriptions rose from from 738 million to 7 billion worldwide, and Internet penetration from 6.5 percent to 43 percent of the global population. Almost half of the homes across the world now have internet access (46 percent), which is up from 18 percent in 2005.

As for mobile broadband, the number of users surfing on their phones increased by a factor of 12 since 2007, reaching 47 percent this year.
What will the internet of things bring to the party?

ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao commented: “These new figures not only show the rapid technological progress made to date, but also help us identify those being left behind in the fast-evolving digital economy, as well as the areas where ICT investment is needed most”.

Brahima Sanou, Director of the ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau,observed: “ICTs will play an even more significant role in the post-2015 era and in achieving future Sustainable Development Goals as the world moves faster and faster towards a digital society. Our mission is to connect everyone and to create a truly inclusive information society, for which we need comparable and high-quality data and statistics to measure progress

This explosive growth reflects Google Futurist Ray Kurzweil core thesis, called “the Law of Accelerating Returns .(He made headlines with provocative yet often accurate predictions, like that a computer would beat a human in chess (already happened) or that self-driving cars would take us everywhere (starting to happen). Kurzweil’s theory states that “fundamental measures of information technology follow predictable and exponential trajectories.”
Information technology progresses exponentially. With exponential growth, it’s one, two, four, eight,… and you’re soon at a billion.

The most famous example is “Moore’s Law,” named for Intel cofounder Gordon Moor,who in 1965predicted that “the number of transistors incorporated in a chip will approximately double every 24 months. In 1969 I did metallurgical research on Silicon chip manufacure and 1000 components on a chip was about the limit then and such a chip cost about the same as small car.. Computers have shrunk from filling up a room to filling up your pocket, all while becoming way more powerful.

He cites the analogy of the supposed inventor of chess and his patron, the Emperor of China. In response to the emperor’s offer of a reward for his new beloved game, the inventor asked for a single grain of rice on the first square, two on the second square, four on the third, and so on. The Emperor quickly granted this seemingly benign and humble request. One version of the story has the emperor going bankrupt as the 63 doublings ultimately totaled 18 million trillion grains of rice. At ten grains of rice per square inch, this requires rice fields covering twice the surface area of the Earth, oceans included. Another version of the story has the inventor losing his head. Therein lies the most terrifying, exciting, and mystifying aspect of Kurzweil’s thesis.

From an IT perspective we are somewhere in the middle of that chessboard. When the inventor went through the first half of the chess board, things were fairly uneventful. The inventor was given spoonfuls of rice, then bowls of rice, then barrels. By the end of the first half of the chess board, the inventor had accumulated one large field’s worth (4 billion grains), and the emperor did start to take notice.

When a technology like a a fax, then email, then a smartphone comes in and suddenly shifts our entire culture we start to realize how quickly things are accelerating. Humans are linear by thought process whereas technology is exponential.

“As exponential growth continues to accelerate into the first half of the twenty-first century,” he writes. “It will appear to explode into infinity, at least from the limited and linear perspective of contemporary humans.” The consequences of that moment — which is inevitable if Kurzweil’s theories hold — are widely debated.

Elon Musk has repeatedly said that we should be afraid of these high technologies. He’s said that “with artificial intelligence we’re summoning the demon,” and that it poses the “biggest existential threat to humans.”But for the rest of us, the issue isn’t whether the Law of Accelerating Returns is good or bad. Simply that it exists. “As humans, we are biased to think linearly,” writes Peter Diamandis, the futurist and XPRIZE CEO. “As entrepreneurs, we need to think exponentially.”

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SQL 2016 – preview of what’s new

May 28th, 2015

Three weeks Microsoft Iannounced, the next major release of Microsoft’s flagship SQL database and analytics platform, as well key innovations in the release.
The first public Community Technology Preview (CTP2) for SQL Server 2016 gives an early look into many of the capabilities
SQL Server 2016 provides breakthrough performance for mission critical applications and deeper insights on your data across on-premises and cloud.
Top capabilities for the release include: Always Encrypted – a new capability that protects data at rest and in motion,
Stretch Database – new technology that lets you dynamically stretch your warm and cold transactional data to Microsoft Azure,
enhancements for real-time analytics on top of breakthrough transactional performance and new in-database analytics with R integration.

