It has now been nearly five years since the online booking and expense management tool Concur was acquired by SAP. The organization has experienced great successes, but what does it hope to accomplish in the future? And as new players break into the market, how does SAP Concur feel about up-and-coming VC ventures into the travel technological space? Hint: they’re not too worried. Our President and CEO, Roger Hale, recently sat down with Mike Koetting, Chief Product Strategy Officer at SAP Concur, to discuss these burning questions.
Life Since SAP Acquisition
When Concur was acquired by SAP in 2014, a whole new world of opportunities opened to the online booking tool. “The acquisition was really exciting for us. I think, in large part because it held the promise of the ability to really accelerate our global expansion…and technology that just would have really been much more difficult on a standalone basis, and we wouldn’t have been able to get there as quickly,” said Koetting. SAP brought a wealth of resources and reinforced capabilities for the OBT to expand its global footprint. In the years since the acquisition, SAP Concur has made mega-investments in new systems, technologies, data centers, and intelligence capabilities. And, not least of all, the company has more than doubled in size, strong evidence that clearly points to the success of the partnership.
New Travel Tech Players Create Innovation and Competition
The market has seen a lot of change over the last few years. Legacy systems and technologies are ripe for upgrades and overhauls and travelers and travel managers are hungry for new tools and applications. Put simply by Koetting, some venture capital firms may “see blood in the water,” viewing SAP Concur as perhaps too big and too slow to innovate and leaving a void in the marketplace.
So what does Koetting think about these new entrants and their ideas to fill the innovation gap? “We love the innovation that is coming into the space. I would argue with the pace of innovation. Pace of growth is going to slow down.” We tend to agree that much like the old saying goes, “what goes up must come down,” and the pace of innovation and number of new market entrants are likely to slow. What will be interesting to watch is how SAP Concur responds and how new technologies continue to unfold.
Listen to Roger That!
To get the full inside scoop about what’s happening at Concur, be sure to listen to the Roger That! podcast as Roger Hale, ADTRAV President/CEO, chats with Mike Koetting at Concur in the second installment of our multi-episode series exploring today’s online booking tools and the booking tools of tomorrow. Listen to the full podcast and our other episodes now.