What is ServiceNow and what does it do?

Innovative business solution 

ServiceNow is a cloud-based platform for managing processes, services and enterprise infrastructure (Enterprise Cloud). It offers innovative solutions in these matters. It was designed to digitize and automate manual workflows and to make people work faster, smarter, easier and better. Thanks to ServiceNow, organizations can deliver services in a more efficient and integrated way.

The ServiceNow platform combines many functionalities, including incident management, problem management, change management, configuration management, as well as performance forecasting, reporting and analysis. Created nearly 20 years ago, it has been undoubtedly one of the largest global players and a leading service management tool for companies. Because of continuous improvement and the expansion of functionality, intuitiveness and ease of use, as well as comprehensive solutions and personalized HR services tailored for everyone, ServiceNow makes the world work better.

ServiceNow mission, vision & values

ServiceNow changes the way people work. What used to be done manually is now being done digitally. “There is no better experience than giving someone a piece of technology that lets them do something they never thought they could do”, said Frederic Luddy, founder of ServiceNow. ServiceNow focuses on processes, activities, and sentences – in short, everything that makes up day‑to‑day work life. ServiceNow provides a service model that defines, structures and automates all the processes. Everything becomes a service – you can create, deliver and manage service requests.

Thanks to ServiceNow, work becomes easier and faster, and thus more enjoyable, which increases also employee satisfaction, productivity and engagement. SeviceNow’s motto is “We make the world of work, work better for everyone”.

“ServiceNow improves not only the work of individuals or teams but also helps the modern enterprise operate in a faster and more scalable way than ever before. ServiceNow opens up new possibilities” – says Marcin Tyburski, CEO at SPOC. “It changes the way of working by simplifying, rebuilding and automating business processes. ServiceNow is the key driver of business change”.

ServiceNow is based on solutions with roots in IT. However, it proves that they work well also outside this industry. ServiceNow can support many domains of modern enterprises – including finance service operations, HR and customer service management. It can be successfully implemented in companies of all sizes and operating in various sections and industries.

ServiceNow history

The beginnings of ServiceNow

To tell the story of ServiceNow’s origins, we need to go back to 2003 and one man. After his employer’s bankruptcy and the loss of his fortune, Indiana-born computer scientist and entrepreneur Frederic Luddy put everything on the line. Just before his 50th birthday, he founded Glidesoft – IT Service Management company based on good ITIL practices. For nearly 2 years, Luddy was the only employee. In 2006, Glidesoft changed its name to ServiceNow.

ServiceNow today

After ServiceNew’s first year of operation, the total revenue amounted to $13 million. The company quickly reached world-class corporations such as Intel and AstraZeneca. In 2012, ServiceNow went public. The initial share price was $18; today, after 11 years, it is about $460. In 2018, ServiceNow was ranked number one on the list of the world’s most innovative companies by Forbes magazine. In 2022, it had a revenue of $7.2 billion. Today, ServiceNow employs around 20,500 people (as of April 2022). ServiceNow was also listed among FORTUNE 2023 World’s Most Admired Companies for the third year in a row.

Currently, ServiceNow is used by over 7,700 companies worldwide, being a customer favourite – the subscription renewal rate is 98%. 85% of the companies from the list Fortune 500, the top companies in America, use ServiceNow.

ServiceNow hosts the annual Knowledge Conference – “a gathering to create great experiences for employees, customers and partners”. In 2022, the meeting took place simultaneously on 3 different continents, in 4 cities – New York, Hague, Las Vegas and Sidney. Huge crowds of people also participated online.

When I started ServiceNow in 2004, my vision was to build a cloud-based platform that would enable regular people to route work effectively through the enterprise

Fred Luddy, Chairman of the Board at ServiceNow

ServiceNow tools

ServiceNow Platform is a scalable cloud that offers a range of applications, workflows and processes. Sharing common architecture and data, the platform incorporates a variety of ready-made suites catering service requests for specific business areas.

The ServiceNow platform consists of a number of modules, functions and tools, such as workflow, SLA, notifications and forms. Using them, it is possible to build any applications. Sharing a common core, which is the configuration management database (CMDB), they support most business functions – they help with business process management, projects, risk management, IT service management, human resource management and many other areas.

“ServiceNow is not a single tool – it is a platform and various applications can run on it. They are grouped into modules that respond to specific challenges and needs of the organization – such as managing IT processes, Human Resources, Customer Service or IT infrastructure” – Marcin Tyburski, CEO at SPOC.

