Knowledge22 Recap Discussion

Jun 8, 2022 3:00 pm4:00 PM EDT

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Key Discussion Takeaways

How do you manage complexity in your digital environment? What about integrating and connecting data across multiple platforms?

The importance of mitigating digital transformation risk in your environment was a topic of conversation on the minds of many at Knowledge22. With citizen developer pieces, an App Engine Studio, and many other tools to help you manage your digital environment, ServiceNow is more than an IT platform. It can help you mitigate risk, leverage data across platforms, and level up your organization. At Knowledge22, experts discussed these new ServiceNow capabilities, top tips for managing change in the digital world, and strategies to foster innovation.

In this virtual event, Greg Irwin sits down with Carleen Carter, a Certified Master Architect and Director of Technology Initiatives at Acorio, Joshua Young, a senior technology leader and the Platform Architect at Acorio, and Kaushik Nanavati, Director of Business Consulting and Senior Advisory Principal at Acorio. Together, they reflect upon the buzz from Knowledge22, discussing key takeaways from this event, what topics seemed to be on the forefront of everyone’s minds, and the presentations given.

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

 

  • Carleen Carter and Joshua Young reflect on their experience at Knowledge22
  • Carleen discusses managing complexity in your environment
  • How to minimize human interaction and reduce errors to increase speed and efficiency
  • Carleen talks about the workflow router she rebuilt to utilize data-driven approvals and tasks to scale workflow up or down
  • Joshua reflects on the conversation around managing and mitigating digital transformation risk at Knowledge22
  • The importance of leveraging data and turning it into actionable information to minimize risk in your environment
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Event Partners

Acorio

Acorio, an NTT DATA Company, is the largest, 100% ServiceNow exclusive consultancy.

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Guest Speakers

Carleen Carter

Director of Technology Initiatives at Acorio

Carleen Carter is a Certified Master Architect and Director of Technology Initiatives at Acorio, a ServiceNow exclusive consultancy. Carleen began her career in customer service and success, learning about IT and the problems customers face on a day-to-day basis. Armed with this experience, she flourished as a developer, consultant, and trainer utilizing the ServiceNow Platform before joining the team at Acorio.

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.

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.

Kaushik Nanavati

Director of Business Consulting and Sr. Principal of Advisory at Acorio

Kaushik Nanavati is the Director of Business Consulting and Senior Advisory Principal at Acorio. In these roles, he provides thought leadership to strategic clients and builds an actionable roadmap that aligns with business objectives. Before joining Acorio, Kaushik worked at companies including EMC, BMC Software, CMS Computers, and NCR Corporation.

Event Moderator

Carleen Carter

Director of Technology Initiatives at Acorio

Carleen Carter is a Certified Master Architect and Director of Technology Initiatives at Acorio, a ServiceNow exclusive consultancy. Carleen began her career in customer service and success, learning about IT and the problems customers face on a day-to-day basis. Armed with this experience, she flourished as a developer, consultant, and trainer utilizing the ServiceNow Platform before joining the team at Acorio.

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.

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.

Kaushik Nanavati

Director of Business Consulting and Sr. Principal of Advisory at Acorio

Kaushik Nanavati is the Director of Business Consulting and Senior Advisory Principal at Acorio. In these roles, he provides thought leadership to strategic clients and builds an actionable roadmap that aligns with business objectives. Before joining Acorio, Kaushik worked at companies including EMC, BMC Software, CMS Computers, and NCR Corporation.

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Discussion Transcription

Greg Irwin  0:18  

So I love this, this is like, isn't work, I get to hang out and talk with Joshua and Carleen about what's going on in, in the world of ServiceNow. We've been doing this series with Acorio for the better part of a year. It's to drive awareness for Acorio. Their practice these, the, these guys are in the ServiceNow true gurus. And it's a little bit of like the inside baseball of what what the real story is. And so it's been a lot of fun. We've learned a lot, we've met great people. And the format that we were on is really open. So it's about dialogue. It's about, you know, sharing experiences. It's not about a pitch or a presentation. And it's really about community because I see a lot of the people who are joining here, you've been on if you've been on our sessions before, and that's really cool. We love it. Use this as an opportunity, obviously, to learn, but also to build your own personal network. So I found the ServiceNow Community, almost more than almost any other has really been about that kind of that kind of connection. So my request of each of you is over the course of this session, make one new contact, reach out directly over LinkedIn, if you want some help, be happy to make an informal introduction request, but try and do that you'll be you'll be better, you'll be better for the effort. Um, and I find more often than not, people are just really friendly and engaging and helpful. And it's always good to learn from somebody else who's kind of walked the path before you. We use the chat window, the chat window is incredibly powerful in this format. And actually, I'm going to ask everybody to warm it up right now. So what we do is just in the chat, anybody can contribute to it. Anybody can ask a question or add a comment. And I even like it better when you reply to others. So just say at Bell at J get Carleen whenever to respond, and maybe something you've learned to what they've shared. But to get it to kick it off, please in that, in that window, drop in one thing that you'd like to hear about during this session, one thing, either from por correo, Carleen or Joshua, or from anybody else in the forum, and that will help us stay focused and make sure that this is a productive session for you. So let's not waste our time. Everybody, please drop by drop the thing in there. And as soon as I stop my little preamble here, I'm going to I'm going to do the same. In fact, I'm going to turn it over to Carleen right now, Carleen always fun to speak with you great to speak with you please give an intro yourself and give the 30 seconds on Acorio is mean we don't want to just talk about my pool the whole time. We can do that too.

