Connected Experiences Inside The Service Revolution

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As we closed the doors on the final EMEA #NowForum in London, we were lucky enough to have Adrian Bridgwater join us and provide his take on the Service Revolution.

Enterprise cloud company ServiceNow continued its dynamic global event series at London’s ExCeL complex. Following sister events in Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam, this UK event welcomed more than 1,800 customers, partners and technology practitioners at all levels.

A service revolution, company-wide

Proceedings were introduced by Bob Moore in his role as Area Vice President for UK & Ireland, highlighting how service management has now become a technology entity used across a whole organisation.

Dave Wright, Chief Strategy Officer for ServiceNow, followed with the first keynote of the day. Wright emphasised that customers today are using IT as a strategic mechanism to drive down risk and (at the same time) also increase the velocity of the company.

But what does that velocity factor actually mean? This is a firm that is looking ahead at emerging technology areas including analytics, automation, machine-learning and perhaps also cryptocurrencies to change the way they operate.

“As firms embrace operations based on digital platforms, we’ve seen several big IT vendors put a lot of ERP and CRM tools and platforms out into the market. But there is a raft of services that go into making these technologies happen. We see service management as the glue that helps bind all these technologies together,” said Wright.

A structured workflow opportunity

Looking at the two worlds represented by ‘systems of record’ and ‘systems of engagement’, ServiceNow explains its position as a ‘system of action’ – and this offers a chance to be able to put a structured workflow into place that runs across a whole company. We then get to a point where we talk about Service Integration and Management (SIAM) and start to be able to examine where we can make the services in deployment more efficient.

Wright used his keynote to point to a new merging of Customer Service and Service Management, where Customer Service Management sits in the middle.

In a live demo session depicting the work of a typical customer service manager, the firm explained how the ServiceNow dashboard can help automate certain processes and use skilled-based routing to ensure customers are directed to the employee who can help them best. This will then help individual customer service agents to become more proactive in terms of the way they operate on a day-to-day basis.

The ServiceNow platform is capable of integrating with live data to enable service agents to perform their roles more effectively. Using route cause analysis inside what is a single connected platform, agents can gain an understanding of what is happening before the customer even picks up the phone. This also prevents problems from growing bigger than they already are.

The thing about IoT

So, asked Wright, this is all great when it comes to humans, but what happens when it is the machines inside the Internet of Things (IoT) asking for service? It’s no longer good enough to simply have the hardware and the software needed to run the devices in the IoT, we also need to have an integration layer capable of managing the health status of the devices and their software.

This is exactly the technology implementation point that ServiceNow’s core offerings aim to address.

With that word velocity still in mind then, ServiceNow says that the way we actually request services has changed. Specifically, the firm is referring to mobile here. Users have started to request services from mobile smartphones and tablets and, equally, users have started to request alerts delivered to these same mobile devices.

Where we sit now then is a place where service management becomes the ‘third estate’ between CRM and ERP. The firm says that traditionally, too many people have been involved with unstructured workflows and that we need to break the email, forms and spreadsheet habit – and this is why ServiceNow talks about changing the way people actually work.

The connected experience

Dan McGee, Chief Strategy Officer at ServiceNow, also joined the London keynote to talk about the creation of a single database to run a variety of applications from collaboration to incident response to security management to human capital management, etc. The ServiceNow platform exists says McGee to provide what the firm calls ‘The Connected Experience’ – a set of technologies that breaks down as follows:

  • Workflow
  • Connect
  • Visual task boards
  • Analytics
  • Mobile

With Workflow in place, firms are able to follow a procedure where they can assign, approve, escalate and then close jobs.

Connect is all about bringing together all the stakeholders that could be participating in resolving an incident… this is way more than email or even chat in the application sense, this is embedded in the ServiceNow product and this means that there is an implicit knowledge of each employee and their position, skill sets and competencies.

Visual Task Boards allow a team to see who is assigned to work on a particular task and also display attributes associated with a particular job record.

Analytics in ServiceNow means data processing intelligence that is applied from within the platform itself. This means that analytics is never ‘out of band’. Instead it is used to provide predictive information intelligence that can be sent to the Connect and Workflow functions and provide a more complete picture of the way jobs are undertaken. That complete status of the work in motion is then also displayed on the Visual Task Boards.

Mobile completes the picture and ServiceNow supports all major platforms to bring this functionality to users on their preferred intelligent mobile device.

A different workplace for tomorrow

ServiceNow presents a rounded argument for its platform and validates the implementation points where its technology could help firms work in new ways. Successfully implemented, firms using ServiceNow to change the way they themselves work can provide what becomes a better end user experience for their own customers.

It’s a different workplace for tomorrow and a different connected experience for customers in every vertical.

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

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