25 years of PROMOS – a glance into the future

PROMOS was founded at a time in which most people in Germany had never heard of a smartphone. The company’s development took place in parallel with the beginning of a new era – an era in which almost everyone owns a pocket-sized, high-performance device with access to an unbelievable quantity of knowledge and entertainment. In the first part of our series on 25 years of PROMOS, we talked about the founding of PROMOS and the development of new technologies, which has progressed extremely rapidly over the last quarter of a century. In this part, we take a look at the more recent history of Europe’s largest consultancy for SAP consulting in the real estate industry and investigate how the future could look for the company, the real estate world and our modern society.

If we take a look at the development of digitalisation over the last 25 years, we can already guess that things are just getting started and there will be a lot of changes in a very short space of time. However, it is difficult to predict exactly how these changes will look, just as nobody could have imagined our modern world back in 1998. Artificial Intelligence will certainly play a major role. Today, software is already generating creative texts, fascinating images and entertaining films. Harry Potter as a member of the Mafia or Lord of the Rings in Bavaria? These are not just feverish dreams but, thanks to Artificial Intelligence, short films that actually exist.

Successful and long-standing collaborations – Part 2

Many PROMOS customers have already been working with our consultancy since the company’s founding. We already talked about some of the longest running partnerships, such as that with ProPotsdam that started 22 years ago, in the first article. Given that the varied PROMOS solution portfolio ranges from smaller solutions and standard packages right up to large optimisation projects, SAP® introductions and customisable software solutions and apps, many other exciting partnerships have been added over the past few years.

For example, our cooperation with Talyo: Talyo Property Services GmbH is an up-and-coming company that was founded by Tattersall Lorenz Immobilienmanagement GmbH in 2020. Talyo placed its trust in an SAP® system from the very start, which turned out to be a clever decision. Today, the company successfully manages more than 7,800 flats and 4,100 micro units for different types of use, including classic living, student accommodation and micro living in Germany. Together with PROMOS, the company was able to launch a completely preconfigured SAP® system in record time. The software was set up and implemented within just three months. This allowed Talyo to fully digitalise its business processes – from accounting to resource management.

Since 2013, we have also been working with another well-known large customer: TAG Immobilien AG. In two extensive projects, we not only introduced a new ERP system, but also modernised and optimised almost every area of the innovative real estate company. In the last issue of IT&I, the article “Mission Future – What happened next with the optimisation project Mission ‘21 at TAG Immobilien AG?” reported in detail on the project approach and the results.

An exciting partnership could soon revolutionise payment transactions in the real estate sector. PROMOS works with both the Aareal Bank and its subsidiary Aareal First Financial Solutions AG. Digitalisation results in reduced workload and process optimisations in almost every area. As this example demonstrates, financial departments can also enjoy the advantages, as well as the tenants themselves. And when tenant satisfaction increases, it is ultimately the real estate companies that benefit. After all, the likelihood of receiving payments reliably and on time increases when they can be made quickly and easily. The Aareal Exchange & Payment Platform (AEPP) will enable precisely this, with digital payment transactions covering all areas: from rental payments to booking common areas to guest apartments.

Informationstechnologie und Immobilien (IT&I) Ausgabe Nr. 37 / Mai 2024

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Digital is the future!

How will digitalisation evolve in the world of real estate? Does Artificial Intelligence already play a major role? These were the topics at the OpenPromos User Forum, where users met for the 16th time this year to discuss trends and innovations. In his presentation, Jens Kramer, CEO of PROMOS, spoke about the development of AI and potential impacts on real estate companies. How much will AI influence us in the near future? There’s a lot of hype, but development is progressing slowly. According to a Bitkom survey[1], last year the majority of Germany companies stated that they are neither currently using AI nor have any plans to introduce it. Why is this? Presumed reasons are the general reluctance German companies display towards new technologies and the current incorrect or incomplete results when using AI. In Jens Kramer’s opinion, Artificial Intelligence will not lead to any disruptive changes in the real estate industry at present: “I do think the new technologies that are currently being promoted are very exciting and will have a great deal of influence. However, we are not in a service-provision industry like a taxi company, so the new software will probably not radically change the real estate industry in the near future.” Currently, Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI) can only take on tasks in a single specialist area and can also only do this successfully if the task was defined in great detail. Machines that can master every specialist area and display characteristics of our human brain, such as an understanding of abstractions and causalities, are known as General AI or Artificial Superintelligence – However, these do not yet exist.

Shared growth in quotes

Ultimately, the successful partnerships could not exist without the PROMOS employees, some of whom have been working for the Berlin-based consultancy for over 20 years. Others have only been with us for a short time, but have already performed impressive feats. What do they say about PROMOS? Erik Walter has been working at the consultancy for 10 years and has accompanied and managed many projects during that time. Erik Walter, as Head of Consulting, found one of them particularly memorable: “I can definitely name the SAP® introduction at ProPotsdam as one of the highlights of my career. I accompanied this project over a number of years from the tender phase to the go-live and optimisation phase. I worked together with Katharina Knorr, our CFO, as a project manager on the project, which is one of the most complex and extensive ever completed at PROMOS.”

Figure 1: To celebrate the 25th anniversary, PROMOS staff took to Instagram to speak for themselves about their most impressive moments at the company.

PROMOS continues to maintain its headquarters in Berlin, but since its founding other locations have emerged in Germany. Many employees even work entirely remotely. Can a sense of team spirit even develop in these circumstances? According to Frank Wyzujak, Senior Sales Manager at PROMOS, the answer is a definitive YES: “PROMOS does a lot to ensure that the outposts are viewed as part of the overall business and to integrate them. For example, they’re involved in the annual Christmas celebration and there’s also the summer party in Berlin, which family members are also welcome to attend.” One of the founders of PROMOS is Katharina Knorr, Chief Financial Officer of the company. Summing up, she notes: “It is exciting to see how PROMOS has grown and continuously changed over the past 25 years. I am very proud of the many successful projects and would like to thank every member of the PROMOS staff for their active support. Here’s to the next 25 years!”

A glance into the future

When will there be an Artificial Superintelligence – Artificial Intelligence as we know it from films, one that is superior to our human species? Opinions differ here. Some IT specialists and computer scientists believe that this will not happen before 2050, while others predict that we could already reach this stage in eight years. And experts do not agree on the effects either. Does Artificial Superintelligence mean the disastrous fall of humanity, or does it offer new opportunities and perspectives? A look back at the past shows that a number of ground breaking technologies have already heralded new eras. According to Jens Kramer, although they often brought challenges with them, those who managed them efficiently with foresighted planning benefited immensely from the technological progress. Fortunately, nobody is alone – there is an ideal contact person for every company. Many projects that PROMOS is planning or that have already started indicate that further partnerships will result in exciting digital solutions and concepts that will positively shape the future of the real estate industry. And so Jens Kramer, too, looks to the future with confidence: “Whatever may come, we are looking forward to the digital development and the opportunities that this will bring for us, as digitalisation experts. Over the past 25 years, we have successfully overcome many challenges and I am sure that we will continue to introduce new exciting technologies in the future with flexibility and an innovative spirit. I can’t wait!”

  1. bitkom.org/Presse/Presseinformation/Kuenstliche-Intelligenz-2022
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