ServiceNow announces new platform update ‘New York’ and features commentary from Champion, a ServiceNow Integrator

 ServiceNow Integrator

‘I know I can speak for my whole team that New York is not only going to deliver a great experience to the customer, but developers as well,’ says Frank Hansen, senior vice president, IT Operations and Management with Boca Raton, Fla.-based ServiceNow integrator, Champion Solutions Group.

Original Article by O’Ryan Johnson posted on September 4th, 2019

ServiceNow is expanding what users can do from their mobile phones in its latest platform update – New York — that, for the first-time, gives users the ability to use a natural language interface to carry out common workplace tasks.

“With this release, what we’re really saying is, ‘how do we make it easier for that employee to consume that interaction, kick off that interaction,’ and ‘how do we meet that employee where they are?’ ” Blake McConnell, ServiceNow’s SVP of Employee Workflow Products told CRN. “Many employees want to self serve. How do we provide an employee the tools to do that? A lot of that will happen through a virtual agent, with natural language.”

The Santa Clara, Calif. company’s March release, Madrid, offered mobile capabilities for the first time for users of the platform, but limited the capabilities to the IT workers in an enterprise.

“Being able to look at tickets, and look at incidents and get notifications, so they can better do his or her job,” McConnell said. “Now with the New York release, we have two new mobile apps, again, utilizing the same capabilities, of the ServiceNow platform. One of the apps is referred to as NowMobile and one is refered to as MobileOnboarding. Both of these are designed for the employee persona.”

The goal is to minimize complexity within the work environment, and remove tedious distractions of, for example, searching for the right department to handle the employees needs, he said. Whether it’s requesting a new desk, finding a conference room, booking a conference room, or repairing something broken in a conference room, tasks that could eat away at a person’s time at work are simplified via the mobile interface.

“You think about all those pretty common interactions an employee would have and one of the things we really think about is, your average employee doesn’t need to know which request goes to IT, or when to ping HR, or a facilities request, or getting someone badged into the building goes through legal,” McConnell said. “Through my mobile device I can ask questions. I can submit requests. I can self-serve.”

Frank Hansen, senior vice president, IT Operations and Management, at Boca Raton, Fla.-based ServiceNow integrator Champion Solutions Group said one “significant update” is focused around the ITOM health features like Event Management and Operational Intelligence, which helps IT professionals spot anomalies in their network.

“This will be a game changer in that it will allow ServiceNow to potentially replace some of the systems that perform this operation outside of the platform,” Hansen told CRN. “This type of visibility will provide a more accurate and service aware view of corporate infrastructures. I know I can speak for my whole team that New York is not only going to deliver a great experience to the customer, but developers as well.”

He added that the new Guided Application Creator will “allow our teams to innovate and go to market faster than (it was) thought possible.”

“Some ServiceNow developers have voiced reservations about this new addition, but for us this provides a simplified method for rapid application development,” he said.

Meanwhile, Aaron Callaway, managing director at Andover, Mass.-based Fairchild Resiliency Systems — a security-focused ServiceNow partner that recently had one of its business continuity and disaster recovery apps selected to be deployed inside ServiceNow — lauded the move to roll out mobile features to more end users.

“The nature of our business means users may not always be near their desktop or laptop during a disaster which means mobile accessibility is key,” Callaway told CRN. “The new features for application launchers and navigation options will allow us to provide our users a quick interface to access the information they need, when they need it the most. Offline storage will also allow our users to save the plans for which they are responsible in case there is a network outage as well.”

He also called out some new features in New York such as Guided Tour Designer, Flow Designer Changes, and Integration Hub – which allows for the importing of the OpenAPI specifications that will make integrations with external notification tools much quicker. But Callaway said Instance Data Replication is the real time saver for his business.

“This one is the most exciting new feature for me,” he said. “With IDR we’ll be able to build out our plans on a sub-production instance before go-live and then copy the information to user acceptance testing and production environments without having to export to .xml files,” he said. “This will make implementations and go-live run much more smoothly and allow using built-in functionality for querying data and transforming, if needed, into the target instance.”


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Erick Bacallao joined Champion Solutions Group in 2015 after a career of Software Development in Cuba at the National Cancer Care Institute of Cuba, followed by moving to the States with allAware.


Champion acquired allAware and its properties and Erick has utilized his extensive background and expertise in IT and Software Development to rise to VP of Product Development in less than 5 years. During this time, Erick has been involved with key projects that led to the launch of numerous products including CSP Boss, Inscape platform and 365 Productivity Insights.


Erick has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Havana. He won Gold Medals for Programming from the Ministry of Education in Cuba, and he is certainly still a Gold Medalist for Champion!


As President and CEO, Chris is responsible for the development of key strategic alliances and solution portfolio. He leads Champion’s go-to market and execution strategies for integrated offerings in the cloud, in security, and in digital infrastructure, always focusing on improving the customer experience and driving transformative business outcomes.


He also aligns key partner initiatives with company strategy and oversees corporate marketing and messaging to gain mindshare with customers and partners. It’s his vision and innovativeness that have catapulted Champion up the ranks to become a $100M+ organization—and one of the most respected solution providers in the industry.


Over the past two decades, Chris has also focused on mergers and acquisitions, as well as innovative product development. He is the original founder and an active member on the Board of Managed Maintenance, Inc., a SAAS provider and consulting firm that utilizes their award-winning One-View Portal to help the IT Channel and its customers manage their IT Maintenance.


Chris is also the original founder and chief strategist behind one of the original storage cloud providers, Storage Access / BluePoint. During the course of a few short years, he had raised $20M and took that company public on the Toronto Stock Exchange. It has since been acquired by Pomeroy.


In 2012, Chris led the acquisition of MessageOps and continued the product development and worldwide launch of its premier SAAS, 365 Command. Built on Microsoft Azure, 365 Command is currently managing over 1 million seats of Microsoft’s Office 365. After achieving this phenomenal milestone, 365 Command and other MessageOps O365 utilities were sold to Kaseya.


Over the past 35 years, Chris as worked tirelessly to not only advance his own career, but those of his employees. In addition to leading a $100M organization, Chris can also be found sitting with sales teams, cold calling and coaching, and validating why Champion has been listed on Best Places to Work by both South Florida Business Journal and Computerworld.

Ultimately, the success garnered by Champion Solutions Group, its associated companies, and their employees is due in large part to the leadership of its President and CEO. Perhaps the most fitting award Chris has earned is South Florida Business Journal’s 2013 Ultimate CEO Award.