Emburse CEO Marne Martin spills the beans on:
- The indestructible nature of expense management services (they’re like cockroaches, they’ll survive anything)
- Tactics for taking down ‘Goliath’ Concur (David had a slingshot, we have… software?)
- Potential acquisitions (because who doesn’t love shopping sprees)
Travel and expense software provider Emburse recently announced their new CEO: Marne Martin. She’s fresh to the travel and expense industry but has been kicking around in technology and software longer than most millennials have been alive.
In an interview with BTN executive editor Michael B. Baker just about a week into her role as queen bee at Emburse, she said there’s room for them to fill what she calls a “gap”. Apparently some of their biggest competitors are either too slow or tangled up in internal drama – sounds juicy!
Martin is keen not only to take customers from market leader Concur—who she cheekily referred to as “the Goliath that got stuck”—but also tap into this massive untapped market of people who’ve never used any top-tier solution before.
No business can grow if they’re hemorrhaging money left right and center. What we do is super important at the heart of how they run their businesses.”
BTN: Emburse has been growing faster than a teenager during puberty. What’s your strategy to keep that up?
Martin: Eric and the team have done an amazing job. They’ve created a software unicorn, which is no small feat.
I’ve got experience in making things grow organically, like some kind of business gardener. I think about what’s already working well for us – if we’re doing something right, let’s just do more of it! There are also areas where Emburse can improve (nobody’s perfect).
We’re going to continue scaling what the company does well while pushing on other areas where we could be better. We might not have sold them the Concur replacement yet but trust me; we will!
To make AI worth our time, it needs to outperform a team of data scientists… It’s hard getting enough people together to solve many problems these days – hence why we use AI and machine learning.”
BTN: What goals have you set as CEO?
Martin:: Some are financial goals because who doesn’t love money? Others include winning awards (because shiny trophies look great on my mantelpiece), increasing brand recognition (I want everyone knowing our name) and improving operational efficiency (because nobody likes wasting time).
In essence, taking this company from being good at its stage now to becoming an even bigger player in the industry involves talent management too. Just like different chapters require different CEOs, different stages of growth require different people within the organization.
BTN: Emburse has been on a shopping spree recently with acquisitions. Are you planning more?
Martin:: Tripbam and Roadmap were great catches for us – their customer lists are phenomenal! We’re looking to cross-pollinate those customers between expense management and travel services.
We might be interested in some smaller companies outside of the U.S., but we’ll have to see if it’s worth buying them or just growing organically into that market.
BTN: What sort of connections are you hoping to make with Emburse customers?
Martin:: As much as I’d love to personally connect with every single one of our customers, there will come a time when that’s not possible (unless someone invents a cloning machine soon). But right now, I’m all about getting up close and personal – sending out emails, organizing events and advisory boards… You name it!
New Emburse CEO Ready for ‘Goliath’ Showdown