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Extend support for enterprises services

Engage in a two‑way education with partners to discover potential use cases for enterprise services.

  • Understand your partners’ challenges, objectives, and vision to identify potential enterprise services.
  • Educate selected partners on ESM basics while exploring and vetting potential use cases.
  • Entice partners to start asking about potential use cases and pilot activities.
  • Identify the use cases for enterprise services.

“If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near.” – Jack Welch

This stage describes the people to engage who can expand your support for enterprise services, how to prepare for your discussions with them, and what a good conversation with these business partners is like. Education is the name of the game here: You’re learning about the business and the business is learning about the capabilities you can bring to the table.

Your role

As they try to gain support for enterprise services, many Now Platform owners find that their role is less that of a technologist and more that of a teacher and advisor. That requires collaboration and coordination across business functions (not to mention leadership buy‑in).

You’re teaching your business partners a new way of thinking. Change management will be a key obstacle as you go through this journey, but if things go right, your business partners can become change agents for you. What you most want to discover are the best opportunities for quick ESM wins.

How to talk about ESM

You already know ESM can provide extensive benefits to your business partners, so now is the time to target partners and perform some education. When you describe ESM in the context of the Now Platform, you can provide real business value for partners.

Follow this basic framework when you describe ESM (based on our How to launch digital business services best practice guide):

  1. To provide a service, you first must have a single system of engagement for common, repeatable use cases.
  2. Next, create a single system of action (or workflow) so you can deliver on those use cases in a standard, consistent, and automated manner.
  3. And finally, create a system of insight that allows you to track performance. This gives you what you need to make continuous improvement or adjust your service when your business needs change.

Once you show ESM to your business partners through this lens, through the context of their area of ownership, they should be able to have the “aha moment” necessary for them to identify relevant use cases. As an added bonus, describing ESM in this way keeps it from being theoretical.

Promote a two‑way education on business priorities

Engaging with business partners needs to be a two‑way educational experience. It’s important to educate them on the power of ESM. But you need to ground that conversation in the challenges your business partners are facing—and on how you can help solve those challenges with enterprise services using ServiceNow.

Ask your business partners about their challenges, and then respond with a baseline education on what enterprise services can do to solve them. Through this two‑way education, you’ll gain interest from your partners as well as insight into potential opportunities for services.

Step 1: Know your business partners

When you’re ready to engage, seek out business partners who own potential use cases for ESM. Table 1 provides a list of business partners with guidance on what to ask about to discover potential use cases.

Before you get to the additional questions in the table, ask each type of business partner you’ve engaged these general questions so they can help you start formulating the ESM use cases:

  • How do requests for work come into your department?
  • How does your department track and manage work requests?
  • How does your department assign work requests?
  • What are the key measures your department uses to assess operational performance?

After asking these initial questions, use the table to drill down into more specific questions to ask.

Top 10 ESM benefits for business partners
  • Improved efficiency and reduced operational costs
  • Self-service efficiencies and workload reductions
  • Increased control and monitoring
  • Improved effectiveness
  • Improved visibility into operations and performance
  • Better service delivery and employee and customer experience<
  • More effective communication
  • Increased accountability
  • Improved integration capabilities
  • Improved collaboration within and across business units
  •  

Top 10 ESM benefits for business partners
  • Improved efficiency and reduced operational costs
  • Self-service efficiencies and workload reductions
  • Increased control and monitoring
  • Improved effectiveness
  • Improved visibility into operations and performance
  • Better service delivery and employee and customer experience<
  • More effective communication
  • Increased accountability
  • Improved integration capabilities
  • Improved collaboration within and across business units
  •  

Table 1: Business partners to engage with and their primary drivers

Regardless of the business unit, there are other ways to determine if a business partner’s department can benefit from enterprise services. Here are some criteria to help you determine if enterprise services are justified:

  1. The business functions in a shared services model.
  2. The business receives work requests through a number of sources.
  3. The business is unable to manage the priority and service level agreement (SLAs) for work requests.
  4. The business needs a better way to track work requests and manage them through various stages of a lifecycle.
  5. The business has to refer to data in multiple tools or systems to properly fulfill a request.
  6. The business needs a better way to report on the work it does to demonstrate value to the organization.
Expert Tip

EXPERT TIP

Identify interested business partners with high transactional businesses who are already devoted to service improvement.

