Trend: Business Travelers Combine Airbnb & Concur

Innovation. It’s everywhere. It’s in our mobile devices, on our televisions and laptops, at our coffee shops and in our travel lodging. According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Americans applied for over half a million new patents in 2012. That number is up 83% compared to 2000. The US is hungry for innovation.

So it should come as no surprise that innovation appears in our business travel itineraries. The San Francisco Chronicle reported late last week that business travelers are flocking to Airbnb, an online marketplace where travelers can rent homes or rooms on a short-term basis, as an alternative to traditional hotel stays.

And we noticed. Every year since 2010, Concur customers' use of Airbnb has quadrupled, and is on track to hit $1 million in travel spend this quarter. Granted, this is a small share of Concur’s over $50 billion in annually processed expense reports, but a quick look at the upward trend reveals that Airbnb is not far from reaching multiple percentage points.

With each passing year Concur encounters more and more innovative use of technology and services by its customers, partners and developers. Here are a few innovations we find terrifically useful:

Mobile enabled taxi and rideshare services. Companies like Uber and Lyft use mobile apps to enable drivers for hire and ridesharing services to connect with potential passengers as an alternative to traditional taxi services.

GPS enabled tracking. Want to track your bag? Remember the route you took? Tell someone where you are right now? Developers are creating ways to get that done with GPS solutions. Check out TrackDot, TrackStick, and Glympse.

Feeling glassy? Developers are just beginning to understand the many potential uses for Google Glass, and they’re developing a host of interesting options. If you’re a Concur customer you might try Concur for Glass™.

Productivity goes where you go. You have to get things done. And there are a few companies who really understand that. Gogo Inflight provides internet subscriptions during flights on selected carriers so you can finish that report on your way to the meeting. And Evernote allows you to capture your notes by mobile once you arrive. It also turns out that both innovators are Concur App Center partners.

Have a favorite innovation trend? Share it with us in the comments or tweet it to @Concur on Twitter.

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