In the third quarter, cloud services provider ServiceNow signed its 1,000th customer contract that’s valued above $1 million in annual revenues. That’s double the number the company recorded a year ago — quite an impressive feat. Unlike Salesforce CEO, Marc Benioff, ServiceNow CEO Bill McDermott is reticent to celebrate his current winning streak, because he’s chasing a much bigger prize.
“We are well on our way to become the defining enterprise-software company of the 21st century,” McDermott told MarketWatch. “If you look at our position in the market today, we’re the only born-in-the-cloud software company to have reached a $100 billion market cap without large-scale M&A.”
While they occupy the same lane, Salesforce and ServiceNow have taken markedly different roads to success. ServiceNow focuses on partnerships and smaller acquisitions rather than the billion-dollar “megadeals” Salesforce has initiated.
McDermott may be the quieter one out of the two CEOs, but he’s been leading an aggressive assault on Salesforce’s dominant position in the CRM marketplace. At the beginning of the year, McDermott—who spent the last decade as CEO of SAP— offered a come-one, come-all invitation to the big enterprise-apps players to enlist ServiceNow’s unique workflow capabilities to their horizontal apps.
Now, there is ServiceNow’s latest acquisition. This month, the cloud-software company signed an agreement to acquire Element AI, an artificial intelligence company that gives organizations unparalleled access to cutting-edge technology. Element AI launches and incubates advanced AI-First solutions in partnership with large corporations.
Element AI will offer a fresh perspective and expertise in applying modern AI to text and language, chat, images, search, question response, and summarization and will accelerate AI innovation natively in the Now Platform.
ServiceNow will create an AI Innovation Hub in Canada to accelerate customer-focused AI innovation in the Now Platform. The new investment deepens ServiceNow’s commitment to the Canadian market, which has long been a leader in AI research and represents one of the world’s most significant locations for AI talent. ServiceNow’s AI Innovation Hub in Canada follows similar investments by ServiceNow to create technology development centers in Chicago, Hyderabad, Kirkland, San Diego, and Silicon Valley.
ServiceNow has always been a company to keep an eye on, but now it seems that it is solidifying itself as a major competitor.