SAP Concur plans new administrative control functions for its TripLink direct-booking capture tool, enabling travel managers to customize how integrated suppliers are presented within the platform and deliver policy-based messaging to travelers, the company announced.
Set to roll out to all TripLink users in the second quarter of 2021, the new controls are designed to offer a more “managed travel program feel” to the service for those clients who want the ability to more closely guide booking behavior and highlight preferred suppliers, said Concur vice president for global travel strategy Brian Hace.
With an increased emphasis on compliance and duty of care widely expected to be the post-Covid order of the day, many corporate travel managers seek to balance control with traveler freedom, Hace said. TripLink’s new admin controls are designed to assist that balancing act with more robust messaging capabilities around guidelines and preferred behaviors, along with finer controls over how particular suppliers are presented in TripLink, he noted.
“You get the flexibility to take the [message] out to your travelers and educate them on how to best book in alignment with your company strategy,” Hace said of the advantages of the new controls.
Those messages will be able to be delivered during the process of a user linking their account with a supplier within the TripLink interface—for example, an alert discouraging direct booking and directing a traveler to the company’s preferred channel—or triggered by a specific booking. The controls also will enable managers to choose how suppliers are presented within TripLink to highlight specific preferred suppliers, as well as to inactivate particular suppliers as needed, Hace said.
“This is a big step in giving some more control and bringing a managed travel experience to TripLink,” while still maintaining the option of allowing and capturing direct booking, Hace noted—describing the new controls as “an evolution of TripLink, and one we’d assumed would happen over time.”