From Enterprise Technology


Compass Magazine Outlines Risks of Business Travel and How Monaeo Can Help

“Hungry for revenue, governments tax time spent inside their borders.” 

Compass Magazine has published a feature by Charles Wallace on the growing compliance risks that business travel creates for companies. We were delighted to see Monaeo featured as a leading solution helping business travelers and Fortune 1000 companies move towards compliance.

In recent years, authorities have begun closely scrutinizing business travelers and the tax exposures that they create when spending time within the borders of a country or, domestically, within other states. Soon, writes Wallace, it will be even harder to fly under the radar. More than 100 countries have joined The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. The forum is working towards automated exchange of immigration reports, hotel stays and airline reservations, providing authorities with the data they need to catch non-compliant firms and travelers.

Wallace points out that now companies are harnessing technology to help travelers and their employers also access that same data, so that they can be compliant and be better prepared to defend against audits. The article highlighted Monaeo’s mobile app as a solution catching on in the market, used by Fortune 1000 industry leaders across verticals.

Monaeo users have a range of data sources to choose from when deciding how to document their travel across state and country lines. In addition to user-friendly mobile, tablet and laptop apps, travelers can also leverage automated analysis of travel and expense reports or simply input their location by hand. It turns out that most executives prefer the option that Compass spotlighted: our mobile app, which does the work on the user’s behalf.

Monaeo is first and foremost a technology company, with 100% of our resources are devoted to building the best, most intuitive and robust software on the market. Monaeo’s independence from tax advisory services means that we don’t squeeze additional revenue out of customers through billable hours, or use our app as a gateway to selling additional services. It’s this laser focus on product design that has led to Monaeo’s best-in-breed data analytics and unique built-in privacy protections.

The full article in Compass Magazine can be found here.

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5 Things to Know About Building Enterprise Technology: System Integration

At Monaeo, our very first product was for consumers. In fact, it was for a specific sub-set of consumers, high net-worth individuals. We understood the problem they faced (tedious manual entry of where they spent each day) and how technology could help solve it. It was only after we built our platform that we realized businesses were facing the same problem on a larger level.

Although we still have an active and growing consumer customer base, by now most of Monaeo’s clients are large companies. While the core technology of our product remains the same, our tech team had to pivot when we first targeted the enterprise market. Even when the software is similar, there are critical differences between developing enterprise and consumer products.

Our CTO, Vinay Pai, has been at the helm of technology for both B2B and B2C companies. He agreed to share his thoughts about the key considerations when building an app for each user group.

After getting a Ph.D. in computer science, in 2006 Vinay joined a fledgling online dating company as a software engineer. A year later he became the CTO and over the next 3 years scaled out systems to support growth from thousands of users 10x to more than 5,000,000 users. Daily users on-site increased around 1000%. The company, OkCupid, became a household name.

OkCupid is a data analytics company, using math to help people get dates. Now Vinay builds a product that uses math to help people save money, as CTO of Monaeo. The differences in marketing and sales for enterprise products are more transparent, but Vinay argues that there are key differences in the technology for both as well.

This is Part 1 of a 5-part series where Vinay Pai talks about key things to know about building technology products for businesses.

#1. Systems integrations will become your biggest headache.


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A key challenge for any enterprise technology company is systems integration. Every business has legacy technology and existing partnerships with third-party vendors. The larger the enterprise, the more technology they will have in place and the harder it will be for them to change it.

Enterprise software developers, therefore, need to be prepared for many more external systems. No matter how impressive your product, a large organization simply won’t use it if it isn’t compatible with their established practices and processes.

Similar to consumer technology, it’s essential for enterprise software developers to make a core architecture that is simple to build on top of. Developers building consumer products often struggle to build an underlying system powerful enough to support the feature-rich bells and whistles demanded by users.

In enterprise technology, however, the challenge is making sure that you can satisfy each client’s demands while not interfering with your core system. A system needs to be able to take in data from existing systems and spit new data back out in forms the enterprise can use (whether that’s as simple as a CV or as complex as feeding directly into a home-grown time and attendance system).

For a multi-tenant SaaS system like Monaeo, where enterprise customers can dictate exactly how they need the product to work, it’s crucial that product can work with a number of third-party software without bleeding into core systems. If you let each client’s needs become part of your core architecture, you risk doing extra work in the long run.

In the next installment of this series, we discuss how to do user testing when you don’t have direct access to your users.