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Quest KACE Systems Management OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Quest KACE Systems Management is #2 ranked solution in top Patch Management tools, #3 ranked solution in top Configuration Management tools, and #5 ranked solution in top Endpoint Compliance tools. IT Central Station users give Quest KACE Systems Management an average rating of 8 out of 10. Quest KACE Systems Management is most commonly compared to Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager:Quest KACE Systems Management vs Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager. Quest KACE Systems Management is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 75% of users researching this solution on IT Central Station. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 24% of all views.
What is Quest KACE Systems Management?

The KACE Systems Management Appliance provides a growing organization with comprehensive management of network-connected devices, including servers, PCs, Macs, Chromebooks, tablets, printers, storage, networking gear and the Internet of Things (IoT). KACE can fulfill all of the organization's systems management needs, from initial deployment to ongoing management and retirement.

Quest KACE Systems Management is also known as Dell KACE Systems Management.

Quest KACE Systems Management Buyer's Guide

Download the Quest KACE Systems Management Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2021

Quest KACE Systems Management Customers

Waypoint, Mattos Filho, Meetic, Gems Education, Green Clinic HealthSystem, Service King

Quest KACE Systems Management Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Quest KACE Systems Management pricing:
  • "We are a university. So, we have a very good price for the system. I think the price for the system is worth it because of the security patch management. The security patch management is very important for us. The price is very good for KACE SMA, the functionality you get, and the patch management."
  • "n terms of pricing and licensing, my advice is that you need to assess what you need and then look at what they offer. It's easy to get caught up in the things that you want, but don't really need."
  • "We need it, so we have to pay the price. It is what it is. If you need a gallon of milk, then you have to pay the price for it. You don't want to buy the cheap stuff. You want to buy the stuff that is organic and good for your body, which doesn't have all this other junk in it. You want it clean for your body. Quest has done that for our deployment and management systems."
  • "We pay annually for technical support."
  • "The pricing and licensing are good. It's worth it."
  • "The pricing is great. It's billed annually and it's very reasonable."
  • "Licensing is done on a per device basis, so it's dependent on how many agents you've got installed."
  • "We are also saving on the licensing fee, compared to other endpoint management solutions."

Quest KACE Systems Management Reviews

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Tim Herrmann
Laboringenieur / Computeringenieur at HTW Berlin
Real User
Top 20
We can see everything for the endpoint management of devices using a single interface

Pros and Cons

  • "The scripting part increases IT productivity because of the specialized software in our environments for students' courses. You need to use software which is not programmed by developers. A lot of software for building houses or other things is developed by normal guys, who do not have much skill in programming. When you need to install this type of software, it is very difficult. You have to install registry keys, etc. For that, it is very good to use the scripting part of this solution. So, you can automate this part as well."
  • "It is a little bit difficult to use the license compliances because you need to decide when you are using the software catalog if you are using it with their license compliance or the normal software part. Under the inventory, you can use software as a menu link or software catalog. Most of my specialist software is not in the software catalog. When I try to import them, in my license compliances overview, there are cryptic names for this software that I have to import. That is not very good for the reports that I use. When I take them to my bosses, they see cryptic names of software that they don't understand. It would be much better for me if I could use software and the software catalog as well for the license compliances."

What is our primary use case?

With KACE Systems Management, we can deploy this specialized software for students and teachers in separate computer rooms. In the beginning, we used a master PC. We edited one PC with all the usable software, then enrolled this master PC at the beginning of the semester. However, a big problem was when (in the middle of the semester) one of the teachers told us, "We needed another software," or, "We need updates." We did not have the possibility to go into the computer rooms during our work time. We had to do it at night and on the weekends. That was a big problem for us, so we looked for a solution to this problem. So, we installed the specialized software for the students and teachers in a short amount of time.

During the first years, we used the hardware/server from Dell in our environment. We then switched to the virtual appliance, which we use now in our network for one of my university's faculties.

It is a private cloud because we can't use a third-party cloud due to data protections for our university researchers.

How has it helped my organization?

There is a course for students where they learn to build buildings. They have to buy parts for the buildings: stones, wood, etc. The updates for the software come inside one semester, and we have two semesters in one year. Inside of a semester, there will be a very important update for the teacher. So, in April and October, we have to update this software during the semester. We get the new software and install it on one of our test PCs, then we create an executable file and ZIP file with all the configurations for our environment. Then, we distribute it with KACE Systems Management. 

With the information from KACE Systems Management, I am able to make a report. For example, in the next 30 days, if the pro support is running out, it is very important to see that because I can then extend the pro support for our hardware. In another example, the reports allow us to see if older software is not working after an update, which is also interesting and important for us.

The scripting part increases IT productivity because of the specialized software in our environments for students' courses. You need to use software which is not programmed by developers. A lot of software for building houses or other things is developed by normal guys, who do not have much skill in programming. When you need to install this type of software, it is very difficult. You have to install registry keys, etc. For that, it is very good to use the scripting part of this solution. So, you can automate this part as well.

What is most valuable?

  • Reports
  • The security part with updates
  • Patch management, because we can update all the standards and software in our environment. 
  • Asset management with license compliance 
  • The overview with all the Dell EMC-specialized information.

We use only Dell EMC hardware in our environment. Therefore, it is good for us to use a system which can read information from hardware.

It has a single interface for us to be able to see everything that we might need for the endpoint management of devices, which is absolutely important. We also use the single sign-on service. Of course, we have other systems in our environment which we use for DHCP servers and to manage other things, but for this kind of information, it is very good for us that there is only one system that I have to use; where I can see everything I need for asset management and license compliances as well as for the monitoring of the system, e.g., which system is active and which system maybe was not there in the last two or three days or weeks.

The asset management and license compliances are very important and good for us to see which software is over-licensed or under-licensed.

I use their patch management to look at the security of our systems. Because of the research programs and the researchers who use these software systems and the computer, that is all secured for intrusion detections or interventions from criminals. So, it is very important for us that the patch management is working 100 percent.

What needs improvement?

It is a little bit difficult to use the license compliances because you need to decide when you are using the software catalog if you are using it with their license compliance or the normal software part. Under the inventory, you can use software as a menu link or software catalog. Most of my specialist software is not in the software catalog. When I try to import them, in my license compliances overview, there are cryptic names for this software that I have to import. That is not very good for the reports that I use. When I take them to my bosses, they see cryptic names of software that they don't understand. It would be much better for me if I could use software and the software catalog as well for the license compliances. 

If it could be possible to use GUI to create reports, where I could drag and drop like in Microsoft Access where you can create reports, e.g., when you take columns from tables from the drag and drop menu, then you can slide it down in another area and sort columns or create new columns. This would be nice to see in the graphical user interface as well as be much more developed for the reporting part than it is at the moment.

For how long have I used the solution?

It has been at least 10 years. We started with the physical appliance from Dell.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a very stable system. In the last 10 years, there has been only one breach to the system. That was very quickly closed with the help of the technical support. I can't remember another problem with the system where it went down. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We can buy new licenses for clients. There is no problem to import these new clients into the environment, which is pretty nice.

We are using SMA at its full potential at the moment. It is also possible to import printers, and you don't need any extra licenses for that. This is a nice feature as well.

How are customer service and technical support?

What has been very good for me has been the ITNinja websites where I can look for information. For example, if I need something, then there has been a solution there. Also, the help system of the help sites inside of the KACE Systems Management Appliance are very helpful and easy to understand.

I use the support system of the KACE. So, I use the ticket system to stay in contact with KACE support, which has been very good for me. It has been very positive because they know what to do. Every time, I have had a solution in a couple of days, and that was very good for me. 

I use the ITNinja websites. I think KACE developed these ITNinja websites with Dell EMC, which has a lot of information about KACE SMA and SDA. We don't use third-party companies. We only use KACE support when needed.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We don't use WSUS in our environment anymore. However, we also don't use SMA for Windows updates. We use the Windows updates on the Microsoft website.

How was the initial setup?

In the beginning, when you try to install new software, you need a little bit more time. That's absolutely normal. Then, I installed this software on over 160 PCs. In the past, I had to go to every PC in real-time by remoting on every PC and installing the computer software on every PC. Now, I can install the software in half an hour. In the past, I needed two days. For me, this has been very good. It has been very nice to see how fast it can install new/used software on new hardware.

For every upgrade over the years, SMA has been very intuitive and easy to use. Also, when I changed the physical appliance to the virtual appliance four or five years ago, it was easier to make a backup. Then, I could import the backup from the physical SMA to the virtual SMA. That was very easy to make. The surface of the website has not changed very much in its paths, which are very good. Parts of those paths are easier to look inside or adopt more functionality, but the surface is not so state of the art. Some websites, like WordPress sites, are a little bit difficult to see where information is and what to look for. However, in the KACE Systems Management, I know where the information is, and that is very good for me.

