ServiceNow adds Now Intelligence analytics to its platform with Orlando release

Now Intelligence consists of both new and enhanced features around the AI and analytics theme, in the same way some past releases have emphasized the enhancement of a related series of capabilities.

The ServiceNow Orlando release

ServiceNow has introduced Orlando, the latest new semi-annual major release of their Now platform. The central theme of this release is the addition of Now Intelligence, and its AI and analytics capabilities. Some of these are net-new, while others are enhancements of existing capabilities, but the whole is now organized and deployed in a more efficacious way.

“Customers use ServiceNow as a ‘platform of platforms’ to streamline work across legacy systems of record in a more engaging way,” said David Flesh, Senior Director, Product Marketing – Employee Workflow products, at ServiceNow. “Orlando continues to deliver on capabilities that support that mission. It brings together a collection of AI and analytics capabilities and puts them under the Now intelligence monitor. It’s very similar to the way that our New York release handled Now Mobile, only with intelligence – natural language, AI, machine learning and analytics.”

Most of the capabilities are enhancements of previous offerings, but Flesh emphasized that this is much for than a rebranding around Now Intelligence.

“It’s a brand, certainly, but there’s more than that,” he said. “We have had this great portfolio of capability for AI before, but it was distributed over a number of areas, and distributed through the workflow solutions. Now Intelligence changes how they get deployed, and adds new capabilities across the workflows.”

Flesh also indicated that while prior releases like last year’s New York and Madrid had over 600 new features, the messaging around Orlando is more about the significance than the number.

“In New York, we talked about over 600 features, but here it’s not so much the number as their importance that we want to emphasize,” he said.

ServiceNow defines the Now Intelligence innovations as falling into three buckets: analytics solutions; intelligence solutions and mobility solutions.

The analytics solutions include Cloud Insights, which is a brand new solution. It helps optimize the cost of cloud assets by making intelligent recommendations on managing usage across business hours, choosing the right resources and enforcing usage policies. Enhanced analytics solutions include Advanced Risk Assessments, to easily assess different risks within daily work regimens, and Software Exposure Assessment, which protects against impact of zero-day vulnerabilities by instantly identifying vulnerable software and related devices and servers, then initiating remediation immediately.

“These are key capabilities that leverage intelligence, with for example Advanced Risk Assessments helping to understand what’s happening specifically from a risk perspective,” Flesh said.

Intelligence Solutions include Agent Affinity for Work Assignment, which let customer service teams assign work to the best agent using intelligent context to improve customer satisfaction.  Virtual Agent, a long-standing offering, that has been updated in the last two releases, has been upgraded again, to make it easier to create and maintain NLU models. Lastly, CI/CD supports the use of standard DevOps tools for on-platform development at scale with team development.

Mobile Agent enhancements are a key element of the mobility enhancements.

“The mobile agent enhancements help agents from a service provider perspective, to allow issues to be resolved on any device,” Flesh said. These capabilities are available on ITSM, ITOM and Field Service Management solutions.

Mobile Branding and Analytics allows custom branding of the analytics being used in Now Mobile, to let customers bring analytics into the services that pre-hires, new hires and employees use most.

“Orlando allows the analytics to be branded to match their organization’s look and feel,” Flesh indicated.

The other mobile enhancement, Mobile Targeted Campaigns, uses analytics to provide employees with information specific to them on their mobile devices using profile information like location, department, and job type.

A further enhancement is the extension of the core Now Platform to manage DevOps pipelines, automating the manual and time-consuming change approval process, and allowing customers to safely release features developed off-platform more rapidly.

Initial response from ServiceNow’s channel partners has been highly positive.

“Orlando was well received when we previewed it at our European partner symposium,” said David Parsons, Senior Vice President, Global Alliances & Channel Ecosystem at ServiceNow. “Partners are thriving on the pace of our R&D innovation, and it’s an example of the features and capabilities that partners can deliver with their digital transformation services.

Parsons said that two direct benefits are presented to partners by Orlando.

“It’s an opportunity to go back to all their clients and upsell the Now intelligence, and bring that into the conversation,” he stated. “They will be able to translate these features and capabilities into business value. That’s a huge step because it’s a very natural conversation.”

These features also allow partners to continue to invest in ServiceNow practices.

“That creates a great economic foundation for them to grow,” Parsons emphasized.

ServiceNow’s Now Platform Orlando release is generally available now.