Key Capabilities in SQL Server 2016 CTP2
Always Encrypted

Always Encrypted, based on technology from Microsoft Research, protects data at rest and in motion. With Always Encrypted, SQL Server can perform operations on encrypted data and best of all, the encryption key resides with the application in the customers trusted environment. Encryption and decryption of data happens transparently inside the application which minimizes the changes that have to be made to existing applications.
Stretch Database
This new technology allows you to dynamically stretch your warm and cold transactional data to Microsoft Azure, so your operational data is always at hand, no matter the size, and you benefit from the low cost of Azure. You can use Always Encrypted with Stretch Database to extend data in a more secure manner for greater peace of mind.
Real-time Operational Analytics & In-Memory OLTP
For In-Memory OLTP, which customers today are using for up to 30x faster transactions, you will now be able to apply this tuned transaction performance technology to a significantly greater number of applications and benefit from increased concurrency. With these enhancements, we introduce the unique capability to use our in-memory columnstore delivering 100X faster queries on top of in-memory OLTP to provide real-time operational analytics while accelerating transaction performance.
Additional capabilities in SQL Server 2016 CTP2 include:
PolyBase – More easily manage relational and non-relational data with the simplicity of T-SQL.
AlwaysOn Enhancements – Achieve even higher availability and performance of your secondaries, with up to 3 synchronous replicas, DTC support and round-robin load balancing of the secondaries.
Row Level Security– Enables customers to control access to data based on the characteristics of the user. Security is implemented inside the database, requiring no modifications to the application.
Dynamic Data Masking – Supports real-time obfuscation of data so data requesters do not get access to unauthorized data. Helps protect sensitive data even when it is not encrypted.
Native JSON support – Allows easy parsing and storing of JSON and exporting relational data to JSON.
Temporal Database support – Tracks historical data changes with temporal database support.
Query Data Store – Acts as a flight data recorder for a database, giving full history of query execution so DBAs can pinpoint expensive/regressed queries and tune query performance.
MDS enhancements – Offer enhanced server management capabilities for Master Data Services.
Enhanced hybrid backup to Azure – Enables faster backups to Microsoft Azure and faster restores to SQL Server in Azure Virtual Machines. Also, you can stage backups on-premises prior to uploading to Azure.

New with SQL Server 2016, customers will have the opportunity to receive more frequent updates to their preview to help accelerate internal development and test efforts. Instead of waiting for CTP3, customers can choose to download periodic updates to CTP2 gaining access to new capabilities and features as soon as they are available for testing.

Social media does it matter to your business?

May 20th, 2015

Watch this informative video to understand the explosive growth of social media.
Tourism Ireland is the publically-funded organisation responsible for marketing the island of Ireland overseas. Working together with their social media channels, Microsoft Dynamics CRM helps to give the organisation a deeper look at their customers and allows Tourism Ireland to bring a personalised experience to prospective visitors to the Emerald Isle. “Technology allows us to bring a lot of these experiences to life.” Microsoft Dynamics CRM has helped them build a single customer data base that is quickly accessible by their staff allowing them to easily customise their marketing communications.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM -Social Engagement

May 19th, 2015

With the latest release of Microsoft Social Engagement, salespeople can create leads and opportunities directly from social posts. So now salespeople have a new source for high-quality and timely leads and opportunities that are based specifically on buying signals found in social conversations.

Companies can create end-to-end customer engagements from social posts and teams can monitor social topics. Social analytics is enhanced with text mining, cloud visualization and a social activity map for interactive, global and real-time visibility into social activity. A reimagined user interface for social is data-rich with information at your fingertips, beautiful, intuitive, and easy to use.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM – Click Dimensions -Year end Special offer Synergy Software Systems Dubai

May 19th, 2015

We are holding a promotion for Microsoft’s end of fiscal year. If a ClickDimensions order is placed and paid for before June 29th, customers will have the option to choose between either 15% more emails added to any package OR a 15 month contract for the price of 12 months. (*The 15 month contract is the most most popular option)
ClickDimensions is the world leader in marketing automation for Microsoft Dynamics CRM with over 1,700 customers in 60+ countries and is the highest-rated marketing solution on Microsoft’s Dynamics Marketplace.
The solution is built exclusively for, and is 100% embedded in, Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
It helps organizations to discover who is interested in their products, and to quantify their level of interest and take the appropriate follow up actions.
Call us for more details. 0097143365589

Sir Maurice Flanagan

May 8th, 2015

On the 7th May, Emirates Airline’s founding CEO Sir Maurice Flanagan passed away at his home in London, at the age of 86. British-born Flanagan, launched the Dubai-based airline with $10 million in 1985, and retired two years ago.

He was a key architect in the phenomenal growth of Emirates Arline and Group, having overseen dnata’s operations and subsequently every stage in Emirates’ remarkable rise from regional carrier with two aircraft to global giant with a fleet of more than 170 aircraft.

Sheikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, described Flanagan as a legend in the aviation industry. “It was a great personal pleasure and privilege to have worked with him. On behalf of all Emirates Group staff, I express our condolences to his wife Audrey, his son Julian, and his daughters Siobhan and Claire. His contributions to dnata, Emirates, and Dubai, will always be remembered.”

Sir Maurice first arrived e left British Airways in 1978 to become Director and General Manager of dnata, during the early days of Dubai’s economic development. In 1985, he led a 10-man team to launch Emirates airline with $10 million. with no protection against competition in Emirates’ home market, and no subsidy of any kind.

He was the managing director for the inaugural Emirates flight in 1985 and his pivotal role in the company’s development was recognised in 1990 when he was appointed group managing director of Emirates Group. He became vice chairman and group president in July 2003 and was promoted to his executive vice chairman position in 2006.

Born in 1928 in Leigh, Lancashire, Flanagan attended initially the now defunct Leigh Boys Grammar School, but transferred later to Lymm Grammar School, and then Liverpool University. He once had a trial to be a professional footballer with Blackburn Rovers. He snapped cruciate ligaments, an injury that dogged him ever since.
Less well known is that he wrote a popular ITV drama in the 1960s. A satire on management theory that starred Leonard Rossiter. He also wrote poems and was published in the Spectator.

He started his career in 1953 with BOAC, the forerunner of British Airways, as a graduate trainee after serving in the Royal Air Force as a navigation officer. (Bastards Overseas Avoiding Conscription, as he described BOAC .) HE was posted to Kano, Calcutta, Tripoli, Bangkok. He once recollected “You saluted the captain and flag as you taxied out in those days”. He ascended through a variety of overseas posts and returned to the UK in 1965 as a route planning manager.

He was major factor in shaping Dubai and the now prominent role of aviation in the UAE

Bitlog WMS launch seminar with Synergy Software Sytems, Dubai

May 7th, 2015

Bitlog first entered the UAE market in October 2014 and is now officially launching Bitlog WMS supported by Synergy Software Solutions.

Fred Boström, CEO, Bitlog, said: “The UAE distribution and retail industry is developing at a very dynamic pace and there is a great need for efficiency, both with work flow and costs in the vastly growing freezones, like JAFZA, DAFZA and Ajman Freezone. This makes the UAE the perfect choice for us. Not only does Bitlog WMS offer a fully automated system to manage the distribution chain, but it does it such an innovative way that the cost savings and warehouse operations drastically improve from the first day on.”

The WMS will be unveiled on 15 June, 2015 at the launch event with Synergy Software Solutions at the Microsoft Gulf Internet City premises. The software is compatible with all the common ERP systems and comes also with a mobile interface, which has been very popular among the Bitlog clients in Europe.

A customer, Hultafors Group, will be present at the launch event to speak about the 15% savings it achieved through using Bitlog WMS across multiple warehouses.

Stephen Jones, Director Synergy Software Systems, said “We are encouraged by the focus and support Bitlog is bringing to this launch. The UAE has evolved from a regional distribution hub to a global one as new ports, airports, and railways link with the material cities and freezones.. The user friendly Microsoft look and feel and technology stack were other factors in bringing the solution to market, but what matters most is how will it help you run your warehouse to give better service at lower cost. Some features we like include rapid reallocation of inventory based on changing priorities and rapid rescheduling of deliveries- which is crucial for many industries. We think Biltog will add value to many warehouse and distribution operations whether in house or 3PL companies”.

For more information on the event and how you can register please contact and wathc this blog for further news.

Microsoft Azure Stack announced this week at Microsoft Ignify 2015

May 6th, 2015

Microsoft Ignite this week- the company announced that it is making available a version of Azure that can be hosted in your own datacenter.
The new software, called Microsoft Azure Stack allows you to run your own version of the company’s cloud platform on your own servers. The idea is that you’ll be able to use the same application development and deployment techniques from the hosted cloud platform on your own terms.
Azure Stack is essentially everything you see on the hosted version of the company’s cloud service, including the portal, in a single package for running on premise. The software will be available for the first time “this summer.”

Microsoft’s competitors like: Amazon’s EC2 and Google Cloud Compute don’t provide offerings for hosting your own service.

Summary of Technet Guest post by Mike Neil, General Manager for Windows Server, Microsoft:
Chicago at the Microsoft Ignite conference

Hybrid cloud is an ideal solution for many organizations bringing together the agility of public cloud and the control of on-premises systems.
“Today, we are announcing several new solutions that will continue to expand the industry’s most complete cloud:
• Microsoft Azure Stack, a next generation cloud infrastructure that brings Azure IaaS and PaaS capabilities to customers’ datacenters.
• Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016, the next versions of the popular application platform and management solutions.
• Microsoft Operations Management Suite, a new hybrid management solution that helps you manage your corporate workloads no matter where they run: Azure, AWS, Windows Server, Linux, VMware, or OpenStack.”

