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New Dell Kace Appliances Address Midmarket

Dell is rolling out a new line of Kace appliances to address the midmarket, along with "pay-as-you-grow" pricing. Kace consists of two families of easy-to-use appliances that meet system management needs, from initial computer deployment to ongoing management and retirement. Targeted at organizations with 1,000 to 3,500 endpoint systems, the K-Series Advanced Appliance line that features quad-core Xeon processors, RAID 5 configuration, high-speed drivers and redundant power supplies includes the K1100-ADV for system management and the K2100-ADV for system deployment. In addition, Dell has collapsed its standard and enterprise support packages into one, ProSupport, which includes unified 24/5 assistance from the company's maintenance and support team.

Under Dell's stewardship, the Kace customer base has grown from 1,200 to more than 4,600 in the past year, and the recent acquisition has just started to expand beyond its U.S. base. A dedicated website is now available in four new countries--China, France, Germany and Japan--and the company will continue to expand its international footprint by localizing its solutions in additional countries within Europe and Latin America throughout 2012.

Dell broadened its SMB capabilities in July with the launch of the M300 Asset Management Appliance to address routine IT tasks such as hardware and software inventory, software license compliance, and asset tracking and management. In April, it enhanced the K1000 Management Appliance software (Version 5.3) with easier license management, new Dell warranty integration and an improved Windows agent that simplifies deployment to Windows-based systems.

Between 60% and 70% of customers purchase both appliances, says Dell. The company is also offering a buy-back program for customers with existing appliances, which will probably attract 10% to 20% of its customers who either will want to replace aging hardware or are growing and/or want to future-proof their Kace investments.

The midmarket is a huge opportunity, says Steve Brasen, managing research director for Enterprise Management Associates. EMA defines the midmarket on the low end as organizations with greater than 100 employees and on the high end as businesses that earn less than the top 1,000 revenue makers (i.e., the Fortune 1000). According to the U.S. Census bureau, this range includes roughly 100,000 businesses in the United States alone.

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