While T&E software remains a niche market, some vendors see it as a way to leverage their way to bigger and better things within a company, such as procurement and employee self-service applications. “These companies are starting small with the [T&E] market,” Gartner’s Tow says, “but because that affects so many employees within an organization, they see that as a good beachhead for capturing the desktop space.”
Leading vendors of worldwide travel expense management software, ranked by revenues.
|Vendor||World Wide Web URL|
|Concur Technologies||www.conc ur.com|
|InterPro Expense Systems||www.interproinc.com/tec hnology.htm|
|Necho Systems||www.necho .com|
|VIN.net International||www.vinn et.com|
*Managem ark was formerly known as On The Go Software.
Source: IDC, CFO
Can small and midsized companies afford the T&E software from top vendors, such as Concur, InterPro, and Captura? “These are very expensive solutions,” says Timothy Tow, a senior analyst at Gartner Group Inc., a Stamford, Connecticut-based consultancy. “You really have to have a high volume of transactions to support bringing in one of these applications. Most midmarket firms don’t have the volume of transactions to justify deployment of a solution like that.”
The big players are just beginning to turn their attention to the middle market. In the meantime, smaller companies are buying services from such second- tier vendors as Managemark (formerly On The Go Software; www. expensable.com), TimeBills.com (www.t imebills.com), Clarus (www. claruscorp.com), Red Gorilla (www. redgorilla.com), and Momentum Business Solutions (www.mo mentum.com).
That was the case with Teknion, a contract office furniture manufacturer in Marlton, New Jersey. Over the past three years, Teknion has seen its sales force balloon from about 20 people to more than 90. Processing expense reports manually for that many employees became too cumbersome, so Teknion looked for an automated approach.
Two things the company looked for in a T&E system were the ability to route reports to supervisors for initial scrutiny and a better way to track reports. Price also played an important role in Teknion’s decision to choose Managemark’s ExpensAble.com subscription service. “Some products were upward of $80,000, which we thought didn’t make any sense for us,” says controller Ed Shollenberger. By contrast, Managemark charges a subscription fee of $5 to $10 a month per traveler.
The service, which uses Quicken ExpensAble expense management software as the front end, was also attractive to the company’s techies. “Our IT manager liked the fact that the system was Web-based and hosted by [Managemark],” says Shollenberger. “We didn’t have to buy a server. We didn’t have to worry about our help desk getting involved.” Since ExpensAble.com doesn’t interface with Teknion’s financial systems, transactions are still manually entered into the company’s general ledger.