The ‘Ultimate user experience’ makes SES employees very happy

Hanneke van Leeuwen |

From a sales meeting in Sweden to a hardware installation in Ghana. The more than 2,300 employees of satellite operator, SES, come from all over the world. Since October 2018 and with thanks to Concur Travel & Expense, SES has had an environment where employees can book travel and declare expenses in an extremely user-friendly way.


Through their satellites, SES reaches billions of households in every corner of the world. To achieve that, employees work in every possible place on earth. "More than half of our employees travel regularly," says Jonathan Frydman, VP ERP Delivery at SES. "Our customers are literally all over the world."


Duty of Care

It was previously a difficult task for SES to get insight into and control over their employees’ business trips and expenses. "For example, we never used the best travel deals," continues Jonathan. “Employees searched for flights and hotels on their own, via or Expedia. That is why we did not know where our employees were. And with that we did not meet our duty of care. At the same time, declaring expenses was a cumbersome process, and it took a very long time for employees to be reimbursed for their expenses."


Solid integration with SAP

In January 2018, SES switched to SAP worldwide. That was the perfect moment to also tackle the processes of business travel and expense declaration. Jonathan: “It was clear to everyone that things had to change. We wanted to offer our employees the same user experience and new tools as the applications they use in their private lives. ”SES soon came to SAP Concur.


“We already had some experience with SAP Concur in the United States. We liked that very much, because SAP Concur offers a very intuitive user interface. Of course we looked at solutions from other parties, but in the end the solid integration of SAP Concur with SAP really made the difference. ”


Change management required the most attention

The implementation of Concur Travel & Expense had to be completed in six months. “That was very ambitious, so my team had to go to the extreme. There were some technical hurdles, but luckily there were quick solutions for that. The cooperation with SAP Concur went quite smoothly, because the people at SAP Concur were structured and competent. What could have been better, however, was SAP Concur’s project management. We would have liked to have experienced it more intensively, so that we could have handed over more of the project. But the entire implementation was ultimately on time and on budget."


The implementation itself was therefore not a major challenge. It was somewhere else. Jonathan: “Changing the mentality and working methods of our employees required considerable effort. We were an organization without clear direction and control in terms of spending and business travel. To then switch to a structured template that everyone must adhere to was a change that required some management. It helped enormously that we divided the implementation into phases. As a result, we had enough time to train our people after every go. In this way, they soon realized that SAP Concur’s solutions really make their work easier."


User satisfaction is sky high

And what does SES actually notice about SAP Concur's solutions? "The time to collect has changed dramatically," Jonathan explains. “Previously, it took six to eight weeks for employees to be reimbursed for their expenses. Now the money is in their account again after six days. We measure user satisfaction among our employees and it now scores many times higher than before. People were dissatisfied because they had to work with outdated and cumbersome tools.


That is now really different thanks to the ultimate user experience offered by SAP Concur's solutions. They are particularly pleased with the mobile app that, for example, only requires you to take a photo of a receipt. This then automatically becomes a declaration. They like it because the app is just as easy to use as the apps they use privately.”


Building on our solid basis

The future is all about expansion. Jonathan: “SAP Concur's core products have now been implemented, so we want other solutions to go-live as quickly as possible, such as Concur Locate and Concur Intelligence. In addition, we want to join with more partners in our travel system, such as and Uber. That way we can make targeted price agreements and get more control over which trips and hotels our employees book.


In addition, we are now investigating the possibilities of gamification in order to steer the declaration behavior of our employees in an even more positive way. In short, we have enough plans to further expand the solid SAP Concur basis that we now have.”