I’m a developer, so I wouldn’t classify the product as valuable to me, per se. However, through the eyes of a client I can tell you that ServiceNow is highly customizable, so when anybody asks, “Can it do this?”, the answer is usually, "Yes, yes it can."
Improvements to My Organization
The whole platform has improved our organization, but that is the beauty of ServiceNow. It provides a solid starting point to manage your IT operations, but not just IT operations, but almost anything your organization needs.
Use of Solution
I've used it for three years.
It is usually user error rather than system error, and even on the largest deployment that I took part in, that was muddled by an inexperienced admin. I was able to back out and fix within a two hour span of time.
Stability is a complete non-issue. It is all cloud based and I have never experienced down time with ServiceNow.
I really don’t think there is anything out there that even compares.
Customer Service and Technical Support
This really depends on what the issue is. When you start venturing outside of the base system functionality, they will not support it. You essentially become the owner when you start modifying the base functionality.
That being said, the base functionality really doesn’t need to be modified. When customizing this product to suit your companies/organizations needs, developing solutions that lie within the base functionality are nearly always attainable.
I have used Cherwell, and while it works fine, it leaves a lot to be desired as far as user experience. I may be jaded because of ServiceNow, but managing data in Cherwell is nowhere near the capability of ServiceNow.
When an instance is spun up, it’s ready to use. In that case, setup is very simple, but no organization wants to keep the out-of-box-setup though. Why would you buy something so highly customizable and not customize it?
If you keep your customizations light, setup is not difficult for someone with a modicum of experience. If an organization goes all out and wants heavy customization, then setup can become extremely complex.
I work for a vendor, and typically the level of experience of in-house administrators/developers is rather low. We tend to incorporate them into what we are doing so as to raise their experience level, which allows them to support any solutions we implement.
Costs for consultants/developers, as I’m sure some of you know, can be pretty high. It’s not because ServiceNow is hard to configure, it’s because it’s so big that developers with an intimate knowledge of how the system functions and knowledge of the nuances are in short supply.
Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing
It is pricey, and for good reason. As far as licensing, I have one word: haggle. I have had clients pay full price for licenses and I have had clients who get lower prices for licenses or a certain amount of free licenses.
Also, for organizations that have busy seasons where additional licenses are needed for a few months, I have heard of those being comped so long as the number of licenses needed is within reason.
You should go play with it and learn how it works. You can get free personal developer/demo instance spun up at developer.service-now.com.
When it comes to the time to get your requirements ready you will be miles ahead and save money rather than blindly coming up with requirements, having a solution implemented, and then finding out you want to change 10% - 30% of what you originally thought you wanted.
Out-of-box end-user portal (this is highly customizable, and I’ve seen some pretty slick interfaces):
Fulfiller home screen:
Some of the base applications and list view of records:
Just an example of a custom application, I commission a fantasy football league, and I built myself an application that utilizes web services to pull in external data to help me manage my league as well as provide statistics to help me set my lineup every week:
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: The company that I work for is a partner, although one of the smaller ones, which is a weird relationship seeing as we are often in competition with them to land contracts for some of the larger clients.