ServiceNow Review

We are able to significantly leverage the widget concept in the Service Portal

What is our primary use case?

We use it for ITSM and ITBM.

How has it helped my organization?

The area where we have benefited a lot is that, initially, it was very difficult to have end-to-end visibility into what was happening. We didn't have any kind of top-down or bottom-up approach to CMDB and ITSM processes across it. We were able to establish that with ServiceNow. Our other ITSM models are pretty dependent on CMDB elements, so that gives an overall picture of what is happening and where it is happening.

What is most valuable?

  • Request module
  • Orchestration
  • The PPM Module is pretty important in our organization

The workflow is something we use on a day-to-day basis. It's pretty handy the way it is in ServiceNow. 

As our ServiceNow implementation focuses on Healthcare domain which is highly regulated , Hence we are unable to follow the full agile way to develop/implement application enhancement or new requirements , Hence we follow a hybrid delivery model where  we have integrated following servicenow modules Demand-Requirement-agile Developement- Test Management -Defect Management- Change Managementto bring our releases/changes in a regular basis , enables us to practice CIP & also helps us in having an end to end tracebility.

Also, in the Service Portal, use of Angular JS gives a very good look & feel & a lot can be done with OOB widgets - By modifying existing widget which is pretty simple, We can leverage a lot on top of it. 

Finally, I also like the architecture for collaborating between business logic and client interaction on our client interfaces.

What needs improvement?

For healthcare, which is a pretty audited environment, there are no concrete solutions for digital signatures, apart from our license with Adobe, so it requires orchestration. That is one area for improvement.

Apart from that, initially, we struggled with financial forecasting and financial management in the PPM module. That needs improvement along with the IntegrationHub which came out in a recent release. It's still in its initial stages. That could grow into a more solid solution that could be more helpful.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's pretty much a stable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It has good scalability.

There is a version upgrade every year, which ServiceNnow pushes, so it remains pretty scalable if you remain pretty close to out-of-the-box. It becomes less scalable if you go in a direction where you want to use ServiceNow as the platform and build your own solution with complex logic behind it. Then, that's an issue.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would rate the support they provide us, at above three out of five. If they do not come up with a solution or our request is out of the scope of their support, they do help us with a direction for how to get it done.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

To start with, we wanted a global planning platform for all our ITSM activity, throughout the business, for internal IT. That's the reason we started migrating ITSM from different groups to ServiceNow. We did some homework on that, such as what was the market position of ServiceNow and how we could integrate with other third-party applications. After doing that analysis we came up with the ServiceNow as our option.

How was the initial setup?

The setup, on a technical basis, was not that difficult. But if I want to involve different businesses into using change management, it becomes a challenge to understand the process and implement it on a platform which is standard for everyone. So it's not really the technical aspect, it's more the procedural aspect.

It took us about eight months to roll out ITSM. But after that, we have had other instances where we use a custom solution, out-of-scope applications for our customer service area, and we were able to implement it within three months.

What about the implementation team?

Initially, the deployment was done by a solution partner and, to be honest, they came up with some functions that activated a lot of things which were not needed. But at that moment, it was very necessary for us to quickly jump into the ITSM module and make it available for everyone.

Later on, we realized that there were many things implemented which were not needed. Many approaches were customized but were not required. For example, Incidents is the table where we are currently doing requests, and that was introduced by the solution partner. But when we involved request-management with Incidents, we somehow missed out on a lot of process automation. There is a powerful workflow with this solution and you can do a lot of process automation, depending on different services. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at 

What other advice do I have?

You can get the most out of ServiceNow if you align your processes more towards the out-of-the-box solution, and not over-customize it to create a solution.

We have 3,000 users hosted on it but not everyone has write-access to the system. There are users who are end users who get Portal access to manage their tasks. Apart from that, there are a few fulfillers who are using the write-access: the support staff, such as the change manager or change coordinator. And then we have admins.

In terms of extent of use, currently, we have more than one instance of ServiceNow. We have three different instances for three different areas, and they have their own sets of uses.

Maintenance is mostly outsourced to a vendor who provides elemental and entry support. We are keeping more of the architectural and solution-designing work in-house.

I would rate ServiceNow at eight out of ten. It could be a ten if we had a more central way of connecting ServiceNow with different systems. They have taken initiative with the IntegrationHub and I'm really looking forward to that. Also, virtual assistance is something that has started, but we have so many requirements regarding intelligent agents being integrated with it. I'm looking forward to that. If ServiceNow rolled those solutions into it, it would enhance our end-user experience and I could probably rate it a ten.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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