July 14, 2011
Spiceworks, the free help desk and remote management platform, is getting an update in the form of a Request for Quote (RFQ) feature. The RFQ capability brings the purchasing of business technology and services out to the social network. Here’s the scoop.
The idea is to enable SMBs in particular to simplify the IT purchasing process. Just put in your RFQ, and the vendors and service providers — from laptops to cloud services — on the Spiceworks network will provide quotes. If you want feedback from your peers, Spiceworks enables that, too. And when you find what you like, Spiceworks will facilitate placing the order, according to the press release.
CDW is the first distributor and service provider to link its catalog with the Spiceworks RFQ network, but that integration isn’t necessary: Spiceworks supports simply receiving the RFQ and responding in kind with the quote. And users can submit these requests anonymously.
For service providers: the opportunity represented is two-fold: Especially for those MSPs who have made the leap into cloud services, there’s a tremendous potential to find new hosted services customers. And on the other side of the coin, it cloud be a way to figure out exactly the best way to fill a gap in your offering for customers in that elusive “trusted advisor” capacity.
It looks like Spiceworks is putting its recent successful $25 million funding round to work with this feature, which takes the platform in a different direction entirely than its RMM roots. We’ll be watching to see if the new RFQ service attempts to compete with Autotask’s VARstreet, CNet’s Channel Online and the OnForce marketplace.
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