Technologies (NASDAQ: CNQR) made good on its promises to deliver more
functionality with increased integration in the second quarter by releasing
versions 6.0 of its eWorkplacetm portal, and its applications Concur Procurementtm,
Concur Expensetm, and Concur Human Resourcestm. The new suite features
a more uniform and integrated front end, access to Concur's Commerce Network,
and new features in each application.
- Concur Human Resources 6.0 new benefits enrollment capability supports
Web-based enrollment in 401K and stock purchase plans, access to discounts
on personal products and services, including car insurance, mortgages,
and entertainment through a partnership with perksatwork.com
- Concur Expense 6.0 extends Concur's strong position in this area
with pre-trip approval of expenses and tracking of unused tickets.
- Concur Procurement 6.0 has the largest set of enhancements. Requisitions
can now be converted, manually or automatically, outside of an ERP
system, a feature that simplifies the work of purchasing professions
when outsourcing non-catalog goods. Blanket purchase order contracts
allow the procurement professional to manage spending against the
terms and conditions specified in contracts. The system now supports
the tracking of received items at both the loading dock and the desktop.
The Payment Expert will route payment requests that do not go through
a purchase order process (such as subscriptions and conference fees)
through the appropriate approval paths.
- The new Tax Expert ensures that tax information is correctly calculated
and validated on every purchase order. It integrates with third party
tax calculation software.
features applying across the eWorkplace portal include a new user interface
that offers improved performance and ease of use, enhanced integration
between applications, and the ability to customize the portal to include
company-specific information and application link.
is setting a standard in this highly fragmented market. This release is
likely to prove to be an effective integrated portal that will capture
a significant audience in the upper mid-market and above. With the sales
cycles in this market at or exceeding six months, it will be a while before
the impact of this release makes itself known, but we think it will be
significant, especially if Concur can show through actual engagements
that interfacing eWorkplace with ERP systems can be made less and less
increasing the strength of the suite through additional applications is
a necessity, we think most CIO's would prefer to yield on functionality
for the pleasure of a quick and predictable integration. All vendors of
e-procurement systems and portals have integration success stories, but
there is much room for improvement in all cases.
A company that is interested in bringing any of the above core components
to the desktop should definitely take a close look at Concur. However,
even though the immediate need may be in only one area, companies should
consider the features of the entire suite, even if it becomes necessary
to include other divisions of the company and postpone the target date
for the selection. Simply put, there's no point in purchasing one piece
of an integrated suite if your downstream requirements can't be accommodated
by the product at all.