Going Vertical With ServiceNow Partners
Executive Spotlight Q&A – Daniel K Österbergh
Area Vice President Channel & Alliances, EMEA, ServiceNow
ServiceMatters: Welcome Daniel. Can you tell us a bit about why you are so excited to be at ServiceNow?
Daniel K Österbergh: I joined ServiceNow last month after tenures at Avaya Inc. and EMC. I’ve followed ServiceNow very closely for a number of years and think that it’s been very smart about the way it has structured and delivered its platform to give enterprise users the same end-user experience that consumers get with the apps and technologies they love. This role represented an unparalleled opportunity to join a fast-growing company with an amazing breadth of technical scope.
ServiceMatters: You are based in Sweden, but how does your channel structure break down across EMEA?
Daniel K Österbergh: I have a great team set up to give the right channel coverage across EMEA, with regional go-to-market channel and alliances managers in all key EMEA regions. EMEA is a diverse region, so I take a keen interest in the nuances, challenges, and successes that every manager encounters on a day-to-day basis.
ServiceMatters: What are your strategic priorities right now?
Daniel K Österbergh: Right now I am focused on executing our EMEA strategy in line with our 2020 plan to become a $4bn business. The EMEA region is set to contribute a significant amount to that total, and what is exciting for me is that the channel and alliances division will contribute considerably to that revenue. So it’s a challenge and a huge responsibility, but it’s an exciting time.
ServiceMatters: So below strategy, how do the tactics play out here?
Daniel K Österbergh: We are looking to grow our channel partner base as we embark upon this journey. We have a lot of very positive and successful partnerships, but we’ve never been truly strategic about the way we approach these relationships. We will also align our channel sales with our field sales and our Business Units (BUs) in a much more tightly integrated form. The end result will give us greater reach and deeper penetration into all the markets that we target.
Expanding our scope of sales beyond ITSM with the long-established partners that we already work with is an important element of our strategy. There is certainly a big opportunity for us to drive sales for service management from our BUs and this, in some markets, is an untapped opportunity that I want to capitalize on.
ServiceMatters: Will the scope of your Business Units now expand in any particular direction?
Daniel K Österbergh: Absolutely. We have a clear target for each BU going forward and we see more spend in ITOM, Customer Service, Human Resources and SecOps in particular. Customers are clearly investing a lot into cybersecurity right now and ServiceNow has an impressive platform to manage these security technologies once they are deployed. I am also a strong advocate of creating a ‘channel only segment’, which, crucially, develops a lot of go-to-market trust in the channel. The end result is a win-win and the growth model moves forward very fast.
ServiceMatters: Are there any nuances of the EMEA market that make it different from, let’s say, North America for example?
Daniel K Österbergh: All of the countries where we operate are equally important for ServiceNow and we are working hard to create a comprehensive coverage plan broken down by BU, with the main countries being the UK, Germany and France. We are also going to roll out a whole new strategy for what we call ‘the commercial space’ in EMEA, companies with 5,000 employees and below that is so established and vibrant across the European region.
ServiceMatters: What was life like before your career in enterprise-level channel?
Daniel K Österbergh: I worked across a number of startups throughout the Nordic region. For one, I literally started with one other person, working in a rented office, and built that business up to around 200 people. This has given me some fabulous ground-level experience in terms of what it takes to be a real entrepreneur, plus a great understanding of the position many of our partners are in.
ServiceMatters: You don’t sound like you are daunted by the challenge ahead. Where does your hunger for success come from?
Daniel K Österbergh: Having met a good deal of customers and channel partners already, people are really excited about ServiceNow’s technology and I can see that we have something special and unique in our platform.
We have great solutions and a great platform, but I do know that there are lots of partners out there in the market who don’t even know that we exist. I want to be able to work with many new partners and show them just how much ServiceNow can drive tangible line of business successes.