As part of the kick off to a new fiscal year, I had the opportunity to sit down and discuss Concur’s strategy with some of the industry’s top analysts. I heard some consistent feedback and took away more than one thing to think about:
- Double digit growth in revenue and earnings was impressive against the economic backdrop. All agree that distribution partnerships – especially the one we have with American Express – will be key in helping us reach our 20,000 client goal by 2012.
- The competitive landscape will continue to get tougher. While SAP’s announcement to resurrect an on-demand strategy likely won’t present an immediate threat to Concur, we should recognize the value of their installed base. We should expect to see increased competition from ERP suite vendors like Oracle and Microsoft looking to create a recurring revenue model, as well as from start-ups. Concur delivered its first SaaS offering more than 10 years ago, and has made significant ongoing SaaS infrastructure investments since then. There’s no question that Concur will continue to push the innovation bar and to make sure that we’re setting the industry standard for products and services.
- Native mobile applications versus web applications are the right way to go for conducting transactions, validating our strategy with Concur® Mobile. iPhone and BlackBerry continue to lead consumer preferences and the race between Windows Mobile and Android is on! However, research shows that smartphone users are loyal to the operating system (OS) they currently use. Lots of bets being placed on Android. What do you think?
- The analysts we met with see the introduction of new Concur® Advantage services as a good move. This unique selection of value-added services and support – from project management through help desk support and everything in between will help our clients maximize the value of their Concur solutions. Analysts think that managed services like end-user support desk and report management go beyond traditional consulting and training and help alleviate work from over-tasked accounting and travel departments.
Overall, there was good feedback from the analysts I met with on our strategic priorities. Execution will be critical. As a co-founder, I know we don’t shy away from challenges. I think fiscal 2010 will be a great year for Concur.