The platform incorporates a variety of key features of ready-made suites catering for specific business areas:

  • IT Service Management,
  • IT Operations Management,
  • Strategic Portfolio Management (former IT Business Management),
  • HR Service Delivery,
  • Customer Service Management,
  • Security Operations,
  • Governance Risk and Compliance (GRC),
  • Integrated Risk Management,
  • Field Service Management,
  • IT Asset Management.

ServiceNow flexible journey 

Customers can start their ServiceNow journey from many points. Regardless of where they first start, they have the ability to follow a flexible roadmap to achieve continued success in an organization.

ServiceNow is a solution tailored to users’ specific needs. It gives you the opportunity to use ready-made business applications or choose the platform itself, where developers can create dedicated business applications themselves from scratch. Customers can start with one module and then choose other modules as needed. All applications can also be continuously developed as your business grows, by using ServiceNow or third-party solutions. The entire platform itself can be customized to suit your needs. ServiceNow extends and grows together with the organization.

ServiceNow releases

Throughout the years, the core and essence of the technology have remained the same, but the functionality and solutions that ServiceNow offers have expanded and improved. Twice a year, ServiceNow releases a new version of the Platform. Each is named after a famous city; the names, and therefore the releases, are arranged in alphabetical order. These are Aspen, Berlin, Calgary, Dublin, Eureka, Fuji, Geneva, Helsinki, Istanbul, Jakarta, Kingston, London, Madrid, New York, Orlando, Paris, Quebeck, Rome, San Diego, Tokyo, Utah, Vancouver and the Washington.

All customers using ServiceNow can upgrade their instances to the latest version. Each version brings significant changes and new additions that change the world of work – they can increase employee engagement, productivity and satisfaction, improve the way the employees work, reduce costs, and increase security.

ServiceNow invests millions of dollars in research and development. Thanks to this, it not only solves the problems of previous versions, but also creates new functions, responding to the needs of the modern world – such as new consumer or business problems, technology trends,  or changing work environments (e.g. the growing number of people working remotely or in a hybrid work model).

Maximum availability and data security

Thanks to 16 data centres, ServiceNow achieves excellent availability scores of over 99.7%. The centres are located on 5 continents: Europe, Asia, Australia, and North and South America. Data centres are built in pairs – explains Marcin Tyburski, CEO at SPOC. For example, in Europe, one pair is Amsterdam and Frankfurt and the other is London and Dublin. Each customer is assigned to two centres; the instance is always backed up in another data centre. This solution ensures maximum data availability.

The ServiceNow cloud architecture is built in a single-tenant model, double disaster recovery and replication to separate data centres. The platform security is ensured by a dedicated team of specialists and an organization compliant with such certificates as ISO27001, SSAE 16 SOC1 Type 2, and SSAE 16 SOC2 Type 2.

IT Service Management – the flagship project of ServiceNow

For many years, ServiceNow has been one of the leading IT service management tools. The platform is valued for innovation and providing comprehensive solutions that meet the demands and can be adapted to the most complex environments. It offers a set of tools that help you develop, deliver and manage IT services, resulting in a better and smarter work environment.

In last year’s (2022) Gartner Magic Quadrat, ServiceNow was named the leader for ITSM platforms for the 9th time in a row! It was awarded for continuous product improvements, high adaptability, high market position and a strong community of users.

ITSM has been the staple of the ServiceNow Platform from the very beginning. Most companies introduce ServiceNow first in the field of ITSM, and after a successful implementation they decide to try also different modules – says Marcin Tyburski, CEO at SPOC.

Time to value a key focus of ServiceNow

When innovation works, the world works. As alluded to a couple of times already, the ServiceNow Platform was designed to make work faster and easier, and as a result, reach new business outcomes and ensure maximum profit for companies.

ServiceNow allows easy integration, digitization and process automation. It ensures security, simple communication and management, and helps you to cut costs and save time. ServiceNow also increases work efficiency and customer satisfaction, optimizes cooperation and improves business performance. The Platform is an excellent tool to increase the overall process efficiency. It makes everyday activities easier for those who work for you and with you. Cloud data availability means that employees can access it at any time.

The approach of No Code / Low Code, which allows a full range of people to deliver solutions on the platform, means businesses are able to roll out applications and solutions quickly to align to changing needs. The longer-term strategic growth plans can be managed with more complex solutions prepared with the assistance of professional ServiceNow partners – such as SPOC.

Bringing all these items together helps us understand the economic impact of ServiceNow use. It was being studied by the neutral advisory agency Forrester Research. Their report “The Total Economic Impact of ServiceNow IT Applications” showed that ServiceNow implementation improved IT & employee productivity by $8.9 million per year (2019). It also reduced the impact of high-priority incidents and shorted the time of their resolving by $3 million. Reducing development and maintenance costs saved another $6 million. ROI from the implementation of ServiceNow was 229%.

