How Enable Professional cracked the one-vendor conundrum

How Enable Professional cracked the one-vendor conundrum

Founder Bruce Hara discusses "throwing all eggs" in the ServiceNow basket.

Bruce Hara (Enable Professional Services)

Bruce Hara (Enable Professional Services)

Credit: Bruce Hara

If Bruce Hara had a dollar for every time someone asked him about going all in with ServiceNow, he may have already hit retirement. 

Having founded Enable Professional Services seven years ago, Hara has long fielded curiosity about the decision to operate solely as a ServiceNow shop – a move many see as limiting given the IT landscape's increasing complexity. 

But, given that the Melbourne-headquartered partner now boasts nine offices across Australia and Asia, including India, supported by 300 employees, it appears Hara made the right bet. 

"Naturally we get asked about throwing all our eggs in one basket by customers as well as the company's own staff," he told ARN. "They probably got sick of me saying: 'give me $1, I'll continue to invest it in our ServiceNow practice. And if you give me another one, okay, I'll continue to invest it there.'

"They have an evolving platform and a multitude of products that they continue to improve and take across an enterprise. 

"The fact that they have matured so much and have so many offerings has been a big driver for us: it was always are vision to evolve well beyond purely IT services and be able to do stuff across an enterprise." 

However, Enable did not start as a monogamous ServiceNow partner. Launched by Hara, a former Interpro director, in 2014, the enterprise service management and business automation player originally aligned to both ServiceNow and Salesforce.  

But after just 18 months, Enable let its existing Salesforce contracts come to a "natural end" and became the one-vendor shop it remains today.  

"We had had a fantastic relationship with the ServiceNow team, from the alliances and channels group to their executive and global teams," Hara said.  

"The marketplace at that time was right, as it still is today. But it wasn't nearly as hectic and as busy as the Salesforce ecosystem. So, there was more opportunity and more obvious ways to invest in our ServiceNow practice and it turned out to be a good decision." 

Hara corresponds Enable's evolution alongside that of ServiceNow. As he puts it, the company always had an "aspirational" vision to serve as many enterprise units in as many ways possible. 

Now, Enable is structured around several key pillars that are underpinned by ServiceNow — transformation, customer experience, employee service experience, innovation, advisory services and integrated risk management. 

These, for Hara, are all key to the current digital transformation boom sweeping both Australia and Asia, especially given the software complexity of many enterprise environments, even those with under 1,000 employees. 

"The easier you can make life for your own customers or your employees, the more efficiency, the more engagement and the more adoption you're going to get," he explained. "[It's about] simplifying, reducing cost, adding value automating where it makes sense: all of those things have benefited us in conjunction with the technology platforms." 

With that strategy in place, Enable now counts the likes of Telstra, Optus and Westpac among its Australian customers, alongside public sector clients. Now, having expanded into Asia in 2016, Enable has since added Temasek, Singapore Airlines and AIA Insurance to its blue-chip roster.  

For Hara, the relationship with ServiceNow was a key factor in Enable's expansion and growth in the Asian market.

"There were customers already there that needed help and there was the ability of us to then partner with ServiceNow and bring forward sales, co-sell and then really work on helping the customer get value from the platform, which naturally then builds reputation and becomes a win-win," he explained. 

Looking ahead to 2022, Hara is keen to boost Enable's Asian footprint, with markets including Japan and South Korea in the pipeline for potential expansion. In addition, the company is also likely to double down its existing Philippines footprint, with Hara eyeing the country's "huge workforce" as a major selling point.  

Beyond Asia, the United States may be next on the horizon to continue Enable's rapid growth. "It was something that we always wanted to do," said Hara. "And it's probably the only thing that the pandemic and lockdown slowed us down. But it's now back on our radar." 

Meanwhile, Enable is also set to broaden its customer relationships to serve as many roles as possible within a single organisation. These can include anyone from human resources, customer experience officers to even board level, Hara explained.  

"Organisations are looking to do collaborative decisions being made higher up the chain now within, not necessarily just by the CIO," he said. "So that's certainly a challenging goal for our organisation to continue to drive that, but that is linked to the efficiencies and consolidation of platforms." 

Attributing Enable's success and growth over the past seven years, Hara added: "The most important thing for us was remaining true to our values and culture as a business from day one. Consulting is about people: and first and foremost, that's the people who work for us and our customers." 

Tags ServiceNowEnable Professional ServicesBruce Hara


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