Wednesday, 27 Jan 2021

SurveyMonkey aligns with ServiceNow on digital business transformation

ServiceNow and SurveyMonkey today announced that they have teamed up to make it simpler for organizations to employ surveys and better gauge the impact digital business transformation initiatives are having on their organization.

As a consequence of the alliance, business leaders will be able to better understand how employees and end customers perceive any change a business makes — without having to launch a separate application. The alliance comes at a time when SAP is moving toward spinning out rival Qualtrics as an independent public company with a valuation of $14.4 billion. Other rivals that provide standalone tools for tracking customer and employee experiences using surveys include Medallia and Zoho.

Rather than requiring end users to access a separate application to monitor customer and employee experience, it makes sense to surface those insights within the context of a workflow process already managed by ServiceNow, SurveyMonkey president Tom Hale said in an interview with VentureBeat. “There’s been an evolution,” he explained. “The best practice is now you do this as part of a system.”

That battle for control over customer and employee experience monitoring is consequently intensifying as organizations accelerate nascent digital business transformation projects. Earlier this week, Microsoft corporate VP for commercial management experiences Brad Anderson revealed he is leaving to join Qualtrics.

Ironically, ServiceNow is now led by Bill McDermott, the former CEO of SAP who spearheaded the acquisition of Qualtrics in 2019. Hale noted that in both positions, McDermott has recognized the critical role customer and employee experience play in digital business transformation.

SurveyMonkey has already established relationships with other leading enablers of digital business transformation, such as Salesforce. The data that SurveyMonkey collects via hundreds of millions of surveys conducted each month will help continuously shape those processes, Hale noted, adding that otherwise, organizations are blindly transforming processes without any kind of a feedback loop from customers and employees.

Most of the usage of SurveyMonkey today is still via its web interface, However, as digital business transformation initiatives continue to expand, Hale said SurveyMonkey surveys will increasingly being surfaced within third-party applications. And much of that data will soon also be analyzed by machine learning algorithms within both the SurveyMonkey platform and the AI models constructed by partners such as ServiceNow and Salesforce.

Even as it appears COVID-19 vaccines might be widely distributed by the middle of this year, most organizations are never going to return to business as usual. Customers and employees have become accustomed to a certain level of flexibility that has arisen primarily because many processes have already moved online.

Those online processes may not be especially sophisticated just yet, but as organizations continue to experiment, it’s clear companies have to transform. Otherwise, customers will look for more flexible entities to transact with while employees simultaneously shift allegiance to employers that don’t require them to commute to an office every day.

As a consequence, the level of investment being made in digital business transformation initiatives is expected to remain high through 2023. IDC is forecasting digital transformation (DX) investments will grow at a 15.5% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to reach $6.8 trillion over the next three years.

Precisely how that spending will manifest itself remains to be seen. But because there is an equal and opposite reaction to every action, there will need to be tools to measure the actual impact any digital business transformation initiative actually has.

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