SAP Concur Solutions: Celebrating 10 Years as an Open Platform

In the early days of the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) revolution the common belief was that the customization requirements for highly standardized SaaS business processes were not the same as the requirements for on-premise Enterprise Software solutions. It turns out, this was not the case. Starting in the early 2000s, emerging technology companies such as Salesforce, eBay, and Amazon realized this and quickly turned it into a competitive advantage offering new ways to extend and integrate with SaaS software. They introduced an open platform concept along with application programming interfaces (APIs) for greater customization without the need for extensive development.

 

The SAP Concur platform journey

Beginning ten years ago in 2011 with our Client Web Services offering, SAP Concur gave customers access to open APIs via simple web protocols. Customers could now seamlessly integrate with and extend SAP Concur products and services to meet their organization’s specific travel and expense management needs without extensive coding.

With the help of our APIs, customers and partners can access data and functions within the SAP Concur product ecosystem and solve a vast array of business issues and reporting needs such as:

  • Pull data from SAP Concur solutions for in-depth reporting services
  • Reconciliation or validation of data against existing SAP Concur data
  • Post new data into SAP Concur solutions
  • Update existing information in SAP Concur products to match your system data

In 2013 we took this concept to the next level by introducing the SAP Concur App Center. This new program allowed partners to certify their pre-packaged solution integrations and extensions. It also created a hub where they could publish applications that provided greater insights into total spend, simplify travel and expenses. Another step closer to the perfect business trip.

 

The SAP Concur innovation journey

Today we have more than 75 customer and partner (APIs) available in the SAP Concur Development Center and over 250 partner applications in the App Center.

We are continuously evolving our open platform to provide our customers and partners greater business agility while making it easy to integrate with, extend, and provide content on top of SAP Concur core solutions. To celebrate our decade milestone, we are focused on four key areas:

 

1. Accelerate Integration across your value chain

Our open platform delivers capabilities that simplify integration with other software systems. As part of the larger SAP vision and portfolio, we have expanded our existing platform to support the new end-to-end SAP intelligent business processes, like the newly-introduced Travel to Reimburse scenario (T2R).

This scenario provides seamless integration between SAP Concur, SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central, SAP S/4HANA Cloud, and SAP S/4 HANA on-premise solutions. Customers can manage end-to-end travel booking and employee-initiated spend management processes and receive automated and integrated travel spend data regardless of where it happens.

 

SAP Intelligent Enterprises – SAP Travel to Reimburse integrated business process

 

Another way we have expanded our integration capabilities is our new Financial Integration Service (FIS). Customers can more easily build connections between a downstream financial system and SAP Concur solutions. That reduces the overall effort and cost of building integrations and avoid the usage of flat files and manual data transfers. By simplifying these connections, customers will benefit from improved accuracy, transparency, and real-time integration.

For a deep dive into the Financial Integration Service, listen to this expert session from our 2021 SAP Concur Partner summit: Financial Integration Service (35 min).

 

2. Simplify development of your application extensions

We provide tools and services that simplify the development of extensions to enhance customers’ existing SAP Concur solutions. Our new API called Launch External URL is one example. It provides the ability to extend the existing capabilities of the SAP Concur User Interface and enable the display of a punch-out window, providing a means to deliver custom user interactions or access functionality found in an external system.

 

 

3. Boost compliance and adhere to regular policies

To help our customers stay in compliance with constantly changing regulations, we provide APIs designed specifically for the development of applications to support business, regional, or industry-specific compliance processes. Today, we have more than 40 partner-built applications that provide risk and compliance solutions right out of the box.

 

4. Expand business value with our global partner ecosystem

We continually collaborate and innovate within our ecosystem to expand overall SAP Concur business, increasing the number of partner-built applications, out-of-the-box integrations, and adding valuable travel content. We have more than 700 partners in two main categories:

  • Platform partners: App Center, Financial Services Companies, and Travel Suppliers
  • Distribution partners: Travel Management Companies, Resell, and Service partners

Together with our Platform partners we have released more than 250 applications for both enterprises and end-users. Currently, more than 7,000 of our customers use at least one App Center application. Watch this short video to learn more about the App Center.

We are always looking for innovative companies with compelling integration ideas to solve real business problems for our 60 million business travelers and 48,000 enterprises worldwide. All our applications are certified for the highest standards of quality and security.

SAP Concur App Center

 

Join our platform innovation journey in four easy steps

Whether you are a customer or prospective partner, we have well-established processes and resources available to begin building solutions or integrating with our SAP Concur Core Solutions.

 

 

  • Step 1: SAP Concur App Center
    • Begin by exploring our App Center for relevant and useful content. Dramatically cut your time to value by leveraging a pre-existing application, integration, or connection that solves your business need(s) instead of building something from scratch.
    • “After integrating the Wipfli Concur Connector to our financial system, what used to take 8 to 12 hours is now done in 30 minutes, and we’ve also lowered the cost of reimbursing our employees.” – Wes Farquharson, Grand Valley Fortifiers
  • Step 2: SAP Concur Development Center
    • If you cannot find an existing app that solves your business challenge in the App Center, don’t give up. Search our APIs reference list for the integration and extension points you need for your solution. Visit developer.concur.com and browse through the Getting Started Guide or the API reference guide.
  • Step 3: SAP Concur Web Services
    • To use our SAP Concur APIs as a customer, you will need to license our Web Services. Reach out to your SAP Concur sales representative or e-mail our web services team for more details.
    • If you do not have your own in-house API integration experts, SAP Concur can help by building custom applications for you. To engage our Web Services team, contact your SAP Concur sales representative or call (888) 883-8411.
    • Discover more about our Web Services in this brochure and video.
  • Step 4: Certified App Center Partner Application
    • As a partner, you can “product-ize” your extensions and integrations on our App Center. To apply, you must meet the following criteria: 
      • You have a compelling business case for many SAP Concur clients and/or their users
      • Your solution is technically feasible via the available APIs
      • You are committed to develop, market, and support your integration.

We will work closely with you throughout the certification process. Watch this session from our 2021 SAP Concur Partner Summit for an expert overview of some best practices to certify and onboard your application to the App Center.

Depending on the type of application you build, fees may apply. Interested? Please contact us at: concur_bizdev@sap.com.

 

What's next?

To take a deeper dive into platform strategies for 2021 and emerging ideas, click here to make sure you are included in future activities and insights. We plan to announce a new series of blogs and podcasts you may find invaluable on topics including SAP Concur Platform Roadmap API deep-dives, how-to sessions, and best-practices sessions from customers and partners that have used our platform.

Questions? E-mail us at: concur_AppCenterAlliance@sap.com

 

Additional Resources

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