Join us to hear how peers will be discovering ServiceNow's newest release, Rome. Additionally, we will be discussing Upgrade Strategies, roadmaps, challenges, and future trends for 2022 and beyond.
BWG Connect & Acorio invite you to an interactive discussion for ServiceNow peers.
As always, there will be no sales pitches and there is no cost to join.
Sr. Principal of Advisory at Acorio
John Chambers is the Senior Principal of Advisory at Acorio, the largest pure-play ServiceNow Consultancy in the world. John is the leading advisory consultant across the entire technology business management value chain. John is also an Adjunct Professor at Southern New Hampshire University and the Founder, Principal Executive Consultant, and Practice Head of JCC Executive Partners.
Platform Architect at Acorio
Connor McWilliams is a Platform Architect at Acorio. Connor received a BBA in Business/Economics from Muhlenberg College. Before joining the team at Acorio, he was a Manager of Solution Consulting at Pathways Consulting Group and a ServiceNow Administrator and UAT Release Manager for SEI.
Director of Technology Initiatives at Acorio
Carleen Carter is the Director of Technology Initiatives at Acorio. Carleen built Acorio's IT Asset Management Practice from the ground up, developing enablement content, project standards, and the sales pipeline. She also provides the ServiceNow ITAM Product Team feedback about what features customers use and new functionality they are looking to see in future releases.
COO at BWG Strategy LLC
BWG Strategy is a research platform that provides market intelligence through Event Services, Business Development initiatives, and Market Research services. BWG hosts over 1,800 interactive executive strategy sessions (conference calls and in-person forums) annually that allow senior industry professionals across all sectors to debate fundamental business topics with peers, build brand awareness, gather market intelligence, network with customers/suppliers/partners, and pursue business development opportunities.
ServiceNow recently released their newest update, Rome, along with upgraded strategies for success. What does this mean for your company?
The team at Acorio dedicates themselves to helping your team integrate ServiceNow into your business and navigate the new updates. Upgrades include improvements to the app engine studio, reporting and data functions, and a new employee center. ServiceNow’s updates are about bringing together all the humans behind the computers, to see their part in keeping the company secure and operationally sound.
In this virtual event, Greg Irwin joins John Chambers, Connor McWilliams, and Carleen Carter from Acorio to discuss ServiceNow’s latest updates. They talk about the new functions, how clients have benefited from using ServiceNow, and why ServiceNow is worth the price. Stay tuned.
Greg Irwin 0:18
Great to see everybody. My name is Greg, I've had the chance to meet some of you before, but I know many of you are joining for the first time. This is an interactive forum. We've been hosting these going on eight years. And we're in a really nice series with a Acorio talking about all things ServiceNow. So I'm thrilled to be here with Carleen Carter, John Chambers and Connor McWilliams at Acorio. There were these are going to be like the anchors, if you want to think of them like that. We're going to do q&a, the way in which comments answer questions, but really what makes us even more fun is going around and doing some interviewing and hearing what's happening at organizations across the country. So I'm going to keep keep hitting on that. Let's do some intros. Carleen, why don't you start us off? One, where are you Where, where are you based? And tell us what is Acorio?
Carleen Carter 1:17
Well, I grew up in San Diego. And that's actually how I got involved in ServiceNow, because that was where they were founded. I am currently now just outside of Fort Worth, Texas. So it is not yet fall for me. But I am patiently waiting, I really would like for it to cool down a little bit. So before I go into my intro, I will tell you a little bit about Acorio, Acorio is the largest exclusive focus consultancy in the ServiceNow ecosystem. And a global leader in product line workflows and total certifications. We've got tons and tons of certifications and we and we keep them up to date. And we were named one as one of the best us consultancies by SPI. If you really want to get a notice then there's one simple string that brings us all together. We're very passionate about our clients and and I actually had a customer say to me yesterday, we're judging this call by the faces that Carleen takes, because I'm also very passionate, and I wear my heart. I don't just wear it on my sleeve, I wear it on my face. I'm so passionate about our clients, the work that they're doing. And we consider it our mission to empower them. And to drive real outcomes through their ServiceNow journey, and entertain them with apparently interesting faces, too. So I'm Carleen Carter. As Craig said, I am a certified master architect at a Acorio. I have been working with the platform for about 12 years, actually over 12 years now. So a long, long term on the platform. And I'm just I'm just very excited to be here today. Awesome.
Greg Irwin 2:47
Awesome, awesome. Coleen, I have one clarification on a Acorio. When I talked to partners, I always think it's important to understand, are you primarily strategy and design, implementation or day to manage support, or maybe you really, truly cross all three, for ServiceNow?
Carleen Carter 3:07
Actually, so we are all three, I would say, very early on in the career, the Acorio stands, we might have been implementation-focused. But I mean, that was probably just the first couple years there. We noticed very early on that, helping our customers with strategy, and making sure that everything that we build fits in with their organization. And also it's going to last the test of time is very important to us. But we also have managed services for day to support so after you go live with the project, you can also work with our Acorio managed services or Acorio virtual admins to be able to facilitate ongoing growth and continuous improvement.
Greg Irwin 3:49
All right, Carleen, thank you very much. Let's give some quick intros here from John and Connor. John. John, you're up. Give a quick intro place
John Chambers 3:57
doing Sure thing. Thanks, Greg. John Chambers. As we mentioned earlier, I'm down in the Sarasota area. I am actually fairly new to Acorio in the last three or four months, but not new to advisory. I'm a senior principal in the advisory service, and currently provided the perfect segue because as we run the gamut end to end on our services, we front-loaded with the strategic thinking that she talked about, and that is where is the client? Where is the company going? And specifically, how is the implementation and technology going to advance that that's oftentimes my specific focus. And it's really about ensuring not just the workflows, but everything from the underground transactions all the way up to the company mission is being fulfilled is one thing in it. I grew up an engineer too, and we always had sort of AI technology had on oftentimes would forget in those days that were driving technology for a larger purpose. So it's really terrific to be here. I'm excited about the conversation. Any questions, please feel free?
