Concur Preferred Partner Programme Drives Future of Smart Business Travel in the UK

November 13th, 2014: Concur (Nasdaq: CNQR), the global leader in integrated travel and expense management, today announced at the Global Business Travel Association Conference that Chambers, Portman and Business Travel Direct are the first travel management companies (TMCs) in the UK to join its Preferred Partner Programme. The newly launched programme has been designed to recognise industry leading TMCs committed to the future of smart business travel by incorporating digital solutions within their core customer offerings.

As part of the programme, TMCs will offer customers Concur TripLink, a solution that captures and centralises data from employee business travel including flights, hotels and ground transportation. This service gives companies a complete picture of employee spend while travelling for business and captures reservations booked outside a corporate travel system, meaning they save money and gain compliance and control. The gamification of a rewards programme aims to incentivise travellers to make smart decisions that keep travel spend at a minimum.

The first TMC to join Concur’s Preferred Partner Programme as a European partner, offering solutions such as TripLink, is Chambers Travel Group which has been long committed to integrating a personalised service with innovative technology to deliver simple travel management processes for customers.

“Chambers shares Concur’s vision for the future of smart business travel and technology has a big part to play in this. It means we can offer our customers a wider portfolio of services giving us a competitive edge”, said Chris Thelen, CEO, Chambers Travel Group.  “Chambers has been accepted into the programme at a time when our customers are expecting more and they feel pressure to cater to employee demand. Concur TripLink gives business travellers the freedom to book as they wish and it gives our customers the visibility to manage both duty-of-care needs and the budget; it’s a win-win situation.”

Other award winning TMCs joining Concur’s Preferred Partner Programme and recognising the benefits of centralising and digitising managed business travel include Portman Travel and Business Travel Direct.

“Over the past eighteen months, Portman has focused on providing clients with the best online tools and trip management technology available. This includes an integrated approach to fare and rate sourcing and the aggregation of global content for total trip management.  Our recognition as part of Concur’s Preferred Partner Programme is another proof-point of our relentless drive to keep evolving so that our customers can as well,” said Steve Allen, CEO at Portman.  “It’s our mission to help customers meet their travel management objectives and enable them to connect every trip, every traveller and every pound spent. Without visibility and control, our customers are unable to capture the data required to drive savings and ultimately build strategic supplier relationships.”

“It’s a natural next step for us to be part of the Concur Preferred Partner Programme. It’s our goal to help customers make the transition to become digitally enhanced organisations with more streamlined processes to keep admin down,” said Julie Oliver, Managing Director, Business Travel Direct. “Concur TripLink creates simple user profiles that sync the spending habits of employees providing one report that tracks everything. It’s making the back-end processes such as reporting simpler.”

“We’re changing the game for the travel industry and recognising those TMCs driving the industry forward. Concur’s Preferred Partner Programme, coupled with innovative technology such as Triplink, Compleat and TMC Messaging means that TMCs are well placed to meet the ever changing expectations of customers,” said Isabel Montesdeoca, Senior Vice President and General Manager, UK Enterprise, Concur. “A large number of businesses and employees have advanced technological capabilities in other aspects of their lives and they’ll come to expect it from business travel management as well. It’s the TMCs that share Concur’s vision of creating the perfect business travel experience through digitalisation that will succeed in the future. “

About Chambers Travel Goup

Chambers is a leading independent pan-European travel management company (TMC) headquartered in London with offices in key European business hubs including France, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland. We are also part of the GlobalStar international network of TMCs. Our business operations consist of Chambers Travel Management – split into Chambers Travel UK and Chambers Travel International – Chambers Travel Technology, Chambers Travel Elite & Private Clients, Chambers Travel Consultancy, and Chambers Travel Events. Chambers stands out from the crowd because we put client relationships first. We are also renowned for the in-house development of our own suite of innovative travel technology tools.

About Portman

Portman was founded in 1959 and is one of the UK's longest-established travel management companies. The company is headed up by Steve Allen, Chief Executive Officer, a highly respected travel industry specialist who has built his reputation on delivering exceptional service aligned with leading edge technology. Portman’s UK head Office is located at Chertsey, Surrey with 8 other UK locations, and a number of client implants. In addition, Portman has two wholly owned international operations - in Tralee, Ireland and in Amsterdam. Portman is a founding shareholder of Radius Travel, the global network for corporate travel management companies, which has an annual sales volume of USD $23 billion.

About Business Travel Direct

Founded in 1970, Business Travel Direct is a multi-award winning travel management company providing travel expertise, superior service and outstanding value to corporate clients ranging from SME's to FTSE100 companies.The company prides itself on successfully working with all sizes and types of clients both in the UK and internationally.  The highly experienced team of travel consultants, who have an average of 15 years’ experience, is supported by industry leading technology, to consistently deliver outstanding value and savings for clients. Business Travel Direct seeks to be a partner to clients offering expert consultancy including helping to formulate travel policy, measuring success and ROI as well as ensuring environmental and Duty of Care concerns are not just seen as an obligation, but represent an integral part of the delivery and reporting mechanism.  Although UK-based, Business Travel Direct is able to offer clients an international service by working with carefully selected travel management partners around the world.

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