< PrevNext > Evan Konwiser, Amex GBT digital traveler VP The Booking Tool Insider By Elizabeth West / December 20, 2016 / Contact Reporter Share Booking tool technology has been on Konwiser's mind since he joined American Express GBT two years ago. "We had been looking for targets, partners and technology broadly: avenues to accomplish something in the booking tool space," he said. "We spoke to lots of folks and looked all over the world." When the opportunity arose to buy Paris-based travel booking and expense tool KDS, Konwiser and Amex GBT didn't hesitate. "You always have to weigh the value of the [existing] technology and the value of the organization that can build on it," Konwiser said. With KDS we had the best of both worlds: fanstastic booking tool and back-end technolgy and an incredible team in Paris. KDS has a very capable research and development team in the travel space, which is really hard to find."The key for the deal, according to Konwiser, was the ability to scale the solution globally and accommodate the complexities of GBT clients. "No OBT can be everything to everyone. Concur has done an amazing job, but you don't see a lot of others," he said, hinting at Amex GBT's ambitions for the acquired organization.Amex GBT will need a strong expansion strategy to get there—a strategy that evaded KDS on its own. The company worked hard to expand in North America but hit a wall that made a sale "inevitable" in order to break through, according to outgoing CEO Dean Forbes. Konwiser said Amex GBT has that strategy in place and it goes beyond North America."The KDS presence in the United States is a little underreported," said Konwiser. "But forget about the U.S. for a moment. There are markets in Europe where KDS had not invested because there were features to build or, for them, the ROI of entering certain markets as an independent booking tool wasn't quite there. But when you look at GBT and where our clients are, suddenly the economics change completely. Plus, [GBT] can provide resources to help KDS invest in the platform. But the U.S. market is Amex GBT's biggest market, so it's always at the top of our head."