This week in Boca Raton, FL Concur users gathered to listen to company executives and partners talk about Concur's travel and expense management solutions and preview some new directions for the company. As with all user conferences the week saw a number of key announcements on product enhancements and new partnerships. In general I think Concur is leveraging some of the key technology and business trends that are starting to gain momentum and will be "hot" topics over the next few years. Concur itself is using some social business concepts in its product development processes, for example. For me, this was an exciting conference and I saw a company that is committed to listening to and delivering for its customers.
On the partner front Concur had two major announcements. The first was a deepening of its previous relationship with American Express. Concur's T&E management solution is the solution of choice for AMEX and the AMEX sales force is coming up to speed over the last year and continuing for the next few years, so that they can sell Concur's solutions into the AMEX customer base. Over time this has the potential to drive an increasing share of Concur's new business. The second announcement is the intent to tightly integrate Concur's solutions with Amadeus, a global travel industry technology and solution provider. This integration, slated for release later this year, includes making Amadeus distribution technology available in Concur Clickbook Travel and pulling travel booking from Amadeus eTravel Management back into Concur Expense. With Amadeus strong presence in Europe this partnership should help increase Concur's footprint there while giving Amadeus a stronger presence in the US market.
Concur is investing heavily in providing mobile travel solutions on three platforms, iPhone, Blackberry and Windows Mobile. The mobile app is an extension of the decktop travel and expense management solution and provides the capability to view and manage itineraries, book rental cars, hotels, dining reservation and taxi's, enter expenses and manage / review expense reports. There's even the capability to capture receipt images and send them along with expense reports. The mobile functionality is extended by incorporating other 3rd party functionality for things taxis (RideCharge), an approach that could open up all sorts of services to the mobile user. The move to mobile for Concur is interesting for another reason, it is a new focus (or I should say adds new focus) as in the past the focus customers for Concur were the travel managers and the expense department. Adding focus on the end traveler adds a lot of value to the user base, IMHO and is the right strategy in an environment that is starting to shift focus to the individual (or as I've said before, as the people become the platform). This is a first version of the mobile app and there is a lot of interesting things on the roadmap as Concur moves forward, things like leveraging location awareness for a variety of functions (from finding hotels, restaurants, etc. to automating milage reporting on expenses), integrating social networks, and adding Android support.
As icing on the Concur cake, they also reported FY2010 Q1 earnings this week. They had a strong quarter with 16% year over year growth with total revenue reaching $67.7M.