Learn About ServiceNow Express

Mike Kauffman

What is ServiceNow Express?

If you have never heard of it before, it’s basically a simpler version of ServiceNow. What does ServiceNow Express contain? From the ServiceNow Express website:

With Express, IT teams have a powerful new IT automation solution that provides these key functions:

  • Incident, problem and change automation to speed the assignment and resolution of tickets, fix recurring issues and help IT teams stop managing services with email.
  • Asset tracking to replace spreadsheets with a single system of record to see what assets the IT team manages, where assets reside, how they are performing and what issues are tagged to them.
  • Visual Task Boards to give IT managers a unique and easy way to assign the team work through a drag‑and‑drop interface, including changing assignee, adding tasks, resetting priorities and collaborating with the team.
  • One‑click reporting on any metric to track performance and demonstrate the value of IT to business leaders.

It is marketed to small businesses and companies with more restricted budgets. Compared to the full ServiceNow Enterprise platform, it can cost much less. On the ServiceNow website (August 2016):

Express is available today in the U.S. and Canada. Pricing starts at $50 per user per month with a minimum one‑year contract.

Full ServiceNow Enterprise implementation licensing typically costs much more. Not to mention, there are often implementation services and administration costs for a ServiceNow Enterprise implementation as well.

If you are a small company (less than 1,000 employees), have a limited budget, and want to use the ServiceNow Platform, Express might be just what you are looking for.

Differences Between ServiceNow Express & ServiceNow Enterprise

In order to produce a lower-cost option, ServiceNow Express has some customization limitations:

  • No Scripting. No scripting of any kind. You need to use expressions instead or the functionality is not available.
  • Limited Customation. No UI macros, UI actions, data policies, client scripts, field level encryption, ACLs, or scheduled jobs.
  • No Graphical Workflow. Use Execution Plans instead. This may change in the next version of ServiceNow, ServiceNow Istanbul.
  • No Development Instances. You “code” directly in Production. No update sets, as you are coding directly in production anyway.
  • Limited Branding. No CMS or service portal.
  • No Plugins. You only get the apps that are shown. Some applications like Orchestration and Service Mapping are not available. However I have heard that is about to change in a new release and more plugins may be available.
  • Limited Authentication Options. Certain restrictions on SSO providers and authentication options.
  • Limited API Access. Access to webservices integration limited to basic integrations on the ServiceNow side.

That all being said, ServiceNow Express still has the nice ServiceNow platform functionality. You just have to get used to using it “as-is” as much as possible.

Upgrade from Express to Enterprise

The other good news is that if you ever decided to upgrade to Enterprise, the upgrade process to Enterprise is as “easy as a switch”. Write up a new agreement with ServiceNow, and ServiceNow flips you to Enterprise.

So in effect, ServiceNow Express gives you a starting point for getting on the ServiceNow Platform.

Of course any custom features in Enterprise that are not in Express, you would need to add those as needed. Like if you always wanted some custom client script in Express, you would have the opportunity to create it in Enterprise.

Here is more information about the upgrade to enterprise: Express Conversion to ServiceNow Enterprise

Let Us Help You Get There

Want to “Say YES to ServiceNow”, but not sure if ServiceNow Express is right for you?

Contact Virteva, the company I work for. We provide consulting services such as:

  • Rapid Deployment Packages. Express and Enterprise rapid deployment packages to get you up and running in a short period with zero deployment risk.
  • ManagedNow. 24×7 ServiceNow administration and support
  • Now to Next. ServiceNow custom development.
  • Service Desk. 24x7x365 state-of-the-art Service Desk and Endpoint Management services using a shared ServiceNow domain-separated instance. Virteva uses ServiceNow domain separation to enforce absolute data isolation between the various customers using the instance.