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ServiceNow: San Diego Release Focuses On ‘Productivity, Automation And Innovation’

The San Diego release of the ServiceNow Now platform, the first of two major upgrades planned for 2022, is now available for solution providers looking for new ways to help customers more productively manage services and add automation to their various business processes.

ServiceNow Wednesday unveiled the first of its two major biannual upgrades of its Now platform, code-named San Diego, featuring a significantly enhanced graphical user interface for improved productivity as well as new robotic process automation capabilities.

ServiceNow’s Now platform San Diego release also features new innovation focused on technology providers for specific industries, said Dave Wright, chief innovation officer for the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company.

“With San Diego, we want to focus on productivity, automation and innovation,” Wright told CRN.

[Related: ServiceNow CEO Bill McDermott: We’re ‘Executing On All Cylinders,’ Setting Sights On $15B By 2026]

ServiceNow was founded in 2004 to automate all of a company’s disparate workflows and processes onto a single platform, the Now platform, and make businesses more responsive to change. The company makes two significant upgrades to its Now platform a year, named after different cities in alphabetical order. The next release, expected later this year, will be named Tokyo.

ServiceNow’s Now platform San Diego release shows that ServiceNow seems to have advanced its capabilities far beyond those of even a year ago, said Michael Schifman, marketing director at Covestic, a Kirkland, Wash.-based ServiceNow Elite solution provider that last year was acquired by Milestone Technologies, a Fremont, Calif.-based MSP.

“ServiceNow is moving at a fast pace with new features and capabilities that really show where the company is moving,” Schifman told CRN. “I would also look to ServiceNow as a preview of where IT services are heading. It’s a good example of how companies are looking to use digital transformation to be a source of truth for IT operations. ServiceNow has a dream of tying all a business’ platforms together with a single way to manage it all.”

Covistic is one of six ServiceNow channel partners that did extensive testing of the San Diego release, Schifman said.

“We’ve found the most number of bugs of any test partner,” he said. “And as a test partner, we’re better able to be a thought leader with ServiceNow for our clients.”

ServiceNow San Diego has three primary changes over the previous version, Wright said.

The biggest enhancement is in the productivity area with the introduction of the Next Experience graphical user interface, which not only looks different but now comes with more features that change how users work, Wright said.

Users can now access tabs from the command console to access more tools, he said. The new graphical user interface also provides quick navigation to applications and gives users web browser-like access to favorites and history. It also provides increased information density, light or dark modes, and other capabilities, he said.

“It’s the culmination of a lot of work by over 500 people working on typography and iconography,” he said.

On the back end, the new graphical user interface provides access to new workspaces including Customer Service Management Configurable Workspace, Dispatcher Workspace, HR Agent Workspace, Cloud Operations Workspace, Service Operations Workspace and Hardware Asset Manager Workspace, he said.

The second key change is an increase in automation with the addition of new robotic process automation tools that ServiceNow got with its March 2021 acquisition of Intellibot.

Wright said ServiceNow’s new Automation Engine combines the company’s existing Integrator Hub with the new RPA Hub.

“This lets customers manage and deploy RPA bots to increase automation,” he said. “We provide the tool and about 1,300 prebuilt components to rapidly design and deploy bots from one place.”

These bots can be either unattended bots that run in the background or attended bots that are triggered when someone needs something, Wright said.

“For channel partners, customers have invested a lot already to build bots,” he said. “So this is something that is front and center in the channel.”

The third area is innovation with new out-of-the-box industry solutions, Wright said.

For technology providers with banking customers, the San Diego release includes new automation capabilities such as automating checking, savings and certificates of deposits, as well as building customer life-cycle management with things like account updating, he said. “It automatically builds the required workloads,” he said.

For insurance customers, which is a new area for ServiceNow, technology providers can now offer the ability to service policies across a company’s entire base of policy holders and clients, Wright said.

Technology providers themselves will also see improvement in their services management, including the ability to offer customers a more consumer-like experience, automate management and publish services catalogs, he said.

ServiceNow’s San Diego release is available starting Wednesday. It has already been piloted by several solution providers, Wright said.

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