To deploy the appliance, it takes maybe an hour with all of the configuration and the DHCP server. When you start a system for the first time, you have to import all the information that you need or connect your clients with a system, which needs a bit more time. Also, when you are trying to distribute software, you need more time with the managed installations. I needed half a year with all my software products, maybe longer. For all my software products, I had to use them with a managed installation script or other scripting tools. However, if you have used other systems, then you can very quickly switch to SMA.

What about the implementation team?

Two to four people are needed for deployment. In my environment, we have a network administrator and me as an administrator for the system. There are also one or two other administrators for the solution in my company.

What was our ROI?

We saw ROI after the first year. Every year, the system becomes so much more valuable for us. Maybe the quality of our service is much better now. The students at our university can use more software, so the knowledge of students using state-of-the-art software is much better than in the past. We can react to requests from our teachers when they want to use new software in their courses. We can manage that in a short amount of time.

Most of the time, we install software in two months between semesters. So, we are saving four or five days over the year.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We are a university. So, we have a very good price for the system. I think the price for the system is worth it because of the security patch management. The security patch management is very important for us. The price is very good for KACE SMA, the functionality you get, and the patch management. 

The technical support you get from KACE is sometimes priceless. Sometimes, you don't need very much support. However, if you need support, it is good for me to know that there are people who have very good knowledge about the system. I am willing to pay for that.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

When we bought the SMA system, we researched other systems. I did some tests with SCCM and other systems as well as open-source software. It was very difficult for me to configure the other systems. Also, the open-source software was a bit too difficult for me to configure just in time. There was not so much time for me to sit there for a couple of weeks doing trial and error. 

I am very happy that I found a solution which was easy to install and use. That is also a reason for me to look at SDA from Quest because I know the system and it works fine. I don't have time to configure a new system from scratch. It just has to work.

What other advice do I have?

It is very important for me to see that there is one GUI/website where I can have an overview of my computers and environment, see which computers are healthy, which ones might be damaged, or if everything is fine with the software. Another thing is that I can distribute software with executable files using the system. This was also a very important reason to use SMA because we have so many software systems where you get only a setup executable file, not an MSI file to convert the executable file, which is sometimes very time-sensitive.

I had a very good start with the software because I had training with one of the specialists from Dell EMC in the past, which was very good. Now, it is very intuitive for me to use the software, which is also very good. It is very clear. You can look for information in one of the paths, such as, home inventory monitoring and asset management. 

When you buy this software, use a bit more money and buy a training program as well. What you learn in such a short amount of time when you get the training is so much more valuable than when you do trial and error for yourself. That is my advice. They will help you to configure your environment in a very short time, then you can use it very quickly.

Mobile device management is not very important for us at the moment because we only use our physical PCs and sometimes our laptops. I have used tablets as well. However, for mobile devices, we don't distribute software on these kinds of systems. 

I am on a way to using KACE's Systems Deployment Appliance in the future. At the moment, we only use KACE SMA, but I want to try to buy SDA as well. I hope that I can this year. It makes total sense to use SDA as well when you use SMA. Both systems are integrated with one another. At the moment, we have installed the operating system on the computer physically. This is a very bad time with the pandemic, as it is very difficult for us to go to our workplace and into the computer rooms. Doing our work there physically is not possible now. I live in the UK at the moment and my work is in Berlin, Germany, so it is very difficult for me to go there and install new hardware. However, I am looking forward to getting SDA as well.

I would rate this solution as a nine out of 10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud
Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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DC
Help Desk Technician at a hospitality company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Automation saves us time and effort, good support, and offers full control using a single pane of glass

Pros and Cons

  • "The single pane of glass for managing devices is helpful because it allows me to perform updates and control things without having to disturb the doctors or nurses."
  • "When we have to do a rebuild on these machines, although it is rare, I would like to be able to do more than 10 at a time. With the current limit, it slows me down because I have to set up 10, then the next 10, and so forth."

What is our primary use case?

I primarily use this solution to deploy software, to deploy patches, to deploy drivers, and to do software package updates. I'm not using all of the functionality that it has but another thing I do is push out Windows upgrades. Rather than doing them all at once, I push out the feature updates.

It is set up on a VMware virtual machine.

How has it helped my organization?

When I first joined the company, the director and the other help desk associates were going to each computer to do updates and patches. At the time, we had 274 computers in the building, and I felt that there had to be a way that it could be automated.

One of the problems is that in order to get the updates completed, we were coming in on Saturday, which meant that they had to pay us overtime to get things done. When I started digging, I realized that you could use the SDA for automatic deployments and things of that nature. I was able to configure it to do what I needed to do.

I set up certain floors to be deployed during the night. The schedule was to complete 30 or 40 computers a night until they were finished. Then, when my director came to ask how the progress was, and I told him that the job was complete, he was shocked. It used to take them between two and three months to do the same thing.

Especially with the pandemic, where one day I have an employee in the office to work but the next day I don't, Quest has been instrumental in completing these tasks. With a couple of mouse clicks, I can get the job done.

The single pane of glass for managing devices is helpful because it allows me to perform updates and control things without having to disturb the doctors or nurses. The update process is transparent to them.

This solution provides us with IT asset management, software asset management, compliance, and patch management. This combination of features is important to us because we are able to perform all of these tasks without interrupting anybody's workflow. The most important thing is that we don't want to interrupt a doctor when they are with a patient and without Quest, if something critical needs to happen then I might have to wait to get into the office. During this time, the system could be vulnerable. Using a system with all of these capabilities and being able to use it after hours is key in IT.

The system makes it easy to update and configure things in our environment. If you get stuck then there are well-thought-out KBs available, and you can also ask people in the community. Personally, it has made my job easier. It's not as hands-on and it's more auditable.

Quest has absolutely saved me time, which I would estimate to be between two and three hours a day, easily. With the automations, things flow the way I need them to flow. When Windows updates come out on Tuesday, rather than deploying them on the weekend, we deploy them to all of the computers every Thursday. Because there is no more work to do on the weekends, it saves the company money, especially in overtime.

The automation helps on both ends. For one, you don't have the labor costs that you have to pay for in overtime. A lot of the things that we used to have to do by hand, I can now automate through the system. Then, at the same time, the work is getting done at the time you set it for. There is no "people factor", where they may not move as fast as expected. It happens, for example, that as people get tired, they get slower. Automation greatly diminishes the time that we spend going from one desk to the next. When I do it with the click of a button, everything is going to be done at that exact moment. 

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the ability to deploy Windows features during off-hours times, through all of the machines at one time versus trying to systematically do them either by area or by floor. I can set one floor to automatically update on Thursday, the next one on Friday, the next one on Saturday, and so forth until I get everybody done. Doing it this way doesn't negatively impact my productivity, nor does it affect anybody else. Updates can be done in the middle of the night.

Using this system is pretty straightforward. When I first joined the company and started using it, a lot of it for me was reading the knowledge base to find out what it was capable of doing. Originally, the only things that they were using it for were popups and ticketing. When I took over, I started the software deployment, driver deployment, updates, and those types of things.

I still don't use the system to its full potential but I now use at least 90% of it.

The systems deployment appliance (SDA) is one of the main features that I use on a regular basis. A lot of the time, I won't do a feature update using the software deployment function. Instead, I will build an image on the SDA. That way, as I need to deploy it, I can do so at will. It gives me the ability to deploy to 10 machines at a time, which means that I can complete most of the stuff that I need to do over a period of time. It's as easy as can be; I'd say that it's as simple as cutting butter.

What needs improvement?

I would like to be able to deploy an image to more than 10 computers at a time. When we have to do a rebuild on these machines, although it is rare, I would like to be able to do more than 10 at a time. With the current limit, it slows me down because I have to set up 10, then the next 10, and so forth.

For how long have I used the solution?

My client started working with Quest KACE Systems Management in 2014 but personally, I began using it in 2016.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not had a problem other than just recently when I started having issues with a library and a few of the files being corrupted. But, whenever I've called technical support, they've been generally on the spot for getting things fixed, and getting me back up and running. As such, it hasn't really affected my environment much.

My downtime, the first time they had to fix it, was about a day. The most recent time, I wasn't down but I could tell that they were working. Overall, the issue with corrupted files hasn't affected me.

In an environment like this, where you can't afford to be down, it is critical that you have premium support. It is definitely a factor that should be considered when purchasing other products.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is fantastic. You can add to it and there are lots of things that you can do but it's overkill for us at the clinic.

There were two of us administering the solution and there are about 274 endpoints. Since the other administrator recently quit, it is only me doing the job at the moment.

How are customer service and support?

The technical support people are awesome. In the beginning, I dealt with a few of them that seemed like they just didn't want to be there, so I just would hang up with those people. Lately, in the last couple of years, I have not had any problems. Everybody I've dealt with has been happy to be on the call and glad to help.

