University of Southampton


Introduction to ServiceNow

The guidance in this article is for anyone managing queries within ServiceNow.

ServiceNow is the IT Service Management tool used for logging and tracking queries at the University.

Queries, or tickets, can be raised by staff, students and visitors in several ways:

  • By using the self service portal
  • By emailing an address that is ingested by ServiceNow (for example
  • A ticket can be raised on your behalf (for example by a member of the service desk team)


Who uses ServiceNow?

The following departments currently use ServiceNow to manage queries/customer interactions:

iSolutions, HR, Finance, Library, Student and Academic Administration (SAA), Student Services, Student Wellbeing, NETSCC, Health and Safety, and Corporate Communications.


Key terminology

There are three types of ticket, an incident, a request and a problem.

An incident is an issue or unexpected disruption to a system or service, for example a user is unable to log in to a University system or their University laptop is not working.

A request is a request for something to be provided, for example a request for information or advice, to reset a password or to install a workstation.

A problem ticket is created when the cause of an incident is an error or a widespread issue. A problem ticket is used to record and track the resolution/fix.

ServiceNow groups will often have a dispatcher set up. A dispatcher receives an email notification each time a new ticket is assigned to the group. They can allocate the ticket to the individual who is best placed to process the query. A group can have one or many dispatchers (or none).


Reassigning tickets

Tickets can be transferred between individuals (assigned to) or groups (assignment group) if the initial assignee is not the correct person or team to resolve the ticket. See how to reassign and incident or request item in ServiceNow.


Within a ticket, tasks can be created so that another group can assist with resolving the ticket - an incident task or request task. Assigning an incident or request task does not give the recipient access to the parent incident. All the information they require should therefore be provided as part of creating the task.


How do I log in?

  1. ServiceNow is accessed at:
  2. Log in with your University username and password


Layout of main screen

The layout of the main screen can be personalised so it can vary from the example below.

ServiceNow main screen layout

  • At the top left of the screen is the filter navigator. This allows you to search within the main menu (and your Favourites)
  • The main menu is on the left of the screen below the filter navigator
  • The content displayed in the centre of your screen will vary depending on how your ServiceNow profile is set up. In the example above, a Dashboard has been set up with several tabs including Ticket Management, Tickets to Update and SLAs.

Further information about Dashboards is available from the ServiceNow help pages.

Menu options

Menu option icons

Below the filter navigator there are 3 menu options:

  • Select the folder to view the main menu (for example if you have used the search function you can select the folder to return to the main menu)
  • Use the star to view your Favorites
  • Use the clock to view your history within ServiceNow, similar to viewing your browsing history within a web browser

Log out, search and settings

Log out, search and settings options

In the top right of the screen you have the following options (from left to right):

  • The drop-down menu alongside your name allows you to view your profile and to log out
  • The magnifying glass allows you to search, for example if you want to search using a ticket number
  • The messenger button opens the chat feature, allowing you to send a message from within ServiceNow (although Teams is more commonly used)
  • The question mark opens a help topic for the page or type of ticket you are viewing (note: help content may not be available for all pages)
  • The cog/settings button allows you to change the settings of your ServiceNow instance, for example the colour scheme and accessibility preferences


Working with tickets

When you add a note to a ticket, you can use either a work note or a public note (customer visible).

Image of a ticket request form

Work notes are internal notes added for the purposes of resolving the ticket, used by the staff working on the ticket. They do not require the customer’s involvement.

Public notes represent the conversation between you (the fulfiller) and the customer. They can be viewed via the self service portal and the requester will be notified via email when a note has been added to the ticket. Public notes are used to update the customer on progress, ask questions or provide solutions.


Useful links

Prompt after instructions

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