Begin your ServiceNow journey and start transforming your organization with us.

What’s new in ServiceNow Utah release? Top 5 new features you must know about

It’s release time again – named after Utah, a known state in the western United States, brings what ServiceNow is most appreciated for – innovation. A lot of exciting capabilities, new features and products in the latest version of the enterprise service management platform were designed to make your work easier, faster and better. Other focus areas were fixing the problems from previous releases and enhancing the efficiency of the platform. On March 22nd, 2023, in the early spring, shortly before sego lilies, Utah’s official state flowers, start to bloom, ServiceNow made the Now platform Utah release generally available for everyone.

If you don’t feel like reading ServiceNow release notes or still have doubts about whether to update the ServiceNow Platform to the latest version or not, today is your lucky day. We prepared a list of the most important features that can be useful for your business growth and simplify experiences for a smarter way of working. We did the same with the previous San Diego release. ServiceNow wants to help organizations do business and drive outcomes faster in the uncertain world economic times – and the Utah release meets the goals perfectly.

Let’s have a closer look at the actionable insights about key features of the ServiceNow Utah release below.

Workspace Builder

Workspace Builder is a new application introduced in the Utah release. Being a part of App Engine Studio, it is without a shade of doubt one of the most useful and powerful new tools in this release. 

Workspace Builder uses what ServiceNow is the most known of – low-code, no-code solutions. Using ServiceNow, you can easily create your own applications, and now you are also able to create workspaces with just a single tap. How to do it? After opening App Engine Studio, you can add experiences to our application. Experiences are the user interface template available and prepared by ServiceNow. Workspace is one of them. Using Workspace Builder, you can create, manage and preview workspaces. This easy and intuitive tool enables creating dashboards in the homepage section simply by using drag and drop, without writing any code. It allows users to move the widgets or add new elements like filters, headings, lists and so on. It is also possible to configure the data visualization, by changing the source or adding new conditions and other settings. Users can also track the records and usage with Dashboards with Analytics Center. 

When you are done with building a workspace, when the data you display in the dashboards is ready to be published, you can also preview how it will look on the platform.

Omnichannel Callback for Customer Service Management

Another new and useful feature in the Utah release that is definitely worth telling about, is Omnichannel Callback for Customer Service Management. This solution can be really helpful for you and your customers. Why? Because it enables a callback option for customers when there’s a long waiting time to reach a live agent or all the agents are unavailable. As a result, it improves customer experiences and satisfaction, helps to reduce costs and shorten customer service time.

How does it work? A customer is just putting all the data in the Customer Service Management portal – such as name, phone number, type of issue, description and the reason for the callback. Customers can request a callback at a time that best suits them. It can be as soon as possible or later, at the exact date and the exact time they choose. There is a  full workflow of how the agents are assigned to the callbacks and how they are working with the customers.

If there is integration with another tool, for example, Zoom, the customers have also an option to have the callback messages go via it. This is why this tool is also omnichannel.

There is also a powerful ServiceNow-native tool that will make this and all the future releases smoother and less time-consuming. The name you should remember is Automated Test Framework. Thanks to this application you can automate the vast majority of your backend-side tests and – as a result – save your time and stay well protected during your upgrades. Sounds interesting? Read about our automated testing services.

Przemysław Girguś, QA Servicenow Lead

Task bundling in Field Service Management

Task bundling means grouping the tasks that are similar to each other. In the Utah release, dispatchers can now bundle all the tasks into one logical group. They are also able to track, start and update them, and assign them at once, instead of individually. Thanks to this solution, agents can save a lot of time and improve their efficiency.

After logging in as a dispatcher and going to your workspace, you can see the list of all your tasks. When you decide which ones are going to be bundled together, you choose the “Create bundle” button. After that, you can add other tasks or remove the existing ones. There is no limitation when it comes to the number of tasks, you can change the order and group them by various criteria.

After the creation, the bundle tasks must be assigned to selected agents who see them separately. The agent focuses on several tasks, while the dispatcher, at the same time, focuses on the bundle. When the task is updated, the dispatcher knows about it because the bundle is updated automatically as well. Thanks to it, the whole process can be followed.

Is your goal to maximise ROI from your ServiceNow platform in these uncertain times? We have useful tips right here, download the ebook and plan your next steps.

