There were many questions following the close of SAP’s deal to buy Concur for $8.2 billion, such as retaining independence, governance and overall integration with the mothership.
The travel and expense giant addressed many of those questions during its annual customer event Concur Fusion last week in San Francisco.
The annual gathering showed no signs of diminished vitality with a record number of attendees, logging 2,300 people this year.
The synergy to come from the SAP link-up seems to be focused on the parent company’s positioning as the “world’s biggest business network.” Essentially it wants to become the core of any business transaction, allowing different pieces of its network to talk together to create a fairly seamless experience for client businesses.
Concur CEO took to the stage first thing to share some of the now-familiar tropes surrounding the vision of the Perfect Trip and ensuring that each element of the trip is automatically inserted into the expense report in the vision for fully integration before, during and after the trip.
Singh explained that each of the three core networks — Concur, Ariba and Fieldglass — are individually connected and thus able to deliver a grand vision of automatic integration.
“What you’re seeing is that different apart of the ecosystems are driven into action by the business network – automatically. That’s where software needs to go – it solves your problems automatically.
“Networks should be connected, effortless, and transparent — and in real-time. It should be able to deliver an experience that says “I can solve that problem for you, I can make sure you get your discounts, that you’re within policy and make that report.
“Business networks should be able to use the information they have about me and do things on my behalf that are incredibly intelligent. Every single function that can be automated, will be automated. Every single business function will be totally automated vertically so it connects to the ecoystem of providers that provide value around that business process.
“The real, incredible power of this is when the networks talk to one another. When they drive value automatically on my behalf. That’s what software should do for all of us. That’s the future we see. That’s the future we are creating.”
Chief product officer Barry Padgett told Tnooz that the company remains focused on the everyday wins that make for a more intelligent experience.
“There’s a balance between these huge boulders that we discuss, such as TripLink, the Perfect Trip and the Platform, and not losing the customer along the way.“It’s about how we don’t lose focus on the day-to-day, like that person driving their car around for 6 hours a day making sales calls.
“They’ve got a small notepad and a pen and they write down every single trip and then punch it into an expense report. So not losing sight of those needs. When you find small little things that change someone’s life, there is true emotional impact. So we try to find things like that to focus on.”
In a sit-down interview with Concur president, Elena Donio, Tnooz further explored how the multi-billion dollar purchase will impact the trajectory of Concur now that it is no longer independent while highlighting global distribution and new market access as two key benefits to the sale.
How have customers reacted to the SAP deal?