ServiceNow launches customer service tools, aims at incumbents

ServiceNow's official launch of its Customer Service Management cloud is taking aim at Salesforce, Oracle and others with an ITIL spin.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

ServiceNow is officially rolling out its customer service management offering in a move that'll expand its addressable market and put it on a collision course with established players such as Salesforce and Oracle.

The bet: An IT service management twist on customer service can create a closed loop that ties initial contact and engagement to an issue being resolved.

ServiceNow is launching its customer services tools to the broader market at its Knowledge 16 conference in Las Vegas. "Customer service is broken and we all know it's broken," said Dave Stephens, vice president of products at ServiceNow. "We can support customer service so the mission becomes continual service improvement, which is the main goal of ITIL."

ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) is a set of best practices for IT service management that aims to align technology and business.

Stephens said that what makes ServiceNow's Customer Service Management cloud different is that it goes beyond engagement to closing the loop on service issues. CRM systems typically stop at engagement. ServiceNow is looking to combine proactive alerts, service management and root cause issues as well as service level agreements and contracts in one place.

In other words, customer service tickets need to be integrated and coordinated with engineering, product design, field services and other departments. That orchestration is ServiceNow's specialty.

The key features of ServiceNow Customer Service Management include:

  • A common platform to connect customer service operations with other departments in an enterprise. The result is cross-function collaboration on a customer ticket.
  • Self-service customer and partner portal with access to contextual information and social Q&A via any communication channel.
  • Tracking of the health of products and services in the installed base along with analytics and intelligence. Customer service teams will know when problems occur in the field and can prepare in advance.

Can the customer service market support another entry? Stephens thinks so. "It's a $9 billion market where no traditional vendor has 20 percent of the market. There are a lot of old school customer service tools out there," he said.

ServiceNow's launch comes as the company plots a course to $4 billion in revenue by 2020.

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