Category Archives: Blog

Our Favorite Istanbul Release Features

The Focus Group Europe team is really excited about the new features that are available in the ServiceNow Istanbul release. Here are few of our favorites:

 

CAB Workbench

“The CAB Workbench is such a great new feature! I love how interactive this is for all participants of the CAB and it makes keeping track of the change agenda easier”

Miryana Krasteva | Technical Consultant

 

Shopping Cart on the Portal

“Having worked with Service Portal for quite some time, I think my favourite feature in the Istanbul release is the fact that you can have a Service Catalog shopping cart on the portal.  It’s a feature that many customers asked for in the Helsinki release, and we will finally be able to deliver it!”

 Jayesh Ramchandani | Technical Consultant

 

Application Portfolio Management

“I like Application Portfolio Management.  It is aimed at larger organisations, as it allows customers to use business or financial objectives against their entire applications portfolio and then action a plan to rationalize their portfolio.”

Application Portfolio Managment

Mark Hambelton I Product Consultant

 

Benchmarks

“I love the benchmarking feature – that has got to be unique.  I am always asked by customers about other support operations, and it is difficult not to be subjective on that point. This feature will enable all our customers to understand how they are performing compared to their peers.”

 Jeremy Holt | Territory Account Manager

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Automated Testing Frameworks

“I like this feature as it allows to create, save and run automated tests to validate developed functionality prior to production. This will help developers save time by spotting errors and inconsistencies before changes are implemented

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Ilse Passet | Senior Marketing Manager

 

Want to Learn More?
Attend the Istanbul Release Webinar on Feb 22nd

Register here

Boost IT productivity in 2017

Efficiency gains in IT can have a large impact on other departments and on the bottom line.  In 2017, improving the productivity of the IT team should be a priority for every organisation. The following tips will help you increase your efficiency, reduce costs and enhance customer and employee satisfaction.

 

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  • 1. LEVERAGE TECHNOLOGY
  • It doesn’t matter how skilled your team is, if you don’t have the right infrastructure and tools in place you are not likely to see any productivity increases. Any technology that helps you streamline processes and consolidate legacy systems will yield great results. Technology that is secured, user-friendly and provides the ability to integrate with your current tools and applications will cut down on manual hours and increase the accuracy and speed when solving issues.

       

    • 2. EMPOWER YOUR IT TEAMS

    Self-service is a growing trend in the workforce. Empowering teams by developing well designed and user-friendly self-service portals improves the speed of ticket resolution and increases employee satisfaction. Knowledge databases that provide accurate information will help resolve issues faster and allow teams to focus on more important, value-adding activities. 

       

    • 3. STREAMLINE WORKFLOWS

    Mapping out, re-organising and cutting out unnecessary processes in IT workflows can produce tangible increases in IT productivity. Consolidate similar processes, eliminate any unnecessary red tape and automate processes whenever possible.

     “9 in10 managers agree that their productivity depends on how efficiently other departments deliver their services”– ServiceNow The Productivity Drain report.

    Investing some time in mapping out and rethinking processes will save man hours and unnecessary costs throughout the year.

       

    • 4. WORK SMARTER

    Setting up clear goals and communicating them to the team at the start of the year provides clear expectations for employees and managers alike. Encouraging employees to book meetings only when necessary, will save valuable time and allow everyone to do real work to help achieve their goals.  Finally, consolidating reporting and increasing visibility of metrics and results across the board will increase accountability and ensure that goals are achieved in an efficient manner.

    Empowering teams, leveraging technology and working smarter are only a few of the ways in which efficiency gains can be achieved. Boosting the efficiency of your IT teams requires planning at the start of the year but also ongoing monitoring and adjustments to ensure tangible results.


    • About Focus Group Europe:

    With headquarters in London, UK, Focus Group Europe is the dedicated European ServiceNow expert. As a Gold Services & Sales Partner, with over seven years of dedicated relationship, they have deployed hundreds of successful projects and helped companies of all sizes realise the transformational benefits of ServiceNow.


