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SAP, Qualtrics launch solution to improve employee experience

SAP SE and Qualtrics announced the availability of Concur Experience Optimizer, a new solution that allows companies to improve employee experiences and confidently adapt travel and expense programs for the future of work.

Concur Experience Optimizer combines the listening and analysis capabilities of Qualtrics EmployeeXM, a product for employee experience management, with operational intelligence data from Concur Travel and Concur Expense solutions to help companies design travel programs for the hybrid workplace, improve spend management processes, and increase employee retention.

Many employees are ready to return to pre-pandemic levels of business travel, with 7 in 10 (70%) expecting to go back to traveling as much as they did before the pandemic, according to recent research from Qualtrics, the creator of the Experience Management (XM) category, and the SAP Concur organization. A small majority (54%) of business travelers say traveling for business is still very important or critical to their role and over 4 in 5 (84%) say they are willing to travel within the next year.

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“People are a company’s greatest asset, and it’s no secret that retaining employees has become even more critical,” said Mike Koetting, SAP Concur solution area lead at SAP. “A company’s travel and expense programs can directly impact an employee’s experience. Concur Experience Optimizer helps organizations understand the reasons behind employee behavior so they can make adjustments that are in line with both employee sentiment and business objectives.”

Business travel

Global business travelers expect new benefits — like the ability to choose direct flights or select premium seating — from their employers to help ensure their health and safety, the research said. Alongside business travel, employee spending behavior is also evolving with more non-travel purchases initiated directly by employees, requiring new expense categories to support remote, hybrid, and in-person work.

“Our research shows that demand for business travel is returning to pre-pandemic levels, but getting the employee experience right is more nuanced and complicated than ever before,” said Jay Choi, Qualtrics chief product officer. “It’s critical for organizations to understand how employees feel about the new world of travel and use that experience data to meet their evolving health and safety needs.”

Concur Experience Optimizer uses technology from Qualtrics and SAP Concur solutions, plus expert services from SAP Concur Experience Management consultants to help companies listen, analyze and act on employee feedback to create continuous feedback loops and understand the impact of adjustments made over time. Companies can easily capture employee sentiment with science-backed feedback templates and view the results through simple, intuitive dashboards that show the impact of sentiment against operational data metrics. Those insights can be turned into focused action plans to improve employees’ travel and expense experiences, compliance, and budget predictability.

With Concur Experience Optimizer, companies can level up their entire program — from buying behavior to supplier options to workflow — to:

  • Improve employee experiences: Better understand how policies are affecting employee sentiment, safety, well-being, productivity, and attrition risk. 
  • Effectively manage spend: Gain insight into the critical influences that impact employee buying decisions and organizational spending patterns, supporting early detection of potential saving opportunities and closing policy and process gaps.
  • Reduce risk and non-compliant spend: Identify risks in programs and adjust processes that allow for non-compliant and potentially fraudulent spending.
  • Optimize programs for growth: Make confident travel, expense, compliance, and spend management program adjustments to lead healthy business growth with enhanced visibility into critical business problems.
  • ​​Drive sustainability: Make enhancements that align with organizational sustainability objectives, enhance the organization’s brand and reduce the carbon footprint