Archive for the ‘Technology’ category

Microsoft’s April 2021 Patch Tuesday

April 17th, 2021

Update Tuesday is a monthly cycle when Microsoft releases patches for vulnerabilities . As a best practice, Micorosft encourage customers you to turn on automatic updates.

Security hygiene and patch management are as important as ever as to protect from both sophisticated and common cybercriminal activity. Customers should ensure they are on the latest version of software with current security updates. . It is common for attackers to shift their efforts to exploit recently disclosed vulnerabilities before the latest updates or patches are installed, which is why it is so important that customers migrate to the latest supported software.

This month’s release includes a number of critical vulnerabilities to prioritize, including updates to protect against new vulnerabilities in on-premise Exchange Servers. Given the recent focus on Exchange vulnerabilities, we recommend customers install the updates as soon as possible to ensure they remain protected. Customers using Exchange Online are already protected and do not need to take any action.

More details on all of this month’s updates can be found in the Security Update Guide.. More information on best practice can be found in the following resources:

Business Central Wave 1 – now even better Ask Synergy Software Systems

April 15th, 2021

A recent Microsoft-commissioned IDC survey of small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) across the globe, 60 percent of leaders indicated that 2021 will be spent on pivoting and focusing on recovery. They  stated that their top three business challenges are to increase their: business agility, productivity, and revenue.

A modern business management solution can help SMBs address these challenges. SMBs leaders struggle to find the time to create a digital transformation strategy. That’s where we can help.

Dynamics 365 Business Central helps SMBs to adapt faster, work smarter, and perform better

Dynamics 365 Business Central provides a connected, cloud hosted, business management solution for growing small and midmarket organizations.

Connected means that you bring together your finance, sales, service, and operations teams within a single application.  Reduce the costs of licensing and training in multiple systems and the challenges of integration reporting and data consistency.

Get the real time insights needed to drive your business forward and to adapt to rapidly changing business models :

  • Adapt faster—have a flexible platform to adopt technological change, and to adapt to economic and statutory changes with the insights needed to pivot quickly, shift business models, and cultivate strategic plans.
  • Work smarter—Stop app switching and boost productivity using interoperability with Microsoft Teams, Excel, Word, and Outlook.
  • Perform better—Enable better business performance with continuous process improvements, real-time insights, and responsiveness across your entire business—not just financials.

Adapt faster: Onboarding guidance

Pivoting quickly is only possible when you can get everyone across your company to adopt new business apps, processes, and models. To reach go-live is critical for all new business management solutions, but time to productivity for your people is the better measurement of success. The 2021 release wave 1 of Dynamics 365 Business Central, includes ‘getting started checklist’s, a welcome banner, and in-app contextual help with teaching tips to ensure your people can onboard and deliver results faster.

Work smarter: Better together on the Microsoft cloud

Microsoft is the only company that provides productivity, collaboration, development, AI, business intelligence, and business applications all within a single cloud. The result goes beyond the ability to support remote work, improve security, and control costs. By connecting Dynamics 365, Microsoft 365, and Power Platform you empower your organization to be more collaborative, more productive, and more impactful.

In the 2021 release wave 1, there is  improved interoperability with Microsoft Teams, Word, and Excel, along with enabling integration between Dynamics 365 Business Central virtual tables into Microsoft Dataverse solutions.

Additionally, there is now support for Universal Print to streamline the way companies manage printing from Dynamics 365 Business Central.

Perform better: Improved dimensions and expansion to more geographies

To optimize financial performance and drive continuous business process improvements the 2021 wave 1 release supports global expansion, with Dynamics 365 Business Central now also available in India, Greece, Romania, and Turkey.

Working with dimensions and general ledger entry corrections is enhanced. Ensure consistent and accurate dimension value attributes on operational and financial transactions and spend less time on corrections, close month end faster, with fewer audit queries, and clearer insights from your business data.

Learn more

This is just a glimpse of the latest innovations for Dynamics 365 Business Central. There are many other recent enhancements across banking, payments, performance, supply chain optimization, and usability.

