Knowledge 14: 'ServiceNow is like a box of Lego'

By Danny Palmer
30 Apr 2014 View Comments
elmer-de-valk-managing-consultant-for-plat4mation-speaking-during-a-panel-discussion-at-knowledge-14

ServiceNow's platform-as-a-service (PaaS) solution is as simple to build things with as Lego is, with the different blocks able to be harnessed in order to build anything.

That's according to Elmer de Valk [pictured above, left], managing consultant for Plat4mation, a PaaS start-up offering a facilities management solution powered by ServiceNow.

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"We are a platform company so we totally believe in the fact that platforms are going to be a major force in changing the world as we see it," de Valk said, speaking as part of a panel discussion about driving innovation in IT at ServiceNow's Knowledge 14 conference in San Francisco.

The company was only founded seven months ago, but has already achieved success, including winning the ServiceNow 2014 Innovation of the Year Award. De Valk told the audience that ServiceNow is a powerful - but flexible - tool which has helped Plat4mation's success.

"We knew that it was a very powerful platform. We see it as box of Lego - all the nice building blocks are already there and it's just a matter of intelligently putting them together - then you can make apps for everything," he told gathered press and analysts.

"We feel we're quite skilled at that trade and that's why when we started our company... we needed to build our own app to show the world that it can be done," de Valk continued, adding he was pleased to have won Innovation of the Year.

"We built a facility management app and today we're excited that we actually won, it's a dream come true for us as a small start-up.

"If you look at what we did in the amount of time we had, I think it totally underlines our vision and the fact that ServiceNow can really deliver upon that," he said.

"If you look at the entire app that we've created, I think it's 90 per cent built out of common components, building blocks offered by the ServiceNow platform itself," de Valk added.

Later on in the discussion, de Valk said that platform technology is going to make the IT department more important to the enterprise in future.

"Clients that are already using ServiceNow are already looking into options as to how to expand it. Because it's a platform you can use in any number of ways and IT departments are seeing that," he said.

"I think with platform technology in general it's raised the bar," de Valk continued. "If you look at the role of IT, I think IT can no longer be a cost centre but actually truly bring benefits to the business.

"I think their role is actually increasing in that respect, so it's not a matter of turning over to the other departments," he concluded.

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