Though T&E costs represent the second highest controllable annual expense, exceeded only by salary and benefits, many organizations do not feel that it is mission-critical to automate that process. So, our biggest challenge, very often, is to convince our customers to abandon a Microsoft Excel. In that sense, Microsoft Excel is our biggest competitor.
CW: So, do you mean Concur does not really replace the travel desk?
Yes. Some companies have gone ahead and replaced the travel desk. But in my opinion, companies still do need them. What Concur does is enhance the whole T&E management process by eliminating the need to send e-mails back and forth and chase multiple requests. So, we streamline the entire process, with connectors to the company's other applications such as HRM and ERP.
What we have really done is eliminate the intermediate steps in order to provide a single automated process for T&E. It is generally such a complex process that the management does not get to know who is spending on what. There is little or no visibility, mainly because most of these processes are manual.
CW: What kind of customer base do you have in India?
India is now the fifth-largest country for us from a transaction perspective. We serve the Indian counterparts of many of our global MNC customers. Also, many local companies are our customers as well. So, our customer base in India ranges from Google, Ericsson, and Dell to Albert David Pharmaceuticals, and Matrix Training.
We have seen significant growth in India, and decided to invest in local sales, marketing, and implementation resources in the last two years. This team will focus on selling to Indian multinationals and fast-growing domestic organizations.
CW: Tell us a bit about Concur's global customers and your plans for the future.
We have more than 18,000 customers globally, and create 700,000 itineraries a day. We have 1.2 million people logged into our system daily. At this point, Concur has invested significantly in mobile technology.We believe that in the next two years, the primary means for people to interact with each other will be mobile.
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