Step 2: Do some homework on your business partners

Once you know your partners, perform some additional homework to learn more about them. Learn about their business line and function, common language and concepts, systems they use, and maturity and business priorities.

Doing this will make your engagement with each partner more effective and impactful. To be fully prepared, complete this list of homework activities:

  1. Activity: Review and understand your company’s mission and vision

     

    How – Read the company financial report and look for details on a company strategy you can target (i.e., digital transformation or process automation).

    Why – This provides insight into the company strategy, which helps you determine how ESM use cases can support the strategy. In addition, aligning with business goals often results in more traction and leadership buy‑in.

  2. Activity: Get access to user data and opportunities to streamline

     

    How – Get access to secondary data, such as common complaints by employees within the organization, to demonstrate how ESM use cases can provide value. For example, in many organizations, the employee onboarding process is poor because it’s typically manual. It’s a slow process to get an employee ready to work, creating a poor experience for new employees.

    Why – To help pinpoint enterprise service opportunities, you must understand your partners’ business challenges and the metrics they care about. This is also an opportunity to discover data sets that may already be tracked and managed within ServiceNow. In some instances, it provides an opportunity to eliminate an existing integration or manual process.

  3. Activity: Review financial data

     

    How – Ask your business partners and finance if they’re willing to share their business unit’s P&L statements.

    Why – This information will help you understand your partners’ financial model (revenue and cost).

  4. Activity: Perform interviews or surveys

     

    How – With prior permission from your business partners, perform interviews and/or surveys with those in the fulfiller role to understand existing processes and any challenges that users face today.

    Why – You’ll use this information later to understand use case opportunities for enterprise services.

  5. Activity: Determine current systems in place within the business unit

     

    How – Inventory what systems are in place:

    • Applications (i.e., SharePoint, ERP, CRM, or others)
    • Media (i.e., on premises, cloud, mobile, or others)
    • Usage, costs, and contract renewal timing

    Why – This inventory helps you identify opportunities to condense the number of tools used to perform a task. Plus, knowing the cost of licensing and maintenance of other tools will provide insight into the ROI after shifting to ServiceNow.

  6. Activity: Research industry trends by business area

     

    How – Find industry sites, blogs, and journals, and read up on the how the business operates, its challenges, its current and future trends, and what its competition is doing. Take note of the industry language used.

    Why – Learning a partner’s industry language allows you to speak from their point of view.

Experience

Includes both interactions and transactions and could refer to both employee and customer experiences (EX and CX)

Expert Tip

EXPERT TIP

Be selective early on about the partners you choose to target. Look for those who will embrace a new way of thinking and be your change agents in the future.

Step 3: Meet with your business partners with two‑way education as your goal

Once you’ve completed your homework, you’re ready to meet with business partners. Ask for a meeting and prepare yourself for the discussion. The goal of the meeting is to learn more about their business and articulate how enterprise services can help meet their business needs.

The homework you performed ahead of time will help you be prepared to ask relevant questions and have sufficient context to understand your business partners’ point of view. With the right conversation, you can generate interest from business partners, and that will lead to potential use cases for enterprise services.

