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SAP Announces New Generative AI Features for SAP Concur Users

SAP Announces New Generative AI Features for SAP Concur Users

The News: SAP announced several new business AI capabilities in SAP Concur solutions designed to help customers save time and improve accuracy when managing business travel and expenses. The announcements were made at SAP Concur Fusion 2024, the flagship conference for SAP Concur users and experts, and include the integration of generative AI capabilities within SAP Concur solutions; an evolution and upgrade of Concur Travel; and a reimagined Concur Expense user experience, powered by AI and optimized for mobile devices, with additional capabilities delivered via a partnership with Mastercard.

You can read more about these announcements on SAP’s website.

SAP Announces New Generative AI Features for SAP Concur Users

Analyst Take: SAP is continuing to incorporate generative AI across a variety of its products, as exemplified in its SAP Concur Fusion 2024 announcement, where the company debuted new capabilities powered by generative AI. These capabilities are interesting because they solve challenges that vex many users, and, until now, had few elegant solutions that could easily integrate with an enterprise backend system.

Concur Request Features Leverage Generative AI to Improve Efficiency and Accuracy

The first announcement focuses on the infusion of generative AI within Concur Request and includes the ability to provide intelligent cost estimates for trip planning via generative AI. Similarly, generative AI is used within the ExpenseIt solution, enabling the automatic creation of expenses from physical or digital receipts, with key fields prepopulated, and the creation of itemized hotel folios, which use generative AI to determine which pieces of information should be segmented and categorized. The use of generative AI to enhance the search feature within SAP Concur allows customers to submit queries using natural language, without needing to submit support tickets.

These generative AI enhancements are being applied to reduce the friction of dealing with information that is either captured in an unstructured way (such as printed and uploaded receipts) while ensuring that the data is able to be organized and saved in a centralized system of record. Businesses of all types have been seeking ways to streamline the business travel expense reconciliation process. By making it easier for users to capture information and submit it to their organization, compliance with expense policies generally will increase, thereby solving a true business problem.

A Consumer-Grade User Experience within Concur Travel

Concur Travel is also being updated, according to SAP, and now incorporates a consumer-grade user experience with the following content and features:

  • Hotel and rail content: The platform now provides direct integrations to various travel services and platforms, including American Express GBT, BCD, CWT RoomIt, FCTG and HRS. These integrations are designed to offer a greater number of options, and more clarity and transparency to the booking process. Users are also now able to search, book, and purchase UK rail content.
  • Integration with Microsoft Teams: Travelers can share a reservation from their Concur Travel trip list to a Microsoft Teams chat so that coworkers can book the same trip. This functionality is particularly valuable for today’s distributed workforce that may not necessarily be starting from the same departure points but want to sync up on multileg trips.
  • Sustainability-based travel decisions: Through an integration with Thrust Carbon, Concur Travel users can view and sort the greenhouse gas emissions of each flight segment, as well as rail and car rental options, and browse hotel providers by emissions, certifications, and sustainability scores. This feature is interesting and likely will gain in importance for both end-users and organizations over time.

Concur Expense Optimized for Mobile Devices

The Concur Expense experience is now AI-powered, optimized for mobile and already being used by early adopter customers, according to SAP. Through new capabilities and a new partnership with Mastercard, expense reports are automatically created and easily managed, with the following capabilities:

  • Automatic expense entry, itemization, and categorization with ExpenseIt
  • Timeline view of expenses
  • Intelligent notifications such as missing receipts, missing attendees or expense reports ready for submission
  • Attendee suggestion based on expense type and amount
  • Automated expense creation for Mastercard transactions

All told, the enhancements announced at SAP Concur Fusion appear to be clearly focused on reducing user friction with required experiences. Applying generative AI to these types of use cases likely will result in ROI due to more complete and more accurate expensing, better adherence to company policies, and more coordination between users and accounting teams.

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

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Author Information

Keith has over 25 years of experience in research, marketing, and consulting-based fields.

He has authored in-depth reports and market forecast studies covering artificial intelligence, biometrics, data analytics, robotics, high performance computing, and quantum computing, with a specific focus on the use of these technologies within large enterprise organizations and SMBs. He has also established strong working relationships with the international technology vendor community and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and events.

In his career as a financial and technology journalist he has written for national and trade publications, including BusinessWeek, CNBC.com, Investment Dealers’ Digest, The Red Herring, The Communications of the ACM, and Mobile Computing & Communications, among others.

He is a member of the Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP).

Keith holds dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Magazine Journalism and Sociology from Syracuse University.

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