My NowForum Experience – by Thomas Weeks

Introduction –

I am writing this article to share with my network my first NowForum experience and what I had learned as well as trying to get some feedback on how you all felt it compared to other years and what you learnt about the platform too.

So, it was my first NowForum, and wow I was not expecting that!

 

I was truly blown away from start to finish. The Key Note really got my attention. I spent most of my day in the IT Track trying to learn more about the platform and the features that it holds. It was great to hear about the great journey Home Office is embarking upon with the ServiceNow implementation and how it is helping them become more efficient, also I never quite realised how much the Home Office did so that was a learning curve in itself!

With the loud dance music, flashing lights and exceptional speakers to start the day off I was engrossed from start to finish. The energy in the whole building was brilliant, full of excitement and full of happy customers, potential customers, partners and ServiceNow professionals which gave the day that bit more of a buzz. I had the opportunity to meet some great professionals and experts and talk more about what they do which was also a brilliant experience.

So the Key Note started with what ServiceNow is all about, how they are trying to improve the overall customer experience from the platform and what customers have requested.

Customers wanted the implementation process to be easier, shorter and wanted more pre-configured applications and a more consumer like user experience which ServiceNow are trying to achieve with the Kingston and London releases.

ServiceNow’s solution to this is to create more configured applications that will require less customisation and as a result, will speed up the implementation process as well as improving the user experience.

The big talking point was how they are going to use Machine Learning and Artificial intelligence to help predict future instances before they have even arisen, which let’s be honest is really cool!

They are also looking to use Machine Learning to be able to more accurately predict the severity of the issue which as I understand they are already doing with current instances by using the CMDB to outline what CI’s will be affected by each incident.

They are also introducing a new feature where you can compare your KPI’s to others in your industry so you can set realistic benchmarks and aim to achieve better KPI’s than your competitors but I do understand sharing this information is on a strictly opt-in basis. With this new feature, you are also able to set personal KPI goals and the platform will also predict how likely you are to achieve them as well as predict what your KPI would be in a certain time frame if you carry on performing the way you or your team have.

There was an insight to how the SAM application worked, what it looked like and what it can do. I like how it colour coded and outlined how often software is being used and what isn’t as well as outlining what should be uninstalled. With a simple right click and uninstall the software would be removed and you would no longer need to pay the license meaning you save money and time.

So, what did I learn from this day?

My NowForum Experience

I gained more of an insight into how ServiceNow can be used right across an organisations spectrum and how it delivers a better user and customer experience. It also never occurred to me just how much it could improve a business’s customer experience as I always believed the platform only saved money, improved internal business functions, improved security and created a better user experience.

I now have more knowledge on what it looks like to use ServiceNow and having spoken to a delivery manager there who discussed how the UI can be adjusted to how you want it to look rather than having just the 1 design you can design ServiceNow around your businesses marketing/visuals.

Of course, I now have an insight into what will be coming with the Kingston and London releases and how they will be using Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to improve the platform and the level of Automation.

I now understand how the ServiceNow platform can improve the onboarding of new employees by speeding up the process with HR, Procurement, IT by making communication more effective and the process is made quicker with alerts and chat boxes.

I always wondered and never read too much into how ServiceNow could improve cybersecurity in organisations but all seems much clearer now. By using 1 platform to operate most of your business functions it is quicker to run checks and identify security breaches. They are also improving the way passwords are stored so not even government authorities will be able to gain access to passwords that you use for the system.

How does this improve the service I provide?

I believe attending the NowForum and gaining more knowledge of the ServiceNow platform and the future features to come will help improve the service I provide to both candidates and clients. Having this knowledge will enable me to speak more in depth about what candidates have implemented and would enable me to outline how relevant their experience is to you.

I also believe this demonstrates my commitment to learning more and broadening my network of ServiceNow professionals.

What did you learn?

There was a lot more discussed at the NowForum and many tracks that I was unable to attend so it would be great if all of you who attended any of the NowForum could share your experience and what you learned with me.

Look forward to hearing from you all and thank you for reading.

Tom Weeks

Momentum Consultancy Group

From Generalist to Specialist …. by Thomas Weeks

Introduction –

Learning about ServiceNow and the technologies used to build this platform has been an incredible and exciting journey. I find the more I know, the more I want to find out leading me on a never-ending journey of discovery.

