ServiceNow Invests in German Mittelstand Cloud Alliance with Plat4mation

ServiceNow recently announced a global strategic investment with Keensight Capital in Plat4mation, a global ServiceNow Elite Partner headquartered in Europe that specialises in ServiceNow deployments. Together, they intend to assist small and midsize German companies adopt modern digital platforms and workflows.

These midmarket German firms, collectively called the Mittelstand, number over 3 million and account for a sizable share of the country’s economic output and jobs. While renowned globally across manufacturing, mechanical engineering, and industrial equipment sectors, most, from PAC’s experience, have continued operating with manual processes and outdated on-premises IT systems.

PAC is encouraged to see this announcement because it indicates that ServiceNow and Plat4mation believe they can accelerate the digital modernisation of Mittelstand firms by bringing new digital solutions to this underserved market.

Addressing Motivations for Change 

Many Mittelstand company leaders recognise the pressure to transform digitally from customers and faster-moving foreign competitors. Consumer expectations for real-time insight and transparency around orders, shipments, and overall service continue to rise in importance year on year.

Meanwhile, rivals outside of Germany leverage easier access to innovations like AI, IoT, data analytics and cloud platforms to iterate faster. PAC believes that to sustain export competitiveness and predictable growth, Mittelstand firms need to re-evaluate internal and external processes for the digital age.

The ServiceNow and Plat4mation partnership offers domain experience that can guide nuanced change even amidst conservative company cultures averse to technology risk, as can be found across the Mittelstand. Plat4mation’s European expertise in introducing organisational change can balance adoption speed with cultural continuity.

These specialisations help Mittelstand firms transition existing environments to more adaptable and scalable operating models. In addition, ServiceNow provides a secure and adaptable cloud foundation for digital workflows across German regulatory and data sovereignty concerns.

Prioritising High-Value Initiatives

Rather than disruptive “big bang” transitions, PAC considers the opportunity for the partnership to be the identification of targeted processes for low-risk cloud migration using ServiceNow. This includes customer/partner portals for real-time order tracking, shop floor connectivity for inventory monitoring, field service automation, legal/HR case management, and other manufacturing-specific workflows.

PAC believes that for Mittelstand companies, this partner-led approach focused on contained cloud transitions demonstrates digital capabilities without large-scale disruption.

Quick implementations will also deliver faster ROI, while Plat4mation can guide change management across organisations. ServiceNow's and Plat4mation’s accelerators and integration capabilities reduce the burden on Mittelstand IT teams, which may lack the cloud skills needed that are much in demand across all of Europe. Instead, German-focused best practices integrated with digital capabilities in adaptable ways will allow these companies to grow and scale cloud usage at their own organisational pace.

Unlocking Innovation Potential

From PAC’s perspective, an intriguing by-product of transitioning key systems to ServiceNow’s platform is it becomes simpler for Mittelstand firms to build new applications and explore emerging technologies. With barriers eliminated between data and teams working in silos, new digital use cases become conceivable.

For example, operations leaders can construct customised portals and IoT analytics on the Now platform to optimise manufacturing or logistics without IT involvement. Field service teams can quickly develop mobile tools to enable predictive maintenance revenue streams. Partnerships can form across companies to share sustainability data or create innovative service offerings leveraging their real-time insights.

ServiceNow’s model of decentralised IT, encouraged by simple app development and declarative UX, allows business units themselves to digitise operations that would have previously been impractical. Combined with the reputation for precision engineering across German Mittelstand, new data-enabled products and hybrid digital services could emerge as firms adopt modern platforms and working methods.

ServiceNow and Plat4mation have committed to a substantive opportunity to help digitise a critical German economic segment founded on legacy processes. PAC considers that transitioning core workflows to adaptive cloud technologies unlocks optimisation, transparency, and innovation potential, which is impossible to achieve with status quo systems.

PAC believes that if successful in assisting pragmatic modernisation, the partnership can meaningfully evolve German manufacturing, exports and globally celebrated industrial brands for the digital future.

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