Bill McDermott and ServiceNow Are Disrupting the Software Industry—Hallelujah!

Bill McDermott and ServiceNow Are Disrupting the Software Industry—Hallelujah!

CLOUD WARS RANKING

#9

CEO

Bill McDermott

QUARTERLY CLOUD REVENUE
AS OF NOV. 30, 2020

$1.09 billion

Just how big are Bill McDermott’s dreams for ServiceNow?

Well, the company just surpassed 1,000 customers doing more than $1 million per year; just landed its largest deal ever with its largest customer; and McDermott says “we’re well on our way to $10 billion and beyond in revenue.

And then there’s ServiceNow’s only special big of market-cap madness: having just posted its first quarter with $1 billion in cloud-subscription revenue, ServiceNow’s market cap reached a breathtaking $101 billion on Nov. 23.

All those numbers are indeed eye-opening. But here’s the big dream and big vision firing all of those achievements—here’s why the market is currently valuing ServiceNow just a few points below the iconic IBM.

“The ServiceNow platform,” says McDermott, “is THE platform for digital business.”

Now, saying it and doing it are two different things—but there is no other company in the supremely high-achieving Cloud Wars Top 10 that’s made a claim anything like that.

Then again, there’s no other Cloud Wars Top 10 company that has confidently projected it will increase revenue by 150% in a handful of years—but McDermott and ServiceNow have.

There’s no other Cloud Wars Top 10 company that it “is incredibly well-positioned to become the defining enterprise software company in the 21st century”—but McDermott and ServiceNow have.

And there’s no other Cloud Wars Top 10 company who says—with humility and with great respect for the other major cloud vendors—“So, really, there’s no competitor that we go into these large deals worried about.” But McDermott and ServiceNow say that—and they say it because they feel ServiceNow has carved out a huge chunk of white space that allows them to serve the same set of midsize and large global corporations as the other major cloud vendors but without competing against them.

So just what’s going on with this unique company that promises to “make work, work better for people”?

ServiceNow’s Opportunities

servicenow

Beyond ServiceNow’s high-growth service-management product lines—for IT, customer service, HR, cybersecurity and more—the biggest growth opportunity for this high-flyer is its ability to complement and actually enhance the value of traditional enterprise apps from Salesforce, SAP, Oracle, Workday and others.

In discussing those companies—remember, McDermott was CEO of SAP during its hypergrowth years from 2010 thru 2019—he says he has no quarrel with any of them and quite to the contrary is eager to work with them for the mutual benefit of customers.

Here’s how McDermott laid out that not-so-competitive dynamic during ServiceNow’s Oct. 28 Q3 earnings call in response to an analyst’s question.

“Keith, that’s the amazing thing: we don’t need anyone to lose for us to win. So if you think about the large system-of-record providers out there, we have no quarrel with them,” McDermott said of the other big tech vendors.

Switching over to executives among the non-tech businesses to whom ServiceNow sells, McDermott said, “Most of the CEOs and technology leaders out there have invested heavily in those platforms. And the last thing they’re interested in doing right now is switching out those platforms, especially in the COVID environment where speed, acceleration, resiliency and serving customer and employees are at the top of their to-do list. So that’s not a problem for us.”

And as ServiceNow has expanded its product focus beyond its traditional base of IT service and IT operations and into HR and customer-service management, ServiceNow is becoming a serious player in and around the categories that are so strategic for the Cloud Wars Top 10 vendors.

“Large companies in the Fortune 2000 are basically taking their legacy and they’re putting it on the Now platform,” McDermott said.

“They’re basically saying, ‘How can I fire my legacy? Because I can go to ServiceNow to give the consumer a great experience. I can automate my workflows across domains, systems, silos and give my employees and their customers a great experience.’ ”

Because those needs are so critical for businesses today, “They don’t even ask about price as much as they ask about how quickly we can get it done. And then when we tell them how quickly we can get it done, they’re literally in awe because we’re talking weeks—we don’t talk in years, and that’s a very different language for most large-scale companies,” McDermott said.

In McDermott’s vision, ServiceNow becomes the digital-native—and vendor-agnostic—platform that can resolve the often bitter head-to-head competitive wrangling and convoluted technical hairballs associated with SAP and Salesforce and Oracle and often Microsoft as well.

