Service-now is just announcing their Winter 2011 release and, true to the trend du jour, their ITSM offering is chock full of social features. I’ve written about Service-now, a SaaS for enterprise IT management vendor, previously. With this release, they’re trying to jump on a bandwagon given that ultimate of validation, a Superbowl ad.

Service-now’s take on ITSM is that we’re entering what they’re calling IT3.0 (they’ve obviously been watching CEO Marc Benioff talking about Cloud 2,0). Rhett Glauser from Service-now told me that the three generations of IT he sees are;

  • IT1.0 – disconnected solutions wholly owned by IT with very limited access by line of business users
  • IT2.0 – connected solutions that were sold directly to particular business units
  • IT3.0 – a new age that sees individualized solutions that are “people aware”. Embedded social features and a perspective hat IT and business are one and the same

I can take or leave this description of where IT is at – I’ve run into too many old world server huggers to think for a minute that there’s anything like a groundswell of deep IT alignment with business. Notwithstanding that, it’s interesting to see how Service-now applies their view of IT3.0 to their own product offerings.

So, what’s new in the release? Service-now has fully embedded social features – labeled Chat and Live. Chat is a typical IM offering, tied right into the service desk portal. It also allows the creation of private chat room and conversations in chat are automatically captured and preserved within appropriate records, such as records for incident, problem or change.

Service-now live is a Facebook or Twitter-like concept which provides “wall” functionality and allows people and things like events, business services and configuration items to collaborate and connect. Artifacts within Service-now live can be shared, searched, tagged, grouped, subscribed, liked and linked. Interestingly this gives IT to track activity and analyze trending issues and topics – potentially enabling them to make much more rapid decisions where problems arise. Live - company feed

With the recent launch of Tibbr and a renewed focus on social solutions that are truly integrative and neutral, I’m not sure if a product specific social offering isn’t too little, too late. That said however ITSM generally occurs in isolation to other applications so it’s probably not a biggie.

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Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

  • Social is, by definition, open, and not around a product or feature.companies are adopting social platforms like chatter or yammer, and the different tools like ITSM should integrate with these platforms instead of trying to lock the social experience in a closed silo.

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