Workforce Optimization for HR

Nowadays, we observe a growing trend of usage and demand for HR service delivery applications. Workforce Optimization is ServiceNow’s response to this trend and a completely new application in Utah release. It is a tool destined for HR managers, that gives them one place to understand and optimize work performed by employees. In the manager workspace, you see all cases assigned to your team that can be also sorted out by status, source and so on. You can see your team calendar, check and add new events, manage shifts, and approve requests. You are also able to track work assignments for your team. Furthermore, thanks to Workforce Optimization, it is possible to increase your agents’ potential by empowering them with the skills needed to succeed by learning management platforms and adding new skills.

By all this work – optimizing schedules, work assignments, managing time of the request or providing skills – HR managers can develop high-performing teams and maximize the productivity and the quality of work. Thanks to all of it, companies can perform at the highest level and achieve their business goals and maximum outcomes.

ServiceNow’s Utah Release focuses on optimizing organisations efficiency and accelerating profits from the platform usage by developing more and more low-code / no-code solutions and features.

Tomasz Machaj, Senior ServiceNow Solution Consultant

Favourites Grouping and Multi-Menu Filtering

Last but not least – there are small but really smart new features available in the Utah release. Favourite grouping and Multi-Menu filtering are already available in the next experience UI. This may be a minor change but is also a very helpful one. Thanks to these new ServiceNow features, users can easily find appropriate and engaging content like applications, modules and other stuff on the platform. It is a long-awaited modification for everyone who works with the Now Platform. 

In the Favorites menu, it is possible not only to see some favourite groups and put modules inside them but also to edit them. You can create new custom groups, modify existing ones, manage the position and change the order to visualize the modules. If you need to find something on the platform, you can easily search terms by writing it down and the platform will be looking for it in the multi-menu. You don’t have to filter each menu individually anymore. You get the search results from that menu as well as the other menus you have access to, and therefore you are able to find what you are looking for.

Wondering how to choose the best ServiceNow partner? Check these 10 things before you decide.

Upgrade to ServiceNow Utah release

Utah is known as The Beehive State. The beehive is a symbol of teamwork, hard work, unity and a community, where all the people – like bees – work together to create a successful system but also help and support each other. The features of the ServiceNow Utah release correspond to these values – they enable team-building, successful cooperation and goal achievement, making your organization constantly grow. This is the reason why the Utah release is probably the greatest version of the ServiceNow platform so far.

If you want to upgrade your ServiceNow to Utah release and discover brand-new possibilities or learn more insights into how the new Utah release can benefit your organization, do not wait and contact us – your ServiceNow Elite Partner. The new version – Vancouver – will be released in the third or fourth quarter of the year. 2024 will be the year of Washington.

If you want to stay on the top, do not wait anymore and use these new ServiceNow products, services and features. Prepare for the upgrade now.

ServiceNow Paris release

Paris release is the latest version of the platform of platforms, where ServiceNow offers new features and integrations for process facilitation and cross-team collaboration. If you’re an admin, process owner, or a manager, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve chosen 12 features and integrations, giving you here an overview of the productivity boosters you may find exceptionally valuable.

1/12 Process Automation Designer

Process Automation Designer allows Business Process Owners to easily create and manage cross-enterprise, end-to-end process workflows without any code. Multiple separate flows and actions can be connected to create one unified process flow.

You can pass information between different stages of your process, visualize and manage the activities comprising your process. Those flows or actions are then gathered using Lanes – typically to represent the different Actors taking part in your Process.

This provides you, as a Process Owner, with a high-level overview and control of all your distributed Flows created in Flow Designer by Developers. In Addition, you can work with Workspace Admins to create new features called Playbooks (see below). Those can help to guide your Agents or End Users on how to follow your process – step by step.

Paris release - ServiceNow Process Automation Designer

2/12 Playbook Experience

Playbooks are smart little guidebooks for your Fulfillers or other Users, which facilitate the handling of specific tickets according to… well, your playbook (ensuring best practice and adherence to your process). This adds a “to-do” type of list to the Agent Workspace whenever a ticket is opened and provides a streamlined view, combining both the ticket or other relevant data with the actions to be taken by the Agent.

For example, one step can show a ticket form to edit some fields, another step can require additional input (comments) from the Requestor, another one can show relevant Knowledge Article, and so on. Every step can then be “Marked as Closed”. This is not unlike the Guided Setup you might have seen for ITSM or ITOM configuration.

You can use an existing default Experience with its content renderers or create your own ones. Although technically Playbooks have been available in ServiceNow for some time now (e.g. for Security Incidents), the Paris release provides this platform-wide, with better management and configuration tools.

3/12 Predictive Intelligence Workbench

The current trend is that AI should serve anyone, and anyone should be able to use AI. With this in mind, Paris gives us the Workbench dedicated to the low-code approach. With it, you can configure and fine-tune your Machine Learning solutions, without any prerequisite knowledge of ML theory or coding skills.