To start your digital transformation with Microsoft Dynamics Business Central call Synergy Software Systems 0091743365589

UiPath recognised again as RPA leader – ask UIpath Gold Partner Synergy Software Systems,

April 14th, 2021

Hyperautomation was trend number one on Gartner’s list of  Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2020Recognised as the RPA leader for the last 2 years by Gartner .The idea is to automate more and more knowledge work, and engage everyone in an organization to be part of the transformation.  This is the driver behind the 5th Industrial revolution when knowledge workers will leverage RPA and AI.

UiPath has also recently been recognised again in the Forrester Wave™: Robotic Process Automation, Q1 2021 which was released last month. UiPath was again ranked a Leader, with the highest rankings in the Strategy, Market Presence, and Current Offering categories, of all evaluated robotic process automation (RPA) vendors.

The ability of automation to help humans remove the mundane parts of their jobs has led to significant growth in the past few years. UiPath has a vision to deliver the fully automated enterprise™, one where companies think ‘automation first’ and apply automation where it makes the most sense and can have the greatest impact.

We believe that automation as a boardroom priority shouldn’t be new or surprising anymore. Now the race is on towards a greater vision for automation’s role across the entire enterprise: scaling and scope extension.

UiPath offers an end-to-end platform for automation, combining the leading RPA solution with a full suite of capabilities that enable every organization to rapidly scale digital business operations. We’re incredibly proud of our recognition from Forrester, and we believe it validates automation’s role in the world.

RPA customers, and their employees alike, want more out of vendors than simple desktop-based task enablement. The world has changed and so have the needs of customers. The report states, with more people working from home, “RPA software must be scalable and therefore suitable and appealing to business users to get damaged processes back into operations rapidly.”

According to this Forrester Wave report, RPA customers should focus on providers that:

  • Deliver broad and rich experiences for business leaders
  • Integrate RPA-adjacent automation technologies
  • Empower a superior scaling experience

When you look at these three areas together, it’s easy to see the technological side of automation’s role in the changing future of work: expanding integrated tools, enabling more complex use cases, providing more robust user experience and insight. It is also important to realize that digital transformation is not just about technology. Success in automation is really all about people. By putting people at the center of your scaling strategy and enabling every employee with a robot, you assure the resiliency and productivity of your business and shift operations toward higher efficiency.
When software robots can reason over data and use artificial intelligence (AI) to make decisions, it is possible to unlock new possibilities that transform entire industries. We see the symbiotic growth of AI and RPA technologies inside businesses because, together, these automate large areas of routine work when tasks are fast, known, and repeatable.

AI is built into every part of the UiPath Platform. the Process Mining features, collaborative discovery, assessment tools, and graphical visualizations provide all you need to analyze and track automation ROI and its realization.

Critical Windows fix

February 14th, 2021

A critical flaw was discovered in Windows 10 that could allow hackers to unleash a devastating attack on PCs and render the devices useless. Customers who have automatic updates enabled are automatically protected from these vulnerabilities.

Last week Microsoft released a set of fixes affecting Windows TCP/IP implementation that include two Critical Remote Code Execution (RCE) vulnerabilities (CVE-2021-24074, CVE-2021-24094) and an Important Denial of Service (DoS) vulnerability (CVE-2021-24086). The two RCE vulnerabilities are complex which make it difficult to create functional exploits, so they are not likely in the short term. We believe attackers will be able to create DoS exploits much more quickly and expect all three issues might be exploited with a DoS attack shortly after release. Thus, we recommend customers move quickly to apply Windows security updates this month.

The DoS exploits for these CVEs would allow a remote attacker to cause a stop error. Customers might receive a blue screen on any Windows system that is directly exposed to the internet with minimal network traffic.

It is essential that customers apply Windows updates to address these vulnerabilities as soon as possible. If applying the update quickly is not practical, workarounds are detailed in the CVEs that do not require restarting a server. These three vulnerabilities are unique and require separate workarounds depending on the exposure of an affected system; however, they can be thought of in terms of Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) and Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) solutions.

