ServiceNow Buys San Diego Specialist in Customer Experience, Design

[Clarified 10/10/17, 11:15 am. See below.] ServiceNow (NYSE: NOW), the Santa Clara, CA-based giant that provides cloud-based IT services, is boosting its emphasis on human-centered design with its acquisition of Telepathy, a San Diego specialist in customer experience and design.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“ServiceNow chose us because of the design culture and process we have created over the last 17 years,” Telepathy co-founder and CEO Chuck Longanecker wrote Monday in a blog post announcing the deal. The design studio, founded as a digital agency in 2001, has focused increasingly on data-driven design and improved user experience.

ServiceNow likewise emphasized the UI/UX aspect of the deal in a corporate blog post titled “ServiceNow doubles down on customer experience design with acquisition of Telepathy.”

Asked to explain how the acquisition “doubles down,” Longanecker wrote in an e-mail that “it was based on us doubling the size of the Design Experience Organization,” ServiceNow’s internal design agency. “From Telepathy, every customer-facing producer on our team (designer, developer, strategist) was given an offer,” Longanecker wrote. “I don’t think I can say how many hires they made.”

In ServiceNow’s corporate blog, chief product officer C.J. Desai wrote that design “is as important as the underlying program and computing power. Design focuses technology into cohesive, coherent, and compelling user experiences …”

The company says its latest web-based platform consolidates ServiceNow’s legacy IT and software into a modern system that combines cybersecurity, customer service, human resources, and business apps to “consumerize” employee services.

[Editor’s note: ServiceNow founder Fred Luddy told me in two interviews (in 2007 and 2011) that he started the company as Glidesoft in November, 2003. A filing with the California Secretary of State shows the company was incorporated in California in June 2004.) ServiceNow, incorporated in California in 2004, moved its headquarters to Santa Clara shortly after the company went public in 2012. It now has about 6,000 employees worldwide, including almost 1,000 employees in the San Diego area.

Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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