HANA Distinguished Engineers Council

John Appleby

John Appleby has always been passionate about new technology. He cuts his teeth helping the large enterprises build data warehouses to manage their business - especially when they want to run faster. These days, John travels weekly across the continental US, helping the Fortune 500 with digital transformation on SAP HANA as he believes that a digital revolution is radically changing the face of business.

John strongly believes that giving back to the community reaps long-term rewards and this has shaped the last few years of his career - being a contributor to knowledge sharing websites as an SAP Mentor; and a sometime advisor to Wall Street investors on emerging technologies and those companies bringing to market new innovations.

When John is not busy designing in-memory apps, you may find him pounding the pavement to the beat of music in the hilly suburbs of Philadelphia, or traveling the world to meet new people and cultures.

Jon Reed

Jon Reed is an independent analyst and Enterprise Irregular who blogs and videocasts on enterprise trends.

He is a cofounder of diginomica.com. Launched in the spring of 2013 by Jon and four other enterprise bloggers, diginomica.com provides original commentary and reporting on the digital enterprise. Jon has been involved in enterprise communities since 1995, including time spent building ERP recruiting and training firms.

These days, Jon is a roving blogger/analyst, and also counsels vendors and startups on go-to-market strategy.

Jon is a founding member of the HANA Distinguished Engineers Council.


Alex Fiance

As the CEO of the Kairos Society, Alex Fiance works with young founders solving high-impact problems, as well as Fortune 500 corporations and influencers who are looking to engage with promising early-stage ventures. He was the first full-time member of the team, and has since expanded the company to over 50+ countries while helping 100+ ventures launch.

Alex also writes for Inc about how the next generation of entrepreneurs are defying the odds to bring innovative ideas to market out of university labs and dorm rooms around the world. He started his career at Activision, helping bring new products to market around the world.

Dion Hinchcliffe

Dion Hinchcliffe is a well-known IT expert, enterprise architect, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and digital transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and design firm, 7Summits. He is also a widely followed ZDNet columnist and judges the CIO100 Awards for CIO Magazine every year. Dion currently works with the leadership of Fortune 500 and Global 2000 firms as well as the public sector to drive successful change with new digital methods including enterprise IT, CIO issues, social media, digital business models, large-scale technology transformation, Internet ecosystems, workforce collaboration, and the future of work. Recently, Robert Half Inc. identified Dion in 2015 as one of the top 20 people globally that technology leaders mention most. He can be found on Twitter at @dhinchcliffe.

Maribel Lopez

Maribel Lopez is a technology analyst, strategic advisor and founder of the digital transformation advisory firm Lopez Research. She's also the author of the John Wiley & Sons book "Right-time Experiences", a Forbes columnist and co-founder of the Mobile Research Council.

Maribel helps companies understand how to use technologies such as big data, analytic, IoT and mobile to transform business processes. She can be reached on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Carl Olofson

Carl Olofson is a recognized visionary with over thirty years of a wide range of IT experience that provides a varied and comprehensive capability to understand and address the needs of the IT market, especially in the areas of data management, infrastructure, and development tools software. He provides leadership in such topics as Big Data, memory-optimized (or, in-memory) database, NoSQL database, and Cloud database. Carl’s experience ranges from early days as a contract programmer to present position as a research vice president performing industry analysis for IDC.

Jeff Paul

Jeff Paul is vice president of the Sales and Marketing Group ISG Software Sales Organization at Intel Corporation. The Software Sales Organization focuses on sell-with programs with enterprise ISVs. Jeff is also responsible for driving and developing our sales efforts around the Data Center of the Future, which includes solutions for big data, high performance computing and cloud.

Prior to joining Intel in 2014, Paul spent 17 years with IBM, most recently as the executive leader for Worldwide Enterprise Management Sales in the Software Solutions Group. His responsibilities included sales, sales strategy, technical sales, channels and partner management, as well as the integration of five key acquisitions: Unica, Cormetrics, DemandTec, Tealeaf and Xtify. Paul also spent four years living and working in Europe running the WebSphere Brand for EMEA and leading IBM's Software business in the UK and Ireland.

