IBM and ServiceNow lock eyes, vow long commitment

Roses are red. 'Global strategic alliance' is … eeeww. We've written a more fun headline for you even though V-Day is over

IBM and ServiceNow have signed a “multi-year, strategic partnership” to blend their respective SaaS-y bits in the service of automated everything.

ServiceNow's mission in life is automating the movement of information so that the right people (or things) get told what to do when it makes sense for them to get on and do it. IBM is of course ever-so-keen on cognitive computing – aka Watson – that can make sense of information in slightly human ways.

Together, the two plan to use ServiceNow's platform, IBM's data-crunching and insight-generating tools and skip hand-in-hand through the fields, smilingly bestowing their combined expertise on organisations who feel like a little automation will lift them out of the low-productivity dumps.

ServiceNow will do that with IBM's technology services types and make sure it plays nice in the Bluemix Cloud. IBM will make sure its people and partners get busy building stuff that uses ServiceNow.

Or as the two companies put it “This partnership ensures that IBM’s experience and scale with investments in analytics and Watson combined with ServiceNow’s intelligent automation will deliver game-changing economics to our mutual customers.”

Call us biased, but we like our version better.

And it's hard not to like what this does for both companies. For all its woes, IBM retains an enormous customer base, plenty on legacy platforms that can use ServiceNow's ability to siphon out data to push into workflows on more modern platforms. And ServiceNow can use analytics to figure out how to build even better workflows. BlueMix gets a boost. ServiceNow gets to play on one of the top four cloud platforms.

No wonder the two feel like this is such a great match. But then new relationships always feel great for the first few weeks … until you discover your new beau does that in the bathroom and wants to play [insert terrible band] instead of the music you like.

So good luck, you crazy kids. You might need it. ®

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