TripIt: Up to Snuff for Holiday Travel Plans?

You could probably guess that the increasing use of the Internet to book travel is resulting in a decline of the travel agent industry. I’ve actually never been a fan of using a travel agent, anyway. When I’ve used one, there’s always been a mistake: wrong hotel, not using my frequent flyer number, etc.  Too many bad experiences combined with desiring an online option led me to TripIt and I have to say, I’m a big fan.  I’ve also used TripIt Pro which helps me stay even more connected to my travel plans and allows me to easily share my itinerary. 

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TripIt’s skyrocketing success in such a short time convinced Concur to purchase TripIt for $120 million. Well, skyrocketing success combined with the fact that TripIt was about to give

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Concur a major run for its money as a competitor. TripIt began as a BtoC (business-to-consumer) company, focusing on the individual traveler.  But realizing the huge opportunity in business travel, TripIt moved into the BtoB (business-to-business) market. 

Concur, on the other hand, started as a BtoB company, focused on providing travel and expense services to large businesses.  Before Concur purchased TripIt, TripIt’s services were starting to trickle into small businesses. Had Concur not bought TripIt, it could have really disrupted Concur’s business since TripIt and Concur were moving toward the exact same market. Instead of being competitors, now the combined companies dominate the small business travel and expense market. TripIt seamlessly integrates with Concur Breeze, which is designed specifically for small businesses.

TripIt started out as a consumer app but grew in popularity within corporations for business travel to the point of being the preferred option. This shows yet another angle of the consumerization of IT trend.

Small businesses are often at the forefront of the consumerization of IT because creativity and multi-tasking often abound due to both freedom and necessity. In a large company, there is usually a specific employee or team to manage business travel arrangements.  But small companies typically don’t have enough travel demands to justify a dedicated person.  Instead, small businesses are filled with Swiss Army knife employees who are tasked with multiple jobs at once.  These employees are a great fit for TripIt, and use the service to manage travel itineraries and expenses.  With these employees in mind, TripIt recently developed TripIt for Business.

TripIt for Business is designed for businesses with 25 to 500 employees to help companies keep track of traveling employees, travel expenses and make business travel easier in general.  TripIt for Business allows for the flexibility to book from any travel company so employees can search around for the lowest airfare.  It integrates with Concur Expense, Yammer, ArrivedOk, and LinkedIn.  There are multiple views to keep track of travelers including a Map View, Calendar View and In & Out View (shows who is and isn’t in the office for the day).

But Where is TripIt Tripping Up?

When TripIt for Business first launched, it did not allow services to be embedded within an expense management system, which is obviously really important on business trips when you must keep track of expenditures for reimbursement. In June of this year, however, TripIt announced that it now automatically creates expense reports from the travelers’ itineraries by seamlessly linking TripIt Pro’s comprehensive itinerary capabilities with the easy-to-use expense reporting of Concur Breeze.

TripIt is just one example of a company shifting its strategy in mid-air to line up with new opportunities and potential profit. If acted upon early, cashing in on consumerization of IT opportunities means major profit gains as well as staying relevant for a wide range of customers.

Do you love TripIt? Hate it? Tell me!

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