Travel and Expense Management Applications Market 2010-2015

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This applications market sizing report focuses on the 2010 performance of the top 10 applications vendors in the travel and expense management applications market.

As business travel and general economic conditions continued to improve in 2010, demand rose in tandem for travel and expense management applications. While the rationale for implementing such applications has remained the same, customer requirements have shifted with the proliferation of mobile professionals as well as Cloud-based services ranging from e-Wallet to spend analytics that are beginning to transform the underlying processes.

In addition, TEM applications vendors havc been making inroads into emerging markets as many multinationals are beginning to establish global travel and expense management policies in order to rein in the high costs of aviation, business travel and services procurement, while alleviating the burden of their employees when filling out expense reports.

Top Line and Bottom Line

On the top line, the travel and expense applications market is poised to grow faster than the overall applications space because of the influx of new players as well as continued expansion of the incumbents, all shoring up their offerings to help customers replace their legacy systems, or in many cases automate their manual process of approving travel requests and managing expenses.

At the macro level, international air traffic has risen 8.1% for the nine-month period ended September 2010, after a sharp decline in much of 2009 including a 9% drop in the first quarter, according to Amadeus, the global distribution system.

By most accounts, travel and expense management applications vendors are gearing up for sustainable growth in 2011. In December 2010, Coupa, a fast-growing eprocurement applications vendor, launched Coupa Expenses for Salesforce by leveraging the Cloud-based platform from Salesforce.com. That in turn will make travel and expense management much more accessible for the more than two million regular users of Salesforce.com.

With the advent of Cloud services, the travel and expense management applications market will transform itself by adding complementary solutions in such areas as social CRM, analytics and eCommerce, all of which could have profound effects on how business travelers book their trips, manage their expenses and gain better visibility into the different building blocks of the travel industry through Web-based collaboration and tight integration with suppliers, business partners and technology providers.

The result could be a profound change as to how enterprises deploy their resources, manage expenses and even run their business from a spend management perspective. The bottom line is that travel and expense management applications are destined to take on the similar role as other mission-critical corporate functions including financial accounting and customer call centers by giving users complete control over their day to day operations.

Market Overview

The market for travel and expense management applications is defined as follows:

  • Automation of financial processes relating to business travel planning and booking, expense report filing, purchasing of indirect materials, and time and labor capturing for projects.
  • Features include those that facilitate the associated tasks of auditing, reporting and workflow and approval routing, as well as integration into payment and financial accounting systems.
  • Additional capabilities include vendor management and negotiation, invoice and contract management, receipt reconciliation, cost allocation, compliance, travel and expense policy enforcement and administration.
  • Support for on-demand delivery, mobile devices, foreign currency, spend classification and tax reporting is also considered essential in travel and expense management applications.

As the travel and expense management applications market began to expand in 2010 with renewed corporate spending on business travel and services requisitioning, a number of trends started to manifest themselves.

The ubiquity of smart phones has meant corporate travelers placing greater emphasis on mobile solutions to help them manage their travel plans and expense reporting. Concur’s recent purchase of TripIt, which leverages mobile devices to organize and share travel information for travelers, underscores the shift of delivering  travel and expense management experiences from the desktop to smart phones.

KDS’ investment in eWallet, which is designed to handle micropayments from subway fares to incidentals, is another example of extending the power of travel and expense management to smart phones, which will be fully compatible with an array of eWallet technologies due out in 2011.

The second trend is that the value of travel and expense management is reaching the top echelons of the enterprise. Travel and expense management has become more integrated into essential corporate function. While risk management and compliance has always been a key driver for companies to automate and expense management, the lingering effects of the recession, coupled with the growing emphasis on transparency even to the level of how executives fill out their expense reports, have drawn scrutiny from key stakeholders from corporate boards to shareholder activists.

Then there is the globalization factor prompting companies to standardize their travel and expense management policies not just to reduce costs, but to ensure compliance, real-time workflow and ultimately employee safety. Spendvision, for example, has been gearing up for new global accounts such as Rio Tinto, which plans to deploy its travel and expense management solution for the 20,000 employees of the mining giant throughout 2011.

In summary, travel and expense management has come a long way of achieving recognition among the rank and file and the top executives. The question is what form will it take as user requirements continue to evolve and the onslaught of Web services – not to mention the arrival of 4G mobile apps with enhanced video capabilities – could render existing travel and expense management applications almost unrecognizable.

