The ServiceNow product team had a clear goal: Reimagine the employee experience on the Now Platform. That meant designing a solution that would deliver a unified and proactive experience personalized for each user.
The team started by talking with customers around the world—of all sizes and across many industries. They also turned to the ServiceNow IT team. IT provided firsthand knowledge of what it means to deliver an exceptional employee experience on the platform. During these meetings, no topic was off limits, whether technical, functional, or design- or deployment-related.
The result was Employee Center—a new solution unveiled in the Rome release of the Now Platform. The features in Employee Center provide the single, unified portal experience the product team was after.
Employee Center offers a modern interface where employees can find information and take action across applications. Popular features include dynamic topic pages that curate catalog requests, knowledge base articles, links, apps, videos, and points of contact. Topic pages are designed and organized for fast self-service and intuitive navigation.
The power of many voices
Employee Center was released to the public in September. Just 25 days later, we launched our own version inside ServiceNow—a perfect example of CEO Bill McDermott’s directive to “innovate quickly and deliver fast time to value.”
According to Aarti S., an IT product manager at ServiceNow, this project perfectly illustrates the power of cross-functional collaboration in creating the best product possible for both employees and customers. We call this customer zero, where product and IT work closely to shape products before their release to customers.
“We have the privilege of seeing and using our solutions while they’re still a work in progress and giving our product team feedback early on,” Aarti says. She adds that close collaboration allows the product team to incorporate IT feedback in near-real time.
“All new products come with their own limitations initially,” says Sunil S., a UI/UX developer in IT at ServiceNow. “Using our own products allows each of us to say, ‘OK, this is what we are looking to add. This is what needs to change.’”
Sancho P., a senior director for the product team, says putting our products through the paces internally ensures they’re ready for prime time from the very beginning. This enables us to gather valuable feedback that we can share with customers, an incredibly important step in the process.
“Customers always ask, ‘What’s the best practice for deploying this solution?’” Sancho says. “While we can cite other customer examples, ultimately, they want to know how ServiceNow deploys it. We show our Employee Portal [Employee Center] as the starting point for what best-in-class looks like. Collaboration between our product and IT teams doesn’t just benefit the product; it also benefits customers who want to know how to best implement the product.”
Serving as customer zero continues to be a source of pride for employees.
“I think it’s important for us to drink our own champagne and experience firsthand what we’re rolling out to the market,” says Reema S., a senior business systems analyst in IT. “It feels great to be part of the bigger vision and deliver value for our customers.”
Consensus: Collaboration drives success
According to Sunil, the amount of testing—and changes—to implement this type of solution can typically take four months. How did they do it in 25 days? Through constant contact and collaboration.
“This was one of the best examples of collaboration between teams that I can recall,” Reema says. “We had so many cross-functional dependencies on the business, technical, and product sides—and everyone worked together to make it happen.”
She adds, “I’m so proud to be part of a team where everyone relies on each other so that if one person is not there, the others will pick it up and get the job done.”
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