The Next (R)Evolution in Business Travel

This week, Concur is in Boston for the GBTA Convention, the biggest business travel event of the year. Thousands of attendees come to GBTA to learn about the latest in business travel innovations. Open Booking from Concur is just one of them. Here, Concur CEO Steve Singh shares his thoughts on The Perfect Business Trip, the T&E Cloud, and what the future looks like for business travel. Follow the conversation at GBTA with #GBTA2012 on Twitter.

What’s The Perfect Business Trip?

The Perfect Business Trip is a traveler-centric vision. It’s made possible by innovation working on behalf of the traveler so that travel is seamless, simple and stress-free. In this new travel world, it’s the experience that matters – from the time you book a trip to the time you get back home. Why can’t my cab or car arrive at the curb when I do? Why can’t I check into my hotel room while I’m waiting to get off my plane? Why can’t I bypass the check-in line if my room’s ready? Why can’t I use my smartphone to unlock the hotel door? The technology to support this vision is already available. Concur is leading the definition and delivery of The Perfect Business Trip but it is a shared vision enhanced by our customers and our partners.

What role does Concur play?

Concur is making The Perfect Business Trip a reality through our own innovation engine. But we are not the sole source of innovation in our industry. There are tens of thousands of developers and partners who can deliver incredible value to the business traveler and the corporate customer. The Concur T&E Cloud allows third-party developers, corporate customers, content providers and others to help deliver The Perfect Business Trip. The business traveler demands a higher standard from everyone within the corporate travel eco-system. It’s my job at Concur – and our industry’s collective job – to deliver the service and incredible user-experience these travelers deserve.

What makes all that possible?

Today, we are building out the Concur T&E Cloud through investments in the Concur Connect Platform and our global content strategy. The Concur T&E Cloud makes it easy for business travelers to consume content from all four corners of the globe, along with innovative services from the brightest minds in the industry. The great thing about our T&E Cloud is that value can be delivered from anywhere for any number of consumers. Are you looking for a feature that is common to nearly every business traveler in the world? You can get it from the Concur T&E Cloud. Are you looking for a feature that only a few business travelers in the world might also want? It can be delivered cost effectively through the Concur T&E Cloud. Innovation does not have to be just from Concur. In fact, it shouldn’t be just from Concur. It can be from anyone who delivers great services – all accessed through the T&E Cloud.

What’s happening now and what does the future hold?

We are working with incredible companies that develop high-value services across a broad range of needs. Over the past few quarters we have announced a number of partnerships ranging from MedPro Systems to Visage Mobile to to Tango Card.

As the industry leader, we are also using our balance sheet to foster innovation. We are funding companies like Room 77, which allows you to book the room of your choice at any hotel in the world. We have significantly expanded our investment in RideCharge, the creators of Taxi Magic. It allows you to book, track, pay for and automatically expense ground transportation, like taxis and sedans. And all Concur customers can seamlessly integrate the widest range of hotel and air content available in India because it’s being delivered through our partner ClearTrip, the leading online travel agency in India. We have also partnered with companies like Yapta, which recently delivered price IQ – a price assurance capability to corporate travelers. It’s our job to enable those innovations through the Concur T&E Cloud.

What can people interested in this do to help make this happen?

If you’re a corporate travel manager, tell your suppliers about this vision and ask them what they’re doing to help make it a reality. If you’re in the travel eco-system, we’d love to work with you. And if you’re a traveler, let us know what you’d like us to do to help make your perfect business trip a reality.

Interested in learning more about The Perfect Business Trip or other innovations announced by Concur at GBTA 2012 this year? Find the Concur booth in Boston (#1724) or check out the conversation live on Twitter with #GBTA2012. 



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