Review: ServiceNow for Service Catalogue

This independent review is part of our 2013 Service Catalogue Group Test.

Executive Summary – ServiceNow

  • High end functionality
  • Enterprise focus
  • Strong corporate backing and growth
  • Extensive functionality
  • Best Demand dashboard functions
  • Flexibility of product
  • UI busy and complicated
  • Flexibility of product
  • Organisation geared towards enterprise clients
  • Needs usability configuration/customisation
Primary Market Focus “ServiceNow are the Enterprise IT Cloud Company”

Commercial Summary

Vendor ServiceNow
Product ServiceNow
Version reviewed Berlin
Date of version release September 2012
Year founded 2004
Customers 1600 enterprise customers as of May 2013.
Pricing Structure “ServiceNow offers a subscription license based on IT process users. We charge $100 / IT process user / month with volume discounts available. We also offer end user pricing in certain scenarios.”
Competitive Differentiators ServiceNow state:

  1. “A single, organically developed ITSM platform built in the cloud with nothing acquired or OEMed that leverages knowledge management, collaboration, graphical workflow engine, ITSM stack, service catalogue and request, runbook automation, CMDB, ITAM, software license management, etc. all included in the subscription license.
  2. An approachable, social and modern Web UI built to improve the end user experience with IT through an emphasis on usability and self service.
  3. A configurable platform includes a content management system that allows IT to provide a user experience that is identical to existing customer Web properties and that matches existing user experience and IT workflow.”

ServiceNowlogo_STANDARD_RGB_226px_122012Independent Review

ServiceNow has emerged in recent years as a leading innovator in the SaaS and Cloud provision of ITSM products – this is backed up with an active and innovative community of users and partners that use the platform to develop new applications and approaches with the toolset.

The Service Catalogue product is part of an extensive and function-rich ITSM toolset that is aimed at competing and ultimately leading the enterprise area of the market – the company has achieved impressive growth and market share, replacing major legacy ITSM systems, leading with speed, agility and a disruptive commercial model.

The Catalogue product has full functionality and meets all the stated requirements. In particular the demand management, dashboard and reporting capabilities are impressive and delivered to support useful views of consumption vs. forecast etc. The system supports multi-tenancy operations and provides good integration with asset and discovery modules to create service bundles.

The product offers a potential hybrid and options for ‘bottom up’ and ‘top down’ approach. The vendor offers a variety and depth of implementation and development services and as well as support to clients through workshops and training – supported by a growing partner network of integrators and consultancies.

The standard Out of the Box interface looks busy and complicated – there are many good tailored implementations which are built for clients, however these may take consultancy and configuration time.

This is a good option for enterprise clients who need to customise their system, look and feel, as well as needing to develop some specific functionality. Product tailoring and configuration would suit large enterprise organisations with expansive requirements. Small, medium-sized, and some enterprise organisations – with standard requirements, looking for ‘vanilla’ implementations –  might struggle with the complexity and User Interface of the Out of the Box version.


  • ITSM track record over last 6/7 years of significant growth and ‘rip-out’ replacement implementations – major ‘disruptive’ player introducing new commercial model and fast implementation approach
  • Comprehensive functionality available – competing with enterprise ITSM tools
  • Meets all stated requirements
  • Out of the box User Interface and overall functionality looks busy and complex
  • Catalogue functionality integrates with ITSM processes
  • Strong capability in Demand Management
  • Vendor has developed strong, open user community and partner base for sharing knowledge and innovation with the product
  • Consultancy and tailoring required for a simple, intuitive implementation


  • Extensive functionality available for hardware and software request and lifecycle management
  • Effective portal and user request functionality
  • Seamless integration with discovery and asset modules to build service bundles and ‘discover’ services
  • Vendor has experience and skilled resources for technical integration of request management/portal processes
  • Expanding and impressive portfolio of enterprise client implementations
  • Partner network provides input to innovation and development of leading edge product best practice
  • Real time dashboards and reports look impressive
  • Excellent breadth of (delivered) Demand Management functionality
  • User and partner community a great resource and source of innovation and good practice
  • Vendor has growing resources and financial backing as part of growth strategy
  • System highly tailorable and therefore suitable for large bespoke implementations and requirements


  • Out of the Box interface looks busy and over-engineered for many basic functions
  • Basic functionality will require tailoring for a simple clean interface and functionality  – may not suit organisations looking for clarity and simplicity in solution
  • Strength of flexibility may also be weakness in complexity
  • Standard implementations of Service Catalogue around 10 days – re-design for simple clean look and feel requires more time and cost

ServiceNow Service Catalogue Customers

In Their Own Words:

“ServiceNow Service Catalogue and Request Management offers all your defined business and technical services via flexible storefront interface. Using configurable ServiceNow workflow, you can provide a friendly, personalized user experience to capture data, collect approvals, automate fulfilment, and leverage the benefits of operating in one platform to deliver value to the business.

Empower your business and technical users to interact and order the services they need to do their job, provide transparency into the approval process, and allow users to track the progress of their own requests. Through the service catalogue, your organization can deliver standardized services, capture data for an array of department services, coordinate transfer pricing between departments, and improve internal controls with full audit capabilities.

Drag-and-drop your way to a powerful, world-class experience and improve communication, transparency, and the perception of IT by the rest of the business. All the workflow orchestration, notifications, request fulfilment, interface design and connections to underlying processes are built into the ServiceNow platform.”


Further Information

Group Test Index

This independent review is part of our 2013 Service Catalogue Group Test.