Interview with Alan Norris from ServiceNow

In this episode Sami Kallio meets Alan Norris, ISV Consultant at ServiceNow.

In this episode Sami Kallio meets Alan Norris, ISV Consultant at ServiceNow. They discuss how employee experience and service experience is one of the key messages from ServiceNow and how Alan personally sees the importance. Recorded live at SITS 19 expo in London, so mind the sound quality in the noisy expo hall.




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Pasi Nikkanen: Welcome to Happy Today podcast. This is a podcast for those who want to improve service experience of internal services. If you use ServiceNow or other enterprise management system, then this is for you.

Welcome to episode eight of Happy Today podcast. In this episode, Sami Kallio, our CEO, met with Alan Norris from ServiceNow to talk about his views on employee experience. This episode was recorded live at London Excel during the SITS19 Expo. Enjoy.

Sami Kallio: All right, today I'm here with Alan from ServiceNow in SITS19. We have had a long day already and let's see how this goes. At least I'm tired, but hopefully you are having a good day.

Alan Norris:  Always having a good day.

Sami Kallio: But hey, please introduce yourself to the audience.

Alan Norris: Hi, my name's Alan Norris, I'm fairly new to ServiceNow as an organisation. I joined them a little over six months ago, but I've been around ServiceNow as a product for a few years, previously as a customer. But also as a technical implementation consultant and as a solution consultant. My role now specifically is I work with technology partners or ISV partners, which is what you guys are, HappySignals, to work with the partners that build great applications that go through the ServiceNow store.

Sami Kallio: So, Alan, ServiceNow is talking very much about the era of experiences and the employee experience overall.

Alan Norris: Yep.

Sami Kallio: Of course we are really thankful for that, it is really the same thing what we are talking about. But what does it really mean for ServiceNow?

Alan Norris: I think it means quite a lot. So, if we look at the messaging that's been coming out over the last few years, a lot of the stuff that we've been talking about is consumer experience, and the massive bridge, or the massive gap that we have between experience that we have in our home and personal lives and the experience that we experience at work.

Even when you go down to the messaging that we're doing in the marketing content, you'll see that we've got ... it's changed, and we're now driven down to these three workflows, which is the IT service experience, we've got the employee experience, and we've got the customer service experience. And it is, it's all experience, because without experience, we're not really doing anything, we're not really making a massive change to everybody. It's what people feel, it's their every day lives, it's their own kind of interactions with things that's really important to them.

And I think that's my personal take on it. And having come from seeing ServiceNow grow over the last however many years from back when I was a customer through to being an implementation consultant and SC, all of those things, I think the messaging has always been within the back, it's always been about that experience. And I think it's quite pivotal. And you're right, so it used to be the age of industry, or the age of electronics, or whatever it is, but now-

Sami Kallio: Everything as a service.

Alan Norris: Exactly. And now within people's personal lives, or within their professional lives, everybody's driving to have this personal experience, their own wellbeing. And it's all about self preservation.

Sami Kallio: I think there's quite a lot of us talking about millennials and them entering the workforce, and that changing how we should work in total. They're not going to be satisfied with the old ways we worked.

Alan Norris: No, exactly. 10 years ago there was a thing called a job for life, it doesn't really exist anymore, because everybody's out to experience new things and to try things. "Well, I'll do this for a couple of years. If that's rubbish I'll go and try something else." And I think from a ServiceNow perspective, helping companies to keep things interactive and more pleasurable for people is the only way you're going to keep people staying.

Sami Kallio: Yeah, that's definitely something we have seen. Do you think this one of the things you are ... because ServiceNow is also changing the market, you're in a really good position, but is this employee experience something, do you feel that it's a thing that you are pushing to the market, or is it something that is requested from the market more?

Alan Norris: I think it's more what the market is demanding. It's more what we in our personal lives are demanding and saying, "Look, we've got this great experience at home, why is it so rubbish at work?" And I think that we have picked up on that and we're making the most out of those people's experiences, and trying to do more from it.

But it's not necessarily us pushing it. Everybody knows about Knowledge, Knowledge is coming out next week. I think at least 50% of the content in there is about experience. And as you'll know from the last Knowledge, at least 90% of the content that was delivered was from our customers. So, I think it's a lovely amalgamation, a bit of a perfect storm of both, us trying to drive that experience, but also it's the demand of that better experience.

Sami Kallio: You guys are bringing in chat bots and all that kind of different channels also to the game with your product, different ways of consuming service management and support services. But when you are developing those, are you doing those with customers, or is it something that you do?

Alan Norris: There's a bit of a mixture there. A lot of the stuff we do as an amalgamation is stuff that we do in conjunction with customers and with our partners. There are things that we do, so we do have a purchase plan, we do go out and we try to find unique bespoke companies that are producing stuff. They're so much better at their game than we are. There's no point us trying to develop it, we'll go to them. We'll do the acquisition, but then we'll build it in from the ground up again so that it's part of the platform and it's not some kind of built-on package like we see with some other vendors.

Sami Kallio: And I have understood you guys have selected customers that are involved in the earlier stages of your products. Is that right?

Alan Norris: Yes, there are. There are various degrees of that. So, it's both with partners and with customers, we've got early adopters. And the name's changed, it used to be early release, et cetera, but we've basically got customers and partners that have a little bit more visibility of what we're doing further down the road. And we work closely with them to be able to develop what it is that we think the market needs.

Sami Kallio: Yeah, I think that's the way how you're really going to get it, because it's easy to add experience to everything, but really to find out what really brings their experience, that is kind of how I see you have to do your practice. Well, as we have to do our practice, to understand how it will be used, and what is the needs, and all that. So, I think this has been a long day here, so I think thank you Alan, this was a short podcast today.

Alan Norris: Thank you.

Sami Kallio: But nice to talk to you again.

Alan Norris: And you.

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