    • About ServiceNow:

    ServiceNow is changing the way people work. With a service-orientation toward the activities, tasks and processes that make up day-to-day work life, they help the modern enterprise operate faster and be more scalable than ever before. ServiceNow provides service management for every department in the enterprise including IT, human resources, facilities, field service and more. To find out how, visit ServiceNow

    The Future of ITSM Tools – The Consumerisation of Service

    IT help desk, then service desk and IT service management (ITSM), tools have been popular for three decades, and as ITSM has evolved as a discipline, so have the tools. The ITIL best practice framework has helped this evolution, with ITSM tools modelled on the most commonly adopted of ITIL’s 26 ITSM processes. And consequently, many IT professionals equate ITSM tools merely to process enablement, which of course the tools do – offering capabilities such as multiple end-user access and communication channels, workflow and automation, governance, data management, and operational and service level reporting. With the associated improvements in availability, operational efficiency, and the overall quality of IT services.

     

    But is this process enablement still enough?

     

    This might seem an odd question to ask, especially with so many people equating ITSM tools, and ITSM per se, merely to the incident, problem, change, etc. management processes. Through which things get provided, fixed, or changed efficiently, in line with service level targets, and availability is maintained.  So what’s my point? Hold on, I’m getting there…

    Consumerisation, i.e. employees bringing their personal life experiences and expectations into the workplace, is raising the stakes for corporate service providers, such as IT, in terms of how they deal with employee requests for services, help, information, or changes. And it’s a challenge that requires more than just improved process efficiency.

     

    ITSM tools have already adapted to the pressures of consumerisation but there’s still a way to go

     

    Self-service, knowledge management, chat, and other support capabilities that have flourished in consumer-world support have already been brought into ITSM tools. It’s all good stuff; but as any good externally facing customer service/support team will tell you, sadly it’s not enough.

     

    Instead, while customers appreciate having a choice of access and communication channels, and the efficiency of contact, they want to be treated as customers not numbers (whether that be their customer, ticket, or asset number). They want more than just an easy experience; they want an experience that’s built around them. It might be that they want to feel valued (as a customer) or, in the case of handling an issue, they want the person helping them to appreciate their situation.

     

    Get ready for the customer experience juggernaut hurtling towards corporate IT

     

    Suppliers in the consumer-world are increasingly aiming to offer a great “customer experience” to help win and retain customers. It’s all about how the offered experiences meet the customers’ expectations.

     

    If you work in the external customer support space, your help desk tool provider will not only be experts in enabling customer service operations, they will also provide advice on improving the customer experience to customers. And, as employees bring their consumer-based expectations into the workplace, corporate IT departments will look to their ITSM tool providers, and industry events, for help.

     

    Thus looking forward at the required evolution of ITSM and IT support, the increased end-user expectations of corporate IT departments will translate into increased expectations of ITSM tools and the vendors who provide them. Process enablement will no longer be enough, and both the tools and their vendors will need to rise above the processes to help customers improve their customer experience.

     

     

     

     

    Focus Group Europe Ranks 33rd on The Prestigious Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100 List

    September 12, 2016 – London, UK – Focus Group Europe, a dedicated European ServiceNow Gold-status partner, has been recognised by the Sunday Times as one of the fastest growing technology companies in Britain. Published this weekend, the 16th annual Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100 league table ranks Britain’s private technology, media and telecoms (TMT) companies with the fastest-growing sales over a three-year period.

     

    “It’s a privilege to be included in the Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100 list” said John Gilleran, CEO. “We have achieved unprecedented sales growth by following a solid business strategy grounded on a dedicated partnership with industry leader ServiceNow, superior customer service, first-rate talent and an unrelenting desire to help clients make the best from their ITSM investment”.

     

    Commenting on the ranking, Richard Guy, Director of Professional Services, said “As a leading UK based technology consultancy company, we are committed to providing our clients with the best-in-class ServiceNow advisory, implementation and optimisation services. We achieve this by working with the best talent in the industry and applying best practices and learnings from hundreds of successful projects that we have done up-to-date”.

