SAP Concur enables African companies to manage their employee spend

Angelique Montalto explains how SAP Concur projects pay for themselves in five months on average.

Founded in 1993 and acquired by SAP in 2014, SAP Concur is now ready to conquer the world, enabling African companies to make employees' travel and other spend management simple, compliant and transparent. We spoke to Angelique Montalto, the regional sales director for Africa, to find out what the fuss is all about.

Do you incur a lot of travel yourself?
"Yes, I absolutely love travelling and have spent most of my life on the move. Although I have worked in Dublin, London, Barcelona, Berlin and Johannesburg, there is no place like home. If I had to pick a favourite city outside of South Africa, it would have to be Seattle – it has a big city attitude, great cuisine, is surrounded by beautiful lakes and mountain ranges all within easy reach."
 
How did you get into the ERP world?
"I grew up in Pretoria and studied a bachelor’s degree in Economics at the University of Cape Town. The plan was always to get into international politics, but during one of the summer vacations I took on a telesales position at a computer training centre. One bite at the sales apple and I was hooked. Continuing in the sales world, I moved back to Gauteng and joined the Imperial Group in a permanent position within the financial services industry. At the age of 25, I joined Oracle in Dublin and at that time there was a big shift in the economy towards ERP systems. The market was exploding and it was a very exciting time to be in that space."

Why did you join SAP Concur?
"SAP bought Concur in 2014 and initially managed its presence in South Africa remotely via either the UK office or the Global Business Unit. This unit is responsible for over 250 global customers. After a few years as a Global Account Director at SAP in 2017, I was asked to set up a local SAP Concur office for Africa to expand into new markets, to better support our African-based customers and extend the SAP Concur client base."

"Initially I was wearing all of the hats: marketing, pre-sales, sales, partner management and support. Now, almost two years later, I have built up an awesome team that includes sales executives, solution consultants, business development managers, client engagement executives as well as a marketing development representative. It has been an exhilarating journey to build this business from the ground up within the complexity of the travel and expense management industry."

Why did SAP pick you for this role?
"My track record has shown that I am well-positioned to manage both the new strategic initiative space and the more challenging environments and customers. Personally, I have a ‘customer first’ mentality – it’s about ensuring mutual success and being a change agent within the industry.I believe this is a great fit with SAP Concur. I am more strategic than tactical and always start with the bigger picture in mind – what problem we are trying to solve. How do we make everybody successful in the process? It is about persistence and resilience. There are obviously some challenges along the path to success; we are up against smaller local players, lower pricing and local resourcing, but we have an exceptionally strong value proposition and a fully integrated travel and expense management solution."

What does SAP Concur do?
"SAP Concur provides truly connected spend management. The SAP Concur platform is designed to make employee spend simple, compliant and transparent, and it’s the power of the platform that sets us and our customers apart. SAP Concur provides the technology platform to manage all travel and expense data in one place. This includes bringing processes and cost efficiencies to the table, ensuring effective governance, risk and compliance management, and making spend data more visible and transparent. All of these elements translate into hard bottom-line savings."

"Automating the expense management process, and eliminating the errors, paper and procedures that go with it, frees up employees and gives customers more control over compliance and costs. Users can quickly take a picture of receipts and submit expense claims from any mobile device to keep productivity on track."

"No matter how tightly managed the customer’s travel programme is, there are always exceptions. SAP Concur provides full visibility into business travel itineraries and associated expenses. With the company’s travel and expense policy built in, our solution can help control costs, improve compliance and manage duty of care more effectively."

"All the spend data is automatically integrated to deliver the user-friendly experience employees expect and to provide full visibility into every aspect of spend, so that customers can spot new ways to save."

How do you explain the recent fast growth of SAP Concur?
"From a cloud perspective, what we do is exceptionally exciting. The projects we run are mostly self-funding – a recent report claims that the average SAP Concur project has a three-year ROI of 650 percent and a five month pay-back period. By the time customers go live with SAP Concur there are already significant and immediate savings on the table. This business value of SAP Concur has enabled us to grow by over 100 percent year on year and we are aiming for an additional 50 percent growth across Africa for 2019."

What makes you excited about 2019?
"I am exceptionally proud of the fact that we have built this local business unit from the ground up to what is a significant contributor to the greater SAP Africa family. The SAP Concur team is passionate, committed and dedicated to evangelising the untouchable awesomeness that is our cloud and mobile app."

"On a personal note, I am super excited to visit a couple of new countries as we expand into east, west and Southern African territories."