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NBTA : November 2008
Sponsor Spotlight Concur xx 00 21 Concur is the world’s leading provider of ondemand employee spend management services. Concur’s end-to-end solutions seamlessly unite online travel booking with automated expense reporting, streamline meeting management, and optimize the process of managing vendor payments, employee check requests, and direct reimbursements. Organizations of all sizes trust Concur to help them control spend before it occurs while eliminating paper and optimizing supplier relations. Steve Singh is Concur’s chairman and CEO, a member of the NBTA Foundation Board, and one of Business Travel News magazine’s 25 Most Influential Executives. Q: As a leader in corporate travel and expense management solutions, what are some of the trends you’re seeing? A: We see three major trends driving the market. First, on-demand services provide companies of all sizes with all the benefits of powerful technology that was, until recently, only available to the world’s largest companies. Second, the market is focused on driving down costs in every element of the supply chain. Improvements in the innovation curve is a core driver behind that trend— including services like Concur’s integrated travel and expense service, which streamline travel and expense management into one seamless process—from procurement to payment. And finally, customers are breaking apart the travel supply chain and forcing each component of the supply chain to compete on value and quality of service. These core trends will lead to higher quality services at compelling price points and a better customer experience. Q: How can corporate travel managers fully leverage integrated booking and expense management? A: A truly integrated travel and expense process must be completely seamless from booking the trip through filing the expense report through reimbursement of employee expenses through payment to the suppliers and analysis of travel data. Corporate travel managers should be looking for services that improve the end-user experience while driving down the cost of doing business. In addition, the data captured at booking must be reconciled with what was actually spent—making it a simple task to negotiate and manage supplier relationships. Q: How does Concur Travel & Expense help corporations manage employee spend? A: Because Concur Travel & Expense is the only truly end-to-end solution, the click that books the trip is the same click that reports the expense. Travel is booked within policy, so the spend is controlled before it’s actually incurred. And when travel is booked within policy and purchased on the corporate card, Concur Travel & Expense automatically reconciles that data with the e-receipts provided by participating travel vendors. With all three of these trusted sources of data matching, the result is a Smart Expense™, which requires no additional approval and virtually eliminates the need for any additional data entry, shattering the notion of the traditional expense report. Q: How is Concur Connect different from other travel content aggregators? A: Concur® Connect is a global program connecting more than 6,000 Concur clients, representing over $35 billion of spend, to the content and inventory of suppliers from around the world. Concur Connect differs from an aggregator in that it not only provides Concur clients with direct access to the broadest selection of content in the industry, but also enables those suppliers to deliver e-receipts directly into the traveler’s expense report. This is exclusively available to Concur clients, and one of the keys to Concur’s unique ability to deliver what we call One Touch Business Travel™. Concur® Connect is a global program connecting more than 6,000 Concur clients, representing over $35 billion of spend, to the content and inventory of suppliers from around the world. Q: What are the effects of Concur’s acquisition of Gelco? A: The acquisition provides Concur with the scale to continue driving the innovation curve, and with the incredible talent of the employees who have come over as a result, we’re already well ahead of our expectations. Q: How does Concur encourage sustainable business practices? A: Concur’s services deliver many environmental benefits, leveraging imaging and exclusive e-receipt technology to eliminate paper. Soon, Concur customers will have options like booking travel based on estimated carbon emissions, renting low or zeroemission cars, and selecting hotels based on environmentally-sustainable practices—all of which will help to drive environmentally sound travel decisions in line with corporate policies. Since the data from each travel choice is captured online, companies will finally have a tool to measure the impact of their employees’business travel, and can use the data gathered to improve environmentally sustainable practices. Q: In what way is NBTA valuable to Concur and the business travel marketplace on the whole? A: This is an exciting time for the corporate travel industry. Technology is delivering innovation at a pace that has not been seen since the advent of the Web. NBTA’s leadership provides a steady and consistent voice in a volatile and ever-changing industry, helping all within this community to keep the focus on the needs of the business traveler. Volume 1 Issue 1 Asia Pacific Corporate Traveller