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ServiceNow CEO Bill McDermott: ‘We’re In A Market Of One’
Joseph F. Kovar
McDermott says his company is the workflow automation market leader, one that is on its way to becoming a $15 billion SaaS powerhouse by building a “platform of platforms.”
Analysts put ServiceNow in the same reports as companies like BMC, Microsoft, IBM, Atlassian or SAP, yet you call this a ‘segment of one.’
I say we’re the ‘platform of platforms’ because all those other platforms do one thing very well. One of them does financials very well. Another might do IT service OK. Another one might do something in developer operations OK. I’m saying there’s only one company that has a hyperautomation platform that does all of those things on one platform with a consumer-grade experience and a pure-play design for the cloud. So yes, you’ll have independent research that’ll say the companies you mentioned will compete with ServiceNow on one dimension, but what customers are more and more realizing and what partners are obviously betting on because there’s many of them now that have billion-dollar plans with ServiceNow, is that businesses are tired of the same old story of doing one thing well in one department with an island of automation. They want to put it all together in a strategic platform.
What’s stopping someone else from building a similar platform to bring all the different islands of automation together?
Anybody can do anything they want, and that’s the beautiful part of being in a free market economy where innovation is possible. And I believe competition is a great thing because it just inspires us to do even better. But you know, these things don’t happen overnight. So anybody who wanted to do that would have to literally start with a clean sheet design like we did and innovative platforms that could scale across all of those domains, which is really hard to do. If it wasn’t really hard to do, ServiceNow wouldn’t have become the global sensation that it is. Yes, of course they could do it. The question is what would the impact be on their core business as they try to catch up with us. This is our core, and we’re accelerating our innovation with billions in R&D. And unlike others who have basically grown through M&A, we’re doing it purely organically.