Greg Irwin 5:03
I've got it. John, I've got one question. Something that's not on your resume. Tell us one thing about yourself that isn't related to ServiceNow or a Acorio. But something that, that you like to do when when we're not talking about these things?
John Chambers 5:20
Yeah, well, it's probably stays within the subject matter. I happen to be an adjunct professor at Southern New Hampshire University as well, my PhD in international business. So I enjoy teaching best part of the teaching was being able to travel to Southeast Asia and, and also go to the Far East, which I had never done before.
Greg Irwin 5:39
Cool. John, great to meet you. And thanks so much. Alright, Connor, let's get you in. Give it to the group.
Connor McWilliams 5:46
Yeah, sure. Hi, everyone, Connor McWilliams, I am a platform architect for the Acorio. And I'm Anna, outside of Philadelphia, and I've been working on the ServiceNow platform. for over seven years, I actually started on the client side as a customer ServiceNow. So I've been sitting in customer shoes before and completely relate to the situations that they experience on a daily basis, and decided to move over to the consulting side A few years after that. And basically, I work with customers during the sales process to help architect the solutions, you know, and solve the problems that they're, you know, looking to solve within ServiceNow platform. Super
Greg Irwin 6:25
Connor, tell us about one customer don't give us their name, Unless Unless it's a public use case. One thing one customer is trying to do with their ServiceNow environment. Yeah, it's
Connor McWilliams 6:36
good question. recent example, we've been working with a really fast-growing pharmaceutical manufacturer, that really needed to transform their process and technology, before they got too big to the point where it was too hard to go back. And they really needed to consolidate, you know, all different areas of their business from ITSM, Tom security, GRC, legal department, many different transformational journeys that they're on. And it's just because of their success in the growth of their business, that they need to use a platform like ServiceNow to help expand, and also consolidate some of the functionality, you know, for streamlining their processes and technology in the future. And they've recently actually upgraded to Rome, to take advantage of the new employee Center, which is kind of something I'm passionate about for the more of the enterprise looking feel to the employee center. So with all these different departments, they could consolidate into one user experience. And it's just very unified and easy to use from an employee's perspective.
Greg Irwin 7:47
Thank you very much. Alright, folks, look, I'm good at asking questions. But I want to make sure that everyone follows my lead. And we take advantage of the group that we've got here on our on our Hollywood Squares. So chat window is amazing. As we're talking one on one, people can kind of love modern things from the you know, from the from the bleachers. So let's do it. in the chat window, do me a favor on, you know, get your keyboards ready here and share with us one pain point, one annoyance, or one initiative that you're thinking about want to hear about from others. So basically, one aspect of ServiceNow that you want to hear us talk about that way, I can read it, and I can be like, All right, great. Let's talk about Rome, or let's talk about I Tom or you can help us, God help guide us. So I'm gonna ask everyone to please drop into the chat. One thing you want to hear from others across the group. Carleen, we're going to I'm going to get started with you right here on Rome, because that's in the title. So let's talk about it. And let's start simply, what's
Carleen Carter 8:58
in Rome? There's a there are a lot, a lot of things in Rome, I think one of the things that I am most excited about is the new, new-ish, the improvements to the App Engine studio, and what it really means for citizen development, and expanding the people who can actually contribute to your overall ServiceNow implementation. It's coming, right. And I know that there are some admins out there that are very nervous about allowing additional folks coming in. But I like to think about it a different way. If I can get those people on the platform and get them doing things in the right way and help them learn to make scalable applications. That's less administrative work that I have to do as an admin, and I can work more on on strategic things as well. Do you have anything in the in the Rome that you are particularly interested in?
Connor McWilliams 9:58
Yeah, I mean, as many And before something I'm particularly interested in is the new employee center. And, you know, we've had so many of our customers have multiple departments on the ServiceNow platform internally. And, you know, sometimes they collaborate. Sometimes they don't, you know, that's just on a client by client basis, however, they've been rolling out in a ServiceNow is rolling out more of the department-specific portals. And it kind of got confusing for the the employee when they're trying to get, you know, request services from the organization or trying to find out who they need to talk to an HR it or legal, or, you know, facilities, whatever it may be, is very confusing for them. And it wasn't very streamlined. And many of our customers created enterprise-level portals so that they could consolidate this experience. And I think ServiceNow kind of got the the feel that people were starting to do that, and that they really needed to focus back to the service portal that hadn't really been updated since Helsinki. And so that was just a really long gap of, you know, customers rolling out different portals and ServiceNow when they consolidate on the new employee center, employee center Pro, having that baseline capability, I think was, you know, something that I'm really looking forward to talking with customers about, and we already have many customers that are moving off of these consolidated or different portals and consolidating to the employee center
Don Keninitz 11:29
is have you
Greg Irwin 11:33
done one design? Or have you seen any kind of PSC on employee center to know that it's, it's, it's an improvement in terms of employees being able to find the services they need?
