[UPDATE, July 12, 2017: Concur indicated it would support Egencia integration for existing joint clients through Nov. 1, 2018.]
The partnership agreement between Concur and Egencia will end on March 31, Concur confirmed Tuesday in a written statement.
Declining to comment on what Concur “is or isn’t doing,” Egencia VP of global product and marketing Michael Gulmann said, “We’d like to partner with everyone.”
The firms commented in response to information in a Concur memo obtained by The Company Dime. In it, Concur informed travel management company partners that its “TripLink” relationship with Egencia would be over at the end of this month. “The TripLink feature allowing Egencia to pass non-Concur Travel itineraries to the Concur platform and Concur Expense is no longer available to new clients,” Concur wrote.
Concur’s statement indicated it would “work closely with Egencia to ensure our customers are taken care of through this transition.” Gulmann said he was expecting an ongoing relationship with Concur for clients already using the linkage.
The change follows a Feb. 16 Egencia announcement of plans for integrated travel and expense management through affiliate Traveldoo and other expense providers. Egencia unveiled its Open Sync service, which allows users “to consolidate receipts and credit card transactions directly in Egencia, and then feed them in one click into their expense system.”
“This product is currently in beta and will be piloted with a select group of customers and expense partners,” according to Egencia.
In the memo to TMCs, Concur described its 2013 agreement with Egencia as the “first effort to capture non-Concur Travel bookings under the banner of TripLink.” Since then, Concur wrote, TMC resellers and preferred partners “have engaged with TripLink by writing to our itinerary API and integrating” with the Compleat mid-office solution. “These are the areas where Concur will focus going forward.”
The Bellevue, Wash., neighbors nearly four years ago announced the “global” partnership for mutual clients using Concur Open Booking, the former name for TripLink. “Itinerary details, e-receipts and credit card charges are all matched,” the pair said.
According to coverage in The Beat, Egencia officials in 2015 and 2016 said the two companies had a “prominent” partnership that was “much stronger” three years after it started. The publication last October quoted Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi as saying that Egencia did not “want to be in the expense business.” This despite a stated desire to make Traveldoo “more of a global product.”
Then last month, Khosrowshahi told financial analysts “we are working to dramatically improve our capabilities on the expense management side.”
Speaking Tuesday evening by phone, Gulmann said he did not see this as a reversal. “We’re not going into expense management,” he said. “I don’t want to solve, and we’re not solving, the financial side of expense. A lot of expense companies have done a fantastic job of coding and connecting to ERP systems. This is not Egencia wanting to solve the back end.”
Also an Expedia company, Traveldoo separately last month announced its own connectivity and partnership solutions for TMCs. Does Traveldoo have a U.S. product? “Not at this time,” said Gulmann.
How important is integrated travel and expense to Egencia clients? “Some customers have a huge need,” said Gulmann. “Many others do not.” He said Egencia is not ready to share whether expense integration would come with an added fee or be built into travel management services.
The breakup follows termination of a reseller arrangement between American Express Global Business Travel and Concur, revealed in October by Business Travel News. That news followed GBT’s August announcement to acquire Concur competitor KDS. Concur declined to comment on the GBT relationship.