Carleen Carter  3:20  

My name is Carleen Carter, and I am the Director of Technology Initiatives at Acorio. I am one of our certified master architects. And I focus mainly on helping customers with architecture and reduction of technical debt. A lot of platform focus as well. And I have been working with ServiceNow since 2009. I am currently located in Fort Worth, Texas, but originally from San Diego, California, which is how I got my start with ServiceNow in the beginning.

Greg Irwin  3:51  

Awesome. Carleen can you give the, this isn't a sales pitch, but just explain who is Acorio?

Carleen Carter  3:57  

Oh, yes, yes, I forgot. That's my job this time. Acorio is a ServiceNow consultancy. We do advisory we do implementation projects. We do training, we can do anything that's related to ServiceNow for you. And now that we are also a part of NTT. We also have access to bring in some of those other I like to call them sister organizations. So you know, Salesforce pega and some of those other other aspects as well. And I am very excited to be on in talking to you guys about and showing you showing you what we are all about.

Greg Irwin  4:38  

So awesome. So we're kings of the soft sell here, but let's be obvious if you have real issues or or questions or problems that you'd like to, you know, discuss. That's what Acorio is here for. So let's not let's not miss that point. Alright, Joshua. Please give a little intro.

Joshua Young  5:00  

Hello, everyone, my name is Joshua Young. Hopefully everyone can hear me okay. I've been working with a certain ServiceNow ecosystem since about 2007. Apologies if I have a little bit of a lisp, I got my front tooth knocked out by a baseball last night. So I am a director in the pre sales part of the organization at Acorio. So if anyone has any particular needs or questions or just want some advice on how to potentially either tackle something internally or to bring us in for an implementation, I'm the guy you get to talk to and we get to figure out how we can best solve your your current predicament and set you up for success long term and then get the engagement up and running. So Carleen gave a great overview of who Acorio is, I don't need to go into that. Love this organization. We've got such wonderful people here, who like Carleen and I have been in the ecosystem for a really long time, and can help guide you guys not only on what to do, but I would say almost as important or more important, what to avoid and what pitfalls to stay away from because you get to learn from our mistakes, job experience, right? Or your past failures.

Greg Irwin  6:23  

We have a by the way, I love that the comments are coming in everybody, please drop your Drop your comments into the chat from what you want to talk about. But I've got to jump to the front of the line here. Joshua, tell us what happened with the baseball.

Joshua Young  6:37  

Oh, yeah, I was attempting to steal third base. And I don't know if anyone else here can can empathize. I'm not as young as I used to be. And it didn't go well. So I've missed time to the pitch and the ball came right at me. I wasn't even looking. My third base coach yelled out, and instead of doing anything else, I turned right into the ball. And it was, yeah, it was a fun night at the ER.

Greg Irwin  7:06  

Wow, wow, horrible, horrible. But thank you for a great story. We appreciate that.

Joshua Young  7:12  

Well, the worst part is, I did slide into third. But they did call me out because I got hit by the ball.

Carleen Carter  7:18  

So I'm good on teeth. However, I did steal third ones. And a ball hit me in my Achilles tendon and it ripped. So very similar story, just different different parts of the body.

Greg Irwin  7:32  

Maybe we should be leaving baseball to the pros here. I don't know. I don't know. All right, let's let's get to let's get to topics. This is fun, though. I'm loving this session. Carleen at Knowledge22, like you gave you gave a speech. I know, I want to hear a little bit about it. But maybe just one or two of the key things that, you know, that got you excited that you think were kind of, you know, gaining some momentum coming out acknowledged, right?

