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LETTERS

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Rajeev Singh claims that Concur's "Open Booking" is a response to market imperatives. I wonder whether the pressure is coming not from the corporate travel market as much as the stock market. Concur's valuation seems to depend upon rapid top-line growth, in the neighborhood of 25 percent per year. Finding that in the U.S. is increasingly problematical, EMEA is in recession, and China's growth is slowing. Concur won the GSA deal but the $100M increment per year only gets Concur through 80 percent of its 2014 mandatory growth. After that, if revenues remain flat as is reasonable to assume, it doesn't help at all. Where is Concur going to find its GSA contract every year? It can't poach its competitors' contracts because its competitors are too small. Concur simply has no choice but to expand into other areas of the travel value chain: the managed, the unmanaged and the "sometimes we are, sometimes we are not". This brings Concur into direct confrontation with its suppliers and distributors. Concur seems reluctant at this point to acknowledge that. Concur still needs TMCs, for example, to peddle its wares. It still needs the GDSs to source content. It's become clear that Concur has baited a trap for its "partners," but they keep nibbling the baloney.

~ Databasics CEO Alan Tyson


Your interview with Andrew Rubinacci was excellent! His views correlate with mine.

What is missing from some of this "disintermediation" discussion is a new definition of corporate travel management's future in terms of both function and economics. I have long advocated for online booking because it removes one somewhat expensive level of intermediation. My vision for newly-defined agency roles: Development and maintenance of an active database on destinations, covering product, suppliers, access options, representative pricing, and options for trip purchase. Revenue would come from fees paid by corporate subscribers, mainly for information rather than for processing demand (booking) and collecting booking fees.

This function as a destination consultant can be valuable to corporate subscribers for a host of needs, e.g., new markets, new operations centers (e.g., where should I position staff? What are transportation, lodging and dining options? Where do other companies, including competitors, have their operations and marketing activity?).

~ Consultant Rolfe Shellenberger