Infor Expense hits the road and comes home smarter

At Hook&Loop, we do whatever it takes to drive business success and user satisfaction — even if it means braving the Arctic chill of a Polar Vortex. Last week, Melanie O’Donnell, senior product lead for the Infor Expense mobile app, represented H&L at the Infor Winter Showcase, a conference stacked with presentations by thought leaders and product leads from different Infor teams along with focus groups. Despite an average temperature of -24 degrees Fahrenheit, we sought to meet with users and listen to their insights firsthand to help us better identify their needs, guide the next releases of the app and prioritize new features to continue to make Infor Expense better.

Melanie’s presentation included a demo of Infor Expense along with details about approaching updates. Features such as a receipt gallery, which allows users to swipe among receipts, attach multiple receipts to an expense and attach receipts to a report, and the ability to see a history of submitted expense reports, are a couple of updates set for the next release. These are new features created in direct response to customer insights. At Winter Showcase, we looked to expand by obtaining new insights from the focus group sessions and placing them against our roadmap to validate or adjust changes for future updates.

Melanie listened in during the focus group sessions and took notes as attendees from different industries — healthcare, government, banking — talked about how they manage their expenses and what their needs are. They had varying roles: IT managers, systems administrators, business analysts, accounts payable managers, among others. Their diverse backgrounds allowed us to gather well-rounded responses that represent a variety of use cases. These comprehensive insights help us account for and ensure that the app meets the needs of users in a range of industries and roles.

One of the primary use cases that H&L used to develop Infor Expense was the Road Warrior: the frequent (weekly) business traveler typical of one Infor customer. At the Winter Showcase, however, we got a different perspective from users who travel only 20–40% of the time. These inputs will challenge H&L to find a balance in the road map for future features and enhancements that satisfy regular as well as less frequent business travelers. Those that are meaningful and both will likely become a priority.

Melanie also learned that most in attendance use iPhones, which validated H&L’s decision to build and deliver iOS first, with Android a few releases behind. (Scheduled to be available in March 2019.) Leading with one platform allowed us to stay focused, scale appropriately and grow user demand in a way we could sustain.

We’ll continue to enhance Infor Expense in ways that benefit the most users. We’re working on push notifications to give users status updates on their expenses, OCR for scanning receipts and auto-populating data into the expense — and a few surprises to be revealed at Inforum in September 2019.