Unifii head to Vegas

If you weren’t able to join ServiceNow in Las Vegas for Knowledge18, here’s what the Unifii team took away from the four-day event.

Touching down in sunny Vegas, our team joined other ServiceNow partners and customers for Knowledge 2018 – an annual event where attendees learn, connect, and get inspired by ServiceNow visionaries.

This year’s overarching theme was Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the importance of taking an interest in how its adoption is changing the business landscape and expectations from users. As well as improving user experience, AI developments are said to be on track to make ServiceNow an easier and quicker tool to use. Alongside this, the reoccurring topics took a much more platform-wide approach, focusing on:

  • The upcoming release – “London”
  • User experience
  • Making the ServiceNow tool work for you
  • Bringing technology in the workplace to a home-life level

With “over 30,000 collective years of ServiceNow experience gathered at Knowledge18”, our team spent much of their time in and out of keynotes learning more about how to simplify and improve user experience. We were also fortunate enough to see Now Platform features showcased, including:

  • Agent Workspace
  • Flow Designer
  • Application Development
  • Virtual Agent
  • and IntegrationHub

The benefit for our clients is that ServiceNow is moving towards a more people/service focus of the platform. As well as introducing a more consumer-led experience into the service management space, the insights picked up at Knowledge18 have better prepared our team for what’s to come – meaning they are better placed to advise how to navigate your ServiceNow tool so you can place less reliance on developers and code, and instead freeup agent time to focus on more critical work.

If you were thinking about attending this year but couldn’t make it, here are the top reasons why our team think you should go in 2019:

  • Exclusive showcase of upcoming product lines and features
  • Four days of socialising and building connections within the ServiceNow community
  • Meet partners and see their offerings ahead of the market

You can dive into all the keynotes, videos, and interviews that made Knowledge18 the event of the year here.

If you want to regularly check your configuration improvements to ensure your business is “on-track” and not driving towards any major issues as ServiceNow releases are made public, try our no obligation ServiceNow Health Check today and feel confident with your ITSM systems.

The Unifii TeamUnifii head to Vegas
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Improve Customer Service & Increase Automation across the Enterprise

In partnership with ServiceNow, our recent ITSM event was a rare opportunity for attendees to see first hand how ITSM is evolving and what the upcoming ServiceNow releases have in store for the user.

As well as looking at the future of ITSM, the expert-led sessions focused on optimizing performance and accelerating implementation of the ServiceNow platform. We were also joined by Multiplex who delivered an indepth review of their own ServiceNow journey, exploring the biggest challenges and the lessons learnt during their Helsinki integration.

Our host and Director of Unifii, Stephen Mamelok, opened the floor with an introduction to Unifii and the professional and managed services we offer. Touching on technology innovation, Stephen’s opening words led nicely into the first session of the day, ‘The Future of ITSM’ – a session delivered by ServiceNow’s Damien Davis, ITSM Product Management.

The future of ITSM

Damien provided an insight into the ServiceNow ITSM roadmap over the next 18 months. Focusing on the importance of delivering a consumer-led experience for the enterprise, Damien addressed the expectations of the modern worker, looking at how we engage with consumer platforms such as Amazon and Netflix – both providing examples of consumer driven service catalogues and advanced machine learning.

Throughout 2017 ServiceNow acquired a series of companies to assist with the introduction of a ‘consumer-led experience’ into the service management space. These included DX Continuum, Qlue, Telepathy and Skygiraffe – each bringing expertise in either machine learning, virtual agents, digital design and native mobile capability. By bolstering their internal expertise, Damien explained that ServiceNow are focused on developing three key areas:

  • User experience
  • Service intelligence
  • Service experiences

While Damien touched on other exciting developments and news in the ServiceNow space, you’ll need to follow them at Knowledge18 to get the full scoop.

Performance analytics with ITSM

Following on from Damien was James Walters, Solutions Consultant from ServiceNow, delivering a talk on Performance Analytics with ITSM. Opening his session with a quote from the Scottish poet Andrew Lang:

“He uses [data] in the same way a drunkard uses lamp posts… for support rather than illumination.”

James identified that while most customers have implemented performance analytics in their ServiceNow platform, many were underutilising it’s capabilites – with some not using it at all.

Since more analytic solutions for business users are becoming embedded in other core applications (up to 90% over the next 5 years according to a Nucleus Research study), leveraging analytics will soon become an integral part of IT operations.

As explained by James, this will not only create greater visibility, it will deliver real-time insights and provide actionable observations for ServiceNow users. As a result, you’ll be able to:

  • Prioritise resources
  • Improve resolution times
  • Deliver automation and self-service
  • Drive toward continuous service improvement
  • Align services with overall business goals

Unifii accelerated ServiceNow implementation

Following an impressive lunch spread, Myles Molloy, Head of Consulting at Unifii, kicked off the afternoon’s session: ‘Accelerated Implementation’. Drawing on previous client work, Myles described how Unifii helped a client replatform two legacy ITSM platforms onto a single ServiceNow platform.

