The Final Frontier for Travel and Expense Management

Space...the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Concur Connect and Mobile R&D boldly go where no one has gone before in travel and expense management!

Have you ever wondered what would Concur look like in space? How would space travelers manage their travel and expenses? Or even what if a company opened a new office on the moon and wanted Concur to build an app for them to use in space?

We’ve wondered. And that question started some of our developers down the path of developing this amazing team project. They proved that not only can you use the Concur mobile app in space, but it shows app developers here on Earth how they, too, can develop custom apps built with Concur’s API – literally from anywhere.  

One of our developers modified the code in the Concur mobile app to take a picture every 30 seconds and update it to the Receipt Store. Meanwhile, another developer wrote the code to generate the expense report data and web service request, which were executed on the ground after the capsule landed. (We couldn’t do it in flight due to FCC regulations prohibiting usage of cellular phones in flight – yes, we fell into that category.)

But, can Concur really be used in space?

Of course it can! Spacemen everywhere can use the Concur mobile app to manage their travel and expenses just like the rest of us do while our feet are firmly planted on the ground. Steve Brown, Concur Connect developer, even went as far to say that, “As costs come down and companies such as Virgin Galactic make commercial sub-orbital space travel available for long-distance business travel, I think it could be very reasonable for business travelers to do work, including filing expense reports, from space. They could even do their work from an orbiting hotel, such as those being envisioned by Bigelow Aerospace.” Are you an app developer?

Just imagine what would be possible if you used your creativity and innovation to help people and businesses improve the way they do their work. We’d love to hear your wild and crazy ideas and see about ways to work together to make expense reports out of this world. Connect now to our developer platform to learn more! To infinity and beyond!

Huge thanks to all our members of the Concur Connect R&D and Mobile R&D teams who helped make Concur in space a reality, including Ameer Mubarack, Chris Trudeau, Dan Berke, Kapil Ashar, Madhavi Venu, Paulo Lisboa, Rajat Kasliwal, Shifan Wu, Steve Brown and Mike Lore.

But wait, just how’d they do that?

They predicted the flight path and determined the launch and landing locations using University of Wyoming Balloon tracking web page and Google Earth. Then, they tracked the actual coordinates of the capsule during the first 20,000’ of ascent, and below 20,000’ on descent by using SPOT GPS. (The 20,000’ limitation is due to limitations of the GPS.) This allowed us them to pinpoint exactly where it landed and find it on a map. But they needed more tracking data to help upload receipts and photos, so they used Eagle Flight Computer to track the details of the flight including latitude, longitude, altitude, ground speed, heading, temperature, etc. It logged these data points 10 times per minute, or once every 6 seconds and reaching close to 90,000’. It’s also worth noting that the GPS in that computer works to an altitude of 200,000’, ten times higher than the SPOT GPS. So, they received great data from it.

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