Paul holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of California, Riverside and a master's degree in Business Administration from Pepperdine University in California.

User Groups and Community Judges

Christopher Dinkel

Christopher (Chris) Dinkel has over 15 years of experience managing, developing and implementing large-scale complex information systems. Chris has extensive experience in all phases of the SDLC of enterprise wide Data Warehouses, Business Intelligence solutions, Custom client/ server and Web Applications.

Chris’ prior background; includes project management, ETL, business analysis, design, development, and administration of Data Warehouses supporting SAP, PeopleSoft, relational databases, and SAP BW/ BusinessObjects systems. He has helped large, medium, and small enterprise customers to build out robust reporting and analytic architectures that support operational, ad-hoc, analytical and dashboard requirements. Chris has built hundreds of reports, analytics, metrics, and dashboards that are in use around the world today. He has worked in various business verticals including finance, energy, real estate, human resources, utilities, telecommunications, and technology for commercial and government organizations.

Chris is currently a Director responsible for the delivery of Business Intelligence and Data Analytics to the 60,000+ professionals of the US Member Firms of Deloitte. He is also an advisor in the areas of SAP BW and SAP BusinessObjects to the Deloitte Touché Tohmatsu Limited Global Member Firms.

Pablo Juncosa

Pablo Juncosa has an MSc in mining engineering and has dedicated his professional activity to multiple SAP projects related to logistics and controlling processes in the utilities and engineering sectors. From a technical point of view, though not exclusively, his work has centred on SAP solutions ranging from enterprise resource planning to all components of the SAP business intelligence platform. Over the course of his career, his responsibilities have included developing a complete solution set to support project planning and control and reporting activities within SAP solutions – SAP Business Planning and Simulation, SAP Business Planning and Consolidation, SAP Business Warehouse Integrated Planning – which have migrated to SAP HANA in recent months.

Dr. Marco Lenck

Marco Lenck has been the DSAG Chairman since September 2012. From 2008 to 2012, he held the post of chief technology officer and can look back on successes in fields, including BI/BO and SAP HANA pricing. Since a number of years, he is a member of the DSAG CIO circle. He has been CIO in charge of global business processes and IT Systems at the Döhler Group since November 2014. Döhler is a leading international producer of integrated solutions based on natural components for the food and beverages industry.

Previously, Marco was vice president of IT at Rhein Chemie Rheinau GmbH in Mannheim. His responsibilities included process consulting and application development for the company, as well as the global coordination of IT and SAP operations in Europe, America, China, and Japan. After studying chemistry and receiving his doctorate at Technische Universität Darmstadt, Marco started out working in application development for coatings. Since 2001, he has also been involved in the DSAG, where he is, among other things, a member of the CIO Circle.

Owen Pettiford

Owen Pettiford is an experienced consultant who has been working with SAP and non-SAP systems since 1991. His experience enables him to help clients understand how to extend SAP in ways that are approved by SAP. Since 2005, Owen has worked with clients to create architecture and designs based on service-oriented design principles. He has completed 30+ enterprise SAP roadmaps for clients across 12 industry sectors.

Owen heads up CompriseIT with Dean Wood. Since 2008, CompriseIT has been building apps on top of SAP for clients and keeping clients up-to-date with what is coming next in their landscapes.

Additionally, Owen is an SAP Mentor and has a degree in computer science. His specialties include SAP enterprise SOA, SAP Business Suite, xApps, composite applications, service-oriented architecture, integration, business process management, mobility, SAP HANA, and SAP HANA Cloud.

Marcel Rabe

Marcel Rabe is an SAP architect with nearly 20 years SAP experience. Marcel started out as a SAP Basis Consultant but gradually moved towards SAP Solution Architecture and User Experience. At the University of Amsterdam he co-architected the SAP HANA infrastructure resulting in a BW on HANA and one of the first European Suite on HANA implementations. He is currently in the role of SAP architect guarding the overall architecture on one hand and driving (HANA) innovations at the other. He is board member for the Dutch SAP user group VNSG.

