ServiceNow this week launched a suite of new products and features that take the cloud software vendor far beyond its traditional focus on IT services toward an expanded mission of managing and automating work throughout the enterprise.
Matt Schvimmer, the San Diego-based company’s vice president of product strategy, told CRN the new release, dubbed Eureka, focuses on creating a highly customizable experience for all workflows encountered by large companies.
"We’ve expanded from an IT constituency to an enterprisewide constituency," Schvimmer told CRN.
"Now we're applying what we've learned to be able to address the needs of other parts of the enterprise,” he said.
Eureka offers a range of new features, including an enhanced custom application creation experience, new service automation products, executive decision-making visualization tools and a more intuitive user experience, Schvimmer told CRN.
"The new capabilities are built on the ServiceNow platform and leverage the common data model shared across the company’s portfolio," he said.
In addition to SaaS products for managing business workflows and resources, ServiceNow also offers a development platform, CreateNow, for building custom applications.
Schvimmer told CRN that 85 percent of ServiceNow customers have built custom applications on the platform to work in conjunction with the out-of-the-box applications they’ve purchased.
The new features Eureka brings to market were high on client wish-lists, Schvimmer said.
"We have regular product advisory meetings with our partners. The areas we've invested here are areas they've been asking for,” Schvimmer told CRN.
Jason Wojahn, president of the ServiceNow business unit at Cloud Sherpas, a born-in-the-cloud VAR based in Atlanta, said the new products will boost an already rapidly expanding ServiceNow business.
"The enhanced functionality will allow Cloud Sherpas to bring even further value to our current customers and those migrating to ServiceNow,” Wojahn told CRN.
"These additional capabilities empower IT leaders to expand the platform beyond IT to service the enterprise. Tools like Demand Management, which give business leaders visibility across the entire organization instead of individual silos, the modernization of the UI, and alignment of more mainstream tools will also speed time to value as well," Wojahn said.
The Demand Management application Wojahn referred to consolidates strategic requests between business and IT managers, and automates the steps in the investment decision process.
Other new features include Facilities Services Automation, a product that displays incidents at company facilities on floor-plan visualizations, and allows facilities managers to track building configurations to tackle issues from security to waste disposal.
Service Creator, another new feature, allows nontechnical people to build simple applications.
"It allows people with no programming skills to create an application through a drag-and-drop form designer and then simply click publish," Schvimmer said. The feature provides access to shared information on the platform about users, management hierarchy and facilities.
And within ServiceNow's core IT expertise, "we've been thinking about how you visualize information and work within the system,” Schvimmer told CRN.
That led to Visual Task Boards, which Schvimmer said you can think of as a bunch of sticky notes that help the CIO visualize what projects are being delivered and when.
Another visualization project, CIO Roadmap, offers timeline visualization features displaying prioritized investment decisions across business functions.
All new ServiceNow customers will be provisioned with Eureka; existing customers can seek upgrades.
In tandem with Eureka, ServiceNow has released a community portal, called Share, which allows customers and partners to share applications and customizations they’ve built themselves.
"Partners are really excited about this because it gives them a way to be able to engage with customers that are outside their immediate customer portfolio,” he said.
Partners who have achieved a high level of sharing, like Cloud Sherpas, get their own profile page on Share through which they can advertise to the ServiceNow community.
PUBLISHED JUNE 19, 2014