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Utilising emerging technology to improve the customer experience

  • Alan Stock, who heads up Novosco’s ServiceNow practice, explains how ServiceNow allows Novosco to deliver optimised IT managed services for enterprise clients.

    IT managed service company Novosco works for many of Northern Ireland’s top 100 businesses as well as large health trusts, housing associations, and other organisations around the UK and Ireland. It uses innovative third-party platforms like ServiceNow to enhance the service it provides to customers.

    In 2018 ServiceNow was voted the world’s most innovative company by Forbes, ahead of Tesla and Workday, with company revenues growing to more than $2.6 billion in 2018. The company is already established as the market leader in IT Service Desk and Service Management software and is making strong inroads into the HR and Customer Service Management segments with its Now platform. But it is the digital platform’s capability around rapid custom application development and modernisation of legacy applications that perhaps holds the greatest potential for growth.

    ServiceNow’s core proposition is based around improving the customer experience – think customers making product or service enquiries; billing or payment enquiries; submitting claims; users logging IT faults or requests; employees interacting with HR or making a facilities management request. In addition to an intuitive self-service portal, the platform has strong AI, ML, workflow, and automation capabilities. ServiceNow also has its own app store that provides a list of certified third party applications and APIs to simplify integration.

    The challenge in recent years for many organisations has been to adopt the technology and processes that enable them to rival the customer experience offered by consumer services like Uber and Monzu or many of the other new wave of digital banks - banks that are clearly underpinned by sophisticated digital platforms. In addition to a user-friendly portal interface, ServiceNow incorporates a range of AI and automation features to enable service providers to deliver a full digital experience to their customers without facing legacy technology challenges inherent in longer-established service providers.

    After the initial interaction, AI-based intelligent routing applies to ensure that cases are categorised and routed quickly and accurately to the correct team for resolution or fulfilment. This helps to avoid one of the most common causes of customer dissatisfaction - where customers do not feel that issues have been resolved effectively.

    This is often due to the fact that issues never make it beyond the initial customer service team. So, in addition to the intelligent routing of cases, ServiceNow also applies orchestration and automation capabilities to connect with other business systems, where necessary, to complete transactions in a single cycle.

    One simple use case of how ServiceNow streamlines the provision of services is a request for onboarding a new employee in an organisation. The hiring manager starts by filling in the employee details on a self-service portal.

    ServiceNow automatically suggests the team or function that the employee should belong to. From there, an automated workflow generates a user and email account for the employee, assigns the user account to the relevant security groups and grants access to permitted applications and systems.

    In parallel, ServiceNow updates the employee details in the company HR and Payroll platforms to ensure that salary payments are made, tax details updated, benefits assigned, and an access pass requested. Approval cycles can be easily incorporated into this, and any other workflow.

    An automated request can also be triggered to IT for the provision of a laptop, mobile phone, authentication token, and any other IT equipment required. When the employee’s IT equipment has been deployed, the hardware and software asset details are automatically assigned to the employee within ServiceNow. This means that for any interaction with the IT Service Desk, the relevant contextual information is available to analysts to accelerate the resolution of issues.

    In large organisations this level of automation greatly reduces the lead time for onboarding and offboarding of employees while helping to maintain compliance and security standards.

    Novosco utilises ServiceNow to deliver optimised IT managed services to clients across the UK and Ireland. It also provides consulting services to assist organisations in their implementation of ServiceNow including process design, licensing requirements, platform and data migration and ongoing configuration.

    This article originally featured in the summer 2019 edition of the Sync NI magazine. You can download it here and sign up to receive the next magazine here.

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