Careers at Concur
Concur Technologies’ mission is to change the way businesses look at expense reports and travel.
After graduating from college, Rajeev Singh got a job at Ford Motor Company. He soon found himself miserable within the large company environment – wanting to do something that could change the world. So he applied to law school. However, not long afterwards, his brother Steve and friend Mike Hilton asked if he was interested in launching a startup. He was, and abandoned his school plans.
Mike and Steve had previously founded a company called ACT! that sold sales contact management software. Their customers often asked them if they had a solution for expense reporting. When the two sold ACT! to Symantec, they decided they would build that solution. So in 1993 they joined with Rajeev to found Concur Technologies, a provider of travel and expense management software.
The team created a prototype which they tested on beta customers. After making improvements, they sold it in compact disc format. They then decided to make a Web-based on-premise version, which was successful and enabled them to go public in 1998. In 2002 they decided to make the product a software-as-a-service solution, ahead of their time. Concur was acquired by SAP in 2014.
Benefits at Concur
Business model of Concur
Concur has a mass market business model, with no significant differentiation between customer segments. The company targets its offering at firms across industries and sizes whose employees need to fill out expense reports.
Concur offers five primary value propositions: convenience, cost reduction, performance, risk reduction, and brand/status.
The company offers convenience by simplifying operations for clients. It provides a solution that optimizes business travel, expense, and invoice management by integrating these activities. The solution can easily work with a customer’s existing systems, including human resources (HR), enterprise resource planning (ERP), and accounting systems. Lastly, its dashboard features a comprehensive set of standard reports, providing complete visibility into spending.
The company offers cost reduction by offering a free 30-day trial of Concur Expense. New customers can test out the solution with pre-loaded sample reports, card charges, and receipts.
The company has demonstrated strong performance through tangible results. It claims to offer 70% time savings on expense reports, 49% time savings on travel planning, and 85% faster invoice processing (the solution reduces the time period from 35 to five days). High-profile examples of positive outcomes for specific clients include the following:
- Acumed used Concur’s solution to comply wth physician-spend regulation, enabling it to eliminate paper expense reports and reduce travel booking fees by 30%
- Bourns used Concur’s solution to automate its processes, resulting in savings of 40% per expense report processed and annual savings of $126,000 in report procesing
- DHL used Concur’s solution to automate its processes, resulting in reduction of corporate card late fees to nearly zero and an adoption rate of over 90% for its travel booking tool
- Educational Data Systems integrated Concur’s solution with its own, resulting in a reduction of 50% in expense report reconciliation time and 70% in report processing time
- General Mills used Concur’s solution to standardize its processes, resulting in increased pollicy compliance and $1.4 million in cost savings within three years of implementation
The company reduces risk by providing a “Service Status Dashboard“ on its website that offers up-to-the-minute information on service availability and performance (e.g., outages and partial outages).
The company has established a strong brand as a result of its success. It serves over 32,000 clients in over 100 countries, processing 150 million billable transactions each year. On a daily basis, it processes over 357,000 expense reports and sees mobile uploads of over 580,000 receipts. Lastly, it has won many honors, including rankings on Forbes‘“100 Best Small Companies“ list (2010), CIOZone's “50 Fastest-Growing Software Companies“ list (2009), Business 2.0's “100 Fastest-Growing Tech Companies List (2007), and BusinessWeek's “Top 100 Small Companies to Watch“ (2007).
Concur’s main channels are its direct sales team and its website. The company promotes its offering through its social media pages and participation in expos, forums, symposiums and conferences. It also hosts a road show called “Fusion Exchange”, a one-day event featuring training and networking.
Concur’s customer relationship is primarily of a self-service, automated nature. Customers utilize the service through the main platform while having limited interaction with employees.
The company’s website features a “Resource Center” section that includes white papers, reports, brochures, solution sheets, infographics, videos, webinars, and product tours. The site also provides answers to frequently asked questions. That said, there is a personal assistance element in the form of phone and e-mail support.
Concur’s business model entails maintaining a robust cloud platform for its customers. The platform includes a website and mobile app.
Concur maintains the Global Alliance Network, which includes the following types of partnerships:
Alliance Partners – Resellers and other firms that sell Concur’s solution to their clients in order to extend its reach. Specific partners include AirPlus International, American Express, Bank of America, BMO Financial Group, Citibank Commercial, Cvent, Egencia, ESM Solutions, NetSuite, and Oanda.
Service Partners – Firms such as Customer Success Partners and Certified Implementation Partners that assist Concur customers with the deployment of its solutions, providing their expertise. Specific partners include Acquis Consulting Group, Birchman Group, Cognizant, and Infosys.
Technology Partners – Firms that assist Concur by providing necessary technologies and functionalities for its solution and helping it to deliver its services effectively and efficiently. Specific partners include Amadeus, Cognos, Galileo, Kinevia, MasterCard, Oracle, and Visa International.
Travel Partners – Travel management firms that partner with Concur’s clients for their specific needs. Specific partners include AAA Corporate Travel, Cain Travel, Direct Travel, and Fox World Travel.
Travel Suppliers – Firms that provide electronic folio data through e-receipts, which instantly populate a business traveler’s expense report, providing Concur’s clients with the information. Specific partners include transportation suppliers such as Avis/Budget Group, Enterprise, Hertz, and Virgin Australia, and hotel suppliers such as Accor Hotels, Choice Hotels, Hilton Hotels, and Marriott.
Systems Integrator Partners – Firms that provide consulting services for Concur clients.
Concur Solution Providers – Firms such as cloud solution providers, value-added resellers, and traditional IT partners that partner with Concur to offer solutions to its clients.
Benefits for Concur’s members include the following:
- Invitations to participate in Concur's annual user conference
- Invitations to take part in industry trade shows, conferences, seminars, and other promotional activities
- Access to marketing collateral and case studies
- Opportunities to interface with Concur's sales team
- Information on product updates and enhancements
- Access to a designated Business Development Manager
Concur also partners with developers who want to build travel, expense, and procurement apps on its open platform. They can use the company’s sample code, technical library, sandbox, and web test guide to speed development. They can also promote their apps in its Concur App Center.
Concur’s main resource is its proprietary cloud-based software platform, which serves more than 32,000 clients.
It depends on its engineering employees to maintain the platform, its sales staff to promote it, and its customer service staff to provide support.
As a startup it has relied heavily on funding from outside parties, raising $291.8 million as of April 2010.
Concur has a cost-driven structure, aiming to minimize expenses through significant automation. Its biggest cost driver is likely sales/marketing, a fixed cost. Other major drivers are in the areas of customer support/operations and administration, both fixed costs.
Concur has one revenue stream: revenues generated from the fees it charges for access to its software-as-a-service platform. Sales staff must be contacted directly for pricing quotes.
info: Elena earned a B.A. in Economics at University of California, San Diego. She previously held various executive roles at Concur, including Head of Worldwide Sales and Marketing, Head of Product Management, and Executive VP of Worldwide Small & Mid-Size Businesses.
info: Mike previously held many senior roles at Concur, including Executive VP, Global Accounts; Executive VP, Asia Pacific; and Executive VP, Worldwide Sales & Business Development. He has also held senior roles at Xign, Ariba, and PeopleSoft.
info: Mark earned a B.S. in General Engineering and an M.S. in Computer Science at University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign. He previously served as a Vice President and Architect at Oracle, and held senior roles at Informix and AT&T Network Systems.
info: Bob earned a B.S. in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He previously served as a Co-Founder and Executive VP, Operations and Client Services at Outtask.
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