Use these three tactics to run an effective meeting with your business partners:

  1. Use your partner’s business terms – It’s common for different areas of an organization to refer to certain terminology in different ways. Terminology between business units varies, so you’ll need to do a translation based on the business unit. For example, HR calls a work request a "case," but IT calls it an "incident." Make sure to use the terms your partners will understand while conveying what ESM can do for them and how it can support their business priorities. Again, the goal is to get them interested in use cases with service opportunities, but they need to understand what you’re talking to them about in their terms. A quote from one ServiceNow customer summarizes this point: "Every single one of your conversations has to be framed in the language [used by] the business that you're speaking with."
  2. Ask leading questions – Your goal is to start validating your business partners’ most important challenges and objectives. Ask questions like:
    • Given the CEO’s priorities for…—and given your stated objective…—what ties those priorities and your objective together in your mind?
    • Given what I know (or heard), your priorities are… Which of these things is most getting in your way?
  3. Ask questions in a way that earns trust – There are some categories you can ask about, but the way you ask the question is really important because your phrasing will tell your partner immediately whether or not they’ll trust you. Make the conversation about how you can help them. Avoid questions that point out the negatives the partner already knows unless you’re bringing them up to provide solutions. Ask partners about improving the employee experience. You might say, "Here’s what I heard so far about your employee experience—do you agree with that?" Or provide a quick summary and ask, "What am I missing?" Show what you already know and ask them to fill in the blanks rather than saying something like, "Tell me what your strategy is." Get them on your side so they start thinking "Hey, this person may be able to do it." The way you ask questions is powerful in gaining business partner support.

Heads up! Don’t get too lost in service management jargon, especially as it relates to IT. Rather than dwell on terms like “system of engagement” and “system of action” (or assume that business partners know what these mean), use simple language to describe how a business service works. For example, you could say “Our technology will let you create a standard touch point with employees or customers so they can make a request, like onboarding a new employee.”

Follow this advice when you interview your business partners:

  • Come with prepared questions. For sample questions, read the Now Platform owner interview guide part 1 (two‑way education).
  • Come with a prepared statement of what you think they do or need based on your homework.
  • Don’t overlook the importance of learning about what your partner does or needs. Let them educate you on what they do. But also aspire to end the meeting with a sense of the potential use cases you can build business services for.
  • Before you offer solutions, take notes on what the partner says and build a better understanding of their needs. Try to start visualizing the big picture, then provide solutions.

Frame the enterprise services opportunity

As you start to learn about your partners’ business challenges, take the opportunity to pitch how ESM can help them. You don’t have to get into the minutia of ESM—instead, lead with representative examples of use cases from another business unit or company in the same business function.

Here are the key points you need to drive the conversation with your business partners followed by why they’re important:

  • Position ESM as an enterprise initiative, not an IT‑only initiative – Make it clear that services provide a companywide or global solution and benefits not just an IT solution. If you already have executive sponsorship, try to use it in your messaging.
  • Provide the value proposition of ESM – Use ESM as a means for your business partners to manage complexity while improving efficiency and speed.
  • Promote the benefits of process automation – Talk about how the Now Platform can make your partners’ processes more effective and efficient.
  • Demonstrate the achievement of digital transformation – Show your partners how ESM can help them realize their goals and take advantage of the latest technologies, like AI. Read what Ventana Research has to say about digital transformation.
  • Promote benefits and outcomes – Talk in terms of benefits and the business outcomes your partners can achieve.
  • Use business metrics – Strengthen the value of ESM by providing examples of value delivered by other business units from past deployments, including financial gains or savings, increases in customer and employee satisfaction, and reduced risk. For example, our customer service team’s Net Promoter Scores increased by 40 points after they implemented ServiceNow Customer Service Management to manage its inbound cases.

You may be excited to talk to your partners about ESM and the Now Platform, but reposition it to their point of view and what really matters to them. Pivot and make it all about them, and at the end of the day, you’ll have the solution.

Digital transformation

“By 2021, only 50% of organizations will have transformed their business processes to be more intelligent and automated by embracing digital technology. There are a number of critical digital technology innovations that your organization should consider as part of any new investments to ensure that you are gaining ground in the seismic shifts in computing. Organizations that don’t do so risk missing out on opportunities and being left behind by competitors.”

