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9/15/2010
10:30 AM
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Social Networking Functions Come To Network Management

Social networking tools, such Facebook, Twitter, et, al., have made a significant mark on how many software application are built. Consequently, Spiceworks has incorporated some of these products' design concepts in its network management and help desk system.

Social networking tools, such Facebook, Twitter, et, al., have made a significant mark on how many software application are built. Consequently, Spiceworks has incorporated some of these products' design concepts in its network management and help desk system.In the latest release of its management tool, the vendor included People View, a function that outlines how employees use IT resources. An IT Profile page depicts what technology assets, cloud services, account data and business information each employee works with. With one click, network administrators can identify a user's system, Rackspace login, or recently requested purchase items. The feature includes Active Directory Integration. The People View features have been integrated with other Spicework's interfaces: inventory, monitoring, helpdesk and network mapping. In addition, a password reset feature enables administrators to reset employees' passwords more easily, and support staff can now remotely reset passwords through an end-user portal.

Spiceworks took a novel approach to delivering management tools to small and medium businesses. Rather than a traditional licensing model, the company offers its software for free and generates revenue through an advertising based model. Founded in 2006, the vendor claims that more than 1 million IT professionals and 150,000 IT service providers rely on its product to manage their networks.

The company has been at the forefront of Web 2.0 development, focusing on developing a strong user community and relying on various tools to solicit user input on items, such as product design. Consequently, the People View function fits in with the company's focus. How much interest businesses will have in the new feature is unclear. Network technicians have been trained to examine information in a certain manner and will have to change their outlook in order to take advantage of People View.

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