Geoff Scott

Geoff Scott is the Chief Executive Officer for the Americas' SAP Users' Group, the world's largest community of SAP professionals. He has more than two decades of experience as a chief information officer and senior IT leader. Prior to his selection as CEO of ASUG, Geoff served as the Chief Information Officer for TOMS Shoes. In this role, he held responsibility for global technology strategy, execution and operations. This included leading the implementation of SAP for TOMS in September of 2012, with a team of more than 100 people.

Geoff also served as the Chief Information Officer at JBS, the world's largest meat processor and distributor, where he was responsible for all aspects of enterprise information technology strategy, execution and operations. Geoff also held senior leadership positions in marketing and sales, HR, and healthcare at Ford Motor Company. Geoff has more than 20 years of ERP experience, including seven years of extensive SAP implementation and operations experience covering global operations. He has implemented SAP for a number of organizations of various sizes. His experience in the automotive, food, fashion/retail/apparel, and startup spaces brings unique and broad-based industry experience to ASUG.

He has experience with a number of SAP industry solutions—IS Oil, Catch Weight Management, retail, and Apparel/Footwear. His supply chain focus was on eliminating waste, redundancies, and unnecessary costs while improving on-time performance, quality, and customer relationships. Geoff also worked closely with SAP on JBS's global purchases of SAP licenses. Geoff has served on a number of philanthropic boards and was the founding member of the Denver CIO Executive Council. He holds a bachelor's degree in accounting as well as an MBA from Michigan State University.

SAP Judges

Manju Bansal

Manju Bansal is vice president and global head of SAP Startup Focus, the accelerator program that helps promising startups in the Big Data, predictive and real-time analytics space develop new applications on SAP technology and accelerate market traction. Manju has been at SAP since 2007 and over the years has held various leadership roles in Solution Marketing, the SME business and Ecosystem & Channel marketing. Prior to SAP, he was the founder of Thinknotes, an innovative content delivery platform that connected consumers, physicians and pharmaceutical companies and created personalized content repositories to help consumers manage their unique medical situations.

Manju is an SAP Mentor and an Industry Mentor at the Easton Technology Management Center at UCLA. He holds an MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA with additional executive education completed at the Harvard Business School. On a personal note, Manju has climbed several peaks in the high Himalayas and bicycled thousands of miles in countries round the globe.

Vivek Bapat

Vivek Bapat joined SAP in 2006 and is currently senior vice president and global head of marketing strategy at SAP. In this role, Vivek helps formulate SAP’s global marketing strategy to unlock the full potential of SAP’s brand, portfolio, and people through customer-driven corporate messaging, thought leadership, and purpose-driven initiatives. Prior to this role, Vivek led the portfolio marketing function where he was responsible for marketing SAP’s corporate and portfolio value proposition across line of business, industry, technology, analytics, mobile, and cloud solutions.

Prior to SAP, Vivek held several general management and P/L roles in the software and services industry with Rockwell Automation, Systems Modeling Corporation, and Alfa-Laval (India). He is also the co-author of two books, Call Center Performance Enhancement and The Pursuit of the Perfect Plant and has contributed to eight global patents in mobile, manufacturing, and supply chain technology.

Vivek’s formal education includes an MBA from Robert Morris University, an MS in industrial engineering from Clemson University, a BS in mechanical engineering from University of Pune, India, and marketing strategy at Harvard Business School.

Carol Clarke

Carol Clarke has spent the last five years at SAP operating cross functionally across the platform solution group, focused on launching and evangelizing new technology to disrupt what legacy technology has delivered in the past. Now focused on digital business transformation, Carol is leveraging her technology, business, and customer experience to help companies transition to digital-infused organizations.

Carol first joined SAP in the North America Center of Excellence with responsibility for the SAP data warehousing and in-memory introduction of SAP HANA in 2011. Next, she was vice president of the North America Business Analytics Center of Excellence, responsible for analytics sales execution, solution expansion, customer strategy, and advanced analytics incubation. She then had the opportunity to lead the Global Predictive Analytics Center of Excellence team to launch the SAP Predictive Analytics solution globally.

