Enterprise software gets user-friendly

Corporate software systems are often anything but easy to use. To fix that, enterprise firms have started snapping up consumer startups.

TAW25 enterprise software

Concur (CNQR), the maker of travel and expense-report software, knows that some of its users have been unfaithful. Many have turned to free -- and simpler -- consumer-oriented sites to book business travel. So the company, based in Redmond, Wash., is taking cues from apps and websites aimed at the mainstream -- by buying them. It shelled out $120 million for trip-planning app TripIt in 2011 and, this past November, announced a $150 million fund to invest in similar startups. Concur isn't alone. Other enterprise-software giants are racing to acquire user-friendly software in hopes of keeping customers from turning elsewhere. (One exception? Cisco (CSCO, Fortune 500), which has divested itself of most of its consumer businesses.) Here are some bellwether acquisitions.

  @FortuneMagazine - Last updated February 20 2013 07:01 AM ET
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