This review has been contributed by Aprill Allen.
Collaboration and automation were the themes of the Knowledge12 event, ServiceNow’s user conference, which was held in the newly reopened Hyatt Regency in New Orleans from the 15-17 May.
CEO, Frank Slootman, opened the event with a packed keynote session. Announcing the move to a high availability architecture, with a secondary, fully-redundant data centre, and the intention to bring IPO soon (NYSE:NOW), Slootman sees the cloud-based software solution evolving to “touch things instead of people”.
Slootman also gave a nod to the rise in the use of social software in the workplace. Digital natives, in particular, are spending more time in the Live feed (ServiceNow’s activity stream) and less time with email. Will ServiceNow succeed in displacing email altogether? Not on it’s own, but it’s certainly claiming to be part of the movement to do so. But what I can see is ServiceNow shaking up an industry that’s been moving at glacial pace for quite some time. Traditional vendors are reconsidering their offerings and partnerships, while ServiceNow plans to displace the legacy providers when organisations start seeking consolidation and globalisation of their IT management systems.
Through a show of hands, the audience revealed ServiceNow’s PaaS delivery isn’t limited to just IT service management, either. Around 10% are using the platform to develop non-IT solutions as well, one of which—a swing band management system—was nominated for this year’s Innovation of the Year.
It was Fred Luddy’s keynote on day two of the conference that everyone had been waiting for, though. The 2000-strong audience watched with a quiet intensity while ServiceNow founder and chief product offer, Luddy, showed live demonstrations of upcoming functionality, including the collaborative ability Slootman had described the previous day, coming in the next release (Berlin). The new feature allows for the capture of activity stream conversation inside an incident report, providing faster case management than what purely form-based systems allow. This excites me, not just because of the sheer convenience, but because this is where I want to see knowledge management going. This is the kind of paradigm shift knowledge management really needs.
Luddy then went on to demonstrate the “power of the platform” by building a business application in six minutes—a feat he passionately believes anyone should be able to do without the need for coding skills. The calling card of the future Calgary release will be “regular people making meaningful apps.”
Knowledge12 might be over, but delegates, partners, employees and others have left energised. If not from the keynotes, then certainly from the many breakout sessions and labs across the week.
Were you at Know12? What sessions blew your mind and what do you intend to change in your workflow as a result?