The DEX Show | Podcast #7 – A Human Approach to the Future of Work w/ Paul Hardy

The DEX Show | Podcast #7 – A Human Approach to the Future of Work w/ Paul Hardy
March 4, 2021

“To really make a difference and provide services that people love is to make that experience number one, and it’s that’s got to be a priority. Transparency is key to this.” – Paul Hardy

“We’re not going to be expecting people to come back to the office in the same way they did. Working from home has proved to be very successful and very productive.” – David D’Agostino

Today, Paul Hardy, Evangelist, Chief Innovation Officer at ServiceNow and David D’Agostino, ITSM Practice Lead at Nexthink cover the human approach to IT on episode 7 of Digital Employee Experience. This discussion focused on the future of the digital workplace and…

  • How the measure of success has shifted since working from home
  • The power integration of services can have on your employees and business
  • Where your business can improve their human first approach

Here is the Nexthink Pulse Report that explores IT’s digital experience challenges from top IT executives.

To hear more interviews like this one, subscribe to the Digital Employee Experience Podcast on AppleSpotifyTuneInAmazon Music, or your favorite podcast platform!

Speaker 1 (00:01):

You’re listening to Digital Employee Experience, a show for IT change-makers. Let’s get into the show.

Tom McGrath (00:08):

Hello, change-makers. Welcome to Digital Employee Experience. This is Tom McGrath. Recording on President’s Day, and so without the president of this show, Tim Flower, who is I hope busy being celebrated in his native USA. In his absence, though, we have things pretty well covered with two special guests from the old world. Two of the liveliest, most engaging foot leaders on the future of a digital workplace that I know. Gentlemen I’ve wanted to have on the show for a while. The first of them is Paul Hardy, evangelist and chief innovation officer at ServiceNow. Paul, welcome to the show.

Paul Hardy (00:39):

Hello Tom, how are you?

Tom McGrath (00:41):

I’m doing very well. I’m excited to have an all English show, all English guests on President’s Day. It feels appropriate. And before we move on to our second guest, Paul, I just wanted to ask you one itching question. How does one come to be an evangelist? Do you have to go to evangelical college is there a career path there?

Paul Hardy (00:58):

It’s an interesting one Tom actually. A few people ask me this and I often say, do you know what, this is really about being passionate and loving what you do. I’ve had a really varied career throughout my life. I’ve done retail, I’ve traveled a lot, both at work and personally, and obviously using technology all the time and all the way. So there’s not really an education for it. I suppose, with 25 years using technology to transform businesses, whether you’re… You know, and I’ve worked in IT predominantly, but you could argue that this has been focused around engaging across the business with HR and I used to be involved in facilities management.

Paul Hardy (01:32):

So it’s really, and kind of, I suppose, on top of that, it’s then just using your experience. One of the mandates that I have for myself is can I be more successful tomorrow than I was yesterday, right? So if I can help others do that, then I think that’s kind of where the evangelism comes from, is really around how can you tell great stories based upon your experience? And obviously now, based upon all the conversations that I have with ServiceNow customers.

Paul Hardy (01:57):

I’m really kind of boiling that down and bringing it together. So unfortunately, there’s no qualification for it. I’m sure there’ll be a few people diving onto that course if that existed. But it’s really how can we just celebrate our successes a bit more often? Especially in technology, people don’t really do that a huge amount. They kind of just grind on, they do their staff, they do their work and then they just keep going. And I think recognition is super important.

Paul Hardy (02:21):

And part of being an evangelist is recognizing when people are doing a great job, when they’re doing something special and kind of grabbing hold of that and being able to tell that story to other people so that they can come on that journey too.

Tom McGrath (02:32):

Fantastic. And we have our second guest is also passionate and a great storyteller, even if he isn’t an official evangelist like you, Paul. And that is Nexthink’s very own senior consulting specialist, David D’Agostino. Known universally around these parts as Dago. Dago, warm welcome to you.

David D’Agostino (02:48):

Thanks very much, Tom. Hi, Paul. Good to catch up again after what seems like ages.

Paul Hardy (02:52):

It does indeed my friend. How are you?

