Improving Work & Business Travel, One Connection at a Time

I have to say, we live in an exciting time. Never before have there been so many choices, so many new ideas, so many people believing that through connection they can build a better way to work and travel. But there’s so much more potential. Although eight in ten business travelers say mobile apps improve their business travel experience, fewer than ten of the top fifty iPhone apps are focused on business travel – leaving a massive opportunity in the mobile market. Open platforms like Concur’s are primed for innovation, making the potential to tap into that opportunity seemingly boundless.

An environment like this is the result of collaboration and creativity. From business leaders and service providers to information architects and you — this world of business travel apps is expanding because those creating apps keep an open mind… and they want an open platform.  As Steve put it at last year’s GBTA conference, open is so much better than closed.

Last week at Concur Fusion (#CF2014) we announced an exciting new group of mobile app partnerships, all available in the Concur App Center and each with its own unique benefits. These apps are part of a dynamic spend management ecosystem and as we’ve learned, employees and those who travel benefit when apps and platforms work together as part of that ecosystem. Travel becomes seamless. Technology fades into the background. The user’s experience comes to the fore.

Some examples of exciting new apps for travelers include:

  • SeatID shows you when colleagues and friends share parts of your
    itinerary and connects you to them
  • TripCierge provides business travelers with customized dining and
    sight-seeing recommendations
  • TripLingo is launching a new app for travelers that  equips them with language and translation tools for international travel
  • MileIQ helps travelers to track and manage mileage

A number of new apps are also bringing an entirely new level of ease and transparency to complex business challenges, such as:

  • Windows Azure Active Directory provides comprehensive identity and access management across Concur, Microsoft Office 365 and many other cloud-based business applications
  • SummitLink offers real-time reservations for chauffeured transportation
  • CTS Systems helps travel management companies reconcile hotel booking data from Concur T&E to maximize transparency into hotel spend
  • Meridian and Quipsound help to recover VAT funds quickly by tapping into international VAT reclaim solutions
  • ATEB Services provides digital tax receipt validation for Mexico-based business transactions to deliver effortless regulatory compliance for Concur clients.

As I look over this diverse group of solutions, I just want to say what a pleasure it was to connect with so many of their creators and founders to Concur Fusion in New Orleans last week. You’re at the center of some truly rich innovation and I’m proud to be a part of that. Together, we can make work and travel better for millions of people around the world. I’m excited for the journey.

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