The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Travel & Expense Transformation

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The resurgence of Encyclopaedia Galactica in the industry, perhaps, is the reason we’re living in an age where the primary thought process has changed from “What good is Innovation if it is not protected?” to “What good is Innovation if it doesn’t benefit your customer?”.

Organizations wanted to “wow” users, giving them wonderful experiences, making life simpler as they traveled & expensed. Sadly, they did the opposite. Now most organizations are busy creating documents inscribed ‘DON’T PANIC’, for those brave enough to struggle against the terrible odds of the nightmare, mere mortals call ‘Travel & Expense’.

Daily, businesses deal with Travel & Expense (T&E) process challenges. In this age of Digital Transformation, companies are reinventing T&E processes to ease the entire experience for employees and backend teams. Cloud-based T&E platforms are dominating this shift to ease the business pressure. The digital revolution is providing opportunities to transform and ease the legacy ways of working. The days of manually collating paper receipts and manually re-entering data back into an IT system are almost dead. Simple image capture and process automation is the norm. Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Big Data, Mobile and Cloud are the transformations making it simpler for people and organizations to revolutionize their T&E experience. Don’t throw in the towel if these words are a barrier today. After all, the towel is about the most useful thing for a hitch hiker!

At Capgemini, we are working together with some of the largest companies and the nimblest startups to make things simple and transformational. For example, at the SAP Center of Excellence, Capgemini is discussing with clients on advanced Optical Character Recognition (OCR) capabilities with Machine Learning techniques to eliminate errors as processes go fully automated. Another innovation from the team in France, is the integration of bots to the Concur cloud platform. The use of Gamification along with triangulation of Industry-Country-Company compliance is simplifying T&E while reducing overhead and complexities. Proof of Concepts on push-notifications, suggestions on means of transportation and hotels, in real time for travelers is a reality already. Afterall, the employee travel time was not an illusion. Lunchtime doubly not so 😉

Integration of multiple platforms and devices in real-time to understand and influence users is not sci-fi. With sentiment analysis using Natural Language Processing being used to assess customers, reviews and ratings, we are only at the start of the travel! Companies will need to reinvent themselves as well as the processes if they need to survive. Traditional roll-outs, maintenance and support will no longer be the business-as-usual, but business-as-obsolete. As we launch into the future – Seat-belts on? To know more on our solutions feel free to contact Guilhem Peaucelle and me, Aditya. For “The Answer to the Great Question, of Life, the Universe and Everything,” with infinite majesty and calm, we say it is “Forty-two.”

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