How E-mail Digest for ServiceNow Prevents Notification Overload.

When we’re following systems and processes, it’s great to stay informed… but it doesn’t take much to be overwhelmed with notifications and updates.

Too much information can be just as useless as not enough. This is something we hear regularly from customers. We want to be up to date and review progress but we want to do this efficiently.

With ServiceNow, there are a number of ways. Examples are:

  1. Alter notification settings – selecting the specific updates you want to hear about
  2. Make it clear in the notifications what’s needed from you. I.e. Information only, action required, SLA breach possible etc… (Very useful)
  3. Condense the notifications into one or several daily blocks that are easier to digest

We will be looking at the third in this post, with a fairly new function available in recent releases of the Now Platform.

An Overview of E-mail Digest for ServiceNow

E-mail Digest for ServiceNow offers the ability to reduce the number of e-mails sent for specific notifications in a given time period. Instead of sending an e-mail each time the notification conditions are met, users will only receive a single notification sent in a specific time period.

This is perfect to reduce ‘noise’ and can be a welcomed feature for users.

For new ServiceNow instances, the plugin for E-mail Digest: com.glide.email_digest is active by default, however, you must be using the UI16 interface.

For existing instances, the User needs to adjust the setting for a notification definition to allow digest. This is a per-user configuration. The settings reside in the sys_email_digest_user_pref tab.

The notifications which should be digested are easily configured with a checkbox and the period of the interval can be set hourly or daily.

E-mail Digest Settings ServiceNowThis solution is good but it’s currently not perfect, as there are some restrictions.

Example –

E-mails can be condensed for 1 notification but it’s not possible to combine several notifications into one.

  • If there is a notification triggered when the Assignment Group changes and a second one when the State changes, users will receive two notifications. The first containing all assignment group changes in a specific time period, the second containing all state changes.

Other Important Points about E-mail Digest

  • If the email template and/or layout is used – no email scripts should be used. They are not evaluated and will be added as plain text. Mail scripts should only be put in the digested notification definition itself.
  • Even if a Business Rule is used to minimise the trigger of the Digest Interval to < 1h, the digested email is usually generated after a minimum of 30 mins, which means testing becomes time-consuming.
  • E-mail Digest only applies to E-mail notifications, it does not support SMS, push notifications and activity streams.

For more information, visit the ServiceNow documentation page.