Albert Einstein. Marie Curie. Picasso. These great masters represent a few of the names that commonly spring to mind when we think about “genius.” The word typically evokes an image of a solitary figure gifted in math, science or the arts.
The mythology around these and other exceptional individuals suggests they nurtured their extraordinary abilities and pursued their goals alone. But the truth is the opposite: Einstein developed the theory of relativity with engineer Michele Besso, who he called the “best sounding board in Europe.” Marie Curie worked daily with her research partner, co-Nobel laureate, Pierre Curie. Picasso invented some of his most influential ideas with fellow artist, Georges Braque.
These “lone” geniuses were, in reality, passionate collaborators, often producing their best work with others.
Because the truth is: genius is collaborative.
This truth is more apparent today than ever before, in a world that’s more connected and more interdependent.
It’s also a reality that holds significance for all of us in today’s fast-changing business travel industry—and why “sharing” is the perfect theme for the GBTA Convention 2015 being held this week in Orlando. This afternoon at GBTA I had the honor to introduce keynote speaker Steve Wozniak. He spoke eloquently to the importance of socialization – of connecting with each other to generate and explore new ideas and turn them into powerful solutions – like the first personal computer. We fly to connect.
Indeed, we know, even with all of the technological wonders today, nothing can replace the power of presence—of shaking someone’s hand and knowing they are in it with you—to collaborate, launch new ideas, drive results and change the world together. These are the powerful moments that business travel creates. As I shared with the GBTA audience this morning, each participant in the business travel ecosystem—suppliers, TMCs, travel managers, travel app companies, and others in the travel ecosystem—can do great things on their own. But when we share, connect and work deeply together, that’s when we achieve breakthrough impact, and yes, sometimes even genius. So what’s Concur’s role in this?
Concur has been committed to improving corporate travel for more than two decades. In recent years, we’ve called this vision the perfect trip.
We see the big challenges and get to work. We build alliances, seed tech incubations, invest in global infrastructure and develop new ways to connect and collaborate with our partners in business travel. We tap into petabytes of usage and transaction data to provide valuable insights to our clients, to our partners and to travelers. We nurture relationships with major suppliers and next-generation services like Uber and Airbnb so travelers can book, manage, and expense with fewer clicks — AND travel managers can have visibility and influence their travelers.
We still have work to do, but together, we’ve made amazing progress toward the perfect trip:
- Every day, Concur automatically captures more than 50k receipts from e-receipt partners such as Starbucks, Uber, Starwood, Marriott and IHG.
- Every month, we auto-populate more than one million expense reports with travel itinerary information, making filing expenses simpler.
- Every month, we process over 700k expense report approvals via mobile devices.
- Every day, we perform over 400k travel policy checks and apply over 100k corporate discounts for our clients.
In collaboration with our supplier and TMC partners, it’s our responsibility and our passion to make business travel better. To keep the industry moving forward, we’ll keep asking the tough questions:
- How do we extend managed travel programs to the entirety of a company’s travel spend?
- How do we modernize managed travel solutions so they take advantage of today’s cutting edge consumer technologies?
- How do we easily locate each and every business traveler in times of crises and communicate with them?
- How do we delight travelers with personalization, automation and simple itinerary management?
- How do we get to the perfect trip?
To address each of these questions, we will make more investments and more vital connections. We will continue to nurture the development of innovative applications that bring amazing experiences to business travelers and their companies everywhere. The opportunity has never been greater, and we look forward to working in concert with our partners — old and new — to make business travel not just cost-effective but effective for everyone. After all, genius is collaborative.