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Portable's new identity

The firm changes its name to Concur Technologies and launches a new strategy to expand the scope of its products by buying other companies.

Portable Software is changing its identity.

The Redmond, Washington-based firm changed its name this week to Concur Technologies and launched a new strategy to expand the scope of its products by buying other companies. First on the acquisition list was 7Software, which specializes in software for corporate procurement of goods.

"We chose a company name that reflects our focus on the individuals in a company, and their ability, with our technology, to have a direct impact on the success of their business," explained Steve Singh, president of Concur.

Concur's flagship product is Xpense Management Solution (XMS), a software system for logging and tracking travel and entertainment expenses among employees. With the purchase of Palo Alto, California-based 7Software, Concur adds procurement to the mix.

7Software makes CompanyStore, a Web-based software system that allows employees to order supplies such as paper clips, but also includes an automated approval system and the ability to limit catalogs and define ordering limits. The company of 12 employees was founded by the team that built Microsoft's internal procurement product. Financial details of the deal were not released.

Concur chief technology officer Mike Hilton said Concur is looking at a number of new areas to stretch its business and is planning on acquiring other companies to reach those points. One area already being catered to is travel booking where Concur is integrating its product with American Express' AXI. Other areas include budgeting, facilities management, and human resource self-service applications.

"We have also been working on an outsourcing strategy for all our products," Hilton added. "To attack the midmarket effectively, outsourcing is the way to go. The two big issues with products like this are IT bandwidth and an unwillingness to pay large sums up front for a piece of software."

Hilton gave no timeline for when the outsourcing service would be launched but said to expect announcements the next few months.