Written on July 24, 2012 at 1:07 pm, by Kristel Wills
If you’ve ever traveled to Germany, there’s a good chance you were one of the over two billion passengers who every year ride Deutsche Bahn, the national railway system of Germany. Business travelers pack the high-speed ICE trains, getting work done in quiet cars, hooked up to the Wi-Fi. So for business travelers either in Germany or traveling there, booking travel by train has just gotten more convenient and a lot more efficient with the latest integration between Concur Travel and Deutsche Bahn.
“Every European country has a rail system,” explains Stefan Siebel, the development manager who led the team that worked on the Deutsche Bahn integration. “So booking tools need to have good rail integration.”
“Being a global company means we can solve local needs. To get rail right, you need to be in Germany,” says Fred Fredericks, senior vice president of research and development. As Siebel and his team live and work in Frankfurt, they were able to pick up the phone and talk directly with Deutsche Bahn, which provided guidance on the integration with Concur Travel.
“It really helps to talk to German people, in German, about support issues, about technical challenges,” says Siebel. From seat reservations to how an entire trip is booked, travel can be dramatically different between Germany, France and the UK. Says Siebel, “Having local people living and working in these countries is a big benefit. Local people are solving local development needs. We’re speaking your language.”
Concur first integrated with Deutsche Bahn back in 2007. Since then, we’ve worked on a number of improvements. Last year, Concur upgraded the integration to allow travelers to shop on the Deutsche Bahn website and then return to Concur to add the car and hotel as a single itinerary. This most recent enhancement allows travelers to compare air and rail costs and schedules side by side. Travelers can make decisions based on what’s cheaper and what’s faster. If a traveler wants to choose rail, they’ll be transferred to the Deutsche Bahn site to purchase the exact ticket they selected, and return to Concur to complete the itinerary.
“This integration is something customers have been asking for and it’s great that we’re now able to provide it for the German market,” says Fredericks. As for Siebel, he expects to be spending a lot more time aboard the trains now that his girlfriend took a job in Munich, 400 km away. Booking those tickets should be quick and easy.
Interested in learning more about the Deutsche Bahn integration or other innovations announced by Concur at GBTA 2012 this year? Find Fred at the Concur booth in Boston (#1724) or check out the conversation live on Twitter with #GBTA2012.