Last week Concur chairman and CEO Steve Singh talked about the five significant growth opportunities within the business travel and expense management market during our first quarter earnings call. We wanted to share some highlights to give you a sense of why 2011 is already shaping up to be another exciting year for Concur, its partners and its customers.
1. Concur continues to see significant opportunity to expand our customer base in the markets we currently serve. “…we continue to increase our investments in distribution, market development and innovation. Those investments continue to pay dividends as we just recorded our strongest Q1 in terms of new customer growth. Our partnership with American Express continues to strengthen both in North America and across the globe, and we expect that partnership to continue to drive value for both parties in the years ahead.”
2. Concur sees a number of large and interesting markets outside of North America, and we're focused on expanding our global presence.
“…the only way to be a truly global company is to be a truly local company. To that end, we are investing in and continue to see compelling success in markets such as Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, France and the U.K. A few weeks ago, we signed a definitive agreement to establish Concur Japan in partnership with the SunBridge Corporation…. Over the next decade, we expect Concur Japan to be a significant portion of our global revenue.”
3. Concur believes the SMB market can and will be a material portion of our revenue base over the next decade. “Concur Breeze continues to see solid early success. We've seen several thousand travel accounts established, and we're seeing conversion rates above our expectations. We've also been very pleased with the interest we've seen from companies with less than 50 employees, as they account for more than 75% of our Breeze customers. We've seen meaningful contributions from the American Express and Google channels. However, and not surprisingly, our direct channel is, by far, the biggest contributor to new customer growth.”
4. Concur sees a significant opportunity to deliver compelling value to the business traveler while they're on their trip. “Serving the needs of the business traveler is central to our growth initiatives, and TripIt is central to this portion of our growth strategy. In combination with our suite of services, TripIt allows Concur to participate in every element of the travel process: from trip planning and booking to in-trip activities and sharing trip information to post-trip expense reconciliation and reimbursement. This enables Concur to meet the requirements of the individual business travelers within the context of corporate policies. It also enables the direct relationship between travel suppliers and their tens of millions of end customers in both the managed travel market, which Concur has served for a long period of time, and the unmanaged travel market, which is a new opportunity for us that nearly doubles our addressable travel spend.”
5. Concur is focused on creating a high-value ecosystem through the Concur Connect platform that connects our customers, our partners and suppliers together in a model that drives compelling value for all members of the ecosystem. “On the last earnings call, we previewed for you the upcoming launch of version 2.0 of the Concur Connect platform. This next generation of our cloud computing offering will support our ecosystem of travel partners, customers and end users. The Concur Connect platform is a set of open cloud-based APIs and tools that allow our customers, our partners and for the first time, third-party developers to connect to and extend the Concur technology platform…. From applications designed for small and medium businesses to vertical applications of our travel and expense service to innovative new mobile applications to location-based services to specialized travel content or services, all integrated into your Concur experience and available in both traditional desktop and mobile interfaces.” Clearly, 2011 looks to be an exciting year at Concur. With Fusion just around the corner, we’re looking forward to hearing which of these initiatives you’re most excited about.