Two software-as-a-service (SaaS) vendors focused on business needs have announced a partnership that will result in their products working together, allowing clients to use the results of one product as input for the other. The companies are Apptio, which provides products, such as software to develop cost models, for what it calls Technology Business Management, and ServiceNow, which delivers service desk functionality in a SaaS model. Combined, users will be able to take the kinds of information gathered by ServiceNow and deliver it to the Apptio family of products, which the companies said will help it build cost models more accurately.
"This is a great move into the direction of the information technology to business technology transition that we at Forrester have been talking about," says Eveline Oehrlich, principal analyst at Forrester Research, a Cambridge, Mass., consultancy. "IT is enablement and innovation for an organization, if applied with smarts. Apptio is the smarts, to the process approach and diligence of ServiceNow." Visibility and supporting decision-making of what, when and where--particularly in the cloud age--is a major critical success factor for successful organizations, she says.
Several joint customers had been asking the vendors for this sort of integration, says Matt French, director of products for ServiceNow, based in San Diego. The companies' customers view the products as complementary, and have been asking the vendors to state that they have a partnership and to maintain technology integrations between the two families of products, says Michel Feaster, VP of products and strategies for Apptio, based in Bellevue, Wash.
ServiceNow has functionality, such as a configuration management database, that manages all of the assets within the organization. This helps users understand the relationships between the assets, and that data can be pushed to the Apptio family of applications, which will massage the data and apply algorithms to it to figure out aspects such as costs, French says.
To begin with, the two companies said that they are providing integration between Apptio IT Service Costing, IT Service Performance and IT Planning applications with ServiceNow's Service Catalog, Service Portfolio, configuration management database and Project and Portfolio Management. The combined capabilities of the integrated product families mean that Apptio's TBM suite will be able to make use of management data stored in ServiceNow, such as asset information, operations work time and project labor.