David D’Agostino (02:55):

Yes, I’m all good. Thanks. In fact, I was just thinking about the comments you have making, especially in the world that we tend to bump into quite a lot around service desk. I think telling a positive story is even more important because sometimes it’s too easy to get dragged into a perception that we only ever talk to the business when stuff’s going wrong. And so actually, to be reminded that the things going wrong with the tip of the iceberg really, and actually, organizations wouldn’t be in the position they are today. Because technology is becoming increasingly critical to their health and wellbeing.

Tom McGrath (03:29):

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, arguably Dago, people talk about technology as a function and we’ve talked about this before, is it’s not really a function anymore. It’s not really a department. It’s actually the business. It’s actually part of people’s everyday life. Right? So as you should say, the only time that we have a conversation with the business is when something’s broken, or we’re trying to do a service review on telling the business some bad news, we should be telling them often, especially with an agile world we live in, we should be celebrating with the business every two weeks. Right?

David D’Agostino (04:00):

Absolutely. Yep. Yep. That’s one of the things that attracted me really to the Nexthink, is you can kind of uncover that and you can surface what’s really happening rather than just the squeaky wheels on the production line.

Tom McGrath (04:12):

When did you jump ship Dago? You were at ServiceNow and then Nexthink, right? How long ago was that?

David D’Agostino (04:17):

That’s right. I joined here about three and a half years ago and I’d actually been at ServiceNow for, I think something like nine years. I joined in 2009. So back in the day, when I think the UK office had seven people in it at the time. We were in a tiny little service office above Sainsbury’s in Waterloo. And it was interesting because there was a similar feeling that it was a kind of game changer, really. I think I might touch on this a bit later on, but you know, I’d been working in ITSM tool organizations since 1991.

David D’Agostino (04:51):

I joined a company called Peregrine Systems in 1991, which was kind of one of the main kind of standards, and then joined Nexthink when it was obvious that it was time to make a change from very fixed, very inflexible platforms. And ServiceNow is sort of at the forefront of a SaaS or cloud-based approach to delivering this service.

Tom McGrath (05:16):

So you didn’t join the Nexthink when you realized Paul had the evangelist gig sewn up?

David D’Agostino (05:21):

No, I stifled my [crosstalk 00:05:24].

Tom McGrath (05:24):

It wasn’t an envy thing?

David D’Agostino (05:26):

No, I used to work together with Paul quite a bit actually. We used to work together, partner events and all kinds of stuff. And in fact-

Paul Hardy (05:33):

Yeah, we did a fair few road shows and things. Interesting you say 2009, I was casting my mind back thinking when we actually met. And I know that, so I was a customer myself as well before joining ServiceNow and we bought ServiceNow to transform our business, right? And we bought that in 2009. And I remember obviously one of the first conversations was with Dago and Pinky. And the listeners that will have any knowledge of IT service management, ServiceNow would certainly know Pinky. And hello, Pinky, if you’re listening, which I’m sure you will be. You know, we used to deal with the small team at ServiceNow to get stuff done. If there was a problem, we’d just ring them up. And as Dago said, it was a pretty small outfit in the UK back in 2009, 2010.

Paul Hardy (06:16):

But we just were able to get stuff done so quickly because we had a route to the developers, a route to the specialists. And I’m not saying it’s any different now because I think we’ve, we’ve obviously scaled phenomenally, but we kind of wound the clock back all the way to there, and that was probably one of the reasons why we’ve got a strong relationship. And obviously we’ve done a lot of work and we have similar mindsets as each other, which is why we’re here today.

David D’Agostino (06:39):

Yeah. I mean, that was always the interesting aspects, you seem to get kind of picked up by previous organization. I think you were definitely in the forefront. I mean, I can remember having some interesting conversations about how the catalog could be used as a… Almost like a shop window for a lot more than just IT requests and kind of use it across the organization. Right. And I remember you even used to do a blog, didn’t you at one point back in the day?

Paul Hardy (07:06):

I’ve done all sorts, Dago, in my day. Blogging, tweeting, white papers.

David D’Agostino (07:11):

I think that’s part of who we are. It’s part of… I’m not really after the likes and the clasped hands either. I want to ensure that we can share as much knowledge and share those stories that we talked about to engage with people. I mean, we often talk and joke, I’m a bit of an introvert at heart, which doesn’t necessarily mean to say I don’t want to meet people or speaking to people.

