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CONCUR and UBER extend Partnership - Four Winners and one Loser?

Yesterday the winning but controversial ride share/taxi company Uber and the leading travel- and expense management company Concur announced an expansion of their relationship. With their "first-of-its-kind partnership and technology integration" Concur-connected businesses "will gain visibility into [their] Uber usage while increasing traveler productivity and satisfaction".
As part of the deal Uber will exclusively (for the moment, I guess) make its business features available to Concur customers available for free. This includes automated employee onboarding, policy controls, savings performance, and trip summary dashboards only available by the combination of  data collected in the systems of the two companies.

My Take - a Quadruple Win

There are five involved parties.
  • Concur
  • Uber
  • Concur customers
  • Traveling employees
It is conceivable that this partnership does good to all of them.
On the fifth one - later ...

Concur wins

The exclusivity of this partnership gives concur a nice edge over its competition. The travel management market is pretty contested. As you can see in the G2Crowd Grid for Expense Management Concur is not an uncontested leader.
There is some scope left in both directions. Which leads us to the next two possible winners

Concur Customers win

Companies using Concur win by improved efficiencies, better overview and lower cost for taxi expenses - assuming that Concur doesn't cream off the benefits - as the announcement states. There are basically five areas in which companies benefit:
  • Companies can expect savings on taxi cost due to Uber instantly becoming a preferred provider
  • A centralized account management connects employees to an account; this gives visibility into rides taken, including pick up, drop off, time of day, and route. Employees can use a central payment account or request reimbursement for Uber trips via Concur. 
  • Policy management allows the creation of customizable ride policies that define when and where employees can use Uber.
  • Detailed reporting gives the ability to create customizable trip reports that include the details needed to keep track of all trips taken with the company’s Uber for Business account.
  • Effortless expensing as all Uber for Business users will automatically receive eReceipts in Concur.

Employees win

For employees a lot of the hazzle gets taken away. There is a very strong app to book rides, the overall process is efficient and ideally an employee does not get in touch with the monetary side of a taxi ride at all anymore.

Uber wins

Of course, Uber wins, too. Elena Donio, president of Concur said that "our average enterprise customer expenses almost $1 million in ground transportation annually and about 7 percent of that is with Uber today. By shifting more spend to Uber, these companies stand to save hundreds of thousands of dollars. We’ve seen almost 230 percent growth in Uber transactions in the past year, and with this integration, we expect to see that growth accelerate as we help companies leverage the benefits of Uber as part of their travel program."
Increasing the share of wallet can provide Uber with a big revenue boost while fending off its competitors. The deal has the potential of entrenching Uber in the business market.

The Loser?

Traditional taxi companies and limousine services. They get attacked by their non-traditional competition from yet another angle.


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