Myles explained leveraging strong data management principles, senior business support and adoption of scrum and sprints as reasons of the success of the project – since they allowed for early visibility of progress, quick delivery and a collaborative partnership. Overall, the benefits included a successful implementation that enabled and drove business process effiencies, and offered an improved service to distinguish their offering in the market, within 10 weeks from inital kick-off meeting.

Multiplex journey: ‘A good time to reset’

This session was followed by Scott Bailey, who took us through the ServiceNow customer journey of Multiplex where he is Global IT Service Manager. Scott went into detail about how he managed the ServiceNow implementation, placing emphasis on the challenges he faced and the lessons learnt.

Key takeaways include:

  • Work with your partners and invest in the relationship
  • Don’t rush an investment decision
  • Use an RFP Process – competiton is a good thing!
  • NowForum’s and networking events are valuable​
  • Regardless of the Partner investment, a significant level of effort is required on Business Change and internal Administration, Ownership and Sponsorship
  • User Master Data – it drives everything​
  • Ensure Business Sponsorship & Operational requirements match the solution target outcome​
  • Keep it simple

ITSM & ITOM, better together

Last to the floor was Mark Revill, Advisory Solution Consultant for ServiceNow. Mark covered the fundamental reasons why ITSM and ITOM are better together. Starting with the CIO top priorities, Digital Transformation, Machine Learning and Cloud Adoption were noted as the key drivers for change – with the following challenges providing the biggest obstacles to delivering Services that enable these changes across IT:

  • Operating in silos
  • Erratic service availability
  • Poor user experience

Mark went on to note the strategic advantage of connecting Service with Infrastructure, looking at added automation and intelligence as well as delivering greater visibility and agility in IT operations.

By aligining ServiceNow ITSM and ITOM, Mark identified the business benefits to be a decrease in outages, time savings in priority response, an increase in efficieny gains and considerable annual savings. This was supported by a demo focusing on the automated and integrated approach to managing outages using the ServiceNow ITSM & ITOM solutions.

Get in touch

Although there was a lot to cover over the day, the roundtable format encouraged attendees to be involved from the go, asking company-specific questions and being involved in live-demonstrations of ServiceNow features still in their beta-stages.

If you missed our London event, be sure to keep an eye on our website, where we’ll release details of future events.

If you’ve liked what you’ve read here, get in touch with one of the Unifii team to discuss how we can help you

The Unifii TeamImprove Customer Service & Increase Automation across the Enterprise
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Join Unifii this April for an interactive seminar

On April 24th, we will be running an interactive seminar looking at how to enhance customer experience whilst improving service management delivery across the enterprise. This event is free to attend, but places are limited so be sure to register now to secure your spot.

With a host of experts on hand to offer advice about overcoming common challenges in creating your ITSM roadmap and share customer success stories, this is an event not to be missed. Speakers include representatives from Unifii, ServiceNow, Timico and Multiplex.

Taking place at Bounce, 241 Old Street, London, this seminar* will be split into two sessions. If you’re only available to join one of the sessions, you’re welcome to attend the one most relevant to you.

 

Our morning session will cover:

10:15-10:45 Registration     

10:45-11:00 Introduction to Unifii – Stephen Mamelok, Director, Unifii

11:00-11:45 The future of ITSM – Damien Davis, Product Management ITSM, ServiceNow

11:45-12:00 Unifii accelerated ServiceNow implementation – Myles Molloy, Head of Consulting, Unifii

12:00-12:30 Improving the customer experience with ServiceNow – Martin Riley, Technical Director, Timico

12:30-13:00 Performance analytics with ITSM – James Walters, Advisory Solution Consultant, EMEA, ServiceNow

13:00-13:30 Break for lunch

 

Our afternoon session will cover:

13:30-13:45 Aligning ITSM with DevOps – Mike Glock, Director, Unifii

13:45-14:15 Multiplex journey: A good time to reset – Scott Bailey, Global IT Service Manager, Multiplex

14:15-15:00 ITSM & ITOM, Better Together – Mark Revill, Advisory Solution Consultant – EMEA Alliances and Channels, ServiceNow

15:00-16:00 Wrap up and table discussions

16:00-late Networking, drinks, and the chance to discuss your specific IT processes with our team

 

This is the perfect event to hear about other clients’ ServiceNow journeys, gain insights about how to best utilise the ServiceNow platform and talk directly to experts and customers who have successfully implemented it in their businesses. You’ll also be able to discover how the ServiceNow platform can transform the speed and agility of your IT, help you gain control of your processes and full visibility of your business.

