The chief innovation officer of $96 billion ServiceNow explains how new low-code and AI tools will help people be more productive (NOW)

ServiceNow CEO Bill McDermott

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Workflow automation company ServiceNow is getting closer to its goal of making work work better for its customers. 

The firm — which makes automation software — launched new AI updates and low-code capabilities on its platform earlier this week that greatly expand its range of services. 

While ServiceNow initially focused on customer, IT, and employee processes with an organization, these launches allow users to create custom workflows on the platform. 

“We can look at all the things that are common across every company, and we can build workflows for those, or we can ship those out as products,” said Dave Wright, ServiceNow’s chief innovation officer. “But every company is going to have its own unique workflows that are very specific to their business.”

Hence the new customization features. 

The updates are meant to help customers innovate faster and be more productive, Wright said, which is more crucial than ever because of the pandemic. With the new low code tools companies can essentially automate any workflow, which is especially important when people are working in different locations or time zones. 

The new low-code tools — called App Engine Studio and App Engine Templates — help users create a workflow without using any code. App Engine Studio uses a largely drag-and-drop interface to guide someone through building an app, while the templates provide the basics for common use cases that customers can customize. 

“This is really about putting innovation in the hands of every employee across the enterprise,” Wright said. 

The use cases for customers are broad, Wright said. For example, the city of Los Angeles, an existing customer, used the low code tools to develop an app in 72 hours to track COVID vaccinations. 

ServiceNow, which had a market cap of $96 billion as of Friday afternoon, also released new AI capabilities powered by two companies it acquired in the last two years: Loom.ai in early 2020 and Attivio in late 2019. When ServiceNow acquires companies, it “replatforms” the technology to fit into ServiceNow’s existing system, with the aim of giving customers a seamless experience. 

New features include predictive event management, which helps users anticipate potential problems and automate resolutions, and a personalized search function that suggests most-likely results. 

ServiceNow has been on a mission to ramp up its AI offerings: Last year it named its first chief artificial intelligence officer, Vijay Narayanan, a Microsoft and Pinterest veteran who is now leading about 300 technologists, Insider previously reported.

It also acquired Passage AI, a Silicon Valley conversational AI company; Sweagle, a Belgium-based data management firm; and Element AI, an AI company based in Montreal. 

Technology from those AI acquisitions will be seen in the platform soon.

“As we do these acquisitions, it takes us a while to replatform,” Wright said. “But we never end up with things that are bolted on the side or are not swapping data between systems.”

Got a tip? Contact this reporter via email at pzaveri@insider.com or Signal at 925-364-4258. (PR pitches by email only, please.) 

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