We use Quest premium support and the biggest thing that stands out to me is that it's available 24-7. Sometimes, things will happen outside of the eight to five range and when it does, I need that ability to be able to call them and get someone on the phone. That's the major value for us.

There are other pluses with premium support but given that we have moved it from a physical appliance to a virtual appliance, right now it's just the 24-7 support that is important for us. Having the premier support had added value to our overall investment with Quest. It's worth what you pay for it because they are literally there. In a mission-critical system, such as a clinic, you can't have wait periods of two to four hours before technical support starts working on the problem. When a patient system or a lab system is down, you can't wait around for somebody to figure out if and when they're going to call you.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

They did not use a similar solution prior to Quest KACE.

When the person who set up Quest first joined the company, he wanted to modernize things. People were leaving post-it notes or written notes on everyone's desk, and he wanted to implement a system to improve the clinic's way of doing business.

When he implemented the system, he implemented it with Active Directory to make it more fluent so that when something happened, they didn't have to go from one desk to the next desk.

How was the initial setup?

I was not with the company for the initial setup, although I have spoken with people about it. What I have been told is that when the system was first purchased, they paid for support to help walk them through the setup. I have not heard that it was difficult but I do recall that it took some time to get everything configured.

What about the implementation team?

We purchased KACE through a reseller, Netrix.

It was deployed in-house by my former director, with assistance from technical support. At that time, it was Dell technical support.

One person is enough for maintenance because it is not hard at all. Click a button and it's updated. You also have to make sure that your host is updated. It's pretty simple.

If I was on the outside looking in, where I had never dealt with it before, based on everything it does I would think it is quite complicated to operate and keep functional. It's definitely the opposite of that.

What was our ROI?

Our clinic's ROI is a saving in time and money. Prior to having this solution, we were sometimes in a position where there would be three of us working on it, and we'll all be working overtime. When you take that away, it is a big saving. For example, I have been here for five years and if I were putting in two weekends a month over the entire time, it is a lot of money that has been saved.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

In terms of pricing and licensing, my advice is that you need to assess what you need and then look at what they offer. It's easy to get caught up in the things that you want, but don't really need. You really want to assess what's best for your environment and to plan it very well.

Ideally, if there is a project manager available then they should help with the planning because you want your end goal to be in line with what you are trying to do. A reseller will try to sell you everything under the sun, so it's important that you plan well and know what is required in your environment. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I don't believe that the company evaluated other products. My understanding is that the reseller we used made the recommendation and we went with that.

What other advice do I have?

My advice for anybody who is implementing this solution is to take your time. I suggest doing it on a Saturday but if your production is in an area that can't be down because you have to sync with Active Directory, then choose a time where you won't interfere with anybody's ability to work. It may require rebooting your DC and that is something that can't be done without affecting people in your environment.

For organizations running two DCs, it probably won't affect them at all. However, in our situation, where we use single sign-on, we really want to make sure that any downtime doesn't affect our users.

The biggest lesson that I have learned from using this solution is to read the knowledge base.

We had a transitionary period where I was taking over and my director was leaving. The system needed to be updated but part of the system was not paid for. Once it was updated, I found out that they no longer support physical servers, so we had to move it to a VM. That was a bit cumbersome but the important part that I learned is to keep your licenses current. If they expire because you are behind in paying for them then it puts you in a more difficult position when you renew.

Overall, this is a good solution that saves us time and effort. Other than the limit of having only 10 images deployed at once, I don't see anything else that I want to improve. I control everything through VMware and I'm pretty good at it.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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Learn what your peers think about Quest KACE Systems Management. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2021.
552,695 professionals have used our research since 2012.
JL
Security Systems Integrator at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 10
We can use one image for several different instances, saving a lot of space

Pros and Cons

  • "KACE has made our life much easier since we got off the Microsoft solution. The Microsoft solution was a lot harder to image over different ports and stuff. They would only have this one place where we could do all the imaging. Now, we have a whole building where we can image from. This means that we can image from our storage area, where we have a place to do our imaging. We can also image right at our desks, which is a lot easier."
  • "They could make the booting solution easier for different things, e.g., easier to insert drivers. They could make it easier to create a new image and put it onto the server. Those would be some nice solutions. They could make it so that somebody who has no knowledge at all can do it. That would be really nice. Because every time, until I get it memorized, I still need to go back to the training, the manual, or Google it to figure it out again. If they would make it a lot easier, to where a nine-year-old could do it, that would be really cool. If they made it easier, I could have more people managing the images on the server, instead of just one or two people."

What is our primary use case?

The KACE K1000 is primarily used for patching or pushing out software that needs to be pushed out. The KACE K2000, the deployment server, is primarily used to image new and older computers.

I should be updating the image at least once a month. The reason why I am taking so long right now is because we didn't have access to it through our VPN, and I am mostly working from home. They just opened it up so I could work with it from home, which is great.

How has it helped my organization?

We keep on updating Quest KACE because we really use it. The patching is maintained by a different person, and he is constantly updating the software all the time. I should be doing the same thing too, and that's on me. However, I get busy with the email server, people calling in, etc. From now on, I am going to take time slots and mark myself up busy, just so I can do it. It's a lot easier working on it from home than when I'm at work, because people walk up on you and ask you to do stuff, then lose what you were just doing.

We always do the asset management first, then we image the computer. After it is imaged, it gets all the updates that it needs through the other KACE (the patch management). It makes life a lot easier. 

What is most valuable?

The most valuable is being able to use one image for several different instances. Because we only put one to three images on those instances, it saves a lot of space.

It pretty much provides a single pane of glass with everything we need for endpoint management of all devices. We have several different ways that we do stuff, e.g., for remoting in, we use Bomgar, and for asset management, we use ServiceNow.

What needs improvement?

They could make the booting solution easier for different things, e.g., easier to insert drivers. They could make it easier to create a new image and put it onto the server. Those would be some nice solutions. They could make it so that somebody who has no knowledge at all can do it. That would be really nice. Because every time, until I get it memorized, I still need to go back to the training, the manual, or Google it to figure it out again. If they would make it a lot easier, to where a nine-year-old could do it, that would be really cool. If they made it easier, I could have more people managing the images on the server, instead of just one or two people.

On the patching, the Systems Management appliance, I noticed whenever there is something new that the vendor has to do, he always has to call KACE for help with it. That could be made easier.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Quest KACE for quite a few years, since 2014 or 2015.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have never had to reboot it, except for when I have had to update the server. If it is having problems, and I have to troubleshoot, then I will need to reboot, but that is usually the image and has nothing to do with the server. The server is very stable. I have not once had to reboot because the server crashed.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have four people who have been trained on both servers: 

  • Two people are mostly working on the patching, KACE Systems Management. 
  • Two people, including me, are mostly working on the Systems Deployment Appliance.

There are 10 people in my group using the server to image. In another department, there are another two users who know how to manage the server, but they don't mess with the server networking. They only manage their image that they have on there. When I put in a fresh, new image, I inform them, saying, "Hey, I have this new image tested. You are more than welcome to start using it so I can start deleting older images."

If they would make it easier and more intuitive, then it would be easier to show other people how to do it. Right now, I have to send them to training, which costs us a lot of money.

How are customer service and technical support?

They have very good customer support and technical solutions. When I have a little issue, I call them and they fix it right away. I don't have to wait three or four weeks unless it is something out of their scope, then it takes longer. However, if it is in their scope, it gets fixed right away, for whatever I need. It is the same with the K1000. Whenever they need somebody, they have to call back that same day or the next day, depending on the urgency that we have placed on KACE.

Because I have so many different other jobs, I am still learning how to upload images, etc. I have to go over the classes, then listen how to do this and that. Instead of trying to call Quest every single time to do something, I try to just relearn it myself.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We used to use straight SCCM and found KACE way better because SCCM is all Microsoft. A lot of times Microsoft is not intuitive at all on third-party software, so you can only really update the Microsoft software. When we went from a SCCM to KACE, it was way easier because it's easier to update a software or even install a brand new software.

KACE has made our life much easier since we got off the Microsoft solution. The Microsoft solution was a lot harder to image over different ports and stuff. They would only have this one place where we could do all the imaging. Now, we have a whole building where we can image from. This means that we can image from our storage area, where we have a place to do our imaging. We can also image right at our desks, which is a lot easier. Once I get up to speed on updating the image and adding new software, then it will be so much easier for everybody else because the Microsoft solution always did the image in a weird way. They didn't have all the drivers for all the things that we have. With KACE, you can actually insert the drivers and make it work.

The SCCM solution for imaging was a nightmare. It wasn't a very good solution at all. With some of Microsoft items, we would need to just make a whole image of that model, which would take up more space on the server. With KACE, you just use one or two images. We have one department who uses this one model in all their trucks. They like it to be a certain exact way, where the icons and in the exact place with all the same this and that. For that one, we just make an image of that whole thing. Because we have the terabyte solution, it doesn't put a dent on the storage at all. With the terabyte solution, because we have that on the patching too, we don't have to think about whether we are using up too much space. I can go there once a month and clean up everything instead of having to be on top of it. It is just way better.

