Tokyo ServiceNow - Image by David Mark from Pixabay The latest ServiceNow release is now generally available. Tokyo is the latest release for the Now platform and aims to address the complex business challenges organisations face in today’s ever-changing business environment. At the heart of the new release are three new solutions: Enterprise Asset Management (EAM), Supplier Lifecycle Management (SLM) and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Management.

In addition, Tokyo brings three tools to help businesses manage their people and technology better. These tools are a Manager Hub, an Admin Centre and the extension of the auto-resolution feature to HR teams. Finally, ServiceNow has introduced ServiceNow Vault, which provides an additional layer of security and privacy for organisations using the Now platform.

CJ Desai, chief operating officer at ServiceNow
CJ Desai, chief operating officer at ServiceNow

CJ Desai, chief operating officer at ServiceNow, commented: “Our ServiceNow Tokyo platform release gives customers exactly what they need in this moment—new solutions that deliver immediate value, are easy to implement and use, and help them do more with less.

“Now is not the time to experiment. A platform for digital business is the only way to create great experiences, drive new business value, and accelerate transformation so organizations can focus on growth in our digital-first world.”

The Now platform aims to address the need for digitisation across organisations. According to the recent 2022 IDC CEO Survey,95% of CEOs see the need to adopt a digital-first strategy. 85% of CEOs said actively participating in digital ecosystems is important to their revenue growth. Revenues are also becoming digital. 30% of organisational revenue now comes from digital products, services and experiences, which is expected to grow to over 40% by 2027. Tokyo aims to help power this growth by introducing new features that assist organisations in digitising internal and external services.

Three new solutions for Tokyo

Tokyo includes three new features that bring additional value from technology investments that organisations make.

Enterprise Asset Management

EAM is a full asset management capability consisting of twelve elements that will help organisations to invest, manage, maintain and retires their physical business assets. The solution is integrated across the Now platform and beyond with connectors to solutions provided by Microsoft, Coupa, Medigate, Forescout, Workday and SAP Ariba. The features include:

  • Enterprise Asset Lifecycle Management: Manages the onboarding, in life and off-boarding of assets
  • Enterprise Asset estate: A holistic control tower to view and manage a diverse asset estate
  • Multi-Component Assets: Enables the definition of relationships between assets
  • Risk Scoring: Rate assets and generate heatmaps to understand risk landscapes better
  • Enterprise Asset Inventory Management: Helps to optimise asset inventory across warehouse and inventory stores
  • Mobile Asset receiving: Supports mobile scanning bringing mobility to asset management
  • Asset Inventory Audits: Enables firms to conduct inventory audits to track and audit inventory
  • Asset Refresh Planning: Creates asset renewal plans with different criteria
  • Enterprise Asset Catalog: Enables employees to request assets
  • Asset Reservations: Reserves and manages assets for temporary use with prescriptive workflows
  • Recalls: Identify business assets impacts by recalls and manage appropriate actions
  • Lease-End Management: Automation support for leasing procedures such as extensions, returns or buying out assets.

Supplier Lifecycle Management (SLM)

Supply chains are disrupted more than ever. It means improving supplier management, and the relationships with them are critical to the success of product businesses. The emerging compliance requirements such as Scope 3 emissions have meant organisations must keep better track of their supply chain.

SLM addresses these requirements with a digital experience that includes onboarding and collaboration. The solution includes five pillars on which to build your supplier relationships.

Knowledge Management: Sharing component, product and project information enables organisations to work better with their supplier.

Performance Analytics: Helps to measure performance but can also highlight trends in suppliers, such as increasing late payments or deliveries and surfaces real-time insights about performance.

Procurement Case Management: Automate simple requests with virtual agents to free up the time for procurement to engage in high-value interactions. A knowledge base also helps teams to answer queries faster.

Vendor Risk Management: Brings together the monitored metrics and enables each supplier to receive a risk assessment. Users can track, manage and initiate mitigation actions for these risks.

Now Mobile: A native app brings mobility to SLM, enabling users to access it anywhere.

SLM also includes a supplier portal, enabling organisations to collaborate with their suppliers using workflows to help ease onboarding and other processes. The supplier workspace enables procurement teams to gain visibility across their supplier portfolio or for each supplier. It will highlight open tasks and highlight SLA breaches or risks. What is perhaps missing is support innovation initiatives, such as those provided by Vizibl.

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Management

ESG management gives a single location where organisations can manage their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) programs with simple data collection, on-demand progress monitoring, and automated reporting.

The solution enables organisations to collect and view quantitative and qualitative data on any ESG topic—from carbon to DEI. Once collected, organisations can track their goals and see when targets are achieved for each initiative. These initiatives can also be rolled up to streamline reporting against standards and regulations like SASB, TCFD and CSRD. At the heart of the application is an executive dashboard which provides a holistic view of the corporate ESG stance in a single view.

The solution includes specific capabilities to calculate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. What isn’t clear are any integration points with SLM and the collection of Scope 3 emissions information from the supplier management platform that will flow through to ESG Management. However, it integrates with Strategic Portfolio Management and Integrated Risk Management. As organisations face Net-Zero targets, ESG Management enables them to understand their progress better and help achieve their goals.

Tokyo tools

Tokyo also boosts two new tools and enhances an existing tool to improve life for individuals within organisations. The Manager Hub, part of the employee centre, helps managers to address their biggest pain points, burn out and employee attrition.

It delivers a single point where managers can track actions, performance, education and risks associated with their teams. They can set up notifications and workflows from the hub, and across the organisation, the hub provides management with access to curated content that is relevant to them.

It also assists HR with the new Issue Resolution for Human Resources feature. This extends the issue resolution feature ServiceNow has baked within its ITSM solution and brings it to the HR function. It applies Natural Language Understanding (NLU) to analyse and deliver answers to employees through their channels of choice: Microsoft Teams, SMS, and email. Where an issue is urgent, it is automatically escalated to the HR leadership to address it with a higher level of support.

Within ServiceNow Impact, a new Admin Center enables system administrators to discover, install, and configure ServiceNow solutions using a self-service interface. Adoption Blueprints provide application recommendations around configuration settings based on an organisation’s objectives and current situation. The Admin Centre delivers a centralised dashboard that simplifies the setup and administration of ServiceNow Apps

ServiceNow Vault

The new ServiceNow Vault provides an additional layer of security and privacy for business-critical applications. With cybersecurity a priority for many organisations, addressing the increasing compliance challenge has proven costly for many. This new option provides encryption down to column level at rest and in use within applications. The new solution uses the ServiceNow key management framework to ensure platform encryption. However, ServiceNow does not specify what level of encryption it uses.

Also included is data anonymization, where organisations must protect data privacy and sovereignty. It also introduces ServiceNow Code Signing. It validates sensitive application configuration data and scripts before they are executed. ServiceNow Secrets Management provides secure, simplified and centralised management of digital credentials. It ensures that users only see what they should see, keeping secrets safe whilst maintaining the automation and flexibility that firms need today.

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

Tokyo is a significant update from ServiceNow, which addresses some of the key challenges organisations face today. One might argue that ServiceNow is late to the table with these solutions, and other vendors already provide them. However, the NOW platform now covers a greater footprint within the business than ever before.

ESG Management and Supplier Management are seen as point solutions despite the existence of ERP solutions in many businesses. ServiceNow must ensure that these new solutions work together seamlessly with connections between ESG, SLM and EAM, as there are some significant synergies which ServiceNow has not yet called out.

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