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Week 5 highlights from Knowledge 2020

Week 4 highlights from Knowledge 2020

One major highlight of Week 5 at Knowledge 2020 was CEO Bill McDermott’s “Dream” keynote presentation, in which he was joined by chief product officer CJ Desai and Amy Lokey, head of design and UX. 

McDermott led off by explaining how a “workflow revolution” is underway in global business. Powered increasingly by machine learning and artificial intelligence, digital workflows are dramatically improving work experiences for employees and customers, McDermott said. 

Desai and Lokey showed in different demos how these workflows function on the Now Platform—both in the front-end UX of employee apps and in back-end functions like equipment logistics and threat detection. You can watch the full session here or read a more detailed keynote recap.


Several IT Workflow sessions in Week 5 also illustrated how the Now Platform streamlines IT operations at some of the world’s largest enterprises  wrangling with  massive IT complexity. Here’s a look at three companies that are seeing significant return on investment  after adopting ServiceNow. 


Dusan Vignjevic

Finance of America: A team approach to digitizing IT

At Finance of America (FOA), processing everything from community grants to loan applications has always required a tight partnership with IT. But a few years ago, managers began to notice their system struggle to  handle increasing complexity. One common result was that overflow requests and incident tickets had to be resolved by  email.

As Meghan Sander, a technical business analyst at FOA, explained in her IT Workflows session at Knowledge 2020, “You never knew what was happening with your ticket. There was no way to track it, there was no way to get an update on it, and you weren’t really sure when it was done.”  The end result: “Poor communication and a poor experience.”

Enter the Now Platform, paired with new, Agile-based teams and methodology. A small group at FOA, “Team Awesome,” as Sander called it, built new digital workflows to replace clunky legacy processes. They also automated onboarding functions, built out a properly organized digital service catalog, automated Service Level Agreements (SLAs), and shaved Help Desk wait times down to two minutes or less. 

The biggest key to success? “I firmly believe you have to have the right team,” said Sander. “Having the team that I have now, they’re like my second family. Having that and needing to rely on each other makes a big difference.”

Watch the full session: Journey to success: The Finance of America experience


7-Eleven: Fast food, faster integration 

By any measure, 7-Eleven, with 66,000 stores in 17 countries serving 1.1 million cups of coffee and 38 million gallons of fountain drinks per day, is a massive operation.. 

With that kind of scale, of course, come equally massive IT demands—which at one point required 16 different service desks, said Libby Kenney, a 7-Eleven service management product manager, in her Knowledge 2020 session. IT managers were juggling too many points of contact, working in multiple systems, and relying on email and spreadsheets for case management—increasing costs for franchisees.  In January alone, the company fielded over 600,000 cases.

But after adopting ServiceNow, which allowed 7-Eleven to manage virtually everything through a single platform, the company merged all service desks and completed 32 internal and external integrations in less than a year. Part of that effort included a new “7Help” support portal, accessible—just like 7-Eleven stores—24/7 and from any device.

“We wanted to change our operating model to having a single point of contact,” Kenney said. “One phone number, one portal, to see any type of case.”  The move to ServiceNow allowed 7-Eleven to retire eight internal IT applications, saving $2.5 million a year in fees, and relieve the considerable pressure on its IT staff. As Kenney explained, “Seventy percent of cases are now self-handled.”

Watch the full session: 7-Eleven’s journey to be customer obsessed



Walmart:  Better, faster event and incident management

In another IT Workflows session, Susan Arnold, a Walmart systems engineer, described how the Now Platform has streamlined the retail giant’s daily ops. Among other achievements, it has decreased  the number of incidents generated from events and redesigned the intake process for managing events and alerts.

Managing these, of course, is a huge function of modern IT. Event management systems today can turn massive amounts of raw data from myriad events—a failed router port, for instance—into a manageable number of actionable incidents.

By automating processes, Arnold said, the team was able to live up to an internal company philosophy: “Save money, live better.” Being able to recognize and understand the challenges “allowed us to design a new intake for event management,” she added. Automation has also helped the team save time by eliminating  repetitive events and too many alert-rule creations.

Arnold cited three best practices that can help other IT organizations. First is to “understand the ask,” she said. When working with app teams, “you need to provide them with as much detail as possible and use documentation that will help guide them.”

Second, standardize your process. Arnold said her team requires five mandatory fields: source, node, source instance, severity, and the support group.  Severity levels can then guide proper alert management. Third, and most important, is leveraging automation. This can reduce costs, lead to faster deployments, and reduce adverse impacts on the business. 

Watch the full session: Event and alert management automation with Walmart


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