Featured Portal: Henry Jackson Foundation

OVERVIEW We created a digital experience that puts content management and employee communication in focus. See how this global nonprofit organization was able to effectively manage content, employee communications, and engagement using the NewRocket Orbit CMS on top of the ServiceNow platform. PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS Content OwnershipHelped leaders and team members maintain content without bottlenecks Integration with CommunityIntegrated ServiceNow’s Community plugin for event registration, blog content, forums, and key points of interest System of EngagementEmbedded gamification to keep employees engaged in the platform Multi-Department IntranetMaintained consistency across departments while allowing each department to own its experience   Learn more about the details of this project by reviewing the full case study featured on the NewRocket website:  

Reach App by NewRocket — Hackathon 2020

This year our NewRocket team had the opportunity to build an application for ServiceNow's Hackathon during Knowledge 2020. They had roughly 48 hours to build a functional app that fell within one of five specified categories. Choosing the Social Good category, our team developed a dynamic, personalized hub with relevant information and resources. Introducing Reach! People from all backgrounds are feeling overwhelmed trying to find reliable information and local resources under stressful conditions. With a new set of challenges, comes an opportunity for innovative solutions. Using ServiceNow to Help Others in Need The Reach application uses core platform capabilities, the CSM application, and personalization algorithms to make a difference locally, by creating a dynamic, personalized hub for information and resources. The Reach suggestion algorithm uses user preferences to feed content into the dynamic layout algorithm which embeds widgets into the proper location on the page - resulting in an attractive, personalized experience. This personalization complements and extends the concepts of campaigns and user criteria. The layouts themselves are easily configurable through modifications in the theme style sheet. This overcomes the static layout limitations of the current Service Portal framework. Community organizers can control content and moderate content contributed by the community. Because of the flexibility of the suggestion and layout algorithms, nearly any type of content can be easily surfaced throughout the site. To make the system even more adaptive, future versions could use ServiceNow’s machine learning to drive suggestions. Reach can be customized and used by cities of any size - whether they’re promoting summer events or resources for natural disasters. The personalized home pages can revolutionize the corporate intranet. Reach: The app that helps people reach information and one another, just when they need it most.

Knowledge 2020 Webinar Series

I hope that you're enjoying the Knowledge 2020 Digital Experience as much as I am! Over the next three weeks, the NewRocket team and I will be hosting webinars and would love to have you join us! We will be covering three main topics with live demos so don't miss out! Register for the webinars below and I will see you online. Extraordinary Portal Experiences Wednesday, May 13th at 4:00pm Pacific Time Thursday, May 14th at 8:00am Pacific Time Native Mobile Apps Wednesday, May 20th at 4:00pm Pacific Time Thursday, May 21st at 8:00am Pacific Time Digital Workplace & Intranet Solutions Wednesday, May 27th at 4:00pm Pacific Time Thursday, May 28th at 8:00am Pacific Time

Employee Experiences to Replace the Legacy Intranet

In these unusually volatile times, the corporate intranet plays an essential role in communicating timely information to a workforce faced with collaborating and working remotely more than ever before. As employees around the world log in to work from their homes (cue the kid noises), the enterprise intranet enables rapid dissemination of corporate communications. Employees need the reassurance of being able to reach out to their IT and HR organizations to request services and get timely information. This is where we see a great opportunity for organizations to go beyond an information dumping ground and to invest in leveraging ServiceNow, the industry leading enterprise platform as a service, to build an intranet that truly empowers the digital workplace experience.  I’d like to offer a few thoughts about why ServiceNow offers significant advantages over traditional approaches to the corporate intranet. And, let’s face it, virtual workforces need all of the advantages they can get. Effective Communication Let’s start with the basics: getting information out there. The traditional intranet is often the default home page each and every time an employee opens a browser tab. That’s great, but what if the information they see every time isn’t relevant or even current? A ServiceNow based intranet overcomes this problem with methods to target content more effectively. Using campaigns, content delivery, and user criteria features, you can get the right information to the right audience at the right time.  The adaptive, personalized pages you can build with Service Portal have far more impact and benefit than the static, generic pages you get with a traditional intranet. We’ve met with several companies who have spun up Covid-19 information sites. These are useful, but many of them present the same information to everyone. With ServiceNow, you have the opportunity to quickly tailor that information based on the employees’ location and role.  Coordinated Engagement But why stop at just broadcasting information? What if you could make the content more engaging? Keep in mind that engagement isn’t just about making the information more interesting to consume. It’s about using the information as a springboard for coordinated action. With ServiceNow, you have an opportunity for your content to do that. At its core, ServiceNow coordinates processes. Rather than taking the traditional intranet approach and having employees simply click a link from the content to continue some process in another tool, use the power of ServiceNow to create content employees can act on within the context of the same page to get more information, take action, engage others, and complete a task. For example, those same Covid-19 information sites could combine basic information with catalog items relevant to conferencing systems as well as community forums for employees to share experiences and recommendations. That smooth transition from consumption to engagement to coordination sets ServiceNow apart. Extensible Platform Many traditional intranet platforms suffer from rigor mortis. They just aren’t built for extensibility and remain rigid, waiting for their creator to enliven them with a new feature. This is definitely not the case for ServiceNow. Built as an extensible platform, ServiceNow, and particularly Service Portal, can adapt to new requirements easily. The interface that you create and surface on the intranet can be energized by business rules, security, integrations and workflow like any other ServiceNow application. Need a trading application to help employees deal with toilet paper shortages? Build it in record time on ServiceNow. When the crisis is over, transform it into an engaging marketplace for employees to trade far less critical but far more fun things like vintage records (you know the ones that were great at drowning out the family noises while working from home but remind you too much of when you had to work from home). A change in perspective is perhaps the biggest change this global crisis will force upon us. Fortunately, it is with a different perspective that we discover the best solutions. I encourage you to take a moment and consider how combining ServiceNow’s unique offerings channeled through the powerful capabilities and flexibility of the Service Portal can create a more engaging and empowering intranet experience. An experience that will carry you through the worst of times and the best of times. For more information or to set up a consultation about intranet solutions using ServiceNow, visit our website. Learn More

