The first full day of the Knowledge15 ServiceNow conference is coming to a close. Today's sessions offered a ton of valuable content, and I've done my best to offer some of what I found most valuable from a few of them.

Day 1 Keynote: Managing Everything as a Service, Frank Slootman, ServiceNow

Frank Slootman, ServiceNow's CEO, kicked off the keynote session this morning, supported by Dave Stephens, Matt Schvimmer, Rick Wright, Mike Nappi, and Pat Casey. Continuing with the theme of "Everything as a Service", Slootman pointed out the prevalence of service-orientation in our personal lives and asked the question, "Why shouldn't this prevalence carry over into business?" An excess of productivity is lost due to the use of manual processes: email, paper forms, phone calls, manual escalations, manually compiled reports, and the like. Slootman showed how ServiceNow is opening the door from this unstructured messenging culture to one of structured workflow.

Slootman discussed the trend toward structured workflow with these three points:

  1. Service Management is growing into the Business Services and B2B realms from IT Service Management and Consumer Services. This growth includes the areas of Facilities, Legal, HR, Marketing, and Finance.
  2. The focus of analytics and reporting is shifting to real time data.
  3. Managing service relationships is getting close in nature to managing customer relationships. These two areas are moving into a single mega market for constructing and standing up services.

IT is leading the adoption of service management throughout the enterprise, and that adoption is occurring at an increasing and exciting pace.

ServiceNow Express

Launched in late 2014, ServiceNow Express is geared toward organizations with 100 to 1,000 employees who are in need of a quicker implementation with an immediate ROI. Express is fast to implement, simple to configure, and enterprise-grade in nature. It provides a simpler configuration process, limiting configuration to the "must-haves" rather than providing the extensive abilities for customization that are available in the enterprise tool. The contract negotiation process is much simpler and can be handled faster as a result. Customers using Express can rely on the same SLAs, high availability, and security that are provided for the enterprise version. An important value to be kept in mind with Express is that you can easily transition to the enterprise version.

Service 360

Available with the Geneva release, Service 360 provides a visualization of all business services by a number of dimensions, e.g. cost, risk score. This visual depiction is organized into a structure similar to a tabular word cloud, divided into segments with supporting numerical data.

ServiceWatch

Pointing out that manual business service mappings are not maintainable and just don't realistically function in a business setting, Mike Nappi walked through the advantages available with the use of ServiceWatch. ServiceWatch automatically builds a CI map based on an entry point provided by the administrator. A major advantage of ServiceWatch is its ability to help to clean up the relationship between event monitoring and Incident Management. A single incident can be created for a service with a series of events tied to it rather than creating a flood of related and potentially duplicated incidents from inbound event messages.

In-browser IDE

If you've been working with ServiceNow for a few years, you've seen the evolution of the script editor as it has progressively improved. Starting with Geneva, an in-browser IDE will be included in the tool. The IDE will provide standard functions such as code searching, packaging, etc.

The Challenge of Delivering a Simple Service Catalog, Holly Fischer, Altria Client Services

Holly Fischer walked through Altria's experience implementing the Service Catalog and offered lessons learned as a part of the experience. She emphasized that her organization found value in:

  • Analysis to understand the full scope of services in order to best prioritize those services
  • Use of a CMS site for enhancing customer experience
  • Following best practices when it comes to re-usability and minimizing customization
  • Utilizing a skilled organizational change management expert to provide change leadership

Holly offered a few items that her organization would handle differently:

  • Beginning the implementation with the Service Catalog without a stronger foundation
  • Not using the Product Catalog in relation to the Service Catalog implementation

Labs

The lab sessions contain far too much content to summarize well in a blog post! Instead, I will leave you with a tech tip from the "Integration 201: Consuming Third-party Web Services" lab on one of the great features offered as a part of the REST and SOAP functionality in ServiceNow. ServiceNow provides an easy interface for retrieving a usable script for making outbound web service calls. From either an outbound SOAP Message record or a REST Message record, navigate to any of the available functions. On the function form, you will find a related link UI Action, "Preview script usage". Click on the link, and the system gives you a script to use!