Future-Proofing your ServiceNow Roadmap

Initiatives for Long Term Success

Jul 22, 2021 1:30 pm2:30 PM EST

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Key Discussion Takeaways

How do you implement the perfect workflow software?

Many of the best workflow management softwares are complex systems that take time to roll out. It can be difficult to not only get the most out of your new system but to also do it in a timely fashion. Some companies struggle to properly transition to new software, and consequently lose productivity and business value. At the end of the day, if the workflow management software itself promises simplicity, shouldn’t the implementation be simpler too?

Acorio is a consultancy that seeks to do exactly that. They exclusively work with ServiceNow, one of the leading cloud platforms on the market. Their team works with companies making the difficult move over to ServiceNow and offers hard-won expertise on implementation and functionality. Acorio has the knowledge to answer all of the burning questions about ServiceNow — and today they share that knowledge with you.

Greg Irwin hosts Joshua Young, Presales Architect at Acorio,  and Grant Pulver, Vice President of Client Success Executives at Acorio, to help companies in their transition to ServiceNow. Joshua and Grant cover the different departments ServiceNow can be used for, how to get ROI on the platform, and how to keep implementations agile. They also directly answer questions from people currently in the process and reveal how ServiceNow functions with different businesses.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

 

  • Joshua Young and Grant Pulver of Acorio explains how to get ROI with ServiceNow
  • Maintaining value during agile implementations and rollouts
  • What are the common successes and challenges users experience with ServiceNow?
  • Defining and measuring success before implementing a new program
  • Is ServiceNow worth the investment?
  • How ServiceNow responds to competitive threats
  • Meeting the heightened demand for training after rolling out
  • What are the best uses for ServiceNow outside of IT?
  • Knowing where to start when switching over to ServiceNow
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Event Partners

Guest Speakers

Greg Irwin

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.

Grant Pulver

VP of Client Success at Acorio

Grant Pulver is the Vice President of Client Success Executives at Acorio, a ServiceNow exclusive consultancy. He’s been in the technology space for over 25 years, specializing in ITSM, CSM, GBS, and customer experience. Before Acorio, Grant held leadership positions at Fruition Partners, AIG, and Celgene.

Joshua Young

Platform Architect / Tech Leader at Acorio

Joshua Young is a senior technology leader and the Platform Architect at Acorio. Joshua has more than 15 years of experience working in program management and with technology programs. Before his time at Acorio, he worked at other noteworthy institutions including Nielsen, GE, and Penn State University. Joshua is also a published author in IBM’s Technical Redbook Library.

Event Moderator

Greg Irwin

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.

Grant Pulver

VP of Client Success at Acorio

Grant Pulver is the Vice President of Client Success Executives at Acorio, a ServiceNow exclusive consultancy. He’s been in the technology space for over 25 years, specializing in ITSM, CSM, GBS, and customer experience. Before Acorio, Grant held leadership positions at Fruition Partners, AIG, and Celgene.

Joshua Young

Platform Architect / Tech Leader at Acorio

Joshua Young is a senior technology leader and the Platform Architect at Acorio. Joshua has more than 15 years of experience working in program management and with technology programs. Before his time at Acorio, he worked at other noteworthy institutions including Nielsen, GE, and Penn State University. Joshua is also a published author in IBM’s Technical Redbook Library.

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Discussion Transcription

Greg Irwin 0:18

My name is Greg Irwin, and I'm one of the partners of BWG and I get to moderate these forums, we do fit, we truly do 15 of these a day, on every topic across the tech stack, I'm thrilled to be joined by Joshua Young and Grant Pulver over at Acorio. These guys are the ServiceNow gurus. So we're going to try and learn a little bit about what works, what doesn't work, and really get to kind of a story perspective on on how different companies are leveraging the platform. And I want you all to basically take advantage of the fact that we've got so many subject matter experts assembled. So I'm going to challenge everybody with a goal. Please try and walk away from this session with one new content. It doesn't have to be me or Joshua or Grant. But look across the grid. You hear somebody and they're telling the story about something that's interesting. Reach out to him and build your own network. And we always found that that's kind of the best way to add value. Just keep building your your personal net. And we'll be happy to help there if that's if we're able to Charles, great to see you. I hope you're well. Brian Gordy. Nice to see you, Ryan. Elder, thank you for joining. But first, let's go over to Joshua Young. Joshua, do us a favor. Give that intro on Acorio, please.

Joshua Young 1:53

Absolutely. Thank you so much, everyone for joining today. My name is Joshua Young. I am a platform architect here at Acorio. We are the largest single provider of only ServiceNow services. We have recently been acquired by NTT, which is a large, multinational global organization. And we are in the process right now becoming global elite. We do implementations across the entire platform. And all of our areas are arranged by practices. So we have an ITSM practice, leave an item I Tame sec ops PRC, we make sure that we have those practice leads, not only so that we can align to our individual implementations and our partners so that we have an individual escalation points, but also so that they can maintain relationships at ServiceNow, what we affectionately call the mothership, so that they understand what's coming next, what's coming new, and engage with the rest of our organization to educate, align and build up our practices, and build out our expertise and all of our certifications from the individuals that we have in there. I will also say one of the interesting differentiators for Acorio is that we average about 10 years of experience across our folks. And I think that's pretty cool. Because Grant and I are not the only old timers here. In terms of our experience and expertise. Just a little bit of background about me individually. I haven't been on the consulting side my entire career. Primarily I was someone who had to use and implement ServiceNow, I started at IBM PWC. General Electric was where I really got my hands dirty with ServiceNow back in 2007. So I've been doing this for quite a long time. At the time, it was the largest implementation of ServiceNow in the world. And we even still found out that there were pockets in our organization that had gone out and built their own instances. And so we got to do fun things like instance consolidation, and then move from there, Nielsen, into the consulting world, hopefully, where we can now take a lot of lessons learned of things that not only went well, but some pitfalls to avoid, that we can share with folks as well and kind of also talk about what some late stage maturity plays look like as you're on not only your ServiceNow journey, but your enterprise service management journey, your it as an enabling function or a propelling factor for products and services reorganization. Moving forward. So long rant over my strength. Very Sure.