Carleen Carter  7:59  

I mean, other than like seeing real people in person, that was pretty amazing. The setup was a little different. There was a lot of the customer sessions were actually around the expo hall. And I think that that was a cool, I'm not I'm like 50/50, like, it was very loud. But it was also nice to be able to pop over for five minutes and not have to be worried about being admitted to those sessions and, and then head back over to the booth to do that. But I'm really excited about the citizen developer pieces, the catalog builder, the application, sorry, App Engine studio, things are things that you can really like hand over to a business user and not be worried about what they can go do that they shouldn't be doing, because they're really restricted. And so it really takes that citizen development piece to, I would say actually to fruition because before you had to be worried about what they were going to do. And they're they're putting in a lot of effort and development around that. We've also seen some automated deployment strategies around those applications that are being built within App Engine studio. And I have heard something about just general automated deployment strategies might be coming up in a future release too. So because I think everybody loves to spend their Friday and Saturday applying endless update sets. I know I do. Anyway, so um, one of the messages in the chat was about AI and machine learning. And and there are there are a lot of things that are starting to utilize that as well. And even one of the recent ServiceNow acquisitions, in terms of skill that it was with hitch and using AI and ML To do skills management, so that's not from knowledge, more from recent news. But that is that is a hot place. And don't get behind on that. Because I know it's a, it's easy to get overwhelmed with all of the stuff that comes out with every ServiceNow release.

Greg Irwin  10:19  

And by the way, most of you, I think, know how we run these. I'm going to pepper and kind of build on with some questions, but I love it when you jump in. So I use sharp elbows, if you don't feel like there's an entry, like, make an entry, like, come on.

Carleen Carter  10:36  

And Joshua can't bite you right now. So

Greg Irwin  10:40  

Come on in, I really want to make sure that we get the cross The cross conversation, and that, you know, this is for all your benefits. But I'm good at asking questions. So I'm going to keep it, keep it going. I'm calling the an hour just lost my thought, oh, one flower will demolish

Carleen Carter  10:58  

Ah, yes. So my topic of my lab at ServiceNow knowledge, New York was called one flow to rule them all. And you may have heard of you may be using a workflow router. Within your own platform. Today, I rebuilt a lightweight version of a flow router Flow Designer router, which could actually utilize whatever table you're already using today to do that dynamic data driven approach. Or the lab also has a way to build it from scratch, if you're not utilizing that today. But what it does is allows you to create one flow that's kind of inherent in the name, one flow. And then you utilize data driven approvals and tasks from a table to make that flow scale up or down depending upon the complexity of your catalog item. And it really reduces the amount of time it takes to build those catalog items, you can scale up your catalog really quickly and dynamically.

Greg Irwin  12:07  

Have you seen some use cases deployed where some people have implemented it?

Carleen Carter  12:12  

I haven't, I haven't seen any. But I just got off a phone call where I was pitching it to a customer. And they are going to use one flavor of it for the general the traditional catalog. And they're also going to use kind of a mini flavor of it for a custom app that they are going to utilize that they want. But they want it all contained within that scope. So I'm very excited to be actually usually using the thing that I projected in theory across the universe.

Greg Irwin  12:41  

Awesome. Awesome. Alright, Joshua, let's go to you Knowledge22. What's Joshua Young's highlights? From from Knowledge22.

Joshua Young  12:54  

Yeah, obviously agree with Carleen, great to see people out and interacting again, there's something that just wasn't the same with the virtual events. So hopefully, if we didn't get to meet you out, either in New York, or Vegas, rumor is there's going to be a regular week long one in Vegas next year. Hopefully, we'll get to meet you out there. And we'll get you out to our party during the week. But in terms of what I thought was most interesting was really around some of the shift from a CIO to a CISO. Focus, there have been a couple of questions in the chat already around risk compliance, the IRM space security. And the big thing that seemed to be on a lot of folks, tongues that I was talking to at the C suite level was managing and mitigating digital transformation risk. So really understanding for their top level initiatives, how are they potentially exposed? What are opportunities for consolidation to minimize that risk? Where are their vendor exposure? Where that's where is it single threaded? Where do they need to work on potentially doing different change management from an organizational change management standpoint? So that these transformation initiatives that everyone's I'm still surprised, playing catch up on effectively? Right, this is something we've been talking about for over a decade. There, these initiatives are successful, right? And so minimizing the exposure and risks lessons, leveraging things in the IRM space, tying that back to bigger ticket items that get us outside of just things like total cost of ownership, and what does it cost to run your business but leveling up the organization through these initiatives, so that ultimately they become a propellant, for innovation in the organization, being able to design new things quickly new products or services, and get those out into the marketplace faster so that they can, you know, hopefully increase the revenue. So talking to folks around that really interesting to see a shift with IRM compliance risk security, getting a bigger seat at the table outside of just a lot of FUD. Yes.

