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ServiceNow Releases Free Emergency Response Apps in Response to COVID-19

ServiceNow has released four free emergency response apps to help customers with crisis management in the wake of COVID-19, including emergence response operations, employee outreach, self-reporting, and exposure management. The community apps are designed to help both public- and private-sector customers manage complex emergency response workflows and are free to access at servicenow.com/crisisresponse through September 30, 2020.

The four new apps are:

  • Emergency Response Operations: The Washington State Department of Health created this app on the Now Platform to manage its own response and has since partnered with ServiceNow to make it available to other government agencies. The app facilitates resource allocation for responding to emergencies, with automated resource assignment and activation.
  • Emergency Outreach: This workflow enables employers to quickly communicate with employees (via email or mobile phone push notifications) during emergency situations and monitor updates on their status to confirm safety and location.
  • Emergency Self Report: This workflow enables employees to notify their employer of their health status and readiness to return to work, managers to respond and reassign work to other team members, and response teams to analyze the data.
  • Emergency Exposure Management: If there has been potential exposure to COVID-19 or other viruses, this app can analyze the meetings and locations of affected employees to help identify and contact other potentially exposed employees.

Source: Emergency Response Operations App from ServiceNow

ServiceNow has also provided a suggestions portal for customers to provide ideas for new apps or features and has committed to maintaining virtually 100% uptime for ServiceNow instances.

Our Take

In the midst of a crisis such as COVID-19, emergency response teams will need to immediately act to ensure the safety of their employees, communicate the organization’s response, and rapidly enact a business continuity plan. When time and quality of the response plan are of the essence, IT teams should avoid cumbersome or manual processes wherever possible.

Unfortunately, many were not prepared for a situation like this with automated crisis management processes, templates, and workflows, and configuring these workflows can be time consuming in tools such as ServiceNow that are difficult to customize. The prebuilt apps that ServiceNow has released to its community will therefore be useful for many organizations – particularly government agencies – needing to rapidly deploy emergency response plans. The collaboration with the Washington State Department of Health is also a great example of community collaboration in the face of a global pandemic.

Hopefully other major vendors will follow suit with prebuilt apps and workflows to assist organizations who are rapidly responding to the unforeseen challenges brought on by COVID-19. In the meantime, all organizations should prioritize a pandemic response plan to keep their employees safe and reduce disruption to the business as much as possible. Info-Tech’s COVID-19 Resource Center can help.

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