ServiceNow Inc. today debuted a new release of its Now Platform that introduces a robotic process automation tool, as well as an expanded collection of industry-specific features.
ServiceNow’s Now Platform is used by information technology teams at many large enterprises to manage their day-to-day work. It can also help streamline the operations of other departments, including human resources and customer support groups.
The latest version of the Now Platform that ServiceNow introduced today is known as the San Diego release. One of the flagship enhancements is a new RPA tool called Automation Engine that companies can use to automate repetitive business tasks. The service is based on two ServiceNow offerings, Integration Hub and RPA Hub, that have been combined into a single product.
Automation Engine enables workers to create RPA workflows that automatically perform tasks such as answering frequently recurring customer support requests. Often, a task such as answering support requests requires consulting information scattered across multiple applications. Automation Engine includes pre-packaged connectors that enable RPA workflows to integrate with hundreds of popular applications.
“Automation Engine combines ServiceNow’s API-based Integration Hub with our all-new RPA Hub, which provides UI-based integration with legacy systems that house valuable data,” stated ServiceNow Chief Operating Officer Chirantan Desai. “RPA Hub also deploys ‘digital workers,’ or software robots, to execute repetitive tasks, such as filling in web forms or copy/pasting from one application to another.”
Another way the latest release of ServiceNow’s platform aims to ease users’ work is by streamlining the user interface. The San Diego release introduces a refreshed interface, dubbed Next Experience, that adds a revamped navigation bar, more customization settings and other enhancements. The built-in search engine has been improved as well.
ServiceNow allows companies to customize its platform’s interface for different departments using a feature known as Workspaces. An IT team, for example, can set up an interface that provides administrators with quick access to the specific set of ServiceNow features they use most often. Other departments such as customer service groups can also customize the platform for their requirements.
As part of today’s update, ServiceNow is rolling out a set of new department-specific interface configurations, or Workspaces. The new Workspaces are designed for teams focused on customer service, HR, cloud operations, field service and hardware asset management.
Large enterprises often wish to customize the software they buy not only at the departmental level, but also the organizational level. A retailer and a bank that use the same software product, for example, may require a different set of regulatory compliance features. ServiceNow has been addressing this requirement by adding industry-specific feature bundles to its platform that each focus on a different vertical.
ServiceNow is expanding its industry-specific feature set with the introduction of new capabilities for the banking, insurance and technology sectors. Banks have access to new tools for managing client accounts. Insurers using ServiceNow, meanwhile, are receiving features that will make it easier to organize the data they store in their ServiceNow deployments.
For tech companies, the new platform release adds a pre-packaged product catalog tool. It promises to help firms bring new solutions to market by removing the need to set up a product catalog from scratch. While at it, ServiceNow has added a related set of features that a tech company can use to process customer orders and track the status of each purchase.