Students often have fresh ideas, but lack the real-world experience desired by large companies, as well as access to the tools needed to solve their challenges. ServiceNow teamed up with the Technical University of Munich (TUM) to to close this gap with the support of two well-respected companies, BMW Group and Allianz. Driven by ServiceNow’s NextGen team, and supported by ServiceNow in Germany, TUM students were trained to build solutions on the Now Platform that met the needs of BMW and Allianz.
This type of program accelerates student transition from school to work by giving them real-world experience both inside and outside the classroom. These programs also allow ServiceNow partners and customers to access fresh ideas from the workforce of tomorrow. "The projects from our NextGen team give young people the opportunity to shape the work environment of tomorrow,” said Andreas Weber, senior director of solution consulting at ServiceNow.
Step by step
In the first phase of the program, students were exposed to the Now Platform. Their curriculum combined virtual courses and self-guided content, designed by ServiceNow experts. . Students had the opportunity to earn two certifications that qualify them to work in the ServiceNow ecosystem after completing the program.
In the second phase, the students were split into two teams, one working with BMW Group and the other with Allianz. Both partners provided opportunities for the students to rethink internal processes while dealing with the requirements of a large company. “A real-life scenario was presented to the student teams to make the exercise more tangible,”
“ServiceNow has become a central platform for our worldwide organization and serves thousands of users by enabling globally standardized processes for incident, problem and change management, as well as for ordering, billing and reporting of services,” said Hendrik Engler, manager for ServiceNow development and operations at Allianz Technology SE. “In addition to these self-service capabilities that we already provide to our customers, we need to maintain a strong management and governance model around the platform in order to comply with security standards and best practices.”
Students had the chance to improve the experience of thousands of Allianz employees and customers worldwide. This opportunity was not lost on the students. One member of Team Allianz stated: “It was great to be involved in a project that reduces the complexity of daily work and enables people to work more efficiently and comfortably."
The final step for the students was to present their solutions to BMW Group and Allianz. Both customers were impressed with the students’ robust solutions, as well as each team’s commitment to the project. “[The students’ projects] showed their strong focus on design thinking and conceptual work,” Engler said. They understood the needs and requirements of the customers well and challenged the process itself to define a clear goal.”
“It was great to see how much time the students invested in both the project and their final presentations,” said Weber of ServiceNow. “The number of questions our two client representatives asked after each presentation was a clear indicator of how impressed they were with the teams' work. I think the probability that both solutions will be used is very high.”"
The pandemic has been a difficult period for TUM students, according to Dr. Helmut Krcmar, professor of business informatics at the university. "Our goal for the winter semester 2019/20 - which was certainly a challenging semester for many of our students - was to offer innovative virtual formats to compensate for the loss of interaction on campus due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” said. Dr. Helmut Krcmar, professor of business informatics at TUM. “We were very pleased to be working with ServiceNow to offer a fully digital course on enterprise software applications for workflow management. I am looking forward to expanding the collaboration further.”"
Faez Ahmed, a ServiceNow senior director who leads the NextGen program, added: "I would like to thank everyone who worked tirelessly to make this project a reality, including those at TUM under the wonderful leadership of Professor Dr. Krcmar and his highly impressive students, our German colleagues under the fantastic leadership of Andreas Weber, and our own NextGen team of Nick Winham and John Perks.”
ServiceNow and TUM launched another work/study program in November 2020. A third program is scheduled to launch in February 2021.
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