Carol has 29 years of business and technology experience focused on software solutions for enterprise applications, ERP, data integration, data warehousing, business intelligence, and advanced analytics for companies like IBM and Informatica.

Sven Denecken

Sven Denecken is senior vice president, product management and co-innovation SAP S/4HANA at SAP.

In this role, Sven assesses customer and market requirements and supports SAP’s S/4HANA strategy in addition to focusing on product management and the cloud. Through the co-innovation projects he is a part of, Sven discovers key trends and best practices in the application of new technologies.

His decades of experience working with customers, partners, SAP´s field organization, and industry analysts allows him to bring client issues and challenges directly into the solution development process, assuring that the next generation of software solutions help customers focus on business outcomes and gain a competitive advantage.

Closely cooperating with the respective teams, he supports the strategy of SAP´s solutions and its alignment with customers, the ecosystem, and SAP´s field organization. His co-innovation work with market constituents and SAP’s engineering organization facilitates and enables sustainable relationships between SAP, customers, industries, and partners.

Prakash Darji

Prakash, SVP and general manager of SAP platform as a service, has a broad depth of experience in enterprise software, including corporate strategy, sales, product management, architecture, and development. He is also well versed in product launch activities, including positioning, packaging, and pricing.

Prakash thrives on building high-performing scalable teams to achieve strategic deliverables, whether it’s closing strategic sales deals, rolling-in product features, or rolling out new releases. He is a recurring author for several publications and a speaker at numerous enterprise software conferences.

Angélique de Vries

Angélique is the head of global presales and customer experience for SAP Nederland B.V. Before her current position, she was head of EMEA presales, managing director for SAP Nederland B.V., and sales director of large enterprises for SAP Nederland, and also held various consulting/sales roles.

Before joining SAP in 1994, Angélique held various positions at Dow Chemicals in the area of supply chain management and logistics and served as a supply chain manager in EMEA for DowElanco business division. She holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the Hague University and completed the commercial management program at the Nijenrode Business University, both in The Netherlands.

Michael Eacrett

Mike is VP of product management for SAP HANA In-Memory technologies and data warehousing product strategy, definition, partner ecosystem, and product go-to-market.

Mike has over 20 years of industry experience in product management, strategic consulting, and implementation in both America and Europe.

Mike was previously an SAP NetWeaver product manager and a member of the SAP NetWeaver RIG, focusing on SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse and SAP NetWeaver Application Server/Basis.

Dr. Werner Eberhardt

Dr. Werner Eberhardt is General Manager for SAP’s Personalized Medicine solutions with end-to-end responsibility from development to go-to-market. He joined SAP in 2004 to establish and lead the global strategic ecosystem marketing organization. He assumed responsibility for innovative health solutions at SAP since 2012.

Dr. Eberhardt was previously holding management positions at Merck KGaA, Hewlett-Packard and LION Bioscience AG. Among other accomplishments he introduced leading bioinformatics solutions and the world’s first commercial lab-on-a-chip system.

Dr. Eberhardt is based out of the SAP Headquarters in Walldorf. He did his doctorate thesis in protein analytics at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Martinsried (Germany) and holds a master’s degree in business administration from Mannheim University (Germany).

Diane Fanelli

Diane Fanelli is senior vice president and chief operating officer for platform solutions at SAP. She leads day-to-day operations for a business unit responsible for bringing SAP innovations to market in the areas of mobile, analytics, and database and technology and works with key customers on adopting SAP's technologies. Diane is also the global customer operations executive sponsor on diversity and executive sponsor of the SAP Veterans to Work program. SAP launched Veterans to Work, an employment program to train and certify American veterans on SAP database and technology, analytics, and mobility solutions to alleviate the shortage of highly skilled talent in the technology industry.

With 21 years’ experience at SAP, Diane served as senior vice president of the global presales and solutions organization. In this role, she led the teams responsible for showcasing SAP’s innovations in the early stages of an account engagement. The global presales and solutions teams creatively apply SAP’s solutions, concepts that often serve as the catalyst for new business models within a customer’s organization. They also help to streamline the flow of innovation from SAP development to its sales teams and direct to customers.

