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About the Author
Fabian Calle is a General Manager, SMB & Nationals (A/NZ) at SAP Concur, where he’s spent the past decade. He has over 20 years of experience in software and technology, and has a true passion for small businesses. Previously, Fab was a small business owner and developed the first internationally recognized Ice Lounge in Melbourne, Victoria, from a start-up, to become an accepted member of Tourism Victoria. He established a franchise format for the business to enable best price at trade sale. Fab is also a previous winner of the National Commonwealth Small Business Award.

The Impact of Online Booking Tools on SME Travel

SAP Concur Employee
SAP Concur Employee
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Businesses are increasingly engaging with international partners, customers, and clients. These activities often require personnel to visit overseas locations. SMEs using online booking tools (OBTs) are more likely to build strong programs and protocol for travelling employees, track their expenses accurately, and ensure the organization’s international activity is productive, meaningful, and cost-effective. Configuring OBT technology correctly is essential to help organizations make the most of their travel investment.


Regardless of how many different employees are travelling for various reasons and from separate divisions or departments, it’s important that managers use one OBT solution across the organization. This keeps travel details organized, easy to find, and consistent.


Additionally, once a quality OBT is implemented, managers can configure the software to match travel and expense policies. This means OBTs can automatically allow or block purchase or reimbursement requests that fall inside, or outside, of an organization’s travel mandate.


Clever configurations can also help SMEs gain and maintain global partnerships on their growth journeys. Companies using a global partner network to support their travel program will find that giving their travel agencies access to different configurations of their site is useful, providing a comprehensive global view of all travel.


Travel management companies (TMCs) can provide important local expertise and fulfilment to travelling employees. Organizations can configure their OBTs to view TMCs as fulfilment agencies, meaning the TMC has a divisional view of the organization’s site to view travel booked by them. This helps organizations ensure TMCs can operate to their full potential and provide enhanced benefits, while additional separate travel and expense data is kept confidential and protected.


Companies need to realize the weight and value of data stored in OBTs. This data can often hold private details about travelling employees’ health needs or classified financial information. It’s critical that OBTs offer quality visibility into bookings and information for TMCs so they can do their work effectively while prioritizing data security and maintaining risk management practices.


Going global can signal serious transformation for many SMEs looking to gain more territory, customers, and growth. As organizations grow, they’re likely to bring on global partnerships and external assistance with travel management. It’s essential globally-expanding organizations are supported by the right OBTs that store travel and expense details securely, while providing partners with the information they need.