Hosted IT management platform Spiceworks is attempting to simplify the IT purchasing process with a new feature announced today: the ability to request quotes from vendors from inside Spiceworks. The Request for Quote will enable Spiceworks users to solicit quotes, share quotes with other stakeholders and place orders from within Spiceworks.
Considering how time consuming the purchasing process can be, we expect this to be a welcome feature.
Request a Quote features:
- Anonymous quote requests.
- Multi-vendor support.
- Sharing with co-workers, but soon sharing outside the company will be possible.
- Templates so that requests can be re-used.
This feature also helps inch Spiceworks towards becoming a vendor relationship management (VRM) solution for IT. However, since Spiceworks is funded by vendor sponsorships it may violate a key principal of VRM as set out by Doc Searls - that of VRM tools being customer tools, not vendor tools.