“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall” was spoken by Ronald Reagan on June 12, 1987 and now only a few weeks removed from that anniversary, ServiceNow has announced the upcoming general availability of their own Berlin release. With the buzz of an upcoming upgrade there are several questions which generally get asked either by system administrators, product owners, and customers/users including what the release includes, am I “too” customized to upgrade, and how do I get upgraded.
As with all prior releases, ServiceNow sat down and listened to their user community and their own brain trust internally to develop some new features which will enhance the ServiceNow platform and delivery. With Berlin there are over 48 new features spread across the entire platform including delivery of business services, administration, and integrations. While not all applications will be right for all environments, below are some of the more notable updates with links to the complete list as well.
- Asset Management: track assets in coordination with the CMDB and manage stockroom inventory (http://wiki.servicenow.com/index.php?title=Asset_Management)
- Software Asset Management: manage and audit software licenses more effectively (http://wiki.servicenow.com/index.php?title=Software_Asset_Management)
- SDLC – Scrum Process: improve your ability to manage agile software projects in multi-team and multi-product environments (http://wiki.servicenow.com/index.php?title=SDLC_Scrum_Process)
- Data Archiving: improve system performance by archiving data that is no longer accessed frequently (http://wiki.servicenow.com/index.php?title=Archiving_Data)
It is great to see ServiceNow adapting to the many project styles which exist in the “real” world and including the agile methodology more completely with Scrum. If you would like to read about all the feature which will be released they can be found by going to http://wiki.servicenow.com/index.php?title=Berlin_Release_Notes.
Whenever we at Techport Thirteen are on a new ServiceNow project we hear over and over the horror stories with upgrades on other competing platforms. These can be summed up into two main issues “we were too customized to upgrade” or “it was too expensive to upgrade.” The great news with ServiceNow is these have both been solved for you. No matter how many custom tables you have, custom fields on out of box tables, business rules, etc you can still upgrade. There are obviously best practices when developing your environment but for example, if you edited an out-of-box business rule on the incident table, and that business rule is updated in the new upgrade, your business rule will not be overwritten and will simply be marked as an exception. Last but not least, ServiceNow upgrades are free! Cost does not need to be a barrier (tearing down the wall again) when your company needs new features or fixes to your existing environment.
Your company has decided they would like to get upgraded to ServiceNow, what are the steps to getting upgraded? First if you are using a partner of ServiceNow, that partner has already been placed into a group. For instance Techport Thirteen is in group 2, so all of our clients instances will have the opportunity to be upgraded when the group 2 dates are slated. If you are doing the installation and administration of your instance as a company, you will need to login to hi.service-now.com and open an incident to find your group, or your administrator should have communications detailing what group you are in. I would not recommend upgrading all of your instances, including production, at once. Rather, play it safe by again reaching out to ServiceNow through HI and requesting several of your instances to be “pinned” so they will not be automatically upgraded. If you have a dev, qa, and production environment I would recommend pinning dev and production, cloning production down to qa in the days prior to the upgrade and only upgrading qa to the new release. This will give you a complete testing environment, and when you are ready for your other instances to be upgraded, ServiceNow can schedule that for you quickly.
This was all just a brief overview of all the information available to you. To find a complete listing please follow the below links:
- To open an incident to ServiceNow and request information, have a question, report an issue (https://hi.service-now.com/)
- To see the main page with the Berlin Release Notes and links to each item (http://wiki.servicenow.com/index.php?title=Berlin_Release_Notes)
- To see the Berlin Notable Changes (http://wiki.servicenow.com/index.php?title=Berlin_Notable_Changes)
- To see the defects Berlin will fix (http://wiki.servicenow.com/index.php?title=Release:Berlin_Fixes)
Want to learn more about Techport Thirteen's partnership with ServiceNow and the services we can provide? Make sure to request a copy of our ServiceNow partner brochure:
To speak with Techport Thirteen, a certified ServiceNow partner, with any questions you may have, please contact us.