In today’s Digital Enterprise, it’s quite common for an enterprise to have footprint in more than one geographic location. Diverse operation or supply chain spanning across multiple geo-location is a reality; Few key aspects for such Enterprise to consider in a product is SaaS based consumption (standard, out of the box, simple to configure & consume, easy onboarding and pay as you go) and Localization support (local regulatory compliance, language support, support local de-facto way or working etc.…)
SAP Concur, the flagship Travel and Expense management SaaS product of SAP does have rich country localization support introduced and much more planned in the coming future.
Today, I would like to introduce you to top 4 innovations delivered in SAP Concur to support Japan as part of SAP Concur localization.
In Japan, Rail travel is a major way for mass transit in urban and between major cities. Its relative ease of accessibility makes it the preferred choice not only for casual traveler but also for business travel.
There are nearly ~160 rail companies and more than ~9000 rail stations in Japan and its estimated that ~JPY 8 trillion is spent in Japan travel market.
The need to ensure business traveler’s expense on rail travel is better integrated into SAP Concur, certain key capabilities have been added to Expense product to integrate better with Japan Public Transport as part of SAP Concur localization.
The basic pre-requisite is that Japan Public Transportation expense type must be associated with an active policy to see it in SAP Concur Expense.
Let me briefly touch upon top 4 capabilities now:
Route search comes handy before, after and even during the trip.
If you are new to Japan and you are just know the source and the destination, Route Search facilitates you to find all the possible routes in between, not just this, Route Search also provides you the information about the cost, time and distance each route takes.
As shown in Fig 1, with route search, you get route options labeled Fast, Cheap and Easy to help with quick connections, cheaper ones or ones with less number of hops.
Route Search is as simple as:
- provide the source and the destination
- you get a list of all the routes
- look for the route that you have taken
- select the route and you are good to go
Route Search will create all the entries for you.
Apart from Route search with Source and Destination stations, you also have options to add “via” stations or 2 stopovers.
Manual Entry and Favourite Route
Another most requested feature is the ability to add Route Entry manually and flag it as a Favourite route.
As depicted in Figure 2, Manual entries can be used when you know the source, destination and the cost associated.
It’s as simple as:
- Provide the source and destination
- Provide the cost
- Add the route and you are done.
If it’s a frequently used route you can add it to your favourite routes, so, next time you just open the list of favourite routes and add it to your expense report.
Commuter pass and Commuter Pass Import
For the frequent travelers in Japan, commuter pass is a boon as it helps save cost of commuting for routes which are most frequented by the traveler.
You pay to travel between two stations and can also get on and off at any station on the line between those two stations.
Support for Japan Public Transport commuter passes is present in SAP Concur.
If you are holding a commuter pass, just add an entry in SAP Concur with the details, next time when you add a route and if the source and the destination matches to that of the commuter pass that you are holding the cost will be automatically adjusted to zero for that route.
If you are a company owner and you have issued commuter passes for your employees you need not add commuter pass for every employee manually, just fill in a spreadsheet and SAP Concur will do it for you as shown in Figure 4.
An option to maintain commuter pass and its inclusion in Route Search charges is possible, if commuter pass is valid for any fragment of the route
An IC (Integrated Circuit) card is a rechargeable plastic prepaid card used in Japan to pay transportation fares.These prepaid cards are sold at ticket vending machines at Train stations or major Airports. More than ~10 such IC cards exist like Suica Cards (JR East, Tokyo and Eastern Japan), Pasmo Card – Tokyo Metro, Icoca Card – JR West, Osaka etc..
You recharge the card, travel, come back to work, tap the card over the card reader and all your routes will appear in the list of ‘Available Expenses’.
Select the routes for which you would like to reimburse, select the report, click on ‘Move’ and you are good to go.
Watch out for the next blog on more Concur Localization capabilities…
For additional details:
Japan Public Transport Localization: JPT Concur Ref
SAP Globalization Services: Overview
SAP Concur Support: FAQs
SAP Concur Developer Center: API Reference
SAP Concur Developer Support: Support Options