Information Lifecycle Management is alive!

This year’s PBS Information Day – that once again took place in the Dorint Hotel, Mannheim – addressed the question “Is traditional Information Lifecycle Management sustainable?” as formulated by Prof. Dr. Detlev Steinbinder in his keynote immediately after Günther Reichling, founder and managing director, had welcomed his guests. Many participants were present, including existing, loyal customers who were once personally supervised by the boss himself and who have already been using PBS software for decades. As a result of rapid technological progress and the introduction of S/4HANA in the SAP environment, there is also a feeling of uncertainty in the ILM community. However, at the end of the PBS event it was clear: PBS Information Lifecycle Management is alive and will certainly remain viable in the future. From a personnel perspective, continuity is also ensured through the founder’s son, Gernot Reichling, who has already been working at the company for two years. Analysts including Gartner, who included PBS in the Magic Quadrant for structured Data Archiving for the second consecutive year, have also confirmed the company’s capacity for innovation. This time the positioning was even more positive than in the previous year. PBS has meanwhile been promoted from leading the niche players to become a “Challenger”.

Reduction of costs remains the top priority

Any of the participants’ fears with regard to sustainability were already put to rest during Prof. Dr. Steinbinder’s illustrative keynote. The PBS products have also continued to be developed in much the same way as the former R/4 car was developed to become today’s SUV model, whereby the idea that access to archived data is inherently slow has long become obsolete. Since the implementation of column-oriented analytics servers as the nearline database, for which PBS takes a leading role, this access is so fast that ad hoc analyses of archived and/or external data can be performed directly in the SAP ERP system. Traditional ERP systems are equally supported when doing this in addition to systems based on the HANA platform. Prof. Dr. Steinbinder demonstrated this with a number of live demos. “Virtual Data Analysis” (VDA) is a pioneering concept of PBS involving a new NAI module that can be used to analyze data from external databases directly in an SAP ERP system without data replication, so practically on the fly.
Of all the technological advantages and conveniences, the main motivation for implementing ILM continues to be the reduction in costs that is achieved through the long-term reduction in the size of the ERP database. This was confirmed by numerous customers at the event.

Synergy effect by combining SAP and PBS Software

Roland Kramer, BW Product Manager at SAP, referred to the synergy effect that is achieved when using SAP together with PBS software. Thanks not least to the many years’ close collaboration with PBS, SAP developed a separate nearline solution for the Business Warehouse that can meanwhile also be enriched by numerous functions of the PBS nearline solution. As in previous years, Roland Kramer and his colleague, Robert Wassermann, took the opportunity to present current innovations of the SAP ILM solutions for BW and ERP to the PBS guests.

Reliable PBS archive add ons and product innovations

The PBS archive add ons are implemented once archiving has taken place and guarantee complete data access to historical data. Of all the PBS products, they are the ones most widely used and for this reason, it is all the more important that they also continue to be developed with respect to current compliance requirements, independent of the platform. Walter Steffen presented new optimizations and transactions adapted for SAP HANA, and also demonstrated this using the PBS archive add on CFI for accounting reconciliation, document-based account analysis, advance tax returns, and net revenue analysis.

PBS Archive Data Conversion that can be used to adapt already-archived data due to new requirements is a brand new product in the portfolio that was already met with great interest by many customers. Another new product is the PBS Data Access Monitor that performs long-term logging and storage of statistical information regarding the operation of the SAP system.