Archive for the ‘Microsoft Dynamics CRM’ category

Omnichannel for Customer Service – Dynamics 365

July 18th, 2022

Omnichannel for Customer Service offers a suite of capabilities that extend the power of Dynamics 365 Customer Service Enterprise to enable organizations to instantly connect and engage with their customers across digital messaging channels.

Omnichannel for Customer Service provides omnichannel capabilities for Dynamics 365. Gives us many of the contact centre features we require out of the box.: web chat, SMS, voice and more directly within Dynamics 365.

Put simply we’re talking about giving customers many different ways of contacting you for support.

Omnichannel customer service is also often used to describe a system which combines many channels in to a single stream. The single stream gives a seamless experience for customers and support agents

Other related functionality includes Unified Routing to intelligently allocate work items to agents and also the Customer Service Workspace which gives agents a multi-session UI. And not forgetting Power Virtual Agents that can be used as voice IVRs or webchat BOTs.

An additional license is required to access Omnichannel for Customer Service.

Supervisors get real-time and historical visibility and insights into the operational efficiency of agents and the utilization across various channels.

The enterprise-grade routing and work distribution engine allows customers to configure agent presence, availability, and routing rules, thus ensuring agents are working on the most relevant engagements.

End of support for Microsoft SQL 2012

July 15th, 2022

Microsoft on Tuesday announced that it will no longer be supporting SQL Server 2012     

The product, on July 12, 2022, reached the end of its 10-year support model. It means that SQL Server 2012 will no longer get future security patches from Microsoft. The server continues to run under such circumstances, but organizations may be potentially exposed to future security troubles and they could get encumbered by the compliance implications of running unsupported software.

Organizations who need to stick with SQL Server products, have four options:

  • Organizations can upgrade to SQL Server 2019.
  • Organizations can continue to use SQL Server 2012 and get “Critical” security patches only via Microsoft’s Extended Security Updates (ESU) program for up to three years.
  • Organizations can move their SQL Server 2012 workloads into Microsoft Azure virtual machines, where Microsoft provides the ESU patches at no cost.
  • Lastly, Microsoft advocates using Azure SQL Managed Instance, which is an Azure platform-as-a-service offering that promises high compatibility with on-premises SQL Server.

The Azure SQL Managed Instance option is similar to the Azure Arc-enabled SQL Managed Instance service, but the latter lets organizations continue to use their own infrastructure. The nuances between those two options are described in this Sept. 30, 2020 Microsoft Tech Community post.

While the ESU program offers a grace period of sorts for SQL Server 2012 users, its use with on-premises servers comes with licensing requirements. Organizations will need to have Software Assurance coverage, which is an annuity cost. However, they can only buy ESUs when they have an “Enterprise Agreement (EA), Enterprise Subscription Agreement (EAS), a Server & Cloud Enrollment (SCE) and Enrollment for Education Solutions (EES)” licensing, according to Microsoft’s end-of-support FAQ document.

The ESU program lets organization buy Critical security patches in one-year increments, for up to three years maximum. Microsoft hikes the ESU price each year by 25 percent of the base price of SQL Server 2012 license, according to the following formula:

  • Year 1: Approximately 75% of full license price
  • Year 2: Approximately 100% of full license price
  • Year 3: Approximately 125% of full license price

Those incremental fees no doubt are designed to prod organizations into moving their SQL Server 2012 workloads into Azure virtual machines, where Microsoft provides ESU patching for free.

For organizations making the move to cloud services, Microsoft’s  Azure Migration and Modernization Program offers either Microsoft ,or partner support for moves to Azure services. This program is billed as being available to organizations of all sizes, and bearing “no additional cost” for Azure customers, per its landing page.

Microsoft has recently beefed up the funding for the Azure Migration and Modernization Program.