We still use SCCM for certain things that we have to do which need to be blanketed out and are easy enough solutions for them.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very complex. It took hours of training. We found out at the beginning that we did it backwards. We were supposed to do the KACE Systems Management first, then do the Systems Deployment Appliance. We did it backwards because we didn't know about KACE Systems Management. That made it a little harder.

I would like it if they could make it easier, not a million steps to do one thing. Because once you have the image on there, it is tested, and it works, then it's great. All you have to do is update the rest of the software, but just getting the image onto the machine and making sure it works, that is the hardest part.

The initial deployment took about a week or so. We deployed it, then we had to learn it.

What about the implementation team?

I was the project manager on the deployment of the solution. I was involved in learning about it, getting a demo server going, purchasing it, and then deploying it once we purchased it. So, I have been involved from day one.

What was our ROI?

On a weekly basis, KACE saves us hours. On a monthly basis, it probably saves us a day or two. Because it is easier to use, patch, and manage than our previous solution, where I didn't even have the opportunity to be one of the people to manage it. Then, with KACE, we were able to switch it over to our service desk, divide KACE K1000 and KACE K2000, and cross-train, so we could have more people managing the servers.

Overall, the solution has increased our IT productivity as well as the other department's. Since they are using the solution, we bought them a license, which has increased their productivity immensely because they were doing everything from scratch with no imaging solution. They were just taking a brand new machine and setting it up, which just takes hours. Instead of the 45 minutes that it took to image a machine and run the patching and stuff (which may be another hour), which may take up to eight hours total to do a machine. Now, when you have all the software updated, it takes less time (45 minutes) because there is less patching to be done.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We need it, so we have to pay the price. It is what it is. If you need a gallon of milk, then you have to pay the price for it. You don't want to buy the cheap stuff. You want to buy the stuff that is organic and good for your body, which doesn't have all this other junk in it. You want it clean for your body. Quest has done that for our deployment and management systems.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did other vendors, but we didn't like them. The other solutions were too complicated and some didn't have good enough security for our system, since our security is super tight.

We first heard of a KACE when Dell EMC owned it. Then, we got more information on it. When the person who was going to do the project management couldn't do it anymore, I asked if I could be the project manager on it. I pushed it right through.

KACE promised us stuff and have kept their promise. Microsoft promises us stuff, but they don't keep their promises.

What other advice do I have?

It is a great service.

It is semi-easy to use once you have it in, but I always have to go over what I have already learned. Because after so long, if you're not doing it every day, you forget it. You have to keep relearning it.

My advice is to check it out. They are always willing to do a demo server, then you can check it out and work on it in a sandbox. 

For whoever gets trained, make sure they train somebody else along with them. They need to keep on top of it. Don't just let it sit there because it will break after a long time. The images get so old that they don't work anymore. You have to reimage it, etc. Just keep on top of it at least once a month and update everything. When a new software comes in, update that right away. You need the Management System, but install that first, then do the Systems Deployment Appliance. If somebody else is doing the Management System, keep in touch with them.

We have a system where every time there is a patch, then I get an email so I can know what patches to do, so I can update them on the deployment. Then, it doesn't have to wait for patches. That is the whole solution of doing it. You don't want to have to image something, then wait. If there is extra third-party software that you can't put on the server, then you could at least get that all installed and have it out the same day. With KACE, I have been able to image something and have it out to the customer the same day or next day, which is impressive when you are trying to serve out computers. People really are impressed when you just open a ticket and get it done.

I would give it a nine (out of 10) because it needs to be a little easier. It saves us so much time and the imaging part of it is really easy to use.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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TW
Sr. IT Support Technician at a transportation company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 20
Simple help desk and scripting saves us time, but patch management is complicated and the Go Mobile app crashes a lot

Pros and Cons

  • "The scripting is a very valuable feature, as it saves us time on pushing certain things out to the users, such as software and patches."
  • "The KACE Go Mobile App crashes a lot, and it always has. I would love to see that get fixed because it's very convenient when it does work properly, but most of the time it does not."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use this solution for the help desk, but we also utilize the scripting portion of it to automate things that would otherwise take us a long time to do manually. We're just now trying to start using the asset management portion of it as well, tying users to various equipment.

In addition to these things, we use some of the reporting and some of the file synchronization features.

An example of automation is pushing patches out to users. For example, I just finished creating a bunch of patch schedules.

How has it helped my organization?

All of the features that this product offers play an important role in our company.

We have a K1000 and it offers a single pane of glass for endpoint management. It would be nice to have a K2000 because it would then include image updates for hard drives, which our version does not. Otherwise, as far as endpoint management is concerned, it is complete.

We have utilized the IT assets but have been largely unsuccessful in using the modules for licensing and warranty.

When it comes to updating and configuring everything the way we need to have it done in our environment, it takes care of 90% of the work. It would be nice if it had a packager for software when we're dealing with executable files because not everything has a managed installer, unfortunately. It means that we have to trick it into doing what we need to do sometimes. For the most part, it does what we require.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature for us is the helpdesk. Just being in the IT industry in general, we have to have something to track what we're doing day in and day out, whether it be a project or end-user support. It helps us keep all that together in one place. The help desk is what everybody in our department uses it for the most.

The scripting is a very valuable feature, as it saves us time on pushing certain things out to the users, such as software and patches. The patches definitely need some help.

What needs improvement?

When you get to patch management, it's complicated. I have had to call technical support about it several times. The labels can get kind of confusing as well. I know that there are a lot of them and if I spend more time in it I'd probably understand it better, but anytime I have to create a label for something, I just get lost in a rabbit hole.

We tried the licensing a few times, but we never got it to work properly. It's always really buggy. It is a similar situation with the warranty information; it doesn't always pull that information accurately. It would be helpful to have those pieces addressed because we can't use them. It's been a few years since we touched it, so they may have been addressed by now, but every time we updated, we would go and test it and it just wasn't keeping track correctly.

The KACE Go Mobile App crashes a lot, and it always has. I would love to see that get fixed because it's very convenient when it does work properly, but most of the time it does not. This experience is uniform across multiple devices that we've tried over the years. I've read the reviews on the app store and all of the different messages being sent to the developers about how this needs to be fixed, and nothing ever happens. This is an area that could use some improvement, for sure.

It needs to have better Unix crontab options for patch management. We want to have the ability to use expressions because we would like to do our patches every two weeks. As it is now, with the way it's formatted, it won't allow us to do that. Essentially, we need more customization as far as the schedules are concerned.

We had a report where there were some custom fields in KACE, and we would be able to fill those out and utilize them for reporting. In one of the updates, those fields were removed. They were custom-built and they still exist in KACE, but from what I understood from the release notes and from speaking with a support rep, those fields are no longer available in reporting. Without being able to report them, it defeats the whole purpose of having fields there in the first place.

We are still able to do some customization in the reports, but the custom one, two, three, and four fields in the user details are in the appliance, but we can't find them on a table anywhere inside of the database.

Another thing that we would like is to have at least a limited degree of write permissions for the databases. It would make it a lot easier for reporting or even certain things that can't be exported, to have at least some kind of write control to the databases. I understand, as a company, why they don't want to give that ability to some people because of the can of worms that it opens, but it would just be really helpful to be able to automate some things, rather than have to go in and update the stuff field by field.

For example, the help desk configuration, where you have your categories and subcategories, and you can go in there and assign users. We have more than 100 of those line by line. Anytime we get a new help desk person or we make a change to who the owner is of a certain category, we have to go in there and manually set it, each and every one of them, and it takes hours to do.

Essentially, we would like to have more control over it and assume responsibility for problems should they occur. If we break something then it's our own fault.

Since we upgraded to version 10.0, all of our reports are broken. I haven't yet called in about that to find out what the problem is. At this point, we get a bunch of unknowns and question marks whenever we pull a KACE report off of our report server. It may not be a serious issue.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Quest KACE Systems Management for almost seven years. At the company, it has been in use since before I started.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is great. We've only had it crash once, and that was because of a power outage. Otherwise, it's been awesome.

It used to be slow at some points, but over the years, through the updates, it's gotten a lot more responsive. There are still a few things here and there that take a little bit longer than I think they should to load, but it's not worth mentioning.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

For the most part, this product grows with our needs. Back in the day, when we first got it, it was owned by Dell. All of our equipment is from Dell, including our servers and our laptops and computers, our workstations. It fits together very nicely.

All of our end-users use it, if they need to put in a help desk request. As far as the daily use of it, the ins and outs, I'm the administrator and I make sure that all the updates are done. I check on the patch schedules.

In IT, there are three of us. Aside from me, we have an IT admin that uses it to track his projects, as well as some tickets that get assigned to him for reporting requests.