     

    Visit Focus Group Europe: focusge.co.uk

    Like us on Facebook: @focusge

    Follow us on Twitter: @focusge

     

    About Focus Group Europe:

    With headquarters in London, UK, Focus Group Europe is the dedicated European ServiceNow expert. As a Gold Services & Sales Partner, with over seven years of dedicated relationship, they have deployed hundreds of successful projects and helped companies of all sizes realise the transformational benefits of ServiceNow.

     

    About the Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Trak 100 list:

    The Hiscox Tech Track 100 league table ranks Britain’s 100 private tech (TMT) companies with the fastest-growing sales over the latest three years.  Tech Track 100 is compiled by Fast Track and published in The Sunday Times each September, with an awards event in November.

     

    Media Contact:

    Ilse Passet

    Senior Marketing Manager

    0785 292 7302

    ilse.passet@focusge.co.uk

     

    3 Reasons why Educational Institutions Need Service Management

     

    Enterprise service management – the use of IT service management (ITSM) principles, practices, and technology by other business functions, such as HR – is a growing corporate trend. But it’s also applicable to educational institutions whose functional departments have similar pressures to those in any business sector; having to provide services and support to customers – students, faculty members, and other employees – in line with the classic “doing more with less” mantra.

    There are, however, a number of things that make enterprise service management effective for educational institutions.

     

    1. There’s greater scope to improve service

    Businesses have opportunities to leverage enterprise service management across their core business support functions such as HR, facilities, finance, and legal. Educational institutions have these, but they also have a number of other opportunities to improve their services and support.

     

    Educational campuses can, for example, use enterprise service management within their:

    •                Admissions office

    •                Alumni office

    •                Faculty services

    •                Libraries

    •                Medical centers

    •                Research departments

     

    Where, in each use case scenario, enterprise service management and the enabling technology will help to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of operations, provide a better service (or customer) experience, and provide better insight into performance and the opportunity for improvement.

     

    2. Better meeting customer expectations

    Educational institutions by their very nature need to meet a spectrum of customer service and support requirements, and one could argue that they in many ways need to be ahead of corporate organisations in terms of the customer expectations curve. As, while corporate organisations are still attempting to address the impact of the increasing numbers of millennials in the workplace, educational institutions already have a large millennial customer base by default – the student population.

     

    These customers have heightened expectations across the services they use, support, and customer service – driven by their consumer-world experiences and the fact that they don’t know anything other than their “perfect” personal-life experiences. There is the opportunity, therefore, to use enterprise service management thinking, processes, and enabling technology to deliver a better customer experience across the campus. In particular, one that is keeping up with consumer-world levels of service and support.

     

    3. Proactively addressing cost pressures

    While the first two points are very much focused on improving service and support, and better meeting customer expectations, it would be wrong to avoid the need for educational institutions to “do more with less” (or even to “do more with the same”).

     

    Here enterprise service management – through the use of ITSM best practice and technology – will help on a number of fronts:

    •      Optimised processes, workflow, automation, and alerting will remove unnecessary manual effort and rework, and of course the associated people costs

    •      Self-service will allow customers to get to the solutions they need more quickly. This and the ability to log issues and requests via self-service will means fewer calls – again saving time and money

    •      The use of ITSM technology (for enterprise service management) will give insight into potential improvement        opportunities, some of which will save costs, plus the value that each department provides to its customers

    •      Standardisation will offer the ability to provide not only a common way of working, but also a common look and feel, and a common service model for customers. With the potential to provide a lower cost single point of service, no matter the department, across the campus.

     

    These are only 3 reasons why ITSM makes sense for educational institutions, the benefits of implementing a system like ServiceNow go far beyond a great customer experience and increased efficiency helping educational organisations transform and move towards the future. 

    ServiceNow ensures the success of Cloud-First strategies

    ServiceNow has made it pretty easy to manage the growth and lifecycle of on premises IT assets. Having a background in on-premises IT and virtualisation, I was keen to understand how the ServiceNow SaaS approach can help bridge the gap between Public cloud and traditional on-prem environments.

     

    A topic of growing importance for many customers is how to gain the same level of insight and control over business assets in the cloud.  Many businesses are moving an increasing number of assets and application to hyper-scale cloud vendors such as Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure to gain agility, flexibility and to realise cost savings by eliminating physical on-prem servers.

