Knowledge18 Lessons

What We’ve Learned, Heard, and Seen at Knowledge18 (So Far)

With one more day left at Knowledge18, you’re probably thinking you need another cup of coffee, or two, if you joined us last night and played the piano at our Penthouse party. But, Vegas nightlife aside, the real treasure of ServiceNow’s Knowledge Conference is the deep learning in the sessions.

How should you make the most of your remaining day?

You could explore new innovations and client transformations with one of the ServiceNow Partner booths… You could swap successes and war stories with fellow ServiceNow customers… You could sit in the overflow seating for the keynotes and get details on what’s next, right from the source, as ServiceNow Executives share on exciting new updates coming to the platform in London and beyond…

Decisions to be made.

Well, lucky for you, no matter what you choose to attend today, we’ve got you covered. We’ve been to a few (okay, a lot), of sessions already, from Main Stage speakers to CreatorCon, and we have a few bits and pieces to share with you, plus live updates all day on what we’re seeing.

Take a look below at some of our learnings from the past couple days. Then, when you’re done, come find us near the Dev Hub, and connect with one of our 40+ ServiceNow experts that are here with us to go deeper into what we’re hearing from our customers this week, or see some of our customer successes in real time with in-booth demos.

Back to the Basics

Sometimes, after years of working on the platform, you need a reminder of the basics and best practices. Check out a few best practices our own experts love being reminded about:

  • Single Purpose – Avoid multi-purpose Script actions that move the world. There are several things to help you do this, but using existing steps and actions is a huge one. Why is it so important? Because script steps are the number one place where changes (upgrades and/or customizations) can break things, because Scripts hide side effects and, honestly, the only person who truly understands it is the person who wrote it (and only for about two months).
  • Don’t repeat yourself. Build an action instead!
  • Make your Blocks self-documenting. Help out your non-technical coworkers, and make sure that they can read and understand them. If that’s not enough to convince you, well then you should think about if you’ll be able to read the Blocks two years from now and remember exactly what it was that you were doing. Not going to be able to do it? Fix your documentation.
  • Action or Subflow? That is the question. Actions have a single purpose and are not necessarily useful by themselves, whereas Subflows are complete pieces of reusable functionality. Make sure to choose the ones that are right for your project, but remember that Actions can’t use Flow Logic.

London, Madrid, New York…

What do London, Madrid, New York, Orlando, and Paris all have in common? Well, a lot of things as it turns out; great art, even better food, top-notch Universities, entertainment for every night of the year, terrible traffic… but more importantly, they are the future of ServiceNow.

Each of the ServiceNow upgrades are named in alphabetical order after a city. We’ve gone from Aspen to Fuji and Helsinki, and of course to the most recent upgrade, Kingston. So, with the next five upgrades named, and scheduled to be released every six months, you’re looking at the next two years of ServiceNow technology.

Of course, we’re still reeling from all the upgrades of Kingston, but it’s hard not to get excited at some of the tidbits about London that ServiceNow has dropped all across Knowledge18 sessions.

As an Authorized Testing Partner for ServiceNow, we’ve had the privilege to explore all of their upgrades before they come out. And trust us, it’s been hard not to share all the exciting new capabilities.

But, ServiceNow has released a few of the upgrade details over the past couple days, and we hope that you get as excited about them as we are. Let’s take a look at some of them.

For instance, check out what ServiceNow has said is coming in their HR Service Delivery:

  • Knowledge Blocks
  • HR Virtual Agent
  • Employee Service Center usability improvements
  • The ability to organize different Campaigns, as well as general Org Chart improvements. In this case, ServiceNow is using the term campaign to refer to the ability to automate (and schedule) targeted content and create and manage relevant email and portal content. Avoid the inefficiencies of relying on Outlook e-mail and static web content.
  • Case Creation and Case Transfer improvements in both functionality and User Experience.
  • More HR Integrations: Acute Background and Sterling
  • And of course, as seen across the entire ServiceNow suite, Machine Learning.

Of course, London will see improvements across the entire suite, and we’ve been hearing about it all across our sessions. Did you know there will be over 120 web accessibility fixes in the release? Another exciting upgrade? New Virtual Agent Architecture. This can be used in pre-configured ITSM for a variety of uses including:

  • Check IT Ticket Status. You’ll have the ability to retrieve details of the recent incident and request items and to add additional comments
  • Outage Information. The Virtual Agent can return current active or planned outage information
  • Process Approval. Will return a list of outstanding approval records for the current user, and allow approve or deny actions.
  • Search Knowledge Base. Use the Agent to return user links to relevant knowledge articles.

But ServiceNow has never been known to think small. So, what about Madrid? Even though it’s not scheduled for release until early 2019, we have a few details about the better data processing capabilities you might be interested in. In Madrid you’ll be able to:

  • Make your flow/actions self-documenting by composing them from single-purpose action steps. Avoid buying complex functionality in thousand line script steps!
  • Limit the data returned by actions. Process the data within the action and only output the result of the processing.
  • Avoid interleaving glide-only and mid-only steps. Organize these to try to stay in the same execution environment.

Seeing is Believing

Everywhere we turn there is innovation. New emerging technology that is changing the way that entire Enterprises interact with their customers and employees. The common themes that we’ve been seeing in this transformation? Outside of the buzzwords of machine learning, artificial intelligence, chatbots etc. the conversations and demonstrations have been revolving around the ‘Big Five’ (HRSD, CSM, IT including ITOM, ITSM, ITBM, SecOps, and Custom Apps). Together, these platforms are driving the Enterprise Transformation that we’ve been seeing in our own customers.

Knowledge18 is the place to be to dive deep into the entire ServiceNow platform and (hopefully) emerge with a broader understanding of not just the specific technology but the incredible sweeping transformative power it has in a business.

But don’t worry! Even if you weren’t able to join us this year, we’ve compiled a handy list of online resources especially for you.

With over 40 members of the A-Team at Knowledge attending sessions, we have a lot more to share. Continue exploring our Knowledge findings by talking to one of our ServiceNow experts, attending one of our remaining speaking sessions, or stopping by our booth #2114.

Talk to an Expert