The IPv4 workaround simply requires further hardening against the use of Source Routing, which is disallowed in Windows default state. This workaround is documented in CVE-2021-24074 and can be applied through Group Policy or by running a NETSH command that does not require a reboot. The IPv6 workarounds are documented in CVE-2021-24094 and CVE-2021-24086, and require blocking IPv6 fragments, which may negatively impact services with dependencies on IPv6.

It is important that affected systems are patched as quickly as possible because of the elevated risk associated with these vulnerabilities, and downloads for these can be found in the Microsoft Security Update Guide.

Microsoft 365 apps and services will no longer support IE 11

February 3rd, 2021

Last August Microsoft announced that Microsoft 365 apps and services will no longer support Internet Explorer 11 (IE 11) by August 2021

Since November 30, 2020, the Microsoft Teams web app no longer supports IE 11.
To access Microsoft Teams, use the desktop app or a supported modern browser like the new Microsoft Edge.

Beginning August 17, 2021, the remaining Microsoft 365 apps and services will no longer support IE 11.
This means that after the above dates, customers will either be unable to connect to Microsoft 365 apps and services on IE 11 or have a degraded experience – new Microsoft 365 features will not be available or certain features may cease to work when accessing the app or service via IE 11.
This change will be difficult for some users,

Customers have been using IE 11 since 2013 when the online environment was much less sophisticated than the landscape today. Since then, open web standards and newer browsers—like the new Microsoft Edge—have enabled better, more innovative online experiences.

Respecting investments in IE 11 web apps
IE 11 isn’t going away1and customers’ own legacy IE 11 apps and investments will continue to work. Customers may have made business-critical investments in IE 11 legacy apps and those apps are still functioning. While bridging between modern and legacy apps, many customers may have no choice but to rely on a two-browser workaround of using IE 11 alongside a modern browser. However, with the new Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer mode, customers don’t need an awkward workaround of one browser for some app,s and another for other apps. They can standardize on one browser and seamlessly experience the best of the modern web in one tab while accessing a business-critical legacy IE 11 app in another tab – all housed within the new Microsoft Edge.

With native integration in Microsoft management, security, and productivity tools, we recommend the new Microsoft Edge to address customers’ compatibility and secure remote work needs. Microsoft Edge has SmartScreen built-in and has the highest-rated phishing and malware protection as measured by two independent studies. We will Microsoft engineers are ready to help customers in case they run into compatibility issues. For more information, see the ‘Help is available’ section below.

Note: Using Internet Explorer mode in the new Microsoft Edge will not help to extend IE 11 access to Microsoft 365 apps and services beyond the dates listed above. Microsoft 365 apps and services will stop supporting IE 11 on the dates listed.

Microsoft Edge Legacy makes way for the new Microsoft Edge
The new Microsoft Edge is a browser built on the Chromium open source engine with the latest in Microsoft enterprise capabilities. Since its release in January 2020, millions of users have upgraded their home and work browsers to the new Microsoft Edge. Additionally, new devices and future Windows feature updates (starting with Windows 10, version 20H2) will contain the new Microsoft Edge.

Microsoft is ending support for the Microsoft Edge Legacy desktop app on March 9, 2021.
After March 9, 2021, the Microsoft Edge Legacy desktop app will not receive new security updates.

We recommend that customers first read the detailed Microsoft article about how to plan for deployment. The article guides customers through key questions and offers a path forward for major steps in the transition to the new Microsoft Edge.

Next, customers determine what type of support you may need..
Customers with Microsoft Unified Support can reach out to Microsoft for t hat support service for help transitioning to the new Microsoft Edge.

Microsoft FastTrack is available at no additional charge to customers with 150 or more paid seats of Windows 10 Enterprise. To get started, submit a Request for Assistance through the FastTrack site.

For those customers who prefer to get started on their own, there are self-guided deployment and configuration materials, complete with a series from Microsoft Mechanics, ready on our Docs site.