So, if you want to learn directly from industry experts, hear customer success stories and network with peers, register now to secure your spot.

*the Agenda may change. We will update on this blog and on the event page any changes if / as they occur.

The Unifii TeamJoin Unifii this April for an interactive seminar
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Unifii opens office in New Delhi, India

Unifii is delighted to announce the recent opening of our new office in New Delhi. The new office will operate under the name of Unifii-Now Technology Consulting Private Limited.

“Due to our continued business growth, we are delighted to announce the opening of our new office in India. This office opening is important to ensure we can support new and existing customers worldwide.” (Mike Glock, Director)
With the growing interest in ServiceNow solutions in India, the new office will be managed by our ServiceNow experts Harneet Singh and Manali Sharma.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to provide a permanent presence in the Indian market and to continue assisting Unifii in its further expansion as a global ServiceNow partner.” Manali Sharma, Consultant.

The Unifii Journey

Unifii began its journey under the name Service Integrators in March 2010. When relaunched in July 2015, the business started to grow rapidly. Unifii hired its very first employee in May 2016, and a year later, expanded into Northern England, Scotland and Ireland (NESI). Shortly after, a sales team was brought on board to help support and grow our business network.

It wasn’t until January 2018 that the Unifii name came into existence. The rebrand was the next step in an evolution to embody our focus on innovation, implementation and integration. After recently opening offices in both Scotland and India, our team is now comprised of 23 employees in London, 3 in Edinburgh and 3 in India.

Office Details

91 Springboard
Building #C2
Sector 1
Noida
Uttar Pradesh – 201301
Email: enquiries@unifii.co.uk

Join our team

Unifii is made up of highly skilled and devoted enterprise service management and automation professionals. We’re constantly growing, which means we’re always looking to build our talented team. Send my CV.

The Unifii TeamUnifii opens office in New Delhi, India
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Unifii opens office in Edinburgh, Scotland

We are thrilled to announce the opening of a new office located in Edinburgh.

“Expansion into Scotland is an exciting new chapter for the company. It celebrates the recent growth of the business and provides us with a new location to better serve customers in Northern England, Scotland and Ireland (NESI).” Steve Mamelok, Director

The new office will be managed by Paul Donnelly, Consulting Lead.

“The opening represents an important milestone in Unifii’s latest growth and we are excited to expand our network further into NESI.” Paul Donnelly, Consulting Lead.

The Unifii Journey

Unifii began its journey under the name Service Integrators in March 2010. When relaunched in July 2015, the business started to grow rapidly. Unifii hired its very first employee in May 2016, and a year later, expanded into NESI. Shortly after, a sales team was brought on board to help support and grow our business network.

It wasn’t until January 2018 that the Unifii name came into existence. The rebrand was the next step in an evolution to embody our focus on innovation, implementation and integration. After recently opening offices in both Scotland and India, our team is now comprised of 23 employees in London, 3 in Edinburgh and 3 in India.

Office Details

15-16 Queen Street
Edinburgh
EH2 1JE
Email: enquiries@unifii.co.uk

Join our team

Unifii is made up of highly skilled and devoted enterprise service management and automation professionals. We’re constantly growing, which means we’re always looking to build our talented team. Send my CV.

The Unifii TeamUnifii opens office in Edinburgh, Scotland
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5 things you need to know before upgrading ServiceNow to Kingston

The Kingston release of ServiceNow is upon us and with it, the deprecation of support for Helsinki. In practice, this means a lot of businesses are upgrading from Helsinki to Kingston and dealing with the big changes between these versions, which include machine learning, refined end-user experience and major incident management.

In the past we’ve helped many clients to upgrade, ranging from small to global organisations in various sectors. In this way, we’ve gained a real depth of knowledge about the practicalities of upgrading to the latest version of ServiceNow, from Fuji to Istanbul, Geneva to Jakarta, and so on.

Here are our 5 top tips for upgrading ServiceNow to Kingston:

 

1. Get everyone on board

Early, clear communication across the business is vital to the success of any upgrade. You need to explain what is happening and why, in order to set expectations for resource requirements, particularly for people to assist in process testing the platform, along with anticipated outages and what’s coming in the way of new features.

The key is to ensure that internal resources are planned in and available, and to maintain regular and clear communications between developers, the technical team and BAs with regards to requirements and timeframes. Upgrading is a significant piece of work but it doesn’t have to be long-winded.

Our top tip: Keep the timeline for the upgrade as short as possible, to ensure fewer outages and less disruption for the business. Smaller organisations should be planning for around two weeks, while larger businesses are looking at a maximum of one to two months.