Greg Irwin 4:27

We're gonna keep you involved throughout Grant, Grant, let's get you in, get given in pro your place.

Grant Pulver 4:33

Well, you'll find out as Joshua will talk for 30 seconds come in with a three second memory. No, I think one thing to add to what Josh was saying around you know, most of our people have been in the ecosystem for 10 plus years or worked in it is one of the things I really love about our company is we're consultants by practice, right and that's what we do every day, but most of us are practitioners and Customers at heart grew up in the environment coming through. So a lot of what we'll talk about today is more than just ServiceNow. And it's more than just what's going on. It's really what we've experienced and some of the lessons learned that we've had personally and that we've seen with our customers.

Greg Irwin 5:16

Awesome. Alright, so notice how it works. We've got one hour, I want to try and get as many stories as we can in one hour and try and pull some useful insights from them. That's tough. You know, if we can get five or six good stories, that would be good. Let's shoot for that. All right, so I'm going to ask Joshua, to get us started. I'm gonna ask you to be Chris, I'm going to ask you to talk about one project, just one that you're doing for our customer that's taken that ServiceNow platform that they already have installed. And the whole thing that we're talking about with I'm having on a recurring basis is digital transformation. Okay, fine. That can mean anything. What does it mean for that one account? And what's the ROI? But you know, how are they proving the value? You Oh, you said it earlier value I was driving?

Joshua Young 6:13

Yeah, it's a really good question. And I'm sure something that's on a lot of CFOs minds these days, the value conversation. And that's something that's near and dear to our hearts, one of the prime recent examples I can think of, and I know Grant can also speak to this as one of our clients had a multi tenant implementation of ServiceNow. So if you're familiar with domain separation, either wonderful, or I'm sorry, I'm not sure. But in the interest of being clear, crisp, and concise, I think, the anecdote here around driving efficiency, and not only consolidating the technical implementation of the platform into actually starting new so that we could be more agile and nimble within the organization with any new enhancements or requirements they had, as well as bringing in other departments into the platform that had not previously been in there, while retiring some Salesforce tools and other homegrown applications, minimizing the integrations that were required as part of that domain, separate environment, and then building out a roadmap and plan for what that value return would look like, in both the short and long term manner. So that we're actually building not only a partnership with these folks, but a strategic roadmap for what success looks like at 369 months, a year to three years.

Greg Irwin 7:41

What's the most popular module that you're deploying? Think of it outside of the core discovery and respond what's what, I'm sorry, Grant you you jumped in, I didn't hear?

Grant Pulver 7:52

Yeah, I was starting to I just had a conversation with some of the ServiceNow executives this morning about this. And I still think it is the first level in 90%, not 90 price 60% of the time. But CSM is really moving quickly. And so is HR and starting to be the first applications in to an environment and a selling point to start. In the olden days, meaning two years ago, it was all it starting. And it was, you know, most of the reasons for ServiceNow, but from what companies are starting to see is, from a value standpoint, there's a value in having a single platform for all things that enable their employees or their customers, right. So it's all about the workflow. We've heard the commercials, we've heard the speeches, workflow, this workflow, that workflow, everything. But there is a lot of value in having a single experience for anything that enables your customers and anything that enables your employees. So one of the things that I'm really seeing that's, that's really starting to gain traction as a whole GBS implementation right out when I say GBS, it's shared service, its global business services, whatever you want to call it. But it's all things that enable your customer, your employees, as a starting point, the trust factor for CSM needs to continue to grow. I think it's a phenomenal application. But really, when you're starting to sacrifice and put your customers in front of it, there's usually a proof that there's needs to happen upfront internally, before you start to expose. So that's why I'm seeing that come through one of the stories that I'll share you with you as we had a really large customer that was spun off from its parent company and prior to that spin off, then went through a three year rollout of ServiceNow. So zero value, zero go live until year three. One of the things we really push the reason we got this business and we succeeded as you'll hear us and all of our media Talk about incremental, incremental progress beats delayed perfection, right? So let's start to get value as we're moving through. And what this company did really effectively was, instead of going down to three months, or a three year journey, or even an 18 year month journey, is we pieced it into go lives of smaller bits for each application. So we call it the most MVP, or the minimal viable product or whatever you want to call it start to get value, not a huge fan of that term, but it is effective. So they started to roll out pieces of those applications at three months, so that they can start to get ticketing up, I can start to get discovery up, I can start to get HR services, the most simple pieces of it BM with demand and intake to get there and start to see some of those values up front.

Greg Irwin 10:49

What grant what were the likes, the timelines of the of the spreads, deliver on how often?

Grant Pulver 10:56

So there was sprints inside with the releases major releases where every three months or so remote on, we would roll out major changes.

Greg Irwin 11:05

You know, I was part of, I was at loosen in my career, and I did a, I did a sap deployment that was called the Big Bang. And not for good reasons. It was $100 million project that basically went absolutely nowhere. And it was a disaster. But then I've been to I've been on the other side, honestly, where I've gone all in on agile I was I was 100% agile. And it also struggles because it lacks that, that Northern Light. What's the big picture of value and, and all the change management and planning that actually is needed when you're trying to change big processes.