     

    Without efficient orchestration, a cloud-first strategy can lead to the growth in Shadow IT, leaving IT departments with little or no visibility of what is deployed in the cloud and no controls over these virtual assets.  This is further exacerbated when companies have a hybrid and/or multi-cloud strategy.  Virtualisation technologies such as VMware or Hyper-V make it easy to deploy new Virtual Machines (VMs) to host applications.  However, when the growth in VM deployment isn’t monitored, this uncontrolled growth or ‘VM sprawl’ becomes a challenge and this approach in turn can lead to ‘cloud sprawl’ as services and application are deploy in the cloud, creating a real drain on IT management resources. Additionally, the use of homegrown or disparate cloud tools with uncoordinated approval processes or more likely the lack of them, means the gains of moving to the cloud can start to seem much less than originally hoped.

     

    ServiceNow Cloud Management as the answer

    ServiceNow Cloud Management Solutions copy

     

    By applying the ServiceNow Cloud Management solution,utilising role-based approval and a single system of record, customers get all the lifecycle management resources benefits for their AWS, Azure and hybrid cloud VMware environments too. Once account credentials for AWS and Azure are entered, any cloud resources deployed are discovered and added to the CMDB. Deploying an AWS Virtual machine via the Self Service portal and assigning the VM to a cost centre and business service ensures that a full audit trail of cloud resources can be maintained. This approach empowers users to rapidly build and deploy new applications but still retain corporate oversight, removing the lure of shadow IT.

     

    Finally, ServiceNow can track Microsoft Azure usage, providing detailed billing and cost reporting.  So for any IT department that wants to track cloud costs or offer a charge back model for business services it’s easy to monitor trends.  This can be a powerful tool in ensure that a cloud first model delivers the promised business benefits that customers want.

     

    I’m very impressed by the overall ease of use and flexibility of the ServiceNow Cloud Orchestration solution.  It delivers a single tool for managing cloud resources from disparate providers, tracking what has been deployed in the cloud andaccurately monitoring costs.

    You’re Still Using Email to Manage IT Support? Why?

    Is your company still using email, or a home-grown help desk solution, to manage IT support issues?

    There’s no doubt that using email for support works, but is it suboptimal? Why walk when you can “use the car” – with the car the equivalent of a fit-for-purpose IT service desk or IT service management (ITSM) tool?

    And before you shout “Walking is good for you, and the environment!” at your screen, what I’mmetaphorically talking about here is the IT-support equivalent of walking all day, every day. And I’m sure that most of us would love to spend less time “walking”; with the time saved spent on moreproductive professional and personal activities, including morefamily time and sleeping.

     

    If you are still using email for IT support…

    …Then you are not alone.

    HDI – aprofessional association for the technical support industry – reports that a good proportion of their members, from companies of all sizes, are still not using a fit-for-purpose service desk or ITSM tool:

    ss
    Source: HDI “Service Management: Not Just for IT Anymore”

    Note – HDI takes the view that end users, or employees, are customers of IT support and thus this diagram uses the term “customers” to denote “those supported”.

     

    So what does this diagram tell us?

    In some ways the stats are to be expected – particularly that the red bars, i.e. the companies that are using an ITSM solution such as ServiceNow, increase from small to large companies. The larger the organisation, the greater the need for standardized processes, workflow and automation, and economies of scale. Plus, they probably have deeper pocket in terms of IT support budgets and a higher level of IT management and ITSM maturity.

    However, what’s less expected is the percentage of companies that have no plans to invest in a service desk or ITSM tool – for instance, that 1 in 20 large organisations don’t have such a tool. Then there’s the size of the blue bars – with 16-30% of companies, across the company-size spectrum, currently implementing, or planning to implement, an ITSM solution.

     

    So how are the companies in the grey and blue segments doing IT support?