As I asked in February: Salesforce-SAP Showdown: Will Bill McDermott and ServiceNow Be CRM King-Makers?

In today’s frantic and still jarringly unsettled multicloud world, that looks like a pretty nice spot for ServiceNow to stake out. For customers, their long relationships with McDermott from his SAP days will give them the reassurance that this newfangled “platform for digital business” thing is much more than some 2-bit slogan.

ServiceNow’s Challenges

servicenow

When companies say, “We don’t have any competitors,” then one of two things can be true:

 

  • they’re so much more technologically advanced than their would-be competitors that customers don’t even think of all of them being in the same category and fighting for the same limited pool of revenue; or
  • nobody wants what that company’s trying to sell, so the competition’s bolted for greener pastures.

 

Competition’s Coming: Google Cloud

I’m fully confident that ServiceNow’s in a big, bustling and booming market of its very own because of the great original vision of founder Fred Luddy. It’s very real, and it couldn’t be more timely.

And since it’s real, it’s going to attract a great deal of attention from other players. Look at Google Cloud with its Anthos multicloud app-modernization platform, for example: it too promises to make all those big, complex pieces not only fit together but also to work harmoniously. Like ServiceNow, Google Cloud and Anthos promise to hide the complexity from users, speed time to full integration and thereby great insights, and to be a foundation for creating high-impact business opportunities never before possible.

At the same time, SAP’s pushing ahead with new cloud-platform capabilities that acknowledge it’s a multicloud world in which customers expect industry leaders like SAP to take the lead in reducing customer pain and enhancing customer capabilities by helping apps and data from different vendors work together.

Microsoft’s ambitions and its deep roots as a platform player also make it a prime candidate to jump into a market that ServiceNow apparently has all to itself.

Culture Strains in Hypergrowth Organization

As capable as ServiceNow is—think of its 1,000 customers doing at least $1 million in business per year and its 29% growth rate for subscription revenue in Q3—the company’s high aspirations will force it to stretch and scale itself in ways that few other software companies have. And McDermott and company will have to do that customer after customer, quarter after quarter, and year after year.

Can McDermott create and foster the type of culture that not only can cope with steep growth and steeper expectations but indeed thrive on them?

Again, the gap between aspiration and achievement can be daunting—but in McDermott, ServiceNow seems to have the leader who can overcome that significant and omnipresent challenge. But you be the judge—here he is in his own words from the Oct. 28 earnings call:

ServiceNow is accelerating. We are confident in our ability to succeed in this environment. We are bullish on our long-term outlook and our path to $10 billion and beyond. Our leadership is expanding our reach and opportunities with marquee partnerships, such as the NBA and WNBA, IBM and Accenture. There are many more.

Our brand is resonating. We are becoming an essential C-suite strategic partner. Our ecosystem is growing fast. Our go-to-market capabilities are stronger than ever. Our product innovation is second to none. We are deeply committed to attracting, retaining and developing the best talent in this industry. We are a big tent company dedicated to diversity, inclusion and belonging.

Beyond the uplifting rhetoric for which McDermott’s known lies a track record of unbroken vision and achievement. McDermott has been wise to say on numerous occasions that he did not have to “fix” or “build” the ServiceNow culture. Rather, he’s said, it was superb when he got there and his challenge is to help it scale to meet the needs and demands of a much larger, fast-growing, and customer-centric global organization.

servicenow

ServiceNow’s Opportunities

Beyond ServiceNow’s high-growth service-management product lines—for IT, customer service, HR, cybersecurity and more—the biggest growth opportunity for this high-flyer is its ability to complement and actually enhance the value of traditional enterprise apps from Salesforce, SAP, Oracle, Workday and others.

In discussing those companies—remember, McDermott was CEO of SAP during its hypergrowth years from 2010 thru 2019—he says he has no quarrel with any of them and quite to the contrary is eager to work with them for the mutual benefit of customers.

Here’s how McDermott laid out that not-so-competitive dynamic during ServiceNow’s Oct. 28 Q3 earnings call in response to an analyst’s question.

