Exploring Virtual Reality in the Enterprise

Chatbots, bots, mobile devices, think of how dramatically these new forms of media are transforming the way we conduct business, and disrupting entire industries. Currently we’re at the brink of new frontier: Virtual reality.  

You may think of virtual reality as a platform for play or games, but there’s an entire realm of possibilities for businesses. Imagine virtual reality conferences, design collaborations, or remote office visits. There’s already investigations into how surgeons could use virtual reality for patient anatomy or how teams could design products virtually.

As part of our ongoing research, Concur Labs spent the past few months understanding what virtual reality could do for business travelers. We started with a design sprint and a series of brainstorms. Ultimately, we built a demo showing how Global Security Managers could use virtual reality to help business travelers in a crisis, in this case, an earthquake.


Virtual Reality Demo: How Global Security Managers Help Business Travelers in a Crisis

How does the demo work? It starts with Global Security Managers who focus on providing “Duty of Care” for employees who travel. Duty of Care, as you might guess, is industry standard for ensuring the security and safety of employees on the road.


The demo immerses you in a life-like, Duty of Care situation: You’re a Global Security Manager responsible for the safety of thousands of employees. Now you’re confronted with an earthquake and need to determine which business travelers are impacted and how to get them back to safety.


The 3D simulation, inspired by the Concur Risk Messaging service, enables you to:

  • Access up-to-the-minute news and social media about what’s happening with the earthquake that’s now triggered a tsunami. See the latest information, like the projected tsunami path, to help determine who to notify.


  • Get an instant view of which travelers are on-site or traveling to the affected region, and find detail contact information on each employee.


  • Communicate immediately by sending one- or two-way messages and updates to travelers, and enable them to request help in real-time.

Imagine how quickly you could help travelers using an experience like this? You can try it out firsthand at Fusion, our annual customer event, March 14-17, 2017.


Wait a Sec: Exactly How Does Virtual Reality Work?

Virtual reality combines software and hardware to give you the experience of entering a new environment or setting. By using sensors, sound, imagery, and 3D environments, virtual reality immerses you in a lifelike situation you control with the movement of your body.


It also offers a 360-degree experience, with a vast amount of screen space, so a large volume of visual information can be quickly communicated. This opens up a host of possibilities for businesses or enterprises relying on collaboration or sharing of visual information.


With new headset gears coming from HTC Vive, HoloLens, and Oculus Rift, and screen resolutions likely to improve, the overall experience is bound to mature rapidly over the coming years. It’s a new frontier.


While the VR demo is not a service available to customers, we’ll continue to explore and investigate new ways how to tap into this growing trend.


See More Prototypes & Betas from Concur Labs at Fusion

Meet the Concur Labs team at Fusion to try out the virtual reality demo and see our latest innovations and designs, including:


Concur for Outlook Beta & New Office 365 Travel Prototype: Microsoft Office 365 is one of the fastest growing cloud services. Our recent Concur for Outlook Add-in [beta] enables users to submit expenses right from their Outlook Inbox and, based on tester feedback, also supports single sign-on (SSO). Available in the Microsoft Office Store, the beta provides a one-click way to send business expenses and receipts from your Inbox directly to Concur and is a complementary service for clients. At Fusion, we’ll also show our upcoming travel booking prototype, allowing users to book business trips without leaving Outlook. Learn more in the blog article.

Concur Bot for Slack Beta: We’re venturing into how conversational interfaces can benefit the world of travel and expense with our Concur Bot for Slack beta. With the Bot, you can interact with Concur in a conversational way, send requests about travel plans, and manage expenses right from Slack. Currently in beta, Concur Labs is collecting continuous feedback to improve the experience and evolve the prototype. See details on concurlabs.com and in our blog article.


Visit us at fusion.concur.com and learn more at concurlabs.com.

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