“We’re now investing significantly more to support your largest Windows Server and SQL Server migration and modernization projects, up to 2.5 times more than previous investments, based on project eligibility,” the announcement indicated. “This investment will help with your migration in two ways: partner assistance with planning and moving your workloads, and Azure credits that offset transition costs during your move to Azure Virtual Machines, Azure SQL Managed Instance, and Azure SQL Database.”

The announcement also warned that Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 will be reaching their end-of-support phasesnext year on October 10, 2023.”

Microsoft plans to offer its ESU patch program and its Modernization migration support program for those servers as well.

Next year, in April, many of Microsoft’s 2013-branded application servers will also fal out of support 

Note: Before you upgrade SQL, check the compatibility of the software that runs on it with the new version of SQL – you may be faced with the need to also update those systems to later versions for example older versions of Dynamics Ax,

KB5006943 – On-demand hotfix update package for SQL Server 2016 SP3

November 1st, 2021

This update https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/topic/kb5006943-on-demand-hotfix-update-package-for-sql-server-2016-sp3-94de2975-cd7d-47ed-b003-5d7daf4e2caf contains hotfixes for issues that were fixed after the release of SQL Server 2016 SP3 (https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/topic/kb5003279-sql-server-2016-service-pack-3-release-information-46ab9543-5cf9-464d-bd63-796279591c31 ). To apply this hotfix package, you must have SQL Server 2016 installed on your computer.

Note The build number of the hotfix update package is 13.0.6404.1.

Dynamics 365 Project Operations

September 13th, 2021

Dynamics 365 Project Operations will soon be one year since GA and more features will come next moth in the Wave 2 update. It is a combination of previous solutions (Project Management and Accounting feature of Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain, Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation, and Microsoft Project) into a single set of user scenarios typical of project-centric businesses.

The long-term approach to the database back-end for Dynamics 365 Project Operations is he Dataverse. (formerly known as the Common Data Service) which consists of foundational, secure data entities to enable standard, mainstream business use cases with reusable business logic. 

Project Management and Accounting development work will continue on X++ while Project Service Automation solutions will still be built on the Power Platform.

August 24th, 2021

A bungled data migration of a network drive caused the deletion of 22 terabytes of information from Dallas Police Department police force’s systems – included case files in a murder trial,during a data migration exercise carried out at the end of the 2020-21 financial year

“On August 6, 2021, the Dallas Police Department (DPD) and City of Dallas Information and Technology Services Department (ITS) informed the administration of this Office that in April 2021, the City discovered that multiple terabytes of DPD data had been deleted during a data migration of a DPD network drive,” said a statement [PDF] from the Dallas County prosecutor’s office.

14TB were recovered, presumably from backups, but “approximately 8 Terabytes remain missing and are believed to be unrecoverable.”

The Home Office initially issued a statement saying the data loss was down to a “technical issue”, which had been resolved, There must have been some technical resolution because the Home Office later said it was not a technical issue after all, and in fact a “housekeeping error” with Home Secretary Priti Patel saying: “Home Office engineers continue to work to restore data lost as a result of human error during a routine housekeeping process earlier this week.”

In a letter published by The Guardian, National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) deputy chief constable Naveed Malik, lead for the organisation on the Police National Computer (PNC), said approximately 213,000 offence records, 175,000 arrest records and 15,000 person records had potentially been deleted in error. The DNA database connected to the PNC saw 26,000 records corresponding to 21,710 subjects potentially deleted in error, “including records previously marked for indefinite retention following conviction of serious offences”. The letter also said 30,000 fingerprint records and 600 subject records may have been deleted in error.

The PNC dates back to the 1970s. The current iteration is a Fujitsu BS2000/OSD SE700-30 mainframe based in a Hendon data centre, running Software AG’s natural programming language-using ADABAS database. The UK’s territorial and regional police forces, Serious Fraud Office, Security and Secret Intelligence Services (MI5, MI6), HM Revenue & Customs, and the National Crime Agency all make use of it. They have controlled and 24-hour access from remote terminals and through local police force systems.

