Dream big. Take risks. Call these the mantras—or directives—of the ServiceNow solution consultant (SC) community. Ingrained in the DNA of our Solution Consulting Academy, they even play a role in the recruitment of enrollees.
According to Alex H., director of the global Solution Consulting Academy, “In order for our platform to be the platform for the 21st century, we need our SCs to set big goals—and never settle for less. Accomplishing them, at times, will require taking on risks.”
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The Solution Consulting Academy is a five-month program designed to launch the careers of SCs, whom Alex calls “trusted advisers” and the “technical counterpart to our sales reps.” They work directly with our account executives to help close deals.
In a nutshell, the academy provides accelerated technical training, certifications, professional development, and hands-on experience. All of this has traditionally taken nine to 12 months. The fast-paced courses ensure Solution Consulting Academy graduates are effective in the field on day one, Alex says.
The initial class of the academy in 2018 had 18 participants. The following year, enrollees increased to 26. This year, the number jumped to 42. Alex expects more than 100 enrollees in 2022.
In 2020, 93% of the 22 graduates continued in solution consulting at ServiceNow.
Expanding to include veterans
The Solution Consulting Academy was originally created to bring early-in-career talent into the SC organization. This year, it added the subset of veterans into the fold—recruiting recent and active military personnel and reservists to launch their post-service career.
Why veterans? Two reasons:
1. Customer centricity
Christine E., vice president of solution consulting, says veterans understand the lingo, business challenges, and unique nature of our federal business accounts. “They wield a great amount of respect and confidence with these customers because they served their country and have a unique understanding of them,” she says.
2. ServiceNow culture
The program is aligned with Veterans at Now, one of our employee Belonging Groups. Pete L, area vice president of solution consulting, says it’s part of our culture to give back. “Veterans are used to helping others and align to our vision, values, and mission by continuing to serve customers—no matter where they are,” he says.
An emphasis on relationships
The big question for the inaugural class of veterans is twofold: Why the Solution Consulting Academy, and why ServiceNow?
We spoke with the current group of enrollees, who are on schedule to graduate in December. Tré B. spent 10 years in the Marines, including four deployments—two tours each in Iraq and Afghanistan—as well as stints in Japan and Korea. He attributes our company culture as key to his transition from teaching overseas to joining ServiceNow.
“One of the main things that attracted me was how easy it was to request help from anyone in the ServiceNow community. It’s a culture that I hadn’t experienced since I was in the military,” he says. “Yes, we are competitive, but we all want everyone to succeed.”
Tré says the academy is all about relationships—and knowing he can provide customers with the exact solutions they need. “As SCs, we can work on sales without actually talking about money,” he explains. “It’s about getting customers something that’s robust, something that’s amazing, something that will last, and something that will solve their business issues. Making customers happy will be incredibly rewarding.”
Sergio H. spent five years in the Air Force and has been in the Reserves for a decade. Since leaving active duty in 2010, where he worked as a mechanic on the C-5 Galaxy, Sergio has worked mainly in corporate finance.
“I began to miss the daily pressures of the military and actually seeing the fruits of my labor,” he says. “I saw an opportunity in ServiceNow, through the SC Academy, to feel more like I was on the front lines, adding tangible value to what the company is trying to accomplish.”
Bringing the mantras to life
Sergio adds that the concepts of taking risks and dreaming big have unquestionably resonated with his personality and experience.
“I believe taking risks is all about getting out of your comfort zone. Dreaming big is about the bigger picture—what we can accomplish together,” he says. “I’ve always felt much better saying ‘We did it’ rather than ‘I did it.’ You don’t accomplish anything substantial as an individual. You must rely on others on the team.”
Jeremy W. joined the Army at 23 years of age and began as an explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) technician. After five years, he left the military for college, earning a bachelor’s degree in information science.
“What ultimately won me over for ServiceNow was how everyone I talked to during the interview process absolutely loved working at ServiceNow,” he says. “Everyone was warm, welcoming, and showed a genuine team spirit. The feeling has only been heightened after my first 60 days here.”
Jeremy says he’s most excited about helping businesses find value in a product that can, ultimately, allow them more financial flexibility to hire more employees and create more jobs. “Impacting the ability of companies to bring in more talent is very rewarding to me,” he says.
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