Grant Pulver 11:50

So what I find interesting is you have two new implementations, we are agile, or Scrum over a waterfall or whatever you want to call it, right? Because there's a little bit of both to go fully agile and a new implementation, you have to have a very creative and visionary team. Because you have to be able to picture what the end state is going to look like to be able to do that agile is awesome for maintenance, for operational support all of that. But you have to have a very creative team to be able to go agile right out of the gate. Right. Josh to add to that.

Joshua Young 12:27

Yeah, one of the other things that I would say is a requirement for a truly agile initial implementation or revision on an existing one is to Grant's point that that visionary team, but not only in talent and skill set, but also long term vision aligned to business objectives. So what are the key outputs we're trying to achieve as opposed to tactical decisions that you're operating in two weeks sprints, just to execute, hey, I need a new field that does XYZ, that's really non value add long term to the organization. It's really around those enablement, functions, those abilities to them are reporting standpoint transform. I know that's our favorite word business transformation, but transformed from reactive reporting to proactive decision making, being able to look at live data, and then understand what decisions need to be made. That's how we derive effective change in our organization, understanding what those drivers are for the business, and then aligning our activities to meet those outcomes based on not only what best practices tell us, but the shortest path to success. Like Grant mentioned, iterative development, continuous improvement is the name of the game in this role. I think we all know that that's why we're in these positions. And in order to do that, you have to have that long term vision, you can't just constantly be reacting to the tactical needs of today. You need that visionary team, you need that excellent skill set. But you also need alignment across the organization to what those goals are, and ultimately how we're going to enable accountability in the organization to achieve them not only through ServiceNow, but integrations to other tool sets, enabling and building champion platforms throughout the organization through ocm organizational change management, so that ultimately, we're constantly pushing the boundaries further, in a way that's maturing not only our technology, but our process and giving our people opportunities for improvement as well.

Greg Irwin 14:27

I think this guy's Let's do this. Let's let's bring in the group, we've got the group's fantastic, let's let's, let's get some specific stories and questions and Kathy and John, Thanks for using the chat. Let's, let's get others in it because well, we can talk we can also we can What is it walk and chew gum at the same time. So getting your questions in here. If Joshua Grant can't cover it, I'll bet you somebody else in the Hollywood Squares here. Probably can So let's take him a bit to take advantage of the fact that we've all dialed in with a whole group of ServiceNow. Experts. Alright, let's, let's bring some people in Daniel and Alex, you guys are both Noble House Home Furnishing. Thanks so much for joining. I do us a favor real quick. What's your what's your number one project over a kind of a 12 month not not, you know, not this week. But I mean over the course of the year on the ServiceNow play.

Alex 15:33

Thanks for inviting us. One thing we are not currently using the ServiceNow we are actually exploring ServiceNow. Welcome invitation can that was kind of we were looking into that has potential potential system that we are planning to

Greg Irwin 15:56

First off, you're among friends. Thank you for joining what, what what's the problem you're trying to solve?

Alex 16:04

We are fast growing company with really small it footprint. On the US side, we have a bigger footprint of developers and on the Asia side. But we will try and we try to bring both teams together and manage all the progress of projects and all the software and develop the old programs.

Greg Irwin 16:35

Well, that sounds like I tell ITSM basics.

Alex 16:39

Yes, that's why we were started looking into ITSM where there was like, just really big incidents that you guys reached out to Daniel, just perfect, literally a day after we looked into the demo site.

Greg Irwin 16:54

So Alex, I'm gonna go around our group, you get to sit back and listen, but give me something to work. What's one question you've got from a lot of people here who have stumbled and succeeded around ServiceNow?

Alex 17:11

Oh, well, that's that's a good question. Let me listen first, and then I'll come up with a question.

Greg Irwin 17:19

I'll throw it in the chat at any point. Thanks so much for joining. Alright, let's go to Kathy. Kathy, you're on? You're on short time here. So I'm gonna bring you right in. What do you what are you working on.

Kathy 17:31

So we are continuing our service maturity by adding more services to our updated portal, as well as we've been, we took on a guiding principle of reduced customization. So last year, we went back in the box ServiceNow with idea demand project. This year, we are doing incident problem knowledge management. So basically getting rid of all the customization that has grown through the last several years, so that we can leverage more back in the box and have faster upgrades as well. And then we'll be implementing the major incident module, which we haven't done before. So a little bit of everything. It's almost a little bit of tuning and maturing what we have,

Greg Irwin 18:13

Is your CIO, proud and happy about what's going on with ServiceNow. In other words, is this is this a clear? We did it the processes are reasonable people like it, they're using it, I can calculate a return, maybe.

Kathy 18:30

Calculating the return is hard. We're still challenged with that I do try to instill that we need to define the measure of success before we do the project. So we're working on that, right? I'm understanding why there's such a huge backlog in the ServiceNow. arena, I'll call it in our shop is another area that we're trying to unravel. There's almost a culture of I want, therefore, you get and again, we're trying to change it into out of the box, stay in the box, reduce customization. And the concept of enterprise process is something we missed out the gate I wasn't here then. But it was having your way. And now it's, again, I've been trying to instill you want one way? Yeah, get every gig get a close but but don't try to customize for every division and director.

Greg Irwin 19:22

But for someone like Alex, who basically has to put together a proposal and say, here's the quote, it's going to cost us this much to get the implementation done. The licenses are going to cost this other thing. And at the end, we're going to end with discovery. And so then you know your basic ITSM functions. The I presume you have those basics in place. Do you recommend do you recommend it?

