just one more geek in a sea of austin techies

June 20, 2011

Unplugged...again! (Spiceworks and AMD)

I've been tapped to sit on the next Spiceworks Unplugged panel, this time for a private AMD event.  The last panel I sat on was a *blast* and the Dell folks I talked to afterward seemed pretty pleased with the event.  Looking back at my post following that Unplugged event, however, I now realize that I never actually got around to mentioning what Spiceworks is...

A free, agentless, Windows-based network discovery / monitoring tool. Install on a PC, provide network credentials and let it go.  

At least, that's what Spiceworks was several years ago.  These days it is also a respectable Helpdesk application and the underlying driver of a very useful technical community -- a broad array of very active (90,000+ discussions) and informative tech forums.  There are a slew of smaller-but-handy functions baked into the product such as network mapping, report generation, AD user integration and more -- too many features to go into in a short blog post (read more here).

Spiceworks still performs its core functions of network discovery and monitoring but these days you can remotely access those functions both from the web as well as from native iPhone and Android apps.  The latest major feature:  integrated product quote gathering and purchase-process workflows (already added but still being improved upon with a number of planned upgrades in the works). Spiceworks is actively building out its vendor partnerships and is working to make it easier for SMBs to research, compare, purchase and track products and product licenses.  If you are a Dell shop you're in particularly good shape as Dell was one of the first major vendors to get some integration features.

To summarize:  Spiceworks is a product that demands to be taken for a test drive considering its small footprint (no agents to deploy), easy setup and low, low price (free!)  Even if you don't end up using the product the Spiceworks Community forums are a treasure trove of valuable information, product feedback and ready-to-help techies.

No comments:

Post a Comment