ServiceNow and Microsoft, starting this Fall, today committed to making their respective generative artificial intelligence (AI) assistants interoperable.

Announced at the Knowledge 2024 conference hosted by ServiceNow, the goal is to make it simple for organization using Microsoft Copilot to hand off tasks that would be completed by the AI assistants ServiceNow is adding to Service Now Assist, the platform that is at the core of its IT service management (ITSM) portfolio.

Microsoft Copilot, as a result, will via Microsoft Temas be able to pass along requests, for example, from employees that need a new laptop to the Now Assist platform. The platform will then leverage generative AI to walk employees through that process using a conversational natural language interface.

Future capabilities that will be added will also enable employees to engage Copilot for Microsoft 365 with the ServiceNow platform to invoke prompts that create documents using, for example, Microsoft PowerPoint.

Dorit Zilbershot, vice president of product management for AI at ServiceNow, said as AI continues to advance it’s already apparent most organizations will be employing multiple types of AI assistants. In the case of ServiceNow, those assistants are going to be specifically trained to process ITSM and other related workflows that are automated using the ServiceNow platform, she noted.

Srini Raghvan, vice president for the Microsoft Teams ecosystem, added the goal is to reduce the level of context switching the users of both Microsoft and ServiceNow platforms would otherwise encounter with using multiple AI assistants. Microsoft is committed to playing nice with third-party partners that are making similar investments in generative AI, he added.

It’s still early as far as adoption of AI assistants is concerned, but a hierarchy is starting to emerge. Many organizations will, for example, be making use of the various copilots that Microsoft is adding to its entire portfolio. There are, however, going to be instances where AI assistants from a provider of a third-party platform are going to be able to generate better outcomes based on data that Microsoft did not have and is unable to directly access.

Dan Newman, CEO of the market research firm Futurum Group, said IT leaders should expect ServiceNow to make similar AI interoperability alliances with multiple providers of AI assistants as part of a larger goal to move workflows across heterogeneous IT environments.

It’s not clear how complex the types of tasks that can be offloaded to AI assistants will be, but as large language models (LLMs) become larger, their reasoning capabilities will continue to expand. There may come a day soon when end users will be able to, via a natural language prompt, ask an LLM to create a website, with each step of the process autonomously managed in the order required. At the very least, the number of tasks that will be asynchronously performed by AI assistants is only going to grow.

In the meantime, ITSM teams should start identifying what manual tasks they perform today that are soon going to be handled by AI assistants that are soon going to become just another member of the IT management team working alongside their human counterparts.

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