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ServiceNow's heavyweight partners to do the lifting

by Jens Butler •
Free resource

ServiceNow continues to grow at 35 per cent year on year, the 2000 attendees at its Now at Work  Summit in Sydney on 16 November were told. Add into the mix the recent senior leadership announcement that SAP CEO Bill McDermott would shortly be taking the reins at ServiceNow, and the Sydney event was overlaid with an enhanced level of expectation and interest.

Even though ServiceNow is one of the preferred IT service management (ITSM) platforms for IT departments, it is well into the second phase of its evolution - expansion into the human resources, finance, operations and customer service domains and more than 45 per cent of its revenues are now from these non-IT areas, attendees were told.

Each of ServiceNow’s bi-annual releases has a core theme, with its current one, New York, targeting mobility. New York has been branded the “great unlocker” for user experiences and the next one, Orlando (due in Q1 2020), will be themed around intelligence.

ServiceNow’s expansion is not just based on in-house development. It has been busy acquiring capabilities in analytics, machine learning, human-centred design and security to the point where Forbes currently ranks ServiceNow as the world’s most innovative company.

ServiceNow’s wishes to make its Now platform the ‘platform of platforms’ and is seeking to do this by simplifying workflows  and reinventing them around user personas – IT, employee and customer.

Currently 90% of its revenues are derived from its partners and with the hiring of ex-HP, VMware and CSC alliances and channels lead, David Parsons, ServiceNow has re-oriented its partner model into a co-sell/co-deliver model. Parsons has created a structure that focuses partner performance via assessment criteria that include capacity, competency, customer success and capability, rather than ‘metals’ (e.g. platinum, gold level partners).

Accenture, Deloitte, DXC Technology, IBM and KPMG are among ServiceNow’s elite-level partners. Almost, to a partner, their investment is on “building IP on top of the ServiceNow platforms”. Australian-developed DeloitteASSIST was cited as a clear example of the expected direction such partners might take with creating IP on a Now platform.

SAP, Google Cloud Platform, Adobe, IBM, Microsoft Azure and AWS also all have relationships with ServiceNow.  However, it is however currently re-platforming onto Azure – both globally and within Australia.

The Intermedium perspective

ServiceNow is entering its third phase of maturity and the hiring of SAP’s Bill McDermott is a signal of how serious it is about its $10bn revenue target. McDermott has significant leadership experience with a broader ecosystem of partners, enterprise sales, procurement processes and marketing. He also has experience in transforming a software organisation and many senior-level contacts.

Given its potential to paper over the cracks of disparate legacy systems which public sector agencies do not have the funding to abandon, ServiceNow has the potential to support a considerable amount of  digital transformation, most of which will seemingly be undertaken by key partners well established in the sector.

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