You can select one of the pre-configured “typical use-case” templates or start from scratch. Again, the experience is very similar to that of Guided Setups. Typically, you first create and train one or more different models. Then you evaluate the results and make fine-tune adjustments. After testing the models, you can select the model with the best performance or accuracy, and deploy that model into your business process.

4/12 Change Success Score

You can now analyze the success rate of all changes, which is automatically calculated for your Change Teams based on pre-defined formulas, taking into account things like successful changes, unsuccessful changes, changes with issues, P1, P2, or P3 Incidents generated by the respective Team’s changes. The scores are calculated daily using the familiar Performance Analytics engine. You get a new Change Success Score PA dashboard where you can observe the trends from a high-level point of view.

But you can also see this for every change – on the Change form, there will be a mini-dashboard shown when you click the new icon next to “Assignment Group”. If a specific Team’s score is high, change approvals can be automated – as there should be no need to review every change manually for high-performing teams, thus saving a lot of valuable time.

5/12 Analytics Center for Agent Workspace

This brings the Performance Analytics capabilities to your Agent’s Workspace. You can ensure that they have their critical KPIs and targets immediately available to them, so they can proactively control them. Agents can filter the indicators, watch the daily score, and change trends, according to your Performance Analytics scores configuration. Every Indicator can be drilled-down into, to see KPI details.

6/12 Source Control for global apps development

Now you can use Source Control (e.g. GitHub) also while developing global apps from the Studio. Although we recommend creating scoped apps, sometimes this option could come in handy, allowing you to build new features or customize your platform, with style.

7/12 Portal Analyzer

We feel that this is a stub of something potentially much bigger. Could this be the first step in the direction to provide comprehensive User Interaction analysis for your Service Portals, similar to the Mobile Analytics for native mobile apps?

Currently, this little feature churns out a list of all widgets used on your service portals, together with the information on the level of customization for each widget (ready-made, customized, cloned, new), number of views, and users who have viewed each widget. It can be pretty helpful to determine which widgets are not-so-helpful or how your customization impacts interaction rate. To use this, you need to install the plugin, fire the “Portal Analyzer” scheduled job, and then view the records in the “Service Portal Analyzer Entries” table.

8/12 Software Asset Management – MSP Support

The SAM application was enhanced with support for Managed Service Providers, allowing you to deliver hosted Software Asset Management services. Multiple clients’ software data and services can co-exist in a single, multi-tenant instance now. Domain separation provides for safe separation of their data and processes. You can easily switch to specific customer domains and perform any actions there, resulting in your single source-of-truth platform for a global SAM offering. If you are not an MSP company but still think about separating your data (or are using Domain Separation already), this might be good news for you as well.

9/12 Telecommunications Service Management & Network Performance Management

ServiceNow launched a whole new industry-facing offering with the Paris release – TSM and TNPM, which supports the telecom industry. This offering combines CSM Pro and ITOM capabilities with Telecommunication-specific capabilities.

Some highlights worth mentioning are eBonding for Telecommunications – this is an OOTB integration to synchronize your instance as a Telecom service provider, with your B2B client’s instances. This will help you engage your clients more, provide better service while keeping development and maintenance costs low. It fosters your client’s self-service by allowing them to request services directly from their instances.

Dedicated, network-based workflows are best-practice workflows designed based on the experience of the biggest players on the market. They support the resolution of network-initiated Incidents and Changes to services. They have the necessary support for multiple API interfaces as well as sufficient business logic to maximize your time-to-value potential.

10/12 Agent Workspace for HRSD

We will just mention here that HR Service Delivery now has a dedicated Agent Workspace. This should facilitate turning your HR cases into success stories even more. HR Workspace increases your HR Agent’s efficiency and comes with other nice additions like the HR Playbook or AI-powered Agent Assist – helping them to close the cases faster.

11/12 Single Sign-On: OpenID Connect (OIDC) support

This is a pretty cool addition, allowing you to create “Quick SSO login” options directly on your login page. By doing this you allow your users to choose an external Identity Provider they would like to use, in the same way, a lot of commercial services allow you to log in using your Facebook or Google account (…not that we recommend using Facebook as your ServiceNow IDP. But it should work).

12/12 Mobile Apps – new components

The Paris release adds a couple of handful new Component types for your native mobile apps:

  • Campaigns – create content-rich, complex, targeted communications for your Users to keep them engaged.
  • Native Dashboards – support for mobile-optimized charts & KPI dashboards.
  • Scheduled Offline – manage regular app caching intervals, includes mobile app settings to handle the offline mode.
  • Actionable notifications – this is really good. Your Users can now take quick actions from their main phone screen whenever they receive new push notification – no need to even open the mobile app! Approving tickets has never been so quick.
  • Mobile filters – similar to standard UI, you can now filter which records should appear on your mobile screen.

