ServiceNow gets a lot more specific with its workflows

Platform update includes environmental, social, and governance (ESG) management -- a topic that is fast gaining corporate traction.
Written by Chris Preimesberger, Contributor

ServiceNow, which provides configurable workflow software for various functions within an organization, today launched a new version of its main platform that gets much more granular than it has ever been -- even as detailed as guiding a procurement officer through requests for indirect employee purchases.

ServiceNow has a longstanding reputation for software that serves as a blueprint for operations managers, marketing and sales professionals, accountants, human-resource specialists, and other mainstream corporate functions on a routine basis. But the operations universe continues to branch out internally -- and externally -- with suppliers, contractors, company partners, and potential customers. Thus new and augmented workflows are being required on a frequent basis.

In its Now Platform Tokyo release, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company has added several new workflow modules, including options for supplier lifecycle management, enterprise asset management, and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) management -- a topic that is gaining more and more corporate traction as time goes on.

"For example, we've streamlined the procurement function for you and your critical suppliers," Chief Operating Officer C.J. Desai told ZDNET. "While we cannot fix supply-chain issues, Supplier Lifecycle Management can help you with automation. Your suppliers will be able to go to our portal and request something, check on the status, and create a streamlined experience for how they deal with your company. The new efficiencies can be huge."

According to Desai, the Tokyo edition provides auditable, investor-grade sustainability data in the following new modules:

  • Enterprise Asset Management (EAM), which automates the full lifecycle of physical business assets from planning to retirement for industries such as healthcare, financial services, retail, manufacturing and public sector.
  • Supplier Lifecycle Management (SLM), which enables organizations to transform traditionally high-effort supplier engagements that live in email and spreadsheets into modern, digital experiences, allowing teams to reduce operating costs.
  • Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) management has been enhanced to enable companies to establish and document ESG goals and KPIs, track performance, collect and validate audit-ready data, and create disclosures that align with major ESG reporting frameworks. ServiceNow is collaborating with KPMG, Deloitte, DxC, Emissionsbox, Fujitsu, LTI, Mindtree, NTT, and RSM to extend this feature's reach and capabilities into the market.

Other new features in the Tokyo edition include: 

  • Manager Hub addresses managers' greatest pain points, such as burnout and intensifying pressure to keep employees happy and engaged across dispersed teams. This provides a destination for managers to establish and review employee journeys and respond to requests while delivering personalized resources and training to help managers grow as leaders.
  • Admin Center -- part of ServiceNow Impact -- allows system administrators to discover, install, and configure ServiceNow software through a self-service portal. The new Adoption Blueprint guides admins through application recommendations based on instance maturity, increased visibility into application entitlements, and simpler application installation and configuration-all from within their in-instance application.
  • Issue Auto Resolution for Human Resources expands the capabilities of Issue Auto Resolution for IT service management to HR teams. The solution applies natural language understanding (NLU) to analyze requests and deliver self-service content that meets employees where they are through channels such as Microsoft Teams, SMS, and email. It also identifies urgent HR cases and routes them directly to an employee care representative when a higher level of support is needed.

ServiceNow competes in the same market as Salesforce, IBM, Zendesk, Freshworks, SolarWinds, and Jira.

Any feature can be selected from a menu

How does incorporating the new release impact current ServiceNow customers?

"So at the platform level, they upgrade to the new database schema, and then the additional features -- support for which is laid out for them," Desai said. "Then they can turn on whatever product they were using -- it automatically comes with new features enabled. The customer then has a choice to turn on any other functionality they want."

Each function is priced separately in the ServiceNow business model. Early users of the Tokyo platform include NTT DATA Corp., the City of Copenhagen, UC Irvine, and King's Hawaiian bakeries. The software is available starting today.

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