Our top 6 EU hackathon innovations

5 mins
Colleague Pim in company hoody, headphones on, working behind his laptop

In October, we held our second ServiceNow hackathon this year. A 3-day event at an external location where we hack on the ServiceNow platform for customers and ourselves with only one goal: innovate! Since we developed some cool stuff (yet again!), we didn’t want to keep the innovations to ourselves 😉 So here is our top 6 ServiceNow hackathon innovations:

ServiceNow Virtual Agent - WhatsApp integration

Everything you’d normally do in a ServiceNow service portal, you can now do via WhatsApp! Request a holiday, write time, log an IT incident, etc. In a previous hackathon, we already built a feature that could read expense receipts, so if you now send your receipt via WhatsApp, it will be automatically converted into a reimbursement request using OCR (Optical Character Recognition), you check and confirm, and you’re done! Also, logging IT incidents like this is super convenient when you’re remote and your computer breaks down which means you cannot access the service portal via desktop.

Since everybody uses WhatsApp, this mobile service solution is fast, easy and secure. Messaging is encrypted and it is connected to your telephone number, which is unique. And the best thing is: what goes for employees also applies to fulfillers! They can also approve requests via WhatsApp, either push-based where you receive an approval notification or per request by messaging which open approvals are left.

PS: Yes, this integration has already been built by ServiceNow but their solution requires a Twilio account. Our integration doesn’t 😉

Visualizing flow through creative coding

Together with the artists from Creative Coding Utrecht, we visualized flow through code to be able to monitor how well work flows at our customers. How we did that? Earlier research into flow yielded us 6 KPIs that create flow in work: Intuitive-Instant-Integrated-Informed-Intelligent-Improved. The six I’s as we like to call them 😉

We took ITSM as a use case. We started filling in the parameters of each KPI, e.g. for Intuitive we determined that having a service portal Yes/No or Agent Workspace Yes/No would definitely influence flow. Then, we applied the KPIs to a customer, turned that data set into code and voila, you have a visualization!

Not a random visualization of course. As a basis, we chose red marbles with lines that interconnect them. These red marbles move along the lines. The speed of the marbles, roundness, its path, etc., it all has meaning:

Flow KPI Visualization Variable
Intuitive Track attractiveness
Instant Marble Speed
Integrated Marble path
Informed Marble roundness
Intelligent Number of marbles
Improving Marble goes up
User Type Marble color

And then this is what the visualization of flow looks like:


ServiceNow EAM combined with FSM for hospital asset management

With managing a hospital comes managing a lot of equipment. We researched the possibility of combining ServiceNow Enterprise Asset Management with Field Service Management to manage all hospital equipment—from heart monitors to beds and x-ray devices.

We took the use case of a broken wheel on a hospital bed. By attaching a real-time Bluetooth location tag with QR code to all beds—so you always know where to find it—the nurse can easily scan the tag of the bed with the broken wheel. She reports the damage, includes a picture, and submits a maintenance request.

The external maintenance partner gets a notification of the malfunction. They send a field service engineer. The engineer registers how he has fixed the bed. Once the bed has been fixed, the nurse, the department, etc. are notified that the bed has been repaired.

Bluetooth location tag with QR code
Bluetooth location tag with QR code for hospital beds

Enhanced Architecture competence to maintain high-quality implementations

Since we want to keep our ServiceNow implementation quality one of the highest in the market, we keep on reviewing and improving our ways of work.

Therefore, we’ve improved our reporting capabilities to provide more insights in project status and identified areas where some extra architecture love is needed to make our project teams even more successful. Adding and improving tools we offer to our Technical Consultants for example, helps them to easier detect deviations from the best practices, thus increasing their first-time right rate during implementations.

Now Mobile app for Plat4mation incl. Fleet Management

With mobile experiences becoming quick the standard, we couldn’t stay behind. That’s why we implemented the Now Mobile app in our own company to improve the employee experience.

Though we started out with some reservations about Now Mobile because of its reputation for being difficult to configure, we actually managed to configure all we wanted.

Now, our employees can easily request holidays, get help from IT, and write their time via the mobile app. We’ve even integrated our Schedule4U app, which means they can also see and manage their work tasks from the app. To top it off, we’ve incorporated Fleet Management in the app to make it easier for employees to arrange things around lease cars, etc. they can check which car belongs to which lease company including all contact details in case of an accident, or get push notifications when it’s time to replace the winter/summer tires.

Enhanced back to out-of-the-box offering

With more and more customers deciding to go completely back to out-of-the-box (OOTB)—where we replace an over-customized and underperforming ServiceNow instance with an OOTB instance—and our growing company, it was high time to kick up a notch on our offering materials. We drafted a Communication Plan for the new instance roll-out, improved the information supply of this offering towards the organization and more.

Flow '24 CTA