As Spiceworks yesterday announced new AI capabilities on its platform that it hopes will "power personalized experiences at scale" and offer technology vendors and end users a more streamlined discovery process, the firm is also working to design and build further processes that MSPs can utilize in order to connect with other MSPs and potential clients, Manish Dixit, SVP of product and engineering at Spiceworks told Channelnomics in an interview at SpiceWorld 2018 in Austin, TX.
Dixit explained that the aim is that from an MSP perspective, when the Spiceworks platform is suggesting technology that MSPs should be adopting to sell in to clients, it could also identify MSPs operating in the same area or industry that have worked with the technology being researched. Likewise, the platform would connect MSPs with relevant IT professionals that would hopefully be potential customers.
"From an MSP perspective, we could see the same pace when we are suggesting to IT professionals about the technology they should be adopting, we can suggest 'hey, here are the MSPs in your area or in your industry that have done that' or 'here are the MSPs that have worked with technology that you already have or will have'," Dixit explained. "It will directly make them connect, because depending on the IT pro and the business they're in, they might just want to directly contact MSPs and work with them, and we will do everything to make sure that happens."
Importantly, there needs to be a business problem that needs to be solved, Dixit pointed out, "because if we can make sure there's a business problem that needs to be solved, then the IT pro is much more willing to have the conversation", he noted.
The insight for businesses about what they should be adopting and/or with whom they should be working is part of Spiceworks' vision for what its platform will be able to provide, Dixit said, noting that this feature will likely come to fruition within the next one to three years.
"We'll start experimenting with a few things as we go along. We have already tested a few ideas," the SVP told Channelnomics. "What we are doing is running natural language processing on top of topics and then figuring out what products have been recommended in those topics, saving time for IT pros so that that way they can get to the product they need very quickly. So if you look through the language text, you can go and identify what is mentioned in that, and this is part of AI and machine learning."
The aim, said Dixit, is to make the process "more organic than forceful".
"We want it to be like 'as part of my buying process, I happen to know an MSP who has done that job', which is a much better conversation than it kind of being forced upon you," he noted.
The developments are expected to start to appear on the platform "in some shape or form" within a year, Dixit said, noting that until ideas are tested, the firm doesn't know what will work and what won't.
"We have some assumptions around some of the things that will work for IT professionals, but what we will do is experiment and make sure it fits with their needs and then find out if that works or not," he explained. "If it works, we will scale it and we will make it available to a lot more people."
Spiceworks survey shows large firms are investing in tools, while SMBs spend on processes
What's been happening this week on Channelnomics?
Daily tech news and analysis channel partners need to know including Huawei's AI launches, Spiceworks' Inventory, Jonar's channel plans and more
Commcercial sales see uptick, consumer sales take dip