If you’d like to compare Paris to the previous ServiceNow Platform releases, you can check them here: Orlando (Q1, 2020) | New York (Q3, 2019)Madrid (Q1, 2019).

ServiceNow Orlando release overview – mobile app, ITSM, ITBM

Orlando vs New York release

ServiceNow Orlando release offers the next round of enhancements to:

and the earlier existing features like:

With every release ServiceNow moves toward innovation and better products, with the main focus put on continuous improvement of organizations and value brought to the customers. Since New York, there have been many new features introduced such as mobile app and business-specific apps. Always with user experience at the center of attention.

The features included, like Guided Application Creator or Now Mobile, are very helpful in everyday SDLC, from developers’ perspective. Another nice feature introduced in the New York release was Dynamic Translation. It enables users to integrate with any translation provider (e.g. Google translator), and then dynamically use it to translate texts.

The Orlando release is expected to get a wider access in March. Except enhancements and improvements of the existing features, it introduces a range of new features.

New ITBM features in Orlando release

Agile Development 2.0

Agile development has been enhanced with a Scrum Program. A SCRUM Program is a tool used to plan and track the work of your team, compare workloads, manage dependencies and more. It includes also quick start tests for Agile Development, which are a collection of tests for agile to speed up the process. What’s more, Agile Development 2.0. covers also Performance Analytics content pack.

Application Portfolio Management

Application Portfolio Management (APM) is a tool that allows users and organizations to better manage the application inventory, provide business context and determine the business value of each app. The New features added in Orlando:

  • GRC controls in business applications,
  • APM standalone plugin separation,
  • Quick start tests for Application Portfolio Management.

Application Portfolio Management - new features in Now Platform Orlando release

NEW ITSM features in Orlando release

As for ITSM, the need for improvements is higher. The ITSM suite is one of the most commonly used suites in many organizations. Some of the enhancements added in the new release:

Change Management

  • Simplified conflict change management with conflict properties,
  • Use of change approval policies to modify them,
  • Management of change requests with the ITSM Agent Workspace,
  • Delivery of change tasks with ServiceNow Agent mobile app.

Workspace Management

  • Creation of knowledge articles from an incident,
  • Generation of knowledge gap records for a specific issue based on an incident,
  • Creation of a similar incident for a different caller,
  • Addition of new search categories on Incident Agent Assist,
  • Tracking of agents’ interaction times,
  • Monitoring of Continual Improvement Management fixes from a problem record.

Analytics – ServiceNow Orlando release

Natural Language Understanding

ServiceNow offers Natural Language Understanding (NLU) to make the platform understands and answers user’s intent. To increase efficiency in understanding the intent, ServiceNow Orlando brings a number of new features like:

  • Users can make use of existing NLU models, and avoid cloning the NLU model,
  • Instead of using predefined entities users can create a custom-made derived entity based on their needs,
  • Apart from using predefined entities, users can make any entity across all NLU model intents available,
  • The interactive dashboard measures the performance metrics of NLU models.

Predictive Intelligence

Predictive Intelligence (PI):

  • Constantly monitors each resource’s capability as well as compares and creates clusters to foster decision making process. Instead of word embedding-based classification, it creates classification based on Term Frequency-Inverse Document Frequency (TF-IDF). Moreover, users can define their own custom stop words that enrich predefined system stop words to improve the capability to categorize, compare, and create clusters,
  • Allows to configure target metrics for a trained classification solution and along with DBSCAN also can be configured to improve precision in clustering solutions,
  • Provides an updated API framework that permits users to incorporate machine learning capabilities in workflows.

Analytics in Now Platform Orlando release

Updated ServiceNow mobile app

The ServiceNow Platform mobile app in the Orlando release encourages better mobility of services, while offering intuitive user experience. Now it includes a range of tools to:

  • Ease accessibility – via configuration of an embedded list,
  • Avoid displaying content – admins can hide empty fields,
  • Create an applet launcher – to serve as a landing page for your users,
  • Manage mobile application integrations securely – with Microsoft Intune or Blackberry Dynamics,
  • Ensure tracking – the mobile dashboard comes with Performance Analytics widget,
  • Track which browsers users use,
  • Allow image-based search – with the use of objects,
  • Measure KPIs – via mobile analytics dashboards for admins.