David D’Agostino (07:36):

It just means that I need different things to recharge. You know, I don’t recharge in big groups, but I love speaking to people about how they could be successful. Have they thought about doing things differently? Have they thought about starting with a blank sheet of paper, if they did, what would it look like? What would the new world look like?

David D’Agostino (07:54):

And I think to have those kinds of conversations are inspiring and I get a lot out of those.

Tom McGrath (07:58):

That’s a good point then to ask what the overall emphasis on employee experience is doing to the development of ICSM, and where you think it’s going to continue to impact it in the future then?

Paul Hardy (08:10):

Well I, funnily enough, I’ve just written an eBook that’s not published yet called Human Centered IT Service Management. So I think you find that probably says it all. It’s not out yet.

Tom McGrath (08:20):

When is it out, Paul?

Paul Hardy (08:21):

It will be available in Amazon soon. So now it’s a ServiceNow, white paper eBook that we’re producing. Because we understand that people are having real challenges with doing what they’ve always done and not thinking it’s okay, just to go, let’s stop for a minute. Let’s just stop and kind of recount where we are.

Paul Hardy (08:39):

You know, arguably one of ITIL V4’s best points they’ve made, or methodology statements, we’ll start where you are. And I love that because so many organizations think we’ve got to go and fix the last 40, 50 years of what we’ve been doing. That’s really tough to do. What you can start doing is saying from this moment on, starting where you are, let’s do things differently. Let’s approach things differently. And I think, again, putting people at the heart of everything that we do is going to be absolutely critical to this.

Paul Hardy (09:08):

Not only to, as Dago said, around productivity and efficiency gains, but things like finding and retaining good people is going to become tougher and tougher than ever. I know at ServiceNow in 2020, we employed 2000 people, 90% of which never came to an office. We never met them face to face. So even more critical now, understanding how they feel, that we’ve got a diverse workforce, that we care about that workforce. That means that people want to stay and that the people help drive that business forward. And I think that’s super important.

David D’Agostino (09:42):

Yeah, totally with you there. I mean, there’s a good example there of a customer in Europe that we’ve got, who actually sort of got talking to Nexthink originally, not because their technology was blue screening, but because their CEO was worried that they were unable to continue hiring graduates at the annual intake. Because they were getting a reputation for being a little bit staid and having a workplace that didn’t match what people were doing at home on their home devices.

David D’Agostino (10:09):

And I’d echo your sentiments on the best practice. I mean, it is quite heartening to see that the [inaudible 00:10:16] has actually made some quite big changes in thinking really. I mean, absolutely start where you are, but the idea as well that maybe a focus on process isn’t the only thing to look at. They’ve even got the term they use now, engage to actually have a dialogue between IT and the people delivering the service and the business. They’ve actually recognized that that engagement is more than just a request on a self-service form, it’s a complete sort of ongoing dialogue.

Tom McGrath (10:46):

And where do you think proactivity enters the equation here?

David D’Agostino (10:49):

In terms of, I mean, everybody wants to do proactivity, right? I mean, it’s been a term that I think all of us have sort of played about with for decades, even here at home sometimes to be honest, but especially in these days of lockdown. But I think what’s hampered people is just organizations have got the aspiration. They want to be proactive. They want to be in front of things.

David D’Agostino (11:14):

No organization deliberately goes and invests millions in deploying a service desk. They do it because they have to. If you had a way to have an understanding of data and how services are used and accurate information about what actually goes on, and then you’d be able to build services that didn’t go wrong so often. You’d be able to focus on innovation rather than focusing on just keeping the lights on.

David D’Agostino (11:41):

And that kind of goes hand in hand with the whole again, I mean, it’s an idea that’s been around for decades, the whole idea of maturity. Process maturity, technology maturity, organizational maturity. It’s one thing to have a vague idea that there’s a demand from the business that we need different colored buttons or better applications or whatever the case may be. But it’s so easy to design new applications with the best will in the world that don’t quite match what the business runs because we haven’t got the data to help us make the decisions that we need to.

David D’Agostino (12:13):

And so I think proactivity is another reflection on that. If we can get in front of it and start to, using one of your favorite words, Paul, predict what it is that the business wants based on understanding current patterns in behavior, then we can start not only to deliver better services, but also tell a positive story rather than be the recipient of bad press.

