ServiceNow just announced its release of Kingston, which is the newest version in the long line of software updates since the company’s creation. This platform has a long history of upgrades that reflect the changing industry. No longer limited to serving IT professionals, the ServiceNow platform has grown to encompass all areas within an organization and encouraging best practices in managing all services as a business. From mobile applications and updated user interfaces to powerful machine-learning capabilities, ServiceNow’s cloud-based platform is a revolutionary tool that has helped businesses digitally transform their services for years.
This resource includes information about each ServiceNow version beginning with Aspen, released in December 2011. Each version brings exciting new features, applications, and implementations, and each upgrade improves upon the previous one.
Version: Kingston (Current Version)
Release Date: January 2018
Kingston, which was released earlier this year, is ServiceNow’s current version. This version’s new machine-learning capabilities bring improved data analytics, budget forecasting, and IT incident resolution. These exciting functions help reduce human errors, increase response time, and lowers service downtimes, all while offering insights into response effectiveness. Using performance benchmarks and other metrics, users can compare their services to industry leaders and improve their offerings accordingly.
Kingston’s features include:
- ServiceNow’s “Agent Intelligence,” a machine-learning application with accessible and intuitive controls. This application is directly built into the Now Platform.
- No-code development to create business process flows and applications.
- Guided flow designer to help non-developers create process flows.
- Improved IntegrationHub to connect ServiceNow to external services.
- Enhanced user experience with an end-to-end rapid resolution workflow for IT services and text analytics for insight into unstructured data.
- An end-to-end phishing response to quickly identify and respond to user-submitted security concerns.
Read the full version release notes provided by ServiceNow here: Kingston
Release Date: July 2017
ServiceNow’s Jakarta version debuted the Intelligent Automation Engine that brought users the first machine learning capabilities of the platform. This marks the platform’s beginning steps into dramatically transforming IT services through artificial intelligence. The engine features anomaly detection, benchmark comparisons against industry peers, and performance predictions.
This release focused on enhancing both performance and user experiences; expand capabilities for HR, Customer Service, and Security; and improve enterprise-wide IT management. HR Service Management is renamed to HR Service Delivery, and a new onboarding/transition application gives improved management of employee events.
Jakarta’s features include:
- Consolidated instance security dashboard to quickly manage and resolve incidents.
- 10 new KPIs added to ITSM Benchmarks, and users can now track and chart performance trends over a six-month timeframe.
- Advanced cloud service mapping to create up-to-date service maps spanning both physical and cloud infrastructure.
- Added inter-project dependencies, project status portal, and scoring and ranking to the SN Project Portfolio.
- Trusted security circles allow security analysts to safely and anonymously connect with other users and share threat intelligence information.
- Offers predictive trending based on advanced forecasting algorithms to match historic patterns and determine best fit.
- Guided report designer to improve data analysis.
Read the full version release notes provided by ServiceNow here: Jakarta
Release Date: January 2017
The Istanbul version focused on features that helped organizations drive continuous improvement, rapidly remedy security incidents, extend business-to-consumer customer service, increase control and autonomy for HR teams, and accelerate application delivery. Its new integrations and automation helped users resolve security incidents much faster.
The Istanbul version released the Governance, Risk, and Compliance feature, which allowed organizations to embed compliance and risk controls into their business and IT processes.
Istanbul’s features include:
- Advanced customer service management tools make it easier for staff to access customer records, resolve issues quickly, and allow customers to access information directly via self-service portals.
- Change Advisory Board (CAB) Workbench, which consolidated change management platforms to help users schedule, plan, and manage CAB meetings.
- Updated ServiceNow Benchmarks to help drive continual service improvement. These are now accessible for all users, an improvement from the previous Helsinki version.
- The new Script Debugger allowed multiple users to debug across different instances for faster debugging sessions.
- Pattern-based discovery offers out-of-the-box coverage to identify IT infrastructure and customized codeless pattern discovery.
- Easily viewable performance indicators of cloud resources across multiple providers with cloud management dashboard unification.
