We seek to find business value in all of our customer projects, and this tends to be focused on streamlining processes to save time or automating a workflow to reduce error and refocus labor on service improvement activities. But what about the user experience within our solutions; is there value in creating an "eye-popping" customer portal that makes the users say "WOW?" In talking to our customers the feedback is a resounding "YES." Conventional thinking categorized these solutions as "form over function" or "window dressing," but now so much of the goal of IT is to be customer centric and in alignment with the business. Having a customer portal that is intuitive, pleasing to the eye and rich with customer-focused content is exactly what the business demands from IT.
ServiceNow has transformed the ITSM technology market by creating a platform built and made for SaaS, as opposed to others that looked to port their on-premise-based solutions to a SaaS model. In this process ServiceNow did not gain inspiration from legacy ITSM solutions, but rather looked to create something unique and followed the lead from other innovative companies such as Apple and Google. One output of this unique, innovative thinking is the creation of the Content Management System where within ServiceNow you have the ability to create your own site, rich with ServiceNow content in a format that is 100% customizable. ServiceNow packages a site(s) within the baseline instance customers receive. From this site(s) you are able to develop your own solution or copy it to create your own specific customer portal. Customers should really look to this packaged site as a starting point and create something of their own that "blends in" with the culture of the company and aligns with other intranet sites or portals leveraged by IT customers.
To demonstrate the capabilities of the Content Management System we tasked ourselves with creating an Evergreen site that leveraged the same images, stylesheets and layout of our other websites (such as http://www.evergreensys.com), and what was surprising was how quickly we could get it set up (took two hours) and how much we could do with it. The ability to create your own content blocks, get data from other systems and include charts/reports means you have tremendous flexibility. Truly, if you can imagine what you want the site to look like, it can be accomplished.
Below is a screenshot of the site we created in a little over two hours:
In your quest to bridge the gap between IT and the business, creating a customer-centric IT portal that aligns with your brand and "wows" the user should be near the top of that list.
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About the author:
Jeff Benedict, Practice Manager, Evergreen Systems
Jeff has more than 15 years of experience working in IT and consulting. He is ITIL and ServiceNOW implementation certified and has managed and implemented countless ITSM tool implementations. Prior to joining Evergreen Jeff managed a delivery organization for a Managed Service Provider.