Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

Windows 11 – officially release

September 27th, 2022

The latest version of Windows 11, known as “version 22H2,” officially is released. 

Microsoft is planning to release Windows 10 version 22H2 “next month,” according to John Cable, vice president of program management for Windows servicing and delivery,

Microsoft issues new Windows 11 releases once per year, in the second half of each year. These “feature update” operating system releases trigger support clocks for organizations. OS support varies with the edition used:

  • Windows 11 Enterprise and Education editions are supported for 36 months.
  • Windows 11 Pro and Home editions are supported for 24 months.

More Frequent Windows 11 Feature Updates
Microsoft plans to issue new Windows 11 features more frequently than just once per year.

. The OS will get new features through the Windows Update service and the Windows Store.

Some of the new features described in Microsoft’s various announcements will come in October and thereafter like a monthly quality update.

The support document explains that a Windows Update is used to deliver quality and security patches each month, and Microsoft will now use it to also deliver new Windows 11 features via a “phased and measured approach” using the “Controlled Feature Rollout (CFR) technology” that’s used with the Microsoft Edge browser and Windows Insider Program releases,

Windows 11 enterprise and educational users, and those using domain-joined Pro editions, will get these new Windows 11 features turned “off by default.” After November, these organizations also will have policy options to turn the features on, which “will be done as a set, and not for individual features or individual releases,”.

Windows 11 2022 Update Highlights
The new Windows 11 version 22H2 operating system is to be released in more than 190 countries,

Windows 11 should be easier and safer for end users, while supporting organizational security and management needs. There is a “new Microsoft Defender SmartScreen” feature, to alert people when they are “entering their Microsoft credentials into a malicious application or hacked website.”

Windows Hello, Microsoft’s biometric authentication scheme, has an optional “presence sensing” capability that will lock a PC when a user leaves the area.

One other notable security feature in version 22H2 is Smart App Control, which “blocks untrusted or unsigned applications, script files and malicious macros from running on Windows 11.” It uses artificial intelligence and Microsoft’s security “signals” information to “predict if an app is safe“. “Smart App Control is built on the same OS core capabilities used in Windows Defender Application Control.” To use Smart App Control, a clean installation of Windows 11 version 22H2 needs to be performed, Microsoft indicated.

Other notable security perks in Windows 11 version 22H2 include:

  • Hypervisor-protected code integrity to protect against kernel modifications by drivers.
  • A Microsoft vulnerable driver block list for known vulnerabilities.
  • Windows Defender Credential Guard (with the Windows 11 Enterprise edition) to address credential theft techniques.
  • Local Security Authority turned on by default to “load only trusted, signed code, making it significantly more difficult for attackers to steal credentials.”

Secured-core PCs specifically will get the Config Lock feature, which “helps prevent the configuration drift that occurs when users with local admin rights change settings and put devices out-of-sync with IT security policies,” .

Queen Elizabeth 11

September 8th, 2022

It is with great sadness that I am writing to let you know that Queen Elizabeth 11 died peacefully in her sleep this afternoon at Balmoral.

Earlier this week she met with her 15th prime minister. A sad loss for the U.K. and in truth for the whole world.

Microsoft’s Inspire conference roundup

July 21st, 2022
For the third year in a row, Microsoft’s Inspire conference, the marquee partner event of the year, was a relatively low-key virtual affair.

The Day 1 and Day 2 keynotes, which featured talks by CEO Satya Nadella, new chief partner officer Nicole Dezen, security corporate vice president Vasu Jakkal, and top channel execs like Nick Parker and Judson Althoff, featured few surprises.

The main driver of the presentations as expected was the Azure cloud.

Other recurring themes from the conference, which wrapped up on Wednesday.

  • Remote collaboration tools (particularly Microsoft Teams and Viva) are critical to supporting today’s hybrid work environments.
  • How Microsoft’s ongoing investments in its security products, from the omnipresent Defender line to the relatively new Entra family, can help meet the challenges of more sophisticated, expensive and high-stakes cyberattacks.
  • Data is everywhere, and Azure’s AI capabilities are what’s needed to harness that data for practical use. “This is the age of AI,” Nadella said during his keynote talk.

Inspire was notable for being Microsoft’s first major partner event since it announced this spring it is retiring the current Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) in October, and replacing it with the new Microsoft Cloud Partner Program (MCPP). The MCPP will distinguish partners according to their proficiency in six areas:

  • Data & AI (Azure)
  • Infrastructure (Azure)
  • Digital & App Innovation (Azure)
  • Business Applications
  • Modern Work
  • Security

Microsoft envisions these proficiency areas as being aligned with specific customer sales targets.

Parker, head of Global Partner Solutions, described this concept at Inspire using the metaphor of a house:

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Microsoft for Industry
Another departure this year was Microsoft’s hyper-focus on industry. — each in different stages of completion.