“Keith, that’s the amazing thing: we don’t need anyone to lose for us to win. So if you think about the large system-of-record providers out there, we have no quarrel with them,” McDermott said of the other big tech vendors.

Switching over to executives among the non-tech businesses to whom ServiceNow sells, McDermott said, “Most of the CEOs and technology leaders out there have invested heavily in those platforms. And the last thing they’re interested in doing right now is switching out those platforms, especially in the COVID environment where speed, acceleration, resiliency and serving customer and employees are at the top of their to-do list. So that’s not a problem for us.”

And as ServiceNow has expanded its product focus beyond its traditional base of IT service and IT operations and into HR and customer-service management, ServiceNow is becoming a serious player in and around the categories that are so strategic for the Cloud Wars Top 10 vendors.

“Large companies in the Fortune 2000 are basically taking their legacy and they’re putting it on the Now platform,” McDermott said.

“They’re basically saying, ‘How can I fire my legacy? Because I can go to ServiceNow to give the consumer a great experience. I can automate my workflows across domains, systems, silos and give my employees and their customers a great experience.’ ”

Because those needs are so critical for businesses today, “They don’t even ask about price as much as they ask about how quickly we can get it done. And then when we tell them how quickly we can get it done, they’re literally in awe because we’re talking weeks—we don’t talk in years, and that’s a very different language for most large-scale companies,” McDermott said.

In McDermott’s vision, ServiceNow becomes the digital-native—and vendor-agnostic—platform that can resolve the often bitter head-to-head competitive wrangling and convoluted technical hairballs associated with SAP and Salesforce and Oracle and often Microsoft as well.

As I asked in February: Salesforce-SAP Showdown: Will Bill McDermott and ServiceNow Be CRM King-Makers?

In today’s frantic and still jarringly unsettled multicloud world, that looks like a pretty nice spot for ServiceNow to stake out. For customers, their long relationships with McDermott from his SAP days will give them the reassurance that this newfangled “platform for digital business” thing is much more than some 2-bit slogan.

ServiceNow’s Challenges

When companies say, “We don’t have any competitors,” then one of two things can be true:

 

  • they’re so much more technologically advanced than their would-be competitors that customers don’t even think of all of them being in the same category and fighting for the same limited pool of revenue; or
  • nobody wants what that company’s trying to sell, so the competition’s bolted for greener pastures.

 

Competition’s Coming: Google Cloud

I’m fully confident that ServiceNow’s in a big, bustling and booming market of its very own because of the great original vision of founder Fred Luddy. It’s very real, and it couldn’t be more timely.

servicenow

And since it’s real, it’s going to attract a great deal of attention from other players. Look at Google Cloud with its Anthos multicloud app-modernization platform, for example: it too promises to make all those big, complex pieces not only fit together but also to work harmoniously. Like ServiceNow, Google Cloud and Anthos promise to hide the complexity from users, speed time to full integration and thereby great insights, and to be a foundation for creating high-impact business opportunities never before possible.

At the same time, SAP’s pushing ahead with new cloud-platform capabilities that acknowledge it’s a multicloud world in which customers expect industry leaders like SAP to take the lead in reducing customer pain and enhancing customer capabilities by helping apps and data from different vendors work together.

Microsoft’s ambitions and its deep roots as a platform player also make it a prime candidate to jump into a market that ServiceNow apparently has all to itself.

Culture Strains in Hypergrowth Organization

As capable as ServiceNow is—think of its 1,000 customers doing at least $1 million in business per year and its 29% growth rate for subscription revenue in Q3—the company’s high aspirations will force it to stretch and scale itself in ways that few other software companies have. And McDermott and company will have to do that customer after customer, quarter after quarter, and year after year.

Can McDermott create and foster the type of culture that not only can cope with steep growth and steeper expectations but indeed thrive on them?

Again, the gap between aspiration and achievement can be daunting—but in McDermott, ServiceNow seems to have the leader who can overcome that significant and omnipresent challenge. But you be the judge—here he is in his own words from the Oct. 28 earnings call:

ServiceNow is accelerating. We are confident in our ability to succeed in this environment. We are bullish on our long-term outlook and our path to $10 billion and beyond. Our leadership is expanding our reach and opportunities with marquee partnerships, such as the NBA and WNBA, IBM and Accenture. There are many more.

