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ServiceNow Acquires Passage AI for Chatbot, Virtual Agent Automation Initiatives

ServiceNow is acquiring Passage AI, a conversational artificial intelligence platform company. The goal: ServiceNow’s IT service management (ITSM) software platform, chatbot virtual agents, service portal and other technologies will gain multi-language speech expertise to improve customer support applications.

This is M&A deal Number 79 that ChannelE2E has covered in 2020. See the complete M&A deal list here. Also, this is ServiceNow’s second announced acquisition of 2020. The other deal involves Loom Systems for AIOps capabilities.

ServiceNow Acquires Passage AI: Partner Use Cases

How will partners and their end-customers potentially benefit from this latest M&A deal?

Debu Chatterjee, senior director of AI Engineering, ServiceNow

Debu Chatterjee, senior director of AI Engineering at ServiceNow, offers this perspective:

“Work flows more smoothly when people can get things done in their native language. Building deep learning, conversational AI capabilities into the Now Platform will enable a work request initiated in German or a customer inquiry initiated in Japanese to be solved by Virtual Agent. Passage AI’s technology will enable us to accelerate our vision of empowering great employee and customer experiences by delivering great workflow experiences. ServiceNow believes in making work flow more smoothly across the enterprise, in all major languages.”

Passage can be trained to understand text in all major languages. As a result, “ServiceNow will expand its chatbot support for non-English languages and empower organizations to better understand the meaning behind work requests so they can take action to get the job done,” the company asserts.

The deal, ServiceNow also asserts, builds on ServiceNow’s previous AI acquisitions, including transactions with Loom Systems, Attivio, Parlo, FriendlyData, Qlue and DxContinuum.

It’s a safe bet ServiceNow will share more details about those AI deals during the ServiceNow Knowledge 2020 conference, set for May in Orlando, Florida.

ServiceNow Vertical Market Partner Push

The AI effort and chatbot automation push come as ServiceNow also strives to accelerate its partner engagements into specific vertical markets.

The company earlier this week launched a partner-led “industry solutions” strategy initially focused on banking and telecommunications workflow automation. Launch partners include Deloitte and Accenture.

The new banking and telecommunications solutions are expected to be available in late 2020. Specialized solutions and more partnerships targeting healthcare, manufacturing, media, technology and others will be announced in the “near future,” the company added.

Channel Partners and Chatbots

Meanwhile, most chatbot technology seems to target enterprise-class or consumer-focused applications. But in some cases, specialized AI and chatbot technologies are also emerging in the SMB and MSP sectors.

Examples include such companies as Triafy in the SMB sector, ITSupportBot developer Invarosoft, and MSP automation specialist Liongard.

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