Tom McGrath (12:36):

That’s a great kind of Roundup of where many people that I speak with, many customers that we speak with. The other side of it is this move to proactivity or predictivities, is really your ability to use the data that you’ve gotten. So many organizations have got all this data already. It’s just kind of having a way to navigate their way through it and then make something of it.

Tom McGrath (12:58):

And you’re right. In a lot of cases, building a new application nowadays, as we know, whether it’s on the ServiceNow platform or it’s elsewhere, is easy. That’s not your problem. The problem is adoption, which arguably is the biggest KPI of the delivery of anything you do in business now is if people use it, then you’ve been a success. If they don’t use it, then you’ve clearly failed in something.

Tom McGrath (13:21):

But it’s actually building it to do and deliver the things that are going to help them, whether that’s moving that person from, removing some of the mundane, repeatable tasks that they used to do to actually enabling them to do other things. A lot of companies we speak to now are moving to kind of this task or activity management kind of process, which is when someone joins your organization, you effectively know you’ve employed them because they’ve got the skills to do the job that you’ve advertised.

Tom McGrath (13:48):

What about all of the other skills that they’ve got that you didn’t ask them if they’ve got? And probably may never ask them and they didn’t put it on a resume or their CV because they didn’t think it was pertinent for that interview. Imagine, someone might speak Japanese, or someone might be able to do programming Visual Plus that’s in sales. It doesn’t mean to say that they don’t want to do that. Or in marketing or in any business.

Tom McGrath (14:13):

So actually we really start to see, and this is where we get that kind of the take up of people wanting to stay in organizations, is that they’re not just doing this blinkered role. They’re actually able to start getting involved in other things that might excite them and they might enjoy doing. But again, to your point, Dago, is our ability to reuse data and reuse the components that we already have, therefore enabling people to work better and love what they do.

David D’Agostino (14:39):

A good sort of example, sort of close to that, this is while I was still at ServiceNow, I did some work with one of the big five consulting companies. And they actually wanted to use ServiceNow to design their consultant’s scheduling app and the idea they had behind it, and I’d have to check in with them to see how it went, actually. They wanted to build an app that didn’t only help them put together a team where everybody knew how to write Java script or do .net or whatever it was their customer wanted them to do.

David D’Agostino (15:10):

When they assembled their teams, they wanted also to pull in additional information. Like I’m going to put a team together, they all know how to do technical thing, X, Y, and Z, but they can’t work together successfully as a team unless some of the softer things are in place as well.

David D’Agostino (15:26):

So they wanted, as part of the team building or team selection workflow, they wanted to know what people’s, exactly to your point, what their other skill sets were. What their interests were, all kinds of stuff to do with working patterns and kind of personal traits that meant that they were more likely to pull together teams that were going to be more effective when they actually engaged with a customer.

David D’Agostino (15:49):

And to do that in a kind of virtual world where you’re pulling together teams that are kind of fleetingly together, they’re working for a few weeks and then they’re off doing other things. It’s a huge success factor if you can get people to hit the ground running as a team, rather than have to spend a long time getting through niggles and arguments and politics before they can actually start getting down to some serious work.

David D’Agostino (16:09):

Really, really interesting stuff there. And it just struck me as you were talking that if we had more information about personas and about working patterns and those kinds of things, then potentially you can make even more fact-based decisions and move things along even better.

Tom McGrath (16:25):

Yep. Are personas something that very much on ServiceNow’s radar at the moment, Paul? In terms of folks?

Paul Hardy (16:30):

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I mean, we’re looking pretty heavily at both personas and industry verticals because we know that while a lot of organizations are challenged with the same or similar issues in automating work or even moving from reactive to proactive as an example, it’s clear when we start doing benchmarking, that there are similarities across industries. No similarities equally, or across different personas. So whether you take that from a service desk or a shared service center analyst perspective, all the way up to the CEO, there’s clearly a number of different personas in that space that have different requirements, want different dashboards, do different things on a different basis. So to recognize that is, I think, super important for us to drive these conversations, and therefore the products that support those conversations forward.

