A Chat with Ryan Demaray, MD, SMB EMEA at Travel and Expense Management Solution: SAP Concur

SAP Concur is a leading brand for integrated travel, expense, and invoice management software solutions, helping to simplify and automate everyday processes. Through automation, we help to guide employees through business trips as charges are directly populated into expense reports, and invoice approvals are automated. We offer an array of expense, travel, and invoice products and services for big and small businesses operating across various industries including retail, manufacturing, financial services and more.

In my role as Managing Director, SMB EMEA at SAP Concur, I oversee the business sales for both small and midsized businesses and help these companies choose the right tools to proactively track and manage spend and become more financially viable in the long run. By integrating near real-time data and using artificial intelligence to analyse transactions, businesses get more visibility into finances, gaining transparency to proactively manage employee-driven spend as they continue to endure the cost-of-living crisis.


What makes SAP Concur different from its competitors?

At its very core, SAP Concur enables businesses to boost efficiency by helping your finance team to track and manage expenses from anywhere at any time – something that is now imperative for all businesses embracing a hybrid work environment.

We also help businesses to accelerate their business transformation initiatives by enabling them to collaborate with our key partners and solution providers with industry expertise and gain access to innovative technology integrations that can help you achieve more.

Our well-developed partner relationships with other leading innovators including travel suppliers, credit card companies, global distribution systems and technology providers, ensure that customers have the benefit of a seamless, end-to-end travel booking and expense claim reporting solution.

Today, with over 50,000 customers across 150 countries, we are the only travel, expense and invoice management provider accredited by the Institute of Chartered Accounting for England and Wales (ICAEW) for both our expense and invoice solutions.


How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?

During the pandemic, our solution came in to its own due to hybrid working and expenses changing dramatically. Due to our continuous commitment towards using the latest innovative technologies, we are now able to deliver solutions quickly and effectively and support our customers with fast, accurate reimbursement. For example, we partnered with Royal Voluntary Service to make it easier for volunteers helping people isolating due to Covid-19 to claim expenses back through our solution.

Additionally, for employees working from home, our solution enabled invoices to be digitised as opposed to the traditional invoices that used to be posted. This meant that staff did not have to risk going into the office to collect their invoices.

The impacts of the pandemic also affected the risks to tax compliance, and more countries around the world began to apply indirect taxes like VAT. Businesses were faced with complex government policies and compliance challenges. Being a pioneer in automated expense management solutions, we partnered with Blue dot to help organisations manage spending and keep up with new demands. Concur Tax Assurance by Blue dot uses AI and ML to automatically identify VAT-eligible expenses, confirm receipts, and improve reclaim potential, allowing businesses to navigate changing tax regulations faster and more accurately.

What can we hope to see from the company in the future?

Our continuous commitment towards providing quality customer experience by better understanding the evolving needs of our customers, TMCs, suppliers, and partners have enabled us to evolve overtime to become one of the leading expense solutions.

As we continue to embrace innovative technologies to enhance our products and services, we will be modernising our entire platform and will be rebuilding it in way to better accommodate the travel experience and the evolving requirements of our customers, travel managers, sustainability leaders, and procurement professionals.

This includes upgrading our platform’s user experience (UX) and driving process efficiencies via improved error avoidance, enhanced content, and better ability for traveller to compare amenities across products. This will help to make travel booking and expense reporting effortless whilst also boosting traveller productivity.

We also remain committed to building various solutions for sustainable travel as more business travellers (over 94%) continue to seek new ways to reduce the impact of their business travel. For instance, we have now partnered with Thrust Carbon, a developer of technology for green initiatives, to build sustainability into the business’s travel program so as to better understand their carbon footprint and reduce their emissions.