Monthly Archives: March 2015

Microsoft Tests Expense App

[UPDATE, Feb. 24, 2016: Microsoft discontinued this project.] [UPDATE, April 10: Concur press statement added.] Microsoft is testing an expense app for iPhones that apparently integrates with Concur. “Nobody likes filing expense reports,” Microsoft wrote on Facebook, mimicking the raison d’être for expense providers like Concur and Expensify. “Each of us has a powerful computer sitting in our… Read More »

Supply Growth Takes The Bite Out Of NYC Hotel Rates, But Don’t Call It A Buyer’s Market

[UPDATE, April 8, 2016: We published new information related to this article here.] The seller’s market in lodging continues unabated this year. U.S. occupancy is on track to hit record highs, hotel execs are rocking and rolling and business travelers are paying more. Recent data on New York City, though, raises questions. The nation’s biggest . . .… Read More »

Non-Reimbursement: Teeth For Policy, Illegal In California

Denying reimbursement when employees violate travel expense policies is an option that some think sensible and others call draconian. But plenty use it. In a September 2014 Global Business Travel Association poll, 45 percent of North American and 31 percent of European travel managers indicated non-reimbursement was a consequence of travel policy violations at their organizations. Non-reimbursement policies are often empty… Read More »

Sabre Readies TruTrip To Handle Open Bookings, But At What Cost?

Sabre is nearly ready to commercialize its answer to managed travel program leakage. First announced in summer 2013, TruTrip is meant to commingle records on travel reservations made outside designated channels with those booked within. Like with Concur’s TripLink and some niche tools, the idea is to provide a complete picture of travel plans to travelers, their program managers and their agencies. To enable TruTrip, Sabre… Read More »

Sabre GetThere Latest On Corporate Travel Virtual Card Bandwagon

[UPDATE, Dec. 2, 2016: Sabre announced that it added a virtual payment option for airline bookings within the Sabre Red Workspace, furnished with payment firm Conferma. Sabre described the new “standard form of payment” at the agent point of sale as an industry first. The integration “eliminates the need for mid/back-office providers and online corporate booking tools such… Read More »

Meta-Search Pioneer Brian Barth Is Back, Now Focused On Payment

Brian Barth and his team helped reinvent travel e-commerce when they created meta-search site SideStep, acquired by Kayak in 2007 for $200 million. Now Barth is set to make an impact on payments. His latest startup, UpLift, offers real-time insight on the customer’s form of payment and enables online merchants to make targeted offers on that basis. One goal might be to increase loyalty to a… Read More »

Corporate Booking Tool NexTravel Takes Off With Work To Do

With some in the corporate market craving options, tech blogs last month announced the arrival of corporate booking tool NexTravel. While oversights and hyperbole are not uncommon for start-ups, NexTravel may have a bigger issue. It doesn’t have a deal in place with Southwest Airlines, which is investigating its presence on the site. The airline typically doesn’t allow… Read More »

Concur Slows Down Innovation To Focus On Foundational Fixes

Concur’s technology leaders have refocused on core infrastructure over innovation to deal with increased service disruptions during the past 18 months. “In the past we have had much more rapid development of features and functionality, but over the last few months we have slowed those down,” said senior vice president for hosting operations Stephen deRham. Speaking Tuesday during a… Read More »

GPS Tracking Apps Test Privacy Boundaries

IJet International released apps in December on Android and January on iOS that can track travelers using global positioning system capabilities. The app brings to the everyday smartphone a level of realtime tracking traditionally available only through expensive satellite-based devices. Typically only used in high-risk environments, the Critical Trac app still is not a “mass-market product.” Nevertheless, officials… Read More »

Performance Issues Still Frustrating Concur Users

Concur claimed it resolved last week’s intermittent online booking outages about 88 hours after they began popping up. But some users this week reported ongoing issues and many expressed deep frustration about the whole episode. For travel agency resellers, booking tool downtime can hurt productivity, profitability and client goodwill. Making matters worse, the insufficient service came in the midst of another winter testing the industry’s mettle. Corporate clients… Read More »