Initially, I started to learn about ServiceNow prior to my interview here at Momentum Consultancy Group where I was asked to do a presentation on what ServiceNow is. The knowledge I had gained in the run up to providing this presentation was basic, I had learned what ServiceNow was and what it could deliver. Having only learned about the fundamentals of what ServiceNow is I was already inspired by this platform and wanted to know more. Once I was officially provided with an offer I was excited not only by the opportunity to work with Momentum Consultancy Group but also to work in the field of ServiceNow.

What is ServiceNow –

ServiceNow is a platform in which enables companies of any sector to help manage and automate business process more effectively.

This platform is also used more commonly in the field of IT Service Management (ITSM) and enables companies to provide IT services easier and more effective.

The platform is built up of various applications and plugins also known as modules and scoped applications. Central to the platform is a powerful database called the Configuration Management Database, all of which meet various needs of individuals businesses.

What makes ServiceNow so special –

It is truly a PaaS that can be used across the entire enterprise. I believe what makes ServiceNow special is the fact that due to its customisability it can be used for so many different business processes meaning you can manage everything through just the 1 platform. Although of course, ServiceNow can’t quite manage every business function in your organisation (yet), all other software vendors information can be stored and managed through ServiceNow which as a result saves time, money and human error.

This platform is all about making things easier, saving time and as a result saving money which it does very effectively.

This is done by automating the processes, so automatically gathering all information on the devices you are using, analysing data stored in the database, generating easy to read reports, automatically storing any items that have been configured and much more. The level of automation on this platform is truly phenomenal!

Let me give you an example.

If you are required to purchase some hardware for maybe a new employee. This can be tracked via the Procurement Application through to delivery. The moment you have recorded on the Procurement Application that the hardware has been ordered the application will automatically correspond with the Asset Management application and will record the cost of the hardware and will be included in any relevant finance reports in the future.

This is just 1 of the many things this platform can assist with.

How I plan to use this knowledge –

I plan to use this knowledge to provide and execute a specialised service to both clients and candidates.

With this knowledge, I will have a clear understanding of where clients are in their projects and what skills will be required to best suit their organisation’s needs. Also, when pre-qualifying candidates I will be able to gain relevant information giving the client a clear understanding of how relevant the candidate’s skills are to the role we would be trying to fill.

With this knowledge, I will clearly understand the candidates relevance to the role meaning the candidates time will not be wasted on being put forward for roles that are not relevant to their skills, as a result, saving them time. I also have a good scope for career paths in the ServiceNow industry so advice can be given and I can point them in the right direction on how to get where they want to be.

I am learning more and more about ServiceNow every day, keeping up with the latest news and I will be attending NowForum and other ServiceNow to further increase my knowledge on the product and the market. I am just at the start of what will be an exciting and knowledgeable journey which I am excited to embark upon.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I would like to hear about what your favourite part of ServiceNow is and tell me a little about your introductory journey in learning this platform.

Thomas Weeks

Recruitment Consultant

Momentum Consultancy Group

The Importance of Knowing WHY You are Implementing a CMDB

Implementing a CMDB without knowing why is like putting your life savings into the hands of an entrepreneur before they’ve told you their business plan. Defining and implementing a CMDB can be a long and expensive process & embarking on this journey without knowing “why?” will most certainly lead to failure. This article will outline the fundamentals of why a CMDB is important to your organisation but will more specifically determine the critical importance of having a resource that can understand your Why, or help you to articulate it.

Why is the CMDB Important?

The configuration management database, if implemented correctly can provide one database that gathers, manages and links information critical to every other major IT process. At the same time, a configuration item (CI) can be any IT component including software, hardware, documentation and personnel, there are millions of potential CI’s that could be included in the CMDB. It is therefore extremely important to understand why the business needs a CMDB in order to ensure that it is populated with good quality data that the business can rely on to improve processes.

CMDB Empowered Incident Management

If the focus of your CMDB is to empower your incident management process the business needs to ask itself a number of questions in order to avoid having an overpopulated CMDB that will inevitably increase incident times. CMDB’s often contain millions of CI’s that are not relevant to the critical needs of the business. The organisation, therefore, needs to establish what configuration items are critical to the business and why. This will enable you to build a CMDB that helps the team to respond to incidents in record time.