    It’s definitely a mixed bag – ranging from post-it notes, spreadsheets, Lotus Notes databases, through to home-grown help desk solutions that might use all manner of different technologies. However, a common element of all these methods, and a method in its own right, is email – thateither personal email accounts, or one or more communal email accounts, are used to collect IT issues and requests from customers or end users.

    As stated at the start of this blog, it works; but how well does it really work?

    • Is there duplication of effort as information is copied into other applications such as Excel to provide management information?
    • How are telephone calls captured? Are they put straight into Excel, or similar, or written on a post-it note? Or maybe not documented at all?
    • Do end user issues and requests get lost – either in the inbox or during transfer between technologies?
    • How quickly are issues and requests dealt with? Is there prioritisation based on business importance and are solutions being delivered in a timely manner?

     

    Ultimately, what’s the business impact of all this (and other issues with using email) and do you know how well your IT support is faring?

     

    For me, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to using personal productivity technology for group-based, and often business-critical, activities. Plus, there has been no mention of knowledge management, self-service, and other time-saving and service-improving capabilities now used for both internal and external IT support. So is email still a good way to manage IT support?

    The Cloud Can Deliver Superior Service Management

    Vegas blog picture
    It seems like it was only yesterday when cloud computing  was the hot new buzzword in the IT industry. Today, it is a well-known phenomenon that most organizations are taking advantage of in one way or another. It represents the new age of computing where all tasks are based in the virtual world of the internet. The Cloud, as it is commonly known, is being used to run applications for both individuals and businesses. In this article we explore the evolution of the cloud and its role in transforming Service Management.

    Cloud Computing

    The concept of cloud computing is based on being able to share network resources just as we can get electricity from a network grid as we require it. It allows companies to change the scale of their computer based services according to the demand. Organizations can then decrease their costs by only paying for the resources that they are actually using in real time.

    There are many successful companies such as Facebook, Uber and Salesforce who are employing cloud computing to provide services to their customers while having effective control over the service parameters. These services usually employ cloud servers which host all the information of the company. A user can then plug into this cloud to download the required information to a particular device.

    Cloud computing has a potential for improving many applications. Service management is among the concepts that are being positively influenced by the presence of this fairly new technology. But before we answer how, let us first understand service management.

     

    Service Management

    Service management refers to managing the requests of delivering intangible components that are required in any business. This means that they cover the delivery and control of services which are simply tasks that are required during different stages in a business organization.

    Good service management is all about reducing the time between the asking of the service to its delivery. It is a process that can truly improve After being streamlined and cloud computing is playing a major role in service management in this regard.

     

    Digital Service Management

    Like most management techniques and processes, service management has also gone digital. Most organizations now use software systems to divide the tasks among different members of their team and keep track of the progress on them. The software systems being used for digital service management also provide accurate estimates of work targets and improve the chances of successfully delivering high levels of performance.

     

    Cloud Computing in Service Management

    Cloud computing provides the complete package for service management in any organization. It can automate the processes that are involved during a typical service requirement. A well programmed cloud program can identify a request and send it to the relevant department within the organization. The employee can then work on this task immediately and deliver the required service with the fastest response time.

    Cloud computing services therefore, speed up service management processes. They eliminate the need of using external communication tools such as emails and text messages and provide a platform where all services can be digitally accepted and delivered in a spontaneous manner. ServiceNow (link to servicenow.com), the leader in the Service Management space for example runs its ITSM, ITOM and Business management platform all on the same, always available cloud, elevating service management to a whole new level.

    Another important aspect of cloud computing is that it brings in a “pay-per-need” approach to the service management industry where management costs can in fact, be lowered by fully automating service management activities in a company.

    How to get the most from Knowledge®

    Vegas blog picture
    This year, over 13 members of the Focus Group Europe team attended Knowledge16, our group was one of the biggest delegations from a non-US based partner. Now back home and rested I would like to share a bit about my experience and offer some advise on how future attendees can make the most from this great event.

     

    Pre-Conference Training

    For a number of years now at Knowledge , ServiceNow has offered the opportunity to take product-related courses.  Normally these are 3-day courses condensed into 2 days to fit in with the conference schedule.