On top of tracking these items, he uses some of the scripting functionality, when it's server-related. As an example, last week, he used it to handle changes that we had made regarding a print server. We changed our print server over to a new one, and he utilized scripting to remove the old server and add the new one. That's what he mainly uses it for.

Our IT director doesn't really use it for much of anything, other than his project-tracking and being able to look at everybody's queues, like mine and my IT admin's, just to see where we're at during the day in more of a supervisory role.

How are customer service and technical support?

My experience with technical support goes back a long way and the service has changed over time. Overall, it's been a mix, based on luck of the draw. It depends on who I get on the phone. Some people know exactly what they're talking about, and some people don't, and we have to go through several emails or several phone calls just to try and figure it out.

Whenever you call in and you request a callback and the representatives say, "Okay, yes, we'll have a technician call you within the next couple of hours," it's about a 50/50 shot whether they actually call you back or not. Sometimes, they just send you an email instead of calling you. This can be a problem because I have all my emails filtered, so, if I'm looking for something important, I can get to it quicker. However, if I'm expecting a call from KACE support, I'm not going to be looking for that email. That's been a frustrating experience.

Over the years, it's gotten a little better, but it's still the same thing with the emails and the time it takes for them to get back to you. Or, if they just don't happen to be there the next day and somebody else has to take that ticket, that is another thing that can be frustrating. There is room for improvement there, as well.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We did not use another solution prior to this one.

How was the initial setup?

It was implemented before I arrived but I have been involved in the upgrade process ever since I joined the company. It is straightforward most of the time but there can be some complexity and it can vary. For example, getting the backups done can be complex, as can things be when changing from version to version. However, for the most part, it has been as easy as just pressing a button and doing an update.

I would say that overall, it is 75% straightforward.

What was our ROI?

The help desk is super simple to use and we saw our return on investment a long time ago, just in man hours alone.

We used to use a spreadsheet to track all of the things that came through IT, and that is cumbersome. It takes 20 times longer to do. You have to make sure that somebody else doesn't have the spreadsheet open. There are only so many ways that you can put in different columns and rows to get all the information you need, especially when you have to do updates. It was really clumsy the way it was done in Excel.

Another example of where it saves us time is with the scripting, whenever we have to do an update to our transportation management system. It is the biggest piece of software that we have, it's the most complex, and there's a lot of moving pieces to it. We used to actually have to go to each individual computer in the company, of which there are 100 or more, and manually update the different pieces. Now, we can do it with the click of a button in scripting, and then just go around to the few people that it may not have hit properly and manually do it there. It saves a lot of time.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We pay annually for technical support.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I looked at Spiceworks at one point just to see what their solution was like. We didn't fully implement it. Rather, I added a couple of computers on it. It was mostly for watching the network and I didn't evaluate it to the point where I could compare it with KACE.

What other advice do I have?

My advice for anybody who is implementing this solution is to be ready for a lot to come at you at once because it does so many things. It's a blessing and a curse at the same time. Also, if you're going to go with a solution from KACE, I would suggest the K2000 rather than the K1000, just because it has more.

We do not plan on changing solutions anytime soon.

I would rate this solution a six out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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MA
Systems Administrator at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 10
Scripting enables me to pull very specific information about devices and software versions, while reporting features save hours

Pros and Cons

  • "The Systems Deployment Appliance is magical when it comes to automating deployment... Not only can we have multiple images, specific to end-users' uses, but we have a plethora of post-installation tasks to install or configure the system, tasks that can be re-used for each system. You just have one basic base image, and then you use the post-install tasks to customize everything else. It is amazing."
  • "I would sure like them to be able to copy and paste out of OneNote. That drives me nuts. You can't copy from OneNote into KACE."

What is our primary use case?

We use all of the SMA's functionality. We use it for inventory and for asset management. We don't really do file distribution because we use Desktop Authority Management Suite for that. We heavily use the scripting and we deploy updates using the security within. We also heavily use the support help desk section and the reporting.

We're on a legacy on-premises deployment. We're hoping to move to a cloud version in the not too distant future, but that's not on the schedule currently. Our on-premises KACE solution is a dedicated KACE SMA Appliance that was purchased from them. I don't even know if you can purchase that anymore, but it's kicking.

How has it helped my organization?

When it comes to the reporting for finance, it definitely helps a lot because we just run a report. It saves hours of trying to export workstation numbers out of Active Directory, and then create the Excel spreadsheets. With KACE you just run a report. I look at a couple things and, if the fields are blank I look at that, and it saves hours of time between me and finance.

It also provides us with a single pane of glass with everything we need for endpoint management of all devices. It's excellent. It enables us to analyze if there's a problematic piece of software and to upgrade it. I've even done custom fields within the software section so that it grabs the boot order from the BIOS, for example. That way, anybody needing to re-image a device can look and make sure that the boot order is correct in order for them to network-image the device. The inventory section is utilized by everyone who supports anything in IT.

It provides us with IT asset management, compliance, software asset management, and patch management. We don't use it for mobile device management. That combination of uses definitely makes it easier. For updating and configuring everything the way we need it in our environment, it's integral. It makes those processes really easy, for sure.

What is most valuable?

The help desk, first and foremost is the reason that we went to it, as well as the asset management. We have meta-reports for that, reports that we send to finance on the assets and where they are, throughout the organization. I would say those are the two big ones for the organization. We have 600 employees across the organization and everybody uses the help desk, at least.

On a personal level, the scripting and the reporting are extremely valuable to me as a systems administrator. When people are asking me questions about what devices are in management, or what devices have a certain version of a certain piece of software installed, it's super-easy for me to jump into the SQL reporting, send them the information, and have confidence that it's got some good information for them to utilize around the decisions that they're making.

The scripting and the software distribution make my life a lot easier too, because if, all of a sudden, Adobe has a vulnerability and we need to do a security patch, it makes it super-easy to do something like that, to update everything in our organization, all in one shot.

It's very easy to use. We've just been asked to create three new queues, because smaller departments within bigger departments want to use this product, due to its ease of use.

And the Systems Deployment Appliance is magical when it comes to automating deployment. Before we had KACE, we had a replication machine that would hold the master hard drive and five other hard drives, and we would manually image machines. With the deployment of KACE our lives are so much easier. Not only can we have multiple images, specific to end-users' uses, but we have a plethora of post-installation tasks to install or configure the system, tasks that can be re-used for each system. You just have one basic base image, and then you use the post-install tasks to customize everything else. It is amazing. We can send an image to 50 machines in our central operations, remotely. We don't even have to be at the same location.

I also utilize it after each Windows "patch Tuesday." I have a schedule that I have customized so that after each "patch Tuesday" it gets deployed to all of my servers. That way, I'm not manually patching my 100-plus servers. That is another amazing thing that I love about it.

What needs improvement?

I would sure like them to be able to copy and paste out of OneNote. That drives me nuts. You can't copy from OneNote into KACE. I've brought that up many times.

We've just had a major upgrade and I haven't had a chance to dig into things too much, as far as the improvements and the latest upgrades. So I can't really speak to what else might be missing.

There is a great resource for improvements that people would like to see, because Quest hosts a forum in IT Ninja where you can vote for features you'd like. When a lot of people vote on something, they roll it into their next update. There are so many good suggestions about things to add. One that I see right now is a Microsoft Outlook plug-in. There's always room for improvement, but the product that they have right now is so great, already, as it is.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Quest KACE Systems Management since I started with the company. I also used it at my previous job. The company has had KACE for about eight to 10 years. We started using SMA as a ticketing system six or seven years ago. We've been using it for quite a while and we have 26 queues throughout the organization.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable. In the 10 years, it's been down twice, and it was back up quickly. When we called support they were able to connect to it and it was fixed.

If there are any impacting outages, support is right on it. They're really good about that. I think I got locked out of the SDA for some unknown reason at one point, and support was right on it. I had it back up and going within the hour.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It supports a huge network for us and I would assume that that network has grown exponentially over the time that we've had it. There have been no implications as far as network use. It just works.

We really heavily utilize everything already. Moving to the cloud is probably the only thing that we can do differently, other than implementing the mobile device management or the file distribution. We have other solutions for those things. There isn't really anything else to expand or improve or to utilize within it because we really are using it all.

How are customer service and technical support?

The support is good. Anytime we contact them they're always very helpful. The response time is good and they're knowledgeable.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Active Directory would have been the main solution for asset management. For a ticketing system, we used Track-It!, but it wasn't that good at all.

How was the initial setup?

For the initial setups of service queues, and for setups of users, as well as for mail setup and the different control panel stuff, it's really straightforward. As far as setup of the appliance itself goes, it would be different than what we did because I believe it's mostly cloud-based appliances now, unless you're going specifically for on-premises. I don't even know if they're doing on-premises anymore.

I would guess—because I wasn't here when they stood it up—that we would have had support in setting it up because it is a KACE appliance.

