ServiceNow brings AI and analytics to its Now Platform

The "Orlando" release features Now Intelligence, incorporating automation to help boost employee productivity and efficiency.

Digital workflow company ServiceNow introduced the "Orlando" release of its Now Platform on Wednesday. The latest edition features the easy app-building abilities of the regular platform, but bolstered by Now Intelligence, the new set of artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics capabilities. 

SEE: Special report: Managing AI and ML in the enterprise (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

"We built this company on that initial use case around IT service management, or a way to modernize a help desk. [This involves] a request from someone having some kind of an issue and they need help from IT to help get it resolved," said Kevin Murray, vice president of product marketing at ServiceNow.

"That whole workflow around creating the incident, assigning a technician, and getting the problem fixed—-and maybe even recording a change request—was the early goings of ServiceNow," Murray said. "We've expanded massively into other workflow scenarios like IT, operations, management, HR workflows, customer service workflows, even security workflows. We do these things across these departments." 

The Orlando release allows employees to work faster and smarter, providing insights and recommendations that help users predict and solve problems in the workflow, according to the release. 

ServiceNow is integrated into approximately 80% of the Fortune 500 companies. Nutanix, Acorio, Highmetric, and UnitedLex are using and endorsing the Now Platform Orlando, the company said. 

The company made recent improvements to the Now Platform in December 2019, expanding integration to allow developers to build apps in VS Code, rather than its own web-based integrated development environment (IDE), named Studio.

ServiceNow also recently came under new leadership, naming its new CEO, Bill McDermott, in October 2019. Earlier this year, ZDNet's Larry Dignan reported on the new CEO's vision for the company, which included a focus on digital transformation and customer/employee experiences. 

This latest update to the Now Platform appears to build upon that vision. 

"When it comes to the bigger topic of digital transformation, the application of AI, machine learning, and this intelligence capability is truly what's going to separate companies that differentiate themselves and can get to market faster from those that don't," Murray said.

"The reason I say that is [because] processing information is manual if you're using humans to do it. If you apply these algorithms to interpret and suggest, it actually speeds up the process of business for any company," Murray added. 

"That means they can bring more products to market faster or they can respond to competitive issues faster. It's really a major game changer as far as how a business can operate and even find new revenue models for them," he said. 

Now Platform Orlando release features 

ServiceNow releases new editions to its Now Platform  in six months increments, alphabetically naming each edition after cities. Before Orlando was New York, Madrid, and London, Murray said. 

Here are some of the key updates in the latest Orlando release:

Analytics solutions 

  • Cloud Insights

This new tool helps users optimize the cost of their clouds through intelligent recommendations. The suggestions help employees manage usage across business hours, while choosing the best resources and implementing effective usage policies.  

  • Advanced Risk Assessments

This feature helps front-line employees assess various risks in their daily work, that way the second-line workers can adapt easily to changes while analyzing operations and other risks across the organization.

  • Software Exposure Assessments 

The software feature allows security and IT teams to minimize the potential effects of zero-day vulnerabilities by locating vulnerable software, devices, and servers, and then instigating changes through the regular IT workflows. 

Intelligence solutions

  • Agent Affinity for Work Assignment 

The solution allows customer service teams to assign work to the best person through intelligent context, which can help improve customer satisfaction. This intelligence includes assigning a project to a specific team to serve a specific customer, or to agents who have worked with the customer previously, and more. 

  • Virtual Agent with Natural Language Understanding

This updated feature continues the progress established in the Madrid and New York Now Platform releases, making it easier to create and manage NLU models. 

  • CI/CD

This solution offers support for standard DevOps tools for on-platform development at scale within a team. The capabilities include enhanced developer collaboration and simplified deployment processes. 

Mobility solutions 

  • Mobile Agent enhancements

These enhancements bring native mobile experiences to service desk agents and operators, allowing them to resolve issues at any time and on any device. 

  • Mobile Branding and Analytics

This feature enables the configuration of the Now Mobile enterprise experience within a customer-branded environment, allowing for deeper engagement and analytics throughout the services that pre-hires, new hires, and employees most often use. 

  • Mobile Targeted Campaigns

This solution gives employees important and relevant information directly to their mobile devices through the use of profile information like department and job type. The goal of this solution is to help reduce contact with the service desk and increase employee communications satisfaction. 

For more, check out ServiceNow aims to court CEOs, expand use cases beyond IT on ZDNet. 

Also see 

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Image: ServiceNow