It’s easy to be a Concur critic these days. But “these days” ain’t the same as “in the future”.
I attended Concur’s annual customer event, Fusion, this week. Let’s start with the negatives:
- Concur clearly knows their user base has been frustrated by poor SaaS lately. It’s a major sore point with customers, and a central issue for management. Will management make good on these promises? TBD.
- Concur is playing catch-up with KDS on making expense reports easier to write, and making the booking process easier to use. No signs this year of any breathtaking innovation.
- Understandable concerns about how the acquisition by SAP will affect Concur.
- TripLink, Concur’s key to closing the gap on unmanaged spend, is stuck in low gear. Lots of sales, very few proof points of it adding value – yet.
- Palpable angst from TMC execs about the future of their business models in the face of TripLink’s potential to enable off-channel bookings.
So if you’re not a fan of Concur, stop here, because the rest of the story is much brighter. Continue reading
The corporate travel industry today took a big step toward making Open Booking a practical choice for travelers and travel managers.
United and Concur announced their intention to launch a TripLink-enabled booking path on United.com by the first quarter of 2015. It will allow corporate travelers to obtain net-of-discount pricing, and have their reservations serviced online and by UAL’s reservation department.
Booking data will be automatically sent to the Concur platform, where it will be available to travel managers for further compliance monitoring and duty of care processing.
Folks, this is the hat trick of Open Booking – discounts, data and duty of care.
What’s not clear yet is how the TMC fits into this. Continue reading
Third in a series on Managed Travel 2.0
Creativity is often born from conflict.
For two decades, modern travel management has preached the virtues of travel policy compliance, use of preferred suppliers, and booking through the proper channels.
See GE’s description of its global travel program as Exhibit A. It’s six sigma production line thinking at its best. It’s the pursuit of travel program optimization via the logic of travel management.
But that policy-first approach frustrates travelers who have access to plenty of good consumer travel tools, who know the value of their time and their trips, and have no problem staying within their travel budget. For them, it’s all about the art of traveling.
Michael Tangney, Google’s travel program manager, gets credit for pioneering a new approach in 2008. Give travelers a target airfare. If they book Continue reading