When it comes to maintenance, I'm the only one required. I just did a major appliance upgrade and it may have taken half an hour. My colleague jumped in to make sure I didn't mess up any of her queues and we were good. It was done. It was super-easy.

What was our ROI?

Compared to the tools that I would have to use daily, it saves me hours every day. That is a huge return on investment, in and of itself. I'm sure that would be echoed throughout our company. Obviously, doing the reporting and the updates and all the rest of it, I'm a heavy user. I probably can't even put a number on how many hours are saved, hours that I would otherwise have to spend scripting and distributing some other way that just would not be as streamlined or easy. I script anything that has to be done more than a couple of times. That way, other teams don't have to come to me to ask the question. They don't have to try to manually fidget with things. They just run the script and it's fixed.

If you think of it in terms of time, and how it saves us hours every week, just for me and my colleague, as heavy users, a low estimate would be that it saves us eight hours each a month. That's 16 hours a month just between the two of us and we're just two of 600 people in the organization. That's a lot of money.

Even when it comes to the end-user in our organization who opens up a ticket, there is a difference between what they had to do before, when we used Track-It!, and before that when we used an email group, and what they have to do now. It has saved both the end-user, as well as the technician on the other side, a lot of time. They can respond to a ticket through Outlook. They can go through the ticket itself, they can add screenshots and attachments. It is very versatile for both sides. We're saving a lot of time with that.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing and licensing are good. It's worth it. It's a core software on our system. Every single person uses KACE. Even for asset management, we have KACE Endpoint Management on each one of our devices as well. People use the help desk and we use it to track and deploy things. It's integral.

There are no costs in addition to their standard licensing fees.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We haven't had to evaluate anything else. It works great. We've got good support. The end users like it, the technicians like it. If you're happy with something, why go somewhere else?

What other advice do I have?

They've got really good demos, so someone who is interested in it can watch a demo or use the trial version, and they'll know right away that it's something that they're going to like.

There is also a lot of really great, documented support throughout the IT Ninja community and KACE's own documentation. In both cases, there are all of the resources that a competent systems administrator could ever need to figure out how to do anything within SMA. Or they could ask somebody without even going to KACE's support, and that support, itself, is a whole other line of help.

The biggest lesson I've learned from using it is that it's really easy but its capabilities are totally customizable. There are tons of extra things you can dig in and do, once you get your feet wet. Once you've established yourself within the appliance, there are tons of ways that you can start utilizing it even more, such as the custom fields and the reporting, to save more time and create more efficiencies. It's a great tool for those sorts of things.

It's a great product. We really like using it. There are always improvements that can be made, but unless something doesn't work, everything that I do with it seems to be good.

I would give it a 10 out of 10 because I've never dealt with anything better in terms of the time it saves me and the ease in doing some of the things that I would otherwise have to spend a lot more time doing. I just really appreciate the system. I haven't come up against anything that I can't use it as a solution for, whether it's deploying imaging, managing, upgrading, or reporting. It's a powerhouse for me in my role. For what it offers me, it's a 10.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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Stephan Williams
Computer Support Specialist at a financial services firm with 51-200 employees
Real User
Good patch management capabilities, automation saves us time, and provides good visibility of users

Pros and Cons

  • "Using this solution saves us lots of time, especially when it comes to performing updates."
  • "The software asset management functionality is an area that needs to be improved. It could be more automated because when connections need to be made, such as when I connected Adobe and my malware removed, the process was pretty much manual."

What is our primary use case?

We have several use cases for KACE and a lot of them are related to the helpdesk. For example, they provide assistance with modifying the helpdesk, client distribution, and maybe a tad bit in scripting on how to use it.

I've used the KACE tickets a lot.

How has it helped my organization?

This solution provides us with compliance management. We used it for security updates including Windows security, Dell, and other products. Another feature that we use is patch management. In fact, we patch other products all the time using KACE. I have Windows and Dell updates running bi-weekly, whereas other products are done weekly. Microsoft servers are an example of something that we regularly patch.

The combination of the features is important, although I'm just happy that it all works. It's fairly easy to use once you figure it out.

The system helps a lot when it comes to updating and configuring everything the way we need it to be in our environment. In particular, their support engineers are really good, although the system usually configures and updates mostly on its own. 

Price to using KACE, we were using emails. Now that we have a ticketing system, everything is monitored and everything is saved. For example, with the service desk portion, it's a lot easier to track because of the OSV files. They take up a lot of storage and as such, they get stored in archives. This means that it's hard to find those emails, so it's difficult to see what people said. Something we would look for is how we resolved an issue by following steps X, Y, and Z. This information is all available in the description of the ticket and by using KACE, we can find it easily. As far as the service desk operations go, this solution has been A one.

Using this solution saves us lots of time, especially when it comes to performing updates. We only have one on-premises server, and we have somebody that updates it, but prior to using KACE, there were lots of errors that would occur. For example, one update superseded another. Now, it is put on the automated run with a smart ticket and the server is always up to date. I estimate that we're saving at least 40 hours per month, based on the fact that we have 170 computers. It takes a long time to push all of the software updates to every one of them.

When we consider patching and software application updates, our productivity has increased by at least 80%. This has been major for us, especially with COVID and since people started working from home. It's been tougher to manage everybody but with KACE, it's made the job a lot easier. For example, the KACE agent looks at the client and it updates everything automatically.

The system gives us visibility with respect to whether a user is online, or the last time they were online. While online, it also gives us real-time status updates.

What is most valuable?

The only feature that we aren't using yet is asset management, and that is something that we are working on.

This solution is easy to use. None of it is very difficult, although I had to learn it from the ground up and it wasn't very easy when I first started with it. However, progressively, as I put in tickets and began using the service desk, the Quest help, and the technical support, they showed me how it works. Usually, after they showed me one time, I was able to understand what I needed to do. Eventually, it was really easy to use.

The inventory is really good, where it automatically updates catalogs. When I check on things, it's right there, and it even has zero-day patches. When you fine-tune it and set up the automation, it makes life much easier.

The patch management security is also A one.

What needs improvement?

It would be nice if the asset management capability was a little more intuitive.

The software asset management functionality is an area that needs to be improved. It could be more automated because when connections need to be made, such as when I connected Adobe and my malware remover, the process was pretty much manual.  For example, I have to tell it which and how many licenses we have, and I have to keep updating it. KACE has what they call Smart Labels and they are supposed to automatically detect things, but it seems that they don't detect anything. I put all of the information in, and it still won't do it. It makes you wonder why you're putting the information into the system in the first place.

I have not been able to connect to Active Directory, which is a ticket that I've had open for several months. It looks like the problem may be on our side. I've been working with the firewall team, which is a third-party vendor, and even their developers can't figure it out. Each vendor is pointing fingers at the other. I just want it to work.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Quest KACE Systems Management for approximately two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I like the stability a lot. It doesn't crash. We've had a few hiccups but it's definitely not worse than some of our vendors. The downtime is near 0%. Some of our vendors have a lot of downtime.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability-wise, this product is great.

When we first implemented KACE, we had approximately 80 computers that we needed to install it on. We now have 170 computers.

We will continue to use this solution going forward. Every time we stage a computer, we make sure that we put KACE on it. Once we do that, we pretty much don't have to worry anymore. We're setting up more PCs and we're going to be hitting the 200 mark, probably at the end of the year. We have been hiring a lot of people and I expect it will continue.

There are three people who use KACE but I am the primary one. I'm the only person that makes changes and monitors the system regularly.

How are customer service and support?

The technical support is pretty good but we still have cases pending. There is one case that we have had open for several months and I'm not the happiest about that, but for everything else, the assistance has been pretty spot on. It's hard to complain about the support.

Sometimes, I figure it out myself after opening a ticket but usually, they can get the job done. They are much more responsive than most vendors. I don't know if they have SLAs but if they do, then I would say that they're meeting them. They usually contact me either the day of, if it's early enough, or the next day, which is nice.

If I speak with any one of them, it doesn't matter. I've worked with multiple support engineers from KACE and they all seem to know what they're doing.

Usually, I have to contact them for the higher-level stuff. For example, I didn't know about how security certificates worked because I had never used one before.

The vendor has Premier support available, although we do not use it right now. We haven't looked into it yet but because we're growing and don't have enough IT people, Premier support might be ideal. For example, I have read that they help with VBS scripting, and I don't know it, so that would help me to learn it a little bit faster. Also, they save certain things for Premiere support. I had asked the service desk if I can change the category of a service ticket and they told me that I could, but it was a custom option. For that kind of thing, you need to have Premium support. I plan to call the vendor and get a quote for the service. That said, for everything that's not custom, they help a lot.

Overall, they're very proficient and they're very knowledgeable about the product.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We were using Datto RMM before, and KACE is much easier to use. I wasn't the most familiar with the old solution but with KACE, I can do things beyond monitoring. For example, I can do distributions or use security updates. With Datto, I basically used it to see what PC people were on.