Kathy 19:46

Well, I definitely would recommend it. But I clearly asked him to look for the business problem is it availability where you can you can actually measure and articulate the value of incident management is it failed deployments where you can Talk to the value of change management and putting a cab in place for each of the ITSM processes has a clear value stream and KPIs. But you got to show the value of what you're spending, what are your pain points, I would start there. And again, definitely define what's the measure of success going to be. I did one ServiceNow implementation at my former job, and I got the assignment to measure our success. And I was able to actually calculate it out into dollars. Other there's a white paper out on my LinkedIn. And what we did was, we did from going blank on the name of the white paper, but basically it was keystrokes. So we took the old process, how many keystrokes does it take to enter change record, compared to the new one where we stayed in the box, and then we continued measuring that for each quarter for the next couple of years to avoid customization. But that's kind of my thing. And then I was able to take that down to the cost of our hardware and software support. And we were able to put our value on implementing ServiceNow.

Greg Irwin 21:09

Calculate the savings on service support.

Kathy 21:13

So So for instance, how long is it take per incident, how many incidents we do we have on our platform, which is the platform cost, you translated that into the cost of the of that platform, it was it was a year long white paper into about took quite a bit of time. So it's kind of-

Greg Irwin 21:30

It's really great, we're able to do it. I mean-

Kathy 21:33

We were able to do as a partnership with ServiceNow, and a third party consulting firm that helped me out but yeah, it was all about keystrokes. measuring it.

Greg Irwin 21:43

Kathy think what's important, there's,

Grant Pulver 21:47

Regardless of what metrics you choose to prove that value Kathy as they stay consistent, because now you can start to show a trend, if it's $10. This year, you want it to be 12, the next year, right. And so people throw metrics at these and do the business value assessment or whatever. And really, at the end of the day, the finite number is important, but also having that calculation that you can keep consistent as you're starting to move through your roadmap. So you can recognize if there's a positive or a negative trend, or a positive or negative result that you need to pivot left or right.

Kathy 22:23

Or it's really valid. And that goes to again, is don't try to figure this out halfway through your project that you're all in to me, that should be your first step.

Grant Pulver 22:32

That should start your project right? At a point, how am I going to measure.

Joshua Young 22:37

The other KPI should be the driver behind why you want to improve. And I I know one thing that that's a small program that I always recommend to all of our customers. And I always tried to do when I was in a larger enterprise environment was each quarter, I would pick from our list of KPIs and say these three are the top three that we're going to work on this quarter. And in a way, it was enabling us to be able to react to some of the ebbs and flows of normal operations in the day to day, but was also pushing us to think differently each quarter about how we wanted to improve or where we wanted to improve. I know that's one of the things that I've always learned is, you never stay the same at something you only get better or worse. And unless you identify the specific areas you want to improve in, you want. So that's one thing that I noticed or recommend to our customers is pick three a quarter or pick three every half year and focus on those.

Greg Irwin 23:37

Alright, let's keep going. Thank you all. I'm going to try and bring others in. But I'd love hands. So you can just look, this is an open bridge. Anybody can just talk at any point. So don't let Grant me and Joshua monopolize. Obviously, we want to try and start Thank you everybody for using the chat. And by the way, if somebody has experiences with CSM for Karen, or ITBM, Brian, do me a favor, reply in the chat and say, Hey, I did that. You know, I think, you know, let me know if you have a question or Hey, look out for this type of integration or look out for that. I think it might be helpful to share some experiences on the side. All right, Bob, I'm going to bring you into the next year. Give a real quick intro. And I missed your project. I saw it in there. What are you working on Bob?

Bob 24:38

Oh, yeah, I can't. So good afternoon, everybody. I'm Bobby DeBlaey with John Deere almost 22 years now. And the last five of those years have been with ServiceNow specifically. So we've done pretty much the same journey as everyone else. It was it was part tool consolidation is part it modernization to get incident problem and change implemented. And go from multiple tools handling that throughout the enterprise to one process one tool. And, you know, that was probably over a two year journey. And we did deliver on those things incrementally, along with it came knowledge management, the portal, so it wasn't just we did incident and that was the other things that are needed to really help support that were part of our lives as well. But one of the first things we did was we really went into the security operations area. So security incident, and then a year later the vulnerability and threat modules. And all throughout this time, one of the big things that has been a challenge is the accuracy, the consistency of our CMDB, we had a custom integration from our non ServiceNow discovery tool feeding in and it was okay, but you know, trying to get the data model from vendor a to match surface nouns was challenging, and it's probably the best seem to be we've ever had, but there's still a ton of room for improvement. So you know, we finally got approval to move ahead with ITOM software, are just getting ready to kick off the implementation next week, actually. But we've done PLCs. And you know, I truly believe it is going to be transformational. As far as how it right now everybody's focused on single CIOs and single applications and they don't have that service aware view, that ServiceNowcan brain and I truly believe that if we do this, right, and it's the it's the people organizational change that has to go along with it, rather than just the tooling to make people focus and really see that value. So we can drive down that MTTR when instance come in, so we can make sure that our change management processes are more effective, and that a change isn't impacting things that we aren't aware of. So really looking forward to all those relationships being built with application services, technical services, things like that. So that's, that's really what's been consuming us lately.

Greg Irwin 27:31

Bob, I, I get it and I'm wishing you luck on ITom, I'm going to ask if you can help Charles. Charles asked a question in the thread that I think is one of the overriding questions that we all got, which is ServiceNow is expensive. Now we can justify value on an individual project basis, but still discrete about discrete dollars out the door. It's expensive. So to pick up Charles and speak for Charles in his in his in his chat. You know, do you have any seen any success? What do you call it bending.

