As a ServiceNow veteran, ReliaSource’s CTO and ServiceNow Architect, Patrick McHose has expanded the team’s capabilities and platform offerings to include information technology service management (“ITSM”), software/hardware asset management (“SAM/HAM”), human resources (“HR”), security operations (“SecOps”), cloud management, governance, risk, and compliance (“GRC”), mobility, and much more.
In an interview with CIO Applications, McHose sheds light on the challenges that clients face in the adoption of the ServiceNow platform, their collaboration with ServiceNow, and how ReliaSource is assisting clients with its innovative solutions.
What challenges do you see in the ServiceNow space?
Particularly in the federal sector, the platform adoption is often reliant on old approaches. We combat this with our Accelerated Implementation Methodology (“AIM”) and the use of our Workflow Automation Modeling (“WAM”) tool. AIM provides the map of how we engage with our customers to accelerate adoption. On the other hand, WAM allows us to visualize complex workflows, collect data, and document associated details and business rules. In the end our customers are able to gain a complete understanding, from both pictorial view as well through associated documentation and artifacts, of exactly what is envisioned.
Could you elaborate on the market pain points of your customers that have manifested as opportunities for your solution and approach?
There are several challenges that continue to surface in our conversations with our customers. Cost reduction, automation, security, and user experience tend to lead the way in no particular order. From the cost reduction standpoint, our Device as a Service (DaaS) offering drives down costs at the macro level. The ServiceNow platform was built specifically for the purpose of workflow automation. Workflow automation can direct tasks to groups for fulfillment, eliminating bottlenecks and stoppages. Due to ServiceNow’s ability to use any modern API or interface, we can remove or reduce redundant (or repetitive) human actions and perform the actual work (for instance, create a firewall rule, update AD user information, and more).
Security has always been a concern and it continues to be. We have specifically trained and certified a team of consultants to ensure and enforce security. We leverage ServiceNow’s Security Operations Suite to aggregate and make sense of the data. Imagine the ability to manage and prioritize hundreds of security incidents and thousands of vulnerabilities at any given point in time and automate responses based on standardized rules. Those incidents can be routed through pre-defined workflows and passed to the ITSM portion of ServiceNow. From here changes can be created and implemented to remediate an issue.
Could you talk about the platform applications you support?
ReliaSource’s experience as a ServiceNow super user comes from managing large-scale, world-wide infrastructure as a service (“IaaS”) deployments for federal agencies by utilizing the inherent capabilities within ServiceNow, namely the information technology operations management (“ITOM”) and information technology service management (“ITSM”) suites.
As both a ServiceNow super-user and expert implementation consultant, our company has a real-world understanding of how the platform works and how it needs to be implemented to derive the benefits of the platform
We help our customer avoid the “helpdesk syndrome.” It is where people think of ServiceNow as just a “ticketing system,” but ServiceNow is so much more. We think of ServiceNow as a platform for workflow automation and the basis for IT modernization. ServiceNow’s rich APIs allow us to integrate systems of record so as to enable updates and remove human intervention. Couple that with the introduction of artificial intelligence, and you begin to realize long term possibilities.
What according to you sets ReliaSource apart from other ServiceNow Consultants?
Simply stated; we deliver high-performance solutions, faster and therefore at a lower cost. By employing AIM and WAM, ReliaSource accelerates implementations and decreases design and delivery time based on pre-planned and well documented configuration activities. Our customers get to visualize the journey and the documentation to back it up, thus removing barriers of misunderstanding. As both a ServiceNow super-user and expert implementation consultant, our company has a real-world understanding of how the platform works and how it needs to be implemented to derive the benefits of the platform. Our ServiceNow architects and developers work in tandem with our project delivery teams to see the fruits of their work delivered in practical applications.
We take a configuration management database first (“CMDB First”) approach to ServiceNow implementations. With ServiceNow Visualize, building a CMDB is not nearly as difficult as in the past. The CMDB unlocks the true potential of ServiceNow and allows for the automation that customers seek. We also address metadata or contextual data up front and provide ways to capture and govern this data. At the end of the day—metadata drives automation.
Moreover, ReliaSource has several offerings other than ServiceNow implementations. We offer continuous improvement, administration support, and upgrade packages. Each of these can be offered as fixed engagements or as low-cost (on-call) subscription services to fit every budget and need.
Please mention a few success stories where ReliaSource enabled clients to overcome hurdles and attain desired outcomes through its partnership with ServiceNow.
At one particular agency we were posed a simple question, “How can you improve my [Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) scores?” As in many cases, ServiceNow technologies provide the answer. We developed a software and hardware asset management program driven by discovery, the CMDB, and SAM and provided them with an apt solution.
Current projects highlight the drive toward automation. At another agency, we’ve designed a Rapid Implementation and Guided Case Flow application that takes projects or programs through an automated series of steps and uses automation to provision key components.
We are also implementing ServiceNow Security Incident Response (“SIR”) in an organization and exploiting built in workflows. In each example we are removing manual steps and replacing them with machine speed fulfillment.
How has ReliaSource delivered best-in-breed solutions for the ServiceNow Consulting space and how are you poised to march ahead when it comes to responding to clients’ needs. Can you provide us a sneak-peak into what lies ahead for your firm?
We deliver best-in-breed solutions by living them first. We run our business on ServiceNow, and it is at the core of every project we deliver. This has given us great insight into the strengths of the platform. By staying close to our customers and having access to ServiceNow product development, we understand the roadmap of the platform and can inform our customers of upcoming capabilities. Taking a novel approach to implementing the newest technologies, ReliaSource becomes a trusted advisor to our customers in a true partnership.
Specialization in areas of cloud, security, and custom applications allows us to take our customers to places they haven’t been before; but want to go. If you are looking for a flexible, agile, and responsive partner to expertly deliver, upgrade, or implement ServiceNow, then look no further.
Subscription services have emerged as a prominent trend and they take the guesswork out of complex architectures, scalability, and maintenance. Users can simply click on a URL and gain access to the services we offer. We are able to make the experience between the service and the user as frictionless as possible. I also see the future of the mobile-friendly employee experience as key, especially in the new normal of the remote work world. We are leveraging mobile technology across our company to help employees work faster and easier from anywhere.