Spiceworks Releases Enterprise Management Software, for Free of Course
The idea behind the design of the Network Monitor is to provide high-level network metrics available at a glance to network managers. The software has the ability to generate alerts when important metrics go awry. Those alerts can be customized to each network, Babbitt said. "Is the problem important enough to come back from lunch early?" is the basic idea for prioritization. Babbitt said that the design was kept simple because the companies that use most of Spiceworks' products have small IT staffs. "Most didn't want pinpoint details," Babbitt said. "Managers don't have time. They need to know basic information. There are a lot of super capable products, and we're trying not to be that. We wanted to do a good job of doing basic stuff." A large portion of the Spiceworks Community is made up of what Babbitt called "accidental IT." He said that in many smaller companies, the only IT person probably has had no training at all and is handling the IT burden as part of his or her overall duties. In many cases, he said, one person makes up the whole IT staff. "We want to open up the platform so anyone can use it," Babbitt said. "We want an approachable app."The Network Monitor is remarkable enough, but what is more remarkable is that it's totally free. In the process of giving away its software for free, Spiceworks has accumulated more than 6 million users and hired over 330 employees. The company doesn't disclose its revenues, so we don't know for sure that it's profitable, but it appears to be. In the process of giving away its products, Spiceworks is already growing in the size of its user base and influence in ways other companies would envy.
The Spiceworks Network Monitor appears to be a well-designed and useful application that should work in most businesses. In fact, it's also designed so that it can be downloaded, installed and put to work by anyone, regardless of whether they had any IT or computer science or security training.