Good Tidings We Bring….As The Customer Is King

As well as an adaptation of a festive song this could be one of the guiding jingles for ServiceNow.

This week I have been attending, along with my colleague Stephen Mann, the Knowledge11 conference in Frankfurt. ServiceNow is one of those companies that ITSM practitioners have an interest in because of their phenomenal growth and go-to-market model.

So what are their secret ingredients that make the solution so appealing?

Is it simply, that their key differentiator is that they provide a SaaS-based model and have experienced a bit of luck with the ‘cloud’ computing phenomenon? Is it that they have a great company name which lends itself well to becoming a brand? Is it that their sales and account managers have mythical powers?

My answer to you, after spending time with their clients, is that, firstly, they have inherent or at least portray a focus on the end ‘customer.’ They understand that their customers are looking for fast integration that will link in and improve their current ITSM and other business workflow processes. Also, the majority of their customers adopt the SaaS-based solution; it means that they can’t hide behind the age old cloak of “It must be the users infrastructure/network/environment/processes, etc.” If there is a problem with the software they have to fix it because the chances are that another customer will experience the same issue.

Secondly, they have an inherent or at least portray a focus on product and simplicity. A bit Apple-esque in away. Their development teams work to the tune of simplifying the features and UI first, add new features second. In a past life I have worked with a number of ITSM solutions and was sometimes amazed at how the expected easy things are sometimes hard to do. Reporting is one example; sometimes to author a new report was worse than the pain of going to a shopping mall on a Saturday afternoon. Not with this solution, at breakfast this morning, one customer commented, “It is so easy that even my manager puts together reports!” In fact, the implementation has been so successful in their region that other regions want to come onboard – no one way, push marketing here.

So, what is the wider lesson here for I&O professionals and even technology vendors? Well simply it is to “keep your eyes on the prize” and that is your customer. We have moved into the ‘age of the customer’ and for I&O to prosper we have to become ‘customer-obsessed’ or at least ‘customer centric’ as outlined in Doug Washburn’s report on Focus Your IT Infrastructure And Operations On Customer Obsession, Not Just Cost Savings.

I would love to hear people’s thoughts, experiences on this. For other messages/comments that I have picked up please have a look at my twitter stream -momskij.