Connect Salesforce and ServiceNow: Collaborating Without Compromise

Connect Salesforce and ServiceNow: Collaborating Without Compromise

Enterprise software giants Salesforce and ServiceNow each excel in their intended domains – customer relationship management (CRM) solution and internal service management, respectively. Yet, it can be challenging to operate both of these platforms simultaneously across a large organization without ending up in two distinct data silos. The software development team or IT department end up in one, while marketing, sales and customer support wind up in the other. But these departments can’t function in isolation from one another or else the organization as a whole will suffer.

When processes get bogged down in redundancy and data that’s difficult to find, it’s all too easy to wind up with fragmented workflows that hinder the customer experience modern businesses strive for. The solution isn’t choosing one over the other, but strategically integrating them together. This article explores the differences between ServiceNow and Salesforce, the areas of overlap between them, and the benefits of integration with the goal of maximizing efficiency and customer satisfaction.

In this article:

Salesforce and ServiceNow: An overview

Salesforce and ServiceNow have each carved their niche, offering a unique set of features and functionalities that cater to different business needs, each starting out on opposite ends of the business spectrum. Salesforce rose from customer relationship management (CRM), focused on sales and external interactions. ServiceNow emerged as an internal IT service management (ITSM) platform, for managing incident resolution supported by automation.

Today, both offer wider functionality, each offering modular add-ons to support a customer service platform. Other areas of overlap include optional native integrations, in-depth customization options for tailoring each instance to an organization’s preferences and brand, as well as a subscription model based on license fees.

Customer service management needs more than a cloud

The Salesforce platform’s core functionalities lie in managing customer interactions, contacts, and day-to-day tasks for sales and marketing teams.

After establishing itself as a premiere CRM, Salesforce expanded its cloud-themed modules with Service Cloud, a crucial extension for Salesforce users seeking a comprehensive customer support tool. With additional features such as intelligent case routing, customer feedback analysis, and automation capabilities, Service Cloud is clearly designed to compete with other ITSM solutions. But it’s still an add-on to a larger platform whose purpose is to connect marketing and sales. If you’re a martech leader, that can be a tough sell to your head of IT or CIO.

Service now? CRM vs. CSM

On the other hand, ServiceNow’s core functionalities center on automating ops for business users with modules that cover service level agreements, incident management, and asset management.

A chart detailing the incident management process with ServiceNow: incident logging, notification & escalation, incident classificatino, incident prioritization, investigation and diagnosis, incident resolution and closure.
Source: ServiceNow

ServiceNow’s Customer Service Management (CSM) module (as a substitute for a CRM) excels in streamlining issue resolution, providing agents with a unified workspace, and includes self-service options for customers. However, its deep focus on internal operations and IT service often creates gaps when the customer journey extends beyond technical troubleshooting. A full CRM (such as Salesforce) provides the rich customer history, purchase data, lead information and marketing insights rarely available in ServiceNow, limiting the personalized experience teams could provide without integration.

These features give users immediate answers and facilitate the resolution of IT issues without direct IT support staff involvement, thus enhancing organizational productivity. They also contribute to improved IT decision-making.

Choosing the right integration tool for your business

The selection of the right integration tool for Salesforce ServiceNow integration is a critical business decision. This requires a careful examination of the tool’s features, scalability, security, ease of use, and its compatibility with other applications.

Some key features to consider when choosing an integration tool are:

  • Data encryption

  • Two-factor authentication

  • Real-time alerts

  • Intelligent workflows

  • Security orchestration

  • Automated response engine

Both Salesforce and ServiceNow offer these critical security aspects, making them good options for integration.

ServiceNow Integration Hub

ServiceNow Integration Hub operates on the Now Platform, enabling process owners and developers to build reusable “spokes” and integration “actions” that interact with external platforms from ServiceNow®. However, Integration Hub requires in-depth knowledge of scripting languages and can be very time-intensive. Here’s a closer look at how Integration Hub compares to Unito.

Mulesoft Composer for Salesforce

MuleSoft Composer is part of the broader MuleSoft Anypoint Platform, offering wider integration potential alongside tools like RPA (Robotic Process Automation). Designed primarily for Salesforce administrator who want to streamline automation within Salesforce, it provides a no-code interface, pre-built connectors, and guided templates to empower Salesforce users to build automations without relying heavily on IT support. Here’s how Unito compares to Mulesoft Composer.

