5 Reasons Why ServiceNow Customers Select Espressive Barista

By Tommy Lee • May 18, 2020

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the investments that your organization makes in technology solutions (e.g. help desks, chatbots, RPA) must realize value sooner and more broadly than ever before. According to a recent Gartner press release, IT spend is expected to decrease by 8% in 2020, with priorities shifting to support operations for mission-critical applications and technology.

In light of all of this, you may be considering the ServiceNow Virtual Agent (VA) to automate the help desk to support operations. If so, I wanted to provide 5 reasons why ServiceNow customers selected Espressive Barista, our AI-based virtual support agent, over the ServiceNow Virtual Agent.

  1. Singular Focus
    Espressive approach: As someone who’s spent time designing and working with solutions at large organizations (e.g. HP Software) to small startups (e.g. early ServiceNow), one of the biggest advantages a startup like Espressive has is its ability to maintain a much tighter focal point. This means that all of our time, energy, and resources are directed to ensuring our customers’ success in their conversational AI initiatives and pivoting quickly to the evolving needs within this emerging space. This includes all departments across the enterprise such as IT, HR, Facilities, Legal, and more.

    ServiceNow approach: Although ServiceNow moves quickly compared to the previous generations’ legacy vendors (e.g. BMC, IBM, HP), it is now, itself, a very large organization with numerous silos. This means their virtual agent offering needs to compete internally for investment dollars and inevitably moves at a slower pace of innovation in order to avoid negatively impacting and/or adapting to the other segments of the platform

  2. Platform Agnostic Approach
    Espressive approach: I have had the privilege of working with organizations spanning every size and industry over the last 15+ years and, even in light of the application rationalization initiatives many IT departments have undertaken, there are typically hundreds of applications (custom and COTS) deployed across each and every enterprise. With employees utilizing all of these applications on a daily basis at various levels, Espressive Barista is uniquely positioned as a direct hub for the numerous employee issues, requests, and questions. By “direct,” I mean that Barista can reach out to one or multiple systems (e.g. query a data source certain information, submit a ticket to case management system, trigger some action in an RPA engine) all without any pressure on the IT team to migrate those data sources or applications to our platform.

    ServiceNow approach: As ServiceNow looks to maintain its rate of growth for Wall Street, the result is an ever-increasing number of sales teams and quotas looking to push more adoption of the ServiceNow platform across each customer. These migration projects not only have a cost from a licensing perspective but can result in lengthy projects and administrative requests dependent on ServiceNow admin teams that are already overwhelmed.

  3. Ease of Administration
    Espressive approach: With the singular focus that Espressive has on conversational AI, we have witnessed firsthand the pace and frequency of change made across the various repositories housing information provided for employees (e.g. announcements, knowledge articles, portals). As a result, one of our major areas of investment is delivering administrative capabilities that empower our customers to be successful without the need for scripting/coding or needing to jump from module to module. For example, in the next monthly Barista release, customers will be able to authenticate against and query a target REST API, return the results to an employee for selection, and take action on the selected option all without the need for scripting (e.g. select a mailing list to unsubscribe from, request the number of active cost centers from a financial system).

    ServiceNow approach: I have worked in-depth with the ServiceNow platform since 2010 and have found that there has always existed a need for developer-level resources to effectively administer the instances. This continues to hold true with the ServiceNow Virtual Agent offering, especially when integrations are involved, and results in administration being less streamlined and more time consuming.

  4. Purpose Built For An AI-Driven World
    Espressive approach: Taking into account the 3 previous points along with the fact that Espressive Barista understands over 750 million employee phrases out-of-the-box via the Barista Employee Language Cloud (ELC), it’s not difficult to see how our customers have realized a shorter time to value (TTV) with our virtual support agent—faster than any other virtual agent solution out there, including ServiceNow. Not to mention, our ELC continues to grow every day as our linguistics team receives continual content feedback from our customer base. In an AI-driven world, a platform or solution without a meaningful amount of accompanying data simply takes too long, and oftentimes, never achieves an acceptable level of effectiveness.

    ServiceNow approach: From my perspective as a Java developer in the early days of my career, it is wildly impressive to see how enterprise applications that once took an army and sometimes years to deploy can now be done with a developer-level resource in a matter of weeks within ServiceNow. However, AI-driven solutions are taking the market by storm and unless content, such as with the Barista ELC, is provided in harmony with less intensive application development capabilities, a virtual agent like ServiceNow’s offering will remain a toolkit requiring expensive and time-consuming projects to deploy.

  5. Faster Return on Investment (ROI)
    Espressive approach: No different than in our personal finances, investments need to provide a positive return to be considered worthwhile—and the sooner, the better. With the singular focus that Espressive has on conversational AI, our pursuit to work flexibly and more easily across variable enterprise environments, and unmatched understanding of employee phrases, one of the most, if not the most, important takeaways is that Espressive Barista allows organizations to reach a positive ROI significantly faster than a toolkit offering like ServiceNow’s Virtual Agent. Just ask our customers that are not only seeing Barista be widely adopted throughout their employee base, but also providing a 95%+ accuracy rate, 50%+ deflection rate, and numerous automations.

    ServiceNow approach: While ServiceNow has a compelling “one platform to rule them all” vision, and their customers desire to achieve this utopia, the reality I’ve seen is much less ideal. To use an analogy from computer architecture, deploying new ServiceNow modules typically occurs in a more pipelined fashion (i.e. overlapped sequential) rather than truly in parallel due to limits on resources and a desire to reduce the number of changes introduced to their ServiceNow instances at a time. Additionally, I have heard many customers express that their backlog of internal ServiceNow requests likely spans years. Unfortunately, this means that the hard ROI that conversational AI focused on improving the employee experience provides will go unrealized, and in the world we currently all find ourselves in, that’s an opportunity that most organizations can ill afford to miss.

In case you missed it, you may also be interested in reading 5 Questions You Should Ask ServiceNow About Their Virtual Agent at Knowledge 20, a blog written by the first ever product manager at ServiceNow and current chief product officer at Espressive, Fran Fernandez.

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