The ServiceNow Kingston release introduces a number of key features to help customers with process improvement. In addition to process enhancements, there are also a number of platform changes which continue to build upon the framework we’ve seen in place since the Helsinki release, so ServiceNow is following the roadmap it laid out back then and continuing to aggressively develop functionality.

Agent Intelligence

Over time, ServiceNow gathers vast amounts of information on the processes a customer uses to manage their business. Agent Intelligence uses that information to apply machine learning to anticipate categories, routes, and assignments based on the unique aspects of each customer. By learning from your personal dataset, Agent Intelligence can streamline the triage process.

  • First level support spends, on average, 12 hours per week categorising requests
  • Due to the large number of assignment groups in most organisations, roughly a quarter of all requests are incorrectly categorised by first level support and need to be re-categorised

Agent intelligence removes the manual effort associated with ticket categorisation, assignment and prioritisation and, importantly, avoids tickets sitting in a queue waiting for attention.

Concepts like artificial intelligence and machine learning can be daunting, and implementations by various vendors can be unwieldy to work with, but ServiceNow has simplified the approach. Simply define:

  • The table on which learning should be applied
  • A filter that captures the best set of data representing your business
  • Which field contains the information that should be observed for learning
  • The field that should be applied (output)

Provide this information and ServiceNow will learn how past incidents were assigned based on their descriptions, and apply that learning to how incidents are assigned in future.

Flow Designer

Allows process analysts to create codeless workflows using natural language for actions. The flow designer includes an integration hub, increasing the ability of ServiceNow to interact with third-party systems. Over time, ServiceNow expects that:

  • Flow Designer will supersede the current workflows
  • Integration Hub will supersede the current orchestration module

Traditional workflows within ServiceNow can be very complex. The Flow Designer is intended to make it easy to walk through the logical steps associated with business processes.

IT Service Management

Now includes:

  • Integration with IBM Watson Conversation Services: allows virtual chat agents to deflect low-level incidents and information collection.
  • Major Incident Management: provides a dedicated workbench for resolving high-impact incidents.
  • Actionable Recommendation: where ServiceNow provides automated recommendations for each instance based on best practices.

IT Operations Management

Now includes:

  • Traffic-based discovery for Business Service Mapping: identifies candidates that could be defined as services. Traffic-based discovery generates maps from network traffic based on machine learning to refine results and reduce noise.
  • Guided User Experience: assists in the creation of service maps and reduce the complexity of maintaining and enhancing service mapping.
  • Discovery patterns: increases application content mapping to assist with cloud integration and cloud mapping of services.

IT Business Management

Now includes:

  • Capacity based planning: allows users to view the hierarchy of strategic business activities.
  • Technology Portfolio Management: allows users to track technology lifecycles, understand technology debt, and the impact/risk to business applications.
  • Sprint & Backlog Management: improves the user experience, making it easier to add stories to sprints, manage schedules, understand burn rates, and shift stories between sprints.
  • Budgeting and Forecasting: has been enhanced to allow for group budget/forecasts using a drag and drop interface.

Software Asset Management

Now includes:

  • Packs for IBM and VMWare: builds on the existing Microsoft and Oracle packs to better understand license audit risk.
  • Office 365 Subscription Management: allows users to track consumption and understand costs during peak usage.
  • Reconciliation Grouping Dimensions: allows customers to track cost and compliance based on geography, subsidiary, business units, departments, and cost centres
  • Blacklisted Software: can dictate license behaviour for software that isn’t approved for use.

Security Operations

Now includes:

  • Configuration compliance: identifies and responds to misconfigured software—this can be prioritised based on the CMDB and how CIs are mapped to a service.
  • End-to-End Phishing Response: remediates email attacks by parsing .eml attachments for incident creation, and uses Office 365 integration to search for and delete dirty emails.

Governance, Risk, and Compliance

Now includes:

  • Continuous Monitoring: prevents compliance “drift” and ensures the corporate posture is maintained. Allows customers to assess and respond to unplanned configuration changes as part of the compliance/risk lifecycle.
  • Risk & Compliance: visualizations include heat maps and policy exceptions to assist in managing critical risks.
  • Sarbanes Oxley: ServiceNow includes out-of-the-box Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) profile structures, common risks, and controls to assist companies in reaching SOX compliance.

ServiceNow is used to manage governance, risk, and compliance by world-leading organisations such as:

  • DHL
  • Barclays Bank
  • Moody’s Investor Services
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • United States Postal Service
  • Turner Communications (Time Warner, CNN, etc.)
  • York Medical

Customer Service Management

Now includes:

  • Appointment booking: allows customers to self-schedule field service visits using an online booking system.
  • Community activity: includes gamification, user self-registration and forum membership, case creation, and knowledge harvesting.
  • Role-based dashboards: intended to provide transparency to senior management on insights gained from customer service management.

Platform Enhancements

  • ServiceNow supports two approaches to mobile computing, using its native mobile application and the browser-based service portal, giving customers considerable flexibility in how they tackle the delivery of services on mobile devices. The Kingston release allows people to use the application offline even if they don’t have an internet connection.
  • Function fields allow for common functions to be performed within a field, such as calculating the days between a start and end date.
  • Workspaces (like the one pictured below) are currently only used to display information for the agile module, but as this is a core functionality change, we expect to see this expanded in following releases as they make information far more accessible and actionable.

Conclusion

ServiceNow Kingston continues to extend the ability of ServiceNow to manage complex business processes from the cloud.

To find out more about how JDS can help you with your ServiceNow needs, contact one of our consultants today on 1300 780 432, or email contactus@jds.net.au.

Our team on the case

Document as you go.

Peter Cawdron

Consultant

Length of Time at JDS

5 years

Skills

ServiceNow, Loadrunner, HP BSM, Splunk.

Workplace Passion

I enjoy working with the new AngularJS portal in ServiceNow.

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