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ServiceNow Industry Analyst Event: Rome Release Readies Now Platform to Power Hybrid Work Transformation
by Ron Westfall | October 13, 2021

The News: ServiceNow, a digital workflow company that seeks to make work, work better for people, announced the Now Platform Rome release. The latest version of the Now Platform aims to deliver hundreds of innovations designed to empower organizations to adapt to the hybrid work era – evolving business models, managing the employee fatigue crisis, and scaling automation and app development across the enterprise.

With a customer base representing nearly 80% of the Fortune 500, ServiceNow helps organizations across industries and geographies meet the challenges and opportunities of a new world of work. The Now Platform Rome release targets giving organizations the tools they need to create agile work environments, deliver compelling customer and employee experiences, and accelerate innovation, so they can thrive in a new economy. Read the ServiceNow Press Release here.

ServiceNow Industry Analyst Event: Rome Release Readies Now Platform to Power Hybrid Work Transformation

Analyst Take: Focusing on the recent Now Platform Rome release at its 2021 Industry Analyst event, ServiceNow touted new employee focused solutions that are designed for delivery through a unified employee experience platform. The main goal of the platform is enabling organizations to create simple, engaging employee experiences from anywhere, so employees can navigate work moments that matter with ease and confidence.

ServiceNow added more cross-enterprise digital workflow capabilities that target fulfilling four identified major organization hybrid work objectives:

Create compelling employee experiences. The Employee Center and Employee Journey Management tools are intended to improve guidance of employees through moments that matter.

Deliver AI-powered service operations. With AIOps enhancements, organizations have broader capabilities to identify top opportunities for automation with the Automation Discovery and potentially keep people productive by predicting and resolving problems faster.

Solve customer problems faster. Customer Service Playbooks is designed to direct agents to the most critical tasks with Focused Layout.

Rapidly create and configure mobile apps. With its Mobile App Builder, the platform now targets enabling developers of any skill level to create engaging experience.

I view ServiceNow’s Now Platform Rome solution as providing the digital workflow platform needed to improve the overall employee experience, especially when also considering 3.6 million Americans quit their jobs in May 2021 alone. The Great Resignation of 2021 is correlating strongly to workforce satisfaction factors such as a desire for greater flexibility, fatigue, and limited growth prospects. Moreover, pandemic-mandated lockdowns and the ensuing seismic shift to post-pandemic work from home and hybrid work policies now makes it essential for organizations to optimize digital workplace environments that allow employees to fulfill their creativity and productivity objectives.

With the new Rome capabilities, I see ServiceNow as better positioned to provide the modern employee experience platform for the hybrid work era based on a multi-departmental system for employee self-service and requests, targeted communications, guided career journeys, and a modern intranet with flexible integration to digital collaboration tools.

Highlights of the Now Platform Rome release include the ability of the Employee Center to deliver an enhanced service experience such as support of the organization’s hybrid workforce with cross-departmental services and guided journeys to boost employee productivity. In addition, I see Employee Center potentially improving employee engagement and communications to keep them connected and informed as well as manage a sales workplace with streamlined digital workflows for self-service workspace reservations and visitor scheduling.

The new Employee Journey Management offering supports the Journey Accelerator tool targeted at allowing department leads and managers to develop personalized templates that can accelerate employee productivity. For example, the Listening Pods feature is designed to capture in-moment feedback to drive a more responsive and coordinated experience for the workforce.

The Rome release also brings new Customer Service Management capabilities like Playbooks with Feature Layouts and Field Service Management tools aimed at field service crew operations. I expect the Customer Service Playbooks can help differentiate the ServiceNow platform by providing full visibility into process lifecycles, starting with new record creation, where many organizations today are struggling with dispersed and fragmented visibility into operations and business processes. In addition, field service crew operations benefit from improved handling of complex work orders that can define and create fixed and ad how crews as well as assign the best-suited crew to complete a work order.

I anticipate that ServiceNow’s AIOps enhancements can prove the most significant differentiator among the Now Platform updates as organizational demand for proactive detection of issues before they occur is skyrocketing due to heightened security concerns related to ransomware, malware, geo-targeted phishing threats, mobile devices as attack vectors, IoT breaches, and cohesive cloud security as well as preventing service outages such as the high-profile that afflicted Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. This includes streaming logs from multiple sources such as Azure Monitor, Amazon S3, Azure CloudWatch, Kafka, REST API, and others as well as integration with domain separation to support managed services use cases.

Finally, I find the Mobile App Builder addresses growing demand for streamlined mobile configuration and enabling developers to spawn mobile apps with deep functionality and guided experiences as well as extend out of the box mobile workflows to build apps for both Android and iOS clients. I also anticipate that the Rome release’s focus on the manufacturing, financial services, and telecommunications verticals are fully warranted as these industries are at the forefront in needing cloud-based digital workflow solutions to fulfill their highest priority business missions such as client lifecycle operations, order management, and operational tech management.

Key Takeaways on ServiceNow Industry Analyst Event and Now Platform Rome Release

Overall, I view the Now Platform Rome release as generating the key differentiators that ServiceNow needs to stand out against a wide range of savvy rivals including IBM, BMC, Microsoft, SAP, and Atlassian. I believe the new release can empower organizations to improve employee satisfaction, catalyze automation across workforce processes, and ultimately make work better regardless of context. ServiceNow now has the platform required to drive digital innovation workflow in the hybrid workforce era. That said, it’s an extremely competitive landscape and ServiceNow will need to step up its marketing efforts and put a stake in the marketshare it seeks to claim.

Disclosure: Futurum Research is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Other insights from Futurum Research:

ServiceNow Intellibot Acquisition Another Step Forward in the RPA Arena — and an Exciting One 

IBM Investor Briefing 2021: The Growth is Coming

Microsoft Adds New Features to Teams to Support Hybrid Work and Enabling Collaboration

Image Credit: My TechDecisions

About the Author

Ron is an experienced research expert and analyst, with over 20 years of experience in the digital and IT transformation markets. He is a recognized authority at tracking the evolution of and identifying the key disruptive trends within the service enablement ecosystem, including software and services, infrastructure, 5G/IoT, AI/analytics, security, cloud computing, revenue management, and regulatory issues. Read Full Bio.