ServiceNow has recently released its bi-annual platform update and its current version, Madrid. At the annual ServiceNow conference, Knowledge19, we had a great time sharing our own success story about upgrading to Madrid in just one day. Yes, you heard it right, we at INRY upgraded to Madrid Out of the Box (OOTB) within a few hours with the least amount of customization possible.
INRY has had a long lasting relationship with ServiceNow, having been both a customer and implementation partner. And when the first path of ServiceNow Madrid was released on March 6, 2019, INRY was one of the first to adopt. We at INRY have a 360-degree relationship with ServiceNow as we run our business on the NOW platform.
We believe in giving the most seamless ServiceNow experience to our customers, we implement every single new enhancement and upgrade internally before recommending to our clients. This ensures that we make a note of any bugs or discrepancies beforehand and take care of them before asking our clients to adopt it.
Madrid features we loved
Powerful mobile interface & custom mobile apps
The Madrid release features a native UX, delivering powerful mobile experiences across the HR, IT, employee and customer workflows. It also includes powerful mobile apps for common workflows such as IT Service Management and Field Service Management. Additionally, with the new ServiceNow Mobile Studio, Madrid offers customers the ability to turn any digital workflow into a mobile app by using a drag-and-drop interface that doesn’t require any coding.
Powerful machine learning and AI capabilities have been a star feature in Madrid with the use of virtual agents such as chatbots, being implemented across the platform. Although chatbots were integrated earlier as a limited-access functionality in London, their capabilities have now been enhanced and applied to a wider part of the ServiceNow platform. These AI tools have shown great potential, especially by automating simple service processes.
Madrid offers new data security options, with Antivirus Scanning being the most popular. At a high level, these new security features are developed to protect ServiceNow instances against any malicious attacks or virus infections usually caused by file attachments to system records in the form of incidents, problems, and stories. This feature has been well received by all our clients.
Healthscan is a feature that tests the whole system automatically (no human intervention in the form of manual testing required) and lets us know which module is slow. For example, one of our clients, has more than 30 thousand incidents in their system. Because of the large volume, this functionality may become slow over time. Earlier, in order to optimize it, we had to manually scan the system to detect the bottleneck, but not anymore. Healthscan now scans the entire instance, tests the system and helps resolve the issue automatically.
Another client had to spend many hours optimizing their instances. They used to register user complaints with us and then INRY had to manually test each of the modules and help optimize the slow instances such as the loading of forms etc. But with Healthscan, process optimization has become a breeze.
Automated Test Framework (ATF)
In earlier versions of ServiceNow, functionality testing was done manually, but in order to optimize and streamline the process, ATF was adopted. Although ATF in ServiceNow had limited features until London, more features have been added in Madrid to make it more effective. ATF in Madrid provides test cases to check every single item across the platform, and run automated tests before every upgrade.
ATF considerably reduces the time and effort required for human testing allowing issues to be identified quickly. Since ATF test cases are reusable and can be executed again for future upgrades, their long-term value is guaranteed.
Instance security center dashboard
Another significant feature of Madrid is its new Instance Security Center dashboard, a centralized place to detect, protect, and respond to instance-based security events. It helps you view the security compliance score for your instance and monitor its overall security health.
This features enables attached documents to be opened inline without having to download the file to the system first.
Why you shouldn’t skip an upgrade
While taking some time after an upgrade is released is fine, skipping an upgrade is not recommended. If an upgrade is skipped, it will be difficult to trace the number of new or enhanced items. Also, we recommend that once the instance is upgraded, it should not be customized. This is to ensure that all the features of the new instance are utilized and no items are skipped. If customization involves skipping functionality or an item, then these will be skipped in the upcoming upgrade as well.
Tips for upgrading to Madrid
If you’re planning to upgrade to Madrid, here are a few key things to consider:
- Follow the ServiceNow official Madrid upgrade planning checklist.
- Leverage the Automated Test Framework to reduce manual efforts during testing.
- Don’t upgrade if you’re about to go-live for the first time or in the middle of a big development lifecycle
Start your upgrade journey with INRY
The INRY team is overjoyed with how efficient Madrid is and recommend that everyone upgrades their ServiceNow platform to unlock its full potential. Most of the new features including their elevated AI capabilities, Healthscan, and their Instance security dashboard, can add tremendous value to your organization. One way to ensure that your ServiceNow upgrade is easy and without any unforeseen hassles, is by getting assistance from an experienced ServiceNow partner like INRY. We ensure that each new feature in an upgrade is fully tested and vetted by us, therefore helping you avoid some of the pitfalls that the transition from one version to another might involve.
Our ServiceNow consultants help you get a quick risk assessment of upgrade, plan your upgrade strategy and provide a fixed fee estimate for an upgrade.