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Director, Information Technology IT User Services at a university with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Streamlines procedures, offers easy license tracking, and is reasonably priced
Pros and Cons
  • "We can get the majority of what we need with this product and do not have to spend money on something else."
  • "There may be a good reason why some things are not easily able to be done, yet it needs work to compete with some of the other ticketing systems out there now."

What is our primary use case?

We use KACE SMA and KACE SDA. We use all but a few of the features that both appliances have to offer. We are in a VM environment with the KACE SMA, however, we use a physical appliance for the SDA.  

The ticketing system, real-time inventory, patching, software license, and imaging are commonly used. We also use this for scans - with this and aggressive patching we have been able to pass several outside pen tests. Scripts are used to push out software so the clients don't have to wait and it takes the pressure off of the technicians.

How has it helped my organization?

The solution has helped with real-time inventory, advertising and pushing out software, patching, and oval and SCAP scans. We can get the majority of what we need with this product and do not have to spend money on something else. 

In terms of imaging, we don't have to have an image for every model of Dell computer we have due to drivers. The SDA pulls and installs the correct drivers for each model. 

Post-installation tasks make it easy to add or remove software to images without having to download, change the image, and upload them back onto the server.

What is most valuable?

The streamlined processes and procedures are great. Automating processes is helpful. Patching is huge as it's set it and forget it for the most part. Real-time software and hardware inventory is great. 

We can track software licenses in one place. We can have a ticketing system and be able to create processes so that when one ticket closes, the next one is assigned in the process. 

Being able to add and remove software from images without having to recreate the image every time is helpful. 

Being able to create labels to group items we want to keep track of makes it very easy for us. 

The notifications (up to 60 days pre-renewal for contracts) are a great way to know when a renewal is coming instead of finding out last minute. 

What needs improvement?

The ticketing system works for us and we like using it. That said, some processes that seem like they should be simple either can't be done or are cumbersome in setting them up. I managed a different ticketing system previously and we were able to have certain questions come up for the client based on the category picked. It was easy to set up and use. Being able to auto have a KB article with questions needed for certain categories easily auto inserted into the ticket based on category was also an option. 

There may be a good reason why some things are not easily able to be done, yet it needs work to compete with some of the other ticketing systems out there now.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution since 2010.

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

We had a few different solutions. We had an access database we were using for ticketing and inventory, and patching was manual. Imaging was with a product that required an image for every different model of computer we had.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

We worked with a vendor team, and they were excellent.

What was our ROI?

We can do more with less staff. And, unfortunately, due to budgeting, we now have fewer staff.

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

The cost is reasonable. I would definitely take the JumpStart training that is offered as it helps to get you started.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated an in-house system, School Dude, and a ticketing system that is no longer in business.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Horacio Rojas
User at University of Hawaii
Real User
Top 20
Customizable service desk, easy management, and great for integrating existing IT tasks/requirements
Pros and Cons
  • "The service desk can be configured and customized to better serve our environment."
  • "There is always room for improvement. However, the system does most of what we need at this moment."

What is our primary use case?

The primary use of this product is for our user support (help desk).

Kace has helped us integrate all of our IT needs from inventory to imaging. Having this appliance to do everything automatically and push out software is a plus. Summer tasks are so much easier with imaging across the network that requires almost zero technicians intervention.

Managing 3,000+ computers across our campus from one single solution has made our life (and work) so easy. We are able to respond to the needs of our users always and can look into the history of the devices or the KB created to self-serve our users.

How has it helped my organization?

Our computer Inventory became more accurate, and computers were rolled out faster. Our techs adapted quickly to the new service desk, and the users can now check the status of their ticket by login into the user portal. 

As we plan computer rotations, having an accurate inventory is a key to identifying computers that are end-of-life or out of warranty. KACE can provide all of the necessary information by simply running customized reports that in turn can be provided to individuals or departments, either on-demand or on an automatic schedule.

What is most valuable?

Asset management, inventory, reporting, and service desk features work together and they are very valued in our daily operations.

When a user creates a ticket, users are in a continuous loop of communication via the service desk, user portal, or email. We are now able to set tier levels and involve other areas within IT, networking, sysadmin, VOIP, or managerial for approvals.

The service desk can be configured and customized to better serve our environment. If necessary, additional queues can be added.

What needs improvement?

There is always room for improvement. An example will be the implementation of granulated permission to run Scripts. We often find it unnecessary (and dangerous) that all technicians can see/run all the scripts created by our institution. Ideally, a Manager could assign some scripts to certain levels of support. 

However, the system does most of what we need at this moment.                                          

KACE has a website, "Use Your Voice," where users can make suggestions to improve the product or add new features. This offers a great way to improve the system.                      

KACE recently added Windows Feature Update patching to SMA. That was a considerable improvement to keep end-points secure, as many users were asking for it. 

For how long have I used the solution?

SMA was implemented in our institution in late 2008.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is great, initially was running on a physical server, and recently migrated to a VM, both environments are very well-built.

How are customer service and support?

Support was always provided a fast and accurate response to our questions, issues, or even helping us implementing new system upgrades

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

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

n/a

How was the initial setup?

The setup was straight foward, and a dedicated support team was on the line while we implemented and set up the system. KACE included a follow-up online training to guide us and have the appliance up and running within the first hour.

What was our ROI?

We've seen ROI in less than 6 months.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also looked into TrackIT.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Computer Management at University South Brittany
User
Simplifies software deployment, allows the use of replicas, and has personalized inventory fields
Pros and Cons
  • "With KACE, we were able to have a simplification of the software deployment management with more granularity and flexibility."
  • "What could be improved is the possibility to use replicas in a secure way outside our network in order to maintain the machines that never connect to our corporate network."

What is our primary use case?

We are a small university of 10,000 students with 1,000 faculty and staff. We have to manage about 3500 computers spread over 3 sites.

There are 2,000 computers available for students. The rest are for staff, including 700 laptops.

Student computers are completely redeployed during the summer break, unlike staff computers which are redeployed during their replacement (every 5 years).

We use KACE SMA mainly to deploy software and security updates. We also use KACE to manage our assets and create monitoring reports.

How has it helped my organization?

We were using an end-of-life solution with limited software deployment management capabilities, as well as WSUS to deploy security updates. The asset management was done in an in-house tool that was also end of life.

With KACE, we were able to have a simplification of the software deployment management with more granularity and flexibility.

The use of replicas allowed us to relieve inter-site links during massive computer deployments or security updates.

The ability to create reports is also a plus that allows us to track the life of our computers.

What is most valuable?

On a single page I can have access to the hardware information, the status of the warranty, the associated support tickets, the installed software, the software waiting to be installed, the last user connected, the accounting information, the date of purchase, et cetera. It gives us the ability to create our own indicators by using customized inventory rules.

We can also create our own indicators thanks to personalized inventory fields and thus bring up very targeted information, including the state of Windows activation, the number and model of connected screens, the power supply scheme used, the presence of a file, et cetera.

What needs improvement?

What could be improved is the possibility to use replicas in a secure way outside our network in order to maintain the machines that never connect to our corporate network.

The helpdesk could also improve, although it has evolved a lot on the last versions. It does not meet the moment for our needs.

What could be interesting when deploying larger software or software to many machines on a remote site would be to be able to do it P2P in order to accelerate the local deployment and not to load too much of the inter-site links.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used the solution for ten years.

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

When you have a large number of computers, the price starts to become apparent. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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