Bill McDermott, ServiceNow President and CEO
Photo: ServiceNow

Bill McDermott: Life of a salesman

Protocol Enterprise

Hello and welcome to Protocol Enterprise! Today: how ServiceNow CEO Bill McDermott hopes to lead the company to the promised land, why Snowflake is starting to talk about security and this week in enterprise tech moves.

Live from Las Vegas

It’s not uncommon for enterprise software CEOs to make outlandish claims in attempts to upsell customers, but no one quite embodies that ethos like Bill McDermott.

Over three days at ServiceNow’s recent Knowledge 2022 conference in Las Vegas, Protocol really got to know the charismatic CEO behind the fast-growing SaaS company.

Bill McDermott wants to lead ServiceNow to the promised land.

  • Part of what sets McDermott apart from other tech leaders like Larry Ellison, Diane Green or Hasso Plattner is his bravado and salesmanship — which, in enterprise software, might actually matter more than the nuts and bolts of the product.
  • “He’s a killer weapon the company has in this war for enterprise software supremacy,” said Wolfe Research analyst Alex Zukin. “He just has an incredible history of scale and has built ridiculously strong relationships with a lot of [top executives].”
  • Now McDermott has an ambitious plan to hit $11 billion in revenue by 2024 while making ServiceNow the “defining enterprise software company of the 21st century.”

But ServiceNow faces a fair share of skeptics who question whether the company can live up to its audacious goals.

  • In enterprise software, passing the $10 billion revenue mark is already difficult — getting there organically, and with a pure-play software approach, will be even harder.
  • To succeed, ServiceNow will have to stay true to its in-house development roots amid aggressive product expansion and increased competition from larger rivals like Salesforce.
  • The company also faces the ever-present hurdle of maintaining a self-described “unique” culture amid an ambitious growth plan that could see the company catapult to 35,000 employees in the next several years.

Ultimately, McDermott’s own vision and values may make or break the company’s ambitions.

  • Whatever may be said about Bill McDermott, it’s hard not to believe he’s sincere in his passion for ServiceNow. In conversation, he often makes the jump between selling workflow automation software and “changing the world.”
  • If he can infect his colleagues, employees and customers with that same sense of passion, he might just succeed in his ambitions for ServiceNow.

Read the full story here.

— Aisha Counts (email | twitter) and Joe Williams (email | twitter)

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Snowflake's security data push

What's the next frontier in cloud data management? If you ask Snowflake, it's bringing cybersecurity teams into the modern data stack, in the same way that so many other parts of the enterprise have done in recent years.

Just about every security team today is struggling with challenges such as siloed data and a need for more data-informed decisions to be made by leadership, according to Omer Singer, head of Cybersecurity Strategy at Snowflake. "Breaking down silos — that's what we do," Singer said. "Being able to do that for cybersecurity is a priority for us now."

Earlier this month, Snowflake announced a new cybersecurity workload type that aims to make it easier to unify security data in a single place in the cloud. Key advantages include the ability to combine security data with business and contextual data, for better threat detection and management, along with the opportunity to leverage enterprise business intelligence, according to the company.

Within a typical organization, "security has been operating in a separate stack for so long, that many aren't yet aware of the benefits of owning their data in a data platform," Singer said. "So this is a very big transformation. It's not just a better backend technology for a specific security solution."

While Snowflake has been working with customers around security data use cases for years, the company is just now beginning to get more vocal about it, Singer acknowledged — including this week at the Snowflake Summit 2022. "This is the best-kept secret in cybersecurity," he said.

— Kyle Alspach (email | twitter)

Enterprise moves

Over the past week, integration platform Boomi added new members to its C-suite, while Wikimedia and Liberty Mutual updated their top tech roles.

Madeline Ling is now CFO at Boomi. Ling was previously CFO for SimpliSafe, Agoda and VMWare’s Greater China region.

Fran Wilson is now CMO of Boomi. Wilson formerly held marketing leadership roles at Riskified and Red Hat.

Selena Deckelmann was named chief product and technology officer at Wikimedia. Deckelman was formerly the SVP of Mozilla where she was responsible for Firefox.

Monica Caldas was appointed CIO of Liberty Mutual. Caldas was formerly the deputy CIO, and was global chief information officer at GE prior to joining Liberty Mutual.

— Aisha Counts (email | twitter)

Around the enterprise

Databricks plans to hire 2,500 employees this year, according to The Information, as database enterprise tech continues — so far — to avoid the hiring freezes and layoffs seen in other sectors of the tech industry.

Splunk’s new CEO is going to take a very active role managing its product development organization, as the company continues to slog through the transition from the data center world to the cloud.

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Thanks for reading — see you tomorrow!

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