Julian Hodges,

Director of Technology

July 28, 2023

ServiceNow Service Bridge is a game changer for technology (TPSM) and communications service providers (TSM)

Due to recent interest and demand from our clients, we at Sneeyeg have lately been deep diving into ServiceNow’s Service Bridge module. It's a recent addition to the ServiceNow portfolio and we love it. So much so, we decided to write up a few notes to let you know our thoughts and maybe inspire you to check it out yourselves.

With Service Bridge, you can multiply the value of your ServiceNow Technology Provider Service Management (TPSM) or Telecommunications Service Management (TSM) investment by extending your data and business processes right across your partner and customer ServiceNow ecosystem. What and how? Let’s take a look at some specifics from a typical customer lifecycle.

First of all, Service Bridge is an incredibly easy and powerful way to enable your customers to buy from you. Simply publish your product and service catalogue(s) to them and they can order (using ServiceNow’s built-in portals) or request changes to what they bought previously, free of the process and time to market overheads typically seen with siloed or expensively integrated eCommerce systems. Moreover, the full power of ServiceNow’s sophisticated product and service modelling is implicitly and organically brought to bear - no more “oh, sorry, that kind of bundling isn’t supported in self-service, please speak to your sales rep…”. Each corporate customer gets a ‘Personalised’ solution because the catalogue(s) you publish to them are deliberate and context-aware (e.g. their installed base). Barriers to buying are kicked over, time to revenue is accelerated, costs of sale are minimised and the customer gets exactly what they want, when they want it, driving repeat business and net promoter score.

Coming back to changes, it's not just selling that’s important. Service Bridge allows customers to request non-commercial changes too - for example, they want to reconfigure admin access permissions on a virtual router that you sold them. When they do that, it's instantly reflected into your ServiceNow instance and any notifications, fulfilment processes and so on are immediately executed. Customers are kept informed in real-time through the change process and once it's done, the new customer configuration is straight away reflected in their (and your) local CMDB. Now when they want to buy a memory pack upgrade for that router, the right people on the customer side are informed, with the right information, to make a timely technical approval and let you close that business fast.

Mismatches in CMDB details, vis-a-vis operational systems, are traditionally an ever-present headache for technology and communications service providers alike. ServiceNow lets you solve that internally - and now with ServiceBridge, you can solve it for your connected customers and partners as well. Change management also works both ways. For example, suppose your customer bought a switch that is not working properly so you send out a replacement. The serial number and other details are updated, not just in your CMDB, but also in your customer’s. This way, if they subsequently raise an issue they implicitly give you all the correct information pertaining to their new hardware. Without that, time would inevitably be wasted discovering the correct information and, at worst, incorrect resolutions attempted, wrong processes followed, the warranty disputed etc…

The challenge of CMDB alignment is also not just one of integration - latency is critical, especially in rapidly changing dynamic environments. Being right this afternoon is not being right at all. Service Bridge is not just another integration for your IT staff to have headaches over, it's a part of the ServiceNow infrastructure fabric that is continuously monitored, supported, maintained and improved - by ServiceNow. The scalable, reliable, real-time bi-directional updates mean that CMDB latency, whether BAU or temporary, is not an issue.

Moving on, and thinking back to that exchanged switch, what happens if something goes wrong or your customer is stuck and has an inquiry? With Service Bridge, you can drive loyalty and satisfaction as well as operational efficiencies through faster and better resolution of any issues they report. Their and your updates stay automatically in real-time lockstep so there are no unnecessary costs of phone calls or processing emails. Equally importantly, since latency and redundancy are banished, there is no more missing the point, responding to obsolete information, chasing parallel threads relating to the same problem etc… It's like your and customer’s service desks are part of the same team. Meanwhile, Service Bridge’s built-in differentiation and mapping ensures that your customers are kept reliably and accurately informed but not exposed to noise or unduly sensitive information.

Right at the beginning, we mentioned that Service Bridge works across your whole ecosystem - so not just customers but your partners also. This is especially valuable for communications service and technology providers that typically sell hardware (e.g. routers and switches), software (e.g. business applications and virtual call centres), network services (e.g. last mile access), professional services (and more besides) that are provided by, or depend upon, your partners. Since ServiceNow is the global leader in service management systems, many of those partners will also be using it extensively. With Service Bridge, you can leverage their investment as much as yours.

But that’s a story for next week’s post - keep an eye out for it. We’ll look at the partner lifecycle and the force-multiplier effect of putting the whole thing (you, your customers, your partners) together in an automated end to end ecosystem.

What can TPSM, TSM and Service Bridge do for you? Are you considering upgrading from CSM? Has this piqued your interest and you want to know more about the potential benefits? Need help creating a business case? Or if you want a general discussion about the application of ServiceNow technologies to telecommunications or technology provider businesses - ping us on the contact page.

Get in Touch