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Understanding ServiceNow Licensing: A Comprehensive Guide

Jul 11, 2024
10 minutes

ServiceNow is a versatile platform designed to streamline and automate various business processes across multiple domains. Known for its extensive suite of offerings, ServiceNow provides specialized functionalities to improve efficiency and effectiveness within organizations. While IT Service Management (ITSM), IT Operations Management (ITOM), and Human Resources Service Delivery (HRSD) are among the core offerings, ServiceNow also includes other products like Customer Service Management (CSM), Security Operations (SecOps), and IT Asset Management (ITAM).

ServiceNow Offerings

IT Service Management (ITSM): ITSM helps organizations manage and deliver IT services efficiently. It includes modules for incident management, problem management, change management, and request fulfillment.

IT Operations Management (ITOM): ITOM focuses on managing and optimizing the IT infrastructure. It includes capabilities for event management, cloud management, and operational intelligence.

Human Resources Service Delivery (HRSD): HRSD aims to improve the employee experience by automating HR workflows. It includes modules for case management, employee onboarding, and knowledge management.

Customer Service Management (CSM): CSM helps streamline customer service operations by providing tools to manage customer interactions and resolve issues efficiently.

Security Operations (SecOps): SecOps focuses on enhancing an organization's security posture by automating and orchestrating security incident response processes.

IT Asset Management (ITAM): ITAM provides visibility and control over IT assets throughout their lifecycle, ensuring efficient utilization and compliance.

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User-Metered vs. Non-User-Metered Products

ServiceNow's licensing model can be categorized into user-metered and non-user-metered products.

User-Metered Products: These products require licenses based on the number of users who interact with the system. Each user needs a license, and the cost varies depending on the type of user.

Non-User-Metered Products: These products are licensed based on the specific functionality and usage metrics, rather than the number of users. This model typically applies to modules that operate in the background or are integrated with other systems without direct user interaction.

Licensing Model for User-Metered Products

ServiceNow's user-metered products are typically divided into different packages to cater to various business needs. The common packages are:

Standard Package: This package includes basic functionalities, essential for most organizations. It covers core features but with limited advanced capabilities.

Professional Package: The professional package offers a more comprehensive set of features compared to the standard package. It includes advanced functionalities and is suitable for organizations with more complex requirements.

Enterprise Package: The enterprise package is the most extensive offering, providing all available features and capabilities. It is designed for large organizations with complex and diverse needs.

Licensing Types for User-Metered Products

Within the user-metered model, there are several types of user licenses:


Fulfillers have full admin, developer, or usage rights within a purchased offering. This includes creating, editing, or deleting any record in the system. Without limitation, a Fulfiller User is any ‘User’ that performs any function in addition to Business Stakeholder User function or Requester User function.

Unrestricted User
An Unrestricted User is defined as any user in the sys_user table with a username, password, and a status of “active”, regardless of whether they have a role or not. Customer Service Management “External Users” with the snc_external role is not counted towards the Unrestricted User count.

Business Stakeholder

Business Stakeholder User can perform everything a Requester does as well as approve requests, view any record and view and drill down reports. Business Stakeholder subscriptions pertain to ITSM, ITBM, CSM, FSO, TSM and App Engine products only.


Requesters create, edit, and view their own requests. Requests can be submissions through the service catalog or incidents submitted through the ServiceNow web or mobile interfaces. They can also access the ServiceNow Knowledge Base to perform self-service. A Requester is any user checked as “active” on their user profile in the subscription service other than a Fulfiller or Business Stakeholder User. Requesters do not need subscription.

External CSM User

An external CSM User is defined as customer's external contacts, including, but not limited to, customer's accounts, consumers, households, partners, or other contacts. External CSM Users may create, view, modify, or approve requests of their own or related accounts via the customer portal, approve requests for new contact creation; and manage users or assets of their own or related accounts. External CSM Users are not included in the CSM User count and are not subject to Customer Service Management subscription product fees.

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Understanding ServiceNow's licensing model is crucial for organizations to optimize their investment in the platform. By recognizing the difference between user-metered and non-user-metered products and selecting the appropriate package and user licenses, businesses can ensure they are leveraging ServiceNow's capabilities effectively while managing costs. Whether you are looking to implement ITSM, ITOM, HRSD, or any other ServiceNow offering, a clear understanding of the licensing structure will help you make informed decisions that align with your organization's needs.

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