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IBM expands partnership with ServiceNow to help businesses take advantage of AI

By Shannon Williams
Mon 19 Oct 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

IBM has announced the expansion of its partnership agreement with ServiceNow in a bid to help companies reduce operational risk and lower costs by applying AI to automate IT operations. 

Available later this year, a new joint solution will combine IBMs AI-powered hybrid cloud software and professional services to ServiceNows intelligent workflow capabilities and market-leading IT service and operations management products.

The solution is engineered to help clients realise deeper, AI-driven insights from their data, create a baseline of a typical IT environment, and take succinct recommended actions on outlying behaviour to help prevent and fix IT issues at scale. Together, IBM and ServiceNow can help companies free up valuable time and IT resources from maintenance activities, to focus on driving the transformation projects necessary to support the digital demands of their businesses.

"AI is one of the biggest forces driving change in the IT industry to the extent that every company is swiftly becoming an AI company," dsyd Arvind Krishna, chief executive officer, IBM. 

"By partnering with ServiceNow and their market leading Now Platform, clients will be able to use AI to quickly mitigate unforeseen IT incident costs. Watson AIOps with ServiceNows Now Platform is a powerful new way for clients to use automation to transform their IT operations."

ServiceNow CEO Bill McDermott says for every CEO, digital transformation has gone from opportunity to necessity, 

"As ServiceNow leads the workflow revolution, our partnership with IBM combines the intelligent automation capabilities of the Now Platform with the power of Watson AIOps," he says.

"We are focused on driving a generational step improvement in productivity, innovation and growth. ServiceNow and IBM are helping customers meet the digital demands of 21st century business.

"Organisations are under pressure to deliver innovation and create great experiences for customers and employees, all while driving efficiencies and keeping costs and IT risks down," adds McDermott.

"Yet in todays technology-driven organisation, even the smallest outages can cause massive economic impact for both lost revenue and reputation. This partnership will help customers address these challenges and help avoid unnecessary loss of revenue and reputation by automating old, manual IT processes and increasing IT productivity," he says.

IBM and ServiceNow will initially focus on:

Joint Solution: IBM and ServiceNow will deliver a first of its kind joint IT solution that marries IBM Watson AIOps with ServiceNows intelligent workflow capabilities and market-leading ITSM and ITOM Visibility products to help customers prevent and fix IT issues at scale. Now, businesses that use ServiceNow ITSM can push historical incident data into the deep machine learning algorithms of Watson AIOps to create a baseline of their normal IT environment, while simultaneously having the ability to help them identify anomalies outside of that normal, which could take a human up to 60% longer to manually identify, according to initial results from specific Watson AIOps early adopter clients. The joint solution will position customers to enhance employee productivity, obtain greater visibility into their operational footprint and respond to incidents and issues faster.

Specific product capabilities will include:

o   ServiceNow ITSM allows IT to deliver scalable services on a single cloud platform estimated to increase productivity by 20%.

o   ServiceNow ITOM Visibility automatically delivers near real-time visibility from a native Configuration Management Database, into all resources and the true operational state of all business services.

o   IBM Watson AIOps uses AI to automate how enterprises detect, diagnose, and respond to, and remediate IT anomalies in real time. The solution is designed to help CIOs make more informed decisions when predicting and shaping future outcomes, focus resources on higher-value work and build more responsive and intelligent applications that can stay up and running longer. Using Watson AIOps, the average time to resolve incidents was reduced by 65 percent, according to one recent initial proof of concept project with a client.

Services: IBM is expanding its global ServiceNow business to include additional capabilities that provide advisory, implementation, and managed services on the Now Platform. Highly-skilled IBM practitioners will apply their expertise to facilitate rapid delivery of valuable insights and innovation to clients. IBM Services professionals also will introduce clients to intelligent workflows to help improve resiliency and reduce IT risk. ServiceNow is co-investing in training and certification of IBM employees and dedicated staff for customer success.

For example, using the IBM and ServiceNow joint solution, a bank will be able to obtain a full view of an incident, from start to finish. With recommendations and deep diagnosis from Watson AIOps, a service agent will be able to quickly understand the incident, without ever leaving the ServiceNow ITSM platform. Leveraging more than an agent's own knowledge and research, Watson AIOps can provide anomaly detection along with automated recommendations from the historical deep analysis of prior incidents.  Using incident management tools from ServiceNow, actions and insights can be recorded for auditing purposes and for leveraging future insights. Watson AIOps can then push important context to tickets, discovered only via AI algorithms and baselining techniques, helping to make the data more useful to agents and retraining the AI over time.

The companies say the announcement strengthens the partnership previously announced by IBM and ServiceNow to help enterprises simplify IT operations for multi-cloud environments.

The new joint solution will be enabled through a joint go-to-market strategy and will be available later this year from IBM.

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