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ServiceNow reveals products to help companies plan for new COVID-19 workplaces

Derek du Preez Profile picture for user ddpreez May 6, 2020
The announcement of Workplace Service Delivery coincides with a separate integration announcement between ServiceNow and Adobe.

Image of a person at work using ServiceNow products
(Image sourced via ServiceNow)

ServiceNow has revealed plans to acquire the 4Facility assets of App4Motion and create a new Workplace Service Delivery product that will help companies prepare, plan and deploy new workplace environments as lockdown restrictions ease in the new COVID-19 world.

The Workplace Service Delivery product, as well as a new Health Alert tool and a ‘Return to Workplace' playbook, were announced at ServiceNow's virtual Knowledge 2020 event. You can find all of diginomica's coverage from the event in our Knowledge 2020 Hub here.

Companies around the world are waiting eagerly to find out how and when they will be able to return employees to work. However, most acknowledge that the workplace environment for the foreseeable future will look drastically different, with social distancing restrictions likely staying in place.

ServiceNow notes that as the curve flattens and organisations consider how to safely return employees to company workplaces, they need solutions that allow them to "balance employee preferences with health, regulatory and safety requirements and the demands of the business".

Being a cloud workflow platform, ServiceNow has recognised that it could play a central role in the planning and execution of these new environments - in helping customers rethink the processes needed to adapt to the ‘new abnormal'.

Commenting on the acquisition and planned offering, Chirantan Desai, chief product officer at ServiceNow said:

The COVID-19 pandemic is today's ‘moment that matters,'and it shows the need for companies to break down silos between departments focused on safety of their employees and customers.

IT, HR, risk, workplace services and legal departments must collaborate more than ever before to safely bring employees back to company workplaces and to support new ways of work in the future. The Now Platform powers this collaboration with intelligent digital workflows.

The acquisition of the 4Facility assets of App4Motion, which is a ServiceNow application and implementation services partner, is expected to complete by the end of Q2 2020. The availability of Workplace Service Delivery is expected in Q3 2020.

The new product will allow employees to reserve desks, offices and parking spots, with the aim of leaving space for physical distancing. It is intended that it will allow workplace service leaders to easily communicate with employees, trigger workplace maintenance and cleaning workflows, respond to safety concerns and optimise real estate spending over time by monitoring usage.

COVID-19 specific products are going to become increasingly prevalent in the coming months, from a variety of vendors. Earlier this week Salesforce also announced its product, which is aimed at supporting the safe re-opening of businesses, and includes tools such as contact tracing, emergency response management and shift management.

ServiceNow's offering also includes the introduction of a new Legal Service Delivery product which, amongst other things, will help legal teams to collaborate with HR and workplace services teams to better employee safety and regulatory compliance during COVID-19.

Integration with Adobe

Separate to the COVID-19 tools, ServiceNow isalso progressing with its core offering by announcing the availability of anpartnership integration with Adobe.

Whilst integrations are a dime a dozen in many cases, this one in particular plays right into a core area of focus for ServiceNow going forward - becoming a central component of how businesses think about ‘customer experience;.

The integration will see customers able to connect data from Adobe Experience Platform and ServiceNow's Customer Service Management workflow product. The idea being that the workflows that support customer support and experience management will be more seamlessly integrated with the customer data profiles seen in Adobe's products - giving companies more control and visibility into how they manage those experiences.

Paul Walsh, global chief digital officer at Lenovo, a customer of the two companies, said:

Leveraging Adobe and ServiceNow, we are looking forward to aligning our marketing and customer service organizations even more closely to engage customers with more intelligent, data‑driven and contextual interactions.

ServiceNow is pushing its platform as the platform of ‘experience' - one that is useful across the enterprise, not just within the IT department (as historically has been the case). Aligning closely with Adobe in the field of customer experience plays well to this agenda.

ServiceNow's future success relies on companies aggressively considering how they can better serve employees and customers by rethinking their existing processes, across multiple silos. CEO Bill McDermott has spoken on this exact issue with diginomica in recent months.

Through the integration, ServiceNow and Adobe customers will be able to:

  • Break down data silos - ServiceNow and Adobe hope that the integration will allow customers to create data workflows that remove barriers for customers across an organisation. For example, the companies claim that when a customer reaches out with an inquiry, the organisation will be able to see the full view of that customer's engagement with the brand.

  • Deeper insights for personalization - Adobe and ServiceNow state that great experiences are "built on the understanding of a customer's journey". The integration will allow companies to streamline work between teams by aggregating data during the ‘evaluate' and ‘purchase' touch points, meaning that they can build a deeper understanding of a customer's profile and intentions.

  • Customer experiences - Companies should now be able to better understand which products or services the customer owns and uses, which in theory could drive a greater level of personalization. The two companies claim that customers will receive a web and content experience that is tailored and relevant to their stage in their customer journey.

My take

ServiceNow - and other vendors - are having to quickly anticipate and predict how the future of work might change in the medium to long term as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. That's not an easy thing to do, without insight into what changes are going to be required and with variation country by country. However, the key thing to remember is that change *will* be required and that should be an opportunity for cloud-based vendors. Or at least for the ones that are willing to adapt alongside their customers.

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