In this post I’ll be sharing my Spiceworks Review for you. I’ve got years of experience with it, and while the last time I used it was some time ago. I recently revisited the product, and this Spiceworks Review is updated accordingly.
Spiceworks, in this implementation is what the MSP might use as an RMM (remote monitoring and maintenance) tool, which has an integrated help desk. There’s some other components I’ll review as well that make it a very (very) basic tool to help manage your clients’ devices.
The very first tool I used to monitor and manage the workstations I was responsible for was Spiceworks. When we’re starting up, we probably have a lot more potential in our backs than our wallets. That means the solutions we choose are more about saving money than being easy to use or feature rich.
To start, we need some software agents for the monitored devices. Spiceworks today has a cloud that eliminates the need for a Spiceworks server locally, which all the sites can connect to. This can better help ensure uptime and accessibility as it takes your local network’s reliability out of the equation.
How does it Help?
Spiceworks helped us almost exclusively by having sites (clients) and a helpdesk. We could capture the labor and work explanations of what we were doing. From these helpdesk logs we could transcribe that into invoices.
There is also an uptime monitoring feature complete with an alert system so you can be notified if a customer’s device or site loses connectivity. Internet problems are common among smaller businesses you might be serving. This monitoring feature can help you show your value to your clients quickly and effectively.
Spiceworks also has a contract tracking system for vendors such as domain registrars, web hosts, and other subscription services. Services that you need to keep track of contract terminations or automatic renewals can save you and your clients money.
The workstation and server inventory component provides what hardware and software is set up on the device. This information is helpful when needing to know what the total storage is, generation of hardware, and other upgrade information.
In the newer version I tested out for this Spiceworks review, there’s an integration to allow remote support to your end user devices. This integration is on a trial and is the only thing that would end up with a cost. The integration at the time of testing is through Zoho. It might be inexpensive enough to start with but will lack a lot of key features an MSP needs.
Not Good Long Term
Spiceworks is great for internal IT support organizations within a company. In my last IT admin job, it was incredibly helpful to manage the inventory of everything. It allowed me to keep track of the effort I put out on different devices as well.
As an MSP, it lacks some in many areas you would have an RMM for. Being able to perform software update management, is very important. You could use another tool to perform updates, but it might not be integrated into the dashboard. This is a natural progression for most MSP’s starting out. Having a diverse set of tools which are specialized individually but require the tech to review several different dashboards.
The help desk component does not integrate into any billing software. So, you can generate reports on work performed but you’ll have to then parse that somehow into your invoicing system for billing. Same with the inventory if you are charging a flat rate per device under contract. This can get time consuming but when you start out, it is a good tradeoff until you are more profitable.
As mentioned in this Spiceworks review, the remote support is lackluster and needs features which allow an MSP to work efficiently. Features like remote command line, service & process controls, and remote event viewer allow direct access without interrupting the customer. Other areas such as integration into a single dashboard or single-click access from the RMM to the device are also great features for busy techs.
Plan to Grow
Every business owner should consider the growth road map of growth of their business. You do not buy a Mercedes office car on day one, you are not going to have the fancy MSP tools on day one either. They are expensive and have features designed to save time in a busy environment, not when you are out hustling for business.
Spiceworks can be a valuable first tool when starting out, but it will not be the last. It won’t be long after you get some demos of the MSP-designed tools before you will be even more motivated to grow!
I hope you enjoyed this Spiceworks Review and if you have experience with this tool or other low-cost, MSP Startup-oriented tools, please let me know! I’m always eager to learn something new and there seems to be something every day in this space.