Before I was hired, an IT company used to manage our infrastructure and they were the ones using Datto. We moved away from the IT company, which is why we switched.

We have not used any of the freeware products that are available or tried SCCM to achieve the same functionality.

How was the initial setup?

It was definitely complex but that is because I'd never seen anything like it before. It wouldn't be a fair assessment to say that it was the most difficult thing, but it was a lot of information and I'd never used smart labels before. I was very confused at the beginning.

But, after I put in tickets, they did take the time to go back over it with me. After they showed me maybe once or twice, I understood what a smart label does. From that point on, it was very easy to create smart labels and automate the system.

It takes perhaps five minutes to install KACE on one computer. The longest part is pulling it down from the server. Once it's copied to the local machine, it only takes a minute or 90 seconds to install.

What about the implementation team?

We completed the deployment in-house.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing is great. It's billed annually and it's very reasonable.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

My manager was already very familiar with this solution, which is why it was chosen. We didn't evaluate other options.

I have seen other monitoring tools that you use with a PC, where they are part of the assets. With this one, you have to run a custom script and you have to do a lot of custom stuff. When you do custom work, you have to pay more money, obviously. It means that there is an extra cost but other than that, it's pretty good.

What other advice do I have?

KACE provides capabilities for mobile device management, although we don't use the feature. We also don't really use the monitoring system at this point.

My advice for anybody who is looking to implement KACE is that it's fairly easy to use and once you learn it, it's a very simple product. It's not simple in function, but the ease of use is there and you can very quickly learn what you need to do to get things done.

Also, if you know a little bit more about VBS, you get stuff done a lot quicker. 

Overall, it's a great product, I'm really happy with it, and I feel like it gets the job done.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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RO
Enterprise Service Desk Systems Manager at a manufacturing company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Easy to use, significant time saving with automated software deployment, good support

Pros and Cons

  • "We have our KACE agent deployed on all of our workstations and servers, and it provides us with reports on the hardware and software inventory for those."
  • "Scalability is my primary concern right now."

What is our primary use case?

We use most of the modules, although the Service Desk is one of the most important ones for us. We, as an IT department, handle a large volume of calls that includes different requests. We tried to make it accessible for all of the different teams within the IT department, not just the Service Desk, but networking servers, admins, and applications. We try to make it so that all of our IT requests come in from a central point, basically.

In addition to that, there are a number of other Service Desk queues or departments outside of IT. Those have been either initiated by us asking if someone needed some way of tracking their own work or issues, or they've come to us and asked for the same thing. 

The second feature that we use most often is device inventory. We have our KACE agent deployed on all of our workstations and servers, and it provides us with reports on the hardware and software inventory for those. The other half of that is that we take that data and report on it for things like accuracy, renewals, and replenishment.

We also rely very heavily on the patching module, which is part of the security module. This feature ensures that our workstations and servers are up-to-date with the latest patches.

I'm also using it for extensive software deployments. For example, a couple of years ago we went from one version of Microsoft Office in our environment to a completely different version, almost exclusively through KACE automated software deployment. This saved us thousands of PC touches.

Also within the domain of software distribution, we use file synchronization and scripting.

I work with two different entities. The first is KACE as a service, which is hosted, and the second one is hosted by my company in our Azure environment.

What is most valuable?

I feel that KACE is pretty easy to use, although that may be coming from the fact that I've been using it for so long. In the Service Desk, it's really easy to clean up a basic queue, and from there, you can get more granular and do a lot more customization if you need to.

For the inventory functionality, the agent requires no configuration except for pointing it to the server.

For software deployment, as long as you've got your installation commands, it pretty much runs on its own. This is the same with patching, where you set up a schedule and then just let it go.

We have seen a return on investment from its ease of use, firstly because the KACE appliance is managed almost entirely by me alone. This means that we don't need to have multiple people working on each individual component. With the reporting that we do, we've been able to find unused or underused software licenses, remove those from the computers, and apply them elsewhere. This meant savings because we didn't have to purchase additional licenses.

KACE was previously owned by Dell and because we have a hook into Dell's warranty database, we're able to use that information to learn about what's in our environment and see what we need to budget for replenishment. This includes replacing computers on a quarterly or yearly basis. That way, we're not just saying "I don't know, we'll throw X number of dollars at it". It's an actual and pretty accurate budget, instead of just estimating it.

It has also saved a lot of time because for example, when we did the Microsoft Office upgrade, our service desk team did not have to touch all of those computers. It just ran automatically. That would have been a very large time investment. We have had it in place for so long that it is difficult for me to estimate how much time it is saving us on a monthly or weekly basis. I have nothing to compare it against.

What needs improvement?

Scalability is my primary concern right now. The first environment that I had it in was about 1,700 devices and things worked pretty well. Now that I'm well over 10,000, even with plenty of resources allocated, I'm running into issues where things aren't working correctly. I'm having to work with support and the answer that I usually get is that we're trying to do too much with KACE. Essentially, I'm overloading it with tasks to perform and as a result, I'm having to split stuff up a lot more into multiple jobs instead of one job. There's no built-in load balancing, I can't have multiple servers, and limitations like that.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been running Quest KACE Systems Management in production for seven years, since late 2014.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have KACE deployed on more than 9,000 workstations and approximately 1,300 servers. Scalability is an issue for us at the moment, and I don't know how much our company is going to grow in the future. One of the ways that we grow is through acquisitions. For example, we just acquired a little company that was about 20 people and acquired another one with about six people.

I don't know what's coming down the pipe. I am not sure if there's a company that's about a thousand people, how is that going to affect how I use KACE. I wonder if I'm going to have to scale things back, such as running a script once every other week instead of once a week, or stretching out my patching windows.

How are customer service and technical support?

I'd rate the customer support pretty high. I use them pretty frequently and I have been satisfied with the majority of their answers. I have never been brushed off by them saying, "Oh yeah, it's just this, you've got to do that."

Quest has a Professional Services offering, which is their consulting service. You can use their professional services to have them come out and help you set up your clients, or work with you to do so. Or, if you need a report written that isn't supplied by default and you can write it by yourself, you can contract them to write it for you. We have not used professional services.

The Premium Support that we have gives us access to a technical account manager. It includes monthly touch meetings to ensure that everything is going smoothly. For example, they ask if we need anything else and whether they can help move things along, such as reviewing any open issues that we have.

The biggest value from premier support is the ability to get past the technical support. I don't mean that they're not providing good support but with Premier, I've been able to talk with our technical account manager about more advanced topics. I would consider myself a power user and I do a lot of stuff that's outside the norm. This is not the sort of stuff that you would just set it up and forget about.

I also get information about a lot of different reporting and things like that. Sometimes, I'm interested in the very minute details of how it works, in order to either do the report or ensure that I'm doing something in the correct fashion. With the help of the technical account manager, I have been able to be interactive as an intermediate, or I've actually been able to get on, or have a call with, some of the developers who may have been the ones specifically programming a certain portion of the appliance. I don't see getting those deep answers from somebody further back behind the technical support customer service.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Prior to KACE, we had a piece of software, which is no longer around, called eSMART. It was developed by a company called ASAP, which was acquired by Dell. Dell purchased ASAP, decommissioned their eSMART product, and then wrapped up the functionality of the eSMART product into KACE. This is what led us there.

How was the initial setup?

It wasn't really difficult to set up. When we set ours up initially, there was an option to have somebody from the technical support or training department go over it with you. Once you started setting it up, they would ensure that you understand how to work it.

I can't recall exactly how long it took for the overall deployment, although I don't believe it was a lengthy process. The two biggest parts of the setup were configuring the initial queue for IT, and getting the agents pushed out.

What about the implementation team?

We completed the deployment on our own and I am responsible for performing the updates.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Licensing is done on a per device basis, so it's dependent on how many agents you've got installed. When we looked at it, KACE was competitively priced versus other agent-based asset and inventory management solutions.

Where we really get a lot of value is that the product licensing is only based on that. It means that if we implement another IT service, we can use it with no problem and it doesn't cost anything more to put that in there. We can just keep adding to it, so we're basically getting more use for no extra costs. An example is that we have other departments and other kinds of entities within our business, and they are utilizing the service desk functionality for things outside of plain IT support.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Early on in the pilot, we evaluated other options. It was around the time that we implemented KACE that we also played with a solution called Spiceworks for system support.

They have a ticketing system, and we tried to make it work, but being about the time that we started looking at KACE, and since KACE had the functionality of a service desk, we didn't really pursue that any further.

What other advice do I have?

I know that Quest has other products, whether they're KACE branded or other brands, but, by and large, those offerings are for systems or services that we already have in place with other vendors.

My advice for anybody who is implementing KACE is not to be afraid to use their technical support. There is also some semi-official support available in external groups. They run a website called ITNinja, and there's a lot of discussion on there from KACE users, about questions that they have, or issues that they have, or wants or reports.