CMDB Empowered Change Management

The CMDB is very capable of empowering the change management process just as easily as it can cause unnecessary disruption to the business. The reason for this isn’t necessarily having good data vs bad data within the CMDB. Knowing the businesses wants it’s CMDB to focus on the change management process is a great start. This enables the business to understand that it needs to be able to grasp the properties and relationships between CI’s. The next questions that need to be asked are around what major changes occur in the business and which relationships should be mapped and why.

CMDB Empowered Risk Management

When considering how the CMDB could empower the risk management process the first thing that came to mind was: how do you decide what to put in the CMDB, surely everything is classed as a risk!? This confirmed two things to me; 1 – the CMDB should be very important in underpinning the risk management process and 2 – it is extremely important for the business to understand which processes are the most important and risk-averse in order to determine the data most needed to be discovered.

The Why Question

Many businesses will embark on implementing the CMDB because best practice says that they should. Suddenly you realise every department wants all kinds of data in for their own purposes. Sometimes the design process takes so long that the CMDB is out of date by the time it is implemented!

How do you solve this problem to ensure that you do not fall foul of these issues? Employ a specialist CMDB Implementation Consultant who can help the business to discover why they are implementing a CMDB and which business processes they are trying to empower. Can the CMDB truly underpin the entire enterprise? Yes, it can, but it is critical to understand what is most important to the business and why or you will undoubtedly end up with a CMDB that is overpopulated with bad quality data that hinders multiple processes instead of empowering them.

Momentum Consultancy Group understands the complex and important journey involved with implementing a CMDB. We also understand that employing the right resources are pivotal to the success of the project. If you are embarking on this journey and want to talk about employing a CMDB Consultant please contact us via LinkedIn, Email: sarah.weeks@momentumconsultancygroup.co.uk or call: 07880496714

ServiceNow Skills Shortage… What Is The Answer?

I am currently recruiting over 30 Senior Technical Consultant roles, with an ever-increasing number of ServiceNow partners and hundreds of Consultants working for these businesses the roles should be easy to fill, right? WRONG!

The number one reason most candidates give for leaving one consultancy to join another is that they want home working which is currently something no ServiceNow partner can guarantee as travel to client site is mandatory. Also, when a Senior Consultant moves from one partner to another it creates the same vacancy with a different company. There is clearly a large skills shortage in the UK, the question is how do we solve it?

Lots of ServiceNow partners, customers and ServiceNow themselves do a great job of bringing in Junior Consultants and training them but this does not satisfy the immediate need for good Senior Consultants who can work with clients from day one and mentor the new junior members of the team.

There is a huge pool of experienced candidates globally that could be used if ServiceNow partners and their clients became more open to the idea of remote working. ServiceNow is a cloud based platform that is easily accessible by mobile, tablet and computer – yet the whole team that implements the solution needs to be based on client site?

It is clear that some team members need to be able to work on client site to regularly meet and collaborate with the customer to ensure that the solution is being built to accommodate ever changing needs and quickly/efficiently overcome any issues. However; it could also be beneficial to recruit a team of experienced remote workers based in one or two locations globally to take technical specifications and help develop the solution. Each project could have a small number of highly experienced remote workers supporting the onsite team.

The benefits of this approach far extend past solving the skills shortage problem. The overheads for remote workers are often much less than having additional resource based in an office in the UK. This will enable partners that adopt this method to be more competitive in their pricing and increase profit margins.

So how do you recruit remote workers and ensure that the quality of work will be the same as the UK based Technical Consultants? The same way we do in the UK! Skype/WebEx interviews provide a great way to interview without having to meet face to face.

Will the time difference be an issue? Remote workers will need to overlap working times with the team in the UK but not all day – if there is enough of an overlap to schedule any meetings needed, time differences will not make the team less effective. Choose remote working locations that allow this.

Although remote workers will not solve all talent problems, it is something that needs to be considered in an industry that is growing quicker than Consultants can be trained.

If you would like to explore the possibility of recruiting a remote workforce please get in touch via LinkedIn, Email: sarah.weeks@momentumconsultancygroup.co.uk or Phone: 07880496714

So, You’ve Decided to Become a Contractor – Now What?

