The Four Judges of the Platform of Platforms

ServiceNow aspires to become the defining software company of the 21st century. To do this, we are deploying in our customers the platform of platforms. Our platform, the Now Platform, will unite many systems of record, the best of breed solutions, the worst of merger products, and every employee with a single, elegant, system of action.

But many vendors provide platforms that deliver value to their customers. How will this be different?

Photo by Martin Reisch on Unsplash

We will use a model to measure our success at earning the “platform of platforms” title. In this model, four judges will each vote on whether ServiceNow has met their needs. Customers do enjoy a solution with only partial agreement from the four judges. But the “platform of platforms” accolade comes only by way of unanimous consent.

Let’s introduce the four judges:

As with any judge, these four will use clear criteria. We know today the people these judges represent and we succeed in varying degrees to win their trust. To focus our effort to win the platform of platform designation, I’ve documented the success criteria and measurements we’ve seen these personas use.

Judges: who they are, what they want, and how to engage them

In my experience, winning the vote of the judge of the company leader is fairly straightforward. Our Value Management team without fail are able to demonstrate the platform’s value. ServiceNow’s sales teams are excellent at winning the vote of the judge of the functional leads. The platform’s capabilities are incredible and our sales teams excellent. But it is the two judges of the IT practitioner and user, I believe, that require more attention.

When solving IT problems for IT people, ServiceNow is a recognized leader. But to be the platform of platforms, we need to help IT people solve enterprise-wide problems. ServiceNow’s solution consulting team are leading a project (Popiah, denoted with an asterisk above) to improve the way we collaborate with our customers on cross-functional, multi-department solutions. We’re building reference architectures that work for industry verticals. And we’re designing solution patterns to simplify the interconnection of systems. We lead free innovation workshops to help the customer see the potential of the platform.

For the user, to truly make the world of work work better for people, we have invested in a design-thinking presales team. This group collaborates with customers on design workshops to ensure the experience meets expectations. I’ve come to believe the user experience is arguably the most important part of the platform of platforms. An unused platform has zero value. And people will avoid an experience they dislike.

This is our evolving framework to earn the title platform of platforms. If we can get this right, if we can deliver enough value to these four judges representing entire companies, I believe we can become the defining software company of the 21st century.

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