Charles 28:10

Bending the curve actually does look good. And I get it. And I don't know the last time I looked it up, it was a two, two and a half billion dollar a year company that was growing at 50% per year, it's hard to get any salesperson with that must have a target increasing a 50% per year to allow one of their accounts to go down. But we are it's public knowledge AON with AON, which is company, everybody sort of heard it, but not quite sure what they do. We're in the process hopefully, of merging with another company called Willis towers Watson, which is another company you may or may not have heard of, because of Willis Tower, but not sure what they do. But so we'll be combined about 100,000 employees. And so we're roughly doubling in size and roughly doubling our ServiceNow spend, my fear is that this will simply mean we are doubling our ServiceNow spend and it will be three plus three equals 6.5 instead of three plus three equals 5.5, which is what the merger will be predicated on. But you know, and so I've heard different thoughts about like, go to channels or do something else. And I just wanted to understand if it's realistic to actually bend that down so that three plus three equals something less than six, or, you know, you can just reduce the rate of increase by buying even more, if anybody's had experienced actually bending that curve down with negotiation with ServiceNow,

Greg Irwin 28:34

Where to start?

Grant Pulver 29:14

You should probably avoid Joshua and I on this one, just as ServiceNow partners but yeah, there's a lot of tricks to the trade, right timing of the year, stuff like that, that can help on that curve.

Joshua Young 29:40

M&A activity is always a good trigger point for ServiceNow reps to start thinking about how to maintain and keep your business. So I would say there to Grant's point, some some possible opportunities for you there.

Charles 29:55

You say maintain or keep and it I feel like we have to have the Critical. They're critical risk of taking stuff away, in order for them to come around just saying, hey, look, wait a second, we've all worked someplace else. And we're paying 25% more than we should. It's like, yeah, sorry. But until you're actually going to unplug a module, that price is not going to come down.

Grant Pulver 30:19

Well, and so what I've seen a lot of times is, you're not necessarily dropping your cost, but you can negotiate more, right? Meaning three plus three might equal six, but three plus three plus one equals six as well. So you get get married and get more money. Yeah, yeah, where they'll have licenses for more discovery units or for it.

Charles 30:46

We get GRC.

Grant Pulver 30:47

And so we can use that to leverage additional licensing in a different area on a reduced cost.

Greg Irwin 30:59

Is there a credible threat that you can make with a I'm sure you do have JIRA sitting in these accounts as well. And you'll bring them forward and talk about some of the things that they can do. Or I'm sure you have Salesforce, sitting there side by side, and the things that they can do. Let's put it to the group. how responsive has ServiceNow been to competitive threats? I'm sure this group has gone through negotiations.

Ryan 31:33

I can hop on the call for this one. My name is Ryan Elder. You guys can hear me right?

Greg Irwin 31:36

We got to Ryan? Yes, sir.

Ryan 31:38

Yeah, so we have a standing meeting with ServiceNow on a monthly basis, we run through their group, my company is based out of Europe. So this is all on the European side. So the Swedish and the Belgian offices specifically for ServiceNow, they have actually been surprisingly good at trying to send us white papers, ways to kind of counteract some of JIRA, specifically, JIRA has been a major issue for us. One of the things that they have actually helped us with was said, Hey, we can work together with JIRA, especially with Agile Project Management with some of the DevOps routine. Why don't instead of seeing us as a competitor, why don't you see us as more of a director, and then we can kind of take that type of role. And then we can go into the rest of your, your your DevOps world, which has actually been quite good. They showed this off to us about a year and a half ago. And I told him, it was garbage. They showed us a better version a couple of weeks ago. So they have been making a lot of improvement in that area. The biggest challenge for us internally with JIRA is focusing on combining all of the JIRA environments into a single environment. Because we have about 30 JIRA environments right now that we were trying to connect into ServiceNow. We've just flat out said, Hey, we're going to connect one JIRA environment. And it's this one, though, if you want the ServiceNow suite suite data, you're more than welcome to get it merged with this guy over here.

Greg Irwin 33:06

Got it? Has that helped your negotiations with ServiceNow?

Ryan 33:10

Know the negotiations with ServiceNow in my opinion. And it's not because there's anything wrong with ServiceNow. It's because their model is just impossible to follow with licensing and how you license and how you count. And when you count. And we had to do four separate samples for licenses just to get our current ITSM load. Our developer tells us it's one, our ServiceNow tells us it's another and then I run reports that are the same that tell us it's completely different. So we don't know if people are running it in different times, and hours and weeks and months. No idea. Oh, and when the pricing is also is very awkward. Because for a lot of their stuff, the pricing is high. I think that's I mean, everyone on the call has already experienced that the pricing can be quite high. But on top of the pricing, you do run into a situation where they just aren't super clear with what you get with some of the licenses. So it's like, oh, you need this license for this module. Great. But you didn't get the super omega Platinum Genesis version, which actually gives you these two other things you you need in it. Right. So what we've actually just said to them now is say, Hey, here's what we want to do. You tell us how much it's going to cost and package it up for us. And that has been actually working surprisingly better.

Greg Irwin 34:38

All right, Ryan. Thank you, John. I see your note. I'm anxious to hear what have you done to defray the costs?

John 34:45

Yeah, so when I've only been inhibit for two years, but I've been working in the platform since Aspen. And when I got to hibbett they were still shuffling paper around. Since then, we've deployed for different Two of which actually ride on our different banners, cash registers. So they're, they're accessible at every one of our stores. And we've also taken on the process of inventory, discrepancy management at a store level, which has nothing to do with it. But we built those processes into ServiceNow, we're finishing up building lease management for our lease and legal thing within ServiceNow. And because of that, we've been able to say, look, this is not just an IT tool anymore. You know, we've got our inventory, our i o department using it, we've got our lease and legal management department using it. We've got HR using it to a degree now we're not using the HR module, but we're we are, they are users, and they're eager to become more users. Now, as we deploy this outside of the it org, we're now able to show a chargeback, we're showing we're doing a show back right now. But of course, that's just one step away from a chargeback. And it can either start recuperating some of this cost from our other departments, or it's no longer considered an IT tool. It's considered an enterprise tool like an E Rp. So a lot lot of things going on in the last few years at hip

Greg Irwin 36:23

is your CFO, your CIO said, What does he tell the board in terms of the value of ServiceNow?

