ServiceNow Knowledge 17 – The Late Morning Show with Mitch Kenfield, KPMG

There’s nothing better than a live-hosted TV talk show on IT Service Management (ITSM) realities on the first morning of a technical conference to inspire an audience and provide a little Hollywood-style entertainment. That’s the tack Mitch Kenfield took as KPMG’s U.S. alliance leader for ServiceNow for the post-keynote session on day one of our Knowledge 17 conference and expo.

With a stage designed to look like a TV talk show, Kenfield used his newfound celebrity status to welcome executives from Fortune 500 companies and guests who were only too happy to share their knowledge, pain points and successes with the assembled audience.

 Cox Automotive, start your engines

Service Enablement Leader at Cox Automotive, Donna Woodruff, was the first guest of the day. Asked what kinds of lessons she has learned from using ServiceNow, Woodruff explained how she had previously used a different platform for ITSM, but her team realized they could do a whole lot more if the company was willing to embrace change and digital transformation.

Looking at what happened at Cox Automotive in its work to supply technology products and services to the automotive industry, Woodruff explained that her team built its own HR portal using ServiceNow with a team of non-developers as a test project with the platform. They then, with higher level C-suite buy-in, developed it further to bring in Project Portfolio Management (PPM) and customer service management. The company is at no point looking to fall back into ‘steady state maintenance mode’ and is already looking to also bring in governance management and other service management functions.

Qualcomm comes calling

Next up was wireless technology specialist Qualcomm’s Nicole Gross in her role as director of IT. Gross explained how her firm has moved to build a consolidated platform for service management using ServiceNow. During the firm’s journey from on-premise to the cloud, Qualcomm has been looking at its total operating model as a key point of focus. The company is now concentrating on how it approaches technology at the widest level and now builds a consolidated portfolio of IT services.

Sharing a handful of lessons from her own experiences, Gross explained that her team had found that bringing in a specialized industry partner to work alongside you is key. She also said that, when embracing cloud and service-centric computing, you should never underestimate the power of adoption because the firm’s PPM offering was extremely well received by users. Finally, Gross advised that it is extremely important to use change management tools so that you can communicate change as it happens throughout the organization.

Distilling fine services, Southern-style

The next guest was Judi Hartbarger,  a Senior IS manager at Nissan North America, who has a take-no-prisoner approach when it comes to service management.

Explaining how her firm had so many ”control objectives” to handle in IT, she detailed how in the past these were only tracked through the use of many spreadsheets and emails. Hartbarger and her team wanted to move towards ServiceNow as a total platform migration and her advice from this experience was that users should ”embrace Audit as your partner” to keep a close hand on configuration and change.

Working to implement ServiceNow Governance Risk and Compliance (GRC) features, Hartbarger admitted that configuration is a tough job and there is always a need to keep a tight control on processes. Her team worked from a baseline of core ServiceNow functionality and then looked to examine where they would use additional controls.

In the case of Nissan North America and the experience, Hartbarger shared a sequential waterfall methodology for software development worked well in the early phases of the project. This meant that Hartbarger and team could start to evidence how ServiceNow works through demos in a Test environment and bring early adopters to start working with the platform. After that initial phase, the team found that it could switch over to Agile software development and delivery practices for its dev, test and release process.

Marriott welcomes you … and services

Ken O’Connor, Marriott International VP of Global IT Operations, was the final guest of the day and he took his spot to explain how his company had managed service transitions in the face of the acquisition of the Starwood Group. Explaining how the hotel company went from 400,000 employees to 600,000 overnight, the demand to integrate and get all the newly expanded firm’s systems together was enormous.

At the point of acquisition, Starwood was already a mature ServiceNow customer, so Marriott was open about the fact that it would not take a third of the company backwards, and not use ServiceNow.

Starwood had already built a lot of native functionality with the ServiceNow platform and done a huge amount of customization. Because of this Marriott International had a straightforward, but large task ahead of it in terms of new transitions to service management. The firm is now focused on the next 18 months and is looking at using service management as a more formalized division of Marriott International to handle everything from facilities management through to technology functions.

Extra flavor & bite

Overall this was an impressive session, and while it was presented in the style of a TV entertainment talk show, Mitch Kenfield delivered a powerful message about the value KPMG is bringing clients across numerous aspects of the ServiceNow plaform.

Adrían Bridgwater
Technology Journalist tracking 'developer' for Computer Weekly, Forbes, The Register & Internet of Business.

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