Book Quotes

Book Quotes from Academia or Industry


The book “In-Memory Data Management – Technology and Applications” by Hasso Plattner and Alexander Zeier describes a revolutionary database technology and many implementation examples for business intelligence and operations. Of particular interest to me are the opportunities opening up in supply chain management, where the need to balance the speed of planning algorithms with data granularity has been a long time obstacle to performance and usability.

Prof. David Simchi-Levi (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA)

Personalized health care requires the combination of distributed medical data. In-memory technology enables us to analyze millions of patient records within a second and allows us to devise therapies even closer to the patients individual needs than ever before.

Prof. Einhäupl (CEO, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany)

This is the first book on in-memory database systems and how this technology can change the whole industry. The book describes how to build in-memory databases: what is different, what stays the same. Furthermore, the book describes how in-memory databases can become the single source of truth for a business.

Prof. Donald Kossmann (ETH Zurich, Switzerland)

Memory resident data can very significantly improve the performance of data intensive applications. This book presents an excellent overview of the issues and challenges related to in-memory data, and is highly recommended for anyone wishing to learn about this important area.

Prof. Hector Garcia-Molina (Stanford University, California, USA)

Technological innovations have again and again been enablers and drivers of innovative business solutions. As database management systems in the 1970s provided the grounds for ERP systems, which then enabled companies in almost all industries to redesign their business processes, upcoming in-memory databases will improve existing ERP-based business solutions (esp. in analytic processing) and will even lead to business processes and services being redesigned again. Plattner and Zeier describe the technical concepts of column- and row-based databases and encourage the reader to make use of the new technology in order to accomplish business innovation.

Prof. Hubert Oesterle (University of St. Gallen, Switzerland)

Hardware technology has evolved rapidly over the past decades, but database system architectures have not kept pace. At the same time, competition is forcing organizations to become more and more data-driven. These developments have driven a re-evaluation of fundamental data management techniques and tradeoffs, leading to innovations that can exploit large memories, parallelism, and a deeper understanding of data management requirements. This book explains the powerful and important changes that are brought about by in-memory data processing. Furthermore, the unique combination of business and technological insights that the authors bring to bear provide lessons that extend beyond any particular technology, serving as a guidebook for innovation in this and future Information Technology revolutions.

Prof. Michael Franklin (University of California at Berkeley, USA)

Plattner and Zeier’s book is a thorough accounting of the need for, and the design of, main memory database systems. By analyzing technology trends, they make a compelling case for the coming dominance of main-memory in database systems. They go on to identify a series of key design elements that main memory database system should have, including a column-oriented design, support for multi-core processor parallelism, and data compression. They also highlight several important requirements imposed by modern business processes, including heavy use of stored procedures and accounting requirements that drive a need for no-overwrite storage. This is the first book of it’s kind, and it provides a complete reference for students and database designers alike.

Prof. Sam Madden (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA)

There are moments in the development of computer technology when the ongoing evolution of devices changes the tradeoffs to allow a tectonic shift – a radical change in the way we interact with computers. The personal computer, the Web, and the smart phone are all examples where long-term trends reached a tipping point allowing explosive change and growth. Plattner and Zeier present a vision of how this kind of radical shift is coming to enterprise data management. From Plattner’s many years of executive experience and development of data management systems, he is able to see the new space of opportunities for users – the potential for a new kind of software to provide managers with a powerful new tool for gaining insight into the workings of an enterprise. Just as the web and the modern search engine changed our idea of how, why, and when we “retrieve information,” large in-memory databases will change our idea of how to organize and use operational data of every kind in every enterprise. In this visionary and valuable book, Plattner and Zeier lay out the path for the future of business.

Prof. Terry Winograd (Stanford University, California, USA)

In this remarkable book, Plattner and Zeier propose a paradigm shift in memory management for modern information systems. While this offers immediate benefits for the storage and retrieval of images, transaction histories and detailed snapshots of people, equipment and products, it is perhaps even more exciting to think of the opportunities that this technology will create for the future. Imagine the fluid graphical display of spatially distributed, dynamic information. Or the ability to move past the flat summaries of inventories of equipment and customer requests to capture the subtle context that communicates urgency and capability. Even more dramatic, we can envision the real-time optimization of business processes working interactively with domain experts, giving us the information-age equivalent of the robots that make our cars and computers in the physical world today.

Prof. Warren B. Powell (Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, USA)

This book shows in an extraordinary way how technology can drive new applications – a fascinating journey from the core characteristics of business applications to topics of leading-edge main-memory database technology.

Prof. Wolfgang Lehner (Technical University of Dresden, Germany)



Quotes by Industry Leaders

It rarely happens that an emerging new technology can be seen as a “game changer” for a whole industry. But I think this is the case when it comes to in-memory database systems. Tasks which took hours or days can now be executed in seconds which is the technical foundation for establishing completely new business ideas. It dramatically speeds up the execution time of data analytics and thereby creates a much greater experience for the end user on our Bigpoint Gaming Platform. The book “In-Memory Data Management – Technology and Applications” from Hasso Plattner and Alexander Zeier describes not only the technical foundations but also the implications for new exciting applications.


Heiko Hubertz (CEO and Founder, Bigpoint GmbH, Hamburg, Germany / Bigpoint Inc., San Francisco, USA)


Being IT savvy and leveraging advances in Information Technology is the most important competitive advantage in today’s business world. I see inmemory technology as described in the book In-Memory Data Management – Technology and Applications from Plattner and Zeier as one of the most important innovations in the field of IT. The value for the economy as a whole far outweighs the effort of adapting the applications to this new standard. It dramatically speeds up the execution time of business processes, it allows for significantly more detailed and real-time data analytics and thereby creates a much greater experience for the end user. It brings business computing to a level where it is absolutely snappy and fun to work with.

