ServiceNow under McDermott plans to go vertical starting with banks and telcos

Bill McDermott is taking a few pages from the SAP playbook as it expands ServiceNow's partnerships with integrators and aims to launch industry specific tools .

ServiceNow CEO Bill McDermott is planning to focus the company on industry-specific use cases as he runs the playbook that worked well at SAP.

McDermott, who joined ServiceNow in October just days after stepping down at SAP, outlined the company's strategy ahead of its fourth quarter earnings report. In a nutshell, ServiceNow is focusing on developing workflow and digital transformation services for the banking and telecommunications industries.

From those two industries, ServiceNow will expand with the help of integrators. ServiceNow said it will expand partnerships with Deloitte and Accenture. Deloitte will be the launch partner for banking-specific implementations of ServiceNow and Accenture will help with telecom. 

Meanwhile, ServiceNow has been acquiring companies that can fill in key product gaps. For instance, the company said Tuesday that it has acquired Passage AI, a conversational AI company that can support non-English chat bots. ServiceNow will integrate Passage AI into its Now Platform, Virtual Agent, Service Portal and Workspaces. ServiceNow also recently acquired AIOps company Loom Systems. 

Sound familiar? It should. SAP under McDermott focused on cloud acquisitions to go along with an industry-focused selling model. Before McDermott, ServiceNow was more of a horizontal vendor. Enterprise software sales are often industry specific and companies like Salesforce have been targeting verticals more closely.

In a statement, McDermott said "by creating industry-specific solutions, delivered through a partner-led model, we can better address the unique challenges that companies in key vertical markets face."

On the banking front, ServiceNow will aim to simplify middle-to-back office operations. For telecom, ServiceNow will aim to make customer care and service assurance easier. ServiceNow also hopes to enable 5G services and workflows for telecom companies.

The industry-specific products will be available later this year, the company said.