ServiceNow Acquires Qlue and Invests in BuildOnMe
May 18, 2017
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ServiceNow announced new investments that will apply intelligent automation to improve user experiences and process automation using virtual agent technologies across IT, HR, Customer Service and Security workflows.

These new capabilities will benefit from the rich data that customers already have on the Now Platform, and will be applied to current use cases – such as how employees interact with HR and IT service desks, and how customers interact with customer support – improving service levels and user experiences.

- ServiceNow has agreed to acquire Qlue. ServiceNow plans to further increase productivity for its customers and enhance their experiences by applying artificial intelligence to routine service desk conversations with Qlue’s virtual agent messaging capabilities. With this acquisition, ServiceNow expands its offerings to make everyday work more intelligent in its Intelligent Automation EngineTM on the Now Platform. This is an all‑cash transaction expected to close this month. Financial terms were not disclosed.

- ServiceNow Ventures announced its investment in BuildOnMe, an early‑stage company delivering artificial intelligence‑enabled applications on the Now Platform. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“Intelligence is the glue that brings automation, context and human power into the service conversation,” said Dave Wright, Chief Strategy Officer, ServiceNow. “Intelligent virtual agents make it easy, immediate and effective for customers to engage in a relationship with you 24x7.”

Qlue leverages artificial intelligence to power virtual agents. Qlue’s solutions can answer Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) such as “What is our policy in paternity leave?,” requests such as “What’s the status of my order?” and problem diagnostics such as “My internet connection is slow.” ServiceNow plans to apply Qlue to assist in a range of service desks domains, spanning IT, HR, Customer Service and more. ServiceNow will re‑platform Qlue in its Intelligent Automation Engine on the Now Platform.

When employees have questions about benefit enrollment, vacation policies, a leave of absence or jury duty, they typically call or email HR agents. This is also the case for IT service desks who deal with password resets, equipment requests and software issues, and for customer service agents who deal with warrantees, faulty products or the status of an order. Virtual agents provide a two‑way flow of interaction in natural language between machines and humans. With machine learning and artificial intelligence as the underpinnings, a virtual agent chatbot can solve problems, answer questions and undertake actions with greater efficiency and faster turnaround. Chatbots provide employees or consumers an experience that can be personalized, accessible and effective. Self‑service using chatbots frees up human agents who can then focus on higher value work.

“ServiceNow’s strategy is to build, buy and partner to accelerate our customers’ path to intelligent automation,” said Wright. “Today’s investments show our commitment to greater intelligence for everyday work on the Now Platform. This helps our customers gain greater efficiencies from their operations while providing superior user experiences for their employees and customers.”

“ServiceNow is delivering the service experience of the future,” said Rahim Yaseen, co‑founder and CTO, Qlue. “Together our virtual agent technology will replace simple, repetitive tasks and deliver personalized service conversations to ServiceNow customers.”

ServiceNow customers are well positioned to take advantage of machine learning within the Intelligent Automation Engine. Unlike vendors whose predictive models are applied to wide swaths of data from multiple customers, ServiceNow’s approach is tailored to each customer and their own cloud instance via ServiceNow’s multi‑instance architecture. This means ServiceNow can train individual datasets that are specific to our customers’ businesses resulting in highly accurate predictions.

BuildOnMe’s artificial intelligence applications also enable companies to automate many mundane tasks with a chatbot. Because they are driven by artificial intelligence, BuildOnMe’s solutions get smarter with every interaction.

“Companies without some form of intelligent automation are already behind,” said Thomas Moewe, CEO, BuildOnMe. “The funding from ServiceNow Ventures will help expedite our move to bring smarter decisions and increased productivity into the workplace. The Now Platform is ideally suited for delivering work at lightspeed.”

BuildOnMe Bob (BuildOn Bot) delivers for the first time a chatbot HR assistant running on the Now Platform. Bob increases HR employees’ self‑service support, which can deflect cases. Bob for HR addresses common questions and requests so HR agents can focus on the more complex and strategic aspects of HR work. Bob is connected to knowledge bases so employees can ask questions of Bob, rather than sifting through content in different places. Bob understands when an employee types, “I just had a baby,” that it should direct the inquiry to the company’s maternity policy and benefits. It also processes requests for a leave of absence, vacation and more. Bob can also be adapted for expertise in IT service management.

“Having greater intelligence to assist in managing HR requests and inquiries via a chatbot makes it easier and faster for employees to get what they need, when they need it,” said Dominic Phillips, VP, ServiceNow Ventures. “Through our Ventures investments, such as BuildOnMe, we’re dedicated to delivering innovative solutions that allow our customers to focus their teams’ valuable time on higher level work.”

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