Service Systems Executive Speaker Series and Working Group
Speaker: Paul Hofmann,
Vice President of Research at SAP Lab in Palo Alto
Title: The Limits of Public Clouds for Business Applications :
An overly simplistic reliance on the utility model risks blinding
us to the real opportunities and challenges of cloud computing
Descriptions of cloud computing often emphasize the silver lining more than the chances of getting wet. Utility computing offers many benefits, but will the cloud -especially the public cloud- lead to the extinction of CIOs because IT will be consumed as simply as electricity? No doubt, cloud computing is a breakthrough technology that will continue to unleash new innovations and bring new efficiencies and advantages to business. It removes infrastructure and capital expense as a barrier to entry and allows startups to scale up cheaply and rapidly. On the other hand, enterprises face limitations in using the cloud for high-performance and mission-critical applications such as ERP. Unfortunately, the cloud’s limits are often obscured by all the hype. It’s time to stop looking at the cloud as a panacea. This presentation seeks to clear up some misperceptions and help people make better choices.
Before joining SAP Research, Paul worked for the SAP Corporate Venturing Group. Paul joined SAP 2001 as Director Global Strategic Supply Chain Management Initiative EMEA. His pre-sales team designed and rolled out the SCM Value Based Selling Approach for EMEA and supported many crucial Supply Chain sales for SAP in EMEA (LEGO, Benteler, etc.).
Prior to joining SAP, he was Senior Plant Manager at BASF’s Global Catalysts Business Unit in Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF is the largest chemical company in the world. The BASF Group comprises more than 160 subsidiaries and joint ventures. It operates more than 150 production sites in Europe, the Americas, Asia, Australia and Africa. Paul headed the development of object-oriented production planning and scheduling software for BASF’s plants in the IT division of BASF. In collaboration with OO veterans like Bertrand Meyer and Edward V. Berard he and his team designed a Computer Integrated Manufacturing System for BASF. He led the team that implemented the OO design in C++ and Small Talk; one of the first big object oriented software projects in German industry.
Paul led the implementation of SAP R/3 for BASF Chemicals Division. Paul was Researcher and Assistant Professor at top German and US Universities, like Northwestern University in Evanston/Chicago, Illinois, USA and at Technical University in Munich, Germany. He was a visiting scientist at MIT and gave lectures at UC Santa Cruz, HPI Postdam, Dresden Technical University and Joanneum Graz.
Paul studied Chemistry and Physics at the University of Vienna, Austria. He received a Bachelor in biotechnology and a master’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Vienna. He did his Ph.D.in Physics at the Darmstadt University of Technology, Germany. At Darmstadt he wrote SW for the design of molecules (drugs) using computer graphics. He was part of a team that developed SW for Silicon Graphics MOLCAD. His thesis is on non-linear quantum dynamics and chaos theory.
He is the author of numerous publications and books, including a book on SCM and environmental information systems as well as Performance Management and Productivity of Supply Chains. For more information, visit: