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ServiceNow Quebec: what's new?

The ServiceNow Quebec release, released in March 2021, brings a lot of new features when it comes to IT Asset Management (ITAM). The ITAM product line now contains of three products: Software Asset Management (SAM Professional & SAM Enterprise), Hardware Asset Management & Cloud Insights.

What's new in the ServiceNow Quebec release ...

Introduction

Over 10 new features were released in Quebec within Software Asset Management. With the Quebec release, the formally known SAM Pro module is now splitted into two license types, SAM Professional and SAM Enterprise. Cloud Insights is only offered via the Enterprise agreement. 

Hardware Asset Management was initially released in ServiceNow Paris. In the Softline Solutions‘ Paris release blog of October 2020, we have discussed the features that were introduced with this initial release. Back then, Hardware Asset Management contained four new features. But now – half a year later – ServiceNow includes 9 new features and/or improvements in the Quebec release.

Cloud Insights is a new product in the ITAM product line. However, it is not a brand new product, since it was already part of the ITOM product line for a couple of years. Cloud Insights can be used to integrate with Cloud solutions like AWS and Microsoft Azure. It can be used to discover inventory in those environments, but it can also retrieve Billing and Usage data. From that perspective it makes sense that this product has been moved from ITOM to ITAM.

Software Asset Management

Red Hat publisher pack
With Software Asset Management for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, your company can track and optimise license positions for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) products. A new license metric will be introduced to accomplish this.

This metric is based on the number of socket-pairs or virtual machine (VM) pairs on a physical host. Depending on the environment in which you deploy a server, RHEL uses three different licensing models: physical, virtual (low and high density) and hybrid.

Machine learning
Opt in for machine learning normalisation to improve the default normalisation for discovered software. This feature ensures that new patched versions of products will be fully normalised automatically, without going through the Content Library team.

The full version usually contains some digits that identify the current patch level and – although this is interesting from a security perspective – this is not relevant for SAM. Machine learning will make sure that you do not have to worry about those digits anymore and fully normalises the software automatically.

The prediction values currently supported by machine learning are version, full version, and edition.

Bring Your Own License (BYOL)
The third feature we would like to highlight is the new BYOL feature where your company uses existing on-premises licenses on AWS and Azure.

The initial release of this feature supports BYOL for Microsoft Windows Server and SQL Server. ServiceNow can automatically discover software licenses across on-premise and cloud environments such as AWS and Azure. It also provides advanced support for optimisation through Cloud Special Rights, such as dual use rights, edition flexibility and unlimited virtualisation.

ServiceNow SAM automatically reconciles all these rules and the results can be viewed in the License Workbench. As part of this new feature a new Reclamation Rule was introduced to remove unlicensed installations from the Cloud.

Hardware Asset Management

In this part we will briefly discuss 7 new Hardware Asset Management (HAM) features that were introduced with the ServiceNow Quebec release:

  • Refresh and replace aged hardware assets – creates a procurement task to replace aged hardware;
  • Request loaner assets – this feature introduces workflows that support the preparation, deploy and return of loaner assets;
  • Track leased assets – send a notification about leased assets that are nearing the end of contract. There are options to extend the contract, return or buy the asset;
  • Bundle/group assets – with this new feature it is possible to group multiple assets into a single entity. This allows your company to track, reserve, or deploy a group of assets as a single entity;
  • Source requests from a local stockroom – assign an asset directly from a local stockroom. This feature also includes the possibility to create a purchase order, or a transfer order from a different stockroom, if the asset is unavailable in the local stockroom;
  • Create assets based on a template import file – download the Advanced Shipment Notification (ASN) template and get it updated by the asset vendor, then import this file into ServiceNow to automatically create the assets;
  • Now Mobile App enhancements – use this app to view your assigned assets, report issues with your assets, and to remotely receive new assets.

Release notes

IT Asset Management has new and updated features in the Quebec release. A quick overview:

Software Asset Management release notes
The ServiceNow® Software Asset Management product systematically tracks, evaluates, and manages software licenses, compliance, and optimization. The Software Asset Management product was enhanced and updated in the Quebec release. (release notes)

Hardware Asset Management release notes
The ServiceNow® Hardware Asset Management product is a licensable application that provides advanced workflow, automation, and mobile capabilities to track and manage your asset environment. Hardware Asset Management was enhanced and updated in the Quebec release. (release notes)

Cloud Insights release notes
The ServiceNow® Cloud Insights application analyzes the full range of costs associated with your cloud assets so that you can identify and act on opportunities to optimize operations and save money. Cloud Insights was enhanced and updated in the Quebec release. (release notes)