Facebook IPO in a league of its own, but others play ball

Adam Jablonowski Contributor
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While Facebook’s approaching $100 billion initial public offering (IPO) is causing a fuss in the marketplace, it isn’t the only fast growing company about to go public.

ServiceNow, a provider of Internet technology (IT) service management software, is among those preparing to offer its shares to the public.

The company has an impressive list of clients, including Facebook, Google, Staples and Intel.  A new strategy implemented by ServiceNow in 2011 has the company selling cloud applications. Its product offerings compete with those offered by BMC, IBM and Hewlett-Packard.

It has also been on a hiring binge as CEO Frank Slootman leads the effort to build out the company’s portfolio of cloud applications. The Wall Street Journal included ServiceNow for the second year in a row on its “Next Big Thing” list in 2011.

Workday Inc., whose products track budgets, employee benefits and offer certain human resource functions, is another technology firm thought to be about to go public.

The company is ranked number three on the San Francisco Business Times and Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal’s list of “Best Places to Work in 2011.”

Workday reportedly doubled its revenue to $300 million in 2010, but is not commenting on IPO speculation.

Palo Alto Networks, which sells firewall technology and competes with the likes of Cisco and Juniper Networks, is also seen as a likely IPO candidate.

Research firm Gartner recently called the company a leader for its “disruptive influence in the firewall market.”

Last year, Palo Alto recorded over $200 million in orders and is already turning a profit from them.

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Adam Jablonowski