ServiceNow, the cloud software company that helps other companies automate their corporate IT environments, will pay $100 million in cash to acquire Neebula, an Israeli startup.
Neebula’s speciality is a system for discovering what kinds of software and other systems are running in a company’s IT environment. It’s important because the first step in streamlining and managing a company’s IT resources is figuring out what’s being used. Neebula calls its product ServiceWatch.
It may sound simple and straightforward, but it’s not. “What they’ve created is one of the Holy Grails of enterprise IT,” ServiceNow CEO Frank Slootman told Re/code. “It discovers all the services that are running. It sees the email system and the database and the SAP applications.” From there it burrows down into the infrastructure, mapping where everything runs, allowing them to be monitored and tracked on an ongoing basis.
Slootman said the technology is so important and fundamental to what ServiceNow does that “it was an asset that we simply had to own.” It’s also affordable: As of the end of its most recent quarter, ServiceNow had $656 million in combined cash and short-term investments on its balance sheet. He said ServiceNow will add Neebula’s product directly to its own.
ServiceNow shares rose slightly on the news to trade at $56.22 on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares have ridden the up-down-up-again cycle that has hit cloud software companies like Salesforce.com and Workday in recent months. ServiceNow shares were trading for less than $44 a share at this time last year, but peaked above $70 in February, before falling to about $46 in April.
The acquisition is the company’s second. Last year it acquired Mirror42, a cloud IT management and analytics company, for an undisclosed sum.
In other ServiceNow news, the company added two new members to its board of directors yesterday: Susan Bostrom, the former CMO at Cisco Systems, and Anita Sands, the former COO of investment bank UBS.