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One of the big advantages of Concur is that the solution integrates with a large number of 3rd party apps and services. Users can connect their Concur accounts to the accounts they hold with taxi services, restaurant and café app,s and a whole zoo of further apps. That usually makes the process more efficient, less tedious and also more accurate, e.g. when e-receipt data goes directly from the vendor to Concur without anybody touching it on its way. However, not all apps work for all countries or policies, and the ever growing number of apps also makes it confusing. So, how can you stop users connecting to apps that you don’t want them to use?

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You’ll realise that not all apps that can be connected to from the mobile app are available in the App Centre in the browser version, and the other way round. The number of apps available in the App Centre in the browser is definitely much higher.

However, the same configuration can be used to switch off the option to connect to any of those apps, whether from Concur mobile or from the App Centre. Here is the step by step config:

  • Make sure you have Web Services Admin rights (being able to access the “Web services” menu item and being able to open some items, doesn’t necessarily say you have it. You may still not see “Manage User Applications”)
    /wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web_service_permission_931248.png
  • Go to Administration > Company > Web Services
  • Click on “Manage User Applications”
  • It doesn’t work with all browser versions. If you get a blank screen, try a different browser. We found Internet Explorer to often not work, and Firefox to be the most reliable.
  • Click “prevent users from connecting” for the apps you want to block. This automatically sets “Hide Listing Details”:
    /wp-content/uploads/2016/04/app_hiding1_931249.png
  • To just hide the Listing , in theory, you should click “Hide listing details”:
    /wp-content/uploads/2016/04/app_hiding2_931400.png
  • There is no “save” button. It is saved immediately

What’s the effect for users?

  • For appearance in the app centre it doesn’t really matter, whether you tick both boxes or one, the listing is never completely hidden. They are set to inactive so users cannot connect any more and are shown a note accordingly:
    DUFL-inactive.png
  • In the “Connect to Apps” menu of the Concur mobile app, it has almost the same effect: the “connect” button is eliminated. However, there is no explanatory note as in the app centre saying that it’s deliberately not authorised. This might get you a few calls from users (well: in that respect the text in the app centre isn’t very good either, because it’s not clear that it has been deliberately deactivated, so some users would still call and say that they’d like it activated)
  • It was a positive surprise to me, that apps I have been connected before stop the integration from working once the change has been made. E.g.: ever since the Starbucks app has been switched off as per the instructions above, I didn’t receive any e-receipts any more. I’d still recommend to test this, as it may be different for other apps.
  • Unfortunately, even apps with switched off integration, are still listed as “connected” like the Starbucks App in this example. This can be confusing for the user and requires good communication:
    /wp-content/uploads/2016/04/mobile_apps_931402.png

Looking ahead

  • With the number of apps constantly growing, it is important that it will be possible to hide unwanted apps for all users or a group of users (country or policies). We hope Concur will recognise this soon.
  • Concur have already suggested that they will hide apps automatically based on the country
  • A good deal of communication is still needed so that users understand the concept of switched-off apps, know that they don’t need to call support if the “connect” button is missing, and that the “connected” icon can be misleading
  • To avoid surprises, our recommendations are:
    • Understand which apps would bring most value for users and do work for your context
    • Switch off connectivity for all other apps
    • Communicate and promote app usage
    • Collect feedback from users
    • Add further apps as you go along
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