These incidents highlight the importance of backups and backup and recovery processes. How often do you test whether you can restore your back ups? Does this still work for restoring older back ups when you upgrade? Has a move to the cloud changed the retention of your back ups, the frequency of upgrades, or the ease or time for restore?

e-invoicing in KSA and Dubai – does your system meet the requirements? Ask Synergy Software Systems.

July 16th, 2021

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The Kingdom announced e-invoicing for resident companies, which was published on December 4, 2020. e-invoicing will become mandatory for tax payers from December 4, 2021.

The aims of the e-invoicing mandate are to provide more transparency, and enhance consumer protection and anothee benefit of e-invoicing implementation is the readability of the invoice formats

. Companies registered in Saudi Arabia should immediately start updating or changing their systems and processes to support issuance of e-invoices. This may be a little challenging. However, the key to successful implementation is to start early.

Note that Dubai has also announced similar legislation.

If you need to upgrade or change your system or to .add additional functionality to your systems to comply with the invoicing mandate then please contact us 009714336589

On this blessed occasion of Eid, we wish you and your family good health, wealth and prosperity. And don’t forget to take a reflection on you and your business this Summer.

Synergy Microsoft Gold partnership

June 23rd, 2021

Our Microsoft Partner Network Gold competency membership has been confirmed again for the 15th time.

Quickly identify and fix your performance bottleneck

May 4th, 2021

Are you responsible for a busy SQL server, for example, the Finance Department’s systems, documentation management, CRM, BI, or a Web Server; perhaps a busy file and print server, or something else entirely.

Were you responsible for installing the application running the workload for your company? Is the workload business critical, i.e. TOO BIG TO FAIL?

Do users, or even worse, customers, complain about performance?

If you are responsible to keep the workloads running in your organization that would benefit from additional performance, please read on – even if you don’t consider yourself a “Techie”.

Windows and VMs are both factors of high latency that impacts performance.

Variables Affecting the Performance of the Applications

There are many variables that affect the performance of those applications. The slowest, i.e. the most restrictive of these is the “Bottleneck”. Think of water being poured from a bottle. The water can only flow as fast as the neck of the bottle, the ‘slowest’ part of the bottle.

In a computer hardware the bottleneck will almost always fit into one of the following categories:

  • CPU
  • DISK
  • MEMORY
  • NETWORK

With Windows, it is usually very easy to find out which one the bottleneck is in, and here is how to do it (like an IT Engineer):

  • To open Resource Monitor – click the Start menu, and type “resource monitor”, and press Enter. Microsoft includes this as part of the Windows operating system and it is already installed.
  • Notice the graphs in the right-hand pane. When your computer is running at peak load, or users are complaining about performance, which of the graphs are ‘maxing out’? This is a great indicator of where your workload’s bottleneck is to be found.
Resource monitor

What You Can Do to Improve Application Performance

Once you have identified your bottleneck – the slowest part of your ‘compute environment’ then, what can you do to improve it?

The traditional approach to solving computer performance issues is to throw bigger and more powerful hardware at the solution like an extra disk or a new laptop, or putting more RAM into your workstation, or on the more extreme end, buying new servers or expensive storage solutions.

How do you decide when it is appropriate to spend money on new or additional hardware, and when it isn’t. Well the obvious answer is; ‘when you can get the performance that you need’, with the existing hardware infrastructure that you have already bought.

You don’t replace your car, just because it needs a service or tuning?

Let’s take disk speed as an example. Look at the response time column in Resource Monitor. Open the monitor to full screen or large enough to see the data. On the Overview tab, open the Disk Activity section so that you can see the Response Time column.

Do it now on the computer you’re using to read this. (You didn’t close Resource Monitor yet, did you?) This shows the Disk Response Time, or , how long is the storage taking to read and write data? Of course, a slower disk speed = a slower performance, but what is considered a good disk speed or a bad speed?

