Bull's Eye Awards: MSP Enabler of the Year
Spiceworks is an anomaly in the IT, managed services and media worlds. It’s part Web-based network management tools, part social network and collaboration platform, and part content distribution and marketing company all within a Web 2.0 wrapper. And, apparently, it’s the home of the largest managed services community in the world.
Spiceworks is one of the most successful attempts of offering free professional network and IT tools that are underwritten by marketing messages, such as display advertisements and sponsored white papers. Since its inception in 2007, the community created by a group of former IBMers has grown to more than 750,000 end users—mostly small businesses with limited IT budgets and resources. Spiceworks stunned the channel earlier this year when it announced it had the largest managed services community, numbering more than 65,000 solution provider professionals. While some skeptics still find that number hard to believe, there is no escaping that the Spiceworks’ community is a vibrant and growing number of very small solution providers that leverage its tools to deliver remote managed services.
Many conventional managed services enablement vendors are using Spiceworks for recruiting new partners. While Spiceworks management says it will continue to develop and improve its tools for managed services, many of the very small Spiceworks MSPs will likely graduate to more robust, professional platforms. What makes Spiceworks interesting to watch is the steady improvement in features and functionality, as well as the breadth of activity among its MSP members. Spiceworks is simply an organization that cannot be ignored, and for that it has earned the Channel Insider Challenger Bull’s Eye Award for Managed Services Enabler of the Year.