Greg Irwin  14:56  

Can we bring it in to a customer story? So I hear what you're saying. Quick, quick development faster terms, faster rollouts, focus on compliance. Alright, tell them tell us about it. Tell us about tell us about a company, and something that they're in the process of doing right now.

Joshua Young  15:18  

Yeah, company name to be excluded for the purpose of this conversation. But one of our customers is right now working on integrating not only their event management, correlation implementation with all of their monitoring software, but pulling in some of their vendor management expectations that have been set from the top down, that have yet to be digitized and tying those against whether or not they're actually performing against Oles and SLAs. To minimize the breadth of vendors, they have currently in their ecosystem, score them out. And then ultimately defined down on three top vendors for each area that they're they're providing across both software and hardware to cloud services. So those are transformational activities across the organization, not only to free up actual revenue dollars in people's budget line items, but also to streamline the support models behind those so that people have a better experience whenever they do need support across those technology stacks.

Greg Irwin  16:20  

So can we dig in on that? It's interesting, it's really interesting, you're pulling together, vendor vendor scores, as well as SLAs and scoring them and tracking and putting the cost to it as well. 

Joshua Young  16:33  

So that's the thing that a lot of people want. But they end up running these one time initiatives against and they're not leveraging the power of the data that they're already collecting, where they're missing a key component that allows them to actively report on that so that they're not passively receiving information that's not actionable, and what the real goal there is taking the power of that data, turning it into information, and then ultimately making it actionable in a way that can either have a significant impact on either minimizing risk in your environment and exposure that risk hobbies, if you hear the dog playing with a toy, and back then I'm sorry, John, and John, but also making sure that you can take a streamlined approach for your sport model, so that you can ultimately again, from an innovation standpoint, consolidate your expertise, and minimize some of those things that are happening across the entire ecosystem globally around the great resignation, right. tribal knowledge is walking out the door at a pace we haven't seen before. And so some of those initiatives are also about protecting the company in terms of making sure that they have a solid employee base that they can support. I'm gonna go stop that dog real quick. I'll be right.

Greg Irwin  17:47  

Joshua, thank you.

Carleen Carter  17:51  

Making sure to that the you're managing your risk and your vendors is not subjective, that it's actually objective, right like that. It's based on data, not just oh, well, at least people are being friendly with me today. And those are the ones I want to stick with. But I also think that like Joshua said, that it could be that the company that he was working with was consolidating the vendors, with the supply chain issues, I think it could also, you know, cause customers to make sure that they have backup plans, in case this this vendors, like something happens with them, they can't produce any more than we have this other other path to get the things done that we need,

Joshua Young  18:30  

You know, how do you kind of manage some of that complexity or your environment. And really, the thing that needs to happen is from a leadership standpoint, there needs to be alignment on what your strategic platforms are, what their use cases are, why that's a business value for the organization. And then ultimately, being able to containerize some of those approaches by leveraging those different platforms, and then ultimately, some of the smaller tools and products underneath. And I know Carleen definitely has experience, working through some of those complexities as not only from a regulatory standpoint, making sure you're capturing these things in certain places, but managing the chaos and really making those things work together.

Carleen Carter  19:07  

Yeah, I think that I worked with a bank several years ago that used ServiceNow as their nexus to bring in all of their vendor changes and all of their other system changes. And all of the approvals happened in well, all of their internal proof or some of their vendor approvals. Approvals happened in the vendor systems, but the internal approvals happened in ServiceNow. So that made it easier for approvers, who had to manage multiple systems to not have to go to all of these different places, and it brought enough information in in order for them to do those approvals. But it was definitely a challenge because each system wants to drive the workflow or the process of the change and whether like what determines when it's fully approved and, and so change is one of those things where you bonding is is a very complex in and of itself. But a bonding change and all of its different components is is a pretty, pretty big undertaking. 

One of the things that we've been talking about internally is there are some customers that we've been working with that from our, I think it's a regulatory thing, but it might might just be desire that they will have a like an, I was gonna say integration hub. But that means something very specific in ServiceNow, like a boomy is one of them, or like a place where all of their data has to pass through in order to get to all these other systems. And there might be an exception, an exception for like a prebuilt, ServiceNow spoke. But when you you know, we integrate with Active Directory, or, you know, something like that, too. And we integrate that with multiple platforms. So the system of truth is Active Directory, but it's most everybody has something to connect to AD, there's not always those pre built methods to connect to all of these other systems. And especially if you have to connect your ERP to not just ServiceNow. But to all of these other places, sometimes having that intermediary, as much as I don't like I don't want to introduce more things into the environment, might it might actually make sense in the long term because it, it will get the one export, and then it goes in it goes, Okay, here's all the places I need to send it and the based on these triggers.