Scott Lowe, has written a great post that you can read here…TechRepublic: Use Resource Monitor to monitor storage performance that perfectly describes what to expect from faster and slower Disk Response Times:

Response Time (ms). Disk response time in milliseconds. For this metric, a lower number is definitely better; in general, anything less than 10 ms is considered good performance. If you occasionally go beyond 10 ms, you should be okay, but if the system is consistently waiting more than 20 ms for response from the storage, then you may have a problem that needs attention, and it’s likely that users will notice performance degradation. At 50 ms and greater, the problem is serious.”

I hope when you check on your computer, the Disk Response Time is below 20 milliseconds. What about those other workloads that you were thinking about earlier. What’s the Disk Response Times on that busy SQL server, the CRM or BI platform, or those Windows servers that the users complain about?

Your Two Options

When the Disk Response Times are often higher than 20 milliseconds, and you need to improve the application performance, then it’s choice time and there are two main options:

  • Storage workload reduction software like DymaxIO™ fast data (Diskeeper®, SSDkeeper®, and V-locity® are now new DymaxIO fast data software). This tool will reduce Disk Storage Times by allowing much e of the data that your applications need to read, to come from a RAM cache, rather than be read slower disk storage. RAM is much faster than the media in your disk storage.
  • Contact us to trial this. You don’t even need to reboot.
  • If you have tried the DymaxIO software, and you still need faster disk access, then, it’s time to start getting quotations for new hardware. It does make sense though, to take a couple of minutes to install DymaxIO first, to see if that can be avoided. The software solution to remove storage inefficiencies is typically a much more cost-effective solution than having to buy hardware! A software solution to a software problem.

Improve Your Application Performance by Decreasing Disk Latency like an IT Engineer – call us to learn more 0097143365589

10 X Faster Reports on SQL! Run Time from 30 Mins to 3 Mins! Ask Synergy Software Systems

April 27th, 2021

The performance degradation of applications running on Windows, and VMs is getting inherently worse. This includes latency issues, queries or reports timing out, crashes, missed SLAs, back office batch jobs bleeding over into production hours, and the litany of “shadow IT” problems that wreak havoc.

Even after migrating to a brand-new flash array, performance problems return because the root source of the problem still exists. The fact is, 30-40% of performance is being robbed by small, fractured, random I/O being generated due to operating system I/O inefficiencies. This is a software problem that is solved by our software.

DymaxIO™ fast data software will quickly:

  • Increase performance automatically – no tuning required. Simply install and watch performance problems disappear.
  • Optimizes writes so maximum payload is carried with every I/O operation.
  • Speed up I/O intensive applications like MS-SQL/Oracle, CRM, ERP, File Servers, Imaging, Web Servers, Backups, VDI.

Install our software on your most troublesome servers and see 30-50% or more of the noisy, garbage I/O offloaded and performance dramatically improved.

The New Dynamics 365 Project Operations – ask Synergy Software Systems, Dubai

January 16th, 2021

Almost a year ago, Muhammad Alam, Corporate Vice President Dynamics 365, shared the vision for a better product for project and service based businesses and industries. In March, Gurkan Salk was named the new General Manager for Project Operations at Microsoft.

Users of Dynamics 365 Project Operations often ask for a better way to collaborate in Microsoft Teams, and a new app experience has now arrived. (December 2020)

There are many ways in which Teams can be used to boost collaboration and efficiency while reducing reliance on email.
Add the Dynamics 365 App to Teams and use Project Operations inside Teams.
There is no need to step out of Teams for anything related to Dynamics work.
This app in general is for all the Dynamics 365 apps built upon Dataverse and the Power Platform, be it the Sales app, Customer Service, Project Operations, or others.
The benefit of working with Project Operation within Teams is the improved collaboration as project execution is in process. Many of the workflows of a typical project require constant email correspondence. That work can now be done via Teams, keeping inboxes clean and ensuring the right people stay informed.