Concur-Outlook Beta Version Expected This Summer
A lot of our corporate clients use the Concur travel and expense management tool for business flights, hotels and car service. And ever since Concur was bought in 2014 by the multinational software giant SAP, there have been rumblings about expected technology improvements.
On May 18th Concur and Microsoft announced a significant improvement – one that could affect all of the Concur business users who use Microsoft Outlook as part of Microsoft’s cloud-based Office 365 product. Soon, clients who use both Concur and Office 365 Outlook will be able to book travel and organize their expense receipts within Outlook. Users will be able to simply opt into the service. No formal release date was given, but a beta version release is expected this summer.
How Concur Booking Will Work on Outlook
Concur booking on Outlook will utilize the user’s “home base” location to automatically recognize when an Outlook Calendar business meeting is scheduled to occur away from the user’s home base. Once a user enters an out-of-town meeting into the Outlook Calendar, Concur will display several policy-compliant air, hotel and car rental options, all with flight and itinerary details based on the scheduled meeting date, time and location. And similar to the way Concur’s mobile booking tool works, the Outlook-based Concur tool will leverage data from previously booked business trips, as well as from colleagues’ past trips, to suggest the most relevant travel options. Additional options via the full Concur booking tool will be just a click away.
How Concur Expense Reporting Will Work on Outlook
The Concur-Outlook functionality improvements go beyond travel booking: When a user receives an e-receipt in Outlook, Concur will automatically recognize it as a receipt and generate an expense form within the email display. The user will then be able to double-check or adjust details before clicking a button to send the expense form to the associated Concur Expense user account. Finally, the user will log into his or her Concur Expense platform to attach each item to the appropriate report within the Concur expense tool.
What This Means To Business Travelers
Assuming that Concur works out all the bugs before the service goes live, these functionality improvements will most likely save business travelers a few steps in their travel-booking and expense-submitting processes. It may also help reduce errors and improve compliance with company travel policies. And based on the comments made by Concur and Microsoft, Concur users can expect even more cross-program functionality improvements as time goes on.
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