ComBTAS targets UK claiming it can save corporates 23% of their travel budget

By Travolution
By Travolution
December 12, 2013 02:11 PM GMT

Israeli corporate travel and expense management software firm ComBTAS is poised to take on the UK market ahead of an assault on the US.

The firm has struck a deal to integrate its expense management solution to Sabre’s GetThere reservations system and has a deal with Amadeus and is in talks with Travelport.

As well partnering with the main GDSs it also plans to target TMCs and corporates directly, claiming its technology can save clients an average of 23% of their overall travel budget.

Avi Krudo, chief executive of ComBTAS, said it considers the UK to be an open market for its technology as so few firms are utilising a fully comprehensive solution to manage business travel.

He said he believes the UK was open to such an approach and ComBTAS is unique in providing a system on a single technology platform.

“The UK market is very smart, it’s an open competitive market,” he said. “We have been talking to many TMCs and they are looking for a solution like this.

“For many companies their travel budget is their number two or three cost, so to offer 23% saving on that is compelling.”

Krudo claims the ComBTAS’ Travel Analysis System (TAS) is unique in that it offers full control of corporate travel from the booking phase right through to expense management and reconciliation.

The firm was established in 2007 and since has claimed 50% of the market in Israel, including 300 global firms and some major multinationals like pharmaceutical giant Teva.

ComBTAS also counts the Isreali government among its customer base which manages a huge travel budget for its 135 departments.

Although cloud-based the ComBTAS system offers the ability for all corporate data to remain stored on premise, a significant factor for the Israeli government due to security issues.

Krudo said more and more corporates are looking for a single platform through which to manage employee travel. He estimated only around a quarter are currently using such a solution.

With more than 40,000 firms based in the UK he believes that there is huge scope to grow quickly and raised $1 million from existing investors to recruit for sales, marketing and operations positions.

“We want to grow fast,” said Krudo. “From our research the UK market is ready for this and it’s a good for our business.”

ComBTAS claims its technology offers corporates greater controls over their travel buying but also the flexibility to allow employees to choose the options that best fit their requirements.

Those with approval powers can assess each request against travel polices to ensure enforcement and the system allows them to forecast future travel demand to keep control of spend.

It also offers buyers to work with a number of TMCs which can bid for the business on a trip by trip basis so increasing competition among business travel agents.

Another advantage of the system, according to Krudo, is that it allows analysis of both online and offline travel expense.

A budget matrix allows managers to view an estimate of the expected cost of travel pre-booking which can assessed against what the TMC quotes ahead of approval.

“Our mission is to make corporate travel planning efficient and economical by giving our clients control and transparency and therefore boosting their profitability,” said Krudo.

ComBTAS claims payback from implementing the system can be achieved within three months and that integration takes just two to six weeks.

The technology can be supplied either as Software as a Service (SaaS) or integrated into customers’ core systems.

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