An ecosystem approach to pursuing the digital agenda

Since joining ServiceNow a few months ago, I have spent a lot of time talking to our partner ecosystem about the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead of us in the next 12 months. 

I use the term ‘partner ecosystem’ on purpose, becauseit indicates a collaborative, community-like environment, consisting of a number of diverse players working together — and these are the values ServiceNow is committed to support. 

What our partners are telling me is that the market is shifting when we look at established channel models. There is pressure on the traditional two-tier channel system to re-imagine its go-to-market strategies, scale in an ever-more commoditised market and create value.


Towards new and differentiated services

Added value is indeed delivered through new services centred around digital transformation and the role of partner networks here is huge. 

New technologies such as Machine Learning and AI are here, but their true potential is realised when they are integrated into an offering, or a process. Business value will be unlocked when customers are taken on a journey, and one that is supported by a vendor-partner ecosystem engagement.

The nature of this engagement, much like digital transformation itself, is becoming long-term and value-driven, rather than transactional. When I describe digital transformation as a long-term process, it is because there is no switch button to turn it on, but continuous waves of innovation, and ongoing digital agenda. 

What has really affected the traditional business is that the line between consumer lives and business lives is becoming increasingly blurred, with consumer-grade experiences from our personal lives challenging established ways of working.

Mobility is going to be critical in terms of supporting collaboration and remote working, and delivering great mobile-first experiences at work.


Capitalising on the digital agenda

Most organisations are still in their infancy in terms of exploiting and capitalising on the digital agenda. But with digital transformation now being a top priority for the boardroom, the demand within our ecosystem is growing. 

Businesses are seeing the impact that digital workflows running on the Now Platform® are having on employee and customers experiences, and they are asking our partners, “Help me, how can I do this?”  

The partners who are best placed to answer are those who are already committed to accelerating their own digital transformation journey. At ServiceNow, we think about our partners as being our ‘customer zero’. This means they need to be fully digital themselves if they are to help other organisations pursue their own digital agenda. 

We don’t expect them to do this themselves either. At ServiceNow, we want to enable ourpartners to innovate on theNow Platform, and collaborate with each other in a dynamic environment.

We are also committed to helping our partners augment their skillset and drive their agility and efficiency. To this end we have put in place progressive training programmes to enable partners to have access in a format they need, when they need it. This will potentially reduce thetime to certification across our global partner ecosystem. 


The year of the platform

With the debate about the cloud now more or less settled, andwith multi-cloud strategies becoming the norm, 2020 will be the year of the platform. 

Wewill see the knitting together of a multi-platform approach, and one where ServiceNow will continue to be intrinsically woven into the fabric of how organisations work. This is what is making digital transformation real and is unlocking new value for businesses. 

ServiceNow has a laser focus on developing easy and intuitive user experiences and our partner ecosystem plays an integral role in our strategy. Forus, partner success is synonymous with customer success and the key lies in creating a thriving ecosystem of innovation.


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