Image via CrunchBase
After I reviewed IT service management tool Beetil a few weeks ago I had a tweet from Rhett Glauser of Service-now.com asking if I’d take a look at their offering. I’m always happy to take a peek under the hood of different applications and so I was happy to take service-now for a test drive. I have to preface this service with the same disclaimer I gave previously, namely that I’m not a veteran of service management and so I’m looking at ease of use, features and UI from a layman’s perspective. That said let’s dive in to service-now.
Service-now is a well funded (they’ve closed $7.5 million of funding in two rounds, cash-flow positive company that boasts triple digit percentage growth and currently serves 250 odd enterprise customers. They’re doing around $25 million in recurring revenue.
As mentioned in the intro, Service-now is a SaaS solution for enterprise IT service management. The application was built to support the automation of ITIL processes such as incident, problem, change, release, request and SLA management. The application includes an integrated knowledge base, service request catalog and satisfaction surveys as well as service and asset dependency mapping, automated asset discovery, license compliance, configuration management and chargebacks.
Initially upon logging in to service-now, users are presented with a service desk dashboard which nicely aggregates a bunch of relevant information and gives users a snapshot of their current ITIL status.
Service-now includes a configuration management database (CMDB) to generate schematics of information systems. In keeping with the rich user experience we all demand of web apps – each point on the CMDB is a clickable link to detail about that component.
I’ve included some screenshots but as Glauser pointed out to me, service-now have a live instance that is publicly available. Service-now runs to $99 per user per month so it’s around four times the price of Beetil but that comparison is kind of doing an injustice to both vendors. Glauser is adamant that service-now is targeting enterprise level customers – the breadth and depth of the ITSM functionality they have is greater than that of Beetils – their pricing levels certainly suggest their enterprise focus – minimum customer size is about 40 IT process users or about a $40,000
per year subscription. Its a case of horses for courses – part of due diligence for any product should be a needs analysis that factors in things like scope growth and fiscal imperatives.
This much functionality does however impact upon usability to an extent – I found service-now quite complex in use. Bear in mind however this was a cursory glance by a layperson – experiences ITSM practitioners might have a different view and I’d certainly welcome their feedback by way of comments to this post.
In a nice soundbite that I couldn’t resist posting, Glauser said that;
We take our fight to the big 4 and I admire what Beetil is doing. Honestly, we would love to see more app vendors build a Net-native, modern SaaS tool like Service-now.com or Beetil, as opposed to these bastardized, ASPed legacy tools that vendors are putting SaaS labels on. I think what Beetil is doing is good for end users.
It’s always refreshing to see SaaS vendors concentrate on building the pie rather than fighting over a share of it. Glauser rightly points out that there is plenty of scope for both Service-now and Beetil to be successful.