Category Archives: Travel

Ridesharing Services Gaining Ground Among Business Travelers


Uber and Lyft ridesharing services are now more popular than taxis and even slowly surpassing car rentals among business travelers, according to the new Q3 SpendSmart report by Certify. Uber accounted for 31% of all ground transportation transactions among business travelers, the report stated. Traditional taxi services accounted for 22%. While car rentals are overall the most popular expensed ground transportation for business travelers, accounting for 44%, Certify reported ridesharing services surpassed car rentals in Boston for the first time.

Oil Prices and Risks Abroad Dampen Business Travel Growth in 2015

business travel

U.S. businesses will increasingly spend more on travel this year and next, but growth in spending is softening due to the drop in oil prices and global economic conditions, according to the latest Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) BTI Outlook for the third quarter of 2015. Overall business travel spending is expected to grow 3.1% in 2015. Next year, that growth is predicted to rise 3.7%, the report said.

Report: US Oil Exports Could Help Lower Gasoline Prices


Cheap gasoline is more widespread across the nation as oil prices continue to fall. But a new government report shows that US consumers would continue to see relief at the gas pump if the US were to lift its 40-year ban on oil exports. The report from the US Energy Information Administration, released Tuesday, shows that if the US were to remove its restrictions on exporting crude oil, domestic gasoline prices could actually fall, not rise as some feared.

Zipcar Acquires Local Motion, Continuing Business Ground Transportation Services Transformation


Zipcar, the platform-based shared car rental company acquired by Avis for $500 million in 2013, announced earlier this month its acquisition of platform-based fleet management company Local Motion, for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition is yet another development signaling significant transformation in the business ground transportation segment. Category managers should certainly be taking careful note, as the whole supplier landscape – and with it the whole long-standing procurement model – shifts radically.

Airbnb Revamps Business Travel Program


From a luxury penthouse in Tokyo to a modern loft in Amsterdam – bike included – the number of places for business travelers to stay during corporate trips continues to grow. And, Airbnb is making it easier for corporate travelers to avoid stuffy hotel rooms and opt for alternative spaces like these while traveling for work. This week, the hospitality company announced the global expansion of its Business Travel program, adding a number of tools to the suite to increase visibility into employees' travel plans and spending. Since Airbnb’s Business Travel program launched in July 2014, it has seen 700% growth and now has more than 250 companies as customers, including big names like Google and Facebook. Currently about 10% of all rentals on Airbnb are used by business customers. Other data show business travelers enjoy Airbnb rentals more than hotel rooms and tend to stay longer in the rentals compared with hotels. Read on to find out what we think makes Airbnb so attractive to business travelers.

Exploring Deem P2P, T&E and the Overall Customer Experience


Some may describe Deem (formerly Rearden Commerce) as part of the B2B “undead” – a provider that somehow survived many attempts to bury it. But today, Deem has emerged from a darker chapter in its history with a set of procurement- and finance-oriented purchasing and spend management solutions, some of which are highly differentiated in nature and others that do a basic job in core areas. In this Spend Matters research brief, we provide a cursory look at the evolution and capabilities of Deem’s solution for P2P and T&E. The first installment in this series covered a history of Deem within the procurement sector as well as a quick comparative glance at its spend analysis and contract management and products, including how they stack up in the market. The second installment explored Deem Sourcing, Catalog Management and Contract Management.

Uber for Business: Features We’d Like to See Today (and Tomorrow)

Earlier this week, Spend Matters provided background coverage on the various components of Uber for Business – a packaged, targeted T&E solution for employee ground transportation. In the story, we also explored usage/adoption trends for Uber for Business and partnerships since Uber launched the offering in July of 2014, including its integration with Concur, the leading T&E provider by market share. But what might Uber for Business offer in the future? Here are some ideas that the Spend Matters research team came up with that we’d like to see embedded in the toolset for corporate travel.

Uber and Business Travel: Hailing a New Era of Corporate T&E

Source: Uber

Most consumers (and procurement team members) who use the popular Uber app to get around outside of work hours are probably are not even aware that the rapidly expanding and sometimes controversial firm is growing just as quickly in the business market. Even more so, we bet fewer Spend Matters readers are aware Uber is integrating into corporate travel and expense (T&E) ecosystems, including Concur (now part of SAP). Other T&E vendors include Deem, Coupa, Databasics and Expensify, which Uber has not yet partnered with (Concur has dominant market share within T&E today). Aside from Concur integration, here is a summary of what is included in the Uber business offering (called Uber for Business), which launched in July of 2014.

Tying up T&E Loose Ends: T&E Meets Risk Management (Part 3)

In previous installments of this PRO series, Spend Matters VP of Research Thomas Kase discussed the amount of risk companies face when deploying workers around the globe and what precautions the company and its workers must take. In Part 1, he specifically talked about duty of care provisions, and in Part 2, he continued his analysis of corporate travel risks. Today, he completes the series, offering a number of recommendations companies should take regarding T&E management.

Identifying And Responding to Risks Faced By A Global Workforce: T&E Meets Risk Management (Part 2)

What do companies need to be aware of when managing corporate travel and a global workforce? Spend Matters VP of Research Thomas Kase, who has experience working abroad and is our main source for T&E management, started this PRO series discussing the amount of risk a company faces when deploying workers around the globe, how much money a company should allocated to risk mitigation and what is required under duty of care provisions. You can check it out here. Here, in Part 2, Thomas continues this analysis of travel risks and corporate obligations.

Understanding “Duty of Care” When Managing Corporate Travel: T&E Meets Risk Management (Part 1)

Vendors hawking T&E software that spans travel booking and expense management claim that it is not just about policy compliance, but that it is also about the risk management benefits of actually seeing where employees (or contractors) are and, in the event of an emergency, being able to provide support as quickly as possible. In this multi-part Spend Matters PRO research brief, Spend Matters VP of Research Thomas Kase provides a primer on managing travel and the global corporate workforce, including the requirements and limits of duty of care provisions – and what procurement needs to know and how far it should consider going both as good business practice and under the law.

Ask the Expert Webinar: Why is SAP Paying a Premium for Concur?

Whether you are at the CPO level thinking about your ERP and other procurement solution strategy, or “merely” reporting your travel expenses through Concur, few have not heard about SAP’s outsized bid to acquire Concur. Approximately $8.3B in the largest acquisition of a SaaS provider to date. We invite our Plus and PRO members to join this week's Ask the Expert webinar on Friday, October 3 from 11-11:30am Central to hear what Spend Matters’ Jason Busch and Thomas Kase have to say about the deal.