Spiceworks announced new developments to its suite of free IT tools, including AI-powered insights and an on-premises version of its help desk application to provide better security and performance for high-volume ticket environments.
The announcements were made at Spiceworks’ annual conference, SpiceWorld, where Spiceworks also reaffirmed its commitment to its community, free tools, and data protection following the recent acquisition by Ziff Davis B2B.
The biggest announcement regarding its tools was that the help desk product, previously available as a free online cloud-based portal, is now available in an on-prem version called the Spiceworks Help Desk Server. This initial version is only available for download as a virtual appliance and has most of the features of the online product – including the end-user self-service portal, AD integration, and multi-site support – but is missing the Insights, knowledgebase, and mobile app.
Other announcements include AI-powered intelligence features that will be used throughout the online community and the suite of products. The help desk tool will take advantage of AI functionality to analyze ticket patterns to flag potential problems and connect users with a relevant vendor to provide a solution.
Finally, an update to the inventory management tool will alert users when vendor contracts are about to expire or if they have too many software licenses, which will help to increase compliance.
While enterprise service desk products are focusing more on their cloud-based versions, the addition of an on-premises version of Spiceworks’ help desk tool should be welcomed by small enterprises that don’t have the bandwidth to make cloud applications run smoothly or that have cloud security concerns. Additional AI-powered insights should help users to get more out of the tool and move beyond basic ticketing to more analysis and prediction.
Of course, as a free tool, Spiceworks is still limited in comparison to enterprise-level products, but our SoftwareReviews data indicates that it is popular among its users, with an overall score of 8/10 and ranking of 7th out of 16 service management tools evaluated.
Source: Spiceworks at SoftwareReviews, Report Published February 2019
The new features and continued investment in the product should be good news to users who have been concerned since news of the acquisition, but they should continue to monitor tool requirements and ensure that their help desk tool enables rather than inhibits good service management processes.