Having worked in many areas of recruitment, in my experience, ServiceNow is the area that has seen the most permanent Consultants become contractors to seek more lucrative rates. For those thinking about taking the leap into contracting I have created this comprehensive guide to make the transition a litter easier.

1. Do you have enough experience?

Before you take the leap of faith and resign for greener pastures, research contract roles in your area of experience.

· Does your experience match that being described in adverts?

· How many opportunities are out there?

· Do you know contractors? Ask their opinion!

· Talk to a recruiter for advice – find an industry expert who recruits contract roles and get their honest opinion. (Me!)

2. What comes first, the contract or the resignation?

Companies usually require contractors because they need a highly skilled resource in a shorter time than it would take to employ a permanent employee. Therefore, notice periods can have a negative impact on applications for contract roles:

· If you have a 4 week notice and are prepared to start immediately after leaving your permanent job it is possible to find your first contract before handing in your resignation.

· If your notice period is longer than 4 weeks, you may find that you need to hand in your resignation before finding a contract – if you have completed step one, you should be confident that you will be able to find a role.

3. Being Self Employed

So, you’ve handed in your notice and are now on the journey to becoming a contractor which in turn means becoming self-employed and looking after your own tax etc. There are a few options to consider, I will list all the options with the advantages, disadvantages and my recommendations:

· Umbrella Company: An umbrella company will act as an intermediary between yourself and the client that you are working for (whether that is the agency or the company you are on site with – I will get to that later) they will manage all of the administration that comes with being self-employed such as: payroll, tax and invoice administration. They will deduct tax and national insurance and pay you the rest. This is a good option if you would like to dip your toe into the contracting world and decide whether it is for you without having to register as self-employed or set up your own company.

o Advantages:

§ Time saving

o Disadvantages

§ Longer wait for payment

§ Pay tax as PAYE rather than business owner which will cost more

§ No direct relationship with the employer with regards to invoicing and pay

§ Pay a fee to the umbrella company

· Sole Trader: Registering yourself as a self-employed individual, you will have a contract direct with any employer or agency depending on how you secure your contract and will invoice every month for your fees. Tax is paid at the end of every tax year in one payment.

o Advantages

§ Keep all profits

§ Start up costs are low

§ Easy to wind up the business if you want to become a permanent employee again

o Disadvantages

§ You have liability for all business debts

§ No distinction between private and business assets

§ You Are responsible for all day to day business decisions

§ You are taxed as a single person

· Limited Company – Registering a new company with yourself as the Director and employee of the business. Contracts will be between your Limited Company and the employer or agency depending on how you secure your contract. I would recommend this to be the best option.

o Advantages:

§ Tax advantages – only taxed on profits (usually at a rate of 21%) and therefore not subject to the higher rate of tax

§ Keep ownership and control over how the business is run

§ You have the ability to grow into a business in the future with more employees if you wish

§ Low set up costs

o Disadvantages

§ More complex accounts

4. Setting up a Limited Company

Should you wish to go down the limited company route there are several steps that you need to undertake:

4.1 Find an Accountant

· Choosing the right Accountant will be one of the most important decisions you will make. They can make running a limited company effortless and help you maximise tax savings.

· All accountancy firms provide a free consultation, book an appointment with at least 3 local Accountants, ask lots of questions, get a full list of fees and choose the firm you feel will provide the best service.

4.2 Choose a Company Name

· You need to choose a company name which you will register with Companies House. You can go for something simple and use your initials. If you think you may want to operate as a bigger business in the future and have employees you will need to choose a more considered company name, something that reflects the industry that you work in.

· You cannot register a company name that has already been registered with Companies House. You can check if the name you have chosen is registered here: http://wck2.companieshouse.gov.uk//wcframe?name=accessCompanyInfo

4.3 Register Your Company, Employer and VAT Registration

· Once you have chosen a name and checked that it is not already registered you need to register your company with Companies House, register as an employer and if you will earn more than £83,000 you will also need to register to pay VAT.

