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ServiceNow integrates Oracle Cloud Infrastructure to help customers with multi-cloud management

Derek du Preez Profile picture for user ddpreez April 14, 2021
Customers want to take advantage of multi-cloud, but don’t want to leave their existing management tools. ServiceNow and Oracle are hoping this partnership will ease that journey.

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(Image by stokpic from Pixabay )

Enterprise customers that have standardized on ServiceNow and have a multi-cloud strategy will now be able to more easily manage their Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) resources via their existing ServiceNow Service Management portal. The latest integration means that companies will now have a single ServiceNow dashboard to manage their public cloud resources from Oracle, AWS, Azure and GCP. 

For organizations that are moving their existing on-premise workloads to the cloud, a multi-cloud strategy is more often than not the preferred approach. Buyers don't want to be tied to one provider and they want to allocate resources based on differing performance needs. However, simple management is needed to make this a reality and we are beginning to see where and how customers are approaching this. 

Bringing OCI into ServiceNow should ease some of this pain for buyers, which now can easily get visibility across all the major public cloud providers, without having to leave their existing service management system. Oracle has grown its public cloud offering significantly in recent years, which now includes 29 regions, the Oracle Government Cloud and seven global Oracle-Microsoft Azure Interconnect regions. 

Commenting on the partnership, Jeff Hausman, VP & GM Operations Management (ITOM, ITAM, Security) & Data Foundations at ServiceNow, says:

With this integration, ServiceNow and Oracle are making it seamless for enterprises to unlock productivity for distributed teams to deliver products and services faster, access powerful business insights and create great experiences for employees, wherever they may be.

Joint customers leveraging the Now Platform and OCI will get the best of both worlds, a seamless experience that maximises the value of cloud investments and the ability to harness the power of artificial intelligence for proactive operations.

ServiceNow has added OCI to the ServiceNow Service Management Portal and integrated OCI into its IT operations management (ITOM) visibility and discovery service so customers can inventory and analyze usage of cloud resources within their OCI tenancy.  All Oracle Cloud discoverable cloud resources are extracted and stored in the ServiceNow Configuration Management Database (CMDB) repository, which can then be used to monitor availability of those resources for IT services, operations and support level management. Additionally, combining CMDB content with ServiceNow's AIOps platform enables customers to create business service health dashboards, generate customized reports, and optimize spending on cloud usage. 

Oracle's ambitions

We got the chance to speak to Clive D'Souza, Senior Director of OCI Engineering, about the announcement - and why Oracle believes this is the right time to be partnering with ServiceNow. He says: 

This was driven by the industry. This is where the customers came to us and said you need to get integrated into ServiceNow. And I can understand the rationale behind it. Most large enterprises, the ones in the Fortune 5000 realm, have standardised the entire procurement chain on a few IT service management tools. 

They already have an IT service management tool, the credentialing and Identity Management has been done, because it's a trusted mechanism - you're not breaking the tool chain. What they now do is, in addition to doing IT service management, they want an ID Asset Management and Resources Management tool for the cloud. So what we have done is, in addition to the other cloud vendors where customers are already going and deploying assets on, OCI now becomes a discoverable entity. 

So when an individual, for instance working on a project, goes in and based on the programme, the cost centre, and the business unit, they are selecting the IaaS resources, the PaaS, or container-as-a-service - every one of them now can be be discovered, can be instantiated in OCI. But it will be billed back to the cost centre, or attached to wherever the project is, as part of the ServiceNow implementation. 

D'Souza says that ServiceNow has done most of the integration work connecting to a REST API and for customers to make use of the new visibility, it simply requires enabling a new plugin. He adds that Oracle did this with the intention of not developing its own tool suite, but with the view that customers want these capabilities embedded into their existing tool chain. D'Souza says: 

It's very important because we are part of the enterprise tool chain. And as customers start looking at the on-prem databases, the middleware, and the SaaS apps that they have and start to move to the cloud, they want to keep in the same platform without breaking anything. Customers were coming to us and saying we love what you have, we see what you're doing in the cloud, but we don't want to break the tool chain we have established. 

They came to us and said for the governance and management, we want a single pane of glass. And so we are integrating with ServiceNow to snap into their tool chain. 

As noted above, Oracle has also worked with ServiceNow on what it calls AIOps, where ServiceNow can run algorithms to identify the right sizing of resources based on the customer's consumption. So, for example, if a customer is using 10 different VMs within OCI and they're only running at 10% compute utilization, ServiceNow will recommend shrinking and consolidating. D'Souza hinted that this is just the started of a bigger journey with ServiceNow, where he says: 

We are not done by the way. This is our very first foray. We will start adding more and more integrations.

My take

This announcement is good news for customers of Oracle and ServiceNow, but also more broadly reflects how the world of ‘cloud' means coopetition driven by customer needs. In the past vendors would have tried their hardest to lock customers into a single ecosystem of their own. Now they are having to sit side by side and compete on capability. How the relationship between ServiceNow and Oracle will develop will also be interesting to follow, as there is potentially lots of opportunity there for both...

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