Is there another perfect storm on the horizon in the service management marketplace?
In 2007 when we founded Keystone, the company that would introduce ServiceNow (at the time an unknown player) into the Australasian market to compete in the crowded IT service management marketplace, many, if not most, thought we were mad. “Nobody is replacing their huge investments in BMC Remedy, CA, and HP”, “The market is done, nobody cares about ITIL anymore”. Of course history proved differently. In fact, the market was overdue for a disruption. The legacy vendors had grown complacent, with expensive, complex products that were unable to keep pace with the agility required by the business as they faced the challenges of the digital revolution. Of course then came the SaaS revolution – “no more software” was the catch-phrase of the day. These two trends created a perfect storm that dramatically changed the ITSM vendor landscape over the last 10 years.
So here we are again, this time it’s 2018 and people are asking the same question; is there really room for another service management vendor? We believe there is another perfect storm on the horizon. This time, it’s a combination of two forces. The first being that the established vendors have walked away from their initial values and have walked away from a growing segment of the market that aren’t large enough to consume the complexity and cost of their solution. The second being, the 4th revolution of artificial intelligence driven automation.
After 25 years the supporting technology has improved from mainframe ticketing systems to cloud-based service management platforms that have moved outside of IT, to support all aspects of service management within the business. Yet, whilst technology has improved, the way we solve the fundamental business problem of keeping the business running, hasn’t changed – we still rely on people making decisions, performing tasks and responding to issues to ensure the business keeps running.
It just so happens that our reliance on people often becomes the bottleneck and an inhibitor to delivering efficient and effective support and service delivery at scale . In fact we celebrate our people for their knowledge and capability to solve problems. However all too often our best people are consumed with mundane, repetitive tasks. In addition to the obvious cost implications, this can ultimately lead to people’s frustration and exit from the business – which creates a significant problem of loss of organisational knowledge.
So we find ourselves in this perpetual, expensive onboarding process that typically involves training new staff, having staff observe more senior staff and learning from these observations before being able to solve issues.
The car manufacturing industry has taught us repetitive tasks can be automated and people can work side by side with automation (robots) on the production line to improve productivity and quality.
With this in mind enter the era of artificial intelligence. Where sufficient quantities of data is being captured that can be processed to train a machine to handle recurring tasks. Technologies like natural language understanding enables the machine to understand the intent and context of a question; neural networks allow us to predict values like who is best suited to solve my request; whilst semantic enterprise search allows the machine to find the most relevant answer to a question based on context regardless of where the knowledge resides.
This is why we have built Soapbox, a simpler, smarter service management platform built in the era of AI, that learns by observing how your best service agents work, applies that learning to assist (augment) less experienced agents and ultimately automatically resolve issues at first contact.
Soapbox is not just another ITSM solution, Soapbox is a smarter, simpler service management platform focused on helping customers support the business, so that the business can get back to business.