Discuss your instance upgrade

ServiceNow New York release available – NLU, Virtual Agent, mobility

ServiceNow New York – Natural Language Understanding

ServiceNow New York release introduces Natural Language Understanding (NLU), providing your users with greater experience and enhances the effectiveness of your Virtual Agent conversations.

New York offers NLU plugins for CSM, HR and ITSM. Dedicated NLU models have been provided for each of those areas, allowing to turn small-talk and any seemingly random utterances of the users into relevant Virtual Agent topics. This results in a swift resolution of the user’s query. In addition, you can build and configure your own NLU models using the ServiceNow Studio!

ServiceNow natural language learning NLU

NLU Availability: subscription-based
How to activate: admin via Plugins module

How ServiceNow NLU works

Within each model, the Virtual Agent will use the following NLU objects to identify what the user would like to do:

  • Utterances: Natural input from the user, e.g. “I’m going on holiday from tomorrow until next Sunday”.
  • Intent: the action that ServiceNow understands based on the utterance, e.g. Request: Leave of Absence.
  • Entities: any keywords (regex based) that ServiceNow can use to determine what/who/when/where and so on, e.g.: Start: tomorrow (05.09.19), End: next Sunday (22.09.2019).

With NLU enabled, the Virtual Agent can even handle conversation switching from topic to topic.

ServiceNow New York – dev tools

Syntax Editor has been revamped and, aside new aesthetically pleasing way of displaying APIs, script includes, and tables, we get a new context menu, that allows quick access to the following information for:

  • APIs like GlideRecord – docs page with documentation on that API,
  • Script Includes – definition of that script include,
  • Tables – either definition record of that table or list of all records in that table,
  • A bunch of new Scoped APIs were also added, e.g. for DynamicTranslation.

As well as other interesting functionalities, like Remote Tables, which allow developers to connect to an external data source and display data from that source in list or form view within ServiceNow – as if it was 1 of SN tables.

ServiceNow New York dev tools

Availability: free (part of the ServiceNow Platform)
How to get: comes with the New York upgrade

Instance data replication

Instance Data Replication in the ServiceNow New York release allows to copy data from one instance (called Producer Instance), to one or more target instances (called Consumer Instances). To utilize this feature, a replication set must be defined on both instances, containing the tables and columns which should be replicated.

This is useful e.g. in moving incremental updates from one instance to another, or in localization of data across different instances. It allows you to keep instances in sync, and you are able to define Transformations to copy data to different tables or fields, or Adapters to perform string or mathematical operations on source data before it is stored on target instance. The replication can also be bi-directional.

Dynamic translation

ServiceNow New York release comes with a powerful API for detecting the input language for custom texts like Descriptions, Additional Comments etc. entered by the users, as well as translating this text “on-the-fly” into target language.

The plugin comes with a Flow Designer REST action as well as 2 Integration Spokes for:

  • Microsoft Azure,
  • IBM Watson.

What is particularly handy about this feature, are its dedicated APIs to add dynamic translations to Server side entities, Client side entities as well as Service Portal. You can easily add dynamic translation to a field by going to the field’s dictionary and adding a new attribute.

ServiceNow dynamic translation

Availability: free (part of the ServiceNow Platform)
How to get: comes with New York upgrade

ServiceNow New York – mobile application

ServiceNow mobile application enables ServiceNow users to:

  • Submit new records (e.g. incidents or requests),
  • Manage existing tasks,
  • Approve of or reject tasks,
  • Sign documents,
  • Request help from Agent Chat.

ServiceNow New York mobile app

Now Mobile application can integrate with user’s mobile device to take certain actions in the application itself – using the mobiles default photo, messaging or keyboard. Additionally, the application is customizable – you can personalize aspects, from view or layout to specifying the data displayed in your records.

How to get: comes with the New York upgrade

Guided Application Creator

Guided Application Creator is a new tool making setting up new application even easier than it is! Thanks to this brand new application, you can specify the entry requirement before the actual development starts. The creator enables to create:

  • Application,
  • User roles,
  • Tables,


  • Design user experience.

ServiceNow guided application creator

In terms of user experience, it is possible to create the application in 3 distinct experiences:

  • Workspace (available only if the Agent Workspace plugin is activated),
  • Mobile,
  • Classic.

ServiceNow guided application creator formats

Setting up an application with this tool is the first step in creating the application. Later on, it can be further developed with Studio, Flow Designer, or Team Development.

