Speed major theme of ServiceNow Quebec release, through expanded AI, and new low-code app development tools

Major new innovations include Creator Workflows, a low-code app tool which becomes the fourth member of ServiceNow’s Workflow portfolio, and new AI-based ITOM Predictive AIOps, AI Search and Virtual Agent tools.

Today ServiceNow is unveiling its Now Platform Quebec release. This latest version of their platform emphasizes faster time to value and improved productivity, with expanded native AI capabilities and new low-code app development tools. Major new tools include Creator Workflows, which becomes the fourth Workflow tool in ServiceNow’s portfolio, as well as new ITOM Predictive AIOps, AI Search and Virtual Agent tools.

“The overall theme of this release is speed,” said Piero DePaoli, Senior Director of Product and Solutions Marketing at ServiceNow. “We are trying to help organizations increase their speed and agility. We all need to operate significantly faster and things like AI and self service can really help with that.”

Low-code workflow processes designed to make it easier for Line of Business people to create processes themselves without waiting on IT have become much more common in the industry over the last couple of years, and ServiceNow is following up its earlier efforts here with some new tools.

“Creator Workflows is the fourth of our Workflow portfolios, joining IT, Customer and Employee Workflows, and enabling less technical people in organizations to build on ServiceNow,” DePaoli said.

Creator Workflows features two new tools.

“App Engine Studio is a low code tool that enables anyone to build an application in a low-code visual development environment using ‘drag and drop’ techniques,” DePaoli indicated. “It’s for Line of Business teams that need to create something purpose-built for a task. It lets them do this, keeping within guiderails set by the organization, so they don’t have to go to IT, which can take weeks.”

The other key new tool here is App Engine Templates, which give teams access to pre-built workflow building blocks so these non-technical developers don’t have to start from scratch when building apps.

“These are prebuilt places to get started,” DePaoli indicated. “For example, for creating an app relating to Work From Home experience, the templates will have a pre-built form with specific Work From Home tasks. It makes it much easier to put a process in place.”

Three new broad workflow solutions are also new with Quebec:  Process Optimization; Workflow Optimization, and Engagement Messenger.

“These are things that we have done around process and workflow optimization capabilities to help both IT and customer service organizations proactively identify potential bottlenecks,” DePaoli indicated.  Process Optimization lets IT and customer service organizations visually create and improve the underlying processes driving workflows, and proactively identify and avoid process bottlenecks. Workforce Optimization provides a workspace for IT and customer service managers that monitors real-time agent productivity, workload and KPIs across multiple channels, resulting in improved customer experiences.

“These are complete net-new capabilities,” DePaoli said. “All the underlying data was always here, but the ability to help organizations see what the delays are is new.

The third new tool, Engagement Messenger enables AI search, Knowledge Management, Case and Virtual Agent interactions to third party portals.

“Embedding these capabilities into the organizations’ own portals greatly improved their self-service capabilities,” DePaoli said.

Quebec contains three new AI tools to enhance productivity, two of which use capabilities that come from recent acquisitions.

“ITOM Predictive AIOps uses technology from our acquisition of Loom Systems last year,” DePaoli noted. “It allows us to predict an issue on a system before it becomes a problem. It only identifies the problem, and doesn’t have self healing capabilities – but that’s where the rest of ServiceNow comes in.”

AI Search utilizes technology that ServiceNow acquired with Attivio

“This delivers a search experience with the right type of content, that’s personal and relevant, for both employees and customers,” DePaoli said. It provides the information in service portals, on mobile, and Virtual Agent.

The third improvement here relates to Virtual Agent, an existing ServiceNow tool.

“We have added more things around guided setup, some topic recommendation, and speed incident resolutions,” DePaoli indicated.

Universal Request is another new capability in this release. It lets agents collaborate and transfer tickets across departments while keeping employees informed of the status of their ticket.

“Prior to Universal Request,  different departments would have different ways of doing work in their siloes,” DePaoli explained. “What Universal Request allows us to do is not care what department the request involved. It ensures that it will get routed to the right department, so the employee doesn’t have to choose between say, IT, HR, facilities, or a combination. It makes things easier for them.”

New industry-specific features have also been introduced in this release.

“We have added more features for financial services operations, such as adding in loan operations into retail banking services,” DePaoli said. “For telecommunications management, we have added in telco order management for new services. These also relate to that theme of speed.”

DePaoli noted a couple of the new capabilities which will be of particular interest  to  channel partners.

“One is the process and workforce optimization,” he said. “There are some pure play process products in that space, and for partners who may have been trying to stitch something together with us, this makes it much, much easier. They won’t have to do it themselves.”

The second is the ITOM Predictive AIOps.

“There are pure play AI products partners will want to attach. They can sell them now with ServiceNow and know they will work off the bat.”

The Now Platform Quebec release is generally available now.