Tom McGrath (17:22):

Excellent. So I want to get to my corniest question of today, gentlemen, right? Because I have heard you guys in a few shows before, and I know why you are coy I think about talking explicitly about how powerful ServiceNow, and Nexthink are together. You don’t want to be too self-promotional, but here’s a thing. I have in my couple of years and Nexthink spoken to a handful of customers. And when they described the power of the integration, when they talk about what they’ve been able to do professionally because of it, they have awe in their voice.

Tom McGrath (17:52):

They’re genuinely staggered by what it’s been able to help them to do. And so I wanted to really kind of lay it out unapologetically, starting with you, Paul, what makes the integration so powerful? What’s it able to do?

Paul Hardy (18:05):

Well, I think it’s a great question, Tom. And I think to really make a difference and provide services that people love, as we’ve already talked about and what they do, make them more productive, make that experience number one. That’s got to be a priority. And I think transparency is key to this. So it’s really providing the ability for people to understand things do break and if they break, then that’s fine.

Paul Hardy (18:28):

If they’ve got the wrong software installed on their desktop, then are they responsible for it? Is IT responsible for it? What we do know is the business pays for it. So I think it’s really how do things work from that end user that, I don’t like calling them end users. I think you guys still refer to them… Customers, right? People. How are they impacted by things that change in an organization?

Paul Hardy (18:53):

The key here is integration has to be straightforward. So using Nexthink on top of the ServiceNow platform clearly gives you and offers you different mindset, different view, different lenses into your environment that you may not have seen before. We’ve worked tirelessly over the years to make integration super simple. And we know that Nexthink being a partner with ServiceNow that is simple as it should be.

Paul Hardy (19:16):

And I think the other thing to know, and we talk a lot about out the box capability and sometimes it’s… People are going to go yeah, out of the box is great, but it doesn’t work for me. Well, a lot of the time that’s because people are spent years changing the norm, changing what works. And I think if you think about this more holistically and say, what actually do you need to drive change forward? What do you need to make your world look in a better place? Then actually using out of the box capabilities, and I know you guys have got hundreds of KPIs and reports and personas in the platform that you just turn it on and start where you are, as we said before. And not get too wrapped up into what used to be the status quo.

Paul Hardy (19:59):

The reason it’s called that is because it hasn’t changed. It’s just been there. It’s been… It’s legacy, it’s the [inaudible 00:20:04]. And then also, as I’ve said before, about really putting humans at the center of everything that you design and the reason that you do that. And I think working together will really enable everybody to go that extra mile, get the extra piece of information or data that they need to make those informed decisions.

Paul Hardy (20:22):

And that’s really what we’re… Dago has mentioned that quite a lot, is people have great… It’s easy to make decisions. It’s less easy to make great decisions based upon history or data. And when you start doing that, you start moving a lot, lot quicker and it becomes more agile. I’m not necessarily talking from maybe an agile methodology, in sprints and cycles and whatever else. But this is about just being a more agile, or certainly a hybrid organization, where you can have iterative change always.

Tom McGrath (20:52):

Dago, I mean, would you think of any illustrations of how powerful the two tools are when they’re combined? It could lay out even clearer.

David D’Agostino (21:00):

We’re working with a number. I mean, if you look at the actual number of customers, who’ve not only got both tools, but have downloaded the integrations and have been working with them. It’s clear that people really do get a lot of value out of it. I’m working with a couple of customers at the moment where the nice thing is that we can be quite structured, and we can have a roadmap that lines up with the customers increasing maturity with the product.

David D’Agostino (21:27):

So it’s very, very straightforward to install the product, start getting data, install the connectors, and start supporting, for example, every aspect of the incident process. Pretty much out of the starting blocks. But once you start getting a little bit of resource, or a bit of energy back, once you start using Nexthink to reduce the time to resolve tickets, reduce the number of tickets that have been opened, you can, again, very easily start to focus on some of the more high value aspects. Like extending the CMDB exactly to Paul’s point, to have a clear idea of things like adoption and capacity and availability of services. To be able to start doing a much more complete job of things like change management.

David D’Agostino (22:12):

And at the far end, getting into things like governance, identifying risk, identifying vulnerabilities, which are a huge challenge and a huge headache for a lot of organizations. Again, to your point, Paul, because the data isn’t always available from the places where the data is needed most. Eighty percent of security breaches happen at the end users end for example. Just one of those can have significant difference impact on a business. Not just because one person is down, but there’s reputational damage, there’s damage to data. There’s the unknown horror of not knowing who else is going to have that same problem in a day’s time or a week’s time.