 The company has six planned industry-specific cloud offerings –

  1. Financial Services,
  2. Healthcare,
  3. Manufacturing,
  4. Retail,
  5. Nonprofit
  6. Sustainability.

At Inspire, Julie Sanford, vice president of Go-to-Market Strategy and Programs at Microsoft, described these as “vertical expressions” of the Microsoft cloud. Microsoft is pushing partners to leverage these various industry cloud platforms and to tailor their offerings for the industries that suit them best.

As Althoff, Microsoft’s chief commercial officer, said during his portion of the keynotes, “Our partners are key to our industry strategy.”

“Go vertical” isn’t a new exhortation from Microsoft; the company has been encouraging partners to take a vertical industry approach for years. Recently, however, Microsoft has been making its industry goals more explicit — for instance, by developing those six distinct industry-specific cloud platforms. Moreover, when the MCPP launches, it will have built-in incentives for partners who take Microsoft’s industry directive seriously.

Sanford said during the Inspire keynote that the MCPP will have industry partner designations, starting with health, financial services and retail. Microsoft intends to launch “co-design sessions” with partners to help develop these designations, she added.

Inspire News Roundup of Azure Migrations and App Modernization:
Microsoft Lists Partners’ Cloud Objectives at Inspire
Microsoft Inspire 2022: Enterprise Collaboration Upgrades on Display
New Microsoft Cloud for Sovereignty Helps Government Customers Meet Requirements
Microsoft and Oracle Announce Database Partnership
Microsoft Enlists Nuance Tech in New AI-Powered Contact Center
Microsoft Touts Cost-Saving Benefits of All-in-One Security Solutions
Microsoft Cuts Ribbon for ‘Azure Space Partner Community’

Goodbye Internet explorer.

June 18th, 2022

it might have been your first ever web browser but – after 27 long years – Microsoft is no longer supporting Internet Explorer. Microsoft  previously planned to pull support last August by when its usage had shrivelled

Microsoft says that Edge is “a faster, more secure and more modern browsing experience than Internet Explorer”, as well as one that crucially remains compatible with “older, legacy websites and applications”.

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Power Bi and integration with Dynamics 365 and Microsoft 365

June 12th, 2022

#Online #FREE session Power BI & Microsoft 365 – Better Together by Amanda Riveria Principal Program Manager at Microsoft – 16th June

Power BI & Microsoft 365 – Better Together

Businesses looking to gain an edge in today’s competitive market need to harness the power of their data to make informed decisions that drive innovation across their entire company. Information workers, not just analysts and data scientists, need to be empowered to use their data in a familiar environment, securely and easily. Join this session to see how Power BI’s integrations across many M365 products can enhance your organization’s self-service data culture and reduce time to insights. We’ll cover integrations across Excel, Dynamics 365, Teams, and more!”

Blog update

June 12th, 2022

Its taken a while to get WordPress to complete the blog update to the latest version but we are now back on line.

SQL Server 2012 end of life approaches

February 14th, 2022

Extended support ends July 22.  https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/lifecycle/products/microsoft-sql-server-2012

Time to start planning your SQL Server 2017 and 2019 migrations, or to move to Azure, or to consider Extended Security updates.

Also consider migrating your erp or finance systems to the cloud or the latest on-premise release.

If your SQL server is an older version, then it is likely that you are also on an older versions of Windows server e.g. Windows 12 which is also nearing end of life and the options are similar to SQL 2012.

To discuss options call Synergy Software Systems 009714 3365589

Server 2016 Service Pack 3.

January 29th, 2022

2016 was the last version of SQL to have Service Packs, since then Microsoft only ships Cumulative Updates.

Previously Microsoft has used a ‘last Service Pack’ when it closes off support for a version.

Long term support is only available for the last Service Pack for a product.

2016 SP2 only gets support until October 11, 2022, whereas support for the new SP3 will continue to 2026.

This makes support simpler for Microsoft which doesn’t have to deal with a wide variety of builds for older versions (is 2016 really that much older?) – “If you want help, then you need to be on build 13.0.6300.2.”

So apart from the fixes (see the KB article), the key point takeaway is that for long term support, ensure to patch all of your 2016 instances very soon. Its likely this will be the last SQL Server patch you’ll ever have to apply unless there is a critical security threat.

SQL Server 2016 isn’t dead , but Microsoft is already thinking about its retirement party and the gold watch for its services.

INTELLIGENT ORDER MANAGEMENT – ask Synergy Software Systems

September 9th, 2021

According to Microsoft commissioned research by Forrester in November 2020, 61 percent of businesses expect more than half of their sales to come from digital commerce over the next two years.

More than 50 percent of businesses report that their supply chains are unprepared to accommodate a growth in digital commerce.

 In a recent McKinsey survey of 60 senior supply-chain executives, from across industries and geographies, 85 percent of respondents reported inefficient digital technologies to address logistic disruptions, shortages of parts and materials, and sudden swings in demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management enables organizations to intelligently orchestrate fulfillment and automate it with a rule-based system using real-time omnichannel inventory data, AI, and machine learning.

