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Knowledge 2019: Day 2 Recap

Dave Wright Keynote

On Day 1 of Knowledge 2019, the main keynote presentations showed how digital workflows are shaping the future of work. On Day 2, keynote presenters dug deeper into that core idea to explain how the Now Platform can empower IT organizations and create better employee experiences—an increasingly important differentiator for companies worldwide.

Revitalizing IT
Kicking off the IT Workflow keynote, ServiceNow chief innovation officer Dave Wright presented a vision of simpler, more agile, mobile-driven work experiences for IT employees.

Achieving that vision, Wright said, requires killing off the long-standing era of what he called “the IT ticket spin cycle,” where IT teams get bogged down in endless cycles of incident management using entangled, inefficient and often manual workflows.

“The really insane thing is, we built these systems ourselves,” said Wright. “We do the same thing again and again, even though we know how to fix it.”

Wright described the strategy companies can use break the cycle using ServiceNow. “We’re going to see a convergence where we use virtual agents, automation and virtualization to get to the point where there are no Level 1 tickets,” said Wright.

To illustrate how companies are tapping the Now Platform to spark this convergence, Wright introduced Lyne Germain, VP of IT integration at Shell, to explain how the global oil company embraced digitization to streamline IT processes for a better work experience for its 81,000 global employees.


“Change can be really difficult in a company Shell’s size but we’re committed to IT digitalization and ServiceNow is helping us achieve it,” said Germain.

Pablo Stern, SVP IT Workflow Products for ServiceNow, unpacked the key challenges that create a state of IT friction for too many organizations: manual processes; poor collaboration and lack of visibility due to siloed teams; and workflows that are not aligned with business goals.

“Some customers tell us it takes 23 days on average to approve a deployment,” Stern said. “We can solve that. We can reduce friction to accelerate change. We can improve collaboration through shared insights. We can align work to business for a new kind of change management.”


Pablo Stern Keynote

New IT Business Management (ITBM) tools in the upcoming New York release of the Now Platform will smooth the path for those changes, explained Ben Yukich, Principal Solution Architect for ServiceNow.

Within the Operator Workspace module—unveiled by C.J. Desai in yesterday’s keynote—a single dashboard will display and prioritize all alerts. Using Operator Workspace, IT pros will have access to Alert Intelligence, which leverages AI insights to identify root causes faster, and Visual Playbooks that recommend prescriptive action to prevent other systems from being compromised.

Operator Workspace also features a No Code Security Playbook that allows cybersecurity processes to be automated without writing a single line of code.

Reinventing employee experience
Breaking old cycles to improve workflows was also the main theme of the Employee Experience keynote, led by Blake McConnell, SVP Employee Workflow Products for ServiceNow.

Employees have endured clunky and inefficient HR processes for years, McConnell said.  It’s a problem made more pressing by the changing expectations of employees.

“Gen Z, Millennials, Baby Boomers—today they all expect a consumer-level experience at work like never before,” McConnell said.

To win and retain top talent, management must ensure a great employee experience, said McConnell. The biggest roadblock? “Management isn’t doing the work,” said McConnell said. “IT and HR are doing the work, but they’re not aligned.”

To create that alignment, ServiceNow’s Employee Service Center is already helping to bridge the gap between HR and IT to create smoother onboarding for new hires. Customers from financial giant HSBC and technology services company Asurion took the stage to explain how they executed on that strategy.

New capabilities in the New York release promise to consumerize the employee experience even more, , McConnell added. He highlighted mobile onboarding and Virtual Agent integrations powered by natural language understanding.

Sean McCann, CIO of Corporate Functions at HSBC, explained how ServiceNow helped the global bank undertake a massive HR transformation for its 235,000 full-time employees.

“We hadn’t customized our HR systems in 18 years,” McCann said. “It was a difficult place to start from. But after a two-year process and with assistance from ServiceNow, we changed the way our people worked in 66 countries overnight.”

The results have been striking: Today 88% of HRBC workers say they are highly satisfied or satisfied with their employee experience. A full 50% of HR processes are now self-service.

Kelly Rosalia, Senior HR Program Manager at Asurion, and Brad Wirths, Asurion’s Senior Director of Service Management, tapped the Now Platform’s Employee Service Center to create an employee onboarding experience that is “remarkably human, delightfully simple and actually helpful.”

Last year, Rosalia and Wirths attended Knowledge 2018 to learn about Employee Service Center. One year later, they returned to describe how the module had transformed their onboarding experience.  “The experience is more human now,” Rosalia said. “It’s much easier and actually fun.”

Employee Service Center allowed Asurion to automate manual processes and unify diverse systems across siloed departments using one simple dashboard. Analytics and employee feedback on the portal ensure that the company can continuously improve its HR services.

“Once we turned on ServiceNow, we could see areas we needed to improve—even areas where we didn’t know we needed improvement,” said Wirth.



A few other highlights from the Day 2 sessions at Knowledge 2019:

Minneapolis goes Digital
City officials described how a ServiceNow implementation launched in 2015 has improved workflows within and between city departments, while allowing citizens to access city services via self-service.

Highlights included making 311 information more accessible to Minneapolis residents, improving the ability of law enforcement to track and audit technology like body cams, and making it easier for public works officials to track staff, who can now complete many tasks in the field that previously could only be done in the office.  

Sabre flies high
Airline services giant Sabre is a high-volume service hub for any company that runs applications related to airline reservations. In a breakout session, one Sabre manager described successful tactics for creating a DevOps pipeline in the cloud using ServiceNow.

Sabre has built workflows for developing, verifying and deploying new applications. In addition to being fast and secure, these workflows help Dev and Ops professionals understand each other’s processes.  

Allianz streamlines compliance
Munich-based financial holding company Allianz provides financial services within an environment of strict compliance requirements. In a breakout session, Allianz executives described a successful implementation of ServiceNow’s Governance, Risk and Compliance application.

The result: Allianz didn’t just  meet the informational needs of internal stakeholders. They were also able to convert risk and security into an asset that has helped grow their business. 



  • Implementing agile IT service management on a cutting-edge platform
    10-16-2019 ServiceNow customer, Danske Bank, adopted a strategic approach in their service management team. As the largest bank in Denmark and a major retail bank in the Nordics region, they serve 3.5 million retail customers. They have seen tangible evidence of the positive impact of digital workflows and the seamless experiences.
  • Always Be Closing finance
    Service Delivery and Management
    Delivering great service to employees is the first step to improving employee experience
    10-14-2019 The primary audience for HR technology has shifted. It’s no longer HR. They are secondary. Employees are now the primary audience. And while the latest cloud HCM systems can help transform an organization’s HR operations, if you want to improve the employee experience, taking an employee-focused approach to service delivery is the best place to start.
  • Strategy
    Lessons from a Top CIO
    10-11-2019 How does a seasoned CIO lead a digital transformation? She makes friends. Great ideas aren’t enough for a CIO to succeed in leading a digital transformation, says Teri Takai, the former CIO of the U.S. Department of Defense, the states of California and Michigan, as well as Meridian Health Plan. In her 40+ year career, she has had to build consensus, prioritize projects that would advance the organization’s overall goals, communicate often, and practice a lot of patience. Read more tips from Takai on, as well as other CIOs, or watch the embedded video.
  • At the Tech Lounge, the human touch makes all the difference
    10-11-2019 Director of IT Service Management Mirza Baig and his IT team created the walkup Tech Lounge- a space where employees get personalized attention on complex tech issues. As ServiceNow works on automating many common requests and providing easy to find, self-service options, the IT Support technicians have more time to focus on the tough cases.

Trends & Research

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