· You can ask your Accountant to do this (a fee will be charged), there are online companies that will set the company up for you (for a lower fee) or you can register the company yourself for £12 here: https://ewf.companieshouse.gov.uk/runpage?page=welcome

· If you chose to register yourself, once you have the certificate of incorporation you need to register the company as an employer here: https://www.gov.uk/register-employer

· Register for VAT here: https://www.gov.uk/vat-registration/overview

· If in any doubt, ask your Accountant for help and advice.

5. Set Up a Bank Account

Once you have registered your company you will need to set up a bank account in the company name. This will be the account all invoices generated from contracts will be paid into.

· Think about where you will work, if you want to take contracts internationally, find an account that provides favourable rates when having multiple currencies being paid in.

6. Insurance

You will need to invest in the following insurance products:

· Public Liability Insurance – to protect you in case of accidental damage to a clients property

· Professional Indemnity Insurance – an important cover for businesses that give advice or provide a professional service to clients. It can pay for compensation claims and legal fees that may arise if a client suffers a financial or professional loss due to negligence in your work

7. You’re Ready to Take a Contract

The above steps may seem daunting and time consuming but you can have everything set up within a week.

· If you haven’t secured a contract yet, start applying. You may wish to be less selective with your first contract and offer a slightly lower rate to guarantee that you secure work before the end of your notice period.

8. The Contract

Once you secure a Contract role you will receive a Contract for services from your client. Of course, you should read the whole contract but there are several points you need to take note of particularly

· If you are working direct with the client the contract will be between your limited company and the client. If you secure your role through an agency, the contract will be between your limited company and the agency. The agency will have a separate contract between themselves and the client you will be working for.

· If the contract is through an agency make sure you opt out of agency regulations – opting into these will result in you being treated the same as a permanent employee after 13 weeks in respect to salary, holiday pay and pensions.

· Check the first page of the contract to ensure the limited company details are correct

· Check the schedule:

o To determine what payment terms are being proposed

§ Payment terms determine the period you have to wait between sending an invoice and being paid – sometimes this can be negotiated.

o The start and end date

o The rate

· Check the notice period

o Each client will have different notice periods that you must give to leave the contract and the client must give you to terminate the contract – again sometimes this may be negotiated

· If you do not know the meaning of a term, call the client/agency and ask!

CONGRATULATIONS!! You have successfully made the transition from a permanent employee to a contractor.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch via LinkedIn, email: sarah.weeks@momentumconsultancygroup.co.uk or call: 07880496714

Welcome to the ServiceNow Industry Recruitment Revolution!

Firstly, I would like to thank all my connections for the overwhelmingly positive response I have had to launching Momentum Consultancy Group. I would now like to introduce my business and how I may be able to help you if you need me.

Momentum Consultancy Group is a recruitment business that specialises solely in the ServiceNow industry, founded by myself. I have been recruiting exclusively in the ServiceNow industry for 2 years, during this time I have worked for an agency representing multiple companies and internally for a ServiceNow consultancy, having been headhunted due to my knowledge in the industry.

As a recruiter, I wanted to become a genuine specialist in the industry by gaining an in-depth knowledge of the platform. I achieved this through researching ServiceNow and its capabilities, attending ServiceNow specific and ITSM events such as NowForum, AccelerateNow, ExperienceNow and BCS events. I also started JavaScript for beginners to get an idea of the programming language and how it worked.

My values as a recruiter are honesty, reliability, transparency and flexibility and this is at the core of Momentum Consultancy Group.

To clients I offer an in-depth knowledge of the ServiceNow platform and the implementation lifecycle. I will take the time to understand your business and requirements and will only refer candidates that are suitable for the role you are recruiting and will fit in with the team and company philosophy.

To candidates, my in depth and practical knowledge of ServiceNow enables me to understand your skillset, there is no need to explain that you are a Business Analyst and not a Developer!

Momentum Consultancy Group regard both client and candidate with equal importance, my aim is to help you achieve your career objectives. I have always prided myself on only working with companies that can provide a working environment that is stable, enjoyable and promotes creativity – this will be at the core of my business.

Finally, I am not a recruiter that likes to constantly message clients and candidates, I am here to provide a service should you need to use it. If you would like to contact me please see my website: www.momentumconsultancygroup.co.uk, email: sarah.weeks@momentumconsultancygroup.co.uk or call: 07880 496714

Welcome to the ServiceNow industry recruitment revolution!