The opportunity to discover – to have a-ha moments – is one of the great benefits we enjoy at Concur. With more than 30 million users of our travel and expense solutions, we’re continuously building insight, uncovering trends and generating ideas – by engaging with our clients and delving into petabytes of data. Discovery has always been pivotal to our ability to deliver.
In fact, Concur began with an a-ha moment – the realization nearly 25 years ago that there must be a better way to manage expenses. By automating the expense process, Concur could help organizations save time and money. We could help them do things right.
We quickly learned that travel is the biggest expense after payroll. Shouldn’t they work together? It wasn’t enough to simply automate the process. We needed to do more than help our clients do things right; we needed to help them do the right things. We connected travel and expense, allowing companies to “see” expenses even before they happen, make sound decisions and manage spend more effectively.
There was more to do. Concur data was shining a bright light on the rapidly blurring line between business traveler and consumer. A new world of mobile devices and applications was suddenly presenting a new world of business travel options. Customers wanted more than efficiency and effectiveness; they were beginning to expect the same powerful and effortless experiences that they enjoyed as consumers. We needed to develop a new approach, one that would meet the unique and evolving needs not just of the new era of business traveler but the finance leader and travel manager as well.
The vision of The Perfect Trip was born. With a platform and application model, we would create an effortless experience for business travelers by enabling partners to share data, breaking down traditional industry barriers. Wouldn’t it be great, for instance, if travelers could automatically expense a latte through their smartphone app, discarding the paper receipt? Wouldn’t it be simpler – for travelers, travel managers and TMCs – to receive a single, complete itinerary for all of a traveler’s bookings? And perhaps best of all, wouldn’t it be ideal if expense reports would write themselves as the trip unfolds, increasing employee productivity – one of the highest priorities for our clients.
Indeed, we’re hearing more and more from clients and prospects that improving user productivity – by meeting them where they are – is critical. In a discussion in the UK recently regarding travel and expense, one progressive CIO asked, “Why don’t we let our people use the apps they already love?”
We’re doing just that. Last year, we saw a 5x increase in Uber rides and a 7x increase in the amount spent by our clients expensing Lyft for ride-sharing. We discovered that each month, Concur clients hold 10,000 meetings at Starbucks locations globally, making Starbucks the most frequently expensed restaurant.
But the magic, of course, is making it work not just for users, but their employers as well. By connecting data, we’re enabling organizations to expand – and meet – the full potential of their travel and expense programs and policies.We’re getting closer to delivering on the vision of the Perfect Trip – improving the experiences of business traveler, travel manager and finance leader alike.
Discoveries have shaped us – from a focus on driving costs out for clients to helping them operate more effectively to enabling them to improve user productivity. We’re continuing to learn every day – with our clients, supplier partners, TMCs and each other. We’re committed to using that insight to improve in everything we do.
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