Cute acquisitions augment the core offering

ServiceNow is building-out its offering with highly targeted acquisitions that enrich the core proposition rather than making huge plays that history knows are sometimes difficult to integrate. 

The enterprise tech industry is littered with acquisition mishaps where vendors have bet the farm to buy the competition or acquire customers. ServiceNow is effectively in an industry of one at the moment so that option is off the table, and in any case, their strategy is altogether different. 

The blueprint of buying smaller, industry leading yet quite niche, companies has ensured that ServiceNow is able to maintain the same exceptional standards of engineering across the Now Platform. During my interview with Bill McDermott, CEO at ServiceNow, he told me that, “The platform itself has been designed at such a sensational level of quality and the engineering pride in the company is so fantastic that nobody would put a piece of code in our platform that is not world class.”

Since 2013, ServiceNow has made 21 acquisitions – which sounds like a lot – but those additions have come in the form of smaller strategic buys that complement or improve existing services. Its most recent acquisitions include Gekkobrain, Mapwize, Swarm64, Lightstep and Intellibot – all of which delivered very specific enhancements to the ServiceNow offering without fundamentally changing the core product. 

Gekkobrain extends the power of ServiceNow Creator Workflows to help organisations identify and understand custom code in their ERP deployments. Layering on the low-code capabilities of App Engine helps organisations rapidly and cost-effectively modernise their ERP systems by seamlessly identifying, automating, and customising workflows to reduce the risk and cost traditionally associated with ERP software migrations.

Mapwize provides indoor mapping capabilities for employees as they reserve seats, conference rooms, workspaces and workplace resources, as well as navigate offices from their desktop or mobile devices. Mapwize capabilities will also help workplace teams manage and update floor maps based on usage trends and evolving realestate needs.

Swarm64 helps customers manage data across many different use cases to execute complex, high-speed data analytics at scale. Lightstep is a pioneer in next generation application monitoring and observability and helps DevOps engineers build, deploy, run and monitor state‑of‑the‑art cloud‑native applications. Finally, Intellibot is an RPA tool that extends ServiceNow’s core workflow capabilities by helping customers automate repetitive tasks for intelligent, endtoend automation.

We expect to see more acquisitions throughout 2022 and beyond, particularly in the enterprise visibility, process automation, security and mobile workforce management space.

ServiceNow is effectively in an industry of one at the moment so that option is off the table, and in any case, their strategy is altogether different.