Welcome to the Cloud Wars Minute — your daily news and commentary show, hosted by Cloud Wars Founder Bob Evans. Each episode provides insights and perspectives around the “reimagination machine” that is the Cloud.
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In today’s Cloud Wars Minute, I talk about how ServiceNow’s latest strategic moves, guided by CEO Bill McDermott, signal a venture into intra- and inter-enterprise business network opportunities.
00:43 — ServiceNow looks like it wants to help rewrite some rules around what I’m going to call B2B commerce or business networks. Bill McDermott on a Q3 earnings call, made a couple of, I think, very intentionally vague references to what he sees as a coming trend that I think will be ServiceNow’s next big adventure.
01:14 — ServiceNow recently moved up to the number two spot on the Cloud Wars Hottest Companies list. It had its first $2 billion quarter. It looks more and more like customers aren’t just choosing some point solutions with ServiceNow. They’re looking for that end-to-end capability.
02:37 — Here’s where I think McDermott was hinting that ServiceNow is going to go next. On the earnings call, he said that we increasingly see both intra- and inter-enterprise business network opportunities.
03:04 — When McDermott was at SAP, he led the acquisition of a company that eventually became the SAP Business Network. It was six to nine months ago that Oracle began to talk more ambitiously about listing big customers (e.g. FedEx, JP Morgan Chase) to serve as what I call hubs of commerce or partners of Oracle, in trying to enhance the notion of B2B e-commerce.
04:13 — I think that what McDermott and ServiceNow want to do is follow its model of saying we’re not trying to compete with those folks, we want to help customers take the existing things they have and more effectively tie those different workflows together to enable these sorts of business networks that McDermott talked about.
04:47 — Tie in with all of this the fact that about six months ago ServiceNow introduced its first ERP (enterprise resource planning) workflows in finance and supply chain, and you see emerging here the full ambition of what Bill McDermott had in mind when he took over as CEO of ServiceNow, almost four years ago.