Prior to joining SAP, Diane held financial and operational management roles at Pincus Bros Inc. and Laventhol & Horwath. In those roles, she was a licensed CPA working with international and domestic corporations.

She earned a BS degree from Drexel University.

Clemens Prändl

Clemens Prändl is the Senior Vice President and General Manager of SAP Analytics. In this role Clemens owns global responsibility for creating and executing on all sales, strategy and go-to-market efforts for the SAP Analytics portfolio including: enterprise BI, agile visualization, advanced analytics, enterprise performance management and governance, risk & compliance. He works with customers, partners and analysts to strengthen relationships and drive customer-centred innovation.

Clemens challenges organizations to embrace analytics to find new ways to make and manage business decisions, take new products and services to market and better understand and serve their customers. Clemens has more than 20 years of experience in the Analytics Business, serving in different senior and general management roles for software companies like MicroStrategy, Oracle, Planning Sciences and IRI Software. Prior to joining SAP, Clemens served as the Senior Vice President & General Manager EMEA at MicroStrategy.

Clemens holds a Master Degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Applied Sciences Esslingen and a Master Degree in Information Science from the University Konstanz.

Tanja Rueckert

Tanja is the executive vice president of Internet of Things (IoT) and customer innovation, a newly formed unit that collaborates with customers and partners on developing innovative software solutions for IoT and industry 4.0.

Co-innovating with customers and partners to accelerate their digital transformation by bringing individualized, but scalable business solutions, to market is at the core of Tanja’s organizational charter. Expanding the market reach of SAP’s innovation pipeline through globalization services complement her responsibilities.

Tanja joined SAP in 1997 and has worked on many different customer implementation projects, held leadership roles in quality and program management, and was the COO of HR and products and innovation board areas.

She holds a doctorate in chemistry from the University of Wuerzburg and the University of Regensburg, splits her time between Silicon Valley and SAP’s headquarters in Walldorf Germany, and is a mother of two children.

Stefan Schoepfel

Stefan’s mission is to help customers turn Big Data into big value. He is the EMEA leader for Big Data and business analytics services at SAP, including responsibility for strategy, demand generation, and delivery.

The Big Data and business analytics services teams help customers to imagine, create, deploy, and amplify best-in-class Big Data solutions based on SAP’s Big Data platform. The capabilities of the team include strategic advisory for Big Data and business analytics; LOB/industry analytics; business intelligence; predictive; enterprise performance management; governance, risk, and compliance; SAP HANA; and Hadoop. Big Data and analytics services represent a significant portion of SAP’s overall professional services revenue.

Over his career, Stefan has led EMEA and global organizations with increasing size and business responsibility in the lines of business sales, services, and development at SAP. Stefan joined SAP from a management consulting company that focused on the airline industry. He has a master-equivalent degree in business administration and economics from the University of Paderborn and is based in Walldorf, Germany.

Dr. Stefan Sigg

Dr. Stefan Sigg is senior vice president for SAP analytics. His teams cover all of the development and product management of SAP Business Warehouse, SAP enterprise performance management, SAP business intelligence, and SAP enterprise information management solutions. He is responsible for the overall product strategy and product/customer relationships, shaping the future for the innovative technology in these areas. In this role, a major focus is put on providing a link between highly relevant business scenarios and the innovation power of the SAP HANA technology platform. Just recently and notably, his team launched a new breed of cloud-based product called SAP Cloud for Analytics.

Dr. Sigg joined SAP in 1995 as a software engineer in the financials and controlling area and later served in various management roles within the SAP Business Warehouse and SAP HANA organizations. He holds a Ph.D. degree in pure mathematics from the University of Bonn, Germany.

Ken Tsai

Ken Tsai is the VP and Head of Data Management and PaaS, and leads product marketing efforts of SAP’s in-memory computing platform SAP HANA, HANA Cloud Platform, and the portfolio of SAP data management solutions such as HANA Vora, ASE, IQ, SQL Anywhere, Event Stream Processing. Ken has 20+ years of experiences in the IT industry spanning across development, implementation, pre-sales, business development and product marketing. Ken is a graduate University of California, Berkeley.