Technology Blogs by SAP
Learn how to extend and personalize SAP applications. Follow the SAP technology blog for insights into SAP BTP, ABAP, SAP Analytics Cloud, SAP HANA, and more.
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Community Advocate
Community Advocate

The SAP Champion Spotlight Interview Series highlights key strategic topics, such as emerging technologies, learning, and other topics, and provides insights from SAP Champions and SAP leaders on turning ideas into innovative approaches that impact people, processes, and technology.

Given the many rewards of the digital world, it can also be a lot of fun to take time to step back and encourage physical activity, such as the worldwide celebration of the Global Running Day which typically takes place in June of each year.

Many people have turned to running (& walking) 🏃🏽‍♀️as a way to help release anxiety, gain perspective, and keep up with wellbeing.

SAP Community participants took part in the Global Running Day this year in a variety of locations including Melbourne, Manchester, Mannheim, Ireland, Israel, and Philadelphia. This type of activity reminds us of the importance of exercise, and the joining together as a global community to have fun, reflect, and take part in a common experience.

The feedback from the participants was very positive! It was featured as a Random Day Surprise activity to gain a Community reputation badge with the opportunity to grow participation going forward.

For phil.cooley, SAP Champion, SAP Community advocate, SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) and SAP S/4HANA expert, and Chief Technology Officer at Bourne Digital, he played a leadership role with the Global Running Day in Melbourne and inspired others in the global community to set-up their own locations.

Phil enjoys organizing and contributing to a variety of SAP Community activities in Melbourne and beyond, such as the SAP Inside Track, SAP Tech Nights, and SAP Stammtisch with the idea of bringing people together and a simple moto, “that now is an opportune time to GO FOR IT!

It was great to catch-up with Phil from his home office in the Greater Melbourne Australia area.

Stephanie De Camara Marley (SM): Hi Phil! You have acquired an amazing range of experiences starting at Western Sydney University (WSU) in Commerce and Technology, and later with market leaders in the energy, automotive, healthcare, mining, and manufacturing sectors. How did your WSU dual focus of business and IT help provide a solid foundation which led to your current role as Chief Technology Officer at Bourne Digital?

Phil Cooley (PC): Hi Steph! Really good question. It was quite a while ago, but what attracted me to that particular curriculum was the practical element. One great experience was working with a real business on a real-life project for 6-months. I loved every minute of it as we were actually helping a real company decide on a future solution.

The main learnings I took from this experience was to try things out; learn the theory but also prototype the solution with an open mind to explore!

It also established my deep pursuit of solving business problems for customers, which is something I strive to do on a daily basis. I’m the happiest when I am making a real difference for my customers.

SM: As an SAP Inside Track in Melbourne (#sitMEL) and Stammtisch Melbourne organizer, as well as an advocate for the Global Running Day with the SAP Community, how do you find the time to be a major contributor? What types of community activities do you have planned or look forward to seeing developed in the near future?

PC: It is difficult at times, but I try and stay active in the community by reading blogs, publishing blogs myself and answering questions in my area of expertise. I am usually active on Twitter as well. 😊

Any event that brings SAP Community members together is a great one – hence the breadth of the different activities I try to organize. I am passionate about connecting with people to talk about all things SAP, and if we can have fun, learn, and grow while we do it…then together we can enjoy happy days!

I would like to plan a full day event early next year (SAP Inside Track Melbourne) and another Stammtisch event – let’s see!

SM: How did you become an SAP Champion? In this role, how do you engage with Community members around the globe?

PC: I have published over 50 SAP blogs, answer questions in the SAP Community, and am the organizer in Melbourne for SAP Inside Track, SAP Tech Nights, and SAP Stammtisch events. Performing these activities, I believe, helped me become an SAP Champion.

This role enabled me access to meet other SAP Champions. Some I met along the way at SAP TechEd in Las Vegas. Also, my tweets about SAP BTP have allowed me to engage with other like-minded individuals that are passionate about the SAP Community.

SM: When you took the OpenSAP “Implementation of SAP S/4HANA” course, you were in the top 10% of participants by way of the building blocks, including the User Experience (UX), with SAP Fiori. Looking back, what is an example or two of what you learned that you were able to apply later on?

PC: Hmm, interesting question. I love the OpenSAP courses, and I get something out of every course I take. In this case, I got insight into what customers need to do to transition to SAP S/4HANA – which is a major shift – from SAPGUI transactions to SAP Fiori applications, so there is a definite mind-shift.

Different skills are required and a different approach.

I don’t believe in the tech upgrade only approach – I never have – so I believe customers should get measurable value and tangible results when going through an upgrade.

With this in mind, one of the main learnings was that with SAP BTP, customers can innovate while the SAP S/4HANA core is being updated through DEV, TEST and PROD environments. From the course knowledge, I can help customers get something out of their transition. Additionally, those customers still on older versions should be shifting to a SAP BTP first approach for enhancing their business processes – to keep the core clean and to reduce further technical debt.

SM: As an expert on all things SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP), can you share a high level example where you and your team helped to unlock innovation that was previously out of reach? What was the challenge? How did you measure success?

PC: One of the most challenging projects we worked on was embedding an E-commerce React application (using a JavaScript framework) within an existing website. This was pretty nuts at the time, and it was not something that had been done before. The challenge was to build and host a React application on the SAP BTP, Neo environment platform, and have it embedded into an iFrame on a website.

With BTP anything is possible, and this was a major turning point on unleashing amazing innovation opportunities. Success was measured by the fact that our proposed solution architecture could be achieved and when we went live it was a big success. The app was a finalist in the Best Run Awards and is still going strong today.

SM: With your many work experiences, you developed an extensive network within SAP Australia and the global community which has been a great asset to help identify new opportunities. What suggestions do you give to students or recent alumni who need to develop their own networks to help identify high quality jobs?

PC: Be active on Twitter 😊 or the social platform of choice. I would engage within the SAP Community at and get involved in either writing blog posts, liking blog posts, or answering questions from other members. You will get to know others in the SAP Community this way.

Also, post relevant topics on LinkedIn and follow key SAP Developers, Champions and Mentors to get valuable experience and insights on involving yourself within the SAP Community. You will get noticed when you are active in these environments.

And remember, that now is an opportune time to GO FOR IT!

What is next?

Useful Links
1 Comment