Concur is using the data produced from its industry-leading travel expense management platform to expand into new verticals.
The Bellevue, Wash.-based company today unveiled “Concur Risk Messaging” and “Concur Active Monitoring,” two new services that are integrated into Concur’s travel expense software and give businesses a way to communicate with at-risk employees who are traveling and locate them within one hour.
The services utilize real-time data already provided by travelers using Concur to track expenses — information related to itineraries, flight and hotel information, e-receipts, and more. The idea is to give businesses a 24/7 monitoring solution, and in particular for companies that aren’t large enough to employ a dedicated risk management staff.
“For the first time, every business leader will have the ability to proactively care for traveling employees, regardless of their size or location,” Concur President Mike Eberhard told GeekWire.
Eberhard, a 14-year Concur veteran who was named president this past November, said the new services came about in part from a personal passion project. Before he became president, Eberhard helped build Concur’s Asia business and was traveling more than 300,000 miles per year.
“I’ve been the business traveler that fell ill outside my home country; I’ve been in a city during civil unrest; I planned to be in Japan within days of the 2011 earthquake,” Eberhard explained. “I know what it’s like to be in risky situations at a time when my corporate headquarters is asleep in a different time zone.”
Eberhard said that made him realize the responsibility a company like Concur has to ensure the safety of employees who are traveling. At the same time, some of Concur’s 35,000 customers were asking for risk management solutions.
“There’s a growing concern for traveling employee safety,” Eberhard noted. “Places that we previously considered safe have had incidents.”
Last year, Concur issued more than 10 million alerts to business travelers that notified them of potential risks in locations they were visiting. Those alerts were sent to 1.3 million users in December, up from 151,000 users in January 2016.
Now with the new services, the company is doubling down on how it helps customers keep tabs on their employees. “Concur Risk Messaging” and “Concur Active Monitoring” provide the ability to issue pre-travel advisories; a two-way messaging system via text, email, phone, and Concur Mobile; traveler location mapping and reporting; incident analysis; and custom alert creation.
Eberhard said Concur differentiates itself from other risk management platforms because its travel expense and itinerary data is updated in real-time, versus an original travel plan that may not reflect changes happening on-the-go.
“We believe Concur has the richest data set on traveling employee location,” he said. “We provide the tools to map, locate, and communicate with affected employees.”
Founded in 1993, Concur was acquired by SAP for $8.3 billion in 2014. The company, which employs more than 6,500 people worldwide, has “been able to experience tremendous growth,” since the deal, Eberhard said. You can expect Concur to roll out more services around the business traveler experience outside of specifically expense reports.
“You will continue to see us innovate and create capability that makes the traveler more efficient and certainly more safe,” Eberhard said.
Concur, headquartered in downtown Bellevue, overcame some “dark days” before growing into one of the leading travel expense software companies. Two of its co-founders, Raj Singh and Mike Hilton, left after the SAP acquisition to join Accolade and expand the healthcare company’s presence in the Seattle area. Steve Singh, brother of Raj and the other co-founder, remains at Concur as CEO and is leading a new corporate credit card startup.