What is our primary use case?
We have KACE SMA and KACE SDA. The SMA is to image all of our desktops. There are 3,000 desktops, and we use KACE SMA for Windows imaging and security patching and updates. We're using KACE SDA for our software library, so our client base can go to the software library and install software from there. We're using the support component and the trouble ticket system.
How has it helped my organization?
It increases security. We can target any machine or any device that is connected to it and update security if there is a vulnerability that comes out, especially this day of cyber attack. If we're notified by a vendor of vulnerabilities, we can push out an update within minutes. It has really increased the security of the network.
It is easy to use and pretty intuitive. It is pretty much a GUI interface. Its ease of use has affected the time to value because we can get our staff quickly up to speed on all of the components and how to support it best. Because it has a graphical user interface and is easy to use, it really decreases the training time and increases our efficiency in implementing things.
It provides a single pane of glass for everything that we need for endpoint management of all our devices, which has made things more secure. It gives us full visibility into every endpoint device that has the KACE agent on it.
It saves a lot of time. It has probably saved us a good month of person-time a year. It also saved a lot of training and a lot of lost productivity, not only for the technical staff but also for the staff, students, and faculty.
We also use KACE SDA, and it is fantastic for automating our deployments. We can literally push out an image to all 3,000 desktops at the same time and have everything imaged and done within three hours.
What is most valuable?
All of the features are valuable. We find everything we're using very valuable because they increase security and efficiency.
It is excellent in terms of updating and configuring everything the way we need. For anything more complex, we do professional service engagements, and they're exceptional. For anything less complex, we just need to ask questions. Their support division is extremely good too.
If we have any issues, we've had great success with their professional services team and their support team. Their technical support is excellent. They're very responsive and fast. Within an hour of initiating a support request, we've got somebody on it.
What needs improvement?
The only pain point I have is with their salespeople. They call too often. They're too aggressive in trying to upsell. We know what we need, and we know if we want to expand. I don't mind quarterly calls from them, but sometimes, it is weekly. They need to get their sales team under control. The main goal of their support people and professional services is to make sure they deliver the service, and they deliver it well, whereas their salespeople are so interested in making a sale that they're wasting my time.
We did look at MDM, and I was misguided by their salespeople. When I talked to their tactical people, I found out that I hadn't been given the full picture on MDM, and it wouldn't have been what we wanted if we had moved forward with it. I really value their technical services, their professional services, and their support services, but their sales team needs to really up their game and not phone every week.
For how long have I used the solution?
I have been using this solution for three years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
It is extremely stable. We've never had any downtime. There has never been any unexpected downtime with the KBOX, SDA, or SMA. They just seem to be extremely robust.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
We're asking for it to be scalable for up to 10,000 end-user devices. When we purchased it, it was for 3,000 with scalability of up to 10,000. We haven't tried to scale up that much yet, but they say we're sized appropriately for that.
How are customer service and technical support?
We use Quest's Premier Support for KACE solutions. The biggest value of having Premier Support is the response time. Their response time is phenomenal. We've never created a support ticket that they haven't responded to within an hour and resolved. They're professionals. Their support team is extremely knowledgeable.
Their Premier Support has added value to our overall investment in the Quest solution. Their responsiveness and their technical skillsets are amazing.
Their Premier Support had an influence in purchasing additional licenses or additional products from Quest. We decided to customize the support desk component because the first implementation of just the standard SMA stuff was so good. We also implemented a Request for Change and a custom Request for Service based on how greatly satisfied we were with the KBOX, their support, and their professional services. If it wasn't for all of those three things, we wouldn't have looked at expanding.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We used Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT). It just wasn't scalable enough for us, and it also wasn't customizable enough for us.
We used SCCM as well. It is much more complex, and it takes a lot of end-user training. That's why we decided to go with KACE.
After using other products, we want to stay with KACE. Earlier, we had a separate Request for Change application and a separate support system. We merged all those into KACE. It saved us a lot of money and a lot of time, and everything is central for our client base. They go to one spot in the self-service user portal, and everything is right there. This consolidation has probably saved us a couple hundred thousand a year. It is hard for us to do money points because anything that's Microsoft, such as MDT, SCCM, we get free through the Department of National Defense Microsoft Enterprise agreement. For us, there are no costs.
How was the initial setup?
It was straightforward, but we did engage professional services.
In terms of the implementation strategy, we wanted the support component configured for all of our different support queues. We were asking for customizations, and it took about two weeks for the professional services person to implement them based on our requirements, but out of the box, everything is easy. We just had a bunch of customizations made.
What about the implementation team?
We engaged professional services.
What was our ROI?
We have seen a return on investment. It is the fact that my IT staff can come quickly up to speed on the KACE appliance. It doesn't require a lot of in-depth training. It is fast to implement and get people trained on and able to support. It is also fast to get end-users using the self-service portal.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
Based on other solutions that we had implemented, its pricing seems to be quite competitive. It is not inexpensive, but it is also not more expensive than any other solution. They have the standard licensing fees and support fees.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We evaluated several other solutions, including support desk solutions, and we settled on KACE just because of their ability to customize what we need. Their professional service is excellent, and so is their support, so we decided to go with KACE.
What other advice do I have?
We found other municipal companies in the area that were using it, and we went and met with them to get their use cases and their experience. If anyone is looking into using it, I would recommend talking to people who have implemented it and seeing if it's going to meet their needs. I highly recommended it as a chosen solution, just for the fact that it's end-to-end. It's extremely robust and reliable, and their professional services and their support teams are stellar.
I would rate Quest KACE Systems Management a 10 out of 10.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?