Growth and Optimization

The Roadmap to the Intelligent Enterprise with SAP Concur Solutions

Hanneke van Leeuwen |

Companies of all shapes and sizes are currently undergoing a transformative shift by migrating to SAP S/4 HANA, the ERP system with built-in intelligent technologies including AI, machine learning, and advanced analytics.

The reason for the migration is simple. Businesses recognise that digital transformation holds the key to becoming an Intelligent Enterprise and their ERP system is a critical element of this. Future-proofed technologies combined with integrated business processes equip them to better withstand the challenges of an ever-changing global landscape and enable them to make informed decisions based on robust data. They give themselves the tools to become more resilient and more agile. They also give themselves the ability to deliver an outstanding customer experience that sets them apart from the competition.

Of course, becoming an Intelligent Enterprise isn’t simply about implementing digital technologies. It’s also about fundamentally resetting business processes. For this to happen, there needs to be a focus on four key objectives: Profitability, Resilience, Sustainability, and Employee Experience and a recognition of the way digital technologies underpin all of them.

At the same time, CFOs and CIOs need to recognise that the shift to SAP S/4 HANA and to becoming an Intelligent Enterprise will require staying power: such transformations typically take three to five years.

In an age where quick wins are necessary, how can CFOs and CIOs engage stakeholders and show the difference technology will make?

The answer lies in SAP Concur business travel management solutions. Because while travel and expense management typically flies under the radar, it has a big impact on the four pillars of the Intelligent Enterprise, Profitability, Resilience, Sustainability, and Employee Experience.

Travel and expense is a significant cost to the business, typically the second largest operational cost after salaries, so they affect profitability and resilience. They make a contribution to the carbon footprint, so monitoring and being able to target actions to reduce them affects overall sustainability. And when organisations take steps to make the processes more streamlined and straightforward, they enhance their employee experience.

But crucially, they give CFOs and CIOs the quick win they need as they take their organisation on its digital transformation journey. Implementation time is 8 – 16 weeks and payback time is typically five months.

Transforming business travel and expense management with SAP Concur solutions

But SAP Concur solutions are so much more than a quick win.

They can also be used as technical and process-related innovation drivers. For example, they enable the full digitalisation of a process that is still partly manual and paper-heavy. By closing data and workflow gaps, the business travel process is holistically optimised, enhancing transparency and increasing compliance at the same time.

Our roadmap provides examples of how companies can use SAP Concur solutions to become more profitable, resilient, employee-friendly, and sustainable in the shortest possible time.

Profitability: Increasing transparency and cost control to secure company success in the long term

Automation of tasks continues at pace. McKinsey estimates that about 60% of occupations could have at least 30% of their constituent activities automated. IT solutions that drive process automation and enable data integration give companies increased transparency and access to consolidated information that reflects the situation as it is currently, not as it was last week or last month. This information gives CFOs the ability to identify risks more quickly, take action, and control costs.

The problem of a lack of transparent data is particularly acute in traditional business spend management processes. With booking taking place through multiple channels, it is hard to get a complete picture of costs – and even harder to control them.

SAP Concur solutions break down costs for every stage of a trip, from booking to trip expenses to reimbursement. They give a comprehensive picture in near real time too – they capture data on flights, hotels and rental cars, no matter where the bookings take place. They also capture entertainment expenses too. And thanks to their analytical capabilities, businesses can identify where travel and expense processes can be improved and savings can be made, driving revenue growth.

Resilience: Bringing flexibility and agility to business travel and expense management to promote resilient business structures

Resilience is critical to business success, especially when the economic outlook is so uncertain. Resilience depends on an agile business model that allows for maximum flexibility.

With digital solutions in place, businesses have access to data in near real time, which means they are better equipped to make informed decisions and take rapid action. This in turn helps them to drive resilience when it comes to business spend.

For example, having visibility of travel and expense data in near real time via SAP Concur solutions means businesses can make informed decisions and implement policy changes immediately. Such policy changes are automatically applied and enforced via the solutions. It supports businesses in a volatile environment whether employees are in the office, at home or on the road because more employee spend meets policy requirements. And because more spend meets policy requirements, the business benefits from reduced errors and unforeseen costs as well as enhanced governance when it comes to travel and expense.

Employee experience: Increasing employee productivity with value-added tasks

It pays to understand what employees want and how they feel because if a workforce has positive feelings about the work they do, this increases agility and boosts productivity. It also improves recruitment and retention levels. Research by Accenture found that companies with great employee experiences outperform the S&P 500 by 122%.

A perfect example of improving the employee experience is around reducing the number of administrative, non-value-adding tasks that staff must undertake.

SAP Concur solutions equip business travellers with tools that save them time when booking travel or claiming expenses, so they have more time to focus on meaningful tasks. The benefits increase when they can manage documents such as boarding passes and car rental reservations digitally. For businesses, having visibility of travel bookings means they also have visibility of traveller whereabouts, supporting duty of care and giving travellers greater peace of mind knowing they are supported by their employer.

Sustainability: Measuring environmental impacts and managing sustainability proactively

Being responsible custodians of our environment is one of the most pressing issues of our time. In order to take the lead in the way they must, companies need to be able to measure their carbon footprint and be able to take steps to reduce it.

Digital business travel management solutions give organisations the tools to analyse, evaluate, and control travel practices, a significant source of emissions.

For example, SAP Concur solutions enable companies to point travellers to more sustainable alternatives when booking in order to reduce emissions.

SAP Concur solutions support sustainability at a more basic level too. For example, because invoices and receipts are stored digitally, there is a reduced requirement for paper, print and physical storage.

The value of SAP Concur solutions now and into the future

Many companies struggled with lower turnover this year but are still doing better than expected. One glance at the P&L shows us why – travel costs were significantly lower in 2020. While cushioning businesses from some of the impact of lower turnover, it also reveals how much scope there is to optimise business travel when it returns.

SAP Concur solutions give businesses the technology, services, support and experience they need to do this this.

They also provide businesses with the quick win they need as they transition to becoming Intelligent Enterprises using digitisation to drive profitability, resilience, sustainability and the employee experience.


Find out more

Learn more about SAP Concur solutions and how they support our customers to achieve business success and deliver value on their journey towards becoming an Intelligent Enterprise in our ebook Customer Success with SAP Concur.

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