Software promises to slash travel costs

An Auckland software company is banking on an eight-fold expansion in business this year as it moves further into overseas markets.

An Auckland software company is banking on an eight-fold expansion in business this year as it moves further into overseas markets.

GlobalPro International sells travel and expenses management software. The Auckland-based company was formed in 1993 by managing director Murray Watson, a businessman, and his brother Scott, who has a technical background. Directors now include former Air New Zealand chief executive Norman Geary, former Trade New Zealand chief executive Rick Christie, travel chief Peter Tanner and financier Richard Cooper.

Initially the firm employed one VB programmer, developing GlobalPro in a garage. But since its 1998 release and gaining 45 customers, it has 16 staff in Auckland, Melbourne and Sydney, with a South Africa division due open in February. Operations in the US, UK and Canada are also being developed and Murray Watson says company turnover will rise from $250,000 in 2000 to a budgeted $2 million in 2001.

The company released the fourth version of its software last week. The latest version can operate in a wide area network environment, handle multiple currencies, goods and services taxes and credit cards, and has links to travel agencies for automatic booking. A web-based version will follow in July.

Research by American Express International shows travel and expenditure is the second or third biggest controllable overhead within firms and this can be cut by up to 30% by better administration, reporting and tracking.

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