Bill McDermott is bringing change to ServiceNow
Bill McDermott is bringing change to ServiceNow

How Bill McDermott & ServiceNow Are Supercharging the Pace of Change

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In this time of rampant disruption, upheaval, and digital-everything, Bill McDermott and ServiceNow are promising to give businesses the gift of speed.

“This is the power of the Now Platform: the ability to move fast, be agile, solve problems quickly with low-code, no-code app development, create new workflows that deliver great experiences,” McDermott said on ServiceNow’s Q2 earnings call last week.

“We’re helping our customers solve for once-in-a-generation challenges even as they capitalize on the opportunities of digital transformation.”

Since taking over as ServiceNow CEO 9 months ago, McDermott has capitalized on the company’s exceptional technology and unique market position by:

  • repositioning ServiceNow as a platform company that also happens to offer some applications;
  • thrusting ServiceNow into the role of the digital Rosetta Stone that can translate mismatched datasets and apps and systems into the unified language of modern digital business;
  • unequivocally projecting that ServiceNow will become a $10-billion company (it’s now just under $4 billion) and triple its employee base in a few years; and most recently,
  • promising to help business customers move at the pace of today’s crazy times by shifting their focus from the traditional silos of business processes to the modern paradigm of digital workflows.
Is the McDermott approach working?

Well, Q2 revenue grew 32% to more than $1 billion, and ServiceNow’s stock price has doubled since McDermott’s arrival was announced late last year, giving it a market cap of about $83 billion.

So yeah, I’d say the McDermott method is indeed making the work of ServiceNow work better—for its customers and shareholders.

I’ve written before about how the high-energy McDermott wants to do more than deliver great value to ServiceNow customers and boost the revenue, profit and share price of the company. On top of all that, McDermott—who before joining ServiceNow tripled SAP’s revenue, market cap and market impact during his 10 years there as CEO—seems hell-bent on transforming the entire enterprise-software industry. (For more on that, please see How Bill McDermott’s Magic Touch Has Made ServiceNow a Cloud Superstar, ServiceNow’s Big Secret: Bill McDermott Redefining Software Business and Salesforce-SAP Showdown: Will Bill McDermott and ServiceNow Be CRM King-Makers?)

To see what I mean, particularly about how ServiceNow gives its customers the gift of speed, check out some of his comments from last week’s earnings call.

Dreaming big dreams

It’s no surprise that the guy who wrote a book called “Winners Dream” has huge ambitions for ServiceNow: “We remain totally focused on our ambition to be the defining enterprise software company of the 21st century.” Very few CEOs speak this way in public, particularly to an audience of financial analysts.

Helping CEOs deal with their #1 priority

“The CEOs of enterprises around the world are going to be doubling down on their investment in digital transformation. They recognized in a pre-COVID world that you have to transform—but in a post-COVID world, you have to be digital to survive. Your employees have to actually work from anywhere now, if not all the way from home for quite a while. So digital transformation has hit everybody at home. Nine out of 10 CEOs have a digital-first strategy, yet only four out of those 10 can say, ‘I’m ready for digital disruption.’”

New ways of thinking about processes, product development, and speed

“Petrobras is a global energy conglomerate—and Brazil’s largest company, by the way—and they’re using the Now Platform to lead their digital-transformation strategy. So it is clear that this idea of internal business processes on an end-to-end basis has moved from a system-of-record idea because they realize the data gets trapped in a silo, but now they can streamline things in a workflow.

“So this is how people are looking at product development now. This is how they’re looking at process innovation. This is how they’re thinking about reducing time from discovery all the way through to actually getting products and services to market. So I really believe we’re onto something here, and we’re at the forefront of the early days of the workflow revolution.”

On today’s business challenges—and opportunities

“This unprecedented environment is breaking physical supply chains. It is exposing the weak links in the old value chains, illuminating how companies struggle cross-functionally to deliver the workflows that create great experiences for customers, employees and partners. The world is experiencing a seismic shift from the obsolete business-process evolution to the new workflow revolution.”

Quarterly software updates just aren’t good enough in today’s troubled times

“We are delivering safe-workplace product innovation in two-week cycles, helping our customers succeed in keeping their employees healthy and safe in these unprecedented times… More than 550 organizations worldwide have downloaded our safe-workplace suite. Companies such as Uber, Coca-Cola European Partners and BankUnited are using the apps and dashboard to return to the workplace safely.

“This is the power of the Now Platform, the ability to move fast, be agile, solve problems quickly with low-code, no-code app development, create new workflows that deliver great experiences. We’re helping our customers solve for once-in-a-generation challenges even as they capitalize on the opportunities of digital transformation.”

Tracking COVID requirements across the globe for the U.S. State Dept.

“They used the Now Platform to create a dozen apps in just three weeks, tracking COVID requirements for every country on the planet to keep employees traveling safely.”

Accelerating M&A integration in fast-paced world of Fintech

“Fiserv, a global fintech leader, recently completed a merger and needed to consolidate systems and processes to gain greater visibility of their assets. Using the Now Platform, they can now gain visibility and insight into the newly combined infrastructure and their emerging dependencies. This reduces time to resolution, improves customer experiences and reduces opex, all while proactively providing better services to their customers.”

Helping Disney+ onboard more than 50 million members in months

“With the support of ServiceNow’s CSM workflows, Disney+ quickly grew to more than 55 million subscribers in just a few months after launch. During the Knowledge keynote, [a Disney CIO] shared how ServiceNow provided Disney, and I quote, ‘an extremely flexible and extensible platform’ that allowed them to ‘develop a best-in-breed customer help center and best-in-breed tooling for their agents to support their customers around the world.’”

Helping customers by integrating their legacy systems

“The ecosystem looks at it as a cross-platform integration engine because there are so many siloed systems out there from the 20th-century systems of record. We don’t compete with them—we simply make them better. So they layer in the Now Platform and enable business operations to execute even without having to change and redo their systems of record. So that’s a big tailwind, and the ecosystem all has multibillion plans around ServiceNow, and there’ll even be very large tech companies that will declare that very soon” (emphasis added).

Helping customers build apps faster than ever before

With “low-code, no-code edge applications, our customers are building applications in hours and in a couple of days, deploying them to, in some cases, 1.5 million employees within two days. That’s the kind of rapid prototyping innovation and development that has to be done, and the Now Platform gives them that. These are major transformations in the enterprise.”

4-day challenge: building and deploying an app to 323,000 people

“Take a great company like Lowe’s. In the heart of COVID, they had to deal with leave requests with their employees and they asked, ‘How do I build an application in less than 96 hours and deploy it to 323,000 people?’ Well, you do it on a low-code platform like the Now Platform and you get it out there. So you’re seeing everything come together now to ServiceNow because we’re a platform company.”

Workflow is the key to speed

“Now people are realizing, my goodness, the 20th-century architectures are too slow in these digital-first environments. How do I get fast? How do I get speed? And that’s where the workflow revolution is hitting its stride because behind every great employee experience or customer experience is a great workflow.”

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