Connor McWilliams 11:46
Yeah, we have, we've already started to roll it out to some of our customers, predominantly some of our larger customers who are in the process of maybe rolling out HR, maybe enterprise onboarding, and offboarding. Within those initiatives, we made sure that we were forward-looking into what was coming in Rome, and we educated them. So we've strategically planned, you know, the project to start following the Rome release, so that that way, we could upgrade their instance, have enough time to perform the upgrade, and then make sure that we started the enterprise onboarding onboarding process or, you know, HR services roll out in accordance with the new employee center Pro, so that we weren't releasing the employee service center, and then in the future, having to then consolidate, you know, again, in a further project
Greg Irwin 12:38
on it, by the way, Peter and Jeff are crushing it in the chat. So thanks, guys. Do me a favor. If you haven't already provided some input, please drop some thoughts of where you want us to spend some time. Let's go right to it reporting is always always difficult, because the question is what data set? You know what, what use case? interactive, there's just so many variations reporting as a pain point from many, many, many platforms. Carleen, let's, let's go there first, as you talk to some of your accounts, or Connor, John can jump in on this one. I'm about reporting. What have you seen work? And any any advice? You've seen things that that have helped in terms of how people are running their their dashboards and reporting at a service
Carleen Carter 13:34
now? I think anytime reporting comes up, I gotta sneak this one in there. I don't like to do reporting just to do reporting, there has to be a specific action that I'm going to take from the data that I get from from that report. All right, I'll step down off my reporting soapbox there for a second. I I like I said, I've been working with the platform for for 12 years. And although there have been enhancements, they have just been minor UI styling enhancements to the reports, as we look forward to the future. And certainly, I cannot promise anything on the roadmap. And if ServiceNow were to say this, they would throw up their big old safe harbor slide, but I believe that we are going to see some significant improvements in the UI. Plus, with performance analytics, it also makes reporting more rich, rather than just reporting on the direct ServiceNow tables. I have had customers use the third-party tools before I have seen some of them and some of them are rather beautiful, but I won't name any one particular one. But I I would encourage us to just keep keep keep. Keep with it, because we know that there are some UI improvements and reporting improvements coming
Greg Irwin 14:58
UI I always think it's the data and the data, data tables, and mixing third-party data with internal data. Those are the real art things. Is it you know, a new skin, a new skin is great. And yeah, because it might, as you said, My offload some of the inquiries, but is there any, any hope you have in terms of better guts and better bones for the reporting engines?
Carleen Carter 15:26
That's a really good point, I guess I my head immediately went to the charts, this pie charts have looked exactly the same for the last two years. But I also am a former it asset manager. And if you know anything about it, Asset Management data is key. If you don't have good data, you don't have good IPS, that management. So I do believe that I have like, specifically within it asset management, they're starting to do away with the various statuses, we can move on to the lifecycle management, I do think that they are brief focusing, and putting improvements in there and going back and touching some of the things that have been kind of stinky for stinky for a while, not just, oh, let's move on to the newest and hottest thing. I did hear that they're like major incident, kind of, there's not really a whole lot of reporting that you can do around that I heard that there's some improvements coming coming in that area, too. But yes, I mean, garbage in garbage out, if you don't have great data, you have to force it in especially like from a third-party tool, and you have to force it into a place it may not may not match up very well with the ServiceNow data. So that's something that you all have to consider when bringing all that data together is how well it is going to, to manage or merge together and look in reporting. Awesome.
Greg Irwin 16:54
Connor and John are going to put you on the same question in terms of what you've seen some of your clients do around reporting, and some of your thoughts, don't share anything, he can't. But any thoughts you have on on roadmap here. But I also want to take an opportunity to ask everybody else, because you all are talking to ServiceNow, you're all in the tool. You're all playing with third-party tools. We're not trying to just like if we if somebody has an idea that that's been helpful for your organization, please join in and share it. So I'm going to just put it out there. And I might I might ask somebody to share a comment. Connor, let's first go over to you. Any thoughts on reporting?
Connor McWilliams 17:39
Yeah, I mean, I kind of echo a lot of what Carleen says that, you know, some of the reporting functions. There are legacy in nature with how they look and feel. And, you know, they tried to make some updates A while ago with the ease of creating reporting. And we all know, it's, it's easy to recreate reports within ServiceNow. You know, but to get more of the crux of the question, it is more how do we use data across platforms and report on it. And, you know, that is leveraging a lot of third-party tools today. And I do wish ServiceNow would come out with something where they could, you know, add data, and maybe even like temporary data, and not necessarily always having to stay within ServiceNow to run some of those data's, and you can do it, you know, through database views and, you know, loading data into ServiceNow. But, you know, it does take a lot longer than, you know, ease of, you know, adding a spreadsheet and being able to report off of it immediately. So I know again, I don't know if that's something that they're heading towards or not, we don't have complete visibility into their roadmap, you know, but it is something that I would be looking forward to and in the updated releases, as well as hopefully making a little bit of improvements to the UI of the reports.
Greg Irwin 18:55
Yep, John, anything you'd want to say anything else you've got?
