Deal marks company’s fourth acquisition this year aimed at integrating intelligence into its offerings
ServiceNow is looking to drive more intelligence into its automated workflow platform with the planned acquisition of start-up Element AI.
The Lowdown: The deal for Element AI is only the latest move by the IT service management (ITSM) software vendor to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to improve how people work and streamline business decision-making. No financial details were released. The deal, announced this week, is expected to close in early 2021.
The Details: Element AI, founded in 2016 in Montreal, offers an AI platform that includes APIs, its Orkestrator software for managing GPU-based clusters, and its EAI OS operating system. The company’s goal is to make AI accessible to a broad array of enterprises through AI-based IT services.
The company has raised hundreds of millions of dollars – most recently $151 million last year – from such high-profile tech companies as Microsoft, Intel, and Nvidia and has looked to drive AI into everything from text and chat to images, search, and responses to questions.
ServiceNow will look to incorporate such capabilities into its cloud-based Now Platform. At the same time, the Santa Clara, California-based company will create an AI Innovation Hub in Canada to accelerate innovation around customer-facing AI-based services in the Now Platform. ServiceNow has made similar moves by creating development centers in such places as Chicago, San Diego, California, and Hyderabad, India.
Element AI’s technology will add to the growing AI presence in such ServiceNow workflow products as IT Service Management Pro, Customer Service Management Pro, and HR Service Delivery Pro.
Once the deal closes, Element AI co-founder and Lead Fellow Yoshua Bengio will become a technical advisor for ServiceNow.
The Impact: AI is winding its way into a growing range of areas at enterprises that are leaning on the technology for a range of reasons, from improving workforce productivity and business operations to driving customer satisfaction and analyzing the massive amounts of data that’s being generated. Allied Market Research expects spending on AI technologies will grow from $4.68 billion in 2018 to more than $53 billion by 2026. A key to that is ensuring that AI is available to a broad array of businesses, even those that don’t have technical backgrounds.
Background: ServiceNow has been aggressive in its efforts to bring more intelligence into its offerings. Element AI marks the fourth AI-related acquisition this year by the company, which already has bought Loom Systems, Passage AI, and Sweagle. The company also hired Vijay Narayanan as its chief AI officer and launched Now Intelligence, a set of AI capabilities for enterprises.
The Buzz: “AI technology is evolving rapidly as companies race to digitally transform 20th century processes and business models,” Narayanan said. “ServiceNow is leading this once-in-a-generation opportunity to make work work better for people. With Element AI’s powerful capabilities and world-class talent, ServiceNow will empower employees and customers to focus on areas where only humans excel – creative thinking, customer interactions, and unpredictable work. That’s a smarter way to workflow.”
“Element AI’s vision has always been to redefine how companies use AI to help people work smarter,” Element AI founder and CEO Jean Francois Gagné said. “ServiceNow is leading the workflow revolution and we are inspired by its purpose to make the world of work work better for people. ServiceNow is the clear partner for us to apply our talent and technology to the most significant challenges facing the enterprise today.”