Enterprise cloud service management company ServiceNow, which counts US global law firm Latham & Watkins among its clients, has agreed to acquire the natural language query technology of two-year old San Francisco startup FriendlyData, which will make it easier for non-technical users of the Now Platform to ask questions in plain English.
ServiceNow specialises in IT services management, IT operations management and IT business management and Latham uses the Now platform as a central self-service portal for business processes including facilities requests and billing and finance services.
The ambition is that FriendlyData’s NLQ technology will help to reduce the time spent working out how to ask questions technically: in theory users will just ask a question, and then use the freed up time to act on the answer. NLQ technology will be embedded into the interfaces of the Now Platform and guide users to relevant and related Performance Analytics dashboards and reporting.
“With this technical enhancement, our goal is to allow anyone to easily make data driven decisions, increasing productivity and driving businesses forward faster,” said Pat Casey, SVP of development and operations at ServiceNow, which also provides an app store of third party tools.
ServiceNow, which in August was positioned by Gartner as a leader for IT service management for the fifth year in a row, says it plans to make NLQ interfaces available across ServiceNow applications for IT, Human Resources, Security Operations, Customer Service Management, partner products and for developers.
This is the second acquisition this year designed to bolster ServiceNow’s NLQ capability: earlier this year it acquired Parlo and the FriendlyData acquisition also follows a number of acquisitions designed to help ServiceNow customers create business apps, including SkyGiraffe and Telepathy.