Spiceworks, the provider of IT Management software for small and medium businesses, has announced a new partner program with which they are reaching out to cloud vendors to let their users use Spiceworks management interface to manage their cloud services. With supposedly 1,000,000 IT professionals from SMB sector using their software, this presents a good opportunity for cloud service providers to reach out to the SMB sector.
The idea behind the partner program is to get all the major cloud providers on board and offer an unified dashboard to the Spiceworks customers to manage their IT. With a single unified interface, they will be able to manage different cloud providers and their on-premise IT including various desktops running Windows, Linux and OSX. To do this, they have offered integration APIs and services which the cloud providers can use to integrate their services. Right now, they have signed up Rackspace, HP and Symantec. Soon they will add more partners including some of the major cloud service providers.
The program offer three tiers of participation for the cloud vendors. They are
- Cloud Services Inventory and Monitoring – provides basic account and service information for cloud service offerings
- Cloud Management Plug-ins – allows cloud services vendors to deliver custom plug-ins for Spiceworks that give users additional granular management and monitoring capabilities.
- Cloud Service Distribution – distributes management capabilities for cloud services to 1 million IT pros by integrating the ability to add, manage and monitor cloud services within the Spiceworks application. Integration APIs enable categories of services, such as hosted email, remote management, and security to be built into Spiceworks.
This could be a pretty convenient tool for small and medium businesses as they move their infrastructure to cloud. I asked the Spiceworks folks if they have plans to offer a SaaS offering. They told me that right now they are focussing more on the on-premise installable software because most of their clients have significant on-premise resources. They further added that as more and more people move their entire IT to the clouds, they will consider offering a SaaS version.