SAP and Qualtrics Launch Concur® Experience Optimizer

Industry-First Solution Helps Companies Redesign Travel and Expense Programs Using Employee Sentiment Data

SAP SE and Qualtrics announced the availability of Concur® Experience Optimizer, a new solution that allows companies to improve employee experiences and confidently adapt travel and expense programs for the future of work. Concur Experience Optimizer combines the listening and analysis capabilities of Qualtrics EmployeeXM™, the leading product for employee experience management, with operational intelligence data from Concur® Travel and Concur® Expense solutions to help companies design travel programs for the hybrid workplace, improve spend management processes and increase employee retention.

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“People are a company’s greatest asset, and it’s no secret that retaining employees has become even more critical”

Many employees are ready to return to pre-pandemic levels of business travel, with seven in ten (70 percent) expecting to go back to traveling as much as they did before the pandemic, according to recent research from Qualtrics, the leader and creator of the Experience Management (XM) category, and the SAP Concur organization. A small majority (54 percent) of business travelers say traveling for business is still very important or critical to their role and over four in five (84 percent) say they are willing to travel within the next year.

Yet the experience of traveling for business is unlikely to go back to exactly the way it was pre-pandemic due to marked changes in employee expectations. Global business travelers expect new benefits — like the ability to choose direct flights or select premium seating — from their employers to help ensure their health and safety, research said. Alongside business travel, employee spending behavior is also evolving with more non-travel purchases initiated directly by employees, requiring new expense categories to support remote, hybrid and in-person work.

“People are a company’s greatest asset, and it’s no secret that retaining employees has become even more critical,” said Mike Koetting, SAP Concur solution area lead at SAP. “A company’s travel and expense programs can directly impact an employee’s experience. Concur Experience Optimizer helps organizations understand the reasons behind employee behavior so they can make adjustments that are in line with both employee sentiment and business objectives.”

“Our research shows that demand for business travel is returning to pre-pandemic levels, but getting the employee experience right is more nuanced and complicated than ever before,” said Jay Choi, Qualtrics chief product officer. “It’s critical for organizations to understand how employees feel about the new world of travel and use that experience data to meet their evolving health and safety needs.”

Concur Experience Optimizer uses technology from Qualtrics and SAP® Concur solutions, plus expert services from SAP Concur Experience Management consultants to help companies listen, analyze and act on employee feedback to create continuous feedback loops and understand the impact of adjustments made over time. Companies can easily capture employee sentiment with science-backed feedback templates and view the results through simple, intuitive dashboards that show the impact of sentiment against operational data metrics. Those insights can be turned into focused action plans to improve employees’ travel and expense experiences, compliance and budget predictability.

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With Concur Experience Optimizer, companies can level up their entire program — from buying behavior to supplier options to workflow — to:

  • Improve employee experiences: Better understand how policies are affecting employee sentiment, safety, well-being, productivity and attrition risk.
  • Effectively manage spend: Gain insight into the critical influences that impact employee buying decisions and organizational spending patterns, supporting early detection of potential saving opportunities and closing policy and process gaps.
  • Reduce risk and non-compliant spend: Identify risks in programs and adjust processes that allow for non-compliant and potentially fraudulent spending.
  • Optimize programs for growth: Make confident travel, expense, compliance and spend management program adjustments to lead healthy business growth with enhanced visibility into critical business problems.
  • ​​Drive sustainability: Make enhancements that align with organizational sustainability objectives, enhance the organization’s brand and reduce the carbon footprint

“Concur Experience Optimizer brings together the horsepower of SAP Concur and Qualtrics to allow finance leaders and travel managers to be active drivers of improved employee experiences,” said Kevin Permenter, research director at IDC. “This solution has potential to help companies get ahead of spend problems by shaping spend with employee sentiment as a guide.”

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