John Chambers 18:58
All right, Oh, I'd be happy to well, the foundation is really the magic. So while some of the recording and embedded objects are not quite there, relative to what you're going to see, the dashboarding continues to evolve. And it typically is evolving against the kinds of stuff if you will, that you're trying to do when you think about the data Foundation, we're not simply thinking of the CMDB, but actually the csdm. And in the data model that's built such that you're representing the enterprise almost like the old Michael Porter value chain at the top, what are the business processes and many clients who are doing upgrades are taking the moment now to say, where are we really thorough in laying out our service data model such that from those processes we have then technical services that are supporting the environment, those technical services then decompose into the various seeis and support routes, etc. Many folks on the call can describe it even better than I can, but I just want to underscore that that's really the heart and soul of ServiceNow. So To your point about well changing the skin, you're right. And maybe there are some roadmap items where we're really trying to make a more dynamic capability for those kinds of reports. But don't ignore the fact that you really have the foundation right now in place such that you are able to build insights, not just reports, but insights into what you're trying to do within each parts of the organization. And I don't want to jump ahead to you know, Peter had another comment, actually, I think it was around migration from GRC, to risk management, etc. So again, I would always default to say, Well, I think the struggle also again, is in many companies not taking enough time to really outline the authoritative source, how the overall enterprise runs, and then that will decompose into your risks and your controls etc. So I think that the opportunities are there. I can't speak to what reporting and technology that will be impending for it. But I do think the foundation is there to make this
Greg Irwin 21:01
happen. Donna, alright, let's do this. Let's try and shake it up a bit. Like I love Acorio, Acorio is my favorite ServiceNow partner. So I, Carleen and Connor, and John, thank you all. But everyone else here is living and breathing it and has responsibility for the organization. So I'm sorry to do it. But I'm going to bring some people into the mix. And hopefully, we can learn a thing or two. I'm Doug, Doug Hall, you're over at Cox. If you have ServiceNow. At Cox, I'm betting that you have a shared service group or a bunch of real ServiceNow. gurus there. So what have you learned in terms of how you tackle reporting? Any any ideas that you can share with the rest of
us? Hey, Greg, yeah, this is Doug. Well, to start, I'm somewhat new at Cox. Okay, so So, so I'm in my eighth month. So in a lot of large part of the, my tenure so far has been, you know, working with on the development side, you know, preparing COVID and vaccination type applications. So from a from a reporting standpoint, I haven't dug very deep into that end of it at Cox. So from our listening at some of the challenges, I do agree that the UI on the reporting side of it is still a little legacy would like to see some some improvements there from from their standpoint.
Connor McWilliams 22:41
yeah, I was actually just gonna jump in dog with something that you mentioned. And something that I'm seeing a huge trend in right now is around the vaccination status compliance, we have an immense amount of customers who are looking to implement vaccination status tracking, and potentially health and safety testing as well, because of some of the new federal mandates. Some of them are OSHA mandates that are coming out where you have to be able to track this information. So people who are using ServiceNow, they might have already been using safe workplace applications or workplace service delivery for reservation capability. And that was the predominant use case of a couple months ago when people are starting to get back to the office. And now with these new mandates, everyone is jumping on vaccination status tracking, and health and safety testing, because they have to round up all their employees, they either have to be vaccinated and or if they're not vaccinated, then they have to have a test every single week, and they need a place a consolidated place to be able to track this information across their employee base. And, you know, we have some of the largest fast-food chains that are doing this across some of their retail spaces. We also have hospital networks that are doing this across some of their, you know, employee basis as well. And they even have to report things into their state, local, or what it would be called their state local office, basically, on anyone who tests positive contact information around these people, it has to all be automated on a daily basis to that organization. So that's just a trend that I'm seeing a lot of people jumping in on Carleen and John, I'm not sure if you're seeing that as well. More from your side, but a lot of people are inquiring about the capabilities and tracking that stuff within ServiceNow because of everything that's coming out. So just curious if anyone else is experiencing those things to
Carleen Carter 24:47
know the security around that too is really key Connor and I were just working through some architecture plans for a fast-food chain that has franchises and the situation of One employee might work at multiple operators, franchises and the operator needs to see this data but corporate doesn't shouldn't see it, you know, you have to protect the privacy of all of these individuals, while complying with regulations. And so we are we are working with ServiceNow on that pursuit to make sure that we we can accommodate what their requirements are.
Connor McWilliams 25:29
And we're also seeing like the leveraging of like privacy statements and such that they're requiring employees to acknowledge at least so that way, they don't have to worry about any HIPAA laws and, you know, storing PII within ServiceNow sometimes organizations don't have those things in place. And due to the COVID world that we live in, a lot of them have gotten ahead of that. And our legal departments have pushed things out to employees to acknowledge that, you know, in order for you to come back to the office, we have to be able to track some of this information and contact tracing, you know, whatever it might be. But also with the vaccination information, it is personal information that you are storing and health-related information are stored in ServiceNow. So we've seen a push for, you know, those privacy statements as well. And usually those have to be offered within a native language to someone so that they're not signing or acknowledging something that they can't actually understand. Maybe they don't they aren't a native English speaker. So these are for companies that are internationally that with many different offices across the
Greg Irwin 26:32
country, let's do this. Zoom is awesome because if you put your mouse over the grid, there's the reactions button, which I'm sure you all have played with in the past. If you haven't that little smiley face. Do me a favor and everybody give me a thumbs up for anybody that has actually tried or deployed vaccination status. Anything related to COVID health for your organization in ServiceNow, I'm curious how pervasive it is, at least across this group.
Nicole Reich 27:02
Let's see Carleen figured out how to use
Carleen Carter 27:09
the reactions that's always there. Randy just wanted to prove that it was your work.
Greg Irwin 27:13
Here's a thumbs down. Connor that doesn't count. That's a double. Really not many. O'Brian. Lewis figured it out there. Kirk's thumbs down. Really not that many.
John Chambers 27:24
Greg Irwin 27:25
I'm going to ask you, Lauren, thumbs down. Um, alright, Kirk, can I ask you? Why haven't you been?
