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ServiceNow Strategy

Customizing (and Configuring) Your ServiceNow Platform [AVA eBook]

AVA eBook

At Acorio, we strive to guide our customers through every step of their ServiceNow transformation.

This means that we’ve got you covered from the initial planning meetings to post-implementation maintenance, and everything else that comes in between. One of the ways in which we ensure that our clients continue to receive the help they need even after their ServiceNow instance has been installed is through our Acorio Virtual Assistance (AVA) program.

With AVA, our clients gain the extra set(s) of hands they need to maintain and expand their ServiceNow instance. Last month, we walked through one common scenario that our customers see that can overwhelm or delay any internal ServiceNow platform team.

Today, we’re going to walk through another. You’ll learn;

  • The general challenge facing admins and platform owners
  • What’s preventing you from taking full advantage of ServiceNow’s potential in your company
  • The most important questions you should be asking your partner to keep you on the right track
  • Common hints to ensure you’re getting the right kind of support to set you up for success.

Customizing (and Configuring) Your ServiceNow Platform

After a successful implementation, you’ve braved the kick-off messaging and celebrated with your ServiceNow go-live cake. Now the real work begins… Almost immediately, most System Admins start to get questions along the lines of, “What I actually need the platform to do is X…” or “Now that we have rolled this out, I need my team to have access to Y.”

Assuming that the requests are just “punch list” items can be a critical mistake. Generally, these requests are actually new configuration and customization tasks, and they tend to get increasingly complex as platform use continues. Chances are, your System Administrator has never seen these types of asks, nor do they understand the potential downstream effects these requests could have.

The Solution?

An hourly virtual assistance model is a budget-friendly way to get access to Senior Talent adding full-time headcount. Using a partner can ease the stress on your System Administrator. A “phone-a-friend” support option offers your team a seasoned ServiceNow Admin to provide general guidance, or to quickly tackle more complex cases until your new admin feels comfortable to handle them independently.

The right education and support ensure a quick delivery time, knowledgeable employees, and satisfied external clients. You’ll also save time and money inefficiencies and avoided mistakes.

1. Find a partner who “solves” rather than “bills”:

A lot of virtual administrators are measured and compensated on ticket resolution time and volume of requests handled. This approach results in a virtual admin support system that can feel like your “partner” is just throwing your tickets over the wall to get them done. Solving an immediate problem with a bulk of support hours is much less cost-effective than getting the right advice to find a long-term solution.

2. Work with true experts:

Inexperienced resources aren’t going to help you a whole lot. Tech-for-hire typically builds to your specifications (usually), but doesn’t advance your platform more than that. Unfortunately, they don’t have the experience to look ahead. That means this company is coding in a silo without a full understanding of your company’s backlogs and list of demands — and we all know that this can result in serious problems in the long term.

3. Ensure support & context:

Customization cannot happen in a vacuum. The key to getting the right support is finding a team who operates in the context of your business model. ServiceNow development should (of course) solve for your current project needs, but always include an eye for an extension to support your future needs. Many virtual admins don’t have the right guardrails around documentation. To avoid headaches in the future, your team should develop solutions with documentation in mind, so your team knows the actual work that was done on your instance regardless of whether your partner is around or not.

4. Work with a single contact:

If too many people step up and try to lead the project, you can run into problems. To avoid this, it’s best practice to have a single contact source for each project. This ensures consistency with your implementation support and a connection with a single project. That project lead should act as a designated quarterback for you, working with a team of experienced Platform and Product experts, admins, and functional experts (for example Business Process consultants) behind the scenes to get you the right advice you need.

5. Match your support level:

Keep in mind, some companies will try to convince you that you need to hire a huge team of people to get enough experts for your ServiceNow project, which usually comes in the form of H1 Support vs. Administrative support. This simply isn’t necessary. You don’t need an enterprise-sized consulting firm to help you implement your ServiceNow project, you need specialized ServiceNow experts – something many of the larger firms are still working to catch up on.

6. Connect regularly:

Regular team meetings should also be incorporated into each project. A structured relationship will ensure quick turnaround times on any pressing matters.

Questions to Ask Your Partner:

  • What sort of documentation does your team provide?
  • How often does your team meet with clients on a regular basis?
  • How do you ensure that your team understands our entire ServiceNow instance, rather than just one or two select applications?
  • Do they adhere to an implementation methodology?
  • Do they guide and consult in addition to being a technical resource?

Acorio’s Virtual Assistance Program (AVA) for ServiceNow

Find out how an experienced set of hands can help you drive efficiency and savings, and provide the right approach to plan, manage, and maximize your ServiceNow platform.

Full Disclosure: Acorio offers support for most of the following scenarios via our Acorio Virtual Assistance program (AVA). We find this service of expertise and support is invaluable for clients looking to launch their new ServiceNow platforms, maintain momentum for their current initiatives, or try to get a stalled (or runaway) project back on track.

AVA is also helpful for clients just looking for an experienced set of hands to supplement their existing ServiceNow team.

There are a number of companies who offer varying degrees of virtual support or assistance. While, of course, we think our AVA program is special, this advice would work with any support experience.

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