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ServiceNow Gives Free Apps To Help Manage Workers During Crisis

“We put our heads together and said, ‘How can we help,’” says Chris Bedi, chief information officer at ServiceNow. “The need to do this was glaringly obvious, and the decision to make these free took a nano-second.”

ServiceNow has deployed four emergency apps for free to more than 1,100 organizations in the last two weeks as part of the company’s commitment to help navigate the coronavirus pandemic.

“We put our heads together and said, ‘How can we help,’ “ said Chris Bedi, chief information officer with ServiceNow. “The need to do this was glaringly obvious, and the decision to make these free took a nano-second.”

Among the adopters is the city of San Francisco, which is using the app for emergency self reporting of its employees, and exposure management, delivering mission critical information to city managers to maintain readiness in city services such as in healthcare and public safety.

The emergency outreach app is designed to keep organizations in touch with its people, to determine who is sick, who is not, and helps employees stay in touch with their company. He used the example of a supply chain company using the app to have employees check in, to measure production capacity.

“It will automatically send out an email, or a push notification via a mobile app,” he said. “Basically, they can check in. The customer can configure the options: I’m fine. I’m sick, whatever the case might be, but it can also be used as a push notification for key company messages, basic well being, or anything else.”

The second app is an emergency self report. Bedi said if an employee that needs to report they are self-quarantine, or they are a confirmed case, there is a workflow that ServiceNow apps navigate on behalf of the employee and the company.

“There’s a workflow there,” he said. “HR needs to be notified, they probably need to do some things. They probably want to be proactive with the employee, giving them some advice. The manager needs to know. Managing all that workflow at scale, gets really slow and really manual really quickly.”

Emergency exposure management, is a HIPPA-compliant proactive notification tool that could alert someone if they have been exposed to a known case within their organization.

“Without naming names, someone you have been in contact with is feeling sick. Start taking precautions. Please go get tested.”

The fourth app is aimed at federal state and local government, Bedi said. The app was co-developed by the state of Washington that relies on the National Incident Management Standards, or NIM, which gives organizations a quick way to marshal resources, such as state employees, non-employees, sorting and filtering personnel by skill set, who is available, and who is deployed already. The app also has a report back the result of the job.

“Those reports are critical for two reasons,” Bedi said. “Making sure the incident is well managed, but two also making sure the required reports get back to the federal government so the money flows more quickly.”

ServiceNow hours and days to get value out of the apps as opposed to weeks and months. Bedi said while enterprise software can be challenging for first-time users, the design principal was to keep the apps as simple as possible.

“If it’s a government agency that is not yet a customer, we have made a white-glove service to quickly get through the process and download an instance, quickly get provisioned, our professional services team is locked in and ready to go.”

ServiceNow is working closely with its partners, including Accenture, Deloitte, DXC Technology, EY and KPMG to help customers quickly deploy the community apps.

HonorHealth, which has 11,000 employees across Scottsdale and North Phoenix, had its phone lines swamped with callers early on, tying up communications as well as nurses work hours with routine questions.

In six hours, ServiceNow built a symptom checker for a virtual agent. Now that it is deployed, patients go through that service before they get on the phone with an expert, freeing up workers for the most critical cases.

ServiceNow was also inside the command center at home improvement retailer Lowe’s as the organization handled an unprecedented flood of shoppers headed to its store on the weekend of March 14 stocking up on supplies to secure their homes as communities across the country began locking down.

“The idea here is let’s help“ Bedi said.

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