    This was the first time that ServiceNow experimented with single day courses as part of pre-conference training; allowing you enough time to get more than one course under your belt.  I took the opportunity to do two myself, the first being a workshop/lab based technical session called ‘Building a Single Page Application’ and the second a Round Table Workshop around ‘Agile Methods in ServiceNow’.

    Both sessions, despite being completely different in format and subject matter, offered a chance to learn new techniques and expand on current skills. I would thoroughly recommend attending preconference training if you get the opportunity.

     

    ExpoNow & HangNow

    ExpoNow is the main exhibition area within Knowledge, where partners and vendors gather to showcase their ServiceNow integrations, products and services.  Walking around ExpoNownot only gives you a sense of the platform’s capabilities, but also the diverse amount of innovation and passion that it inspires within its user base.

    This year, ServiceNow took the opportunity to showcase both the latest improvements that they had made to their core applications, as well as new applications, such as Customer Service Management,which is included in the Helsinki release.

    HangNow offers not just a relaxation area next to ExpoNow; but is also a place to recharge your devices (and yourself for that matter, with both Foosball and Air Hockey Tables) as well as a meeting point for the various groups of users & developers that you will undoubtedly get to know while at conference.  I would often use this area myself to meet up with other ServiceNow users (but normally it was the Air Hockey table that got my attention while my phone was charging!)

     

    Meeting new friends/old colleagues

    One of the key benefits to Knowledge is the networking opportunities that are presented to you. With almost 14,000 ServiceNow Users and Administrators in attendance, this makes the conference the ideal place to meet new contacts, exchange ideas and hear about challenges and successes from your fellow attendees.

     

    Developer Hub

    This year we saw the introduction of the Developer Hub at the conference; this area was designed to allow the developers attending the conference to not only dive deeper into the technical side of ServiceNow, connect and hack the platform to create new solutions, but also to showcase the most innovative uses of the platform that ServiceNow Engineers can dream up themselves.

    These innovations ranged from piloting drones by clicking a button on an onscreen console to mixing cocktails based on a request from the Service Catalog.  I found this particular section of the conference the most engaging and inspiring, and I hope they continue to put this hub into future Knowledge Conferences.

     

    Thoughts & Takeaways

    Like most conferences, Knowledge can be very draining; but the key piece of advise that I can offer any future attendee is to understand that you are there to share your knowledge, as well as gain new Knowledge that you can apply in your day to day business to help it succeed.  Don’t be afraid of talking to other attendees, as you will be amazed at the lasting friendships that can come from attendance.

     

    James Hammond

    Managed Services Technical Lead

    Focus Group Europe Honored by ServiceNow at Annual PartnerNow Summit

     

    London, UK, May 16, 2016 — Focus Group Europe today announced it has been recognised by ServiceNow as the Sales Partner with the highest number of new customer logos for 2015. The honor was bestowed at ServiceNow’s Annual Global PartnerNow Summit that took place as part of Knowledge16, the largest gathering of service management professionals using enterprise cloud services to change the way people work.

    The number of new customer logos aligned to each partner was totalled between March 31, 2015 and April 1, 2016.

    The PartnerNow awards are about recognising the tremendous contributions of the ServiceNow partner community and rewarding those that have delivered outstanding value to ServiceNow and its customers.

    “This award reflects the hard work of the Focus Group Europe team and the unprecedented growth of our organisation” said John Gilleran, CEO, Focus Group Europe.


    About Knowledge16

    At Knowledge16, approximately 10,000 attendees will have the opportunity to attend more than 125 labs and 200 breakout sessions, specialised networking events, and an ExpoNow exhibition hall with nearly 140 sponsors. With the combination of pre-conference training, hands-on labs, and breakout sessions, the conference presents the best opportunity for ServiceNow customers and partners to learn about the future of ServiceNow, the ecosystem and how we are empowering the service-oriented enterprise.


    About Focus Group Europe

    With headquarters in London, UK, Focus Group Europe is the dedicated European ServiceNow expert. As a Gold Services & Sales Partner, with over seven years of dedicated relationship, Focus Group Europe has deployed hundreds of successful projects and helped companies of all sizes realise the transformational benefits of ServiceNow. Their unique service offering accelerates the ServiceNow  journey by advising, transforming and optimising at every step of the way.

