Written on May 29, 2012 at 8:05 am, by Steve Singh
A few weeks ago at Fusion, our annual client conference, Concur shared a vision for improving the business traveler experience. In my keynote address, I compared the current business travel system to a flip phone. A flip phone is just fine for making phone calls. But when the iPhone appeared, it literally redefined expectations for what a smartphone could do. It made us see what we didn’t even know was possible. And now we don’t want go back to the prior standards by which we lived.
By delivering an incredible end-user experience coupled with endless choices of applications to personalize your experience, Apple redefined the game. That’s innovation. That’s freedom. It puts power into the hands of the individual. And that’s what everyone wants. Business travelers and the companies who manage and support them are no different. We believe that level of transformation is happening in the corporate travel and expense management market. So from now on, you’re going to be hearing a lot from Concur about Open Booking.
One of the biggest issues facing our clients today is travel spend that happens outside of policy. It’s so easy for a traveler to book a hotel or rent a car using nothing but their smartphone. That booking happens outside of the corporate booking tool because of
- Lack of availability of preferred options
- Finding cheaper travel options
Every business needs to evolve, to change, to meet the new needs and expectations of their customers. That’s why Concur is embracing and delivering an open booking model – the idea that some parts of a booking will happen within the booking tool, and others outside it. Given that we deliver the market leading booking tool, you may think that this is the antithesis of what we want to drive. But we believe that sometimes you have to innovate in ways that change behavior – even within your own products. Our job is to solve client problems, not force them to ignore trends so they can stay with our products.
Open Booking helps companies support their travelers’ current behavior, while providing the kinds of visibility and control they need to ensure their policies are being followed. And it helps companies support their duty of care obligations – knowing where their employees are on the globe at any point and being able to help them if an unplanned event arises.
For business travelers, Open Booking takes a big step toward eliminating the expense report and making it a thing of the past. Open Booking helps business travelers have an easier time matching their receipts while on the road and the automatic creation of expense reports. It is also a big step toward the convenience, freedom and flexibility that business travelers have come to expect.
We believe our job is to constantly innovate as a means of giving clients incredible solutions for their travelers. Ensuring that they retain the visibility, control, and capabilities of their global travel and expense program is a big part of that job. The trust that each of you have placed in Concur – on our innovations, our solutions, our vision of the future of business travel – ensures our mutual success. We couldn’t accomplish it without your partnership. Thank you.