John 36:31

But to give you an idea, I was given two resumes yesterday because they want to hire me some help. I've been a one man show for two years. And we've gone from paper to portals and you know, other other processes being defined and used in ServiceNow and, and now we're taking on a and a workday integration, which will automate the onboarding of any personnel according to a job code that they are hired for. So that's an automating all the state, automating the software install automating the allocation of hardware of all the it components of the physical security, the keys to a store, all that's becoming automated. And because of that, I mean, the stock market says at all, you know, we've really done well through COVID, we've done well through the last two years of service now is use. And because we're willing to ramp up our organizations, personnel, on my site, we're gonna do even more, and we've got a long way to go.

Greg Irwin 37:33

I mean, I hear it. So I love the idea of inventory management down at the stores, because now you're impacting your assets, and probably corporations. That's not it, that's driving him. Or the owners, they're like, I know, ServiceNow is made for it was made for it. It's an IT central platform. Now, it's broadening out, you got HR, you get real estate, you got your store managers, do they like it? Well, the store manager is using that inventory management app that you built. I'm sorry, about that one, because-

John 38:10

Dozen of times a day. Yeah, dozens of times a day there, hundreds of inventory. I want to call them conversations, because they're not always issues, you know, maybe they received a box that was damaged, and they need to report that it was damaged. Or maybe it was short, a few items, all that information at the store store to our distribution center. Communication is facilitated through ServiceNow's workflows. It's it's, it is highly used, and it's it as a result, the individuals that are using some of this are doing their jobs better. And because of that, they've been able to maintain a steady if not a reduced headcount in those departments because they're no longer sending paper around for people to sign and review and file. None of that's all happening in a database now.

Greg Irwin 39:08

So Excellent. Thanks, John.

Bob 39:11

John, can I ask you a question? Are all of those like HR and legal ones you have? Are those scope applications to help protect some of the data that's in there? Or are they more in the global namespace?

John 39:24

Now that they are in the global space, the only scoped app that I have right now that's on my drawing board is actually an IT a DevOps app that they didn't want to pay for agile, and we're not an agile shop, so but our developers need something to be able to record their development with. And right now we're using something called quickbase, which if you're familiar with it, it's, it's pretty arcane. So they want to move that capability in the ServiceNow, and I'm building that as a scoped app, but the rest of this is just ongoing. We were able to do this by only building about six additional tables. So we're not really in violation of licensing, as far as our structure is concerned. And we haven't, we haven't customized anything. We've just configured a lot.

Greg Irwin 40:19

Excellent. Thank you. Thanks, guys. Let's keep let's keep going here. I want to come back to Joshua and Grant. But just remember, our goal is to make one new contact across the group. I'm going to keep bringing people in. And they'll also be follow up. So I'm going to send an email after we're done here with everyone's names. So you can remember Oh, yeah, that was Bob, who said that, or that was John. So hopefully that'll help. Again, grease, grease the wheel. Look, let me invite Jeff allays olise. Jeff, I'm sorry, I'm not sure exactly how to pronounce your last name. Are you on the line with us? Maybe not. Going once, going twice. No. Okay. How about our Karen? Karen Watson, are you on the line with us here?

Karen 41:11

Yes, I'm on the line.

Greg Irwin 41:13

All right. Nice to meet you. Do us a favor. Give us a give us a real quick intro. Tell us about what's keeping you busy with ServiceNow?

Karen 41:21

Okay, well, I work for the state of Delaware. And I think the biggest thing that's keeping us busy right now is implementing the CSM. You know, in different portions of that sort of Department of Labor. But I think our biggest challenge is staffing, we cannot get enough people. So we have a ton of contractors and implementation partners. But the problem we're finding with that is our architect just retired. So we don't have the cohesiveness to make sure that everything that we're implementing is coming together really well. So we're kind of struggling right now. Because our demand is, is extremely high. But us being able to deliver all the work, it's taken a while. Plus, we're trying to go back to out of the box, and we're trying to eliminate customisations. So we just have our hands on a lot of pockets right now. And-

Greg Irwin 42:28

I got a Karen, Karen, I'm curious. Same question I have for everyone. But it's really with regards to that staff, you lose the team that you lose some team members, does it create opere, you may not be able to deploy the next module. But are you still able to get sufficient value out of the pipe?

Karen 42:56

I would say yes, we're still getting a significant amount of value out of the platform. We're big proponents of ServiceNow, we push it. So I don't think value is ever a problem that we face. I think more so than that. There's time to market being able to deliver, it's just taken us too long to be able to deliver stuff. So our customers.

Greg Irwin 43:24

Yes. Grant, will you come in on this one? Because you've probably seen this all the time. Teams are not staffed to the gills with people just ready and waiting to respond and design. How do you manage?

Grant Pulver 43:40

I just met with the CIO of a Fortune five company. And the question was asked of what do I need to worry about after this projects over. And I said demand because you're gonna have 500 people coming at you that all see the value of the platform, now that you rolled it out, you're gonna have to hire, and organize and be able to address this demand as you're coming in. It's a big problem in the ecosystem. And that's why ServiceNow is invested in it, we invest in it. And we've started a program called Acorio Academy, where we get people with coding skills that know nothing about ServiceNow then spend six months learning ServiceNow because of the fact that the ecosystem is so tight and so ocular same with Salesforce five, six years ago when it was super popular, right that was the commodity and now it's ServiceNow. There's not many people out there looking for jobs that are just sitting on the sidewalk with a sign saying hire me, I know ServiceNow. It's a big problem right now. And it's why ServiceNow has invested so much in training and free training that's out there for that reason. And the other thing that one of the drivers for their new low code development system are pieces is because of the fact that they're recognizing that people that companies don't have enough people to keep up with demand.

