Concur Says Starbucks Is No. 1 in World for Business Meetings

Travel expense cloud provider claims that its new TripLink cloud service has tripled its customer base in less than a year.

Concur, the world's largest provider of cloud-based travel and expense management services, said April 1 at its annual users' conference that its aggregate data clearly shows that Starbucks is the world's No. 1 destination for business meals and meetings.

Of course, the coffee giant's sheer number of locations is a major factor. In 2014, there were 21,366 Starbucks stores around the world, up from 19,767 the previous year—an increase of 1,599. Still, there's a second surprising statistic involved: repeat visits on the same day.

"It's not only the clear No. 1 in transactional volume, but we're also seeing a lot of repeat volume on single days; so this speaks to the business person who maybe is traveling to New York and is meeting three or four people in one day, that he or she might eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at Starbucks, plus a couple of coffee meetings," Concur Chief Product Officer Barry Padgett told eWEEK.

Seattle-based Concur, acquired by SAP last September for $8.3 billion, also said at its Fusion conference April 1 that more than 3,500 customers have adopted the company's new TripLink cloud solution, tripling the customer base in less than a year.

TripLink enables enterprises to extend the value of their existing managed travel programs to all travel, regardless of where travel is booked. Those benefits include corporate discounts, policy monitoring and enforcement, duty of care programs, three-way authentication, auto-populated expense reports and e-receipts—all of which applies to TripLink bookings.

For the user, this means that these added functions show up automatically in their Concur app on a phone or tablet, and transactions are automatically filed via the cloud at the time of the event, enabling users to forget about retaining paper receipts.

The TripLink app now covers the full spectrum—air, ground and even airport parking—of business travel. The list of partners with seamless connections to their users now includes Etihad Airways, the second largest airline in the UAE, and WallyPark, the first TripLink airport parking partner. Another new partner is Enterprise Holdings, the largest car rental company in the world, which owns and operates the Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental brands.

Previously announced partners include Airbnb, Air Canada, Avis, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), Marriott, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Sixt and United Airlines, Padgett said.

Concur, founded in 1993, currently serves more than 30,000 enterprise customers and 30 million active users in some 150 countries. The company, which has 4,800 employees and had $702 million in total revenue for the 2014 fiscal year, is the market leader in the multibillion dollar market for travel and expense management software. Following Concur’s acquisition by SAP, Concur revenue will be included in SAP’s Business Network.

The Concur Fusion conference concluded April 3 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...