For Phil Morley, sports and business are about turning opportunities into goals. The road to success can be icy, but luckily he’s got his skates on. 

“There’s a lot to do here, and there’s a lot we still can do, and that’s the beauty of working for SAP.” Phil Morley should know. The SAP veteran has seen the world with the company, and in so doing has also come full circle. He’s worked for the world’s largest enterprise software company as developer, consultant, solution manager, and product manager. Phil recently returned to the area of Human Capital Management software that he began as a software developer some 25 years ago, as product manager for SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central.

What’s different now is that the product, which came to SAP as part of the acquisition of SuccessFactors in 2012, is now developed and rolled out in the cloud. The pace of work for SAP product managers like Phil has changed dramatically, particularly because of quarterly product releases that require the development team to quickly decide, implement and test the features to be included in the next release.

Listening to the customer and reacting faster than the competition are two of Phil’s primary goals at work. “The beauty of the cloud is that you can be very agile and get out there faster than anybody else,” he says. “If you don’t get there then the competition will.”

Fortunately for Phil, agility and speed are two characteristics that he learned early in life. Very early. It’s a cliché that all Canadians learn to skate before they walk, but in Phil’s case it’s true. At two years, Phil was standing on skates and at five he began playing ice hockey. “It is so amazing to play this game, once you get started, you don’t want to stop,” says Phil, who’s role as center forward on his team is to create havoc in the other team’s defense zone and make the opportunities to score goals.

Phil’s career at SAP has allowed him to work stints in the Americas, Asia, and Europe, but his passion for the game has followed him everywhere. Even now in the area around Mannheim, Germany, where SAP is headquartered, the sport remains Phil’s eternal energy source, as player, coach, and father of three hockey-playing children.

But Phil’s not comfortable talking about his individual role on the ice. “The team is everything,” says Phil. “You have to be there for your teammates, and the best part of the game is when you win as a team.” It’s easy to see that with his passion for ice hockey and SAP, Phil Morley is going to keep winning with his team, on and off the ice.

Video: Natalie Hauck and Alex Januschke, SAP Development University

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