We previously blogged about our strategic partnership with
Accenture and promised to take you behind the scenes of
this flourishing collaboration. It’s such an ambitious and
successful project that we want to provide a view of the scope and
innovation involved to help other businesses on their digital
One of the key aspects to understand is that this isn’t a
straightforward technology integration or sales partnership. We’re not
plugging what we’ve already got into a new framework and rebadging our
offering. Instead, ServiceNow and
Accenture are offering a new approach to delivering digital
We are building from the ground up and investing in each other’s
capabilities. We are training ourselves and leveraging unique
resources like the Accenture Cloud Innovation Centre in Rome, where
customers can build, test, and implement cloud
solutions. By going back to the fundamentals, we can come up with new
ways to tackle the huge challenges businesses are facing
today—that will only get more difficult tomorrow.
Chris Pope, global VP of innovation at ServiceNow, recently highlighted education as a significant
building block when it comes to realising the full potential of
digital transformation. As such, it forms a big part of our
partnership with Accenture.
Real-world experience to bridge the skills gap
important questions that need to be answered if we are to deliver
on our corporate goal of creating the new digital workflows that
unlock the full potential of today’s workforce and solve the
sector-specific challenges that businesses are facing.
These questions include:
- Who will be delivering these projects on the frontline?
- What skills do they need to have?
- How do we
accelerate learning so customers and employees can quickly see the
- How can we help businesses extract the full value
of the Now Platform®?
Of course, there are a huge number of computer science courses
available today, but there is a gap between those courses and
real-world digital transformation projects. Typically,
new graduates will need to go through three to six months of academic
training before they are set to work as fully-fledged consultants on a
live project. There is almost no way for new recruits to get the
specific, hands-on training they need to be successful unless we give
them that experience.
Our goal is to accelerate that process and get the brightest
graduates delivering real-world benefits in a fraction of the
time. That’s why we created
the new Accenture ServiceNow Academy programme—a new way
of training students to become consultants who will be the digital
transformation leaders of the future.
The power of mistakes
At the heart of
our academy methodology for turning students into consultants is
embracing the power of mistakes. Digital transformation is incredibly
complex. Making mistakes is how students will learn the best
strategies and techniques for leading projects.
As a result, we are intentionally creating an environment
where students can be put through their paces on real-world
challenges—where errors will likely occur. This isn’t a test to trip
up students, but rather an approach that gives them permission to be
wrong, as we know this will accelerate the learning process.
Recently, we completed a trial of this new academy programme
with our first cohort of students in Madrid, where months of
learning was condensed into a four-week course. The crucial
difference versus typical training courses was
that our academic training was consolidated into the first two weeks
of the course, while the remaining time was spent working
on real-world tasks. This “learning through doing” period
included instruction provided by both ServiceNow and Accenture.
Absolutely stunning results
The results have been
absolutely stunning. All of our students successfully completed the
course and started work as junior consultants the next day—on live
projects—with minimal supervision.
Critically, the new consultants have highlighted how comfortable
they felt moving onto customer projects straight after the completion
of the course. The acceleration in their personal development was an
opportunity they all embraced. Several of the former
students said they were “pinching themselves” because they were so
happy to be working on live customer projects soon after finishing the programme.
Equally satisfying, customers have commented to us that these new
consultants are incredibly impressive.
Delivering in-depth skill training at scale
The academy programme is just one example of the innovation that
we are generating within the Accenture and ServiceNow partnership.
Following the success of the trial, we expect to train another 200
students in the next six months. There is a long-term plan to usher as
many as 5,000 new students through the academy.
From the recognition that graduate trainees with more tangible
real-world skills are needed, we created a hugely ambitious and
innovative global education programme.
ServiceNow is now busy running “train the trainers” sessions for
Accenture across Europe and the US. And Accenture is busy identifying
the best locations for the next students to embark on the course. This
is an excellent example of how to deliver in-depth skills training at scale.
The Accenture ServiceNow Academy is just
one aspect our strategic partnership. Be sure to read our next blog to
learn about another example of how we are delivering more meaningful
services to help customers solve their transformation challenges.