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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. Medallia and Zoho are among other rivals that provide standalone tools for tracking customer and employee experiences using surveys.

Rather than requiring end users to access a separate application to monitor their 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 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 currently 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 plays in digital business transformation.

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

Most of the usage SurveyMonkey sees today is still via its web interface, However, as digital business transformation initiatives continue to expand, Hale said SurveyMonkey surveys will increasingly be 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 though 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 yet, but it’s clear companies will have to transform. Otherwise, customers will look for more flexible entities to transact with while employees 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 that 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 companies will undoubtedly need tools to measure the actual impact of any digital business transformation initiative they undertake.

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