ServiceNow is growing and improving the products from one release to the another. From Jakarta to Kingston, only in a short period of time. Couple months ago, after publishing an article related to Jakarta release, We participated in Partner Program Testing for Kingston release.

It was a great privilege and great experience. The new features and improvements from Jakarta to Kingston were amazing and very helpful for our customers and our implementation team.

Today topic will describe the new ServiceNow release, named Kingston, after the capital of Jamaica. This article intends to present many of the new features to be excited about. Below is a list of main features and what to expect on Kingston:

First of all the UI11 is no longer available. You should use UI15 or UI16 instead. Dealing with attachments and viewing them in ServiceNow was really not friendly and annoying. Reading pdf files even more. From Kingston and on there will be a document viewer application more comfortable and friendly to use.

The application provides the option to view attached documents inline within the platform rather than just downloading the documents to the file system. You may configure an audit trail to track the number of views and downloads for a particular document. Nice feature to have reports and keep tracks of your files and statistics.

The Document Viewer sends the files out to a server on a ServiceNow datacentre for PDF conversion, then stores the PDF within the instance.

Agent Intelligence is used to automate and categorize, prioritization and assignment of tickets using Machine Learning to lower the time to resolution of tasks.

Agent Intelligence allows you to configure a learning algorithm to predict values in records based on previous data.

Some common examples of use cases include using the Short Description field of your common ITIL records like Incident/Problem/Change and generating a predicted Assignment Group and/or Category from that data. As of Kingston, it can only be used on Incidents, CSM, and custom apps.

Agent Intelligence requires an additional subscription, based on the number of predictions, and a large existing dataset of 30’000+ records is required for the training. Amazing and very helpful feature.

After playing around with this feature, we was very satisfied and thinking how great and useful will be for our customers. It can save a lot of time and effort.

Major Incident Management a new type of incident added to the incident types. This Is a new view to resolve incidents with high business impact. It is a single workbench screen (with the recent Angular framework) that helps IT to make informed decisions. It displays related Incidents, impacted CIs, Business Services, and host a meeting framework, similar to the CAB one. Major Incident is a “kind” of incident. Perhaps it’s when the urgency and impact are both set to High and therefore you have a ‘Critical’ incident.

Virtual Agent After a lot of time searching a similar solution, finally there is a good one. Powered by Integration with IBM Watson Conversation Service. While I have never met one useful Chatbot, they are all the rage in the IT. ServiceNow partnered with IBM to provide you the best available Chatbot for your Connect Chat interface, and more use-cases might come in the future. Virtual Agent will be English only for the current release and will require a subscription with IBM Conversation Service.

Encrypted fields are now searchable and can be used in condition filter.

Guided Tour Designer improvement: Configurable auto run of guided tours.

Flow Designer is a completely new interface to create business process flows. The Flow Designer is an alternative and future replacement for the Graphical Worklow Editor.

he deprecated Workflow Editor will continue to be supported for now, as some use cases are currently not supported in the Flow Designer. Among those, are Service Catalog, Timers, SubFlows, and Repeat Loops.

The flow designer will clearly be the most visible functionality for many ServiceNow administrators.

Service Portal:

Redirect a reference to a page ID
Multiple widgets in the Service Portal may link to a single page using a hard-coded page ID.

To replace the page, all widgets that reference the page must be updated with the new page ID. Instead of cloning and updating each widget with the new page ID, create a single record
that automatically redirects all references to the original page to point to the new page. This way, you can replace a page without locating and replacing all references to the page ID.

Create Service Portal announcements
Use announcements to broadcast messages to Service Portal users.

Announcements can be displayed in an announcement banner or an announcement widget instance. Announcements are active on new instances.

To activate announcements after upgrade, activate the Service PortalAnnouncements (com.glide.service-portal.announcements) plugin.

E-signature and approvals: E-signature is enabled for approvals in Service Portal.

Unsaved record warning: You receive a warning when you navigate away from a form or list in which you have made changes.

TinyMCE HTML editor: The TinyMCE HTML editor in the Service Portal includes the ability to create links and directly paste images.

Change password widget: The new change password widget allows you to change your passwords.

Software Asset Management:

Office 365 subscriptions can be tracked and managed. Other cloud solution will follow in further releases.
Blacklisted Software Discovery: Software that you want to avoid can now be defined.
Better reporting, with reconciliation by Business Unit, cost center or geographical zone.

IT Operations:
Guided User Experience for easier and faster implementation of Service Mapping.
New KPI for Performance Analytics, to analyse how events and alerts are being managed. This requires the PA subscription.
Application Content Import means faster upgrade cycles, as new service mappings and discovery patterns updates won’t have to wait on Platform releases.

Customer Service:
Appointment Booking will allow customers to book field-service self-scheduled appointments with agents via a nice calendar interface. This is quite similar to the on-line reservation interface used in the Apple Stores.

Many improvements for Knowledge Management: Knowledge content can now be structured by article types, external content searches can now be included, Article Quality Index to measure your contents, and SEO support.

New dashboards for Performance Analytics: Agent dashboard, Manager dashboard, Executive dashboard.

What to expect next?

For the curious, the next releases two are to be called London and Madrid. They will contains many improvements on the backend UI and Service Portal.