SAN FRANCISCO – Keeping track of mileage on business trips is no fun.
Nobody wants to spend time writing stuff down in a logbook after a long day on the road, and it can cause problems for business owners when employees just estimate how far they’ve driven.
Concur is hoping to end all of the frustration around tracking mileage with a new app called Trace. It’s designed to hook up with connected car systems to track how far someone has driven, and then relay that information back to that user’s Concur account for inclusion in their expense reports. The app logs a user’s route using GPS, and translates that into a map of their trip along with detailed information about the length of their trip.
Once users are done driving, they can go into the app and swipe through a series of cards to label certain trips as business or personal. Business trips are automatically logged to Concur and saved as receipts with the map of the trip included. It’s not released yet, but Concur plans to make the app generally available before the end of this year.
The app stemmed from a project that a team pulled together at Ford’s Super Mobility Week hackathon, and currently works with the Sync system in newer Ford cars. Today, the company announced at its Perfect Trip DevCon in San Francisco that it’s also integrating with Mojio, a forthcoming device that plugs into a car’s ODB-II diagnostic to provide similar tracking without requiring a Ford car.
“It all started off as a hobby,” Mithun Dhar, Concur’s Director of Evangelism and Strategic Marketing told GeekWire. “This shows how agile Concur is. We went to a hackathon, we won, we saw this is a great product and a real pain point that our customers have. So we are now productizing it and making it available through the Concur App Center.”
In addition to the existing integrations, Dhar said that Concur is in discussions with several other large car manufacturers to see about integrating the tracking into their in-car experiences. Those agreements may expand Trace’s reach to even more customers before Concur launches it later this year.
In the future, Trace will be getting some new features, like the ability to automatically add information from relevant calendar events, and the ability to set geo-fenced locations for frequently used locations. That data will be used to further improve the information included in the app’s receipts, so users won’t have to spend as much time manually modifying receipts.
It’s a move that should help the company continue to expand its presence in the travel and expense tracking business. Concur announced last month that it reached an agreement to be acquired by SAP for $8.3 billion, which CEO Steve Singh said will be used to further accelerate the company’s growth.