Our brand is resonating. We are becoming an essential C-suite strategic partner. Our ecosystem is growing fast. Our go-to-market capabilities are stronger than ever. Our product innovation is second to none. We are deeply committed to attracting, retaining and developing the best talent in this industry. We are a big tent company dedicated to diversity, inclusion and belonging.

Beyond the uplifting rhetoric for which McDermott’s known lies a track record of unbroken vision and achievement. McDermott has been wise to say on numerous occasions that he did not have to “fix” or “build” the ServiceNow culture. Rather, he’s said, it was superb when he got there and his challenge is to help it scale to meet the needs and demands of a much larger, fast-growing, and customer-centric global organization.

Unique Differentiation

servicenow

So far, I’ve tried to make clear that ServiceNow is not like most other tech companies. That’s true across what it does, how it does it, how fast it’s growing, the types of dreams it projects onto the world, its leadership, and more.

Let me try to break with some detail several differentiators that I think will enable ServiceNow and McDermott to achieve the audacious dreams they’ve laid out.

a) A market cap of $100 billion

Now, you might say that’s silly—that market caps are the results of what you’ve done and what you do; they’re not differentiators. And I would politely say that in this case at least, you are wrong. Here’s why: with a market cap that’s 25X its high-growth revenue, ServiceNow can not only dream the big dreams that I’ve noted above, but it can also apply massively out-of-proportion resources to make those dreams come true. Externally, customers want to ride with winners—and $100 billion for a company born in 2003 and with revenue of $4 billion proves that it is a winner. And that’s a difference-maker, both inside the company and out.

b) Elegant, modern, unified data model and architecture

For customers, that almost always means simpler, faster, cleaner, better. This is a trump card that McDermott has been playing relentlessly and artfully for the past year, and will no doubt continue to play well into the future.

c) A dimension of speed unknown to the enterprise-software business

Because of differentiators (a) and (b) above, and because McDermott is intensely determined to make ServiceNow the Usain Bolt of the enterprise, ServiceNow is obliterating traditional notions of time about app development. When the pandemic hit, new workplace-safety apps were released in a couple of weeks—and the company has said it has helped some customers extend applications in a matter of days.

Here are three interrelated comments from McDermott on speed, value and impact from a July analysis headlined How Bill McDermott & ServiceNow Are Supercharging the Pace of Change:

“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….

“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….

“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.”

d) AI everywhere

It’s now a key feature of all ServiceNow solutions and technology, and the company even extended that initiative out to a partnership agreement with IBM that will wed its Watson with ServiceNow’s ITops solutions.

e) Accelerating with Accenture

The Accenture ServiceNow Business Group is designed to accelerate customers’ digital transformations with industry- and domain-specific solutions and services. The new business unit within Accenture will start out with a deep focus telecom, financial services, government, manufacturing, healthcare, and life sciences in the ServiceNow’s areas of specialization: employee engagement, customer service and operations, artificial intelligence for IT operations, and security and risk.

f) The Platform of Platforms also keeps cranking out applications

In Q3, ServiceNow expanded its Safe Workplace suite with Employee Travel Safety and Health and Safety Testing. Again, McDermott hammered on the need for speed: “Our Safe Workplace apps demonstrate our ability to innovate quickly and deliver fast time to value in weeks, not months and years.”

g) New models, new language, and new value propositions for a modern world

Early this year, in a piece called ServiceNow’s Big Secret: Bill McDermott Redefining Software Business, I analyzed the various ways in which McDermott—though only a few months out of SAP—was projecting an entirely different set of ideas to the marketplace. In these 3 short excerpts, look at how McDermott transcends the approaches of the past with a new promise for the future:

The Workflow Revolution.

What McDermott said: “We’re modernizing IT, enabling high-performing services with modern experiences. That is enabling us to not only enhance the core of how IT works, but also extend the perimeter of IT itself. We’re doing this across the entire enterprise, and that’s driving momentum in our vast portfolio of products, including our fast-growing HR and [customer-service] products.”

My quick take: So the workflow revolution starts in IT but is rapidly radiating outward to other parts of the company. And if ServiceNow plans to triple revenue to more than $10 billion, does anyone really think this workflow revolution will be confined to IT, HR and customer service?