Read the full version release notes provided by ServiceNow here: Istanbul
Release Date: May 2016
ServiceNow’s Helsinki version offered new features that focused on “consumerizing the service experience and accelerating time-to-value realization.” As this industry pivoted toward providing a consumer-oriented experience to its customers, the platform added new applications to make it even easier for organizations to meet these customer demands. With strong competition in the technology marketplace, ServiceNow rose to the challenge of proving its platform to be a reliable investment.
Helsinki’s features include:
- Automated notifications and mentions for real-time collaboration between teams.
- Out-of-the-box portals for different business areas and a Service Portal Designer offer standards-based framework to create better user experiences.
- Users can now access ServiceNow features on any device with mobile web functionality and a new native iPad application, delivering improved mobile user experiences.
- Drag-and-drop widgets give users the ability to create custom dashboards and access on-demand data.
- Based on ITIL best practices, the new ITSM guided setup helps businesses go live faster than ever before.
- The CMDB Health Dashboard lets users easily manage their CMDB compliance and accuracy.
Read the full version release notes provided by ServiceNow here: Helsinki
Release Date: December 2015
The Geneva version aimed to give users a more engaging experience, simplify the development environment, extend service management further across organizations, and encourage enterprises to operate IT like a business. Geneva represented a pivot from strictly supporting IT services and an extension into other business areas. This helped connect teams and improve automated workflows from one group to another. With this version, the platform added management applications for customer service, security operations, HR services, and facilities services.
Geneva’s features include:
- Improved UI design made it easier for users to navigate the platform and access its services.
- Native Apple iOS mobile and Apple Watch applications to give users access to information and perform common tasks remotely.
- Reporting capabilities allow users to create and publish reports with new visualizations and formatting options.
- Boosted knowledge management that encourage user self-service.
- Developers can rapidly create, publish, and manage cloud-native applications with new cloud Integrated Development Environment.
- New Customer Service Management application provides consistent support delivery with external client self-service portals.
- Security Incident Response and Vulnerability Response applications allow teams to quickly resolve security issues.
- HR Service Management application offers a skills workbench, work integration, pre-built workflows, and a standardized HR self-service portal.
Read the full version release notes provided by ServiceNow here: Geneva
features or applications.
Release Date: March 2015
The Fuji release was considered the first major ServiceNow version update. This version took longer to release than the previous ones, given that the platform regularly updates its software every six months or so. But the wait was worth it: Fuji offered a wide array of new applications and features that allowed organizations to manage services across the entire enterprise. This version helped companies become service oriented to better service their internal and external customers.
This version’s updates aligned with the “five pillars of the service model” as understood by ServiceNow (features and applications divided between these five sections below):
- Demand workbench to visualize demand prioritization based on specific, interchangeable variables.
- Service Created Services can now be workflow driven, giving anyone the ability to create and publish services
- Enhancements to configuration management to give end-user better control and experience a modern user interface.
- Knowledge bases allow different areas to have centralized knowledge with adjustable viewing or contribution controls
- Easily control user access to service catalog items.
- Improved collaboration tools let users communicate in real time
- Offering three new applications: Legal, Marketing, and Financial Service Management
- Integration between HR Service Automation and Workday for more streamlined HR services.
- Workflow and activity design improvements let users build reusable ServiceNow workflow activities and deliver a more intuitive experience.
- Project workbench made it easy for users to create custom or template projects, and keep communication in one place.
- An IT Governance, Risk, and Compliance enhancement helps users manage process compliance through evidence collection automation and more.
- New test management capabilities let project teams deliver quality services faster.
- IT financial management application offers an accurate view of costs and allows IT to build cost models, leverage system data, and avoid manual updates using third-party tools.
- Updates to reporting tools to create and manage reports with new visualization types.
- Improvements to performance analytics offer advanced user controls over data to detect trends, understand performance indicators, and more.
