ServiceNow®’s annual Knowledge 16 conference in May provided an excellent forum for users of ServiceNow® to learn, meet and exchange ideas. The excitement about the growing eco-system and scalability of the ServiceNow® platform was palpable. With over 100 ServiceNow® partners exhibiting, 200 breakout sessions, 120 labs, and illuminating keynote speakers, the show revealed the service management revolution that is currently underway, and how enterprises can prepare.
The following are some key insights gleaned from K16:
Customized apps are the next wave.
Commercial, customized apps are maturing and popping up everywhere, exhibiting increasing stability and popularity. ServiceNow® embraces this revolution, and encourages innovation with adoption, such as with the HR application, on-boarding/off-boarding application, facilities application and many others. These apps are very popular among the users as well as developers because they solve real problems. Companies big and small struggle with on-boarding new resources, such as employee/contractors (even new clients). It can take days to weeks to get a new resource set up with all hardware, software and access before he/she can be productive. The automation provided by these applications help streamline and enhance the experience while providing accurate status and tracking.
Providing equipment such as cell phones, laptops and other assets, then keeping track of who has what is a common challenge most organizations face. Providing access to certain applications and software, along with their required ongoing management, is also a critical requirement for most organizations. Once the employee/contractor leaves, taking all the roles/access away as well as re-claiming the software license can add to huge savings and can help close security gaps.
ServiceNow® provides out of box plug-ins to get you started on these service management applications, allowing customers to configure processes to their unique organizational needs.
Service Management can now be considered the Third Estate in software.
IT has enabled enterprises to become faster and more efficient at what they do, while reducing costs and enhancing customer experience. But with so many solutions available on the market capable of powering different facets of a business, we need to understand where each fits into the overall ecosystem. According to ServiceNow®, ERP can now be considered as the “First Estate” in software?ERP systems help power an organization’s back office operations, such as manufacturing, engineering, and finance. The “Second Estate,” which encompasses customer-facing systems such as the CRM and call center software, helps drive sales, marketing, and customer support. This leaves Service Management and all of its associated roles within HR, Legal, IT, and facilities in the position of “Third Estate,” connecting back office operations to front office activities. All three, and countless software solutions, are required for the modern enterprise to operate effectively. As the “Third Estate,” ServiceNow® effectively replaces all the manual processes/software components and bundles them together.
The human factor is key.
There was copious discussion about how best to deal with the human element, which is critical to successful business operations. One organization described how they drove consensus through the use of workshops. Another spoke of how you shouldn’t start anything technical until people “know what’s going on” and have received initial training. All agreed that communication was vital.
Sound governance models are required.
Multiple speakers addressed governance as being particularly important for organizations using an agile development method, as it can be easy for work to get out of control. Clarity on how decisions are made, by whom and how to raise issues and concerns so that they can be addressed is key. Consistent coding standards and naming conventions were also highlighted as critical.
ServiceNow®, operating as the Third Estate, effectively manages this human element for the organization, while providing a platform for governance and reporting.
CRMs aren’t always the best solution for Customer Service and Support.
Interestingly, some of the traditionally held beliefs for these platforms are starting to change. Customer experience continues to drive consumer purchasing patterns, and enterprises around the globe are developing world-class customer service strategies to help attract and maintain their client base, many with the help of their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms. This “Second Estate” of software management has shown to help accelerate sales, marketing and customer service initiatives. But according to experts, this is not where customer service really belongs. Merging “service management” with “customer service,” ServiceNow® has developed their own customer service management (CSM) platform, where they believe all customer service related operations should reside. Offering users the ability to actually diagnose and fix potential disruptions rather than simply engage with clients, the solution is believed to be the future of exceptional customer experiences for the modern enterprise.