SAP Buys Corporate Travel Services Giant Concur for $8.3B

Combined cloud services customer base will total more than 50 million users

Jason Verge

September 19, 2014

3 Min Read
SAP Buys Corporate Travel Services Giant Concur for $8.3B
Bill McDermott, CEO, SAP, speaking at the company’s Sapphire Now conference in Orlando, Florida, in 2014. (Photo: SAP AG)

SAP continued to build out its services network with the acquisition of business travel management software provider Concur, announced this week. The Concur board of directors has unanimously approved the transaction, which is now subject to stockholder approval.

SAP expects to close the in the fourth quarter of 2014 or first quarter of 2015. It is paying $129 per share for Concur, a 20-percent premium over the September 17 closing price, making for a total value of about $8.3 billion.

Concur has developed an open platform to connect corporate travel service providers, such as airlines, hotels and car rental companies.

SAP’s war cry has been to “run simple” and make the “real-time networked economy” a reality. The acquisition represents further commitment to the “as-a-Service” model and the continued building of a services network on the part of SAP.

Concur joins the Ariba and Fieldglass, acquired earlier, which combined cover a lot of ground in the enterprise services space.

“With Ariba, Fieldglass and Concur, SAP is the undisputed business network company,” said Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP. “We are redefining how businesses conduct commerce across goods and services, contingent workforces, travel and entertainment.”

The acquisition boosts SAP’s cloud play in general, particularly when it comes to Software-as-a-Service. There’s a lot of potential cross-sell opportunity in both companies' install bases, as the majority of SAP customers don’t run on Concur, and only 30 percent of Concur customers currently run on SAP.

SAP will migrate all of its own business travel management to Concur’s integrated solutions.

Also of interest to SAP is a major deal Concur landed in June 2012, when it was awarded a 15-year contract to supply travel and expense software to multiple federal agencies. SAP, with government customers numbering in the tens of thousands, intends to expand this business across the globe with other governments and agencies.

SAP has also been trying to grow its presence in the small and mid-size business markets, and the acquisition is poised to boost these efforts. Concur solutions will complement the new SAP Business One Cloud solution, powered by SAP HANA, to offer a suite of solutions for businesses of all sizes.

Together the two companies will have more than 50 million users in the cloud. SAP HANA will become the backbone of Concur, powering real-time network collaboration as it looks to reshape the travel value chain.

“With the SAP HANA platform, the possibilities to innovate new business models around Concur and the network are limitless,” said McDermott.

With the addition of Concur, SAP’s business network will transact more than $600 billion annually. Concur touts 23,000 customers, 4,200 employees and 25 million active users in more than 150 countries. Concur will expand SAP’s business network to reach into the $1.2 trillion corporate travel spectrum.

SAP is building one of the richest travel-and-expense datasets in the industry with the acquisition. It will also help Concur develop enhanced network-based and context-aware mobile applications.

“Concur shares SAP’s vision to help our customers ‘Run simple.’” said McDermott. “Concur cloud solutions are network-based and enable context-aware applications for travelers to use on any mobile device. With Concur, people are given the professional courtesy and ultimate flexibility to make the choices that are right for them. No longer does cost control for companies have to come at the expense of people.”

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