App Assure
It is natural for customers to be concerned about compatibility when it comes to business-critical apps and sites.. The App Assure promise is this: if customers’ web apps and sites work on IE 11, supported versions of Google Chrome, or any version of Microsoft Edge (including Microsoft Edge Legacy), those web apps and sites should work on the new Microsoft Edge.

If not, then they can contact App Assure for remediation support here or by email (ACHELP@microsoft.com).

Assistance is provided in Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese (support specialists speak Mandarin only), English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese (Brazil), and Spanish.

To learn more about the new Microsoft Edge, customers can view the How to Get Started End User Guide.
( Internet Explorer 11 is a component of the Windows operating system and follows the Lifecycle Policy for the product on which it is installed.)

Hg Invests in Prophix – ask Dubai partner Synergy Software Systems

January 22nd, 2021

Hg Invests in Prophix to Continue to Scale the Business and Invest Further in Product and Technology

Mississauga, Canada; New York, USA and London, UK –

Prophix, a global leader in Corporate Performance Management (CPM) software, today announced an investment from Hg, a leading global software investor. Hg’s investment is expected to accelerate and scale Prophix’s growth and fund further development of its product capabilities.

Prophix employees and management will participate to acquire the company alongside Hg, who will hold the majority investment. This will allow staff to benefit more directly from the organization’s ongoing growth.

Founded in 1987 a, Prophix is CPM software serves mid-market companies across multiple industries worldwide, providing planning, budgeting and financial reporting software into the ‘office of the CFO’. Prophix’s software hlps organizations to improve their financial reporting capabilities, while also standardizing and streamlining the budgeting process to generate significant ROI through a faster time to close, reduction in budgeting errors and an ability to reforecast in a more agile way.

Prophix has over 1,600 customers, and one of the highest industry-leading retention rates and best-in-class customer NPS.

Alok Ajmera, Chief Executive Officer of Prophix, said: “Our journey so far has shown us that there is still so much to play for in our industry. We have significant ambitions for the business and Hg’s investment and operational experience in software will help us reach these goals. We will look to serve our customers better than ever before, as we invest further in our sales and marketing functions, further our R&D capabilities, accelerate our transition to the cloud and look to scale our business across several regions, including in Europe. Hg has successfully helped businesses to accomplish these goals many times over and we’re excited to tap into some of this experience to unlock our full potential.”

Paul Barber, Founder and Executive Chairman of Prophix, said: “This is a really momentous announcement for the team at Prophix and we warmly welcome Hg as a key strategic partner today. It has been an incredible journey to date, and I am so grateful to the enormous talent that has seen us get to this stage. Together with Hg we will move forward with an unstoppable team and a very bright future for the business.”

This partnership with Prophix reinforces Hg’s focus on mission critical B2B software sitting at the intersection of Hg’s experience in ERP and Tax & Accounting. .

Jonathan Boyes, Partner at Hg, said: “Prophix sits right at the heart of a universe that we have been investing in for almost two decades. This means that we recognise high-quality when we see it and Prophix falls firmly into this category. Prophix is a great business run by an impressive team. They have created a best-in-class cloud product that serves a very satisfied customer base, with a huge runway for further growth. We’re really excited about joining the team.”

Ben Meyer, Partner and co-lead of Hg’s New York team, said: “We see significant growth opportunity from the continued adoption of CPM software by mid-market organizations, as the need for real-time financial information and the ability to budget & reforecast in a more agile way becomes increasingly important. Prophix is positioned incredibly well to benefit from this trend, which is a testament to the successful efforts of Paul, Alok and the rest of the Prophix team. We look forward to partnering with Alok and his team to help the company continue to realise its future growth potential.”

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.

Extended Events – Security Issue – SQL Server 2019, 2017, 2016, 2014

January 13th, 2021

Microsoft has fixed vulnerabilities in Extended Events that “may cause code to run against the SQL Server process if a certain extended event is enabled.”

