Dell KACE Bolsters Technologies as it Looks to Add Partners

The VAR Guy

April 21, 2011

3 Min Read
Dell KACE Bolsters Technologies as it Looks to Add Partners

Dell has made some sweet moves in the channel space over the past few years, not the least of which was its acquisition of KACE in February 2010. The VAR Guy was bullish on the buy then, and the subsequent increase in channel partners and customers alike gives our resident blogger reason to believe he was right. Part of its success so far is due to Dell’s nurturing of the KACE network and systems management family. Read on for the latest on the company and the technology …

Since Dell acquired KACE in Feburary of 2010, KACE has doubled the amount of customers it does business with, from about 1,300 to 2,600, said Ken Drachnik, director of Product Marketing at Dell KACE (and who, as you may recall, joined the company in July 2010 from Canonical). In the September 2011 time frame, the company plans to expand into France, Germany and Japan. KACE’s growth so far, Drachnik said, has been like a “halo effect around Dell.”

Dell KACE’s partner base has expanded as well, Drachnik noted, with about 110 partners currently on board — a number the company hopes to increase as it looks to shift more of its sales to its partner base. “Dell recently has been working on the channel,” he said. “Ten [percent] to 15 percent of [Dell KACE] is [sold through the] channel. The goal is to increase that, but that’s where we are today.”

One of the latest offerings available to channel partners is the K1000, KACE’s flagship offering. The K1000 is a systems management appliance that supports Windows, Mac OS X and Red Hat Linux. (The VAR Guy jokingly wondered why Ubuntu wasn’t supported, and Drachnik said he’s been asking for it for a while.) The latest update gives the K1000 warranty-tracking abilities for Dell computers, as well as better hardware inventory and software asset controls to help a company stay compliant with software licenses and more. Drachnik noted that 20 percent of IT costs are often “shelf-ware,” or unused licenses that are going to waste, and the K1000 can help track down and curb those costs.

Plus, the appliance is both easy to use and set up, Drachnik said, going so far as to call it the “TiVo of network appliances.” (The VAR Guy wonders whether that was the best analogy, since TiVos were notoriously difficult to set up and aren’t really around anymore.) “There’s no big training and customization,” he said. “Install the appliance within a day, and people can see an ROI in under six months.”

The K1000 is also available as a virtual appliance, and partners can offer it to their prospective customers as a full-featured 30-day trial — a great selling tool to get those customers off the fence.

The VAR Guy won’t bore you with the tech specs of the K1000, but here are a few of the high points:

  • Enhanced Reporting System: Web-based reporting engine that can be accessed from any browser equipped device, including tablets and handheld devices. An updated interface allows for quicker identification of compliance violations.

  • Dell Warranty Integration: Dell KACE appliances now integrate with Dell Warranty cloud-based services, allowing IT users to see the realtime status of all Dell warranties per computer and build hardware policies on those figures.

  • Improved Windows Agent: The new Windows agent no longer requires the .NET framework to be installed, improving flexibility and platform compatibility in deployment.

The updated K1000 is slated for May 2011 available with a starting price of $8,9000 for 100 nodes, or a straight-up price of $89,000 for the appliance. Drachnik noted there are special price points available depending on the situation.

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