Considering whether or not to make the move to direct --- I'd appreciate thoughts, lessons learned, any recommendations.
We moved from indirect to direct. We've arranged for our TMC to still have access and manage the site for us, but we are still direct. Having control over the system, features and releases have really been beneficial. We are a technology company and we need the best program for our travelers.
We have a direct contract too. In the USA we are a CTD but for the rest of the world we use a global travel agency. I think, part of this is a control question meaning "Do you want to own the license so that you can at will switch agencies with minimal Concur effort". If you own it then you better be an engaged "owner" of the tool. The agency still needs access because of handling file finish and profile synch and GDS logging, etc... I have run into a few issues from the TMC saying that "Concur or us have to do something" because we own it. That's the nature of the beast. I like having the full visibility. I'm a firm believer in "the party most vested in the outcome, should be the party in control". The booking tool works the same whether it's ABC agency servicing you or XYZ agency. Another consideration is that if you go through the process of doing integrations (such as HR feeds, etc..) then if you own it, then no changes are needed if you switch the agency. You may also become better exposed to the strengths and weaknesses of Concur. Another quote to consider is "be careful what you wish for!!!" Personally, I wouldn't have it any other way.
We also have a direct set-up. I do find this is easier for changing things as it always starts with Concur then.
We actually don't currently have Travel (just Expense), but have been looking into Travel. We did make the decision (when the time comes) to go Direct. The decision is based on the fact that we would own the configuration, making the transition to a different TMC less painful. Think of it as a pre-nup!
All responses are great intel.
One more aspect to consider: Indirect means that the TMC has to pay a fee to Concur everytime a booking is completed. Even though the fee is nominal (maybe $4-5), it adds up. Traditionally, fulfillment may cost between $8-10 per booking, so when you add $5, it is a 50% increase 😞
The TMCs don't really have an incentive to set up Indirect. Indirect is 'necessary' on occasions when Companies do not want Concur Expense, and prefer to just have Concur Travel. Then Indirect it is...