-KB 4583468 https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4583468/kb4583468-microsoft-sql-server-elevation-of-privilege-vulnerability
and
– CVE 2021 1636, https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/en-US/vulnerability/CVE-2021-1636
Lots of patching to do :
• SQL Server 2019 CU8 GDR
• SQL Server 2017 CU22 GDR
• SQL Server 2016 SP2 CU15 GDR
• SQL Server 2014 SP3 CU4 GDR
And there are GDRs for other patch levels too, like if you’re on 2016 but not on SP2 yet.

D365 Supply Chain Management: Customer Portal is Available

January 13th, 2021

D365 Supply Chain Management: Customer Portal is now in Generally Available.

The Customer portal acts as a starting point for organizations to use Power Apps portals to build an externally facing website that uses data from their Supply Chain Management installation. It helps organizations connect dual-write, Supply Chain Management, and Power Apps portals.

What is the Customer portal?
Modern supply chain systems rely on integration. They require that inventory, customer demand, and sales departments be integrated instead of residing in separate silos. The Customer portal helps organizations that run Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management enhance this integration and more effectively keep their customers informed.
The Customer portal template has all the customization capabilities that the portals feature of Power Apps offers. The template can easily be modified to represent the company’s brand, add increased functionality, and change the user experience. All the functionality that the template offers out of the box can be modified as desired.By itself, the template isn’t expected to be completely functional. It just serves as an enabler for customers who want to create an externally facing website so that enterprise customers can engage with data from Supply Chain Management.

The Customer portal documentation is directed at admins, customizers, and system integrators who will set up the Customer portal for a Supply Chain Management installation. It uses the terms customer and user to describe people who are customers of the organization that is running Supply Chain Management, and who will use the final portal itself.

Who should use it?
The Customer portal is designed for companies that run Supply Chain Management and have these characteristics:
• They want to build an externally facing website that communicates order processing information (such as order status or account information) directly from their Supply Chain Management system to their enterprise customers.
• They are transitioning from Dynamics AX 2012 to Supply Chain Management and previously used the AX 2012 Customer self-service portal.
The following types of organizations are not good candidates for implementing the Customer portal:
• Companies that want to build a website for non-enterprise customers. These companies should consider creating a Dynamics 365 Commerce e-commerce website.
• Companies that are already using an existing Power Apps portals website for a similar purpose. These companies won’t receive any additional benefits from the Customer portal. The Customer portal is delivered as a template that acts as a guide and a starting point for customers who want to “connect the dots” between dual-write, Supply Chain Management, and Power Apps portals.

If you’ve already set up a website that serves this purpose, then you might not gain much value from using the Customer portal template to re-provision that website.

The Customer portal is provided as a Power Apps portals template. It depends on Power Apps portals and dual-write.

Power Apps portals is a feature that lets users create an externally facing website into which people from outside the organization can sign in . Little to no coding is required to make portals. The Customer portal is one of many Dynamics 365 portal templates that are available from Microsoft.

Dual-write is an out-of-box infrastructure product that provides near-real-time interaction between customer engagements apps and Finance and Operations apps. Dual-write provides bidirectional integration between Finance and Operations apps and Microsoft Dataverse. Therefore, it provides an integrated user experience across the apps. The Customer portal depends on tables that are synced with dual-write. Before data from Supply Chain Management can be surfaced in the Customer portal, dual-write must be enabled for all the appropriate tables.

(The Common Data Service was renamed to Microsoft Dataverse in November 2020)

What is the true cost of software development?

January 9th, 2021

There ahs been much talk of both devops and citizen developers.
While these new paradigms are welcome and bring many benefits that does not mean that they replace other proven systems of software development.

There are reason why some consultancies quote significantly lower times to develop than other- usually tis lack of knowledge/awareness of what needs to be considered or they deliberately cut corners in areas like security, validation, documentation, testing, and so on.

If that sounds harsh then take a look a this recent post:
A report published last week by the Consortium for Information & Software Quality (CISQ) estimates poor software quality collectively cost companies in the U.S. an estimated $2.08 trillion in 2020.