This week marks the annual GBTA + VDR Europe Conference, where travel managers, suppliers, and other industry members come together to discuss the current and future state of corporate travel. We look forward to connecting with our partners and customers, showcasing what’s new with SAP Concur, and continuing to contribute to the industry’s success as the global leader for travel and expense management software.
2023 is a special year for us, as we see business travel bouncing back: Concur Travel bookings are up seven percent from Q3 2022, ticking ever closer to pre-pandemic levels. The fifth annual SAP Concur Global Business Travel Survey finds that nearly all respondents (94%) are eager to hit the road again – also because travelers are convinced that their careers depend on successful business trips. In addition to rising travel, we also see continuously shifting travel costs, suppliers, and regulations.
There is no doubt: Business travel is changing. So are we. At SAP Concur, we’re continuing to roll out new experiences as part of the evolution of Concur Travel – a journey that will reshape corporate travel programs as we aim to create a world where travel and expenses practically manage themselves.
The Evolution of Concur Travel Continues
We are evolving Concur Travel step by step to better address current and future needs of our customers and partners more quickly and effectively by leveraging new, adaptable technology and always keeping the end user experience in mind.
In October, we launched a new end-to-end booking experience across air, hotel, and car rental bookings for Sabre GDS from U.S. point of sale. This release marks the start of many significant, continuous software updates that will be released over the next quarters.
“As the needs of our customers change and the corporate travel industry evolves – so do we,” said Paul Dear, Regional Vice President – Supplier Services EMEA at SAP Concur. “Nobody knows exactly what the future holds. That’s why the evolution of Concur Travel is designed to be scalable and ready for relevant future innovation: With this continuous rollout, we will be capable of quickly deploying new features, functionality, and UI enhancements to benefit the entire corporate travel ecosystem, especially travelers.”
The new booking experience within Concur Travel features a consumer-grade user experience (UX), robust content, and smart sustainable solutions. It aims to make everyone involved in booking and expensing business travel more productive.
What customers can expect:
- Content and Images: Increased global content coverage including NDC content, better imagery, and richer descriptions, all consolidated into one view. The new UX will make browsing content seamless and intuitive, with the ability to easily view sustainability ratings and cost information.
- User Experience: A streamlined booking and checkout process, including a more user-friendly and intuitive UI, reminds of the experience on consumer sites and apps. The new UX is adaptable on both mobile and desktop, designed to give users the ability to book travel from anywhere and helps businesses to drive compliance across the end-to-end process.
- Sustainable Options: Sustainability continues to be a major priority for our customers. With the new Concur Travel experience, travelers can view information and filters to help limit their carbon footprint and make sustainable choices, making it easier to comply with company policies and limit the environmental impact of business travel.
- Search Capabilities: Omni-search capability that automatically merges options for many locations, such as airports, city centers, or company locations, delivered by a robust travel ecosystem. Companies have the freedom to choose from a wide range of suppliers and content sources to support global travel requirements.
- Time Savings: Optimized booking workflows and faster checkout process. The new experience integrates with Concur Expense for a seamless end-to-end travel and expense process – from planning and booking to expensing, auditing and reimbursement all the way to the company general ledger.
Availability for Sabre, Amadeus, and Travelport+ Users
The new booking experience is now available on Sabre, for customers whose configurations use the settings and features available at release time and whose TMCs have opted in for migration. After the successful rollout in the U.S. in October, more markets leveraging Sabre GDS will be able to take advantage of the new experience soon.
Amadeus customers can expect a new booking experience in Concur Travel in 2024. While car rental bookings on Amadeus are already available to select customers in a restricted release program, the enhanced booking experience will be available for eligible customers in Q1 along with the new air booking experience. Hotel content on Amadeus is expected to be made available in Q3 2024.
Additionally, SAP Concur has added connectivity to Travelport+ to the roadmap for the evolution of Concur Travel, to be delivered in 2024. Connectivity will include full access to the Travelport+ air, hotel and car rental content and services. The addition of Travelport+ means that the enhanced Concur Travel will be available to users of Sabre, Amadeus, and Travelport+.
Evolution of Travel to enable collaboration via Microsoft Teams
In Q1 2024, travelers who are using the new Concur Travel experience will have the ability to share their booking to a Microsoft Teams chat, allowing their coworkers to have easy visibility into their itinerary and coordinate similar travel plans among coworkers.
Sustainability Enhancements and Rail Provider Integrations
With more regulations detailing how to report and compensate for CO2 emissions taking effect in the next few years, sustainability becomes increasingly relevant for a future-ready travel management program. During the next six months, SAP Concur is releasing new enhancements for air, hotel, and rental car bookings to bring greater transparency on the environmental impact of business travel to both businesses and end users.
In addition, in 2024, we will release new rail integrations as a part of the continuous Evolution of Travel. The first connection to go live is with provider UK Rail in spring 2024. More information on planned features are available on the SAP Road Map Explorer.
Keep an eye on the regional and global SAP Concur blogs for additional information about travel enhancements and work with your SAP Concur representative to prepare for next steps.
We can’t wait for users to start experiencing the new Concur Travel as it continues to evolve. Be future-ready.