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Transforming Workflow Automation: ServiceNow and GenAI

23/01/2024 minute read OneAdvanced PR

Firstly, what is ServiceNow?

ServiceNow launched in 2004, starting out in IT Service Management solutions such as service desk replacement services, and has grown exponentially since then. The platform now has a number of different capabilities focused on workflow automation – automating the messy middle that exists within organisations. Whether you’re in IT, Finance, or HR, they all involve processes that require automation and a common service model across the piece.

Today, ServiceNow covers four main areas:

  • Customer workflows: where companies use ServiceNow to interact with their customers and drive value.
  • Employee workflows: covering human capital management, such as joiner and leaver requests and process reviews.
  • Technology workflows: anything to do with a company’s IT stack and infrastructure automation.
  • Creator workflows: using the building blocks that exist within ServiceNow to build bespoke processes.

Intelligence has been built into the ServiceNow platform since inception, with customers leveraging machine learning capabilities including:

  • The ability to analyse historical data and patterns to anticipate future issues, trends, and opportunities.
  • The automation of the triaging and assignment of incident cases to the correct team the first time around, so you don't have to go through a reassignment process.
  • Providing agents with a view of similar incidents, cases that have already been resolved to enable them to get to a faster resolution for current tickets.
  • Virtual agents: ServiceNow’s AI powered chatbot that assists users in getting answers to their questions quickly.

These features have already been improving efficiency, reducing downtime, and ensuring a more proactive approach to managing IT services and business operations, however it can now take this even further.

GenAI in ServiceNow

Whereas previous forms of AI knew how to identify patterns, Generative AI (GenAI) adds the ability to create new patterns in three steps:

  1. Understand context & intent: it understands the context, the intent, and the sentiment of the person making a request.
  2. Synthesise information: it's able to go through multiple information sources and combine all of those sources into a relevant understanding.
  3. Generate content: it can generate content in a way that effectively communicates the findings from Step 2.

While ServiceNow has long realised the power of AI on the Now Platform®, the newest GenAI technologies are creating incredible possibilities for automation and productivity in the enterprise.

The Now Platform Vancouver release delivers new GenAI solutions to help improve productivity and satisfaction, drive purposeful automation, optimise processes, reduce costs, maximise efficiency, and create organisational agility.

The integration of GenAI and the ServiceNow platform is a powerful combination that can transform the experiences for end users and customers with resolutions that are fast, personalised, and that they can really trust.

As well as the Vancouver release, ServiceNow has also been planning for the long-term. It’s an exciting time for the entire tech industry and ServiceNow are in a position to combine GenAI with the power of the world's best intelligent workflow platform, enabling:

  1. Service personalisation: ServiceNow enhances the user and the customer experience with personalised experiences. GenAI can understand a user’s queries or their problems and provide them with relevant answers or improved recommendations to get to the point that they need to much quicker.

  2. Knowledge synthesis: ServiceNow can synthesise the knowledge for greater agent effectiveness. GenAI will assist service agents to recap past interactions, generate new knowledge and recommend solutions to the end user so they don't have to spend time writing these summaries out or typing resolution notes back to the customer. It's there at the tip of their fingers generated automatically.

So ServiceNow’s GenAI capabilities impact all of the workflows across the platform from IT help desk to developers. ServiceNow are introducing these now and continue to introduce new use cases that serve all of these personas across the platform.

ServiceNow helps increase productivity by automating those tedious tasks that people don't want to do, transforming experiences for our end users and our customers to solve many problems on their own. And finally, helping you become an agile enterprise and turning the results of GenAI into action.

Now Assist

Many organisations are looking for ways to reduce manual work for service desk agents and help them start work faster, deflecting cases and empowering users and customers to be able to resolve their issues on their own with a natural human language experience. They’re also after features such as being able to generate content automatically, including intelligent search results, create knowledge-based articles that can be provided to end users, and boosting developer productivity with intelligent recommendations for code.

ServiceNow’s solution to this is Now Assist which was launched in the Vancouver release. With Now Assist, you can power ServiceNow’s chatbot with the ability to answer questions from users more efficiently in a language that they actually understand. It allows agents to resolve incidents and cases much faster by providing them with email generation and resolution notes generation. It can optimise the workforce productivity with recommended actions, and decrease human error.

Example use cases for Now Assist:

Case summarisation: for the actual service desk agent, this tool can make light work of backtracking through issues to see what's happened in an incident or a ticket.

Conversational exchanges: Now Assist enables colleagues and customers to have very natural conversations that are contextual because the large language model has access to the history of the incident and the company context to have engaging conversations, which will be very powerful for people who want to deal with issues through chat.

Content creation: for agents and employees alike, content creation will be a very useful tool. In addition to the tools that the likes of Microsoft Copilot will bring, this will just be another feather in the cap for employees and for service desk agents to generate content. It can create knowledge-based articles which is very useful for service desk agents and also IT employees of our customers to create articles based on incidents that have happened that are unique to that business.

Text to code: for developers, we've already seen the likes of ChatGPT and other text to code tools being very powerful. With Now Assist, developers can convert plain language to high quality code within seconds.

How are Advanced leveraging ServiceNow?

Advanced launched ServiceNow a few months’ ago, moving our customers over from the old ITSM tool to the new platform. We have seen some major benefits already in a very short space of time, so we see ServiceNow as being absolutely critical to the delivery of our services to our customers.

As discussed throughout this blog, automation and machine learning already exist within the ServiceNow platform, so we are pleased to already be using several key features including:

  • Automating repetitive tasks to free up valuable time on the service desk.
  • Moving everything to ServiceNow for improved governance and linking it with our CRM system and SharePoint online to have up-to-date information.
  • Interfacing our monitoring tools, using them to create alerts and tickets and using script actions to provide self-healing capabilities.

The additional capabilities that will come from Now Assist present an exciting opportunity for us to leverage the benefits of GenAI in a secure and usable way for our customers in the future. What’s really key for us, is that it'll be native to the platform, and through the partnerships ServiceNow has with the likes of Open AI and Microsoft as well as having their own large language model (LLM) or GenAI capability, it really does give providers like us and customers exciting opportunities.

Get in touch to learn how we can help your organisation.

Blog adapted from our webinar 'Leveraging Gen AI in IT Services: the art of the possible', hosted by Graeme Vermeulen (Advanced), Tom Elkins (Konversational) & Richard Guy (Konversational).