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How Bell and ServiceNow are breaking down the walls between businesses

By Michel Richer, Senior Vice-President, Enterprise Solutions, Data Engineering and AI 

Bell expert and ServiceNow employee work together to better automate and streamline IT management workflows

By Michel Richer, Senior Vice-President, Enterprise Solutions, Data Engineering and AI

Today, it's no longer enough to simply invest in products, equipment and infrastructure. Our customers' needs are evolving rapidly; to keep up, we need to deliver services and solutions faster and better than ever before. 

That was the message given by John Watson, Bell’s Group President of Business Markets, Customer Experience and AI, during our 2023 Network and Technology Services Leadership Conference. He also talked about the need to embrace an “inside-outside” strategy to accomplish that goal, leveraging both internal and external resources and perspectives to drive innovation. In practice, that involves prioritizing things like digitizing our core processes and managed services, finding and keeping top-notch talent, and leveraging AI everywhere to further augment our capabilities and services. 

Thanks to our recently announced partnership with ServiceNow, we’re in a better position today to deliver on all of those priorities. 

A unified digital ecosystem for a better service experience  

ServiceNow is a cloud-based platform that helps companies automate and streamline their business operations workflows, transforming both customer and employee experiences. Through this partnership – the first of its kind in Canada – the capabilities of ServiceNow will be integrated into the Bell service ecosystem using the Service Bridge application. 

This will allow Bell customers who are using the ServiceNow platform to connect directly into our processes and systems, facilitating faster and more seamless interactions across workflows as part of one unified digital ecosystem. From ordering to provisioning to service assurance, the end-to-end service experience becomes much easier and more effective through:  

  • Purpose-built telecom solutions for more efficient and effective service delivery – with integration that can be completed in about an hour instead of multiple weeks. 
  • Powerful automation capabilities that will allow us to offer faster and more reliable services. Service Bridge makes it possible to publish and refresh our service catalogue at the push of a button, meeting market needs faster and reducing wait times for service initiation.  
  • AI-driven insights to develop innovative solutions that elevate customer service and predictive maintenance through greater visibility into order/issue status. For example, virtual agents will deliver proactive service notifications directly to customers’ ServiceNow instances, eliminating manual hand-offs for faster issue resolution. 

With Service Bridge, we will be able to better engage with our customers through their channels of choice while delivering a more streamlined, frictionless and intuitive experience. 

Bell is also now a member of ServiceNow’s Product Advisory Council for Telecom, giving us a voice in how the platform evolves to ensure it continues to meet the needs of our customer base.  

The transformative power of partnership 

John Watson (Bell), Nick Tzitzon (ServiceNow) and Guillaume Bazinet (FX Innovation).One of the priorities of our inside-out strategy is a focus on finding the right talent that can keep up with the innovative platforms and solutions that are available today and coming tomorrow. That’s why we brought FX Innovation into the Bell family in 2023.  The skills and experience this team brings to the table will be key to making the most of our partnership with ServiceNow.  

FX Innovation began as an independent IT service provider but has since evolved into one of Canada’s leading cloud-managed and professional service providers, catalyzing digital transformations for businesses all across the country. ServiceNow played an important part in that growth.  

On its own path to digital transformation, FX Innovation adopted the ServiceNow platform in 2012 to optimize its own internal workflows. Soon, many of its own customers began doing the same, but they needed some help to use the platform effectively. So, they asked FX Innovation for support. Seeing this as an opportunity for growth, the company quickly scaled up its resources to meet the demand for ServiceNow skills, with its team now including more than 60 certified ServiceNow experts.  

“Embracing new technologies and making strong partnerships with the top leaders in the industry, this is what I live for,” says Guillaume Bazinet, CEO of FX Innovation. “Our longstanding experience with ServiceNow's solutions will be instrumental in driving Bell's transformation, ensuring that we not only meet but exceed the evolving digital demands of our customers.” 

For ServiceNow, the company began with the objective to change and automate how business processes run. It soon turned into the idea that there is an opportunity to build platforms that can change how entire value chains operate – and that’s what it aims to achieve with Bell.  

“Together, we can build cohesive digital ecosystems that break down the traditional walls and bridge the gaps that exist between businesses,” says Nick Tzitzon, Chief Strategy and Corporate Affairs Officer at ServiceNow. “This is a truly transformational opportunity.” 

Keeping pace with AI-driven innovation and transformation 

The use of AI will soon become table stakes for telecommunications companies around the world. Its impact has been compared to historical game-changers like the introductions of fire, agriculture and the automobile – offering extraordinary potential and numerous opportunities to be explored. 

As part of our agenda of growth, Bell is making massive investments today to ensure we remain a frontrunner in AI innovation in the future. The number of technical certifications achieved by our experts increased by 70 percent in 2023. We now have a bench of more than 100 data engineers along with the same number of AI-centric programmers – accelerating our modernization to a tech services leader. 

That’s what makes partnerships with companies like ServiceNow so important. With the Service Bridge application, we can now use AI-driven insights to continuously improve the service experience for our customers and also for our own team. This collaboration marks a new era in telecommunications in Canada – and is critical to our ongoing evolution from a traditional telecommunications service provider into a technology service provider, at the forefront of innovation and always ready to adapt to the evolving needs of organizations across the country. 

 I'm excited: it's not every day you can take part in such a monumental step forward.