I don't know. I mean, we're going through, we just, we're going through the process. Now we have a deadline out there for folks that have to work in buildings that are required have to be vaccinated. So I don't know if that's going to come something down the pike. They had a homegrown application that we were building that they built in it that we used during the pandemic that you had to go through, you know, the normal questions, we used to go all over the place, and they would ask you those normal questions before entering the building. And before entering the building, you had to go through that process. But I have not heard anything or any requests yet to track the vaccination stuff. They actually just sent out a communication today that they want to start to have conversations with people because they were given people a deadline for those that don't. And then buildings were like our operators, right? You can't be an operator or running a package center and work from home. You got to be in the building. So I don't know if that's coming down the pike. It hasn't at least come to me yet. It might be maybe my boss knows about it. But I have not heard anything about tracking it in ServiceNow. yet. I mean, we use ServiceNow for a lot of things. But that has not come up yet is one of the items. Kurt? Thank
Greg Irwin 28:47
you. I want to hit on a couple of these. Michael Cole, you said you It sounds like you developed it, but it hasn't didn't get rolled out. I'm curious, why not? Michael year over at spectrum brands, a lot of employees.
So a lot of processes were already deployed to cover that. And we're also International. So it was actually this is a solutions were local. And there just wasn't a demand for a global solution yet. So we tested it, and we presented it as a possible solution. But it's presenting a solution for a problem that the business hasn't come to us for.
Greg Irwin 29:29
Simple. Peter shaylen. I'm going to bring in at doing it off appian in Smartsheet. Yeah, that's like talking about lean and mean, the only question I have is in terms of some of the security provisions that you might need on something like that in terms of what
Microsoft Microsoft authenticator and then of course, marches has encryption. And it's actually interesting because a lot of stuff that we were going to do with ServiceNow for mid-market, it's actually cheaper and faster to just build in Smartsheet.
Greg Irwin 29:58
Yeah, yes. I hear that a lot. But I've also heard people run into some fundamental. What's it called? I always forget what's the the tiered, entitlements, challenges in in Smartsheet. When it gets bigger and bigger and you have different levels of reporting Smartsheet runs into some some challenges, but it's right. It's a great simple tool. Lunsford. I had I
John Chambers 30:27
had a question for Peter on there when he had mentioned the reporting and some of the reticence relative to sec ops. Could you tell me what you're using for your reporting on vulnerability management, and then the tie-ins relative to finding the gaps where, you know, certain updates weren't happening in certain remote parts of the infrastructure?
Yeah, that's a very complicated thing, actually, according to help us employment, but I was late, fall early response ServiceNow. And we went live, and the show blew up. We had to turn it off. But it's just I think secure operation is beautiful. If you have a large organization that has dedicated resources and tools and a majority to make it work. But for mid-market with only a few people, I know full-time resources for vulnerability response, which includes batching, and prioritization, risk management evaluation exceptions, there's just way too complex. So when you are seesaw use esteem, you just use Power BI that you stamp everything in Power BI, they combine everything. And then they they're it's much more fluid and faster. Because the thing is, we don't have a dedicated probability response or punishment person. So it's like, like 1.0 ft, 4.1 ft for a seesaw point two for his right hand, and so forth. So yeah, and the other thing we ran into this is, again, to your point for DRM, which is the site that I went to the 28th compliance conference last week or two weeks ago in Vegas, for me, most mid-market companies is not Iran concept is still pie in the sky, because everything is super siloed off. And it's very hard to get past those walls and moats AND gates. And an example is I'm the GRC person. And I work very closely with the seaso. But there's a lot of conflict there, because he doesn't always appreciate what I'm doing, and vice versa. So it's very hard to get alignment, priorities and resources, and so forth. So, of course, that's not the purpose of this call.
John Chambers 32:23
But I can appreciate that. And in fact, really the heart and soul is ensure you can see holistically the environment. So the removal of silos is a critical component. And a lot of the consulting, we do understand it's easier said than done, but you don't really leverage the capability of the platform, if you don't have that broad-based insight across the entire enterprise. But I appreciate the information around your VM, and then also what you're doing for the reporting security. And that certainly will help us know,
Greg Irwin 32:55
I think it's time I'd like to take a moment and just remind people in this group, I mean, looking across our grid, we've got a lot of people at large organizations, sophisticated deployments of ServiceNow and related tools, I want to offer this group as a resource to you all, meaning after the call, we're gonna send out a list of thank you note with everybody's name. And I want to challenge everybody to connect with at least one other person across this grid doesn't have to be a Acorio or VW G. But just improving your own your own personal network, it can be pretty, pretty powerful. It's probably the best thing I can offer. Here in terms of coming out of this is one new one new connection. So please take that seriously. And I think you'll find find you're better for it. In the end. Let's keep going. I like the stories. So if that's okay, I know look, Rome, we titled this Rome, and we want to talk on Rome. And if somebody has a question at any point on any of this, you can use the chat or just raise your hand and jump right in and blaming the group will be responsive, and I particularly like it when different organizations can share experiences. But I'd like to talk about what different organizations are viewing as priorities. So if it's okay, I'd like to invite Brian Lewis to maybe share a little story. Brian, thanks for for joining today. This I know put me on the hot seat. So I'll apologize for that. But also just just ask you give a little intro and just tell us about your exposure to ServiceNow over at Blackboard.
Yeah, so Brian Lewis, I'm the Senior Manager of IT support at Blackboard so I manage the level one and level two teams so think of it as a help desk and then desktop support. And my teams are the biggest users of ServiceNow so I actually manage our alone ServiceNow admin so he reports to me as well because my team does you know kind of comes up with most of the ideas for improvements and changes we want to do and stuff like that. Blackboard has been using ServiceNow since 2012 I think we started out with maybe Berlin so quite a quite a ways away and kind of the way that we've been doing it here again as you know with only one guy and and yeah roughly 2400 2400 employees it's you know, we're always busy so I would say we you know, we never go to the latest version so we're on Paris now and so we always like skip a version I think I think a lot of customers I hear kind of do that but so we will be we will be going around here soon probably in the next month.
