Upgrade: Helsinki

ServiceNow’s Helsinki: Top Things to Know

Just before its annual user conference Knowledge ’16, ServiceNow announced the market launch of the company’s first 2016 release. This latest release is named after the capital city of Finland, and home of the famous Helsinki Accords that brought a more stable Europe after World War II.[i] Hot on the heels of Geneva, Helsinki brings us a wealth of new functionality and enhancements. As a customer you may feel overwhelmed with all of the new and exciting things in this latest release. We are here to help you navigate and understand the top items and why you should care. Helsinki brings enhancements to three key areas: app development, service management delivery, and data/analytics. Here’s how the top items break out in terms of those areas and why you should care.

Build More Engaging And Secure Apps

Many Acorio clients already use ServiceNow as a platform for building new apps – and many more want to! Helsinki helps make the app building process faster and the resulting apps more customer-centric with enhancements to three areas.

  1. SERVICE PORTAL: Everyone is talking about it, so let’s get it out there first and foremost. Service Portal provides an alternative UI that can assist with creating engaging apps and websites for great customer experiences. This product enables the usage of more modern methods of web design, such as Angular and Bootstrap. The new example ITSM and HR Portals were built with Service Portal technology, providing a new and refreshing interface for end-user engagement. The service portal is important because it gives you a head start on the core mission of building apps: get them built quickly, make them friendly and valuable for customers, and make them architecturally easier to integrate into modern technology portfolios. You’ll want to use this as the basis of your new development efforts.
  1. DELEGATED DEVELOPMENT: Many of our customers receive a significant influx of requests for new applications and modules within ServiceNow right after their initial release. Certainly the Demand, Resource & PPM applications can help them make decisions about prioritization, but what if you have developers ready and willing to roll up their sleeves and dig in? You may not want to give them the keys to the kingdom (aka full admin rights), but you may be willing to let these folks perform some level of delegated administration. The enhancements in Helsinki make it easier to carve out an area within the instance to allow these developers to configure as necessary while still allowing the main System Administrator(s) oversight and control of what goes into production.
  1. SECURITY OPERATIONS: From Threat intelligence to Vulnerability Response, the suite of tools for Security just got a big boost in Helsinki. There are new built-in workflows and business impact scoring to help the Security team analyze and respond quickly to incidents in the environment. You now have more embedded security tools in ServiceNow, giving you more seamless threat monitoring and response capabilities to keep up with ever-increasing threats like ransomware, phishing, and hacking.
  1. GUIDED SETUP: Most likely taking a cue from ServiceNow Express needs, both ITSM and Discovery now have step-by-step setup guides that include contextual help to assist customer administrators with the initial setup of these applications. These guides help customers configure the OOTB system quickly to increase time to value. Guided Setup is a great example of how using ServiceNow allows you to constantly find faster ways to implement service management and deliver value to your customers.


We’ve written before about how important it is to use service management as the backbone of customer centric operations and Helsinki offers many improvements to help you improve customer-focused operations.

  1. SERVICE STRATEGY: Project Portfolio Management (PPM) has a new Workbench view including key milestones, resourcing & cost insights, and easily identifiable Risk & Issue tracking to assist with enhanced decision making. Additionally, new Program Management functionality allows for managing projects and demands under the Program layer, allowing a level of grouping that just wasn’t there before. You’ll be able to make better project decisions, making sure high-value efforts don’t stall out and that you’re constantly prioritizing customer-enhancing services.
  1. CONNECT: Connect is not completely new in Helsinki, but the addition of audio notifications and activity stream mentions make ServiceNow an even more powerful tool for real-time collaboration with both internal IT resources and external end-users. Conference calls for Major Incidents may not be completely obsolete, but we can see the light at the end of that tunnel! You can use Connect to really improve your cross-company workflows by focusing on the collaboration communications.
  1. CUSTOMER SERVICE MANAGEMENT: The CSM module received some significant enhancements making it a much more powerful tool for those customers focused on their own customer operations externally and together with partners. These enhancements make it easier for you to connect multi-partner services together in order to give your customers better experiences.
  1. HR SERVICE MANAGEMENT: Twenty common HR services, including Onboarding, are now available when the plugin is activated to help HR get up and running as quickly as possible. The end-user facing portal adjusts based on the user’s current employment status, really supporting the entire Hire-to-Retire lifecycle. Also, new eSignature functionality helps convert all of those antiquated paper forms into electronic records that stay with the employee record, not in a dusty file cabinet. You’ll want to use the new HRSM module improvements to automate and trace many of the painful manual portions of HR. Helsinki’s improvements will help you transformation of HR from a dusty-backoffice function into a key business value driver.


Process and workflow improvements are great, but you’ll also need better data to make your business really customer centric. To help with the data piece, Helsinki brings a couple of key improvements.

  1. PERFORMANCE ANALYTICS: Performance Analytics is quickly becoming a big differentiator for objectives such as: aligning the organization with company goals, increasing the overall quality of services, and lowering the cost of services. In Helsinki, quick access to in-form analytics and interactive breakdown widgets increase access to the powerful information this tool provides. This release also brings 49 new dashboards and 189 (yes one hundred eighty nine!) new reports across the entire suite of applications including: ITSM, ITOM, HR, CSM, Service Strategy (PPS & FM) and Security Incident Management. You can implement performance analytics to give you transparent, accurate data into your business. And better insights into your business operations will help you make fact-based decisions and change the way you view your business.
  2. CMDB HEALTH DASHBOARD: This set of reports focuses on the three Cs of the CMDB: Correctness, Compliance and Completeness. This console view allows Configuration Managers to easily identify what CIs that need action in order to boost data integrity and those that are causing issues in the environment. The CMDB Health dashboard helps configuration managers take the CMDB from just a database to a powerful tool that proactively helps IT perform quality service. The dashboard gives you easy access to the information you need to make better decisions based on more accurate data, helping you drive continuous improvements in your IT operations



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