CoreX Partners With PE Firm To Scale Its ServiceNow Business With M&A

‘At the heart of this partnership is our ability to be a very scaled ServiceNow ecosystem player in a very rapid timeframe. We're focused on ServiceNow, not from an IT perspective, but on the growth areas around core business operations,’ says CoreX CEO Rick Wright.

CoreX, a relatively new ServiceNow-focused solution provider, said Friday it is partnering with a private equity firm to scale its reach via future acquisitions.

Rick Wright, CoreX CEO and the former senior vice president customer outcomes at ServiceNow, declined to discuss the financial details of the relationship between Addison, Texas-based CoreX and Radnor, Pa.-based private equity firm NewSpring Capital, and said NewSpring is not making a formal investment in his company.

“I would say they're our newest partner,” Wright (pictured) told CRN. “I would call it a partnership in the grand scheme of things. Yeah, we are both aligned from a mission and a vision perspective on this is an amazing market to go build a scaled organization. And together, we’re gonna go do that.”

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The partnership is aimed at building a nationwide ServiceNow solution provider by acquiring and merging smaller companies into an organization that can scale to meet customers’ needs, Wright said.

“At the heart of this partnership is our ability to be a very scaled ServiceNow ecosystem player in a very rapid timeframe,” he said. “We're focused on ServiceNow, not from an IT perspective, but on the growth areas around core business operations. If you look at our vision for accretive companies to our larger platform play, it would be people that have deep ServiceNow experience, without a doubt. It would be people that have industry and ERP backgrounds and functional knowledge. So the door is pretty wide open in terms of who we think are potential targets.”

CoreX, however, is also open to potential acquisitions that are not focused on ServiceNow, Wright said.

“As ServiceNow expands into the, I think [ServiceNow CEO Bill McDermot] called it, its ‘ERP modernization game,’ that brings a whole different lens into the target market of people that have deep functional knowledge, people that have had deep expertise in the SAP or Oracle world, because those are all systems that we’re out integrating into.”

CoreX is already actively pursuing multiple potential acquisition leads, Wright said.

“We hope to have some great conversations at this week’s ServiceNow Knowledge conference,” he said. “But yes, we are, and have been, talking to people.”

CoreX was officially founded in late 2023, but has a wealth of ServiceNow expertise stemming from the fact that many of its key people are former ServiceNow employees, Wright said.

“Our leadership team is made up of ServiceNow veterans, either from large consultancies, small startups, or ServiceNow itself,” he said. “Myself, I started the first GSI (global systems integrator) ServiceNow consultancy at KPMG back in 2009. I went on to run the global customer outcomes, or professional services, team at ServiceNow. … We've all got deep domain expertise and a lot of deep ServiceNow relationships and expertise as well.”

There’s a good reason for CoreX and other relatively new solution providers to be formed specifically as ServiceNow partners, Wright said.

“ServiceNow is on an amazing run as a company,” he said. “They’re an innovation machine. And they're probably launching more products than they ever have, and at a faster rate. But if you look at where they're launching products, it's not in the core IT service management field. It's in business operations, finance, supply chain, industry solutions. That's where their innovation and growth is coming from, which is great in terms of ever increasing total addressable market.”

And with all that growth comes a need for more specialized partners, Wright said.

“What's been really clear to me, and this was clear when I was at ServiceNow, is there's a gap in the ecosystem’s ability to support these new products,” he said. “Most partners are mainly IT-focused consultancies, and in this new world, you need deep domain and industry expertise if you're really going to help ServiceNow provide credibility through the sales process,” he said.

ServiceNow itself is beginning to understand this, and Erica Volini, ServiceNow’s senior vice president for alliances and the channel ecosystem, said so at that company’s January sales kickoff event, Wright said.

“She was super clear on stage,” he said. “She's like, ‘Look, we need partners to start to specialize. We need domain knowledge. We need deep industry knowledge. And we need it at scale.’ So as we start to hear all of those messages, we knew we were going to build a ServiceNow consultancy, we're going to build a great place to work that had a great culture. But our focus from day one was clear. We're gonna go deep in functional and industry knowledge for ServiceNow and be their partner and helping them close deals.”

The growth of ServiceNow-focused channel partners, including via acquisitions, is no surprise, Wright said.

“ServiceNow continues to grow at 20-plus percent per year, and they're a $10-billion company,” he said. “So there's plenty of opportunity for all, in my opinion. But what I start to see is that size matters. That’s why we have our new partnership with NewSpring. I’m incredibly excited about their expertise in this market, the tech services market, and in finding companies with similar visions, similar missions, to be part of the platform, which is what that partnership is all about. It allows us to get to scale much more quickly than we would otherwise.”