Greg Irwin 36:01
Brian a question I've got for you is what's your number one priority? When you talk to your CIO What are you talking to him or her about in terms of something you want to get done? Not in a matter of weeks but over the course of you know, what's the top thing on your 2022 budget we have to have to do
This and then I mean as far as ServiceNow we're I mean we're always trying to to be customer service focus so I was interested when Connor was speaking earlier on the employee center because one of the things that we've we've never been able to do we again we started out with it being the primary user of ServiceNow and and we were trying to get other departments HR facilities you know, our security team etc to use it and and it was too expensive to buy those different modules right the each individual module are expensive so we actually developed our own portal and our own you know, kind of ticket types and catalog items for each for each group. So as we invited facilities in and we we showed them what they could do and how they could do some reporting etc. So we're just kind of continuing continuing to do that continuing to you know, more groups so we've had you know, we use smart sheets as well we've got you know, 200 users or whatever it's a great product and and we've had teams that have actually developed stuff in smart sheets and they're actually moving that into ServiceNow I think ServiceNow the CIO is decided that's kind of going to be our kind of our main you know, point of entry and stuff like that so we're we're kind of moving moving stuff into you know, into that so kind of just continuing to develop and get other other groups you know, our counting team just started getting into it our procurement team and we're actually you know, developing you know, nothing nothing fancy with one guy and then you can't it's not crazy fancy stuff but you know, just developing things that meet their needs so that people can put tickets in you can track them you can get approvals and and that kind of stuff so we're just that's kind of the thought going forward
Greg Irwin 38:16
you're just trying us trying to make sure you get good utilization and engagement on the tool
yeah cuz it's not cheap you know, it's it's an expensive you know, ServiceNow certainly not not cheap so you want to make sure you're taking advantage of it that I know we talked about reporting earlier and again, reporting has always been you know, a little a little clunky and a little Legacy The I think the performance analytics has helped that with the dashboards make it a little bit better you know, especially for a lot of the front end users a lot of the drag and drop stuff it makes it makes it easier for men, they can kind of manage their own dashboards and they don't have to come to us and and and take you know, again, with one resource, it's kind of you you pitch something and Okay, we'll talk to you in two months type of thing and but you want one more thing and then I'll put the talking but on the COVID thing we did develop a some form and in COVID we again we don't have a lot of offices we actually COVID caused us to relook at our real estate we had maybe 20 offices I think we're down to about eight so we ended up closing a bunch of offices and just moving everybody home you know that they found out Hey, you people are just as productive working from home. So we just have kind of just those core core offices but we to each office we built different phases. You know where you know, phase one, you let 10% of people in the office phase two, etc. I think we've got like five different phases. Nobody's forced to work in the office now but based on the country and the and the office, that dictates the phase so you know where the US might be in one phase, Columbia, you know, India, your reporting might be in a different phase. And then if you want to Go into the office, you just it's again, it's a custom-built form. We did again, nothing fancy, it's service catalog item, you just answer a couple, couple questions and we're not, you know, and we're not requiring anybody to prove that they're vaccinated. But it's, it's a way we can track it. When you put it on the dashboard, we know, you know how many people have been approved. And again, we can tie it to training, we've got a tight a little bit of bit of training, before they go in, you know, how to wash your hand out just some of the basic stuff. And then Ryan, I,
Greg Irwin 40:30
Brian, I love the idea of time ServiceNow not just in the vaccination status, but kind of platooning FOR FLEX work in the office. It's a huge push. That's one of the big projects that I I talked to lots of companies about in terms of just how do I manage my employees? Who's in the office, when what team? You know, how do we coordinate that? How do we set policy? I love I love to hear that. That's that's one of the things that's fallen on, on you and your team that you're driving. That's cool.
John Chambers 41:01
I'm curious to hear more about that. I really appreciate your articulation there, Brian, because what was the driver into Rome, we look at version upgrades and changes based on the landscape of the environment. And what we saw a year ago was the mad scramble, just as you stated, to get everybody out of the building, and then home. So there are a lot of capabilities within Quebec that could support that. But now it's a more proactive perspective. We're really looking at Rome as the foray into managing environments that are hybrid, managing environments that are fully remote. And of course, your own company strategy. Your IT strategy, of course, is looking at things like, you know, never mind infrastructure, its code, but edge computing, things like that. So it's really an environment that is almost virtual everywhere. And so I think that's one of the big drivers that we have going from Quebec to Rome. And I hate to state the obvious, but I just always like to bring it back to what was the driver? Why are we going there? Well, we're watching the environment, the strategy, the landscape, that changes, everybody doing digital transformation. And so we're trying to meet that need within the tool. But appreciate again, Brian, you're talking about the location strategy and some of the challenges around that.
Greg Irwin 42:22
Brian, thank you. Let's, let's keep going. We've got about 15 minutes. So let's finish strong. We've got a great group together, and let's make good good use of our time together. So I'm gonna I'm gonna keep inviting folks at Holly Polly Kay. Holly, if you're on the line with us, let's see. Are you with us? Maybe not. Okay, how about uh, not? Not merensky? Are you on the line with us? Not? A boy. All right. How about Billy? Billy, are you with us? We've got a bunch of listeners. That's okay. We can keep it going. If others can jump in. Wonderful. You have questions? You got it. Let's keep talking on there. You know, GRC was the one area that we kind of touched on by I thought that we could do more, because that's coming up also is one of the big pushes in terms of data privacy, and getting control of discovering data and managing it. So can we put maybe a story to it? Carleen? I'll start with you. But I'll ask others to jump in GRC is so big, and so me It can mean a lot to a lot of people. So can you share with us maybe a thought? How one of your clients is leveraging ServiceNow to get a handle on reporting, auditing discovery of data and GRC services?
