Database man’s sapping brainchild

SAP CEO Vishal Sikka, the son of a railway employee, has BE in Computer Science from Maharaja Sayajirao University.

Published: 19th February 2012 10:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 05:58 PM   |  A+A-


SAP is one of the biggest manufacturers of enterprise software. But like many big corporations, it has it’s share of problems. And it does not help that it’s main competitor is Oracle. After realising that SAP didn’t make a single successful product in 15 odd years, it’s CEO put his hopes on his new Chief Technology Officer Vishal Sikka. Vishal, the son of a railway employee from Vadodara, has a BE in Computer Science from Maharaja Sayajirao University. He then landed at Stanford University for a Ph.D in 1996. After a short stint at Xerox, Vishal founded his first firm, called iBrain. With his second start-up, also poached by bigger fish, he joined SAP in 2002, to come up with innovative projects to build new enterprise software. Within five years he has been promoted to be a Senior Vice President, and found himself appointed the first ever CTO of SAP. In 2010, he was appointed to the Executive Board and was tasked with coming up with the biggest innovation SAP has ever seen. Vishal has done better than that, and came up with the biggest innovation the world of databases has ever seen. His brainchild SAP HANNA, introduced in-memory database technology which allows even the biggest databases to be manipulated in seconds. With sales of $200 million in the first six months, it showed the mettle of Vishal.


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