People help out each other. The site is run by Quest, but it is community moderated rather than Quest doing the moderation of the content. Essentially, it's a virtual user group and it has been a big help.

In summary, this is a very good product but there is always room to improve. For what we've used it for, it's been very good, and I hope that it continues to serve us well.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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MW
User at a healthcare company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Enables mass deployment and mass uninstallation in a very intelligent way

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature of KACE is the mass package deployment. There are a lot of endpoint management solutions in the market. The way KACE responds is with the installation management feature, which is done in a very intelligent way, as well as scripting. It's wow. It's really wow. On top of that, there is a mass undeployment feature as well."
  • "There should be a mini toolbox, like the competitors of KACE have, with the small features for KACE administrators. That would make their lives easier. If you are troubleshooting a specific endpoint, remote control is available as is Wake-on-LAN. But if you want to execute some commands, you have to use a third-party tool, the PS tool. If they would integrate those small things, it would make KACE more powerful."

What is our primary use case?

We use the KACE solution for endpoint management, since our posture is based on endpoints. We have almost 2,000 endpoints.

We have two KACE boxes. It's not a virtual appliance, it is a physical appliance.

How has it helped my organization?

It's not only saving time but increasing IT productivity. If you have a KACE box, you're going to save a lot. Having KACE is a blessing for IT administrators for endpoint management. They can do a lot of work remotely, as well as troubleshooting, mass deployment, and mass uninstallation. KACE is very intelligent and it has its own uninstaller.

An example of how KACE helped is that there was a McAfee service-provider who was visiting us to do a McAfee upgrade for our antivirus system. They are experienced people, the subject matter experts for deploying McAfee, the client, the agent, et cetera. He was having an issue uninstalling a McAfee firewall client. If you deploy a McAfee in your network, the uninstaller should be from McAfee, but the uninstaller from McAfee was an outdated version. Uninstalling the firewall client from McAfee requires a lot of effort. It's not impossible, but it's time-consuming and if you try to uninstall from the control panel, of course it won't allow you. There is a popup for the password and, without that, a lot of problems are going to occur. 

He told me he was facing this issue. The solution for uninstalling it was provided by KACE. I demonstrated it to him for one of our clients and he was shocked. He started writing that command, and the next day he sent me a text message, saying, "Thank you. You made my life easier." He gave that command to another customer, a client of his who is an IT administrator, to run that command via a batch file to all the end-users, because they didn't have KACE. 

For an IT department in any organization that pays for endpoint management, KACE is really a blessing for them.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of KACE is the mass package deployment. There are a lot of endpoint management solutions in the market. The way KACE responds is with the installation management feature, which is done in a very intelligent way, as well as scripting. It's wow. It's really wow. On top of that, there is a mass undeployment feature as well.

For example, we had an issue a while back where there was a plugin for the SAP module being deployed to almost 1,800 computers. It was taking a backup, restarting the machine, and updating it automatically. Our end-users were complaining every day. We were receiving hundreds of calls. We found out that the issue was this plugin. It was updating and restarting machines without informing the users. When we did inventory, we started finding this application, but we didn't know about the history of that application. Luckily, KACE gave us an uninstallation path, the command line. When we deployed it, believe it or not, it worked as a massive uninstallation feature and it took care of almost 1,800 computers within one hour.

It's really very time-saving stuff. It's all up to you, how you are going to utilize KACE, but if you know the way, the features are very user-friendly and it does not require scripting. There are built-in features where you can build your own script and execute it remotely through KACE. 

I have never officially worked on the service desk model of KACE, but when I went through it, it was fine. It's good for a small IT department. It's more than enough. It has asset inventory and printer inventory. You enable the SNMP features and you can get reports on printers and even printer cartridge utilization reports. It's a very handy tool for organizations that have a lot of endpoints in place.

We also used the Systems Deployment Appliance for Windows 7. Now, we are planning to use it for the Windows 10 upgrade for the rest of our machines. If you're going to capture the image of a machine and re-image that machine, it's great. Over the network, it took us 18 minutes to deploy 19 GB of images. And that was not on the same campus. It was a remote campus. For the same campus, we also used it to deploy and it took us, I think, 16 minutes and a few seconds for almost 18 GB of Windows 7 images.

There are a lot of nice features.

What needs improvement?

There is a module for agent management when you right-click on the inventory. If you want to connect remotely you can do so. But sometimes the agent check-in does not happen. You can do the first check-in through a script, at the same time. 

But there should be a mini toolbox, like the competitors of KACE have, with the small features for KACE administrators. That would make their lives easier. If you are troubleshooting a specific endpoint, remote control is available as is Wake-on-LAN. But if you want to execute some commands, you have to use a third-party tool, the PS tool. If they would integrate those small things, it would make KACE more powerful.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Quest KACE Systems Management for almost five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Initially, four years back, we were having a lot of issues with the KACE agent. But as the solution has grown, the maturity level has really increased and the stability and the reliability have as well. My KACE machine has not been down for a single day in the last five years. It's a very stable product.

It's really reliable now and very intelligent on top of that. When we do a mass deployment, there isn't a single day when my network admin asks me, "Why are you deploying this?" I deployed Office 2013 with KACE, in a massive way, and our network guys never said, "Oh, we can see there is a bandwidth spike." The way that KACE intelligently deploys and manages installation is great. It's really kind of a miracle. I believe that they select a group, copy the file over the network to the cache of the local machine, execute the command, and then install the media file on the local machine.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

KACE is very scalable.

We started with 700 clients and today we are at almost 2,000 clients. There hasn't been a single day where I have been concerned about the scalability or the of KACE. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Quest Support for KACE is good. They are responsive and they always give you a solution in a  timely manner. 

We faced a problem two or three years back, an issue with the inventory of Forescout Secure Connector. We could not find out how many machines had Secure Connect Connector because it's installed as a service. It was a very complex problem for us and KACE support came up with a solution: Create a new, customized inventory to get Secure Connect to be considered as a process. On that basis, we had a new entry and this solved our problem.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We have not used another asset management solution in this organization. I did use SCCM in my old company.

How was the initial setup?

For us, the initial setup was not complex. The problem was that the environment, the network we work in, is a very restrictive environment. We have a lot of firewall policies and a layer of firewalls across the network. Because of the complex network architecture, we struggled a bit with the network discovery of the endpoints. We used one of the best practices: Do auto-discovery and then apply the agents.

At that point in time, I didn't really know KACE. It was a new box. I started discovering what would be next. The next thing that happened was another blessing from KACE which was having it do the Active Directory group policy deployment for the agents. I deployed it and that discovery was running for almost a week, but we started installing the agent within about four to five days. It was time-consuming. It took us two weeks because we ran it organization-to-organization because it would have slowed down the network. We did not want to take any risks. If we had taken the risk, it wouldn't have been an issue, as far as the KACE agent deployment is concerned. 

Now, whenever a new machine comes into our network, the KACE agent is automatically installed. Right after that, KACE is installing one of our NEC client agents automatically. Then, KACE will discover that this machine is a part of the McAfee agent, and if it is not, it will automatically install the McAfee agent. Then I configure McAfee to sync with Active Directory. 

So for us, when a new machine is joining, the desktop engineer will run only one command, GPUpdate. The machine will restart and then all the group policies, the KACE policies will be deployed. KACE will then install all of our small plugins automatically and they're good to go.

One of the best parts of KACE is when you go for a version upgrade. Once you do a version upgrade for any KACE module—any KACE virtual appliance or physical appliance—it's very user-friendly. In addition, the agent upgrade is a miracle. When you do the agent upgrade for the KACE appliance for the first time, it's "super-wow". The last upgrade I did was for almost 1,900 PCs, and all the agents were updated automatically when I upgraded the agent package. It took only 24 hours.

I am the only KACE administrator in our organization, but there are desktop engineers who log in to KACE. They review machines, but I do all the administration and configuration. They use it to take inventory or check the memory and see what replacements are required. They are read-only administrators.

What was our ROI?

We have seen a lot of return on our investment in KACE. One area is headcount. We are a military hospital. Imagine having 2,000 computers on the ground in different remote locations, yet having only seven desktop support engineers. If you do the math, there should be no way that seven desktop engineers can support 2,000 endpoints. Even the best-case scenario is one engineer working with 100 desktop machines, max. That gives you an idea of the headcount savings.

We are also saving on the licensing fee, compared to other endpoint management solutions.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

KACE is very easy to use and user-friendly compared to the other endpoint management tools, like Microsoft SCCM and other third-party tools, in terms of IT administration. Compared to its competitors, it's easy to get machine inventory.

What other advice do I have?

If any organization wants to manage its endpoints, having KACE, as I said, is a blessing for the IT administrators.

I would give it an eight out of 10. I am being demanding because there are some more improvements that can be made. But KACE can be a superpower in endpoint management.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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