TCG Consulting once again was a proud sponsor at this year’s SAP Concur Fusion in Houston at the George Brown Convention Center. Our motto for the event was, “Houston, we have a solution!” with an outer space themed booth accompanied by mini space shuttle giveaways. Our team attended the conference with collective participation in speaking engagements, networking events, and educational sessions.

TCG Consulting was represented by:

  • Graham Ruskin – President
  • Edward Curtis – VP, Practice Lead, Expense & Invoice
  • Jeff Pulker – Senior Engagement Manager, Expense & Invoice
  • Fejie Fuller – Senior Specialist Business Services
  • Luna Ness – Director of Marketing, Corporate Travel Solutions
  • Whit Wallace – VP, Business Development & Program Strategy – FROSCH

Here are six key takeaways we took from the event:

#1: The Year of Transformation

By Edward Curtis

It was quite apparent in all my interactions with SAP Concur customers that 2023 was going to be the year of transformation at their company. With travel returning to pre-pandemic numbers, organizations are no longer putting off investments to optimize their travel and expense programs. Teams are reevaluating policy, process, and technology to create better user experiences and improve back-office administration. These investments will be critical in not only saving time and money but in employee retention for “road warriors” and other people most impacted by cumbersome travel and expense reporting processes.

#2: In-Person Collaborations Are Back! 

By Whit Wallace

In recent times, we have all missed out on so many opportunities to gather with industry colleagues. I witnessed talented individuals who are passionate about the work they do at their respective organizations sharing best practices, ideas, recommendations, etc. These tasks are much more difficult to accomplish in a virtual environment.

Whether it was on the expo floor, in the numerous educational sessions or even at our own client event, the discussions were not only productive but refreshing to see take place.

I got the sense from the various interactions I had with attendees, industry peers, and fellow exhibitors that all are approaching 2023 and beyond with a positive mindset, prepared for the challenges that may lie ahead in our respective industries.

#3: Advanced Technology

By Fejie Fullero

The Concur Travel Online Booking Tool module has been revamped with an intuitive booking workflow and integration with new content offerings from airline vendors. The mobile version will also take advantage of location AI for ground and hotel searches. The new UI is rolling out in phases to select beta testing clients. Key highlights include minimal configuration updates are required when moving to the new instance; current company configurations can be transferred intact made possible with SAP Concur’s partnership with Amazon Web Services, where over 65,000 client servers were transferred last year in preparation for enhancements in their road map.

#4: Create Culture Changes with Data 

By Luna Ness

The SAP Concur tool has standard reporting that can provide you with information on your T&E spend by expense type, trends, and more. We all know data is key, and what you do with that information is what can lead to making impactful changes. Look for trends whether that be frequency in errors, use of expense items, types of airlines or hotels booked. This information can tell you a story. For example, if you’re seeing ‘miscellaneous’ as a common entry, find out why that is. It could be because the right options are not available, there are too many options, or the users are not understanding what should be entered there. Leverage the data you can collect to improve processes, support your colleagues, and incentivize culture changes.

#5: The “New Normal” of Business Travel

By Jeff Pulker

Business Travel is no longer slowly returning to normal – it is in full swing! As that is occurring, SAP Concur is rolling out the new Concur Travel Online Booking Tool UI in the desktop and mobile app. It was unveiled for the first time at Fusion, along with recommendations around implementing a post-pandemic Travel Policy. Seeing the attendees at the 2023 SAP Concur Fusion Conference was an eye opening and engaging experience. Getting to see the new functionality, new and old faces in the industry, meeting to discuss the future, and collaborate in-person is something we have all been missing for some time. It was great to experience it as we embrace the “new normal.”

#6: The Return of Program Performance Expectations & Objectives

By Graham Ruskin

This year’s Conference shared a commonality with last year’s Fusion event: its occurrence happening post-pandemic, but that’s about it! This is meant as a positive, energetic statement, and a recognition that organizations have progressed so far beyond “turning their program back on” and are now focused on leading program performance. From a TCG perspective, our clients urgently face a need to solidify a true baseline to measure all of those great program plans set in motion and upcoming initiatives. This baseline imperative spans far beyond the “how does this compare to 2019?” statement and reaches across multiple facets and stakeholders within an organization. Offering client-centric advisory support on this effort, in concert with strategic industry partners like SAP Concur, we believe will substantiate a new baseline for months,

TCG is a Certified Implementation Partner of SAP Concur. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you improve and optimize your Travel & Expense Program

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