Dr. Ralf Schneider (CIO Allianz, Munich, Germany)

We are witnessing the dawn of a new era in enterprise business computing, defined by the near instantaneous availability of critical information that will drive faster decision making, new levels of business agility, and incredible personal productivity for business users. With the advent of in-memory technology, the promise of real-time computing is now reality, creating a new inflection point in the role IT plays in driving sustainable business value. In their review of in-memory technology, Hasso Plattner and Alexander Zeier articulate how in-memory technology can drive down costs, accelerate business, help companies reap additional value out of their existing IT investments, and open the door to new possibilities in how business applications can be consumed. This work is a “must read” for anyone who leverages IT innovation for competitive advantage.

Bill McDermott (Co-CEO, SAP, Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, USA)

Since the advent of the Internet we have been witnessing new technologies coming up quickly and frequently. It is however rare that these technologies become innovations in the sense that there are big enough market opportunities. Hasso Plattner has proven his ability to match business needs with technical solutions more than once, and this time he presents the perhaps most significant innovation he has ever been working on: Real-Time Business powered by In-Memory Computing. As the ability for innovation has always been one of the core factors for competitiveness this is a highly advisable piece of reading for all those who aim to be at the cutting edge.

Falk F. Strascheg (Founder and General Partner,
EXTOREL GmbH, Munich, Germany)

In my role as COO of SAP it is extremely important to react quickly to events and to have instant access to the current state of the business. At SAP, we have already moved a couple of processes to the new in-memory technology described in the book by Hasso Plattner and Alexander Zeier. I’m very excited about the recently achieved improvements utilizing the concepts described in this book. For example, I monitor our customer support messaging system every day using in-memory technology to make sure that we provide our customers with the timely responses they deserve. I like that this book provides an outlook of how companies can smoothly adopt the new database technology. This transition concept, called the bypass solution, gives our existing customer base the opportunity to benefit from this fascinating technology, even for older releases of SAP software.

Gerhard Oswald (COO, SAP AG, Walldorf, Germany)

Deutsche Bank has run a prototype with an early versions of the in-memory technology described in the book by Hasso Plattner and Alexander Zeier. In particular, we were able to speed up the data analysis process to detect cross-selling opportunities in our customer database, from previously 45 minutes to 5 seconds. In-memory is a powerful new dimension of applied compute power.

Hermann-Josef Lamberti (COO, Deutsche Bank AG, Frankfurt, Germany)

During the last 50 years, every IT era has brought us a major substantial advancement, ranging from mainframe computers to cloud infrastructures and smart-phones. In certain decades the strategic importance of one technology versus the other is dramatically different and it may fundamentally change the way in which people do business. This is what a Venture Capitalist has to bear in mind when identifying new trends that are along for the long haul. In their book, Hasso and Alex do not only describe a market-driven innovation from Germany, that has the potential to change the enterprise software market as a whole, but they also present a working prototype.

Jim Watson (Managing General Partner, CMEA Capital, San Francisco, California, USA)

Hilti is a very early adopter of the in-memory technology described in the book by Hasso Plattner and Alexander Zeier. Together with SAP, we have worked on developing prototypical new applications using in-memory technology. By merging the transactional world with the analytical world these applications will allow us to gain real-time insight into our operations and allow us to use this insight in our interaction with customers. The benefit for Hilti applying SAP’s in-memory technology is not only seen in a dramatic improvement of reporting execution speed – for example, we were able to speed up a reporting batch job from 3 hours to seconds – but even more in the opportunity to bring the way we work with information and ultimately how we service our customers on a new level.

Martin Petry (CIO, Hilti AG, Schaan, Liechtenstein)

Imagine you feel hungry. But instead of just opening the fridge (imagine you don’t have one) to get hold of, say, some butter and cheese, you would have to leave the house for the nearest dairy farm. Each time you feel hungry. This is what we do today with most company data: We keep them far away from where we process them. In their highly accessible book, Hasso Plattner and Alexander Zeier show how in-memory technology moves data where they belong, promising massive productivity gains for the modern firm. Decision makers, get up to speed!

Prof. Norbert Walter (former Chief Economist of
Deutsche Bank AG, Frankfurt, Germany)

There are big opportunities right across our value chain to use real time information more imaginatively. Deeper, real time insight into consumer and shopper behavior will allow us to work even more closely and effectively with our customers, meeting the needs of today’s consumers. It will also transform the way in which we serve our customers and consumers and the speed with which we do it. I am therefore very excited about the potential that the in-memory database technology offers to my business.

Paul Polman (CEO, Unilever, London, UK)

In their book, Hasso Plattner and Alexander Zeier do not only describe the technical foundations of the new data processing capabilities coming from in-memory, but they also provide examples for new applications that can now be built on top. For a company like Colgate-Palmolive, these new applications are of strategic importance, as they allow for new ways of analyzing our transactional data in real time, which can give us a competitive advantage.

Tom Greene (CIO, Colgate-Palmolive Company, New York City, USA)

Hasso Plattner is not only an amazing entrepreneur, he is an incredible teacher. His work and his teaching have inspired two generations of students, leaders, professionals and entrepreneurs. Over the last five years, we have been on a fantastic journey with him, from his early ideas on rethinking our core financials applications, to conceiving and implementing a completely new data management foundation for all our SAP products. This book by Hasso and Alexander, captures these experiences and I encourage everyone in enterprise IT to read this book and take advantage of these learnings, just as I have endeavored to embody these in our products at SAP.

Dr. Vishal Sikka (CTO, Executive Board Member, SAP, Palo Alto, California, USA)