Melton Littlepage is a senior director and six- year Concur employee. Below, Melton, who leads product marketing and business development for Concur Breeze, shares a bit about his passion for delivering slick technology to the small business community as well as what motivates him to get up and go to work every day at Concur.
Q: You recently presented Concur Breeze at the Small Business Summit 2010 in New York. How was that experience?
A: Small business owners are looking for new solutions to help them survive and grow in this crazy economy. It was good to talk one-on-one with a few dozen of them to hear where they need help managing their expenses. I must have heard 40 different descriptions of how they were running their businesses on a credit card and stuffing receipts into a shoebox – that is, until they or their bookkeeper had to type it all into Quickbooks at the end of each month. When I explained that Concur Breeze can replace the credit card statement, retire the shoebox, and electronically push all of the expenses straight into Quickbooks, I was told again and again that is was music to their ears.
Q: What does a typical day look like for you?
A: Right now I am wearing a lot of hats for the Concur Breeze team. A lot of my time is spent listening to client input and collaborating with our support team, our R&D team, and our partners on the innovation roadmap, where we are focusing on new feature development, simplifying the user experience, and integrating deeper into the small business cloud. I also lead a great cross-functional team through the launch of each major new feature and partnership – this has been a nearly continuous activity this year, with a lot more great stuff in the pipeline. The rest of my time is spent working with our distribution partners, like American Express and Google, who help us reach small business owners who are looking for a better way to manage their expenses.
Q: What’s been your proudest moment thus far relating to Concur Breeze?
A: We knew when we were designing Concur Breeze that the key to our success was to take everything that Concur was already brilliant at – and completely reinvent it for the small business marketplace. This opened the door for us develop a new business model and required over a dozen groundbreaking innovations, including selling online and an entirely new client implementation process. My proudest moment was seeing the launch of Concur Breeze in March after months of hard work with our very talented organization bringing our vision to life.
Q: Do you have a favorite feature?
A: Definitely the Setup Wizard. People that have never heard of Concur Breeze before can find us, start the free trial and file their first expense report in the same hour. Concur Breeze is an extremely capable, highly configurable expense reporting solution. There is nothing else like it in the small business market. The fact that new users can set up an account in minutes is revolutionary.
Q: What motivates you to get up and go to work every day at Concur?
A: Until recently, business software companies were focusing their investments on innovations that benefited large enterprises, while small businesses had to settle for expensive and sub-par applications, or paper-based manual processes. Today, SaaS (software-as-a-service) applications let companies pay only for what they use regardless of their size – which opens up small businesses to these innovation solutions that were just too expensive to buy in years past. We see a great opportunity in this and it’s incredibly motivating for me to be in the mix; driving a piece of this rapid and profound change in the business software industry.
Q: What are we most likely to find you doing outside of work? What are currently you reading, watching or listening to?
A: Since I was in the last year of my MBA program I have volunteered with the non-profit Business Alliance for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Northern Virginia to help coach early-stage companies as they prepare to pitch their businesses to potential investors. You are more likely to find me with my nose in a book than in front of the TV. I am currently reading Brewing Up a Business: Adventures in Entrepreneurship from the Founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, a book featuring two of my favorite subjects – startup businesses and craft beer. You can’t go wrong there. I recommend it.
Q: What are your favorite places to travel?
A: You can’t beat the sun, beaches, and laid-back lifestyle of the Caribbean Islands. And, although each island cooks up its own recipe for helping you escaping for a while, my favorites are St. Maarten and Curacao.