How one Aussie partner is building a business on ServiceNow

How one Aussie partner is building a business on ServiceNow

As customer edge towards a cloud-first mentality, ARN explains why ValueFlow is aligning with a SaaS pioneer in Australia.

David Favelle (ValueFlow) and Brent Paterson (ServiceNow)

David Favelle (ValueFlow) and Brent Paterson (ServiceNow)

Having partnered with ServiceNow for four years, David Favelle understands its impact on the customer.

Speaking as an experienced IT veteran, and founder and CEO of ValueFlow IT, Favelle is building a business around the industry’s latest Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) star.

“We understand the value proposition that ServiceNow brings to the table,” he said. “It’s so much more comprehensive than any other competing product.”

Since starting out five years ago, Favelle spent the first 12 months carrying out exploratory work, assessing emerging technologies in the market.

“I’ve always worked at C-level which allows a better understanding of what is going on in the market,” he said. “At the time, it was clear there was value in moving off the old upgrade on-premise cycle world, a world that keeps you locked in straitjackets between releases.

“There were many things holding the customer back and it was clear that ServiceNow would become a real accelerator of capability.”

With the bulk of revenue coming through ServiceNow business, ValueFlow is an advisory led integrator of the technology, providing independent consultancy work alongside digital management.

“The customer will ultimately keep choosing ServiceNow at the renewal because we’re providing ongoing value, rather than a drop and run,” Favelle added. “Instead, we provide a roadmap for the next 2-3 years and that’s why the pure play works well for us.

“This market is growing at a rapid rate and it requires a lot of expertise and resources.”

Fresh from reporting financial results for its first quarter of 2017, ServiceNow continues to diversify its business mix to achieve ambitious growth targets, as its IT service management suite grabs the attention of boardrooms across the world.

Currently, 73 per cent of all customers licence more than one product up from 50 per cent two years ago, with the vendor well positioned to deliver on its goals through a growing partner ecosystem.

Furthermore, the business continues to expand into new markets, adding 26 Global 2000 customers during the first quarter, compared to 21 in the same period last year.

Perhaps crucially however, ServiceNow serves a core base of 370 customers, each paying more than US$1 million in annualised contract value, an increase of 51 per cent year over year.

Building a business

Since betting the business on ServiceNow, ValueFlow has expanded headcount from one to 35 within four years, with plans in place to reach 50 staff by the end of 2017.

“It’s hard to stay up with the levels of innovation coming out of ServiceNow because it’s accelerating away from the opposition,” he said.

David Favelle - CEO, ValueFlow
David Favelle - CEO, ValueFlow

Specifically, ValueFlow provides ServiceNow expertise around roadmap building, customer care, application development, health checking of solutions and implementation.

For Favelle, the core reason ValueFlow became a ServiceNow partner was because of the “breadth and depth” of IT management functionality available out of the box.

And as the vendor continues to invest in key areas of the IT operating model, including emerging cloud orchestration, DevOps and agile, Favelle invests alongside, building out a technical team of engineers.

“We’ve built out our technical capabilities so that we are end-to- end,” he explained. “We have to provide the technical piece of the puzzle because if we had to back-end it with another technical supplier it would be complicated.”

As a cloud-based enterprise service management, ServiceNow delivers solutions to high-tech companies across the globe.

Closer to home, the vendor was selected by the NSW Department of Finance, Services and Innovation (DFSI), in conjunction with UXC Keystone, to provide the primary platform for the NSW Government’s new GovDC Marketplace in August 2016.

High-profile customer wins and service provider investments alike are ongoing indicators that ServiceNow’s growth as a platform vendor looms large across the channel.

“40 per cent of the work week is spent doing low value, manual and administrative functions,” ServiceNow partner and alliances director Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ) Brent Paterson said. “We’re bringing intelligent automation to combat this challenge for customers.

“When you talk about engagement with customers in the cloud era, it’s around agility. If you have an advisory or consultancy then you also need to be the implementer and the manager of that solution.

“There’s continual improvement that ValueFlow will take the customer through and if you’re in the business and providing that development, it’s true value-add.

“The old model used to be about coming back to the customer three years later, whereas we provide two upgrades a year on our platform. So, at the end of the typical three-year legacy deal, we’ve offered six updates for the customer to take advantage of.”

As an emerging force in the cloud market, and a company trying to reform market perception from an ITSM vendor to a platform vendor, high-profile partners and use cases are critical to inserting ServiceNow into large-scale cloud deployment discussions.

“The velocity of change is something that I’ve not seen before,” Favelle said. “The business transformation coming alongside ServiceNow has arrived earlier than I expected because the quality of the platform is attracting new users.”

Building a channel

Since surpassing US$1 billion in revenue in 2015, ServiceNow holds bold ambitions for the future, aiming to quadruple that figure by 2020.

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