Yannis Daubin, Senior VP, General Manager EMEA, of ServiceNow: “Digital transformation has accelerated significantly in France”

French companies have taken the measure of the changes necessary in the face of crisis situations. Working methods have evolved considerably. And employees show an appetite for new digital tools. Explanations from Yannis Daubin, Senior VP, General Manager EMEA, of ServiceNow

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In your opinion, what characterizes the evolution of information systems in this very turbulent period?

Digital transformation has accelerated sharply in France, as in many European countries. A real awareness has arisen in companies. Many have validated the fact that IT has a real impact on the ‘business’. From one day to the next, the confinement had to be managed, while some teleworking workstations were not securely connected and certain essential applications were not operational.

There was a recognition of the need to transform quickly and gain agility within services. Since February 2020, we have seen an acceleration with an impact on working methods. We have seen a new appetite among employees for digital tools, which allow them to work more easily and with added value. They need access to IT services that are easily consumable. So, we are seeing profound changes linked to the high penetration of mobiles and mobile applications among the population. Everything accelerated. Everyone, as a citizen and user, has access to multiple services and applications to monitor their bank account, for their travels, for their health, for information, etc.

Most organizations found themselves up against a wall: they had no choice; they had to adapt without delay.

Does France occupy a special place in relation to its neighbours?

France has always had a special relationship with technology, a slightly different approach to that of the Anglo-Saxon world. The French like to instruct the debates in depth, to get to the bottom of things before moving forward; while the Anglo-Saxons first think of moving forward without delay – even if it means correcting or starting all over again if there is a problem. It is a difference of culture, of education.

France should not be offended by this, because the country has shown a real awareness of digital advances and the measures to be applied in terms of IS and organization.

Some observers, however, argue that we are, here or there in France, a time behind. Your opinion ?

Yes, there were sometimes delays in certain quarters. For example, when telework had to be generalized, some upgrading investments were delayed. Similarly, for customer services, due to confinement, decisions had to be made very quickly. And during the gradual return of personnel to companies, it took some time to reorganize the organization of tasks, review the flow of activity.

What was your contribution in this context?

Our contribution essentially focused on two areas. First of all at the time of the Covid crisis, the priority was to continue the activities; and for that, it was necessary to maintain access to all the tools no matter what. For example, customer service had to continue to operate as before, with the same quality of work, even if employees were teleworking.

Next, our priority was to help modernize our clients’ information systems, by making their employees’ working methods more efficient. The implementation of hybrid work – on site and remote working – required adaptations and, often, the deployment of new applications.

Clearly, digital transformation remains an ongoing project.

How does your platform contribute to these transformations and adaptations?

Our “Now platform” enables faster change by transforming and automating workflows. In France, for example, the Accor group has improved the management of franchise establishments. We should also mention the host OVHcloud, which has been able to optimize its relationship with companies.

All organizations need gateways to connect their ‘business’ developments – to open new markets, adapt their business model, better meet customer expectations, etc. – and the mobilization of their resources in a simpler, more efficient way. Because information systems often remain complex, divided into silos, difficult to integrate. Our proposal is to recreate links, to build bridges between IT universes and heterogeneous professions. We must bring the various departments concerned around the table and work on a common data repository.

What are the main target applications you are currently contributing to?

Originally, ServiceNow was a specialist in IT resource management (ITSM), then its horizon widened to risk management, then to ESG monitoring (Environment, social, governance), but also to HR recruitment processes. (‘onboarding’) including everything, up to the recycling of the equipment made available.

All this set of applications, easily accessible in SaaS mode via the Internet, is supported by a single, unifying platform, around a unified data repository.

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Yannis Daubin spent 15 years in large technology companies. He began his sales career at Dell in 2007 before joining Oracle as Sales Team Leader in 2008. He joined Salesforce France in 2012 where he was “Area Vice President Sales”, commercial director “General Business & Mid Market”. He led a team of more than 150 people there. He also led the EMEA board for retail and was responsible for the media, healthcare, life sciences, retail and consumer packaged goods (CPG) markets.

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ServiceNow, leader in “workflows”

ServiceNow is a leader in digital workflows. With its cloud-based solutions, the company delivers digital workflows that “create great experiences and unlock employee and business productivity.” This publisher claims 70 million daily users of its platform.

In March, the new version of Now Platform dubbed San Diego was announced. It integrates new features of Robotic Process Automation (RPA). The goal is to “create more efficient, faster and more efficient work systems”, and to “uncover the real potential of hyper-automation within organizations”. The new version includes Next Experience, an improved navigation interface (new iconography, typography) which facilitates access to all major projects. It unites all apps into a single “experience”, showcasing “favorites” and history.

Last May, ServiceNow introduced three new solutions: 1. Service Operations Workspace manages, within a service ‘Desk’, the activities, the collaboration, while bringing an overview of the problems. 2. App Engine Management is a centralized low-code governance solution for app development. 3. Public Sector Digital Services provides administrations with the basis to offer quality digital experiences remotely to their constituents, from request to resolution.

In June, ServiceNow announced the acquisition of Hitch, an artificial intelligence-based skills intelligence and mapping company.

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