Greg Irwin 45:09

Let's spend a minute on this because you've hit it spot on, what's the success of taking somebody who's not a ServiceNow developer? Ah, maybe they know some Python. But you know, they know some basics, and training on finding a man and making them effective in short order. I'd love to hear stories about how people are navigating the training and skill. Hey, Joshua, you want to take a first shot, and then please, anyone else.

Joshua Young 45:42

Like the dialogue that's happening. But one of the interesting things that we've been seeing a lot more of our customers asked for is a citizen developer program, which is really leveraging a lot of those people who don't come from technical backgrounds, primarily, we're seeing that in the HR space, where folks want to be able to push out new services as fast as possible. We're seeing a lot in the IT space, obviously, where different teams have specific needs, or they want to make sure they get routed things, not only to reduce mttr on the whole, but to make sure that they're able to provide an excellent employee experience to their organizations. And those kinds of things. Are the real drivers, I think behind a lot of those activities.

Greg Irwin 46:27

I got I got John, a lot that it sounds like the Cisco cert when, you know, 20 years ago?

John 46:35

Yeah, exactly.

Greg Irwin 46:38

What's it been like training the team, or, or your business, your business partners?

John 46:46

Well, for me, I got most of my training through the years, mostly while I was working with AM Global, which was the company I used to do with our bronze partner. So I used to do all the implementations. And when I just like Acorio, I honestly, I'm not the man to do contracts. But I was able to use those years while I was doing contract work, to really ramp up my knowledge, and, and from, you know, implementation certifications to the micro certifications that they offer, it really helped to improve what I knew about the platform. And eventually, when I was ready to get out of the, of the contractor space, I had a choice of wherever I wanted to work. That's how how lean it is out there is that once someone knows that you you have years of ServiceNow experience in development, and you're available, your your door will be beat down. So all right.

Greg Irwin 47:51

Well, that that alone sounds like an incentive to go talk to one of your, you know, younger, younger developers and say, we need to get you scaled up. I would imagine that just for career advancement,

John 48:04

there's a two blade that's a double sided blade there. You know, you hire someone on this Junior you train them up, you know, they're going to be expect to be paid the market rate. And if you're not paying the market rate, then they're going to leak.

Grant Pulver 48:18

That's what I was gonna say is that's the poster child of treat your people. Right, right. is you know, if you're training them up, really all they have to do nowadays is put ServiceNow with no space on their resume. And they're gonna get hits and lots of hits.

Greg Irwin 48:33

Yeah, yeah. Navigate it. You're right. All right. Let's keep let's keep stirring here. Alex, Ruben. Alex, are you with us? Are you on the line? Oh, nice to speak with you. Jump in. Give me give a quick intro.

Alex 48:50

Oh, so I have previous experience working with ServiceNow at Walmart. And currently, we are exploring ways to basically use this platform outside of it. And I heard a lot of good stories on this call so far. So I know it can be done. In specifically we are looking at one of the areas is HR automation. And the other is potentially finance automation, as well as the low code no code. So, Cerner, you're in Cerner right now. Yes. That's Cerner. Yep. So, for us, it's about the cost benefit right now. Because there's a lot on the market that's available for the automation of various business functions. And naturally, large companies tend to use whatever is already in house. So like, could we expand on our ServiceNow licensing to include that? What would it cost Does It Really Work? Well, these are all the questions that we're trying to evaluate right now.

Greg Irwin 50:07

HR is onboarding, what's that? What's the workflow for HR?

Unknown Speaker 50:11

So I know that ServiceNow has an offering for the onboarding process. But there's always the termination as well, because in various types of terminations, like voluntary and voluntary the same day, that could we automate everything? And will it work? Well, if we have third party vendors that do certain parts of the process? That's what I'm looking into right now. So I would be really interested in hearing opinions on that.

Greg Irwin 50:45

Joshua, let's do it. What's the breadth and depth at HR workflow management, of ServiceNow?

Joshua Young 50:54

Yeah so from a breadth standpoint, Acorio is uniquely positioned in that we offer a lot more than just the baseline services that come out of the box. In fact, we triple the number of offerings in terms of services. In terms of depth, that's where I really think lifecycle events come into play, where we're talking about nested complex events, not just, Hey, I'm changing my name, but onboarding transitions as people are moving into new roles or leaving the organization as a normal aspect of every HR function, as well as escalating issues to either law enforcement or throughout the organization to put some on a plan. These are kinds of things that have ripple effects, not only internal HR teams, but across it teams as well. And those kinds of lifecycle events are things that organizations need to plan for not only so that, tying it back to an earlier comment, onboarding as an example, employees can have a wonderful experience joining an organization to grant and a couple other folks earlier points as well, making sure that folks feel valued as they enter your organization to improve retention. But also so that you can ensure other teams are operating in sync with functions that you would traditionally considers outside it. Those are a couple of the initial ways that I would normally kind of talk about breadth and depth in the HR space, really how you tie into the rest of the organization, how you improve the employee experience, how you maximize retention, and ultimately how you enable folks to get the information they need, or react to situations that you need to in an HR function.

Greg Irwin 52:29

I, that sounded like a detailed Yes. I mean, it's a good question in terms of the ability not just to do one workflow, but what about interacting in automating the process through third parties? So you have, you know, a benefits provider, you have a dealer, but automating workflows when it's not all within your control?