Unito 2-Way Sync Platform

Unito is a new, simpler approach to integration powered by live 2-way sync. It allows for secure 2-way connections between 50+ industry-leading apps and tools, including ServiceNow and Salesforce. Key features include:

An illustration of Unito users syncing ServiceNow and Salesforce.

These considerations will guide businesses in choosing an integration tool that not only facilitates seamless integration but also aligns with their unique business needs and operational requirements. With the right tool, businesses can fully leverage the benefits of Salesforce and ServiceNow integration.

Use cases for integrating customer service operations

Customer data, product catalogs, and service catalogs are the lifeblood of both Salesforce and ServiceNow, yet often exist in frustrating silos. Integration solutions, such as Unito, can ensure this vital information is always up-to-date and consistent by syncing Salesforce and ServiceNow data. This eliminates discrepancies that cause delays and customer frustration.

For example, if someone in your organization changes a customer address in Salesforce, that change can be automatically synced to a matching record in ServiceNow. Similarly, product catalog synchronization can enable sales teams and support reps to see the same product details and availability, and prevent miscommunications and failed orders.

Illustration of data sharing between Salesforce and ServiceNow

Integrating ServiceNow with Salesforce can bring about massive change in the way businesses handle customer data and collaborate between IT departments and the rest of the organization. Unito’s 2-way Salesforce ServiceNow integration, for example, supports an automated end-to-end customer journey with updates syncing in real-time.

Coordinating with accurate customer data

Imagine if your IT department could create ServiceNow incidents that automatically create corresponding Salesforce cases. Then, manual changes to one would appear instantly in the other, ensuring seamless visibility between platforms. Meanwhile, customer support agents can provide accurate, timely information to end users as the internal IT department works on each incident, ticket, or record.

That’s exactly how Unito works. Best of all? It’s entirely no-code, so you don’t need advanced knowledge of scripting languages and you can integrate your tools faster.

A case study for Unito about a Leading CRM provider syncing and scaling marketing ops in real-time with $915k saved annually

Case to case in the service cloud

Conversely, critical customer insights or escalations captured within Salesforce can be relayed back to the ServiceNow team as synced records. So the IT department can more effectively diagnose and resolve underlying issues.

This no-code 2-way solution is optimal for minimizing data-related human error, supporting the customer experiences with a large scale enterprise through automation, and simplifying data sharing between departments.

The future of CRM and service management

Salesforce automation tools, including Einstein AI or Apex, offer solutions for complexity management, business process automation, and time-saving in case classification and activities.

The upcoming integration of Einstein for Formulas and Einstein for Flow into their platform represents an advanced step in AI technology aiding CRM tasks.

Salesforce Einstein AI visual
Source: Salesforce

ServiceNow, in contrast, enhances efficiency by automating routine UI-centric tasks, using out-of-the-box automation solutions and predictive intelligence for incident ticketing and assignment.

Incorporating AI into your automation

Meanwhile, ServiceNow’s AI can enhance support experiences by drawing on customer sentiment analysis and purchase data from Salesforce. Imagine a scenario where escalation predictions in ServiceNow are improved because of a 2-way integration that sends Salesforce data directly to your ServiceNow AI. The AI then sees a customer’s recent negative feedback and dwindling engagement within Salesforce and offers solutions for you to respond quickly.

A quote from Brian Solis, head of innovation at ServiceNow

These advancements illustrate the innovative strides both Salesforce and ServiceNow are making in shaping the future of CRM and service management.

Salesforce or ServiceNow – Why not have both?

When considering “Salesforce or Servicenow,” it’s important to note that while either can be used for IT management, operations, or CRM optimization, each has its own specialties that the other lacks.

Salesforce excels in managing customer interactions, sales, and marketing to foster strong customer relationships. Its specialized tools for each aspect of customer engagement make it ideal for sales teams gaining visibility into the pipeline, marketing teams executing targeted campaigns, and organizations building community portals for collaboration.

ServiceNow specializes in automating internal operations, managing IT services, and boosting productivity across departments. Optimal use cases for ServiceNow include managing internal infrastructure, handling field service requests, and providing IT services to customers.

An illustration of Unito users syncing Salesforce with ServiceNow.

The savvy user will be able to make use of the best components of each platform with a fully-functional 2-way integrated workflow.

Integration security and privacy

Security and privacy are paramount concerns in any data integration process. Salesforce’s Permission Set security model is designed for granular access control, contributing significantly to the security apparatus in place during data integration with ServiceNow. Furthermore, data is safeguarded by two-fold security which includes protection by Amazon Web Services and by internal servers, ensuring that your data is well-protected from security vulnerabilities during the integration process.

