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ServiceNow CEO: 'We Have No Real Competitors'

Stocks in this article: NOWAMZNGOOGCRMMKTO

Andrea Tse: ServiceNow is now entering its second year as a public company and you've been demonstrating red-hot revenue expansion. How much longer do you think you can sustain this trajectory?

Frank Slootman: We only sort of guide the capital markets to next quarter and the full year, that's how we give guidance so we're not speculating on what future years are going to be like. But this is a company that has more than doubled in size every year since its inception. Even at the scale that we're already at, there is just this extraordinarily high growth. The second thing I will tell you is that our penetration levels in the marketplace are still very low in a first innings kind of ball game. So that's what the industry is looking at. They're like 'My God, how much run width do you have to be able to sustain a high growth trajectory?' That's sort of where the analyst may already have sort of come up with their estimates. I agree with you that we've been defying gravity for a while, but I had a mentor many years ago who said, 'Please do not grow into the heavens.' Eventually things will slow down but I do very much believe in our business. It's very strong, very exciting, we have a very, very big refresh replacement cycle of legacy systems which is an outstanding business and then we get involved in a lot of automation projects in areas that have never been automated that have always been run through email and Excel, sort of the 1990s style of technology. IT organizations are discovering what's possible and very inspired by what's going on in the world of consumers, the stuff that Amazon ( AMZN ) does, Google ( GOOG ) and Expedia ( EXPE ) and all the online banking providers -- they know that all those concepts are dribbling into the enterprise and we're enabling platform for really delivering best ... service experience.

Tse: Your company has been a very disruptive force in the IT market but there's a sense that the large incumbent software companies are catching on to the benefits of offering cloud-based IT management solutions to their customers. How is their aggressive push into the cloud impacting your customer acquisition strategies and renewal rates?

Slootman: That hasn't been working at all as you can see from our growth numbers. They've been doing this for years and years and years, and it's not slowing us down. There's a reason for that: you can deliver legacy software through a hosted environment but that doesn't make it cloud. Cloud software has to be built for the cloud. You can't take ... software that was built 20 years ago, deliver it hosted and say 'okay we're in the cloud now.' That's been tried for years and years and years and that's never worked, that doesn't work ... These systems are purpose-built for the cloud services delivery model and you cannot just deliver stuff online and call it a day. It's just a very, very strange user experience that results from having -- of course customers have long lined up to that scenario.

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