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ServiceNow CEO: 'We Have No Real Competitors'

Tse: Do you think you're now poised to completely replace entire suites of IT operations management software provided by the existing incumbents?

Slootman: I'd say no. I'd say that would really be reaching on my part. We do not so much manage infrastructure which is really where IT operations management is focused. We manage work. Managing work is very different from managing infrastructure, which are device-sive systems. Our currency is not servers, routers and systems. Our currency is work incidences, problems, changes, progress, task, request. That's our currency. We manage the work of IT, not the infrastructure of IT. That's the way to think about it. Now there are tangents where these things touch each other, there's no doubt about that. So we have fairly strong touch points into the infrastructure but fundamentally we manage the work of IT, not the infrastructure of IT and the big part of the reason that ... I'm not going to be managing infrastructure so much longer either right is ... because infrastructure is moving into the cloud -- so there are going to be other companies that are going to be doing infrastructure and the IT organizations that remain in the enterprise are going to be really focused on the service relationships I just talked about. That's why we're focused on that.

Tse: In terms of the competitive landscape, which companies are you constantly seeing day-in and day-out when you're out there acquiring new customers and contracts?

Slootman: It's almost an anomaly I think. I look at some other cloud software categories like marketing and human resources. They're extremely crowded. There's a lot of people playing in those categories. You know Salesforce.com ( CRM ) just made an acquisition in that area and a new company just went public -- Marketo ( MKTO ) -- very busy, very active group of companies and ... there's probably six or seven companies that are trying to put HR management systems into the cloud. Also very busy. You look in our world, there's just ServiceNow, and if there was a company going on two and half years, I continue to scratch my head. Where are the people that are going to challenge us other than the legacy companies? They really have nothing to challenge us with; they're just sitting on 20-year-old software. We really don't have a lot of competition there. Our customers are actually frustrated because it's tough to negotiate with a vendor who doesn't have much competition, you know.

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