Undergoing a workflow automation revolution is a step any successful business needs to take at one point or another. However, for that transformation to be successful, it’s imperative to use cutting-edge workflow automation software. And when it comes to that, ServiceNow is a go-to platform for many organizations.
But is it the best option?
That depends. ServiceNow is recognized as one of the top workflow management platforms, but that doesn’t mean it’s always the best option for your organization. HighGear, a no-code workflow automation platform, has been successfully serving customers for over 15 years, touting its intuitive, user-centric interface, comprehensive work management tools, and enterprise-grade security.
Having said that, the question needs to be asked – when is HighGear the right alternative to ServiceNow?
Let’s see how these two workflow automation platforms compare.
Before we begin comparing, let’s briefly introduce these two companies that have revolutionized the workflow automation industry.
Founded in 2003, HighGear has earned a notable reputation as one of the leading providers of no-code workflow automation software explicitly tailored for enterprise use. Interestingly, HighGear was originally created as an internal tool to manage highly regulated work.
The platform’s brilliance didn’t go unnoticed, and the tool quickly became a fully-fledged product, driven by considerable demand from HighGear’s early clients, including renowned organizations such as NASA and Beazley Insurance.
Today, HighGear is committed to its primary goal of empowering non-technical teams to independently create intricate workflows. It accomplishes this by enabling citizen developers, (e.g., analysts, managers, and subject matter experts) to rapidly design, manage, and interconnect process automation without the need for coding skills. This transition effectively shifts the responsibility for automation tasks from specialized IT personnel to business teams.
Furthermore, thanks to continuous improvement and updates based on feedback from its high-end customers, HighGear has successfully bridged the prevalent automation skill gap in enterprises. Additionally, HighGear places a strong emphasis on delivering exceptional customer support, with a core mission centered around ensuring customer success rather than solely focusing on the technology itself.
ServiceNow’s roots date back to 2004, and just like HighGear, it quickly caught the eye of some renowned brands, establishing itself as one of the leading automation solutions. As of today, ServiceNow is headquartered in Santa Clara, California, and works with numerous brands, including Deloitte and 7-Eleven.
Unlike HighGear’s citizen developer approach, the platform focuses on ITSM (IT Service Management), with its applications falling under four primary categories – IT workflows, employee workflows, customer workflows, and creator workflows. These solutions contribute to ServiceNow’s goal, which is to make ITSM and digital workflows more efficient through simplification and automation of IT operations.
HighGear vs. ServiceNow – Fast Comparison
|Platform designed with simplicity in mind
|More complex platform with a steep learning curve
|Easy to use visual workflow builder
|Uses a visual workflow creator
|Analytics & Reporting
|Real-time reporting and extensive data analytics tools
|Dashboards and extensive real-time reporting
|Integrates with several widely-available integration hubs (I.e., Zapier, Microsoft Power Platform) and numerous well-known apps and systems
|An excellent range of available integrations, including real-time 3rd party form data integration (may require coding or database management experience)
|While designed for large enterprises, it can also be used by businesses of all sizes (teams as small as 25)
|Designed for organizations of all sizes and backgrounds
|Cloud-based or on-premise deployment (cost neutral)
|Cloud-based & on-premise deployment options
|Education and Support
|Highly responsive customer support and a massive range of training resources
|Large selection of educational resources and responsive customer support
|Starts at $63/month per licensed contributor
|Starts at $100/month per user (based on reviews)
|5.0 out of 5 on GetApp & Capterra
|4.5 out of 5 on GetApp & Capterra
Platform Features & Capabilities
Both HighGear and ServiceNow are praised for their wide range of cutting-edge tools and solutions. But how do these two compare in their key areas of functionality? Let’s find out:
HighGear distinguishes itself through its unwavering commitment to user-centric design and the creation of intuitive design interfaces explicitly tailored for business users.
From the moment you see its interface, you’ll notice straightaway that HighGear makes simplicity its highest priority. Most importantly, though, it does that while preserving robust functionality, ensuring it is accessible to individuals with varying technical backgrounds. A prime example of this approach is the visual drag-and-drop workflow builder, which empowers users to assume control of automation without the need for coding skills.
With the support of a dedicated team of experts, guided tutorials, helpful tooltips, and well-structured features, HighGear excels at reducing the learning curve. This results in a streamlined interface that facilitates users quickly participating in the automation processes.
Although ServiceNow also has a relatively straightforward and functional interface, it isn’t as intuitive as HighGear, especially for users without an IT background.
That’s because, while HighGear empowers business users, ServiceNow was created with IT users in mind. That can make it difficult for non-IT users to learn how the platform works, preventing them from taking full advantage of its solutions. And speaking of that, while we have to appreciate the wealth of available tools, the truth is that navigating through them can pose a struggle.
So yes, while many users praise ServiceNow for its functionality, many also say it is too complex and overwhelming for inexperienced users, resulting in long deployment times and friction when making follow-on changes.