David D’Agostino (22:56):

And the unknown fear of whose laptop is going to be left in the back of a taxi late one night. And is that going to get onto the front page of the papers or not? So there’s all sorts of areas where the two platforms working together can really help to shine a light on things that would otherwise be very difficult to get ahold of.

Tom McGrath (23:14):

I mean, it’s no exaggeration, right, to say that any customers are already leveraging both tools over the last year would have been much better equipped to deal with the events of the last 12 months too? You must have specific examples around the pandemic, around remote work.

David D’Agostino (23:29):

Yeah. I mean, particularly when you look at the chart, I was talking with an organizations just this morning who was telling me that the last year has been started out with a massive fire drill, really. Where tens of thousands of employees who were used to working in a very office focused way, with desktop machines, coming into the office every day, had almost on the turn of a coin, almost overnight were told that we’re going to be working from home. That they were going to be handed a laptop. They had to get themselves familiar with it. They had to try and make sure that their home broadband was up to the job. They had to make sure that their firewalls and their VPNs and their working environment allowed them to continue to be good corporate citizens, while at the same time dealing with all of the non-technical challenges.

David D’Agostino (24:19):

They’ve been forced to work under a lockdown, with all sorts of plight conditions going on around them. And I think Nexthink and ServiceNow both, I mean, it’s all out there on LinkedIn and in the press. Both organizations responded in a really positive way, providing information to support remote working, providing emergency response applications and so on. So I think it’s, from my point of view, I think technology companies have made a big difference to the way that people have been able to operate during the past year

Tom McGrath (24:47):

I presume that you’d second that, Paul?

Paul Hardy (24:50):

Yeah. I think what’s probably interesting there is, to kind of build on what Dago was saying, most organizations used to have tens or hundreds of offices around the world. Now they’ve got thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, because they’ve got people working from home. And I think in the most part, most organizations that I’ve spoken to, did it relatively easily. And this kind of paints the picture that is, was this, historically, the reason that people didn’t work from home, was this based upon our ways of thinking, our ways of working?

Paul Hardy (25:20):

I remember years ago, people would go, how do you measure success? Well, the number of people that are in the office. If half the team aren’t in the office on a Friday, we assumed back in the day, that actually the performance would be less. But actually if those people had done their work in the four or four and a half days, then why should they not be able to work somewhere different or feel that they’ve accomplished what they needed to in a week?

Paul Hardy (25:47):

So I think this has really compounded this thought of are we measuring the right things? And when we do measure the right things, we know that we can then start looking in different places for efficiency gains and productivity gains. And we can start building things in different ways that we’ve never done before.

Paul Hardy (26:05):

So I think this is it’s been a challenging year for all. There’s no doubt about it. ServiceNow we created some return to work applications and some COVID vaccine management response and administration applications. We were able to build those and deliver those to our customers in days and weeks, right? That would have never been possible before with old legacy ways of working and legacy mindsets.

Paul Hardy (26:28):

So I think this has expedited some of these maybe political conversations that were going on in business. Because clearly technology is not the blocker here, this is whether people want to do it. This is the new way. This is not the new way of working. I argue that we should have been working this way years ago. This is just kind of been the hammer on the nail that said we’ve got to do it today.

David D’Agostino (26:50):

Yeah, no, I completely agree. And I think in terms of… We were talking earlier in this chat about how IT processes, over the past 30 years, have kind of ossified a little bit. And they’re a bit stayed and people work now the way they do because it’s the way that previous generations did. I think the same goes for general working practices. I think that there has been a culture of management expectation that you come into the office, not because it’s better or worse, but because that’s just the way we’ve always done it.

David D’Agostino (27:23):

And there’s a real, almost an unconscious resistance to doing things any other way. Right? And I think the fact that it’s been forced on people, but I think the proof is in the evidence really. I mean, the number of reports you see of organizations basically saying we’re not going to be expecting people to come back to the office in the same way they did. Working from home has proved to be very successful, very productive.

