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Dell Enhances Popular Kace Management Appliance

Acquired less than a year ago, the Dell Kace K1000 Management Appliance line, which combines general system management features with specific endpoint security features, is getting a face-lift. The most significant updates to version 5.3 include easier license management, new Dell warranty integration and an improved Windows agent that simplifies deployment to Windows-based systems.

Based on Gartner data, about 20 percent of purchased software ends up being shelfware, so managing software better can save a lot of money and resources, says Dell.
Last December, the company released a new version of the other member of the Kace portfolio, the K2000 Deployment Appliance, a Microsoft Windows 7 deployment and Windows XP migration product.

According to the recent Gartner report, Magic Quadrant for PC Configuration Life Cycle Management Tools, the PCCLM market was worth $2.2 billion last year, with Windows 7 migration expected to drive this market for the next 12 to 24 months. The research company says Kace was the first vendor in the PCCLM market to have a successful appliance-based product and is still the only appliance that has seen significant market adoption.

The business unit has flourished under Dell's stewardship, and looks poised for even more growth. Having acquired 1,100 customers in its first five years of existence, the company has added more than 1,300 new customers in the year it has been part of Dell, and that's primarily just in North America. Kace has almost doubled its staff under Dell, and has almost as many openings it's looking to fill. The company is also in the process of expanding its marketing efforts to Europe, with Asia to follow shortly.

There are two principle drivers: value and marketing channels, says Steve Brasen, senior analyst, Enterprise Management Associates. "The Kace appliances offer a tremendous value when considering the breadth of their support coupled with their aggressive pricing models. This is particularly true when factoring in infrastructure costs. Since the Kace appliances are all self-contained, they do not require server hardware, operating systems, and SQL licenses like many of their competitors. This makes the product set very attractive to budget-conscious organizations that need an economical solution to support broad client life cycle management requirements."

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