Following on from last year’s interview, we speak with Mark Ackerman about how ServiceNow is continuing to develop its services, buying up expertise w...
Spanning 54 global locations, ServiceNow has rapidly expanded its cloud and IT solutions worldwide, delivering a range of services within the business world. The company has grown substantially, and extended its operations into the Middle East, with bases in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar and Bahrain.
Fully on track globally in terms of revenue growth, ServiceNow continues to develop its IT operations and management services, with the aim to increase its influence within the international market. The company’s customer base within the Middle East has now extended to Egypt, Morocco and Lebanon, highlighting its ever-growing presence within the region.
ServiceNow’s Regional Sales Manager for the Middle East Mark Ackerman explains that “ServiceNow has been developing its services around building a product platform, partaking in acquisitions, and is building a thorough platform functionality”. To this end, the company developed its ServiceNow platform, which places a high level of company applications onto a single, user-friendly cloud platform.
“ServiceNow is a very new organisation, particularly for the territory,” Ackerman adds. “The way we approach service management and end-service management is significantly different to other organisations.”
Utilising a single platform, rather than an amalgamation of acquisitions, is something relatively new within the Middle East, explains Ackerman. “When we look at a lot of legacy carriers, they consolidate all of the technologies and an all-encompassing solution. That’s probably one of the biggest differentiators for us, the way we deliver our cloud-based services, rather than as part of several different areas.” To this effect, ServiceNow has adopted a single channel architecture, as opposed to a multi-channel architecture, which positively impacts customers and caters towards an increased client demand.
“Legacy carriers consolidate all of the technologies and an all-encompassing solution. That’s probably one of the biggest differentiators for us, the way we deliver our cloud-based services, rather than as part of several different areas”
Addressing the way in which individuals work in the corporate space, ServiceNow’s new platform is able to manage agreements and service delivery across multiple departments, ranging from IT and HR to customer service and marketing, providing a complete consumer-like, user experience.
To support this further, ServiceNow’s vested interest in automation and machine learning has led to the company’s acquisition of machine learning startup DXContinuum in an all cash transaction. The purchase will enable ServiceNow to increase workplace productivity through the implementation of intelligent automation, creating efficiencies across the board through predictive models and the creation of personalised data sets. “The technology is focused on predictive analytics, machine learning capabilities, automated task assignments and so on,” adds Ackerman.
Additionally, ServiceNow’s acquisition of virtual messaging service Qlue has emphasised the company’s interest in chat bot technology, which will become implemented within its customer service and security divisions. Repurposing the technology will enable it to become fully integrated with ServiceNow’s platform, and ensure the company remains focused on building strong relationships with customers and corporations.
At present, ServiceNow remains one of the only Enterprise Service Management SaaS companies within the Middle East, and the company is achieving increased growth in this area. “We are much larger now and have a much stronger base,” says Ackerman. “This has allowed us to move into new positions and opportunities that were not available before.”
One such position is the development of ServiceNow’s recently-released application, Jakarta, which will bring a number of other acquisitions to market within its platform. Jakarta encompasses seven new application models and functionalities, solely influenced by IT and business sectors, but will also feed into the company’s move towards the security space.
Working closely with a number of partners to structure the company’s response to cyber-attacks, Jakarta enables users to share any security incidents and also houses software asset management technology. This delivers real-time license compliance information, automated risk management and the delivery of sophisticated workflows, supporting ServiceNow’s growth further.
Additionally, Ackerman explains that ServiceNow has also partnered with technology giant GE Digital, which is in the process of rolling out ServiceNow globally. This will enable the company’s applications to function in collaboration with GE’s Predix platform. “This partnership will give customers closer analytics and information around customer interactions and customer service management,” comments Ackerman. “This is one of our big projects at the moment.”
With a twofold approach to engaging with customers, ServiceNow’s commitment to sending out quarterly surveys highlight the company’s positive feedback from customers, with scores remaining consistently high, alongside high retention rates to boot. The company also houses a team which, as Ackerman explains, “manages company partners and alleviates a partner level within all of the countries we operate”.
“This gives us the ability to have a strong partner base and interact with customers, and supports the growth of the platform. We’re then able to then expand the platform, not just within IT but outside of IT to other business functions,” adds Ackerman.
This high-level engagement also extends to the company’s relationships with suppliers. Working with niche partners, such as Unikomm Group, ServiceNow continues to expand its services. Additionally, the company’s partnership with Quintica, which Ackerman explains is similar, focuses more delivering scalable solutions.
The development of the ServiceNow platform has enabled the launch of services that have become highly influential amongst increased competition within the Middle East. With a strong support network, a varied range of solutions alongside a seamless delivery of services, ServiceNow continues to drive support throughout the corporate space, meeting the needs of customers throughout its operations for times to come.