For ServiceNow, Microsoft is the lesser of two evils compared to Salesforce.
After ditching Slack for Teams following the Salesforce acquisition, ServiceNow is deepening its decade-long partnership with Microsoft, promising co-development of new products and fresh integration capabilities within Teams, it plans to announce Thursday.
"We've been on this rolling thunder journey with Microsoft." ServiceNow Senior Vice President Blake McConnell told Protocol. "This is the next evolution of the journey,"
CEO Bill McDermott routinely proclaims that no other vendor has to lose for ServiceNow to win. But the lines between competitors and allies within enterprise tech are becoming increasingly blurry. And ultimately, CIOs are going to choose to align with partners that provide their preferred package of services — to the detriment of some vendors.
Microsoft and ServiceNow, for example, are growing competitors in the market for employee experience software. However, the two also play nice in the proverbial IT sandbox, with a longstanding partnership covering several aspects of their business, including ServiceNow using Azure to host its software alongside the company's private cloud.
And now, ServiceNow's new "Employee Center" product, which serves as both a corporate information hub and worker help desk, will be available directly in Teams, according to the Thursday release.
Microsoft and ServiceNow's "coopetition" is aimed at a higher goal: undermining Salesforce, which is fast becoming the main rival for both vendors. The company is also expanding quickly into the employee experience market with the release of Work.com. And although Salesforce remains the market leader for customer relationship management software, competition is heating up as Microsoft, along with upstarts like Freshworks, become a bigger threat.
"Ultimately, we respond to customer demand. And we have seen a lot of customer demand … for integrations with Teams," said McConnell.
ServiceNow is not completely abandoning Slack and the company still plans to offer integration capabilities with the instant messaging platform. However, it's hard to see ServiceNow striking a partnership with Salesforce that's similar to its initiatives with Microsoft.
"It is not to the exclusion [of Slack]. We are an enterprise platform, we cut across heterogenous enterprise environments," McConnell added. But "we are elevating Teams to be more of a core conversational interface for us."