Tom McGrath (27:45):

Well, gentlemen fascinating stuff. Really, really interesting. Great to have you on the show. Definitely want to have you back hopefully next time when Tim is with us too. I’m sure he’d have a lot of questions for you both. Before you both go, a bit of game theory. Considering you both worked together in the past, and I’ve long expected or thought that it wasn’t all hard work at ServiceNow back in the day.

David D’Agostino (28:05):

It’s always just a constant slug.

Tom McGrath (28:07):

You know, it wasn’t all work and no play is my suspicion. So I’m asking you both, one after the other, if you have any unfortunate ServiceNow Christmas party stories about you. Are there any embarrassing tales whatsoever? Paul you get to go first.

Paul Hardy (28:21):

I don’t think they’re embarrassing. Well, they’re probably the reason they’re not embarrassing is because we did them together probably.

David D’Agostino (28:27):

Yeah, yeah, we both do- [crosstalk 00:28:30].

Paul Hardy (28:30):

I don’t really want to incriminate myself, or Dago for that matter, but having said that… I suppose-

Tom McGrath (28:34):

What if he incriminates you now, Paul, come on get in there.

Paul Hardy (28:37):

I suppose interestingly, some of the things that we learn is, and it kind of relates a little bit to this pandemic, is that I remember going with Dago to Dubai, to present to customers, a number of customers. We used to do frequent road shows where we’d go out and talk to customers and we present new capabilities on the platform. And I suppose one of the things that we’ve learned by all of this is that you’ve got to have fun along the way, you really have.

Paul Hardy (29:02):

And there’s no big down and dirty stories, but one things that we have learned is that it’s great to no longer have to fly to Dubai for five hours presenting, and then fly straight home again. Which Dago and I have done on many occasions. Where we’ve shown up, grown up and then left. And it’s nice not doing that. It’s nice spending time with people. And arguably, doing these podcasts and doing various other webinars creates more of a community and a more of a place where people can have a conversation and learn something that they didn’t know before.

Paul Hardy (29:37):

And so I think some of the best things… Don’t get me wrong, I cannot wait to get back on a plane. I’m absolutely hanging out for that. And Dago and I, even now we talk about doing things based upon joint outcomes. We’ve got lots of customers that ServiceNow and obviously you guys at Nexthink, in a great partnership. So we should continue that.

Paul Hardy (29:59):

But at the moment, taking the best from that is that we’re looking forward to having a good bear around an open fire, maybe somewhere in a bar. But also not traveling unnecessarily far just to have a conversation for a few hours. So that will be mine.

David D’Agostino (30:16):

Taking some time out to go dune buggying after the main event, right?

Paul Hardy (30:20):

Well, yeah, there is that, there is that. Did I break mine? I think I might’ve broken my new dune buggy.

David D’Agostino (30:27):

I think your pilot was quite enthusiastic, wasn’t he?

Paul Hardy (30:30):

Yeah, I think you could probably say that.

Tom McGrath (30:34):

It was all, it was all early nights in Dubai, was it Dago?

David D’Agostino (30:37):

Early mornings I’d say.

Paul Hardy (30:39):

I think it all blends, it’s a little bit like Vegas. I’m glad we kind of gravitate to Dubai, not to Vegas. Obviously, with being involved in technology companies, I’ve been to Vegas enough times that I could park it there and it wouldn’t be a problem. But it all blends into one, doesn’t it? They pump oxygen into the casinos. So frankly, there’s no window. So it doesn’t matter where you are, what time it is. As long as you’re with good people and you’re trying to change the world, then it can’t be a bad thing, can it?

Tom McGrath (31:08):

Well, there are times in life when you have to read between the lines gentlemen, and I think this might be one of them. But look, it’s been lovely having you both on and we hope to see you again. Paul, Dago, all the best.

Paul Hardy (31:18):

Thanks very much.

David D’Agostino (31:19):

Nice try, Tom. Catch you later. Bye-bye

Speaker 1 (31:23):

To make sure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show on Apple podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast player. And if you’re listening on Apple podcasts, make sure to leave a rating of the show. Just tap the number of stars you think the podcast deserves. If you’d like to learn more about how Nexthink can help you improve your digital employee experience, head over to Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

Thomas McGrath is a writer, filmmaker, and podcaster. He has been published everywhere from VICE to Computer Weekly, and is the producer and co-host of the Digital Employee Experience Show. Learn More

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