KACE Midmarket Appliance Plugs Hole In Dell Lineup
Dell’s acquisition of KACE earlier this year netted the computing behemoth hardware and expertise to help it penetrate the systems management space. Problem was, KACE’s product lineup required a certain level of expertise to set up and manage, and a good number of Dell customers were of the plug-and-play variety. So, what’s Dell’s KACE strategy? Here are some clues.
The latest version of KACE’s K1000 management appliance remedies that issue, said Chip Lawson, Dell KACE K1000 product manager. “There was a gap … we had a real gap at the bottom [of our customer base] – that mid-tier organization that doesn’t have the people who can install software from scratch,” he said. “Our customers and our channel partners said this is a piece we need to complete our portfolio. Now we have a continuum, from one PC through the largest enterprise.”
The K1000 supports both Mac OS and Windows systems, enabling power management for both OSes to be configured and enforced simultaneously, and produces pre-defined reports that display energy savings – a nice feature for companies pounding the green IT drum.
In addition, the appliance now features service-desk functionality consistent with ITIL best practices.
“ITIL is a process-based, proactive approach to systems management,” said Rob Meinhardt, president of Dell KACE. “Basically we’re thinking of systems management as a service. We enhanced our service desk capabilities to create a simple process for multiple tasks, such as employee onboarding. The service desk now includes built-in processes, built-in workflows and built-in sequencing. There’s a huge improvement in time savings for the company and an improvement in service for the end user.”
The appliance also now includes Enhanced Smart Label technology, which dynamically groups managed machines for easier reporting and improved automated policy-based management.
All of these features are built-in and ready to use, rather than sold as components as in previous versions, Meinhardt said.
“With this release we made the decision to bundle all functionality to make it easier for our partners,” he said.
KACE channel partners who signed up with Dell’s channel partner program will be able to sell the K1000, which Meinhardt said is just about the entire KACE partner community. (Related story: Dell’s channel growing at twice the industry average?)
“KACE built its penetration strategy on back of the channel,” he said. “Even those who didn’t have relationship with Dell in past signing up with Dell to continue to sell KACE products.
“We still have substantive part of business going through the channel and in fact have made a commitment to double the number of people who are focused on channel development,” Meinhardt added. “We are committed to continuing to bring leads to our channel partners.”
The latest version of the K1000 is available as of May 25 at a list price of $8,900 for a 100-node appliance. Individual additional nodes are also available for purchase.