Our Lessons From ServiceNow New York and Expectations For Orlando

Introduction

ServiceNow has recently released its bi-annual platform update and its current version, New York. At the ServiceNow annual user conference Knowledge19, we had a great time sharing our own success story of upgrading to Madrid in just one day. Continuing the tradition, we were able to upgrade to Dev, Test and Production to New York within a day.

Yes, you heard it right! We upgraded to New York Out of the Box (OOTB) within a few hours of the early adopter program

INRY has had a longstanding relationship with ServiceNow as both a customer and implementation partner. ServiceNow’s New York version will be released in September 2019; however, as a ServiceNow Elite Partner, INRY was one of the early adopters. We pride ourselves on having a 360-degree relationship with ServiceNow as we run our business on the NOW platform.

We upgrade our production instance as a part of the early adopter program – typically about a month before General Availability. This gives us a month of usage in production so that we get familiar with the platform and can provide informed recommendations to our clients when they ask about upgrades. We use the entire platform so can see some of the obvious changes. At this time, we are heavy users of PPM and platform capabilities like knowledge, SSO, etc. We use CSM tailored for professional services, have very light usage of ITSM. We use policy and compliance for our SOC2 reporting but that typically does not get such high utilization. We are constantly (pleasantly) surprised by some interesting usage. We did not know we were such heavy Visual Task Board users till this upgrade! (Join our Webinar for some really geeky observations)

New York Features We Loved

Dynamic Translations

The New York release features a seamless localization experience, we can use translation service providers and enable the translation of dynamically generated text, such as user-entered text on various forms. ServiceNow IntegrationHub offers customers the ability to integrate with any translation service provider of your choice to translate the dynamically generated text in the application.

Mobile Onboarding

The ServiceNow Mobile Onboarding app is a new mobile application in the New York release. This application helps new hires complete onboarding tasks, ask questions, and view relevant content. The mobile onboarding app delivers an end-to-end new hire experience that guides employees through what they need to do in one place. Hiring managers can see the progress of their new hires, and new hires have access to key contacts for any questions. The application can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

Now Mobile

The ServiceNow Now Mobile app is a new mobile application for the New York release. This application enables employees to submit incidents and requests, manage tasks, and access company resources from anywhere using the Now Mobile app.

An employee can use the Now Mobile app to achieve day to day activities like submitting and viewing requests and issues, edit their profile, view a personalized homepage, view and complete tasks, upload images and attachments to ServiceNow records, search people, knowledge articles, and catalog items, take surveys, and more.

Instance Data Replication

An interesting feature that has been introduced in New York version is Instance Data Replication (IDR). This automatically copies data updates made on one instance (called the producer) to one or more other instances (called consumers). Data from a producer instance can be replicated into tables of the same name on consumer instances or into entirely different tables. The data can be replicated as is or you can modify the data during replication. IDR does not replicate metadata or many user tables, so do not use it to clone instances. Users can also replicate updates made directly on consumer instances back to the producer instance.

Invest Funding

Another significant feature of New York is Investment Funding. This enables users to plan and manage investments by allocating funds to funding entities such as business units, products, teams, and the like. This helps in prioritizing the investments based on business needs and the strategic objectives of your organization. The organization can use the Investment Funding features to create investments for funding entities, allocate funds to an investment to meet a business requirement or strategic objective and request funds from one or more funding sources to achieve business goals.

Guided Application Creator

This feature has been introduced in New York version and it enables a developer to set up an application and use it in right way. Guided Application Creator is the new way to set up applications on the Now platform. After a developer sets up application in Guided Application Creator, they can configure system notifications, form layouts, UI policy, and reports in Studio and they can define business logic, process automation, and integrations for the application that you set up in Guided Application Creator.

Expectations from the Orlando Release

The next platform version, Orlando is set to be released next year in March. While New York has ServiceNow customers at INRY excited with all it has to offer, everyone is also looking forward to what Orlando will bring to the table. ServiceNow has made some key announcements at Knowledge19 regarding the features that Orlando is expected to include.

Key Features of Orlando to Look Forward To

Following up on all that New York currently offers, Orlando is slated to involve enhancements to most of the current functionalities while offering a host of other new features, such as:

  • New and easily customizable mobile applications. This will advance ServiceNow from a predominantly desktop environment to a mobile-first approach.
  • The improved software framework will have a provision to include our own algorithms and will have an emphasis on a low or no-code environment.
  • Alert intelligence capabilities will continue to grow and will include visual playbooks as well as chatbot implementation across a wider range of functionalities. There will also be integration with Siri and Google Assistant.
  • A host of new features to the NOW framework focused on bringing IT and HR together are expected. A new mobile on-boarding app is expected to improve the overall employee experience.
  • The Automated Test Framework will be more advanced and eliminate certain limitations such as custom widget testing on the portal that is present currently.

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 a functionality or an item, then these will be skipped in the upcoming upgrade as well.

Tips for Upgrading to New York

If you’re planning to upgrade to New York, here are a few key things to consider:

  • All the changes and tweaks should be implemented in the development instance and tested. Before we upgrade, we need to clone the development instance with production.
  • Follow the ServiceNow official New York 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 excited about how efficient New York is and recommend that everyone upgrades their ServiceNow platform to unlock its full potential. Most of the new features including their elevated AI capabilities, Health Scan, and their instance security dashboard, can add tremendous value to your organization.

One way to ensure that your ServiceNow upgrade is easy 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 consultants help you get a quick risk assessment of upgrade, plan your upgrade strategy and provide a fixed fee estimate for an upgrade.