Of all the trips you’ve taken, both domestic and international, how many of them have been for business?
Among the many primary purposes of traveling—leisure, business, social, educational, and religious pilgrimage—it turns out that business travel takes up a large proportion of this sector. And as the world gradually recovers from the pandemic, business travel activities in Indonesia have also shown a rapid increase.
For example, the Government of the Republic of Indonesia’s business travel expenses in 2019 amounted to IDR 46 trillion before dropping drastically to IDR 24.3 trillion in 2020 due to the pandemic*. This figure increased again in 2021 to IDR 28 trillion, and the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Indonesia recently announced the realization of official travel in 2022 worth IDR 37.8 trillion**. Not only in government institutions, this trend can also be found in the private sector and other institutions.
“With the increasing popularity of hybrid work, people don’t necessarily stop going on business trips. What they do is identifying business trips that are essentials for their business goals. Understanding the vast territory of Indonesia and myriad economic potentials in each region, these will continue to contribute to the increase in business travel, even exceeding pre-pandemic figures,” explained Edward Nelson Jusuf, CEO and Founder of Opsigo, an Indonesian travel technology solution company.
Changes in Consumer Behavior and Digitalization of Business Travel
The business travel sector, which continues to grow, is constantly exposed to disruptions. Long before the pandemic hit, Indonesian startup Opsigo, also a Microsoft partner, was already seeing disruptive changes in consumer behavior that would significantly change how the industry operates. People are becoming increasingly accustomed to digital technology for their various needs, including for business trips. Therefore, the digitalization of the business travel management sector is urgently needed. “We noticed that one way to accelerate this digitization process from end to end is to invite conventional travel agents, for example, to join the travel aggregator platform. This travel aggregator, which acts as a one-stop-shop, can help optimize the operations of corporations that often make business trips,” said Edward.
To illustrate the importance of digitization in business travel, we must first understand how conventional business travel was managed before the pandemic. When planning a business trip, an employee contacts their company representative to reserve necessary transportation and accommodation. The company representative then contacted a travel agent to arrange the employee’s business trip. After receiving information from the company, the travel agent manually searches for available airline tickets and hotels based on the company’s travel policies. Meanwhile, the company must wait for one to two days, or even more, before getting a list of available transportation and accommodation. The company still needs several days to approve before the tickets can be issued a few more days later.
During this process, company representatives must ensure that expenses for transportation tickets and accommodation complies with the allocated budget and other company travel policy. This lengthy process is not ideal, especially if an employee needs to take a sudden business trip. Hence, there is a need for an integrated platform that can be easily integrated with the company’s security and financial systems to help company representatives manage business trips more efficiently, such as by monitoring budgets with just one tool.
This need inspires Opsigo to provide a technology solution for corporations called Opsicorp and a technology solution for conventional travel agents called Opsigo, both of which use Microsoft Azure cloud computing technology.
With Opsigo, travel agents can digitally process everything they can automate, giving agents more time to focus on what computers can’t do — maintaining client relationships. Meanwhile, corporations can manage business travel and expenses quickly, safely, and effectively with Opsicorp, designed to take advantage of the comprehensive business travel ecosystem that Opsigo already has.
“Opsicorp’s services are built with corporate needs in mind. Therefore, it is integrated with various financial solutions, ERP systems, and other internal company platforms, allowing a seamless approval process for official travel requests to relevant stakeholders. Since it is integrated with many airlines and lodging providers, corporations can make reservations in just a few clicks. We present Opsicorp as an easy, integrated business travel management solution for corporations with no compromise to company compliance,” added Edward, who has more than 25 years of experience in the business travel industry.
With a monthly transaction value of over IDR 1 trillion, Opsigo requires a premium security system to protect its data. Opsigo used Microsoft Azure as its virtual enterprise system to accommodate this need since it was first established by taking advantage of the platform’s comprehensive cloud and security features. “Security is our priority and way of ensuring that services remain credible. This aspect is also what can maintain our customers’ trust. Microsoft helps ensure that our system will remain uncompromised from attacks. Microsoft’s partnerships with diverse stakeholders, who also happen to be our target market, make it simpler for us to apply our solutions to businesses,” said Edward, a participant in the Microsoft for Startups Program, which has now turned into the Microsoft for Startups Founder Hub.
Opsigo now partners with over 40 of Indonesia’s top travel agencies, more than 200 airlines, and more than 300,000 hotels worldwide. Numerous SOEs and global companies have also benefited from the convenience that Opsigo provides through its Opsicorp service.
Opsigo’s growth and commitment to digitizing the business travel industry are undeniable. In 2019, Opsigo was chosen as the Microsoft ISV Best Partner from the various awards they have received. As the company adapts to the new business travel landscape, Opsigo, through Opsicorp as a trusted travel technology solutions provider, can make business travel even more hassle-free.
The Opsigo and Microsoft collaboration is part of the SATU Karya initiative to #BerdayakanIndonesia, which Microsoft Indonesia started in 2021. Together, let’s #BerdayakanSolusiDigitalIndonesia.
* BPK, 2020. Government Financial Report 2020 (Audited)
** BPK, 2021. Government Financial Report 2021 (Audited)