Customers

For more than a decade travel and expense management applications have been mostly implemented at large corporations with tens of thousands of employees. That began to change in the past few years as on-demand applications became popular among small and mid-sized organizations that found the delivery model flexible and affordable.

Replicon, for example, has grown its base of customers for travel, expense and workforce management to 7,300 with 1.2 million users, compared with 5,800 customers with fewer than one million users in 2007.

SAP is also expanding its presence in the SMB market with new versions of Business ByDesign that features on-demand travel and expense management as a major enhancement in the latest version due out in 2011.

One key impetus behind the SMB growth of the travel and expense management applications market has to do with aggressive pricing.

Replicon, for example, has been a hit among SMB customers, some of which are paying as little as $3 per user per month for an array of travel, expense and workforce management applications.

Other vendors including ExpensePoint and Atlantic Global OnDemand have been offering their expense management offerings at $1.5 and $7 per user per month, respectively. Though it is priced higher, Atlantic Global OnDemand offers both timesheet and expense management.

Suffice it to say that the travel and expense management applications market will go through seismic changes when both SMB and enterprise customers need to factor in a volatile pricing environment before they formulate a long-term TEM strategy to support their increasingly complex operations.

Top 10 Applications Vendors In Vertical

The following table lists the 2010 shares of the top 10 applications vendors in the travel and expense management market and their 2009 to 2010 applications revenues(license, maintenance and subscription) from the market.

Vendor2010 Share(%)2010 Applications Revenues From Travel and Expense Management($M)2009 Applications Revenues From Travel and Expense Management ($M)
Concur31.2%305.5256.7
SAP15.7%154152
KDS Expense7.2%7066
Infor3.1%3027
Oracle3.0%2928
Spendvision2.6%2522
Ariba2.1%2120
Replicon1.5%1512.5
Cybershift1.4%1413
ExpenseOnDemand1.3%1311
Subtotal69.1%676.5608.2
Other30.9%302.5283.8
Total100.0%979892

Vendors To Watch

The recent acquisition of Ketera by Rearden Commerce will embolden the latter’s desire to expand in the travel and expense applications market. Already a big player in eCommerce transaction management, Rearden acquired Ketera, which offered Ketera Network, an online spend management solution and business community of nearly one million companies.

What the combination will bring is a single solution enabling business users to enforce corporate policies and govern spend cross T&E, business services and supplies.

Rearden is encroaching on the territories of Concur including some of its closest partners such as American Express.  Amex, which holds a 15% stake in Concur, also has a long-standing relationship with Rearden. The tension between Rearden and Concur could escalate with the potential of redefining the TEM market.

Another source of turmoil is derived from the simmering fight between American Airlines and global distribution system companies including Sabre. While American has threaten to withdraw display of its flight information at Sabre, the spat underscores the shifting landscapes of the travel industry as more suppliers aim to conduct transactions with their customers directly without paying commission to GDSes such as Amadeus, Sabre and Travelport, all of which may now want to use new technologies including travel and expense management to hold onto their customers.

Although the travel industry could face an extended period of growth with the end of the Great Recession, the looming fight between suppliers and intermediaries is likely to cast a dark cloud over the horizon.

Outlook

On the upside, the travel and expense applications market is expected to post stronger than average growth through the forecast period because of global economic recovery as well as the proliferation of Web services, which will make information instantly available thanks to the explosive growth of mobile devices.

Travel booking, managing expenses and other functions will move from the desktops to smart phones, making impulse purchases tempting and policy control more important than ever.

On the downside, pricing pressures, coupled with ever-changing business models of Cloud-based travel and expense management apps and services supplied by a growing network of global distribution systems, independent software vendors, and travel management service companies, will erode margins for the incumbents. That could allow a new breed of players to emerge without requiring them to invest in their own TEM product development, or even their own infrastructure for that matter.

Additionally the proliferation of mobile devices equipped with tracking technologies will make privacy a thorny issue for business travelers who gravitate toward the ease of one-click booking and expense reporting without a complete understanding on how personal data will be managed by travel and expense management vendors and their service partners.

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Travel and Expense Management Applications Market 2010-2015

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