Bretlan continues, “That just wasn’t possible before. We had some very large and mature platforms, but they weren’t nimble enough to take on these types of workflows.”
ICE develops more than 20 custom ServiceNow apps, slashing the development effort needed to consolidate and replace costly tools and applications
Starting with a single ServiceNow developer, ICE began to build custom business apps on ServiceNow App Engine. Initial results turned into growing momentum with the ServiceNow app development team gaining a reputation for successfully taking on increasingly complex business process automation initiatives. James McGrogan, Director of ServiceNow app development at ICE, explains, “ServiceNow gives us a lot for free: workflows, organizational structures, service portal, forms, reporting, disaster recovery, and so on. That means we can focus on core functionality rather than having to build all the application scaffolding and platform capabilities by ourselves. That saves us at least 50% on development effort, and because we’ve got a consistent platform framework, we also get a lot of reuse.” “That makes it easy to consolidate and retire applications built on legacy tools—for example, Lotus Notes—so we can modernize and save costs. In fact, since we started out, we’ve built more than 20 custom ServiceNow apps and our team is still fewer than 10 people—including QA,” says James.
ServiceNow automates order fulfillment and allows ICE to eliminate multiple legacy applications, lower risk, and create customer visibility for its sales team
Many of these custom apps support mission-critical ICE business processes. One example is ICE’s Data Order app, which lies at the heart of ICE’s Data Services business. ICE Data Services provides a wide range of data distribution services, connectivity, and content to ICE customers, ranging from exchange connectivity to security prices, valuations for illiquid securities, and third-party content services. The Data Order app orchestrates fulfillment of these services, both from a business and technical perspective. “We use ServiceNow as the central hub for our data services. It takes in orders from our front-end CRM system and drives end-to-end fulfillment workflows. That starts with entitlements—checking whether a customer has all the necessary contracts in place. For example, if we’re providing access to third-party content, does the customer have appropriate contracts with the content vendor,” says Bretlan. “Then we use ServiceNow to orchestrate the actual technical fulfillment process. This includes ordering circuits to connect to the customer’s premises and configuring our own backend systems, which ties into our core IT processes on ServiceNow. Once the service is up and running, ServiceNow provides reporting and notifications to support billing and financial forecasting.” ServiceNow doesn’t just drive data order fulfillment—it’s ICE’s system of record for data services. ServiceNow has a comprehensive catalog of all the data services that ICE offers, along with a record of the services each customer has purchased. According to Bretlan, “By keeping our data services information in one place, we’re able to instantly answer questions. For instance, we use ServiceNow to generate reports for our regulators and our salespeople also use ServiceNow to see which services each customer has so they can focus their sales efforts.” James also stresses the benefits for IT. “Prior to ServiceNow, ICE Data Services managed orders using five systems. With ServiceNow, we’ve been able to retire those five systems, which reduces our cost of ownership and eliminates support headaches. We’ve now got a robust, enterprise-grade solution, which lowers risk for IT and for the business. And we did all of this with a single development resource.”
ICE now sees ServiceNow as one of its key IT and business platforms, delivering out-of-the-box value that ICE can easily extend with custom apps
Looking forward, ICE continues to focus on the platform benefits of ServiceNow. The company is planning on rolling out several new out-of-the-box ServiceNow apps, and it continues to grow and support its custom apps. According to Bretlan, “ServiceNow gives us the best of both worlds—apps we can use out of the box and a platform to easily build custom apps with ServiceNow App Engine to solve our unique business problems. That’s a key reason why ServiceNow is one of our core IT platforms.”