Demolishing traditional boundaries—and approaches.

What McDermott said: “With a focus on CSM [customer-service management], we expanded our relationship with one of the largest global content companies in the telecommunications, media and technology industry. You see, they needed one solution with one platform to serve their customers. Using our workflow and integration capabilities, they’re now consolidating all customer-related processes into streamlined workflows.”

My quick take: Hey—did McDermott just say that customer is moving “all customer-related processes” to ServiceNow? So in the new world, the CRM category no longer has a stranglehold on such opportunities.

A Workflow Alternative to ERP?

What McDermott said: “In a strategic C-suite win, Roche, the world’s largest biotech company, has signed an agreement with ServiceNow to support its digital-transformation strategy. ServiceNow will be the global solution to service project and portfolio management across the entire Roche group. This strategic partnership will help Roche transform its internal business processes end to end, simplifying and improving the user experience. This will enable Roche scientists and researchers to work in a more agile way, so they can redouble their focus on their business, which is creating innovative healthcare solutions.”

My quick take: Wait a minute—“transform internal business processes end to end?” I thought that’s what ERP is all about—but ServiceNow doesn’t sell ERP, and it won this huge deal. What’s going on here?

Yes, if you take a close look at the Cloud Wars Top 10 and ask, “Which one of these is most unlike the others?”, the answer should be ServiceNow.

servicenow

Unique Differentiation

So far, I’ve tried to make clear that ServiceNow is not like most other tech companies. That’s true across what it does, how it does it, how fast it’s growing, the types of dreams it projects onto the world, its leadership, and more.

Let me try to break with some detail several differentiators that I think will enable ServiceNow and McDermott to achieve the audacious dreams they’ve laid out.

a) A market cap of $100 billion

Now, you might say that’s silly—that market caps are the results of what you’ve done and what you do; they’re not differentiators. And I would politely say that in this case at least, you are wrong. Here’s why: with a market cap that’s 25X its high-growth revenue, ServiceNow can not only dream the big dreams that I’ve noted above, but it can also apply massively out-of-proportion resources to make those dreams come true. Externally, customers want to ride with winners—and $100 billion for a company born in 2003 and with revenue of $4 billion proves that it is a winner. And that’s a difference-maker, both inside the company and out.

b) Elegant, modern, unified data model and architecture

For customers, that almost always means simpler, faster, cleaner, better. This is a trump card that McDermott has been playing relentlessly and artfully for the past year, and will no doubt continue to play well into the future.

c) A dimension of speed unknown to the enterprise-software business

Because of differentiators (a) and (b) above, and because McDermott is intensely determined to make ServiceNow the Usain Bolt of the enterprise, ServiceNow is obliterating traditional notions of time about app development. When the pandemic hit, new workplace-safety apps were released in a couple of weeks—and the company has said it has helped some customers extend applications in a matter of days.

Here are three interrelated comments from McDermott on speed, value and impact from a July analysis headlined How Bill McDermott & ServiceNow Are Supercharging the Pace of Change:

“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….

“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….

“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.”

d) AI everywhere

It’s now a key feature of all ServiceNow solutions and technology, and the company even extended that initiative out to a partnership agreement with IBM that will wed its Watson with ServiceNow’s ITops solutions.

e) Accelerating with Accenture

The Accenture ServiceNow Business Group is designed to accelerate customers’ digital transformations with industry- and domain-specific solutions and services. The new business unit within Accenture will start out with a deep focus telecom, financial services, government, manufacturing, healthcare, and life sciences in the ServiceNow’s areas of specialization: employee engagement, customer service and operations, artificial intelligence for IT operations, and security and risk.

f) The Platform of Platforms also keeps cranking out applications

In Q3, ServiceNow expanded its Safe Workplace suite with Employee Travel Safety and Health and Safety Testing. Again, McDermott hammered on the need for speed: “Our Safe Workplace apps demonstrate our ability to innovate quickly and deliver fast time to value in weeks, not months and years.”

g) New models, new language, and new value propositions for a modern world

Early this year, in a piece called ServiceNow’s Big Secret: Bill McDermott Redefining Software Business, I analyzed the various ways in which McDermott—though only a few months out of SAP—was projecting an entirely different set of ideas to the marketplace. In these 3 short excerpts, look at how McDermott transcends the approaches of the past with a new promise for the future:

The Workflow Revolution.