Building Hybrid Clouds
Microsoft is the only cloud vendor that both builds, and runs its own hyper-scale datacenters and delivers that same technology back to customers’ and partners’ datacenters.

Next wave of cloud infrastructure.
Microsoft Azure Stack
– Microsoft Azure Stack delivers IaaS and PaaS services into your datacenter
– Easily blend enterprise applications such as SQL Server, SharePoint, and Exchange with modern distributed applications and services while maintaining centralized oversight.
– Azure Resource Manager (just released in preview last week), gives consistent application deployments every time, whether provisioned to Azure in the public cloud or Azure Stack in a datacenter environment. This approach is unique in the industry and gives developers the flexibility to create applications once and then decide where to deploy t later – all with role-based access control to meet your compliance needs.

– Azure Stack includes a scalable and flexible software-defined Network Controller and Storage Spaces Direct with: – automated sync and failover.
Shielded VMsand Guarded Hosts to bring “zero-trust” software-defined security to your private cloud. Securely segment organizations and workloads and centrally control and monitor access and administration rights.

Preview Azure Stack starting this summer.

New Technical Preview of Windows Server 2016 – Now Available
The next version of Windows Server will introduce Windows Server Containers and Hyper-V Containers (expected in the third Technical Preview of Windows Server 2016 this summer).

Windows Server 2016 will also offer Azure Service Fabric, a platform for building and hosting application services that automatically scale and heal, bringing you the same underlying technology used to power highly scalable services like Skype for Business, Azure SQL Database, and Cortana.
The second Technical Preview of Windows Server 2016. offers a first look at Nano Server. Extending the advanced virtualization features:
• Rolling upgrades for Hyper-V and Storage clusters for even faster adoption of new updates and operating systems.
• Compute resiliency so virtual machines (VMs) continue running even if the compute cluster fabric service fails.
• Storage Replica updates for synchronous storage replication for affordable backup and disaster recovery.

Managing a Hybrid World
Today’s hybrid reality means applications and data are spread across multiple vendors’ environments. While you may not control all the platforms they run on you still need to manage and control these assets to help your organization meet business, compliance and regulatory needs.
Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS)
OMS now extends your System Center investments and Microsoft best practices to simplify management of your assets at a lower cost than competitive solutions, wherever they live-
– any instance (physical, virtual or container)
– and any cloud, including: your data center, Azure, AWS, Windows Server, Linux, VMware, and OpenStack,
OMS tracks and manages:
Log Analytics: collect and search millions of records in seconds across thousands of machines to identify the root cause of operational issues.
Security: identify malware status and missing system updates, and collect security related events to perform forensic, audit and breach analysis.
Availability: enable application and data protection for all servers and applications, no matter where they reside with cloud-based backup and site recovery.
Automation: orchestrate complex and repetitive operations for more efficient and cost-effective hybrid cloud management.

Expect cloud-based patching, inventory, alerting, container management, and more later in the year.

New Technical Preview of System Center 2016 – Available This Week
System Center 2016 has new; provisioning, monitoring and automation capabilities for your software-defined datacenter. iT adds:
• Improved Linux management, including Desired State Configuration (DSC) support, native SSH support, and improved LAMP stack monitoring.
• Software Defined Datacenter management, including mixed mode cluster upgrades, enhanced Scale-Out File Server (SOFS) management, and deployment of software-defined networking (SDN) at scale.
• Powerful new monitoring for Azure, Office365, SQL Server and Exchange.

IFSB publishes core principes for Islamic banking

May 6th, 2015

The IFSB is an international standard-setting organization which aims to promote and improve strength in the Islamic Financial Services industry.The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) recently published its core principles for Islamic finance regulation (Islamic banking segment).
These core principles address some of the challenges which occur in the Islamic Banking domain, and will assist regulators and supervisors in building their regulatory regimes, and to cope with the global financial environment.
The IFSB sees such core principles as important as those issued by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, the International Organization of Securities Commission and the International Association of Insurance; as a basis for regulators and supervisors to assess the strength and effectiveness of regulation and supervision.


May 6th, 2015

FCA is planning to introduce new organizational and conduct of business requirements in line with implementation of MiFID II

MiFID II implementation requirements include, among others:
• investor protection measures for structured deposits;
• Disclosure of costs and charges;
• MiFID II’s approach to adviser independence;

MiFID II will come into effect on 3 January 2017.

For additional information please refer to the FCA website