    * ServiceNow and Knowledge are registered trademarks of ServiceNow.

    Our Favourite Geneva Features

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    At Focus Group we are always excited about ServiceNow releases. In anticipation of the Helsinki release I decided to ask the team about their favourite ServiceNow Geneva feature. It was not an easy task to choose a favourite with all the possibilities that ServiceNow offers but the team was really grateful and provided some amazing answers.

    We hope you are already using the following functionality but if you are not, remember that our ServiceNow experts are ready to help you get started.

    What is your favourite ServiceNow Geneva feature?

    “My Favourite Geneva feature on our Express platform is the REST API . It’s a great addition to the platform which enables our customers to take the functionality that they already love even further by integrating bi-directionally with their 3rd party applications. Customers can get very creative with this and end up with some extremely sophisticated results, helping them to achieve their organisational goals”.

    Anthony – Account Executive

    “My favourite feature is how easy it is to create favourites in the application navigator. Its easy to configure my own icons and colours so I can quickly get to the data that matters to me”

    Nick -Sales Director

    “I’m really impressed with the Standard Change Catalogue as it creates an immediately usable approval mechanism for the creation of standard change templates. It leverages the service catalog to allow users to propose new change templates, with a readily built approval workflow and re-submission process. Add to this the fact that you can create Change template proposals directly from existing Change requests and you have a complete solution available as soon as you start working with ServiceNow. In fact, I have already rolled this out to organisations without the need for additional configuration work – other than setting the names of the approvers!”

    Arun – Delivery Manager

    “My favourite Geneva feature is Connect as it enables support analysts to quickly and easily provide real time assistance to end users, whilst providing the social experience users now expect due to the consumerisation of IT. The ability to search and share knowledge directly from the Connect window has transformed how Chat capabilities can be used within ServiceNow, and opened a wealth of opportunities to exploit this functionality”

    Adam – Technical Consultant

    “I LOVE the new Facilities Workbench ! The ability to log an incident/request against a specific space on a floor plan and being able to see the details of the space and assets assigned to it it’s just brilliant. No more of these types of incident descriptions “Where am I? Oh, I’m in the west wing of the blue building, third floor up, turn left out of the elevator pass the fish tank and it’s the desk next to the big plant pot, slightly obscured by the pillar, I’m the tall guy in the white shirt”

    Alan – Solutions Consultant

    “My favourite Geneva feature is the Deflect and Incidents with knowledge functionality. This feature allows users to check and use contextual knowledge articles to resolve their problem, without even logging an incident with the Service Desk. And what’s even better, I can’t even count all the times an article has helped people resolve their problems in this manner.”

    Chris– Senior Technical Consultant

    “My favourite Geneva feature is the Studio – instead of having to write and modify scripts in an external IDE on my machine, I can do it directly within ServiceNow. It’s also got this nifty script assistance feature which makes it even better!”

    Jayesh – Technical Consultant

    “My favourite feature of Geneva is Contextual Search. It allows those logging a ticket to automatically have access to relevant articles from the knowledge base. Allowing users to self-help before the service desk team gets involved is a great way to increase efficiency”

    Claire –Account Executive

    “My favourite Geneva feature is the improvements made in the Project Portfolio Management application suite. This is providing the functionally that my customers have been asking for and is driving broader adoption of the ServiceNow platform across the enterprise”

    Jeremy – Account Executive

    We hope you enjoy reading about our team’s favourite features. We would love to hear your opinion, leave a comment telling us about your favourite Geneva functionality or the features you hope to see in the upcoming Helsinki release.

    Current Trends in Service Management

    Service management evolved as leaders realised that the same principles? used in ITSM, could be applied to other parts of the organisation with similar service models. Effective service management will mirror, if not realise ITIL Best Practices along with Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology (COBIT) and solid PCI principles as it matures and blends with the organization and its business functions. In this article, we explore the current trends in Service Management and make predictions as to the future of the discipline.

