ServiceNow and Astound: How AI is improving Service Management
AI-driven automation is accelerating “shift left” strategies and digital transformation at large enterprises
ServiceNow is the leading cloud-based platform for ITSM.
Today, it is used to automate additional service and process management tasks.
Businesses are now using ServiceNow for ITSM, IT operations management (ITOM), IT business management (ITBM), as well as the management of business services beyond IT.
ServiceNow and Astound agree that the future of service management will encompass more and more departments outside IT and will be automation driven and empowered by artificial intelligence (AI). That’s why ServiceNow customers are increasingly selecting Astound AI to extend the value of their ITSM investments.
Workflow platforms like ServiceNow, combined with AI-driven automation platforms such as Astound, are defining the future of work. So it seems like a great time to offer an introduction to ServiceNow, and some thoughts on how Astound is helping to make ServiceNow – and other leading enterprise software platforms – more valuable.
Service Management Everywhere
If the history of IT management has taught us anything, it is that effective management requires rapid, consistent, effective responses to every incident and request. Such responses are critical elements of the “incident/problem/request/change” management approach at the heart of many if not most current IT management strategies.
Success here requires fast, accurate evaluation, prioritization, and handling of each incident and request, driven consistently by business processes. ServiceNow was initially designed to deliver these features in ways that are straightforward for users and IT management teams.
Fast forward several years later and ServiceNow’s success in IT has become a catalyst for employee service organizations to revamp their support tasks and functions. Here are a few examples:
Field service/operations management. More and more businesses are making use of distributed and mobile workforces, both as employees and as contractors. Any business that supports a mobile or distributed workforce faces multiple challenges unique to those circumstances. Responses to requests for service or support must consistently dispatch the right people and resources to the right locations at the right times. ServiceNow can help to eliminate the miscommunication and lost documentation that frequently causes wasted trips and long request response times, by automating execution and tracking of field service management functions.
Financial/business management for IT. ServiceNow offers applications for “IT business management” or “ITBM.” ServiceNow Financial Management provides a visual interface for entering information about your general ledger and cost allocation processes. The application then consistently automates allocation, tracking, and reporting on your IT organization’s expenses. The application is designed to help IT leaders and teams run IT like a business, and to ease and improve communications and collaborations between IT and business decision makers.
Human resource (HR) management. Your HR or human capital management (HCM) system is your “system of record” for your workforce. But few if any of those systems are designed to support HR-related services and functions, such as onboarding, offboarding, or creating email accounts for employees. ServiceNow integrates with multiple HR and HCM systems, to bring service management to HR seamlessly. HR-related service requests are handled, escalated as necessary, and tracked across their life cycles, just like IT-related requests.
Security operations (SecOps) management. Cyber security is a top-of-mind challenge for business, IT, and security leaders at every type and size of business. Many if not most of the highest-profile cyber security breaches exploit vulnerabilities for which software patches have been available for months, if not years. But the constant growth and change affecting many IT environments makes keeping up with patches and updates daunting. ServiceNow’s service management, automation, and orchestration features integrate with multiple cyber security solutions. ServiceNow can help IT and security leaders prioritize and respond to incidents, threats, and vulnerabilities based on their potential effects on the business.
ServiceNow and Astound: AI-Powered Service Automation
Astound has partnered with ServiceNow to add a layer of intelligence across the entire service delivery lifecycle. Astound’s ServiceNow integration allows customers to intelligently route service requests and interact conversationally with any app on the Now Platform® using natural language.
Through the integration with ServiceNow, the Astound AI platform helps ServiceNow customers:
- Reduce call volume by improving the self-service experience using chatbot automation via Astound Answers
- Reduce MTTR and improve data quality with Astound Predict
- Surface relevant contextual recommendations to provide a “roadmap to resolution” for fulfillers with Astound Advise
- Offer service line managers a predictive analytics dashboard to understand how automation is impacting service delivery
Astound’s innovative implementations of AI solutions can enhance the value provided by ServiceNow in multiple ways. These can enhance productivity and satisfaction for users, support providers, and business and technology decision makers.
For users, virtual agents use natural language processing and understanding to help users ask questions, submit incidents, and place orders for good or services. Options include voice, online chat, web portals, and familiar apps such as Slack and Skype.
For support teams, Astound can automatically assign incidents to their correct categories and groups. This frees support agents from having to review and route tickets. Astound AI can also discover, analyze, and correlate information from multiple systems of record. This helps support agents solve more problems faster, by enhancing tickets with contextual recommendations.
For decision makers, Astound delivers actionable insights via predictive analytics dashboards. Astound can also deliver visualizations of key performance indicators (KPIs) and the business benefits of enterprise service automation. These features can improve business decisions across the entire enterprise.
Using the power of AI to identify and pursue opportunities to enhance your ServiceNow deployment makes service management more automated, intuitive, and powerful.
Best Practices for Success
Like any other significant IT or business initiative, success with AI-driven automation for ITSM begins with a strategy and a plan focused on specific business needs and goals. Here are some specific steps to get from plan to reality.
- Identify a Promising Specific Opportunity or Critical Need
- Devise a Plan Focused on That Opportunity or Need
- Engage Your Teams and Leadership
- Pursue the Plan
- Assess, Distill, and Disseminate the Results
- Capture and Store All Relevant Data
- Use What You’ve Learned to Pursue the Next Opportunity or Need
Following these steps will get you and your business well on your way to success with ServiceNow for ITSM. It will also prepare you well to extend the business value of your ServiceNow investments, within IT and beyond. And for those of you using or considering another enterprise software platform, the issues, steps, and technologies discussed here can help your efforts as well.
Ready to learn more about implementing AI in your organization?