Carleen Carter 44:01
Sure, um, I see GRC I would say it's not my special expertise. But I know Connor has some, some depth there. And I think he has some examples. So I'm going to I'm going to toss Connor there. Awesome.
Connor McWilliams 44:17
Yeah, sure. So I can just kind of talk more like the GRC play that ServiceNow is going more from GRC to IR M and complete integrated risk management. So over the past couple of releases, ServiceNow debuted business continuity management and disaster recovery. And that was kind of like this new space that ServiceNow we like internally, I had kind of thought around like a Vcn kind of tool, custom map that we can build and related into the common services data model and, you know, think about how they could expand in the future. And then of course, there was a company already out there doing that. They were acquired by ServiceNow and ServiceNow rolled their product completely into the platform, and basically took all their people and talent and sucked them into into the mothership. So that's really ServiceNow as expanse, you know, from GRC, into integrated risk management and trying to be more of that complete play around that space. And I will say that not a lot of our customers have adopted it, some of them have. And I think it's predominantly the bigger more enterprise-level customers that are to the maturity point within GRC. Or they can start to take advantage of some of the more complex features like that. Whereas it competes with a few other pieces within the market today, that kind of own more of that, I would say market share. Whereas ServiceNow is, I think, trying to chip away at it, and in the future, hoping to provide more of that enterprise level, an IR m type features across the platform, so it's just kind of a natural evolution for them. But again, you know, it's, it's something that's, you know, not exploding like we've seen some of the other applications, but it is starting to get a little bit of traction,
Carleen Carter 46:10
it isn't something that you can just deploy, like in a silo on its own, it becomes much more powerful when you have all of the other data to be able to dependent and trigger things within GRC. Which is why likely more for for kind of the enterprise are more mature customers that have more data on on their system. Because the at that point, it becomes more rich.
John Chambers 46:40
Yeah, yeah, exactly. it accentuates really where the highest risk is. So if you take a look at any of the particular standards, most companies using NIST and then you break it down into your cyber components and incident, excuse me, incident, detect, etc, there's really a final area, which is the most important if you start from the cloud, the network into the endpoints of service, your data center, and then into the data itself. In your applications, there's something more critical, and that's the human being, it's the awareness about cybersecurity and the use and reach of the ServiceNow capability to start bringing everybody in. So how does that relate them to your integrated risk management, it's the ability to see all the touchpoints between departmental risk and specific point areas, and then tie that into one of the reputational risk, financial, operational, etc. So I know we're short, it's getting close in time. But I did want to highlight that because I think we tend to focus into our specific spaces, whether that is transactional, transactional support, helping the user community, but really the Rome, evolution is about pulling the entire environment together and pulling all the human beings that are working together, so they can see they're part in keeping the company secure, and then keeping it operationally sound.
Greg Irwin 48:08
John, on GRC, I always come back to our what, what's the use case here? And there's some there at least two very, very, very powerful use case. One is somebody calls up the company and says, I want you to unsub me, get me get it removed my data from your organization, which you're now obligated to do. The problem the organization has is where do I have this information? in Colorado, I do it. I don't even know where we know which database this person saved it? And how do I confirm that it's done properly? And then how do I report that I'm properly responding to those requests, which is a requirement for New York, California and all of Europe, and something like 36 states? So there's one really, really big GRC challenge. There, there was another one off the top of my head, and now I'm blanking on, what was it was it audit? While audit is the, it was more and more just a fundamental requirement of
John Chambers 49:17
because you get and I bring that I bring that up, Greg only because you know, we tend to incorporations. And in our team say we've got to close these gaps because of a regulatory duty. You don't do it for that you do it because it's the right thing to do to run a secure shop and protect everybody and protect your stakeholders and your clients. So I think you sort of sold the whole concept in your first comment there relative to you need to remove data that is owned specifically by an entity that wants it out in there. There's no longer tied to the company and barring Of course, certain agreements and contractual agreements you did sign, you have to be prepared to at least act on that or explain it. So that's a critical component. I throw the audit There, because we see too often when the auditors internal or external, come to town, it's a run through the hallways mentality. And they'll ask for test cases, test artifacts, they'll ask for validation documentation, things like that. And it's just extraordinary to see everybody running around trying to find this kind of ties into your first comment there is where is this data? So I think most companies, and I'm sure most of the folks on this call today are in a much mature state. But that really drives a lot of the GRC concerns. And that is, do we have our stuff together? Can we find it? And then can we make decisions based on
Greg Irwin 50:38
where it is? pushing this service? Now? I am Peter, your comments are coming through loud and clear on the chat. thank thank you for that. There's Archer and metric stream and one trust and others that do this. These are the established tools. The question, though, John, your point is, it brings the power of ServiceNow is it's a multi-department, multifunctional platform. And if you have the opportunity to build, maybe it's already built-in, it's not a conversation. But if you have the opportunity to build maybe ServiceNow is a pretty reasonable place to do it. If the cost and function and features are actually there in a way that makes sense.
John Chambers 51:22
And that and yeah, and that integration. So yeah, so RSA, you know, Archer mentioned, I mean, these are really powerful industry leaders relative to running an entire governance and risk effort or a program. But ServiceNow is really your friend, so it'd be hokey such that you're pulling together a lot of exception data, and you're pointing to areas of the company that are accountable and responsible for this. So it's very much an executive management and and on the ground management tool.
Carleen Carter 51:54
the the point that you made about kind of where you are in your GRC, you know, maturity level is it's the same within asset management, too. There's all sorts of asset management solutions out there in the environment, and some of them may have more functionality than ServiceNow has. But what do I get by putting it on servers now and also being able to link it into the catalog and, you know, and into the CMDB. And discovery data? It's kind of there's a similar story there too.
