Partners In Focus At ServiceNow Knowledge18

This week, ServiceNow opened the doors to its Knowledge18 customer, user and partner event in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Venetian resort and casino. Day one focused on the Global PartnerNow Summit, bringing together hundreds of ServiceNow partners.

In the opening keynote, ServiceNow explained how its alliance partner strategy is firmly focused on building a channel with a natural capacity and skill set for delivering high-quality customer implementations.

Helping to develop, expand and refine the global skills and competency base within that implementation space has seen ServiceNow move from its previous focus on an accreditation programme into developing a new partner certification programme.

“Accreditation is a soft label really — it’s just a badge. Our previous systems of accreditation were not necessarily industry-standard, recognized labels. As we now move to a more exacting method of partner certification, we will work with a more sophisticated and formalized set of mechanics that will be reflected in the way our partners’ capabilities will grow,” said Daniel Österbergh, EMEA AVP for Alliances & Channel.

 

Better business outcomes

“We know that the customer must be able to adopt the ServiceNow platform, but also be able to upgrade when and where they want to. Previously it was perhaps the case that partners used to over-customize and make upgrades more difficult because of a lack of training and platform knowledge. We want our partners to know what a best-in-class implementation looks like. That way they can deliver better business outcomes for all customers,” added Österbergh.

Given that partners are responsible for implementing 90% of ServiceNow products across its global customer base, it is vitally important that all partners all have the right individual skillsets for the right products.
ServiceNow’s partner relationships used to be predominantly tactical in relation to specific implementation details for each customer. That granularity still exists, but the wider focus for the company is to now develop strategic partner relationships that focus on the customer.

“The biggest development for us right now is the structure of our new partner programme, but it’s more than just the actual move to certification. It’s a new holistic programme built on core economic values that will run parallel to our old programme from a ‘tiering’ (e.g. bronze, silver, gold) perspective,” continued Österbergh.

Österbergh explained that under the old ServiceNow partner system, sales thresholds were the same for partners in all countries. For alliance partners in smaller nations this was perceived as less than fair and more emphasis may have fallen onto tier one geographies in terms of market size.

The new programme goes live on June 4th, 2018 and any partner that has achieved a certain tier status will carry that forward. After that point, a new points-based system will be introduced that will be more equitable in terms of how partners are ranked in relation to their sales and services.

“By ServiceNow Knowledge19, we will merge all the partner programmes into one unified programme, so this year is something of a soft launch while we continue fine tuning. The new programme has much clearer differentiators between the tiers so there is a more distinct incentivisation because we want partners that are ready to build for scale.

“We have a lot of partners that are very niche and only work with one ServiceNow product and the new programme also allows even niche placers to focus on what they do and excel,” added Österbergh.

Partnership innovation is a two-way street

Partners are a crucial component in ServiceNow’s global growth plans. This is a very symbiotic relationship where partners work to deliver deals that ServiceNow creates – plus they contribute as much as 50% of total growth through customer deals that ServiceNow did not initially develop.

We call this latter segment ‘source growth’ and it forms a large part of the ServiceNow mid-market strategy.

As the ServiceNow partner ecosystem becomes an even richer and more vibrant community, the company is working hard to ensure that partners have the opportunity to expose ServiceNow technologies to more than just the CIO and CTO in the boardroom.

ServiceNow wants to make sure that the benefits of its intelligent automation and ITSM tools can be directly accessed by department members in HR, security and all other lines of business.

As the breadth of the ServiceNow platform continues to expand, so does the breadth of the relationship it nurtures and develops with each customer. This means working hard with each partner to create non-ITSM conversations, as ServiceNow expands its product set and brings partners forward to a stage where they are always ready to help implement the latest market offerings.

ServiceNow success depends upon customer success that is driven by partner success and that’s a statement of logic that will never change.

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ServiceNow Blog

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