Welcome to Acorio’s newest and “newsiest” blog series yet, The ServiceNow Rundown, where we will take a deeper look into ServiceNow News like new acquisitions, major press releases, and what ServiceNow insiders are talking about. With a 100% exclusive focus on ServiceNow and the largest team of focused ServiceNow consultants out there, you can bet we pay a lot of attention to the inner workings of the world’s #1 most innovative company.
Here’s what we really think about what’s happening (and what we’re thankful for) in November.
A FriendlyData Acquisition Adds Natural Language Search
At the beginning of the Summer, we wrote on ServiceNow’s (then eleven) acquisitions, including DxContinuum, SkyGiraffee, and Parlo. Each of these additions aligned with ServiceNow’s goal of cloud-based, integrated systems to provide transparent and easy systems of work across the entire enterprise.
One month ago, the enterprise powerhouse added another name to the mix, with their acquisition of FriendlyData, a startup that focuses on natural language search technology.
“ServiceNow is bringing NLQ (Natural Language Query) capabilities to the Now Platform, enabling companies to ask technical questions in plain English and receive direct answers. With this technical enhancement, our goal is to allow anyone to easily make data-driven decisions, increasing productivity and driving businesses forward faster.” – Pat Casey, Sr. VP Development and Operations, ServiceNow
Where do we expect to see this appear in the ServiceNow platform? ServiceNow launched their chatbot building tool, Virtual Agent, with their September release of London. FriendlyData’s NQL capabilities will make a huge impact with the chat’s ability to answer questions technically. Virtual Agent is just but one part of FriendlyData’s reach though, and the technology will no doubt be integrated across the Now Platform including HR Service Delivery, Customer Service Management, and in products for Developers and Partners.
We expect to see subtle changes in the next release, Madrid (Q1 2019), but certainly more involved data visualizations and direct chat answers by New York (Q3 2019).
ServiceNow’s Q3 Earning Expectations Reveal Continued Outperformance
ServiceNow hosted their quarterly earnings call at the end of October, with ServiceNow executives John Donahoe (President, CEO) and Michael Scarpelli (CFO) plus a whole band of analysts from Merrill Lynch, Barclays Capital, JPMorgan, Citi Investment Research and the likes.
he clear tone of the recorded call was that the company had strong Q3 growth across all geographic regions and industry verticals, no doubt in part spurred by their nomination as the #1 most innovative company in the world, according to Forbes.
“We had a strong third quarter, continuing our global momentum and accelerating our role as a strategic partner enabling digital transformation” – John Donahoe, President and CEO, ServiceNow
ServiceNow reported a new total of 614 customers with over $1 million in annual contracts, a whopping 37% year-over-year growth. Deals are getting bigger, and more involved as companies continue to buy into Enterprise Service Management and applying ServiceNow to bring together their department silos. ServiceNow closed net new 25 transactions worth over $1 million in annual contract value.
What surprised us the most? Out of those 25 transactions, 11 of those customers are doing more than $10 million contracts (which has tripled since Q3 2017) and out of those, four are US Federal Agencies. As the largest federal quarter ever, we can expect continued federal sector growth well into 2019 as more organizations embrace digital transformation and cloud-based services to modernize IT infrastructure.
ServiceNow in the News
Learning Paths are Growing
CIO from IDG published“ServiceNow certification guide: Mastering ITSM” on November 14th, 2018, where they detail not only the benefits to mastering ServiceNow’s core module but also the three distinct certifications paths available for customer and partners. Here’s a quick recap:
- Certified System Administrator (CSA). The CSA exam lays out the foundation for everything you need to know about ServiceNow and is essential before you continue onto other courses or certification paths. While it is entry-level, having experience working with ServiceNow products is always helpful as the 60-question exam tests your ability to manage, configure, and implement the platform.
- Certified Implementation Specialist (CIS). CIS certifications are part of the implementer path, which also includes six specialized certifications (to align with ServiceNow’s products). Each path requires its own set of courses and training to earn the product-specific certifications.
- Certified Application Developer (CAD). To be a CAD you should understand how to write, test, and debug client-side and server-side scripts, manage applications, implement application security, and automate applications using multiple products. The actual CAD exam consists of 60 questions, focusing on six specific learning domains.
Now Summits Throughout the US and Abroad
This quarter also brought a series of Now Summits hosted across the Globe. In the US, ServiceNow held Now Summits in Santa Clara, Dallas, Washington DC, and New York City.
Acorio was lucky enough to sponsor all four summits in the US, and we are gratified to share stories with customers and prospects across the country on how they are driving transformation with ServiceNow.
We were excited to see how many companies have matured over the past few years, with conversations on the floor this year encompassing more elements of the platform such as Global Shared Services, HR, Customer Service Management, Security – and the omnipresent CMDB.
Check out a link to our newest Service Management Executive Insight & Vision Report[Exclusive Preview], which we rolled out on stage at the NYC Now Summit.
New Technology Added to ServiceNow’s Arsenal
Last week, ServiceNow granted EdCast Knowledge Cloud their application certification. The cutting-edge technology now seamlessly integrates with ServiceNow’s cloud platform. The certification, which is only granted to select applicants, testifies that EdCast’s Knowledge Cloud has successfully completed ServiceNow’s security, compatibility, performance, and integration tests.
The technology will provide learning, knowledge management, and information discovery to the ServiceNow platform. Their solution incorporates artificial intelligence, machine learning, and process automation and will certainly be key to powering public-facing, upskilling initiatives.
According to BusinessWire, these are the key features available with the EdCast integration:
- AI-Powered Knowledge: Personalized contextual content from internal, external, and subject matter expert sources
- Engagement (Mobile-first and In-app): Collaboration capabilities available across dynamic groups
- Customization: Branded and tailored to the client and to the unique needs of their employees
- Analytics: Advanced reporting to assess and measure performance, manage certifications, and empower discretionary learning and training
- Learning Digital Wallet: Frictionless access to paid content with cost savings across publishers and products as part of EdCast’s knowledge marketplace
- ContentExchange: Partnership with leading content providers to surface their content, creating the world’s largest repository of learning and knowledge materials
- Security: Enterprise-grade security and privacy controls
… And Takes a Stand on the Subscription Economy
In early November, ServiceNow General Manager Abhijit Mitra wrote “Delivering Next-Gen Service That Suits The Subscription Economy,” published by Forbes.
This fantastic piece steps outside of the technical world of ServiceNow and, instead, explores the new world that we, and ultimately our customers, are living in.
Today, customers today are different. They expect the same things that you do: seamless service at every point of contact with your company. With two sections, “Excellence Beyond Complaint Reporting” and “The Key to Next-Gen Service Delivery,” this article is not one to miss, reminding us why cloud enterprise platforms like ServiceNow really do matter.
And that rounds up the most significant ServiceNow news we see for the month of November! Be sure to check out our next ServiceNow Rundown blog next month for a year-end roundup, and email us at [email protected] to share your thoughts on the major developments in the ServiceNow ecosystem.