Recurring problems with a company's computer system can make IT managers a target of collective anger and frustration, often unfairly. To help IT teams at smaller firms cope with troubleshooting the latest hardware and software tools, Austin-based Spiceworks has unveiled a new IT desktop.

Available for free at, the collaborative program includes a network inventory feature to keep track of your company's IT system, and a helpdesk service to manage help requests and assign trouble tickets. IT managers can also set up alerts for potential problems, like anti-virus updates or printers with low toner, and share reports with other employees.

At the same time, SpiceLists helps separate IT departments share tips with one another, review the latest products, swap custom reports and search for solutions.

For more information, go to

High-Tech HR

SuccessFactors, a San Mateo-based human resources software firm, this week unveiled a spruced-up version of its small and midsize business applications suite.

The SuccessFactors Professional Edition ULTRA includes a glossier interface, an opportunity for employees to connect on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, and a feature called The Dynamic Org Chart that gives employers access to reports and worker profiles through an interactive, flash-based interface. The software is designed for companies with fewer than 500 employees.

On Thursday, the company is offering a free Webinar to introduce the program's new features. Register at The Professional Edition costs $125 per year.

Power Women

Next month, women business owners in the Detroit Area are invited to participate in "Power Tools for Women," a day-long seminar offering guidelines on how to have a bigger impact on political issues that affect businesses, including tips on networking with public officials.

Co-hosted by the National Association of Women Business Owners and the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women, the event features speakers from General Motors, Fleishman/Hillard, and the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women.

The seminar takes place on Aug. 5 and costs $99. To register, go to