Dell is leveraging its software portfolio in its hardware products here, something we will likely see more of from them, as they have assembled and consolidated their software offerings to the point where they are now ready for a more aggressive push.
Dell has announced redesigned additions to its Latitude commercial notebook lines, including the Latitude 7000 Series of 2-in-1 detachable laptop, the Latitude 3000 and 5000 Series laptops and the Latitude 14 Rugged laptop. Dell also announced a new software feature for all its laptops — Dell KACE K1000 Express. Leveraged from Dell’s KACE K1000 product, this is a free IT inventory solution that manages warranty status, BIOS and driver updates across a company’s Dell devices to provide admins with a holistic view of their hardware and software assets, encompassing tablets, desktops and servers.
“While Dell has offerings with free solutions that complement hardware, this is a first using KACE,” said Lisa Richardson, product marketing manager for Dell KACE. “This is the beginning of combining Dell’s hardware expertise with its comprehensive software offerings to provide the most secure and reliable systems strategy for our customers.”
This strategy of leveraging Dell’s software portfolio in its hardware products is something Richardson suggested we will see more of from Dell, as the company has assembled and consolidated its software offerings to the point where they are now ready for a more aggressive push.
The KACE K1000 Express is a scaled-down version of the Dell KACE systems management offering. For example, while the full version works on all operating systems, the free offering only works for Windows devices.
“The K1000 Express does have full reporting for all devices, full hardware and software inventory, a complete dashboard, and a patch assessment for the system to tell if devices have been patched,” Richardson said. “However to do the patching yourself, you have to upgrade to the full K1000 appliance.”
The K1000 Express is a limited term feature, as third party offerings bundled onto systems often are, but Richardson pointed out that while such offerings, on the consumer side, are typically 30 days, the customer gets the K1000 Express free for a year.
“We think that letting the customers see the core features of the KACE K1000 solution is a great way to get customers started on this,” Richardson said. “Customers have more than a hardware need, and can really benefit from systems management as part of their experience. They can cut down on unnecessary churn.”
Richardson acknowledged many larger customers will already have some other systems management software in place, but believes that exposure to the KACE K1000 will encourage them to switch.
“For customers who have a solution in place, this will let them understand what KACE provides,” she said. “There are point solutions available, but they are not integrated with the hardware systems like this is. This is also one of the few solutions that manages all hardware, and it has advantages in managing Dell hardware.”
Ultimately, Richardson believes the K1000 Express will lead to a significant boost for Dell KACE, from which partners will benefit.
“We believe this will be disruptive for accelerating client solutions and systems management solutions, and will give partners a real differentiator in the marketplace,” she said.