7 Questions for Tom Stanford, CEO, Nuvolo Technologies

ServiceNow is announcing ServiceNow Ventures, a strategic fund to invest in and partner with early- to growth-stage companies. One of the first companies ServiceNow invested in is Nuvolo. Entrepreneur Tom Stanford founded the company in 2014 to modernize enterprise asset management (EAM) for Global 2000 customers.

 Tom and I recently sat down to talk about his perspective on building a successful ISV on the ServiceNow platform and his advice to other startups looking for a platform partner.

Nuvolo is a small but mighty company addressing a $10B+ market opportunity. What most excites you about your business opportunity?

Enterprise asset management is an area that has seen little change or innovation in 20 or 30 years, so it is ripe for transformation. Take the medical industry, for example. Companies are growing exponentially, often through consolidation. Think about what happens when that they end up needing to consolidate 10 to 20 systems and assets, gain visibility, manage layers upon layers of suppliers? They have to address questions like: How do I know where my liability is? How do I know where my risk is? Do I know my my current spend and is it appropriate?  What if a patient is being put on a machine that is not safe? It’s a huge problem if it’s not addressed.

I get really excited about the opportunity we have to truly change how work is done and modernize this space. As the champion UFC Fighter Conor McGregor said- “We did not come here to take part, we came here to take over.”

Why did you decide to build your company on the ServiceNow platform? Did you weigh other platform options?

 We were choosing between ServiceNow and Salesforce.com. ServiceNow has set the stage for this type of transformation within organizations, starting with IT. Ultimately, we will be able to innovate and respond to the needs of our customers and partners faster than everyone else because we are built on ServiceNow.

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How long did it take you to get from idea to market? How did ServiceNow impact that timing?

Extremely fast. We see amazing time to value. Because we are on the ServiceNow platform, we can move from ideation to production deployment for our customers and partners on new innovations in a small fraction of the time compared to traditional software companies, if they can even deliver it at all.

Just the other day we were sitting down with one of the largest life sciences companies in the world. They have a massive installation of a legacy system; in just two meetings, we are talking about replacing this competitor. That’s incredible. Not many small companies can have that conversation. It’s only because we are backed by and built on ServiceNow, which this perspective customers is currently using throughout their organization.

What advice do you have for an early-stage company that’s weighing development platform options?

Pick your platform and your partner carefully.  For early stage companies, you need a platform-partner committed to innovation, who is aligned with your strategy and vision.  That is the main reason we chose ServiceNow. ServiceNow will evolve as the leading platform for innovation over the next five years and the defacto standard for enterprise development platforms for the Global 2000.

How did you benefit from the investment from ServiceNow Ventures?

Besides having access to an enormous sales distribution channel, the investment validates our business in the marketplace.  Successfully growing a cloud-based enterprise ISV is about proving the viability and sustainability of your business over the long term.  The investment from ServiceNow Ventures is a key enabler for our growth.

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How does Nuvolo change the way its customers work? 

The Nuvolo and ServiceNow platforms create a single system of record for tracking medical devices. The implications aren’t just about saving money – there are no more fire drills with trying to manage, track and service equipment. The platform replaces old technology and tribal knowledge with a modern cloud-based platform and better process. Everything is now tracked, serviced and auditable in a single system.  Nuvolo makes it less likely that there is an adverse patient outcomes as a result of faulty equipment.  Everything is also now visible to the CFO and finance teams.

It’s ultimately about helping healthcare providers deliver better and safer patient care.

You’re an entrepreneur. What’s your advice for other entrepreneurs outside of Silicon Valley?

First, pick good partners. Partners are instrumental to your growth and validate that what you do is important in the space.

Second, I’ve always said that building Nuvolo is not our job, it is who we are. If you’re not committed and passionate about the space and the opportunity, if you are not all-in, don’t go down this path. It’s not for the faint of heart.

Last, identifying a common enemy is unifying for your employees. It motivates them to go out and be better, faster, and smarter than the other guy.

ServiceNow is Nuvolo’s secret weapon, and there’s a tremendous benefit to seeing more companies like us in the marketplace. I want to encourage other entrepreneurs and CEOs to pick up the phone and ask me about it.

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Dominic Phillips
Dominic Phillips is Vice President, Finance and Corporate Development and runs ServiceNow Ventures. Prior to joining ServiceNow, Dominic was a VP on the investment banking team at Morgan Stanley where he advised technology companies on a broad range of strategic transactions including M&A, debt and equity financings, and hostile takeover defense. Dominic has an MBA from the Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Cal Poly, and is CPA certified.

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