     Enterprise-wide platforms

    Up until the creation of the internet and the concept of cloud technology, service management was defined by the organisation and its customers’ physical time space realities. Currently we are seeing as a trend the development of holistic service catalogs that address the entirety of the organization’s services.More and more organisations are moving towards services that can be automated and powerful platforms that is easily integrated with other tools/technologies. ServiceNow, for example, supports the success of agile Project Management, the utilization of Skunkworks and solid Knowledge Management tools.

    Cloud-first Approach

    The adoption of cloud-hosted technologies is one of the most prevalent trends in Service Management. More and more companies are moving into the Cloud, whether the cloud technology is created in house or adopted as a service from companies such as AWS (Amazon Web Services) or Azzure. This evolution has created a growing complexity and organisations are adopting technology that will allow them to orchestrate the workings of disparate cloud systems. To simplify service management most companies are opting for consolidating cloud systems and moving towards a more lean approach. This has also brought about a change in the manner in which managers identify incidents, problems, changes, service request and any manner of managing the evolution of Information Technology  and how organizations recognize their service management requirements.

    Beyond IT

    While IT is still considered the backbone of the service management function, more and more organisations are extending the framework, best practices and self-service model to other parts of the organisation. HR, Marketing and Facilities are some areas where the ITSM framework fits well and where companies are leveraging capabilities, processes and technology.

    Based on the current trends we can expect a bright future for Service Management, where leaders will differentiate themselves through best practices, continuous improvement and self-service as the norm in most areas of the organisation.

    8 Best Practices for Service Management

    In the broad sense of the word, service management refers to a customer-focused approach to delivering services. Traditionally, this approach has been applied to the IT department but recently it has expanded to any part of the organisation that has the same internal service delivery model.

    Effective service management can help you save time, decreased costs and increase employee satisfaction. Use the best practices outlined below to become a world-class customer-focused organisation:

     1. Choose the right technology

    Selecting the best technology to support service management is essential to success. When looking for a great technology partner, seek out a platform that is robust, easy to implement, scalable and user-friendly. Every year, Gartner publishes it Magic Quadrant report for best ITSSM providers and this is a great place to start when looking for new technology.

    2. Pick the right partners

    Once you have selected the right technology, it is important to choose the right partner for implementation. Do your research and select a company that is an expert in the technology, has proven itself by deploying a high number of successful implementations, and that have a positive reputation in the market place.

    3. Go beyond IT

    Expand your technology beyond ITSM to include marketing, facilities, HR, legal or any other department with a similar service-delivery model. This will further increase your ROI, simplify your processes and save you time and resources.

    4. Get rid of the middle man

    Having a person receive and handle requests via email or phone is not the most efficient way to provide excellent service. Automate your service desk by getting a system where the requestor is connected directly with the service provider.

     5. Eliminate email

    In the Service Management world, email is slowly becoming obsolete and being replaced by smart, automated systems. Think about how you can reduce or eliminate the use of email by utilising technology that can optimise your processes.

     6. Rely on analytics

    How many calls/emails do you get for password change requests every month? How many website content changes are being channelled through your marketing team? Many companies find it difficult to answer these and other similar questions because they don’t have a smart system in place to help them measure. Effective service management relies heavily on good analytics so when you are looking for the right software provider choose one that has a strong analytics engine and use it to make good business decisions.

     7. One source of truth

    Organisations often find themselves in a state where they have many disparate systems that don’t talk to each other, which leads to low quality data. Having all of your data in one place provides you with a single version of the truth which will in turn help you make the right decisions. ServiceNow is a particularly agile enterprise-wide platform that you can help you achieve data consolidation and accessibility.

    8. Increase adoption rates

    No matter how good your technology and strategy are, you will not get the value you expected if processes and systems and not generally accepted, used and adopted. Use strategies to increase adoption rates, such as keeping clear and constant communication and involving your people at every state of the process.

     Focus Group Europe is the dedicated European ServiceNow expert. At FGE, we have deployed hundreds of implementations across a wide range of organisations. We specialise in the transformation of companies with ServiceNow by advising, transforming and optimising service, business and IT operations management.