Deal comes same week as company’s new partner-led industry solutions plan
ServiceNow is buying 4-year-old Passage AI and its conversational artificial intelligence (AI) platform to make it easier for users to work with ServiceNow products in their native language.
The Lowdown: The acquisition of Passage AI is only the latest move by the Santa Clara, California, company to expand its capabilities and customer base after announcing last week that it’s buying AIOps vendor Loom and earlier this week rolling out a partner-led industry solutions strategy.
The Details: ServiceNow plans to bring Passage AI’s conversational AI platform, which leverages deep learning models that can be trained to understand text in myriad languages, with its cloud-based Now Platform for digital workflows. The combination will enable ServiceNow to broaden its chatbox support for languages beyond English and enable organizations to better understand work requests.
The deal, which is expected to close this quarter, also will bring multi-language capabilities to such ServiceNow products as Virtual Agent, Service Portal, and Workspaces. No financial details were disclosed.
Regarding the new industry strategy, ServiceNow is aiming to offer workflows designed to address challenges specific to various verticals. The first industries targeted are banking and telecommunications. The banking solution will enable banks to improve the customer experience by simplifying middle- to back-office operations.
For telcos, the solution will align customer care and service assurance to enable them to proactively address issues before they become problems.
ServiceNow will rely on partners to get these solutions to organizations in the target industries. Deloitte will be the “lead launch” partner for the banking solution, while Accenture will assume the same role for the telco solution. Accenture also will guide ServiceNow’s product roadmap and create telco-specific workflow offerings to support software-defined networking (SDN), which is key to upcoming 5G-connected services.
The Impact: As vendors like ServiceNow look to develop industry-specific solutions, it creates a significant opportunity for channel partners with expertise in particular verticals.
The Buzz: “Work flows more smoothly when people can get things done in their native language,” said Debu Chatterjee, senior director of AI engineering at ServiceNow. “Building deep learning, conversational AI capabilities into the Now Platform will enable a work request initiated in German or a customer inquiry initiated in Japanese to be solved by Virtual Agent. Passage AI’s technology will enable us to accelerate our vision of empowering great employee and customer experiences by delivering great workflow experiences. ServiceNow believes in making work flow more smoothly across the enterprise, in all major languages.”
“Every company around the world aspires to deliver great experiences that drive fierce customer loyalty and create powerful employee engagement,” ServiceNow President and CEO Bill McDermott said of the new industry strategy. “And companies across many industries are turning to ServiceNow to help them transform their business to unleash productivity and fuel innovation. 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 as they look to digitally transform their businesses.”
“With 5G being one of the highest priorities and most significant investments for service providers, they are seeking a competitive advantage by establishing greater agility and scale in today’s cloud-first world,” said Peters Suh, North America communications industry lead at Accenture. “Through our expanded ecosystem partnership with ServiceNow, we’re better positioned than ever to help companies elevate solutions and support the transitions of the telecommunications industry.”