Managing Travel Risks with SAP Concur

SAP Concur’s Managing Director for Southeast Asia, Madanjit Singh, believes that there is a net growth of business in many emerging Southeast Asian markets. He also believes that the best way to do business is essentially to be in-person, leading to a growth in business travel.

“I think that particular curve is going to get sharper in years ahead,” said Madanjit in a radio interview with Money FM.

But travelling has its own set of risks, especially in today’s environment.

“Firstly, the risk of health threats; particularly viruses, fevers that might be going around in some particular areas. Secondly, the risk of natural disasters; you know, typhoons, floods, etc. Thirdly, unfortunately, is man-made, or the risk of terrorism. In the past, there were places where people thought were more particularly unsafe; now, you could be at the wrong place at the wrong time in any country or any situation,” observed Madanjit.

He notes that employers intend to keep their employees safe while travelling.

“All employers have their hearts in the right place. There’s this moral compass; they want to do it. Now if you’re a very large company, like Citibank or even larger names that you can think of, they have 24/7 security offices which do operations monitoring. You have other companies that also want to do it, and they don’t know how. They essentially rely on employees to call back or check in. Which can be kind of troublesome if I’m really, really sick.”

Any solution to business travel risk mitigation is likely to involve the pervasiveness of smartphone technology, as well as a system to ‘connects the dots’, as Madanjit terms it.

“A dot could be a ticket that you have bought, a credit card which you have used – data points which can be put together.” He further adds that with SAP Concur’s products, it is not necessary to have dedicated operations centres. “We have many customers which are actually engaging in conversations with us; whether they have 50 employees or 5000, we are able to serve them. The power of technology has democratised the solution.”

In particular, SAP Concur’s Locate & Alert  tool helps businesses keep their employees safe.

“Locate means that you can find me if I’m in harm’s way. For example, say I’m going to a certain city. So in case, God forbid, there is some situation there, my company should be able to locate Madanjit Singh on a particular day, is he in in that city? And you can do that from several sources of data, which is your travel PNR etc. But then once you find me, do I need help? That that is essentially when the whole communication thing becomes two-way; whether I’m just having an upset stomach, or I’m actually having a bigger problem, or there is a flood outside, or a typhoon, and I’d better be staying indoors, etc. In case of a medical emergency, then we activate our partners HX Global to be able to assist about medical evacuation, or medical advice.”

According to Singh, the tool has proven itself in real-life situations, such as the Las Vegas mass shootings incident in 2017, and the London Bridge attack of the same year.

“In Las Vegas, there was actually an outgoing employee – an employee who had resigned – and she was on a personal trip, but she had forwarded her itinerary to us using Concur TripIt, so we were able to locate her, and were able to get to her timely, and address her concern, and say ‘please stay with a friend, don’t stay in a hotel, because we don’t know how widespread the problem is.’ In the case of London, there were employees of our clients who were there, and we were able to reach to them as to say what to do.”

SAP Concur is a provider of cloud travel, expense, and invoice management applications and is headquartered in Bellevue, Washington. The company was founded in 1993 as Concur Technologies Inc. and was acquired by SAP in 2014. The company is global, with offices in North America, Europe, Asia/Pacific, and Africa.

Concur Labs is a division within SAP Concur with the purpose of developing innovative features for its travel, expense, and invoicing applications.

SAP Concur: The undisputed leader according to IDC

Internationally renowned research company IDC also recently stated that SAP Concur is the undisputed leader in its recently released report entitled: “ IDC MarketScape: Worldwide SaaS and Cloud-Enabled Travel and Expense Management (T&E) Applications 2018 Vendor Assessment”.

“SAP Concur was the most prominent early provider of pure-play travel and expense applications, putting T&E on the map. The company’s travel management and expense management applications both support global enterprises with sophisticated needs,” said the report.

“SAP Concur’s T&E applications heavily automate the expense report creation and approval process, with the goal of reducing and eventually eliminating the number of clicks required. SAP Concur is accessible on desktops, tablets, and mobile devices through native applications,” it added.

According to IDC, SAP Concur’s strengths include providing the most sophisticated travel booking application among the T&E vendors evaluated.

“SAP Concur has begun to embed SAP Leonardo into its travel and expense applications for increased intelligence and automation,” it further said, adding that the Concur App Center is the most extensive app store devoted to travel and expense applications.

“These extensions can be integrated into SAP Concur’s core travel and expense applications. Examples include apps for Uber, Avalara, and Marriott.”

“Consider SAP Concur if you are a midmarket or large enterprise business looking for fully integrated travel and expense applications for deployment across the globe and you use other SAP HANA cloud applications,” the report emphasised.

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