Behind the scenes with SAP Chairman Hasso Plattner

In this podcast, SAP co-founder, Hasso Plattner, discusses in-memory databases, competition with Oracle and Larry Ellison, and other exciting topics.

Hasso Plattner, Chairman of the Supervisory Board at SAP, has had a profound influence on enterprise software and IT. As a co-founder of SAP, he led the growth of one of the largest software companies in the world. Today, Hasso is a university professor focused on solving technical problems associated with databases in large-scale enterprise systems.

At the invitation of SAP, several bloggers met with Hasso on on May 18, 2010, during SAP's annual Sapphire conference, for an unscripted and open-ended conversation.

The recorded interview, which I urge you to hear, is interesting on several levels. Hasso comes across as an affable, yet still highly competitive, professor whose demeanor is warm and friendly. It's apparent that Hasso enjoys life as a teacher and researcher, without the daily stress of running a large organization.

At the same time, there are obvious tensions between Hasso's "outsider" status and those responsible for day-to-day management. While company executives focus on marketing and business decisions, Hasso's work involves leadership and research into databases, an area of strategic concern to SAP.

During the conversation, Hasso takes several jabs at longtime competitor Larry Ellison of Oracle. Despite his role as professor and SAP public statesman, it's evident that Hasso continues to take this competition seriously.

On issues of more substance, Hasso discusses details of SAP's new in-memory database and his work at the Hasso Plattner Institute. This part of the conversation covers both technical information and the business value that in-memory speed brings to the enterprise.

Before concluding the conversation, Hasso gave an enthusiastic demonstration showing SAP software running on an iPad.

Aside from me, the following bloggers were present during the conversation:

This podcast offers a rare glimpse inside the mind and personality of a fascinating enterprise software leader. It's perfect for anyone interested in SAP, enterprise software, databases, and ERP.

Disclosure: SAP paid my out-of-pocket expenses to attend Sapphire.