Sharron Dawes knows the San Diego Tech Lounge well. Sharron, who was previously a neuropsychological researcher at UC San Diego, is ServiceNow’s only dedicated statistician on the Core Platform/Machine Learning team.
“My needs from the Tech Lounge and Help Desk have been a little unusual,” she says.
Sharron recently needed to upgrade her standard-issue laptop. She works on HealthScan, software that assesses the health of ServiceNow cloud instances to spot performance issues. A typical analysis might involve 140,000 rows of data and more than 3,000 variables. To handle that level of data crunching, in her first months on the job, Sharron was working with three laptops: two for analyses and one for email.
“It was taking me 10 hours to do an analysis that should have taken six minutes,” says Sharron. “We had to find a faster, more efficient way.”
Enter the Tech Lounge, where Sharron worked with techs to find a better computer. The technicians researched the options and ordered her a Lenovo P52 gaming laptop.
“The promptness of replies, willingness to go above and beyond, professionalism, and attitudes were just fantastic,” says Sharon of her friends at the Tech Lounge. “They made it a pleasure to interact with them.”
The biggest payoff: she can run analyses in minutes, not hours.
Automating the routine
The role of the Tech Lounge will continue to evolve, says Mirza, as more automation comes into play. For example, when VPN connectivity issues became a common issue—draining productivity and creating frustration—IT got busy looking at how it could proactively fix this issue, a hugely complicated process involving multiple vendors.
Using machine learning and AI, the AIOps team designed a workflow that automatically identifies VPN issues as they occur, creates a ticket, and notifies a technician. Technicians, like Darpan, then reach out to the affected employee via instant message to resolve the issue. If multiple tickets about an issue like VPN begin popping, they are automatically combined into a parent incident and the appropriate teams are notified.
Automation is even changing how employees get new applications. Instead of requiring a technician to log in as an administrator, employees can install the software with a simple challenge code from the technician, minimizing time spent in the Lounge downloading software.
“We are always finding new ways to improve how and where employees work,” says Mirza. “That translates to happier employees and technicians, who can then focus on other things, like educating employees new technologies like the Now mobile app and the desktop chatbot.”