Adapt quickly to meet future order volumes and fulfillment complexities by supporting new order intake, fulfillment, and delivery partners with pre-built connectors and support contemporary collection methods like buying online for in-store or curbside pickup.  Microsoft Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management, is a solution that enables agile businesses with easy-to-deploy out-of-the-box connectors within a low-code or no-code environment.

Intelligent Order Management offers pre-built connectors for order intake sources to help businesses to accept orders from anywhere for example:

  • Orderful a cloud-based electronic data interchange (EDI) platform
  • BigCommerce  a cloud-based e-commerce SaaS platform.

 ShipStation is a web-based e-commerce shipping platform for merchants to quickly generate shipping labels for their online orders. By integrating ShipStation with the Intelligent Order Management platform, users can bring all their carriers and order sources together within one unified solution.

Intelligent Order Management users can also use pre-built partner connectors connect to integrate to:

  •  Avalara, an automated tax compliance solution that determines order tax rates based on geolocation and product classification,
  •  Flexe, a cloud-based platform that unifies warehouse sourcing and streamlines material handling operations.

Microsoft’s Intelligent Order Management provides a foundation for businesses to build agility and resiliency into their order management processes and to free themselves from legacy, inefficient technologies.

With internal to external ID transformation, users use different mappings with different providers. For example, a different names for the same product or SKU from an e-commerce system, such as BigCommerce, to Intelligent Order Management. This type of internal to external ID mapping is critical when Intelligent Order Management is used in complex order environments where data is communicated between many internal and external systems.

There are localized Business Event definitions and Provider definition metadata for the following languages: Arabic, Danish, Dutch, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish.

An enriched Power BI architecture includes a set of dashboards embedded into the user interface. The Power BI dashboards provide longer-range insights into the order and fulfillment data..

Improve order accuracy with fulfillment insights

A recent “final mile” survey by Gartner®, found that   only 18 percent of organizations report fulfillment accuracy rates of 95 percent or better.

  • What is the cost in extra administration of processing an order and shipment twice?
  •  What are the top and bottom line impacts of losing 5% or more of sales already won?

Intelligent Order Management with the new Order insights dashboard can help you to improve this key performance indicator.

To find out more contact: Synergy Software Systems: 0097143365589

Time to budget -Prophix CPM

September 2nd, 2021

Budget time will soon be upon us. COVID pandemic, climate disasters, uncertain political and economic situations such BREXIT, and Afghanistan ,require more detailed and more frequent budgets and new IFRS standards compound the challenges for Office of the CFO..

Budgets are essential to a company’s yearly plan and strategy, yet many financial leaders express dissatisfaction with their current budgeting tools. According to a 2015 research study by Prophix, 79% of finance professionals are displeased with their budgeting tools. At the same time, finance professionals understand the importance of reliable budgeting. Budgets are used to understand a company’s finances, minimize unnecessary expenses, and offer stakeholders important financial information.

Why Finance Teams are Not Happy with Spreadsheets

According to the same 2015 research study, over 70% of finance professionals depend on spreadsheets to create their annual budgets. Organizing input from multiple sources is complicated when using spreadsheets and requires time-consuming manual work to enter sort, and format data. Compiled data may be inconsistently calculated or inaccurate, affecting the yearly budget’s reliability. Performing what-if analyses on spreadsheets is headache-inducing. Simply put, spreadsheets do not offer the desired qualities finance professionals look for in a budgeting tool.

Considerations When Determining a Budgeting Tool

There are a few key considerations to keep in mind when determining a budgeting tool. First, consistency within the budget is needed as data is derived from multiple sources within the organization. Consistency is important for accuracy purposes, and because data must have high auditability.  Another consideration is automated processing capabilities. When simple calculations are automated you can focus your efforts on more complex issues. The ease of performing what-if analysis should also be kept in mind. Finally, the budget must be secure. This poses a challenge when multiple employees are contributing to the budget.

Corporate Performance Management Solution

A corporate performance management (CPM) solution addresses all the considerations listed above by automating processes and solving frustrations associated with spreadsheets. CPM software offers the calculating abilities of a spreadsheet, but with more advanced data consolidation and security capabilities. These capabilities make budget collaboration between departments simpler. Audit protection and ease of what-if analysis also appeals to finance professionals. CPM software is built for multiple users to collaborate in a secure way. Formatting is kept consistent, and the software is user-friendly, prompting users if additional input or approval is required.

As a real-world example, a consulting company that had previously used Excel for budgeting implemented a CPM solution from Prophix. Within two years, their budgeting process went from six months to four months. CPM software is a good fit for companies frustrated with spreadsheets and looking for a more efficient alternative.

With Prophix’s CPM solution, Dynamics users can budget faster and automate processes – all with seamless integration to your current ERP solution. To learn more about a budgeting solution that integrates with most finance and erp systems contact Synergy Software Systems , Prophix PArtners for MEA region