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I’ve been with the SAP HANA team since the very first day and it’s been an amazing journey. In the run up to joining the SAP HANA team, I was part of the TRex team and the BW Accelerator team, so joining the SAP HANA team was the natural continuation along this path. When we started working on SAP HANA over a decade ago, we were really excited about its potential, but we obviously had no way of knowing just how important this work would turn out to be.

At the start, I was part of the team that built a prototype of an in-memory database together with the P-Time team in Seoul. For me, it was so inspiring to build a real database with a new in-memory approach. The team had the spirit of a startup. We worked in a team of around 50 people as one big family. There was great vision and leadership, and we felt like pioneers. Sometimes it was a lot of fun, sometimes it was a lot of hard work with very little sleep, but we really had the feeling we were working on something very exciting.

I remember one very special moment that came after very little sleep and before SAP HANA was even called SAP HANA. It was only a prototype, and we tried to run the first SAP system on it. I said to my colleagues, “I think we can try it. We can log on with an SAP GUI to an SAP system,” and it worked. It was unbelievable. A cheer went up in the office. You could really feel the pride. This was my personal “step on the moon,” my highlight. I’ll never forget it.

Later on, we had the first productive BW systems for SAP HANA customers, and we got a lot of super positive feedback. It was amazing to see how SAP HANA rocked the market, especially for BW.

Today, SAP HANA is the SAP database. It was amazing for me to see how we could make a product that was a game changer, not only for SAP, but also for the market, in such a short timeframe. It has meant so much for me to be able to be a part of this story and a part of this team. We have learned a lot in the last 10 years to make SAP HANA what it is today.

SAP HANA has been so successful in the on-premise market, and many, many well-known brands are running SAP HANA in their mission-critical systems. We have the SAP systems running on SAP HANA. In the end, it helps make SAP successful, and it helps our customers to be successful. It’s created a lot of new opportunities and possibilities for building new applications.

Now, we have to focus on SAP HANA in the cloud and the next stage of the journey with SAP HANA Cloud. Supporting this transition is one of my major focus areas as a senior development manager and engineering lead for Core, Cross- and Cloud Enablement. I am absolutely sure that the next evolution of SAP HANA and the transition to the cloud will be just as successful as our last ten years.