Cyber Security icon with logos for OWasp, CSA, AICPA SOC, PCI DSS.

Evaluating the security features of integration tools is crucial; organizations should verify they offer strong encryption, secure APIs, and compliance with industry standards like GDPR or HIPAA. Unito’s security and privacy measures include best-in-class practices and procedures, including SOC 2 Type 2 Certification. These measures ensure that your data is not only secure but also privacy-protected during the integration process.

Frequently Asked Questions: Salesforce and ServiceNow

Can you use ServiceNow as a CRM?

Sort of! ServiceNow can be used as a CSM which contains features that allow it to act as a CRM and sales system, despite being primarily an ITSM software. It may not be as effective as a dedicated CRM, but it has some functionality in common with CRM systems.

Do Salesforce or ServiceNow offer their own integrations?

Salesforce and ServiceNow both offer powerful low-code development platforms that enable customization to align with business needs, with Salesforce also allowing code-level modifications for greater specificity. This customization offers benefits in automating processes, syncing functionality, and managing complex integrations. The Now Platform enhances the integration experience with fully customizable forms, fields, and lists, as well as localized information presentation for global users including diverse languages and currencies.

Organizations can enable seamless integration by utilizing the following tools:

  • Workflow mapping and automation tools such as Unito

  • Platforms offering intuitive data mapping

  • Legacy system integration connectors

  • Training and support resources

How are Salesforce and ServiceNow typically priced to customers?

One critical factor to consider when evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of Salesforce and ServiceNow is their pricing structures. Salesforce provides three primary pricing models:

  1. Basic plans like Service and Sales Cloud Starter Suite begin at $25/month per user.

  2. The ‘Professional edition costs $80/month per user.

  3. Salesforce enterprise plans begin at $165/month per user.

On the other hand, ServiceNow’s pricing is often only quoted by custom request. Though according to Capterra, the basic plan begins at $100/month per user. This does not include implementation costs or license fees, though discounts may apply with factors such as industry, region, company size, and selected products affecting the total implementation cost.

Understanding these pricing structures can help businesses make an informed decision about which platform best suits their budget and needs.

ServiceNow is popular due to its versatility, customization options, and powerful features for automating workflows, managing incidents, and providing real-time visibility into IT operations. It enables businesses to tailor it to their specific needs, making it a highly sought-after platform.

What is Salesforce and ServiceNow in Accenture?

Salesforce FSL is a unified platform that connects the workforce, products, and customers into one platform to streamline field service operations, while ServiceNow FSM is an integrated system of action that connects customers and employees to ensure exceptional customer experience in the field. Both platforms are used in Accenture’s operations to enhance field service management.

What is the purpose of ServiceNow?

ServiceNow serves as a platform for automating various management workflows in enterprises, specializing in IT service management, IT operations management, and IT business management. This allows businesses to fuel strategic growth and offer automated, user-friendly solutions for different operational areas (such as security operations, customer service management, human resources, facilities, and business applications).

Is ServiceNow the same as Salesforce?

No, ServiceNow is a cloud-based application platform (PaaS) service, while Salesforce is a cloud-based CRM platform. ServiceNow serves as a platform for creating custom applications and automating workflow, while Salesforce is primarily focused on customer relationship management.

Contrasting Salesforce’s customer-centric focus, ServiceNow streamlines internal business processes. This platform is designed to enhance productivity across multiple departments and improve overall IT services management. It employs AI and machine learning to:

  • automate risk assessment

  • smart ticket routing

  • predict success of IT changes

  • provide AI tools like chatbots

These features optimize the handling of IT issues and enhance user experiences.

A chart from ServiceNow with titles: Deliver customer growth, increase employee productivity, drive technology excellence, digitize unique business processes, transform business-critical operations, achieve operational excellence
Source: ServiceNow

ServiceNow offers the following features and capabilities, including a self service portal and service cloud, as part of their service management process and service management tool:

What are some of the core features of Salesforce?

This powerhouse platform offers a variety of robust customer relationship management features such as lead management, sales and marketing management, and reporting that cater to a range of customer needs. Businesses can leverage its CRM features, like lead scoring, nurturing, and crafting lead records from form submissions, to convert leads into sales and manage opportunities. Here’s how to sync Salesforce to Google Sheets with Unito.

Moreover, the customer relationship management platform facilitates optimal customer service management, customer services, customer data, and contact management throughout the customer lifecycle, storing essential customer details and managing workflows across multiple teams to provide a seamless customer experience while addressing customer queries.

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