 

2. Don’t overcomplicate things

Keep things simple. Our experience of lots of upgrades of various sizes is that there’s no need to test everything – only the things that have impact. Concentrate on new functionality and don’t spend time worrying about bug fixes to your existing system – this is a real time waster.

We also find that keeping things straightforward is also the best approach when it comes to Release Notes analysis. You simply need to work out what’s changing and whether anything needs turning off (e.g. new functionality the business may not be ready for).

Our top tip: Skip logs of items you’ve previously customised can run to thousands of items and can be both time consuming and tedious.The best tactic is to split the logs into sections so they are easier to manage. Ignore any reports, notifications and form layouts and focus on the business logic, such as Business Rules and Script Includes.

 

3. Get your testing right

Having a solid plan in place for testing is crucial. The best approach is to undertake the initial unit testing by both developers and BAs. Following this, business testing by process owners or the already agreed business resources allocated to the task.

In both cases, fixes should be implemented afterwards by developers before moving on to the next round of testing. It’s also important to manage regression testing packs and ensure they are up to date.

Our top tip: Implement a process to carefully segregate existing defects in your configuration from those introduced by the upgrade. Without this, you can spend more time on triage of existing defects than on actually doing the upgrade.

 

4. Plan your development freeze early

Freezing development while upgrading is essential because as soon as you change something you make the testing you’ve done so far redundant. The key is to get the business on board early with a full understanding of the situation, otherwise they will be clamouring for BAU changes in the middle of the upgrade.

Before upgrading, clone back from Production to ensure all your environments are synced. Good communication around exactly when this will occur is vital – people will lose work if they aren’t expecting it.

Our top tip: We recommend running a minimum of three instances – Dev, Test and Prod. After upgrading, maintain a pre-upgrade version to refer back to if there are issues and to remove the pre-existing defect noise.

 

5. Take the opportunity to revert

Ensure there is time for technical teams to revert updates back to OOTB where possible. Analysis and testing of this requires planned effort but the savings realised increase with every upgrade undertaken.

Learn the lessons about which processes are more critical than others (not every item needs to be tested), and those areas where you were short on time and others where you had more than enough. Ensure you include feedback from both the business and internal developers, BAs and the technical team.

Our top tip: Upgrades are a fact of life and there will always be another on the horizon. Record what went well and what didn’t – and why – and use that as the basis of your next upgrade plan.

 

For more information or advice on your upgrade plans, contact us today – we’re always happy to share our experience and expertise.

Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7760 7513

Email

Ellie Kleinworth5 things you need to know before upgrading ServiceNow to Kingston
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Are you ready for GDPR in 2018?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on 25 May 2018.

If your company handles the personal data of UK or EU residents, you need to have the right processes in place and be able to demonstrate compliance.

It’s hugely important – the range of penalties for personal data breaches go from a simple warning, up to a fine of 4% of annual global turnover or 20 million euros for the most serious infringements. And individuals can claim compensation for failures to protect their personal data.

New responsibilities

The GDPR features a number of detailed requirements, including specific transparency duties; time limits on informing authorities about data breaches; mandatory Data Protection Impact Assessments and data processing registries; and the secure encryption of personal data.

Plus, you need to be able to respond to requests from individuals whose data you handle; including requests for access, corrections and the ‘right to be forgotten’.

What should you do?

We advise that you look at three main areas, covering accountabilities, policies and procedures; compliance and risk activities; and implementation of security measures.

You should use best practices to address the GDPR requirements, such as ensuring you have organisational policies and procedures that follow GDPR; meeting transparency requirements through tracking your data processing activities; implementing technologies to prevent and detect security threats; and having robust mechanisms to assess the privacy, business and financial impact of data breaches.

How can Unifii help in 2018?

Our consultants can help you leverage the flexibility of ServiceNow to ensure you are ready for GDPR through helping maintain transparency and visibility of your personal data processing, and through policy management, including data protection, security policies and code of conduct.

We can advise you on:

  • Importing and mapping GDPR requirements
  • Risk evaluation and management
  • Auditing and data subject requirements
  • Personal data assets requirements – e.g. following demands ‘to be forgotten’.

What makes the Unifii offering unique?

Our team is a combination of ServiceNow specialists and consultants who have joined us from client side roles. We are uniquely positioned to understand what you need in terms of structure, design and delivery – and will be there to advise you every step of the way.

 

The GDPR is coming, you need to be ready before May 2018 to ensure you are able to demonstrate ongoing compliance thereafter. Our consultants can advise you on getting the most from ServiceNow, as well as running workshops with a GDPR specialist to help you update your processes. 

For more information or advice on your GDPR requirements, contact us today – we’re always happy to share our experience and expertise.

Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7760 7513

Email

The Unifii TeamAre you ready for GDPR in 2018?
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