A key strength of HighGear is found in its Visual Workflow Designer, which remarkably simplifies the workflow creation process. Whether it’s a straightforward approval procedure or a highly complex, interdepartmental workflow, HighGear users can map out and customize comprehensive solutions.
HighGear’s Visual Workflow Designer includes various features such as color-coded sections, ready-made process templates designed to accelerate automation, and real-time analytics that provide valuable data-driven insights.
Another notable feature of HighGear is its support for multi-user workflow design. Instead of isolating the creation process, it encourages collaboration, teamwork, and the inclusion of multiple perspectives in the improvement process. Conflicts are prevented and changes are quickly shared, ensuring alignment with the intended workflow and reducing the need for extensive training when embarking on workflow design.
ServiceNow approaches workflow design similarly, offering users no-code visual workflow creation and automation. Users can design application-specific flow actions to design conditional trigger-based workflows.
Like HighGear, these workflows also include numerous features, including real-time data analytics, no-code triggers, role-based flows, and domain-separated workflows.
Unlike HighGear, however, ServiceNow’s workflows are not as easy to design and implement for non-IT personnel. Users often experience a steep learning curve and require assistance from already overburdened IT resources, especially when trying to adapt the platform to unique business needs. This often results in long deployments, reliance on developers, and incomplete solutions.
Although HighGear is primarily tailored for larger enterprises, it remains accessible and advantageous for smaller organizations aiming to utilize its workflow automation solutions and expand their operations.
HighGear’s Enterprise Task Management equips companies of diverse sizes to efficiently oversee complex workflows and comply with rigorous regulatory standards while maintaining agility, performance, and flexibility.
Like HighGear, ServiceNow can be used both by smaller and larger organizations. As stated previously, though, smaller organizations may experience a difficult time during implementation given the need for technical expertise and/or specialized support resources.
Analytics & Reporting
HighGear’s dashboards provide immediate, organization-wide insight into status and operations, resulting in a significant enhancement of business efficiency and responsiveness. The platform offers numerous real-time reporting and analytics tools, such as bar charts, trend lines, or tabular data. And by design, these tools can be used by anyone as HighGear has developed them with accessibility and ease of use as their top priorities.
Without any additional training or technical skills, users can create, schedule, and export comprehensive reports in multiple formats, streamlining the automated distribution process.
HighGear also functions as a dependable system for maintaining compliance records, offering extensive audit trails and activity logs by default. Its seamless integration with thousands of other business systems, such as ERP and CRM, facilitates data sharing to increase efficiency.
Like HighGear, ServiceNow provides users with reporting and analytics tools, allowing access to past and real-time data. However, non-technical users will be limited to simple, high-level data for their dashboards and reports.
The platform does offer a more complex reporting and analytics module called Performance Analytics, but users may have to acquire specific technical knowledge or rely on developer support to provide shareholders and managers with in-depth data regarding past and real-time performance across the organization.
The problem here being, again, the sheer amount of information and the number of tools available adds to the already high complexity of the ServiceNow platform.
HighGear offers impressive integration capabilities. Natively integrated with open integration platforms like Zapier and Microsoft Power Platform, users can enjoy drag-and-drop connectivity with thousands of todays most popular enterprise applications.
Additionally, HighGear includes a comprehensive and secure API to integrate with everything else you need to connect across the enterprise, including PeopleSoft, SAML, PowerBI, Salesforce, Office 365, and many others.
ServiceNow can be easily integrated with numerous systems and applications. The most prominent examples of possible integrations include Salesforce, Oracle, Microsoft Office, Workday, and DocuSign. Furthermore, all these integrations are easy to set up, making ServiceNow, like HighGear, a viable solution for workflow customization.
HighGear presents users with a choice between two deployment options: cloud-based and on-premise solutions.
Choosing the cloud-based solution delivers the advantage of accessibility from anywhere at any time, offering flexibility without the need to oversee infrastructure management.
On the other hand, HighGear allows companies to host the platform on their own servers on-premise, at the same cost point, providing them with greater control over the deployment environment.
Like HighGear, ServiceNow offers on-premise deployment and utilizes cloud software to enable the integration of teams, processes, and data within a comprehensive cloud-based framework.
Customer Support & Education
When implementing enterprise-level software, comprehensive training and support are not merely optional but essential. Given the complexities of solutions at this scale, expert guidance and assistance are vital, particularly during the initial stages.
The absence of proper training can hinder an enterprise’s ability to fully exploit the platform’s capabilities, and inadequate support can lead to unresolved issues, impeding its effectiveness.
Luckily, HighGear and ServiceNow recognize the importance of this principle.
They both prioritize preparing organizations for success in automation, encompassing aspects from onboarding to continuous education and issue resolution. Now, let’s embark on a comparative analysis of how they perform concerning these two critical foundations: customer education and support.
HighGear provides exceptional customer support and training services to its clients. Their team is comprised of experts who care deeply about helping customers and are empowered to invest as many resources as are needed to ensure customer success. The team is readily accessible through various communication channels, including email, phone, and screen-sharing sessions.
