Please share with the community what you think needs improvement with Quest KACE Systems Management.
What are its weaknesses? What would you like to see changed in a future version?
KACE.uservoice.com is a platform where users can post suggestions for improving the software. A lot of ideas that have ended up in the development of KACE have come from this. For example, in version 10.2 KACE implemented the possibility of reducing the network speed of the KACE agent. You can set it so that it takes whatever network speed you want or you can set it to 5 Mb, to save network speed. You set it for all the computers, but it would be preferable to separate between VPN connections in our home office and the local area. It would be great to be able to set separate speeds for different VLANs. I posted this idea on Uservoice.
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.
The only pain point I have is with their salespeople. They call too often. They're too aggressive in trying to upsell. We know what we need, and we know if we want to expand. I don't mind quarterly calls from them, but sometimes, it is weekly. They need to get their sales team under control. The main goal of their support people and professional services is to make sure they deliver the service, and they deliver it well, whereas their salespeople are so interested in making a sale that they're wasting my time. We did look at MDM, and I was misguided by their salespeople. When I talked to their tactical people, I found out that I hadn't been given the full picture on MDM, and it wouldn't have been what we wanted if we had moved forward with it. I really value their technical services, their professional services, and their support services, but their sales team needs to really up their game and not phone every week.
I still need better communication about which processes are really due and which processes are currently being processed. According to the initial setup service provider, there is still no real management or overview on KACE where you can really see 100 percent of what is going on as well as what is going to be processed next and whether I can influence the overall process. It could really help me if I knew, e.g. exactly in 10 minutes my colleague will be supplied with this or that software. I haven't found this yet. If they could add this, that would be cool. It is still missing and I haven't yet found something like this. Sometimes, if you copy and paste someone incorrectly, then you can also assign the wrong software and that can then lead to problems where you distribute the wrong software.
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.
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 the basic functions, it is very easy to use, e.g., looking up computers and seeing what is on them. For the software deployment and scripting, it is more difficult. I only have experienced people on my team do that type of work. If there was a way to simplify the interface for more technical tasks, that would be more useful. We had a system that we had to upgrade manually this past week. It was a good portion of the systems. Unfortunately, due to the type of software it was, I couldn't do it with KACE, even though we tried. So, my folks had to manually touch each one of the computers, and it cost us hours in lost productivity. The correlation between assets and inventory needs improvement. The KACE appliance does both asset tracking and inventory, and the link between those two is very sparse and difficult to operate. So, I asked them if they could link those two more seamlessly. I gave that information to KACE a couple of years ago.
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.
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.
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.
I've had some issues with patch catalogue, which seems to have expired. Quite a few people have reported that they are struggling with it.
We all know it's really hard to get good pricing and cost information.
Please share what you can so you can help your peers.