What McDermott said: “We’re modernizing IT, enabling high-performing services with modern experiences. That is enabling us to not only enhance the core of how IT works, but also extend the perimeter of IT itself. We’re doing this across the entire enterprise, and that’s driving momentum in our vast portfolio of products, including our fast-growing HR and [customer-service] products.”

My quick take: So the workflow revolution starts in IT but is rapidly radiating outward to other parts of the company. And if ServiceNow plans to triple revenue to more than $10 billion, does anyone really think this workflow revolution will be confined to IT, HR and customer service?

Demolishing traditional boundaries—and approaches.

What McDermott said: “With a focus on CSM [customer-service management], we expanded our relationship with one of the largest global content companies in the telecommunications, media and technology industry. You see, they needed one solution with one platform to serve their customers. Using our workflow and integration capabilities, they’re now consolidating all customer-related processes into streamlined workflows.”

My quick take: Hey—did McDermott just say that customer is moving “all customer-related processes” to ServiceNow? So in the new world, the CRM category no longer has a stranglehold on such opportunities.

A Workflow Alternative to ERP?

What McDermott said: “In a strategic C-suite win, Roche, the world’s largest biotech company, has signed an agreement with ServiceNow to support its digital-transformation strategy. ServiceNow will be the global solution to service project and portfolio management across the entire Roche group. This strategic partnership will help Roche transform its internal business processes end to end, simplifying and improving the user experience. This will enable Roche scientists and researchers to work in a more agile way, so they can redouble their focus on their business, which is creating innovative healthcare solutions.”

My quick take: Wait a minute—“transform internal business processes end to end?” I thought that’s what ERP is all about—but ServiceNow doesn’t sell ERP, and it won this huge deal. What’s going on here?

Yes, if you take a close look at the Cloud Wars Top 10 and ask, “Which one of these is most unlike the others?”, the answer should be ServiceNow.

Leadership

We’ve talked a great deal about McDermott in this overview of the company he joined only about 14 months ago. And rightfully so—he’s pushed the company into new markets, pushed customer engagements up to C-level executives, dramatically expanded the partner ecosystem, accelerated new-product development, and kept the accelerator to the floor so that not only is ServiceNow itself surging along but it’s also become an accelerator for its customers and partners.

And while market cap’s not everything, it is, as I’ve noted above, sure as hell a lot of things—all of them good, for ServiceNow. So let’s look at the numbers:

 

  • Bill McDermott started at ServiceNow in November of 2019.
  • On Oct. 22, 2019—several days before he started but was known to be on his way in—ServiceNow’s stock price was $228 per share. That was 13 months ago.
  • On Nov. 22, 2020—exactly 13 months after the share price was $228—ServiceNow’s stock price was $525, up 130% since its new CEO arrived.
Bill McDermott
Bill McDermott

Financial muscle aside, McDermott has given the already high-achievers at ServiceNow a sense of purpose and mission that goes far beyond the remarkable financial achievements and into the realm of dreams that are so vital to McDermott. He is, after all, the author of Winner’s Dream, his story of “lessons from corner store to corner office.”And you can hear the dream he now has for ServiceNow in this comment from the Q3 earnings call:

We also remain passionately focused on delivering for our customers, partners and shareholders. 2020 has brought unimaginable change to the world. Companies have to operate in new and faster ways, pivoting their business models. Everyone is adapting to new employee and customer expectations.

It’s all about people. Getting teams to collaborate across the enterprise is now more important than ever. The workplace of the future will be distributed. Managing complex digital workflows will be critical.

Enterprises need innovation without disruption. It’s clear that speed has become the differentiator. ServiceNow is leading this once-in-a-generation opportunity to make work, work better for people. And this is what we’re seeing…. 

The Now Platform unlocks this ROI by offering speed, agility and resilience. Companies need it now. It gives companies the ability to deliver at scale the experiences employees and customers demand. That’s the power of the Now Platform, a single architecture and data model that serves as the enterprise platform for all other platforms.

In other words, it’s the platform for digital business. 