Availability: Subscription-based
How to activate: Admin via Plugins module

Predictive Intelligence

Predictive Intelligence introduces 3 separate frameworks, each of which enables different opportunities to teach the system how to approach data in terms of their prediction and recommendation of outcomes. These frameworks are:

  • Classification – enabling ML algorithms to populate field values while creating new records in ServiceNow based on previous record-handling experience.
  • Similarity – enabling ML to identify existing records with values similar to new records and create a word corpus.
  • Clustering – enabling ML to group similar records to clusters in order to address to them collectively or to identify patterns related to their features.

The classification and similarity frameworks support these 8 languages:

  • English,
  • French,
  • German,
  • Japanese,
  • Dutch,
  • Spanish,
  • Italian,
  • Brazilian Portuguese.

The clustering framework only supports the English language.

ServiceNow Madrid release – ATF

ServiceNow recently published information about the upcoming Madrid release, which will be available in H1 2019. SPOC cooperates with ServiceNow during the pre-release testing which provides a fantastic opportunity to both see the features and put them to work.

SPOC’s Quality Assurance (QA) lead, Zherald Ametlli, was keen to see the changes to the Automated Testing Framework and he has provided his thoughts below.

Madrid Release – ATF

Over recent years, ServiceNow has evolved very fast. The expansion has brought more customers who are using the ServiceNow Platform across multiple business processes.

The greater usage, together with frequent upgrading and patching, means the need for Automated Testing is growing.

One of the main concerns in every company who is managing test cases is having the time and resources to complete the testing process in an efficient way. That’s no different when testing the platform applications and functionality.

SPOC’s primary interest when completing testing is maintaining the highest quality possible. SPOC’s QA team uses different methods of testing to maintain the quality, according to the standards on a particular project. In most cases, manual testing is completed by the testing team. A growing need for regression testing, after every upgrade or patch, has taken our attention to automated testing.

Based on our experience, manual testing consumes around 40% of the resources and time spent after every upgrade. Writing test scenarios, retesting the solution, working on bug fixes, performing regression testing is very time consuming.

There is an obvious need for automation and thanks to the Automated Testing Framework (ATF) and its features, we are able to perform automated testing easily.

With each recent ServiceNow release, the changes and features of ATF have improved. Currently ATF is able to automate most base scenarios. The solution is free, as no additional licenses are required. Using the ATF, you might cover up to 60 % of your test cases.

Madrid vs. London release

In terms of ATF, London release included:

  • Testing the Application Navigator,
  • Testing Service Catalog in Service Portal (UI),
  • Testing Forms in Service Portal.

These features were very helpful and offered a great approach to the Service Portal testing. In Madrid, there are some new standout features, you can find a brief summary of these below.

Copy test case

This option is very useful when you would like to create a test case and reuse it as a sample or template for another. Perfect if you would like to copy and reuse some, or all of the steps in a test case. The UI action called “Copy Test” provides exactly this function.

Now Platform Madrid copy test case

Parametrized testing

Now it’s possible to run the same test case multiple times using different data as input parameters. A user can create different parameters to store test data for every test running. In addition, you can easily import data prepared in an excel template and use this according to your scenario.

Example: You create a test case for the Change Management module, where the values for ‘Assign to’ and ‘Assigned to’ groups will be driven by the parametrized fields. There would normally be two separate datasets to test for different groups and users. In this case, you can create one test case and import these data sets to run against the fields. You don’t need to copy or re-create the test case again.

Now Platform Madrid paramaterized testing

Parametrized Testing with ATF ServiceNow Madrid Release Parametrized testing works with test suites and scheduling too.

Custom UI testing

In my opinion, this feature is the one that was so badly missing. It would have been great if custom UI testing was included in ATF from the beginning…. Why?

Testing different HTML elements in a page is a must. Especially for the service portal but also ITSM processes where you have many additional menus, links and custom pages to test. You must test UI pages and now in Madrid it is possible to do this automatically.

First, you need to scan for the components in the page and then select the right one.

Now Platform Madrid custom UI testing

This helps to choose the right element in the page and to continue further with testing. Good examples are the buttons in a UI Page or links in KB.

Page inspector

Helps us to inspect the page and find the right HTML element to be tested. It can be activated from the Developer menu and works in real-time.

Now Platform Mardrid release Page Inspector

Therefore, whenever you open any page and select the icon ‘Inspector’ it will automatically highlight the element you selected, giving you more detailed info about it. There are some limitations. Not every element is accessible and selectable. That said, it’s a good tool to start testing and you should try to utilize it as much as possible.

Now Platform Madrid change management testing ATF

ATF in ServiceNow Madrid release – summary

I’ve listed some of the main features added to the Madrid release. In my personal opinion, the features are very useful. For real environments, it takes time to set up test cases but you can then run them with a click of a button. The next new features to come in the New York release of ServiceNow, in O3 2019.