Greg Irwin 52:26
I know, the one piece I'd like to bring in is cost. So the biggest challenge I typically hear on ServiceNow is not a functionality or architecture or strategy problem. It's a cost problem. Pay that module is expensive. So my question is, where do you see it going in these different areas? asset management? Currently, it's, it's proven, right? It's the industry leader, it is the best it asset management platform out there. But when you start thinking about are what about HR? What about, you know, what about GRC and some of these other departments in groups, you have to know that ServiceNow is all-in on continuing to drive the value. So at least in those areas, as you start thinking more broadly, outside of it, you know, how do you justify the cost?
Connor McWilliams 53:23
So I think it's a lot more on like the return on investment and whether in trying to figure out exactly what are the outcomes that you're going to get from implementing this tool within, you know, your your enterprise, it is not just something where you say, oh, we're going to replace ServiceNow, with our current ticketing tool. And, you know, off to the races we go, it's not going to be comparable as far as cost. And I think that's really more where you have to focus on the return on investment, and what you can do, and all the different capabilities that ServiceNow allows you to use just within the native platform, even if you're only using it for ITSM. So some people only use it for ITSM. And they're stuck in a very simple incident and potentially request use case where your licensing gives you access to so much more usually than that with it, which is just available within the ServiceNow platform. So I think in the last couple of years, ServiceNow has tried to carve up their licensing model a little bit so that it's more appealing at different levels, different levels, depending upon what you're trying to use the platform for. versus a now in the beginning days it was of you want to use ITSM then this is here, one complete cost versus HR is one complete cost. They tried to, you know, create these different basic and standard versus pro versus enterprise-level licensing to try to make it a little bit more palatable.
John Chambers 54:53
I think that's really well said and a couple of things too as we migrate to Rome and Connor started talking about the ROI is traditionally a focus on the bottom line in it. And so your return on investment is usually efficacy, more efficiency with carrying costs out, there's less focus on the top line. Again, the drive to Rome is about the digital environment, the digital portfolio management, you run a focus more and more resources on those innovative and revenue-generating activities. So certainly the on the ground costs, we're trying to squeeze those out with better automation better insight ties to all the data that you brought up as well, Greg, but ultimately, it's about pointing toward the top line, how are we expanding the footprint, if we continue to look at it as just a cost center, just keep the lines running. And I faced that many times, even trying to lead some departments and I was going to you guys just make sure things are running, then we're really losing that opportunity. The industry thankfully is changing. And I think that move from Quebec to Rome is trying to advance that ideal Where is we're putting more power in the user base, to App Engine, digital portfolio management, so that you can develop more capabilities to drive more revenue.
Greg Irwin 56:18
Folks, we've got just a couple minutes. So let's do some wrap-up points here. First off, look, a Acorio these guys are the Guru's of ServiceNow. So if it's a topic that we haven't touched on here, related to the ServiceNow platform as esoteric or mainstream as it might as your problem might be, use them as a sounding board. And I assure you, they might be a good place to start, they might direct you elsewhere, they might be able to tackle it head-on. But give them a shot for any of the issues that you've got. And we'll be sending around some emails. So you'll have a contact point. You know, whatever, whatever those issues might be. Carleen, let me thank you. And I'll ask you to help us with some wrap-up here. You know, we covered a lot, we did a quick sprint around the number of modules. And I want to round back with Rome. And then any, any closing thoughts you have in terms of the priorities that your customers have? Looking ahead here? You know, how, what are some of your clients? What are some of the things your clients are doing to get value out of their platform?
Carleen Carter 57:26
Yeah, as much as I would like every customer to be on the latest release, so that I can use all of the cool new stuff, too. I I, and there are all sorts of business reasons to upgrade. I totally get, I don't remember exactly who said it. But I think it might have been, Brian was saying that, you know, you're not always necessarily on the latest release. But that doesn't mean that you can't plan ahead. You know, when we do projects, I have a customer that's on Paris right now and couldn't do some things because they there were some pieces in Quebec that they needed, we don't want them to have to build it before they get to, and then you know, and they get it for free, as part of their upgrade and the next very next release. ServiceNow is I think it's in in San Diego that they're that we're going to be asleep, see a big shift in how everything is, is going to be viewed within the platform. And I know that gives me a little cough earlier today. I know that my my customers are figuring out how they can grow and expand their ServiceNow footprint within their environment. But you know, that somebody said smart sheets, taking some of those smart sheet things and actually putting them into ServiceNow. And, and consolidating and making much better user experience rather than Oh, if I have to go engage this, this department, I need to go over there. Or if I have to go engage this PVS people, I have to go over to this displace, thing that comes back to the employee employee service center that we were talking about to.
Connor McWilliams 59:17
One quick comment to just around this out is that ServiceNow is kind of going more towards releasing things through the store for certain functionality. So that's kind of a new trend or a service sales going where you might not have to upgrade to get some of the things that you really want, you could just download them from the store. So that's something that I would you know, anticipate ServiceNow keeping at the forefront of their mind in the future.
Carleen Carter 59:41
It also lets them release in between major releases too, right? So like discovery and service mapping and patterns and things like that they can release those monthly and you can get those updates monthly rather than having to wait until your whole platform can go to Quebec or Rome or San Diego checkmark
Greg Irwin 59:59
Hey, we're at the hour, so we're gonna wrap it up. Carleen Connor, John. Thank you all. They're just a wealth of information. And thank you all for taking some time and joining and sharing questions. Again, use the folks that Acorio was a resource. Thank you all. Thanks. Thanks for everybody on YouTube