As an added support resource, HighGear also offers a dedicated Customer Success team. A Customer Success Manager is specifically assigned to each client (at no additional cost for the Department license tier and above) who serves as a client’s business process and workflow management coach, mentor/advisor, and client advocate. They are accountable for proactively engaging with each client’s key stakeholders on at least a quarterly basis, and ensuring clients have access to all of HighGear’s vast experience, knowledge, best practices, and personnel to finely tune the platform to solve even the most unique business need. When it comes to training, HighGear offers an integrated set of self-service help resources, which include step-by-step instructions, videos, and comprehensive documentation for troubleshooting.
For those who prefer hands-on learning, HighGear offers complimentary instructor-led training sessions designed to enhance proficiency in process design and effective feature utilization.
Furthermore, HighGear’s support system contains a vast repository of detailed help articles, tutorials, and videos. This extensive resource empowers customers to independently search for answers to their queries.
In addition, the close collaboration between the support team and product development ensures an in-depth understanding of the platform, providing expertise that spans every aspect of it.
ServiceNow doesn’t yield to HighGear in this regard. The customer support team is responsive and easily accessible 24/7 via phone, email, and live chat. The site also has a dedicated FAQ section where users can quickly find answers to the most common questions.
Their training services are also impressive, with ServiceNow offering multiple educational resources, including training video courses, white papers, tutorials, and help articles. You can also become a certified ServiceNow user through their certification training program.
Reviews and Case Studies
This review covers just one aspect of the narrative. To gain a comprehensive understanding of whether HighGear is a superior alternative to ServiceNow, it’s essential to delve deeper into the feedback and opinions shared by actual users of both platforms.
As we’re writing these words, HighGear boasts a stellar 5.0 out of 5 rating on GetApp & Capterra. But what exactly do HighGear users have to say about the platform?
“Fantastic – the team has been great, always available to answer any questions. It’s changed our business completely.” – Alexandra S.
“Good way to track workflows and good for auditing purposes.” – Kathleen T.
“The reason why we started using HighGear is because it’s flexible, customizable and suitable for large volumes of projects.” – Vincent W.
These reviews speak volumes about HighGear, proving it to be an excellent choice when seeking a no-code workflow management solution.
Now, let’s see how ServiceNow compares when it comes to customer reviews.
Their GetApp and Capterra scores are slightly lower than that of HighGear’s, with an average rating of 4.5 out of 5. However, while there is praise regarding ServiceNow’s advanced automation features, many customers complain about the steep learning curve and lack of realistic opportunities for citizen developers to utilize the platform.
HighGear offers an impressive array of case studies that provide in-depth insights from notable figures in the realms of global finance, energy, government, and numerous others. These case studies vividly demonstrate the remarkable versatility of HighGear’s platform.
ServiceNow’s collection of case studies also pulls from a wide range of brands and industries.
Both platforms are full of excellent and high-end features and tools. However, the question is, are these apps worth their pricing? Which one offers the best value for your investment – HighGear or ServiceNow?
HighGear provides an initial monthly rate starting at $63 for each licensed contributor. Furthermore, they offer tier and term discounts for larger deployments, and there’s a free demo version that allows users to test the platform before committing to it.
It’s important to be aware that certain additional features, such as increasing the number of workflows, forms, API transactions, single sign-on (SSO) capabilities, and storage, may involve extra charges in the lower tiers.
Nevertheless, when considering the extensive range of tools, advanced technology, outstanding performance, exceptional user experience, and top-notch customer support, HighGear offers exceptional value for your investment that exceeds what many other workflow automation platforms can deliver.
ServiceNow isn’t as transparent as HighGear when it comes to its pricing. To learn how much you can expect to pay for access to ServiceNow and its numerous features, you need to contact their sales department, which, based on your needs, will provide you with an estimated cost of your plan. This prevents organizations from quickly calculating how much they will need to spend to gain access to the platform. Publicly available reviews seem to suggest that the pricing is high, with a minimum of $100/month per user.
Final Thoughts: Is HighGear the Best ServiceNow Alternative?
So, is HighGear a good ServiceNow alternative? Yes, it is. We’ll even go one step further and say that, in many areas, it’s a better option.
HighGear’s focus on simplicity and user experience makes it an excellent option for organizations who want high levels of autonomy, and to efficiently manage their workflows day-to-day without the need for any coding skills. Furthermore, it does so without compromising the overall usability or scalability, providing an all-round, high-end workflow design, automation, and analytics platform.
Does that mean that ServiceNow is a bad solution? Not necessarily. ServiceNow is a tool that was designed to help developers deploy solutions. For organizations who are less interested in empowering their non-technical staff with a tool to configure and manage their own processes, and would rather leverage developer resources to use its scripting tools, ServiceNow is a feasible option. However, if you’re looking for efficient and cost-effective no-code workflow management software, HighGear is your choice.