Leadership

Bill McDermott
Bill McDermott

We’ve talked a great deal about McDermott in this overview of the company he joined only about 14 months ago. And rightfully so—he’s pushed the company into new markets, pushed customer engagements up to C-level executives, dramatically expanded the partner ecosystem, accelerated new-product development, and kept the accelerator to the floor so that not only is ServiceNow itself surging along but it’s also become an accelerator for its customers and partners.

And while market cap’s not everything, it is, as I’ve noted above, sure as hell a lot of things—all of them good, for ServiceNow. So let’s look at the numbers:

 

  • Bill McDermott started at ServiceNow in November of 2019.
  • On Oct. 22, 2019—several days before he started but was known to be on his way in—ServiceNow’s stock price was $228 per share. That was 13 months ago.
  • On Nov. 22, 2020—exactly 13 months after the share price was $228—ServiceNow’s stock price was $525, up 130% since its new CEO arrived.

 

Financial muscle aside, McDermott has given the already high-achievers at ServiceNow a sense of purpose and mission that goes far beyond the remarkable financial achievements and into the realm of dreams that are so vital to McDermott. He is, after all, the author of Winner’s Dream, his story of “lessons from corner store to corner office.”And you can hear the dream he now has for ServiceNow in this comment from the Q3 earnings call:

We also remain passionately focused on delivering for our customers, partners and shareholders. 2020 has brought unimaginable change to the world. Companies have to operate in new and faster ways, pivoting their business models. Everyone is adapting to new employee and customer expectations.

It’s all about people. Getting teams to collaborate across the enterprise is now more important than ever. The workplace of the future will be distributed. Managing complex digital workflows will be critical.

Enterprises need innovation without disruption. It’s clear that speed has become the differentiator. ServiceNow is leading this once-in-a-generation opportunity to make work, work better for people. And this is what we’re seeing…. 

The Now Platform unlocks this ROI by offering speed, agility and resilience. Companies need it now. It gives companies the ability to deliver at scale the experiences employees and customers demand. That’s the power of the Now Platform, a single architecture and data model that serves as the enterprise platform for all other platforms.

In other words, it’s the platform for digital business. 

The Big Questions for ServiceNow

  • And which of those 3 big-time software vendors will be the first to do a market-roiling partnership with ServiceNow?

  • Given the enormous TAMs that McDermott has in his sights for ServiceNow, how long will it be before its currently uncluttered competitive landscape draws lots of heat from other major cloud vendors?

  • Can ServiceNow find the right balance between being the “platform of platforms”—certainly not a trivial objective—and also creating its own applications?

  • And will Bill McDermott succeed in his stated objective of turning “workflow” into a verb?

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Gartner named ServiceNow a Leader for 7th year in 2020 ITSM Magic Quadrant

This 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant is an invaluable tool for anyone seeking an unbiased, third-party evaluation of IT Service Management vendors.

SPONSORED

Gartner named ServiceNow a Leader for 7th year in 2020 ITSM Magic Quadrant

This 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant is an invaluable tool for anyone seeking an unbiased, third-party evaluation of IT Service Management vendors.

About The Author

I’ve analyzed the enterprise-tech business for more than 25 years as an editorial executive and more recently as Chief Communications Officer at Oracle. I’ve written thousands of articles and columns about business innovation, strategy, leadership, disruptive technology, digital transformation, cloud computing, AI and more. In late 2016, I resigned from Oracle to launch the Cloud Wars franchise. It began with the Cloud Wars Top 10 ranking and weekly articles, and has since expanded into daily articles, a weekly newsletter, a podcast with more than 200 episodes, and now this one-of-a-kind Special Report.

About The Author

About The Author

I’ve analyzed the enterprise-tech business for more than 25 years as an editorial executive and more recently as Chief Communications Officer at Oracle. I’ve written thousands of articles and columns about business innovation, strategy, leadership, disruptive technology, digital transformation, cloud computing, AI and more. In late 2016, I resigned from Oracle to launch the Cloud Wars franchise. It began with the Cloud Wars Top 10 ranking and weekly articles, and has since expanded into daily articles, a weekly newsletter, a podcast with more than 200 episodes, and now this one-of-a-kind Special Report.

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