Customer Service management leader ServiceNow’s ecosystem is still growing as evidenced by the 18,000 or so attendees at this week’s Knowledge conference - notably higher than the 13,000 estimate from 2017, showing a great rate of growth.
ServiceNow offers a platform that its ecosystem partners can either integrate with or run directly on. One key benefit is the same as well: the ability to leverage the data in ServiceNow’s Now Platform by focusing on routing work throughout the enterprise.
ServiceNow’s original application was IT service management (ITSM), which at its core is a trouble-ticketing system that routes support requests internally though an organization.
But ITSM was never the company’s raison d’être – the platform was. As founder Fred Luddy explained at a fireside chat at Knowledge, early on the company couldn’t find a market for the platform, so they built out what would become the ITSM app in order to have an offering that solved customer needs short term.
But the long-term goal was always to offer a platform, not only for ServiceNow’s own apps, but for the apps of its ecosystem partners and customers as well.
Today, ServiceNow offers a range of service management apps, including solutions for customer service, human resources, security, and more. As the vendor adds each solution to the mix, the wealth of data about the daily work of its customers’ employees, partners, and customers become richer with a date currency.
Supporting the Digital Journey
On the one hand, the end-to-end nature of such work supports the digital journey – including the journey of customers, employees, and others during the course of their interactions with a company over time.
From the perspective of the ecosystem, furthermore, ServiceNow’s focus on how people get work done connects the people within each ecosystem partner as well as each partner’s own customers.
Every vendor must deal with its own customer service, IT support, HR, and other internal and customer-facing processes. Many vendors are thus customers of ServiceNow.
When such a vendor is also a partner of ServiceNow, it can bring the full value of the platform and its data to the benefit of its customers as an aspect of its own offering, depending on its specifics.
ERP vendor Amtech is one such vendor. It uses ServiceNow internally for its customer support and knowledge management, while finding that its customers can also benefit from the knowledge management capabilities.
Given that customer support is an essential part of its offering, Amtech sees the value of the synergy between being a customer and partner of ServiceNow. “It would add value to our customer base and to our company,” said Dominic Sambucci, President of Operations and Support for Futura, Amtech’s services arm. “It would create a more seamless product.”
Amtech’s knowledge base serves as an internal resource for customer service reps as they address customer problems, as well as a resource for customers, who can now learn from each other as they input insights – not only about the use of the product, but about how best to run their businesses.
The Future of Software Ecosystems
Amtech is but one example of the wide variety of vendors at Knowledge, and the stories about how they interact with each other are too numerous to mention – but include vendors as diverse as IT analytics vendor LogicMonitor, data insight and collaboration vendor Klera, and AI-driven process automation vendor Ayehu.
However, unlike IBM Think, this conference was not simply an opportunity for vendors to talk to each other.
Instead, the diverse value of the ServiceNow platform brought out customers and prospects in droves – enterprise professionals interested in how this growing ecosystem can meet various needs as each of them moves toward a greater customer focus by implementing digital journeys for their customers as well as employees.
Jason Bloomberg is president of industry analyst firm Intellyx. Follow Jason Bloomberg on Twitter or LinkedIn.