You have to define because the all this data is going to exist across all of these different systems. What is the source of truth? We, you know, we commonly get asked, Well, can you fix the data that's coming in from XYZ, on the way into ServiceNow? And if you like, if you use a pure Active Directory example, no, because then nobody else gets the benefit of that fixing, fixing an active directory, and then everything else that's connected to it will then get the benefit of that as well. And yes, it's probably going to take more time than us fiddling around with the transfer map within ServiceNow. But the benefit of doing it in the right place, it outweighs the the amount of time that it's going to take

Joshua Young  22:20  

One of the most amusing things to me over my long career with ServiceNow is a lot of people love to call ServiceNow, the source of truth. But that's not exactly true, is it? It's a centralized location for a lot of information. And it's a powerful workflow to have a tool that will allow you to report on things and help you make decisions on how to do things. But it's a federated data model. Different information comes from different places. And so not only managing the data from where it comes from, but also that strategic alignment on terms of which platforms are going to be the ones to originate this data and be accountable for keeping it accurate and up to date, is important as you look across an ever increasing diverse ecosystem of different platforms and tools.

Carleen Carter  23:04  

And also evaluating what data actually should be in ServiceNow, to enable that engagement layer with your with the people who are utilizing the data. But I think it was Craig, who was mentioning like the SAP transport ID or maybe it was Robert, that that may be something that's very important to bring into ServiceNow change. But it may also be something that's like, Nope, we're just gonna leave that in, in SAP. And we don't need to have it in ServiceNow. We talked about that a lot when trying to build CMDB, what do we actually need to see to bring in the CMDB, because we don't need to replicate every other systems attributes in ServiceNow, in order to make sure that it is a useful tool within the platform.

Joshua Young  23:47  

Because there are also structures in ServiceNow that don't get talked about as often as they probably should, particularly in the cloud operations, and cloud insights aspects of I Tom space, where you can actually not only orchestrate, but schedule rules for all of those kinds of interactions with Kubernetes across your AWS environment or whatever else it is that you're that you're working on. So there's there's a number of potential capabilities technically, in terms of how you can make those things interoperate a little bit better, really depends on what are your goals for moving that information around. So that that will ultimately inform the best way to hopefully minimize human interaction to reduce errors, and then increase the efficiency and speed with which you perform those transactions.

Greg Irwin  24:37  

Carleen? Let's Carleen and Joshua, let's, let's, let's bring this home. We've covered a number of things. I'll remind people we're happy to connect you here with with the team over in Acorio. But let's let's let's recap a little bit. We touched on we touched on a lot of stuff, and it kind of got all over the place, but I think that There is a good range of activity. And I think one of the one thing I'm hearing is everybody is pursuing initiatives to drive value out of their platform integrations. We talked about compliance and threat. We talked about flow, which I mean, it's really the only challenge with this call. Was it so much stuff? I guess? I don't know, why don't you help me try and bring this call, like, put a bow around around this conversation of one of the two thoughts that you'd have people?

Carleen Carter  25:33  

You know, I think that it's really interesting. Uh, you know, I was talking to somebody, somebody who kept referring to ServiceNow, as an IT platform. And I knew that they really hadn't seen it, because there are so many different ways that it can go these days. And really interesting to see, again, bringing back to that AI and machine learning. Now that we have all of this data that we can, or should not necessarily can put in there, what can we learn? What can we learn from that data? 

Greg Irwin  26:09  

You know, we even touched on staffing one bit, but in my other ServiceNow conversations, I feel like it's all about staffing. It's all about like, how do I get this stuff? I've got my roadmap. I've got my budget. I've got my priorities. I started the staff to actually do it. Or you know, and my timeline is off. So I hate to bring it in with 30 seconds left to go. But how are people managing staff challenges? You guys can reach out to us? Well, that's one obvious. Yeah. Joshua, any closing comments with a live conversation? 

Joshua Young  26:52  

Let's keep it going. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Carleen and I on LinkedIn or we will get in touch as one of our sales folks reaches out to you. Excellent. Thanks, everyone for joining today.

Greg Irwin  27:07  

Same thing. Thank you all everyone. Have a great day.

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