How Microsoft Teams helps ISVs like ServiceNow expand business
This blog series highlights independent software vendors (ISVs) that have achieved business growth and added new value for their customers by building and deploying apps on Microsoft Teams. We love sharing partner success stories. If you have a story, please contact us.
Digital collaboration has become the norm, and more promising apps and tools are available daily. The benefits speak for themselves: increased productivity, convenience, innovation—the list goes on. But there are still challenges to address. As app usage grows, workers must toggle across them all day, and that context switching can reduce efficiency. Nearly two-thirds of employees who took a Microsoft survey reported that a lack of integration between tools and processes actually hampers collaboration across teams.1 And 72 percent wish their collaboration tools were compatible with one another rather than fragmented.
So how can enterprises make the most of disparate tools and information, and how can app developers gain traction in an increasingly competitive landscape?
Microsoft Teams provides a solution for both the workplace and the marketplace. It is a single platform that combines a company’s workflows, data, tools, and people. Your key apps—made by Microsoft and third-party providers around the globe—are right at your fingertips. For more than 280 million people and 500,000 organizations, Teams has become the modern workspace where you can find virtually everything you need to collaborate and be productive.
For ISVs, it’s also a trusted marketplace full of opportunities to connect with customers. The AppSource store has over 1,800 apps to help users collaborate and innovate.
To start this series, I’ll share an example of how ISVs are better serving customers and growing their businesses on Teams through the story of ServiceNow, which strives to make organizations smarter and faster by digitizing and automating processes that result in delightful employee and customer experiences.
Collaborating to meet employees where they work
Like so many other technology companies, the pandemic was an inflection point for ServiceNow. As the work environment changed, ServiceNow’s customers increasingly requested that the company’s apps integrate with Microsoft Teams, which had become the center of their daily work.
ServiceNow Virtual AgentDownload the app
“Integrating with Teams helps us meet employees in their natural workspaces,” says Jeffrey Gore, Vice President of Product and Solutions Marketing for Employee Workflows and Operations, ServiceNow. “Natively from Teams, employees can access the enterprise services and information they need without having to disrupt their flow of productivity.”
By the end of March 2020, ServiceNow and Microsoft launched a user experience research project to assess use cases and gauge customer interest in different types of functionality.
“We had integrated with other platform providers in the past, but deploying with Teams offered a uniquely flexible platform and new options for integrations with tabs and meeting extensions,” says Devesh Satyavolu, Senior Director, Microsoft Alliance at ServiceNow. “We were excited to explore the possibilities.”
As customers shared what they wanted, Microsoft and ServiceNow partnered to identify the key challenges and opportunities to bring that functionality to life in Teams, demonstrating a truly customer-driven development cycle. By September 2020, ServiceNow for Microsoft Teams was up and running, delivering a valuable solution for mutual customers in a short timeframe.
Improving the customer experience
Given customers’ integral role in the development, it’s no surprise that ServiceNow’s apps and integrations with Teams have resonated in the marketplace. Customers have been especially excited about the ease of use, which keeps employees in the flow of work and improves productivity. For example, ServiceNow’s Employee Center is located in the tabs section, providing quick access to the customer organization’s knowledge base and service delivery content, such as IT help, HR questions, workplace requests, and more.
The ServiceNow Virtual Agent improves productivity from multiple perspectives. For employees, the conversational AI chatbot within their Teams workspace offers self-service troubleshooting for common requests, which frees up help desk agents to focus on more complex or urgent issues. The ServiceNow Virtual Agent for Microsoft Teams helps resolve 50 percent of cases without requiring human agent attention, resulting in lower operating costs for our shared customers.
If agent intervention is required, the platform-to-platform integration—built using the Notify connector for Teams—allows collaboration directly between the ServiceNow interface, where agents work, and Teams, where employees work. That means it’s easy to kick off calls and speed up case resolution, according to Sancho Pinto, Vice President, Product Management, Unified Employee Experiences at ServiceNow.
These apps and integrations provide real-world benefits, as shown by Wipro, a global technology services and consulting company with over 250,000 employees. Wipro wanted to improve its employee experience by building a unified support system for employees seeking help.
By integrating ServiceNow Virtual Agent for Microsoft Teams, employees were quickly able to find answers to questions, perform password resets, or request new laptops in less time than it previously took a human agent.2 This resulted in a 40 percent reduction in service requests and a 25 percent decrease in support calls. With ServiceNow Virtual Agent and Employee Center, the average time for help desk agents to find relevant information in Wipro’s knowledge base was reduced from 28 minutes to just 6 minutes.
Increasing revenue through customer acquisition and retention
Microsoft Teams also helps our partners grow their businesses. ServiceNow Virtual Agent is part of a paid ServiceNow Pro SKU so the integration with Teams provides upsell opportunities for current customers. They also deploy ServiceNow Virtual Agent two times faster when using the integrated version—thanks to a seamless user experience. ServiceNow encourages all customers to use the Teams integrations because it increases their usage of the company’s products, ensuring they receive maximum value.
When it comes to customer acquisition, ServiceNow has found that offering apps in Teams isn’t just a benefit but a gating item for sales conversations—an absolute must-have for enterprises. “There’s an undeniable link between digital workspaces and great employee experiences,” Jeffrey Gore says. “As employees continue to collaborate in Teams, they unlock greater productivity and efficiency by natively integrating ServiceNow to digitally connect people to the services and workflows they need from anywhere.”
Embedding new apps within employees’ daily workspace increases usage, or makes them more “sticky,” and ServiceNow has seen plenty of evidence to support that.
Leveraging security and analytics to continue the customer journey
Another benefit of deploying apps on Teams is the ability to utilize the advanced security and governance safeguards of the Microsoft 365 platform, from fully encrypted data to an ISV app certification program that unlocks the broadest access to customers.
Microsoft 365Learn more
For ServiceNow, Microsoft Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) has enabled robust authentication to verify that the employee using their app is the same person using Teams, and vice versa. From an application programming interface (API) perspective, Microsoft has provided guidance on what level of permissions users are willing to accept so ServiceNow can build apps accordingly and achieve better adoption.
Above all, ServiceNow and Microsoft continue to seek customer feedback to determine how users can benefit most from the integration with Teams.
Learn more about ServiceNow and Microsoft Teams
Get started with Microsoft Teams today.
Discover ServiceNow’s apps available for Microsoft Teams and learn more about the partnership between ServiceNow and Microsoft.
1Four Ways Leaders Can Empower People for How Work Gets Done, WorkLab, Work Trend Index, Microsoft
2Wipro boosts resilience and the employee experience, ServiceNow.