New Kids in the Customer Interaction Management Space: ServiceNow

The customer interaction and service market is undergoing profound changes. After discussing Amazon's entry, I want to continue my exploration of new participants with ServiceNow.

ServiceNow is one of the most successful SaaS companies. It closed its first quarter of 2017 crossing the $1.5B revenue mark with an impressive 35% year-over-year growth. Now the undisputed leader of the Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) space, it has set an aggressive growth target towards $4B by 2020 by expanding mostly organically into adjacent markets. Since its early days, ServiceNow has touted a vision to create a platform to change how work gets done and has consistently positioned ITSM as just the first use case for its workflow engine.

The company's entry into the customer service market was logical. It was announced in 2015 and its Customer Service Management solution was formally launched in May 2016. Although ServiceNow doesn't disclose the number of enterprises that have adopted this specific offer, it can claim success with customers in the hundreds and a logo wall showing big brand names such as GE and Epicor. I found particularly impressive that half of ServiceNow customer service clients were new to the company, selecting the solution on its own merit. 

Beyond help desks

With its ITSM roots, ServiceNow can be perceived as a help desk provider. It actually provides a comprehensive suite layered on the company platform including:

  • Case and Customer Management to handle contact details and entitlement
  • Task assignment to route cases to people
  • Field Service
  • Knowledge Management recently augmented with Communities to enable self-service

Omnichannel engagement focuses on customer interactions over digital channels, providing out-of-the-box support for email and web self-service. It can be extended to other touchpoints by integrating to telephony and contact center platforms. ServiceNow has been building an ecosystem of partners to provide comprehensive multichannel support. Already, at its May Knowledge Conference, 3CLogic, Bright Pattern, Five9, InGenius, and Talkdesk were showcasing integrations.

Abhijit Mitra is General Manager for ServiceNow's Customer Service Management Business Unit, and his 40-minute keynote at Knowledge17 is available on YouTube and includes demos of the key capabilities of the solution.

There are a few things that make ServiceNow different.

Focus on resolution, not just logging cases

ServiceNow features a powerful case assignment engine. It uses analytics to surface recurring patterns that need to be addressed at their roots. It also provides a Kanban board-like tool to assign problems to the proper department. The ability to combine related issues, push their resolution to other departments beyond customer service, and oversee their resolution across the enterprise is very compelling.

Automation to enable proactive service

The ServiceNow platform has very strong monitoring capabilities to supervise connected devices and things in the Internet Of Things (IoT) parlance. It can apply predictive analytics to uncover potential issues before they arise or provide detailed diagnostic information to expedite resolutions. ServiceNow automation engine provides the bridge between predicting and monitoring issues and providing proactive service, a key challenge for many customer service and support organizations.

Predictive capabilities are not limited to maintenance. In January, ServiceNow acquired DxContinuum for its Machine Learning technology and expertise. It intends to leverage it for automation by supporting pre-configured use cases, such as issue prioritization, categorization, and routing or making recommendations to agents.

The word “Management” in the name of ServiceNow's solution is an important one. It reflects the company's vision to enable enterprises to get their arms around complex processes and ultimately provide a better experience to their customers. These capabilities should appeal to companies offering services or connected devices to their customers by making their experience seamless and effortless. ServiceNow is definitely a provider to watch in the space.


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