Which ServiceNow Implementation Partner is Best for You?

By Gregg Spivack

Director of Client Services, NPI

March 31, 2017

Interested in learning more about NPI’s services?

Contact Us

Artwork Courtesy of iStock.com/502181270

I recently wrote a blog post on how to get a quick ROI on your ServiceNow purchase. Part of that is narrowing the time to value, and that starts with employing the right implementation strategy and partner. In this post, I’d like to focus on the latter.

Using an experienced implementation vendor is a must. Selecting ServiceNow as your Enterprise Service Management platform was a big decision, and the initial implementation is critical to building user confidence across your organization.

So what are your options? They fall into two buckets – ServiceNow Professional Services or a vendor partner. How do you know which one is the right fit for your implementation? Let’s take a look at both options.

OPTION #1: ServiceNow Professional Services (PS)
ServiceNow PS is the gold standard of implementations. They are the ultimate ServiceNow product authority, often leveraging resources that have been involved with new product releases and features since their development stage.

Option 1 Benefits
ServiceNow PS employs a QuickStart, Agile-oriented methodology focused on time-to-value and knowledge transfer for the customer. Simply put, the concept focuses on short development sprints comprised of a few weeks rather than months, and embraces a “we do, we do together, then you do” model to ensure that the customer can support their ServiceNow environment post-implementation.

Who’s Option 1 good for?
First-time, basic implementation of Service Management Suite functionality such as Incident-Problem-Change, Knowledge Base build out and migration, Service Catalog build out, and Asset Management.

Option 1 Drawbacks
Because ServiceNow PS resources are the ultimate authority and scarce in availability, they will be highly priced. ServiceNow PS staff is limited, so they tend to focus on core functionality versus projects that require a high degree of customization, ServiceNow niche product implementation, or specific industry or product use cases. Because of this, ServiceNow PS availability can also be limited based on the timing of your implementation.

OPTION #2: Vendor Partners
More so than many software companies, ServiceNow runs a tight implementation vendor ecosystem that promotes deep knowledge sharing and training. ServiceNow is very transparent about recommending when a vendor partner may be the best approach depending on the customer’s timing and goals, especially if cost is a large consideration. There are four types of partners in the ServiceNow ecosystem:

  • Generalists: These partners handle the basics (Incident-Problem-Change, Knowledge Base and Service Catalog build out, Asset Management), extension of ServiceNow out in the field, have a lot of implementation experience, and bill at a lower cost. Generalists typically have resell capability as well.
  • Global System Integrators (GSIs): These are typically integrators that have large ServiceNow practices as well as business area domain knowledge. They are heavily invested in ServiceNow globally, involved in customizing certain modules and have deep business process expertise. What they lack in volume, they make up for in depth. As such, they come at a significantly higher cost than a generalist. GSIs will have resell capability and often resell a customer version of ServiceNow to their customers.
  • ServiceNow Product Specialists: These partners tend to focus on a specific ServiceNow product niche such as ITOM, PPM, GRC, etc. They may also have experience integrating these ServiceNow products with other related products in that space such as Splunk for ITOM orMS Project for PPM, for example.
  • ServiceNow Application Builders: Some partners have developed a custom ServiceNow application to address use cases specific to a business function or industry. Examples are HR onboarding and case management solutions, healthcare device asset management applications, and time-reporting solutions.
  • Option 2 Benefits
    ServiceNow’s implementation partners typically adopt a similar QuickStart, Agile-oriented methodology and provide their services at a fraction of the cost of ServiceNow PS. Bonus: They often have more all-around implementation experience than ServiceNow PS. In other situations, a partner is highly recommended for niche-oriented projects that ServiceNow PS will not have the bandwidth or experience to handle.

    Who’s Option 2 good for?
    First time, basic implementation of Service Management Suite functionality as well as niche product implementations.

    Option 2 Drawbacks
    The evaluation process can be a little cumbersome especially if you are comparing a GSI against a smaller Generalist or niche partner. Resource availability can be an issue for smaller and niche partners. There is also more of a quality risk when going with a non-ServiceNow entity simply because they are not ServiceNow.