ServiceNow Technology Enables People in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Speaking at Knowledge18 this morning, ServiceNow Chief Product Officer CJ Desai, expanded on President and CEO, John Donahoe’s keynote, and the belief that technology should be in the service of people. CJ discussed the current business and technology environment as the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This is a moment in history where how we live, work and play are being shaped by artificial intelligence, connected things, quantum computing and beyond.

In service of better work experiences, the new products include Agent Workspace, a command center for service agents and IT fulfillers to prioritize and take action against the most pressing work tasks. Desai also announced Virtual Agent, a chatbot service that takes chat from conversation to resolution.

To harness the power of DevOps for the enterprise, he also previewed Enterprise DevOps, a new product that connects developers and the IT operations team to give organizations the speed, visibility and control they need to get apps into production faster. ServiceNow already uses DevOps to manage internal software development, a highly complex process that involves some 80 builds every day, along with code check-ins from a thousand ServiceNow developers worldwide. The product will be available for customers in the Madrid release.

In previous industrial revolutions, people were forced to adapt themselves to new technologies like the steam engine and the assembly line, Desai noted. In contrast, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is about technologies that adapt to human needs.

“All these technologies are in the service of humans,” said Desai. “They will fundamentally change how we live and work.”

Desai said, ServiceNow is in the business of delivering great experiences as a service. He contrasted this vision with the various “as a service” buzzwords (SaaS, IaaS, PaaS) that have defined the software industry since the 1990s.

“We believe when technology is focused on humans it has to be about experiences, because experiences are what people remember,” Desai said.

Desai presented four real-life work experiences that will benefit from ServiceNow’s new products: IT fulfillers, employees, executives and software development managers.

One onstage skit featured a stressed-out IT help desk worker who was struggling to field a massive volume of requests using multiple browser tabs and Post-It notes. Desai introduced the worker to Agent Workspace so she could manage all her fulfiller tasks from a single screen.

Agent Workspace features Agent Assist, a new “contextual assistant” that automatically surfaces knowledge base articles relevant to the task at hand. Agent Workspace will be available initially for Customer Service Management and IT Service Management (ITSM) applications. “It’s your command center for prioritizing and taking action,” Desai said.

In another skit, a remote worker struggled to order a new laptop via a complex phone tree that delivered maximum aggravation and minimum results. Desai used the skit to present ServiceNow’s new Virtual Agent, a mobile chatbot experience that allowed the worker to order the new device from his smartphone using a simple, conversational interface. Since the Virtual Agent runs on the Now Platform, it recognized the employee immediately and knew the context to drive toward a quicker resolution.

Virtual Agent can handle service workflows across the enterprise. It includes pre-built conversations for ITSM, Customer Service and HR. It also features a conversation designer that customers can use to build customized chat experiences.

The Virtual Agent experience will also benefit from ServiceNow’s recent acquisition of Parlo, a startup whose natural language technology will be integrated on the Now Platform in coming months.

With the focus on service agents, employees, and developers, ServiceNow’s purpose, the belief technology should enable people – and help make the world of work, work better for people, is truly being brought to life.