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Concur Rebuilds Booking Tool from the Ground Up for Young Travelers

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For the first time in 15 years, the company’s ubiquitous booking tool is getting an overhaul to help the next generation of business travelers book more. That’s good news. The bad news is that it will take some time.

Matthew Parsons

SAP Concur Travel is undergoing its first overhaul in over 15 years to make the platform more flexible and offer more travel options to younger travelers who tend to book outside of their usual channels.

Work has already been underway for several years, but Charlie Sultan, president of Conquer Travel, who formally unveiled its “re-platforming” mission at the Global Business Travel Association’s conference in San Diego this week, will see it again at the 2023 event. I told him to check. It’s time to get everything ready.

Concur Travel is widely known among business travelers, with a 51% market share. This restructuring is designed to make the platform more flexible, allowing bookers to quickly plug in and use other systems and content. There are already 700 partners in what Sultan calls the Concur Travel “ecosystem,” but they want to offer even more.

The company also plans to complete its integration with Southwest Airlines this year, and “continues to enhance its program to offer more content,” he said.

“Honestly, as business travelers are getting younger and younger, many expect to book directly on supplier sites. , is how we enable travel managers to make the best choices possible. That’s why TripLink products continue to evolve.”

TripLink acts as a bridge to bring in bookings made outside of Concur Travel.

“I’m really excited right now. We’ve been talking about replatforming for years,” he added. “Unfortunately, in the last few years, other companies laid off people, so we kept hiring. We hired 200 additional engineers.”

SAP Concur will begin rolling out what it calls a new car rental “experience” by the end of 2022. This includes more hybrid and electric options and guidance on vehicle emissions. The “end-to-end hotel booking experience” is scheduled to launch in early 2023.

By next year’s competition, we plan to begin rolling out the new aviation experience. This will revamp the user experience, enhance content and allow travelers to compare amenities across products. This kind of “storefront” approach is a growing trend.

It also plans to introduce additional rail companies in Europe and the United States

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As with content, our second goal is to refresh the platform. Some travel managers have criticized Concur Travel’s perhaps outdated look and feel in the past. “Every website I visit continues to evolve, so providing a better consumer-grade user experience is our goal and goal,” says Sultan.

There were also comments about the slow deployment pace.

“We are multiple travel management companies, multiple global delivery systems, multiple content sources, multiple partners, so it may take a little longer as we have to integrate with multiple parties,” he said. he added.

“What’s interesting about travel is that when you integrate different countries, you might have something that works perfectly in the US, but when you find yourself in Europe, it’s easyJet or Ryanair or something that offers the same level of service. We have suppliers that we don’t have, and we deliver content through integrated tools.”

Concur probably has a broader reach than most companies, with parent company SAP’s 50,000 customers scattered around the world.

We are also “bulking” our expense platform with more artificial intelligence capabilities to help us better understand our invoices and receipts. However, we cannot allow users to plug in third-party expense systems.

Another goal is to make sustainability more prominent. “When Outtask was developed, it wasn’t a big topic,” says Sultan. “It’s a big topic right now. How do we modernize so that people can quickly change what they need?”