Joshua Young 52:58

Yeah, really great question. So as I think everyone here knows, ServiceNow is the great aggregator of our time. It's the place where really what we're looking at is a federated data model, not only with integrations with other tool sets internal to your organization, but externally as well. So looking at things like recruiting tools from an HR standpoint, as well as background check organizations. So automation opportunities are abound when you start thinking about those external integrations to other partners and providers of maybe SAS solutions that you have that are going to be included as part of a normal lifecycle event or regular service that you might have. There are a number of organizations that we've helped, where they help their employees, get passports or visa renewals. Those are things where you need integrations to state and local governments, federal organizations, as well as internal organizations who just want to make sure, hey, this person pass their drug test, right, and building an integration there where you can automatically pull back a pass, fail, and then trigger certain tasks that need to be assigned out for folks, depending on either scenario. So there's Automation Components of bound, whether you're looking at automating either integrations or tasks or approvals, if they're under a certain spend limit, internal to the organization or external as well. Really good question.

Grant Pulver 54:18

One thing I like to add to that is, don't be afraid to start small. Getting a single workflow is more important than trying to automate everything around you. I've worked with an executive in Silicon Valley, the broad end ServiceNow for his onboarding tool, because they were getting a 28 to 32% attrition rate prior to day one. That's right. 28% of the people that they were making offers to were not showing up on day one, because their onboarding experience was so bad and what we figured out It was because they just gave up, or a lot of them just gave up because they're having to go to icms for the recruiting stuff and uploading documents, they're having to go to ServiceNow for something else, they're having to go sign up through, I can't remember the company for their drug test to get that. And by putting that workflow on a single tool, so it was a single shot for them to come in and go through it made their lives improve their customer, or their employee satisfaction for the first three months of employment, and lower their attrition rate to like 4% prior to onboarding, or prior to day one. And the cost that they were able to save by not having to go through two to three recruiting cycles for a single position was how they justified the spend.

Greg Irwin 55:50

That's, that's, I mean, that's an awesome, awesome workflow. Alex, I might connect you here with the guys over at Acorio. I was to kind of look through those workflows.

Alex 56:03

Thank you.

Greg Irwin 56:04

Thanks, Alex. I'm gonna try and bring one more in. So we got three minutes left. Let's finish strong. Andrew Mahal. Nice to speak with you. Thanks for your questions. You have very specific questions here. The csdm in the CMDB, in case we're missing acronyms, so I'm going to bring Joshua in. What do you think about? Well, I'm sorry, Andrew, do me a favor. Yep. Can you restate the question. And let's see if we can answer.

Andrew 56:39

Sure. And so obviously, we're fairly mature in our ITSM module, and our processes seem to be being one of those. We'd like to start adopting customer ServiceNow csdm 3.0 framework in our CMDB. I guess our biggest challenge right now is really just don't really know where to start. And if we've read the white paper, we have some background information. And now browsing through ServiceNow Community on csdm. Sounds like a lot of other people are also the same questions like just don't know how to do it. And my concern is, we didn't evolve almost a re architecture to certain degree of what we currently have implemented in our CMDB. So I'm not sure if anyone has gone down that path already. Sounds like a couple of people have started it. So I'm looking at kind of person guidance on that.

Joshua Young 57:36

Absolutely. Like, So Andrew, hopefully, the first thing I can do is reassure you and make you feel a little bit a little bit better, you are not alone. The first thing that ends up happening invariably, especially even as we moved from cstm, 2.0, to 3.0. alignment is the first thing that needs to happen. And that's something we do with all of our customer engagements is really understanding where your current state is where the future state needs to be as a as it relates to csdm 3.0. And really, what we're talking about with alignment to begin with, is just making sure we understand the hierarchical and categorization of different ci types, as well as their interactions to assets. So really making sure we understand the differentiation of what should be considered a CI, and what should be considered an asset and for what purposes driving, what processes and what behaviors, those alignment kinds of conversations as well as some very quick. Something we do anytime we do, let's say seem to be health check, or an assessment, as example, to show someone, hey, against 38 points. Here's kind of where do you rack and stack against what we call, you know, key service indicators of these are things that are doing well or on a certain kind of maturity model. Here's where you rack and stack, here's where the potential issues lie. But also, here's how you can align to those things. And not only what that would look like but what the effort level of effort would look like or what it would take to get there. And then also make sure during those alignment activities and conversations we're having, making sure that we're engaging with folks to understand if there's a need to be a little bit different. what those are, ultimately understand if there's a way to bring that back into the model, and then move forward alignment is the very first thing we need to do. We make sure we go through education sessions, as well as individual custom modeling with all of our customers every time it comes up because it is so important. And there's so much new functionality coming with every major release that you're going to be able to take advantage of as those things move on. But I know we're right at the end of time and I want to be respectful of people's time. Greg, I'll turn it back to you. I could talk about that topic for days. Alright,

Greg Irwin 59:51

Thanks, Josh. And Andrew, thank you and obviously if there's a follow up, that can be done, we'll be happy to help support it. Everyone, so hey, great session, this was really, I thought we were able to get through some some real stories, I thought we were able to talk about the direction and I'm just impressed with the range of activity that's going on and people leveraging the service platforms. Huge thanks to Greg, and to Joshua, a great job guys. And, of course, you know, with Acorio, if they can be helpful for you, or maybe one of your colleagues, that's what they're doing. This is about showing their capabilities and their expertise around the web. So of course, you know, we'll do some outreach, and hopefully, they'll have an opportunity to to help you and your teams,

Grant Pulver 1:00:46

Do they get our contact? We love talking about this, right? We're practitioners are we sit on the same side of the desk, as you do they get our contact information if something comes up.

Greg Irwin 1:00:56

Yeah. We're gonna do some direct phone. All right, perfect. All right. With that, let's wrap it up. Thanks, everybody, and enjoy the day and have a great weekend. Thanks. Thanks, everyone. Thanks. Bye.

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