Another beneficial attribute of the company was a very specific focus and area of expertise. Maintaining that focus has allowed them to develop into pureplay domain experts, and depth of expertise is always valued.
SM: OK, so the focus has been on-demand expense management solutions. That has been the case from 2001 until now, right? SS: That is exactly correct.
SM: What is the plan now? How are you going to manage growth at this point, what is the market landscape? Who are your competitors? SS: In January of 2006 we hit another inflection point in our business. It was an inflection point which, when we took the bet, we were alone in the marketplace in making such a turn.
Our competitors looked at the change, didn’t think it made sense, and didn’t think customers would want it. It reminded us very much of the change we made in 2000, although not as big of an impact from the stock point of view. It reminded us, however, of the same basic change which was from a licensed model to an on-demand model.
We have two separate processes today; booking travel and filing your expense report. In January of 2006 we acquired a company called Outtask. The whole premise behind the acquisition was, why are these business processes separate? Why are they not integrated together to make a better experience for the business traveler?
When people got paychecks at their pay periods, they were literally paper based checks. You received them, took them to your bank, and a week later the money would show up in your account. Today, we get our paychecks and they are automatically deposited into our accounts and they are available immediately.
Look at the expense reporting process, the vast majority of the world, 93-94%, use paper to file expense reports. We are looking at this and asking why we can’t effectively do away with the idea of filling out expense reports. Why can’t we integrate travel booking and expense reporting in a way so that while you travel, your expense report is being filled out.