Last month, ServiceNow hosted another great event that allowed customers, partners and ServiceNow representatives to collaborate, connect and learn more about their ServiceNow tools and plans for future development. We heard some great keynote speeches from ServiceNow executives Frank Slootman (President and CEO), Fred Luddy (Chief Product Officer), Dave Wright (Chief Strategy Officer), and on day three, Dan McGee (Chief Operating Officer). ServiceNow’s vision at the annual Knowledge conference was “Everything as a Service.” They are extremely focused on moving from being a “System of Record” to a “System of Engagement.” This allows for better communication between parties when working to resolve a problem or fulfill a request. At the breakout sessions we learned about some new applications and modifications that will facilitate this transition and create a better experience for ServiceNow users and developers.
ServiceNow Mobile app
With ServiceNow’s Geneva release comes a new mobile application to connect end users with the Service Desk. The iOS application (Android coming soon) allows end users to order items from the service catalog, search the knowledge base and submit incidents to the service desk. Submitting incidents is where the new application really comes to life! End users can communicate with the Service Desk team in real-time about their issue. They can see if a resource that is assigned to their incident is online or even typing a response to the incident. The application also leverages many of the core iOS functions such as uploading a picture to the incident record using the built-in camera, scanning the asset tag’s barcode, using voice recognition to type a response to the analyst and geo-location to let the analyst know where you are in the event you need an onsite replacement. Another great iOS feature that is leveraged is push notifications. This allows ServiceNow to notify the user in real-time when there incident or request has been updated.
Another great feature in the Geneva release is the flexible end user interface. This is an alternative interface to building a code heavy CMS site. It provides a much more modern look that end users are used to receiving from personal online experiences. All forms and lists have been removed from the service portal. Only relevant data to the end user is displayed when looking at their task records. The service portal also provides the real-time presence capability that is leveraged in the mobile app. An end user can see if someone is looking at their request or incident and if the person assigned to it is online. End users can access this portal from any device!
This feature was originally released with the Eureka version which had a lot of bugs and gaps. In the Geneva release they have closed those gaps. The Service Designer allows department managers to create their own catalog items that contain forms, approvals, notifications, etc. This functionality allows departments to create their own catalog items without having to wait for the ServiceNow development team to do it for them. This immediately creates concern for the ServiceNow development teams as they are now giving up control of the environment but ServiceNow was one step ahead. The departments can create the catalog items but the ServiceNow Administrator still needs to approve it before being published. This allows the Administrator to review and make adjustments to fit the company’s best practices.
The connect feature in ServiceNow allows end users, support staff, managers, etc., to communicate and collaborate in real-time. ServiceNow will show you presence of other individuals much like Lync or Google Chat. Activity streams for each record or a group of records leverages real-time presence and collaboration to get work done faster, ultimately eliminating back and forth emails. When viewing records you can see in real-time who is also viewing the record or updating it. This prevents duplicate work from being completed on the same task.
These are just some of the new features coming in future releases of ServiceNow. The ServiceNow team at Virteva will continue to keep our clients and partners updated as we learn about more features and functions in the future. And, we look forward to Knowledge 16, back in Las Vegas next year!
Matt Miller is Manager of R&D at Virteva.