Now Platform owner interview guide part 1 (two-way education)
Use this guide when working with your business partners. Let them educate you on what they do. Ask:

  1. Who are your customers? What group or industry do you serve?
  2. What are your business priorities? (Tailor this question to the business challenges listed in Table 1.)
  3. How do you measure and track your success?
  4. How do you access your reports and dashboards on your business productivity?
  5. What is your vision for the future of your business?

Key tips to keep in mind:

  • Avoiding IT-type talk.
  • Speak from their point of view.
  • Use their business terms.
  • Tie your replies to ESM capabilities.
Digital transformation

“By 2021, only 50% of organizations will have transformed their business processes to be more intelligent and automated by embracing digital technology. There are a number of critical digital technology innovations that your organization should consider as part of any new investments to ensure that you are gaining ground in the seismic shifts in computing. Organizations that don’t do so risk missing out on opportunities and being left behind by competitors.”

Now Platform owner interview guide part 1 (two-way education)
Use this guide when working with your business partners. Let them educate you on what they do. Ask:

  1. Who are your customers? What group or industry do you serve?
  2. What are your business priorities? (Tailor this question to the business challenges listed in Table 1.)
  3. How do you measure and track your success?
  4. How do you access your reports and dashboards on your business productivity?
  5. What is your vision for the future of your business?

Key tips to keep in mind:

  • Avoiding IT-type talk.
  • Speak from their point of view.
  • Use their business terms.
  • Tie your replies to ESM capabilities.
Expert Tip

EXPERT TIP

You may need to build up your credibility with your business partners. To do this, you can: 1) Practice your conversation with mid‑level managers so you can get to know the function before you pitch to the head of the function—you only get one shot at a meeting like that; and 2) Show how ESM has transformed IT along with the measures that prove that transformation. Go in from a position of strength.

The customers quoted next provide valuable insight into how you can show business partners the value of ESM.

“Bottom line, most companies look into growing revenue. I’ve been in too many conversations where you tell them it will cost $50K+ to stand up the new process, which could scare them off. But if you can show them the model for how you will recoup and what the new process will help you save, it’s a different conversation.”

Often, I ask my partners, ‘How do you prove when your team is overworked and needs more headcount?’ I tell them the only way to get the analytics they need to track productivity, such as through email, is to digitize your work.”

The most important thing is to make the conversation about how they work and how we can make their processes better and easier for everyone.”

Your partners don’t need to know anything about the details of the technology. They don’t want to know about the bits and bytes. Talk to them about how you help them get work done faster and in easy terms.”

Your pitch presentation

When you pitch to your business partners, create an introduction presentation with a few slides to demonstrate how ESM can help them. Check out our Introducing ServiceNow & Business Value presentation on the ServiceNow Champion Enablement site.

Figure 1 shows an example of a “strategy on a page” so you can see how you might transform some of your business partner’s current processes.

Figure 1: Strategy on a page to use with an HR business partner

Expert Tip

EXPERT TIP

After you’ve had three or four conversations with your partners, assess how much organizational change management you will need to invest in across your journey with them.

Use ServiceNow and other resources

You’re educating and pitching to your partners, but you should also use outside resources with expert advice. ServiceNow offers many resources to help you on this journey:

  • Champion Enablement – This self‑service educational resource is available at no charge to all Community‑registered customers and partners. Based on the principle that success is more than simply implementing the technical platform, it offers customizable templates, guides, and planning tools to help you elevate the ServiceNow program and promote service management across the enterprise, in these key areas: 

    • Accelerate go‑live communication
    • Establish a strategic program
    • Share success with the enterprise
  • ServiceNow User Groups (SNUGs) – SNUGs allow ServiceNow customers to interact with other customers in their local community. Many times, Now Platform owners will bring their business partners to these meetings to broker conversations with customers in similar business areas and discuss how they’re using ESM tools.
  • Knowledge conference and Now Forums – Like SNUGs, these events are also mostly led by customers and you can bring your business partners to them. These events will allow your business partners to see the latest product demonstrations and interact with peers in their field. Here are a few customer quotes from our recent Knowledge conference.
  • "We know ServiceNow is primarily an IT product but it was eye‑opening to see how much HR was represented during the conference and how many HR customers attended."

