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ServiceNow Partners: Let’s Hear It For ‘New York’ Update

‘I know I can speak for my whole team that New York is not only going to deliver a great experience to the customer, but developers as well,’ says Frank Hansen, senior vice president, IT Operations and Management with Boca Raton, Fla.-based ServiceNow integrator, Champion Solutions Group.

ServiceNow is expanding what users can do from their mobile phones in its latest platform update – New York -- that, for the first-time, gives users the ability to use a natural language interface to carry out common workplace tasks.

“With this release, what we’re really saying is, ‘how do we make it easier for that employee to consume that interaction, kick off that interaction,’ and ‘how do we meet that employee where they are?’ ” Blake McConnell, ServiceNow's SVP of Employee Workflow Products told CRN. “Many employees want to self serve. How do we provide an employee the tools to do that? A lot of that will happen through a virtual agent, with natural language.”

The Santa Clara, Calif. company’s March release, Madrid, offered mobile capabilities for the first time for users of the platform, but limited the capabilities to the IT workers in an enterprise.

“Being able to look at tickets, and look at incidents and get notifications, so they can better do his or her job,” McConnell said. “Now with the New York release, we have two new mobile apps, again, utilizing the same capabilities, of the ServiceNow platform. One of the apps is referred to as NowMobile and one is refered to as MobileOnboarding. Both of these are designed for the employee persona.”

The goal is to minimize complexity within the work environment, and remove tedious distractions of, for example, searching for the right department to handle the employees needs, he said. Whether it’s requesting a new desk, finding a conference room, booking a conference room, or repairing something broken in a conference room, tasks that could eat away at a person’s time at work are simplified via the mobile interface.

“You think about all those pretty common interactions an employee would have and one of the things we really think about is, your average employee doesn’t need to know which request goes to IT, or when to ping HR, or a facilities request, or getting someone badged into the building goes through legal,” McConnell said. “Through my mobile device I can ask questions. I can submit requests. I can self-serve.”

ServiceNow partners told CRN, that there is a lot to like about New York under the hood as well.

Frank Hansen, senior vice president, IT Operations and Management, at Boca Raton, Fla.-based ServiceNow integrator Champion Solutions Group said one “significant update” is focused around the ITOM health features like Event Management and Operational Intelligence, which helps IT professionals spot anomalies in their network.

“This will be a game changer in that it will allow ServiceNow to potentially replace some of the systems that perform this operation outside of the platform,” Hansen told CRN. “This type of visibility will provide a more accurate and service aware view of corporate infrastructures. I know I can speak for my whole team that New York is not only going to deliver a great experience to the customer, but developers as well.”

He added that the new Guided Application Creator will “allow our teams to innovate and go to market faster than (it was) thought possible.”

“Some ServiceNow developers have voiced reservations about this new addition, but for us this provides a simplified method for rapid application development,” he said.

Meanwhile, Aaron Callaway, managing director at Andover, Mass.-based Fairchild Resiliency Systems -- a security-focused ServiceNow partner that recently had one of its business continuity and disaster recovery apps selected to be deployed inside ServiceNow -- lauded the move to roll out mobile features to more end users.

“The nature of our business means users may not always be near their desktop or laptop during a disaster which means mobile accessibility is key,” Callaway told CRN. “The new features for application launchers and navigation options will allow us to provide our users a quick interface to access the information they need, when they need it the most. Offline storage will also allow our users to save the plans for which they are responsible in case there is a network outage as well.”

He also called out some new features in New York such as Guided Tour Designer, Flow Designer Changes, and Integration Hub – which allows for the importing of the OpenAPI specifications that will make integrations with external notification tools much quicker. But Callaway said Instance Data Replication is the real time saver for his business.

“This one is the most exciting new feature for me,” he said. “With IDR we'll be able to build out our plans on a sub-production instance before go-live and then copy the information to user acceptance testing and production environments without having to export to .xml files,” he said. “This will make implementations and go-live run much more smoothly and allow using built-in functionality for querying data and transforming, if needed, into the target instance.”

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