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ServiceNow Branches Beyond Internal IT Service Delivery to Tackle External Customer Service Use Cases

ServiceNow has been a mainstay vendor for internal IT service management (ITSM) for over a decade. It is now making a concerted effort to expand into adjacent functional areas, with a heavy emphasis on providing external customer service management.

Founded in 2003, ServiceNow is an extremely popular vendor in the ITSM space. Its products allow IT departments to support operations such as help desk and facilities queues. At the core of ServiceNow’s solutions are robust case management and resolution workflow capabilities.

The design and execution of internal service resolution workflows is, coincidentally, not dissimilar from providing external customer service. The core tenets around ticketing, routing, escalation, and knowledge management are nearly identical. The primary difference concerns intake channel: internal employees typically submit requests over phone, email, or intranet, while external customers are likely to demand additional channels such as social, text, or customer portal.

Recognizing these similarities, many ITSM providers are now positioning dedicated customer service management (CSM) solutions in the broader customer experience management market space. The opposite also holds true, with CSM vendors such as Zendesk looking to move into IT and HR help-desk management.

ServiceNow is a well-established vendor in the ITSM space. See

In the last two years, Info-Tech has seen an upswing in the number of our members that are considering ServiceNow as a dual-purpose solution for both internal service delivery and external customer care. The benefits involve rationalization to a single vendor for both use cases, ease of solution upkeep, and possible licensing concessions. The primary headwind that ServiceNow faces in becoming a market leader in external customer service is the sheer number of entrenched players already in the space. Salesforce, Microsoft, Cisco, Moxie, eGain, and many others are already well known for their strong customer service capabilities. The competitive landscape is daunting.

Nevertheless, Info-Tech recommends that organizations looking to modernize their customer care applications should have ServiceNow in their shortlist – particularly if they are already invested in ServiceNow for internal ITSM or digital workflow management.

Our Take

  • ServiceNow is a popular vendor in the ITSM space.
  • Due to the similarities between ITSM and external customer service, ServiceNow is picking up increased market traction in the CSM landscape.
  • Info-Tech recommends that organizations with a ServiceNow footprint for internal ITSM or help desk should include ServiceNow in their shortlist if they’re considering deploying or modernizing their CSM applications.

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