ServiceNow brings integrated capabilities to Microsoft Teams

By embedding workflows directly into the popular collaboration tool, ServiceNow is trying to engage with employees within the context of their daily work.

ServiceNow on Thursday announced the general availability of workflows embedded directly within Microsoft Teams. The integrated capabilities -- now available to any customers using the Paris release or later -- allow HR and IT teams using ServiceNow to collaborate and to resolve issues directly in Teams. 

The integrations fit in with ServiceNow's ongoing evolution from a company that enables IT service management to one that enables enterprise workflows. Part of that, said Matt Schvimmer, SVP and GM of ServiceNow's ITSM business, is figuring out "how do we engage with employees within the context of their daily work."

While certain parts of Microsoft's portfolio overlap with ServiceNow's offerings, "they really own employee collaboration," Schvimmer told ZDNet. "We want to own the unit of work, how that work flows, how it's managed... Our employee workflow, their employee collaboration -- that's a solid  combination."

The newly-integrated capabilities include Chat-to-Call, allowing agents to invite an employee to a Teams call directly from a live chat. It enables video calling and screen sharing, so agents can resolve problems quickly. 

Customers can also take advantage of Major Incident Management, so that teams can quickly come together to address organization-wide problems. This capability includes Meeting Extensions, allowing agents to share key information from the Now Platform directly into a Teams meeting. 

The first embedded workflows were rolled out in beta in September, after ServiceNow and Microsoft jointly designed the integrated work experience.  

As organizations last year responded to the pandemic with remote, dispersed teams, it underscored the importance of "meeting employees where they are," Schvimmer said. As evidence of that, ServiceNow says virtual agent deployments increased 300 percent in 2020, while self-service usage by employees grew 1500 percent.

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