Professional sysadmin network company Spiceworks has hosted its Spiceworld technical user conference this week in Austin, Texas. Although starting with a focus on systems administrators (sysadmins), Spiceworks has been in operation since 2006 and the firm's CEO and founder Scott Abel says that his strategy will now look to increasingly embrace sysadmins, software application developers, and related tech family roles in areas such as database administration.
In this regard, the firm used its 2014 convention to debut the Spiceworks App Center, a route for users to find, research, and buy applications and cloud services directly. The App Center offers a set of APIs designed to allow programmers to build functionality on top of existing Spiceworks products or those supplied by partners to the firm's core network.
Developer Program Formalized
Additionally, the company has now formalized its developer program to allow vendors and independent developers to offer (free and paid) applications and services to members within the network. Given the rise of what we might now call specialized vertical social networks (SVSN, if the naming convention sticks), this is Spiceworks suggesting that GitHub itself is a social network for programmers as it now develops to become a wider resource in that same vein.
Technology brands such as Microsoft, Rackspace, IBM, Box, Lenovo, Micron, AlienVault, LastPass, OpenDNS, Okta, CompTIA, Unitrends, Pertino, Cylance, ITWatchDogs, Pluralsight, and WatchDox are supporting the new program and the firms push to extend its scope.
"Millions of IT professionals already rely on Spiceworks for the technical information, peer feedback, and vendor connections they need to make an informed purchasing decision," said Abel. "The new App Center takes the Spiceworks experience one step further by streamlining how 6 million IT professionals research, buy and use IT apps and cloud services."
Okay, so this was an annual convention and you expect a little industry showboating as firms in this position generally like to tout a few grow statistics. The company reports that in the last year, IT professionals have collectively spent more than 6 billion minutes using Spiceworks to research the latest IT products and cloud services, connect with peers and vendors, and to manage their technology environment.
These same users have contributed more than 250,000 product ratings and reviews, engaged in over 450,000 discussions with peers and technology brands, and (in the last three months) have read Spiceworks' buying guides more than 200,000 times.
"The launch of the Spiceworks App Center represents yet another way Spiceworks is simplifying everything IT. The App Center will enable Spiceworks users to extend the functionality of the Spiceworks platform by installing plugins, new IT apps and their favorite cloud services, all from a single interface. New APIs give major technology brands and independent developers a unique way to offer IT professionals both free and for-fee applications they need to do their jobs," said the company, in a press statement.
Users can expect new free apps to be introduced this year, and support for paid applications will be available in Q1 2015.