Hopefully, you’re all looking forward to a break over the Christmas period and will be spending some time with your family and friends. Before we start to indulge in mince pies, I’d like to reflect on the year gone by and take a look at what’s to come in 2017.
My 2016 highlights
For starters, I’m incredibly proud that we have maintained our growth and are serving more companies than ever before. Our new markets are thriving, especially in the Nordics as the sales team and customer base continues to grow. In the UK, we’ve got a number of new faces in the office with 21% of our employees having joined this year. Lots of them come from travel backgrounds which will help us as we continue to expand our ecosystem. They all bring energy, enthusiasm and expertise that I’m certain will help our customers thrive.
Fusion Exchange London was also a highlight. It was bigger and better than ever with a 148% increase in registrations compared to 2015. Almost 500 customers and prospects attended and we had 30 partner sponsors showcasing in the main hall. We also had 8 customer, 10 partner and three SAP speakers sharing their insights with our audience. I was thrilled to see one attendee describe the event as “the most professional and informative conference” she had ever been to.
A look back at 2016 would not be complete without mentioning Brexit. Of course, there was some trepidation earlier in the year, but the industry has seen no significant impact so far. I see Concur as a bellwether for the economy – the number of expense claims and business trips processed by our systems has continued to rise, so business isn’t slowing down any time soon.
On a more personal note, I have been a trustee of brainstrust (a brain tumour support charity) for five years and this year I was honoured to be elected Chairman of the Board of Trustees. I’m pleased to say 2016 was a record year for the charity in terms of funds raised and number of people supported.
Looking forward to 2017
There’s so much I want Concur to achieve next year. As always, customers will be our main focus which is why we’re creating a client sales team so our new and existing customers will have twice the number of people available to support them. Also on my mind is continued alignment with SAP, growing our travel ecosystem and maturing our new markets. We will work with more suppliers and travel management companies than ever before to help business travellers experience the perfect trip. And we will have 5x more employees in Stockholm, Dubai and Johannesburg to make our global ambition a reality. All the while working closely with our SAP colleagues.
A final thought
To conclude, I’d like to send a message to our supporters. It’s difficult to show sincerity in this format, but I truly want to thank our customers and partners for another wonderful year. I continue to be excited by what we can achieve when we work together. I’d ask that you keep your feedback coming – we rely on it to improve. And if there’s anything I can do to help, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Lastly – happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.