Let’s Meet at Knowledge 2020!

The Knowledge 2020 Digital Experience is just around the corner and we want to talk with you! The team and I will be hosting sessions, scheduling live demos, and meeting with you about everything portals and user experience. If you would like to schedule some time to meet, fill out this quick form and we will arrange a time to meet with you. We'll see you in May!

spUtil API Reference Cheat Sheet

Overview spUtil enables you to perform common functions in a Service Portal widget client script. You can access the methods by passing in spUtil as a parameter in your client-script function. Many of these methods have not been documented by ServiceNow, so we have combed through the source code once again to bring you another Service Portal cheatsheet! Save time and maximize your productivity with this quick reference document for you to use day-to-day. Enjoy!

Top 5 Features in the Orlando Release

This year's Orlando release is full of great new functionality and updates to the ServiceNow platform. Needless to say, there were a ton of features to cover, so instead of compiling an enormous list, I've put together this video of my personal top 5 features. I bet at least a couple of these will surprise you! Check out the video. Let me know in the comments below if you agree or if you feel there is a big feature that should have made the list. The official release notes can be found here: https://docs.servicenow.com/bundle/orlando-release-notes/page/release-notes/family-release-notes.html

Custom Native Mobile Apps on ServiceNow

I get asked a lot about mobile and how to deliver branded mobile experiences on ServiceNow. For years the answer has been to use Service Portal since it's responsive and can be themed to function really well on mobile devices. This has worked quite well for many use-cases, but it still requires accessing through a browser or ServiceNow Classic, and it's still not the same experience that we've all come to expect from a native mobile app. 54% of employees expect their employers to provide mobile-optimized tools Source: https://research.servicenow.com/ Some of this has changed with the release of the Now Mobile app, but it is ServiceNow branded, lives in the app stores under ServiceNow's name, and requires entering of the instance name and credentials. It may be great for roled users, fulfillers, or users at least familiar with ServiceNow, but there are still many use-cases when using the Now Mobile app does not seem ideal. Consider, for example: Local governments or municipalities enabling anonymous citizens to report issues Universities using ServiceNow for managing student requests Product companies offering support via ServiceNow to its customers Enterprise organizations wanting to provide their employees with a tailored and branded experience In many of these cases, it seems the ideal scenario would be a dedicated app, in the app stores, with the organization's branding, and with the specific features for that target audience. This compelled us to explore what it would take to develop cross-platform mobile apps. Apps fully integrated with ServiceNow, with custom branding, feature specific UI's, and taking full advantage of the mobile capabilities such as geolocation, maps, push notifications, and camera features. We've chosen to build our current platform on React Native, as this allows for both iOS and Android apps with a single code base, but we're also exploring a version in Swift and Java. In the video above, you can see some of the example apps that we've been prototyping. The goal of the project has been to follow the same conventions as Now Mobile, leveraging the same APIs, ensuring a sustainable architecture. As of this writing, we have not yet released any publicly available apps into the store... but we are working with some of our early adopter customers on some innovative new mobile solutions. To learn more about these projects and our native mobile capabilities, please contact us or visit newrocket.com for more information. I would love to hear your comments or feedback below. What are some use-cases where a mobile app could really improve the user experience?

Titans of Now: Nathan Firth

Last week I had the awesome opportunity of being interviewed by Robert Fedoruk on his YouTube Channel. We discussed Service Portal, the mobile frontier, and the new ServiceNow UI framework. Have a listen and let me know what you think!