Spiceworks Adds Free IT Pro Concierge to Service Lineup
The company keeps track of the members' expertise in the user group and are able to approach those members to help their peers. One typical action that might be taken by the concierge would be to pair a more experienced IT manager with another manager with a similar type of shop. Many of the connections are simply peer-to-peer pairings where one IT manager helps out another. But Eitel said that the Spiceworks concierge also is able to help put an IT pro in contact with a service provider such as a consultant or hardware or software vendor. A Spiceworks spokesperson told me of a number of areas in which the concierge staff was able to help, including planning project launches, planning ways to communicate IT projects to management and even kick-starting major projects. I asked Eitel if anyone else had ever done anything like this, and he said that they hadn’t. “Some vendors offer bits and pieces,” he said, adding that when available, the services usually were very expensive. Eitel said that one key area in which Spiceworks was getting strong buy-in from providers is in helping IT professionals figure out what tasks needed professional help, and then organizing the help so that the tasks could be done as quickly and as cheaply as possible.Spiceworks has set up an extensive partner network in concert with its wide- ranging user network, and the concierge service is a way to leverage the capabilities of both. As in the case of a number of other big software companies, Spiceworks has an active user community that gets deeply involved with the products. It’s the enthusiastic members of the user community who show up at SpiceWorld with their costumes to help show support. Those users were the ones who thought up the orange Tyrannosaurus Rex, affectionately known as “SpiceRex” that was a common sight at the show. Oh, and about that new CEO. Unlike other companies, when Spiceworks gets a new CEO, the old one doesn’t leave. So when Scott Abel got tired of being the CEO, he simply turned the job over to his unsuspecting co-founder Jay Hallberg and became “Chief Strategy Officer.” During the conference there were rumors, quickly killed by Hallberg, that Spiceworks was going public. I think that the Spiceworks faithful don’t realize that taking the company public would certainly kill the innovation that makes the company what it is. How long do you think stockholders and institutional investors would stand for giving products and services away for free?
SpiceAgents are employees who take care of IT staffs that need help. These people seem to have a nearly unlimited charter and they can be summoned with nothing more than a phone call or an email or by clicking on the AtYourService link on the website.