    "A customer initially texted the company admin saying, "I know these conferences are all sales focused and showing products that never quite work the way they are demoed." On day two of the conference, his text to the admin said, "I was wrong. I drank the Kool‑Aid and I love ServiceNow!" He came back excited with a long list of ideas to explore further.

  • ServiceNow account team – Your account executive and solution consultant partners will help support you when you engage with your business partners. ServiceNow customers will bring the ServiceNow team into the conversations to give product demonstrations and, most importantly, talk about how other customers use enterprise services in their functional areas.
  • Other resources – Use other outside resources and look for articles on digital transformation (if possible, find resources specific to your industry). Check out some of the articles posted under the tools and resources section of this guide, and send them to your business partners or incorporate them into your pitch deck.
Expert Tip

EXPERT TIP

Use the ServiceNow Community to understand and communicate best practices other organizations are using in enterprise service management.

Step 4: Identify and capture use cases

Your conversations with business partners should generate potential leads for use cases that you can prioritize for development. Coming out of your conversation, document the pain points you heard and diagnose whether a service management approach can resolve them.

Use the two tactics and their actions listed here and part 2 of the interview guide to help you perform the interviews:

Identify pain points – Inquire about pain points that directly speak to the benefits of enterprise services. Also, try to take a clean slate approach. Your business partners may tend to talk about existing broken processes or legacy processes that are working but are still very manual. Steer them toward a green field of opportunities to explore. Key questions include:

  • What are the elements of your processes or capabilities that are the most manual and inefficient?
  • What workflows are critical to business success?
  • What tasks are repeatable, such that if automated, will help you free people up to higher‑level tasks?

Pain points are often associated with lack of visibility, lots of “swivel chair” activities (i.e., switching between systems), and employee or customer complaints.

Perform a diagnosis – Focus on solving problems that your partners really care about. If you can solve a problem for your partners that is critical to their success, you will really get their attention.

  • Think about what you could digitize to add value, or save, on common manual tasks.
  • Ask probing questions to discover where automation can add meaningful business value.

“I went to the general counsel (GC) and asked him to ‘tell me about your services.’ GC said we don’t do services, we do stuff. Then I asked him to tell me what are all the GC mailboxes he had that don’t go to an individual. I found out there were six that managed processes like NDA review and contract review. Email domains like these offer a proxy for the services that any group offers.”

Now Platform owner interview guide part 2 (use cases)

 

Use this guide when working with your business partners.

Identifying potential use cases:

  1. What are some of your most redundant and manual processes?
  2. How many team email boxes do you have? (e.g., customerservice@yourcompany.com)
  3. How are you notified when key events happen over the course of business?
  4. Can you walk me through your current processes today?
  5. Is there anything in your current processes you think is missing?
  6. What are the different roles that interact with your processes?
  7. Do you have to manually dig for data somewhere, such as in another system?
  8. Are there any elements of the process that are considered "busy work" and could be automated?
Now Platform owner interview guide part 2 (use cases)

 

Use this guide when working with your business partners.

Identifying potential use cases:

  1. What are some of your most redundant and manual processes?
  2. How many team email boxes do you have? (e.g., customerservice@yourcompany.com)
  3. How are you notified when key events happen over the course of business?
  4. Can you walk me through your current processes today?
  5. Is there anything in your current processes you think is missing?
  6. What are the different roles that interact with your processes?
  7. Do you have to manually dig for data somewhere, such as in another system?
  8. Are there any elements of the process that are considered "busy work" and could be automated?
Expert Tip

EXPERT TIP

The best initial ESM opportunities are simple, quick wins that don’t require a lot of organizational change management.

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