Insight

Taking Advantage of Best-in-Class T&E Infrastructure: SAP Concur Re-Platform

Introduction

Change is constant in the corporate business landscape. Companies need to adapt to competitive forces in the global market, which often requires mergers and acquisitions, an expanded geographic footprint, or other organizational changes to remain profitable. As changes occur, a company might find itself working across multiple software systems and technologies or working on an outdated platform that is not equipped for the current level of performance. If you can answer yes to one of the following questions about your company, you may need to assess whether updates, upgrades, and/or new systems are needed:

  • Have you expanded your geographic footprint?
  • Have you experienced mergers and acquisitions?
  • Are you working across multiple systems and technologies?
  • Is your company demanding more capabilities and efficiencies to keep up with current performance levels?

Although some companies may continue operating with existing technology, others will evaluate their technology and software landscape for opportunities to upgrade and improve their operations. By evaluating their corporate travel technology footprint, companies ensure they are taking advantage of the latest SAP Concur Solutions features. This may lead a company to look to optimize its current SAP Concur site or move to a new SAP Concur site, also known as re-platforming.

Sometimes, trying to optimize an outdated, legacy SAP Concur site will be more difficult than deploying a new SAP Concur site. For example, if historical issues have not been resolved, an optimization project will fall short of a best-in-class platform. With the right implementation approach, re-platforming will result in a best-in-class platform that supports your business’s current needs.

Drivers for Site Re-Platform

There are multiple reasons that might drive a company to move to a new SAP Concur site. Whether tied to major organizational changes, new system ownership, or changing priorities, all of these drivers will lead to tangible benefits. Some common drivers for SAP Concur site re-platform are:

  • A merger or acquisition. Two companies merging will trigger a conversation about legacy sites and a go-forward infrastructure strategy.
  • No available custom fields. Historical configuration has tied up all custom fields and is preventing the company from scaling to new business areas or markets.
  • Complex data model. The cross use of fields in the system has made it difficult to extract useful reporting data. For example, Custom Field 1 and Custom Field 2 are both storing similar data.
  • Infrastructure strategy. There is a new executive mandate to standardize the T&E systems and approach across the enterprise.
  • Lack of global approach. The lack of a global approach to system design has led to disjointed decision making and a less-than-ideal system configuration.
  • Changing system ownership. Centralization of operations or the promotion of a shared-services model is driving standardization to reduce the cost of ownership.
  • Transformation of travel program. Changes to a portion of a company’s travel program (e.g., TMC) is driving the need for an upgraded platform.

Benefits of a Site Re-Platform

A new SAP Concur site takes advantage of the latest SAP Concur functionality and global T&E best practices, and pairs them with the company’s current T&E policy and business objectives. Local-market statutory requirements are incorporated as needed. Benefits of re-platforming to a new SAP Concur site include both hard dollar and soft-dollar savings:

  • Scalability: An optimized SAP Concur site utilizing a standard global model design and configuration allows for easier expansion. Bringing on new markets, businesses, or products will require less time and effort.
  • System maintenance: Maintaining an SAP Concur site created with various market-driven requirements and no “global voice” makes system maintenance complex. Tasks such as system administration, regular maintenance, and deployment project work have lengthy design implications and regression-testing needs.
  • Reporting: Reporting, especially at the managerial level, is only as good as the data itself. Older SAP Concur sites might have different custom fields used to collect similar data. This could lead to additional challenges in obtaining the data in the same format for aggregation, and global reporting becomes less meaningful. A new site allows for enhanced reporting capabilities due to alignment, improved management reporting, and back-office data analytics.
  • New functionality: The launch of a new SAP Concur site is the perfect time to revisit functionality that your company might have been postponing. For example, if your company uses an SAP ERP and the interfaces were built before the SAP Native Integration (i.e., SAP ICS) was available, this could be a good time to take advantage of the increased functionality and benefits of SAP ICS. Many companies that deployed 10+ years ago can now take advantage of best-practice templates for many market-specific requirements that weren’t available previously.
  • Site consolidation: If a merger or acquisition is the driver for change, then a new SAP Concur site can reduce the burden on IT and financial operations, simplify single sign-on (SSO) management, streamline user access, and consolidate travel policy-compliance enforcement. Combining two legacy SAP Concur sites into one streamlined best-practice site boosts a company’s ability to operate, and reduces the need to run reports, set up users, and make configuration changes in multiple sites.

Streamlined Implementation

Acquis Consulting Group (Acquis) is a Global Certified Implementation Partner and Consulting Partner of SAP Concur. Acquis has more than 20 years of experience implementing SAP Concur in more than 100 countries and 170 companies. Acquis has created a seven-step re-platform approach that streamlines the implementation project to lower overall project costs and reduce project efforts.

Conclusion

Every company’s circumstances are unique; however, proactively addressing an outdated T&E system and taking advantage of the latest features of SAP Concur Solutions will help your company achieve a best-in-class travel and expense system infrastructure quickly. Understanding the wide array of benefits to your company will create a strong business case that resonates with executive sponsors. Using a streamlined approach to implementation will benefit your company in the near term, and could significantly lower the costs of a re-platform project.