As Concur enters a new year and a new chapter as part of SAP, we’ve been getting some questions about our vision and strategy going forward. To understand where we’re headed, I think it makes sense to revisit a bit of our history and what makes us Concur.
Fifteen years ago, when Concur was a young company facing big challenges, we came together to define our values. To endure as a company, we needed guiding principles — core values that would shape us that day and every day going forward. Defining and staying true to those core values has pushed us to aim high and to take bold steps to reach our goals.
The Perfect Trip is a perfect example. It’s a concept born of our core values: first and foremost, our collective passion for and responsibility to the customer, and second, a commitment to lead through innovation in everything we do.
This means that when we think about The Perfect Trip, we ask ourselves how we can make things simpler and better for our customers – the travel manager, the finance manager, and the business traveler as well. How can we serve the needs of the traveler who has embraced the power and freedom of mobile technology and the needs of the enterprise trying to enforce compliance with corporate policy and stay in budget? How can we enable people to use their favorite travel apps and enable their employers to control spend? And ultimately, how can we make business travel easy for everyone? Where what should happen does happen—automatically. A taxi meets the business traveler on time even though the flight has arrived early, the driver already knows the traveler’s destination, and the receipt is sent directly to Concur, allowing the traveler’s company to capture the spend in real time. In short, how do we deliver an effortless, transparent and connected experience?
For us, the answer is clear: collaboration and innovation are fundamental to delivering The Perfect Trip. If suppliers, developers, travel management companies (TMCs), global distribution systems (GDSs) and others inside and outside the travel industry can put the needs of the customer at the center, together we can redefine business travel for traveler and company alike. We can knock down the barriers and deliver a new era of integrated applications that give individuals unprecedented choice and employers new control over spend. Participants in this community can capitalize on expanding opportunities to create value and continuously evolve.
In alignment with Concur’s heritage and values, we’re working hard to enable this community and accelerate development of a new era of integrated applications and services. We’ve delivered an open platform for building applications and services that use the customer’s data, at their discretion, to deliver a connected, transparent and effortless travel experience. With TripLink, we’re making it easy for suppliers to connect to travelers and businesses through Concur. Through the Perfect Trip Fund, we’re providing resources to help emerging companies deliver new technology solutions that can be leveraged by the business travel ecosystem.
We’re honored that more than 80 leading companies in financial, travel, supplier, technology and service sectors are partnering with us and bringing the Perfect Trip closer to reality. Through our partnership with Airbnb, for example, travelers can rent unique accommodations of their choice while their travel managers gain full visibility into itineraries and expenses. With Curb, Uber and other services linked to Concur, business travelers can book a ride online, pay through the app and the receipt goes automatically into Concur. Travelers booking directly with Air Canada or United Airlines can receive their company’s negotiated corporate rates – while their employer satisfies their policy compliance and duty of care requirements through Concur.
The Perfect Trip is a big idea, and an open platform a bold strategy to get us there. But the progress we’re making in concert with our partners shows us we’re on the right path. We look forward to growing the ecosystem, expanding traveler choice and helping companies achieve their objectives as we move closer to realizing the Perfect Trip.