Read the full version release notes provided by ServiceNow here: Fuji
Release Date: May 2014
ServiceNow’s Eureka release sought to enhance the enterprise service model and further improve the user experience. In the official press release, a ServiceNow representative said, “The products and features in this new ServiceNow release give IT the ability to create a new service experience for business users and improve the framework on which IT can deliver those services across the enterprise.”
Creating an intuitive, user-friendly platform makes it easier for different business areas and users to access and navigate services. As this becomes more important, ServiceNow continues to drive forward with new interfaces and service portals.
Eureka’s features include:
- The Service Creator allows non-developers to build applications on the platform using a drag-and-drop interface.
- Facilities Service Automation automatically assigns service requests, improves reporting, and improves the delivery of information and services.
- Demand management tool brings strategic requests from business to IT into a centralized location, streamlining IT decision processes.
- Visual Task Boards, which organize services and other tasks in a collaborative environment.
- New CIO Roadmap feature helps users visualize timelines to prioritize decisions across multiple business functions.
Read further version release notes provided by the ServiceNow Community: Eureka
Release Date: November 2013
This release expanded on many of Calgary’s features and applications, including the “Application Creator” tool. This release’s goal was to expand services to include additional aspects of business management, like managing vendor information or offering HR services through automation.
Dublin’s features include:
- Vendor Performance Management application to offer a single system of record for vendor information to improve its management.
- Improved resource management tools offer an enterprise-wide view of performance, activities, and cost.
- Automated configuration creates a unified system to create, enforce, and report infrastructure changes.
- Optimized HTML5 smartphone interface expands on its mobile services.
- Enhanced its application creator tool from Calgary update
- New HR Service Automation application to meet employee demands and provide efficient services.
- Added a new alert service called “ServiceNow Notify.”
Read further version release notes provided by the ServiceNow Community: Dublin
Release Date: February 2013
The Calgary version offered new features and enhancements that did not solely focus on IT responsiveness or innovation. Its focus was on driving visibility and standardization across the entire enterprise. This push helped bring the ServiceNow platform beyond merely serving IT but to include other facets of an organization.
Calgary’s features include:
- New collaboration workspace UI allowed users to built multiple workspaces with live task feeds, added widgets, and more.
- Offered users enhanced report customization and editing.
- A new application creator made it easier for users to build on the platform.
- New intuitive and user-friendly iPad interface.
- Cloud provisioning for Amazon EC2 and VMWare.
- CMDB data certification.
- Multiple auxiliary databases to split data and improve performances.
Read the full release notes (now archived) provided by ServiceNow here: Calgary
Release Date: July 2012
ServiceNow’s Berlin upgrade directly addressed user feedback sourced from the ServiceNow community. Since their platform aims to directly serve the modern business world, this upgrade sought to reflect project styles like the agile methodology. This update included 48 new features that span the platform and business areas.
Berlin’s features include:
- Improved asset management to coordinate assets with the CMDB.
- Enhancements to inventory management.
- Software Asset Management to manage and audit software licenses.
- SDLC to help businesses manage agile software projects in different environments.
- Frequent data archiving to improve system performance.
Read the full release notes (now archived) provided by ServiceNow here: Berlin
Release Date: December 2011
Aspen was the first city-named ServiceNow version. This upgrade focused on system scalability and resilience. This version offered a number of improvements on its application and platform.
Aspen’s features include:
- Risks and controls linked to entities and track authoritative source requirements in audits.
- New Project & Portfolio Management templates, features, importing, and Gantt chart capability.
- Timeline for workflow execution, with the ability to roll back to a point within the workflow.
- New debugging assistant for workflows.
- Runbook automation for VMWare and Amazon EC2.
- Improved Windows and Linux password management.
- Enhanced Active Directory user provisioning.
Read the full release notes (now archived) provided by ServiceNow here: Aspen
Pre-Geneva ServiceNow Versions
Since late 2011, ServiceNow has named each of its new versions after a city (Aspen, Berlin, and Calgary, for example). After the first five city-named versions, ServiceNow released Fuji – its first major upgrade. These first versions were improved upon greatly and are no longer supported by ServiceNow.