Generally speaking, thousands of MSPs spend their days managing and monitoring customer devices -- laptops, desktops, servers and network infrastructure. But Spiceworks is adding a new twist on that approach, giving managed service providers a people- or user-centric view of customer networks. Here's how.
As you'll recall, Spiceworks is a free, advertising-driven remote monitoring and management platform. Back in January 2010, Co-founder Jay Hallberg said the upstart company was nearly profitable. The Spiceworks architecture is similar to Apple's iTunes -- some of the software lives in the cloud, but Spiceworks also requires a full-blown desktop client.
The new Spiceworks 5.0 release, debuting this week, includes a People View Management Interface. Spiceworks claims that the interface:
"allows IT pros to monitor, manage and provision computers and cloud services based on the people who use them within the organization. IT pros can quickly identify a user’s personal machine, email service and usage, help desk ticket history, recently requested purchases, and more -- all from a consumer-like interface.
People View also provides Active Directory management capabilities by integrating with Microsoft Active Directory, which allows IT pros to automate the population of employee profile and account information from directly within Spiceworks."
Reality CheckDoes Spiceworks 5.0 work as advertised? I have no idea. As regular MSPmentor readers realize, I don't actually test this software. And I'm not sure if other RMM tools offer that people-centric view of IT management.
Still, we've been keeping our eye on Spiceworks. The company claims more than 1 million IT professionals use the Spiceworks platform. Generally speaking, I think corporate IT administrators are the largest user base, but Spiceworks has been reaching out to MSPs more frequently lately.
The MSP-centric push will likely continue at this week's Spiceworks Spiceworld conference (Oct. 21-22, Austin, Texas). We'll be listening closely for more updates from the event.
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