Dell's Kace management tools going mobile

iPhones, iPads and Android devices will be supported in a future version of the Kace products

Dell is updating its Kace systems management products to help IT departments deal with the army of smartphones and tablets invading their company networks, Michael Dell said on Tuesday.

Dell will extend the Kace products to include support for the Apple iPhone and iPad, as well as tablets and smartphones based on Google's Android OS, Dell said, speaking at the Kace customer conference in San Francisco.

"It's critical to be able to manage all devices, whether they are client devices or mobile devices, and that's a challenge we want to address," he said. Smartphones are "basically small computers" and "somewhat insecure," Dell said, and IT departments need help managing them.

Dell acquired Kace in February as part of a wider effort to expand its business beyond PCs. It has been investing heavily in the company, Dell said, increasing its customer base by 900, to about 2,500, and tripling the size of its support staff, including the addition of new support centers in Asia and Japan.

"Systems management is a big area of investment and a big focus for us," Michael Dell said.

Kace offers two appliances today for managing PCs and servers -- the K1000, for inventory and patch management, and the K2000, which can deploy applications and OS images.

They have little smartphone support, however, only some basic management capabilities for the iPhone. Future Kace products will manage phones and tablets based on Android, Windows 7 and Apple's iOS, said Lubos Parobek, vice president for product management at Dell's Kace division.

As well as performing basic inventory, customers will be able to deploy software to the devices, erase data and lock them down if they are stolen, he said. He couldn't give a release date but said the capabilities will be added to the K1000 appliance.

Dell will be competing with a number of companies. Fiberlink, Sybase and LogMeIn all offer tools for managing mobile phones as well as computers. Google offers a basic phone management service, and Good Technology sells software that lets enterprises manage phones from most manufacturers.

In some ways Dell is adding to the problem even while it tries to solve it, by selling its own little army of smartphones. It's already released the Streak and the Venture Pro, and on Tuesday Michael Dell pulled another, Android-based device from his pocket that he said will be formally announced on Wednesday. The device has a 3.5-inch screen and will be sold in India and other emerging markets, he said, without giving any more details.

Dell will have its own equivalent to the iPad too, he said -- a 10-inch device based on the Honeycomb release of Android that's expected next spring.

Dell also showed briefly an upcoming "mini" Kace appliance for small organizations. Looking more like a mini-desktop PC than an appliance server, it will be for companies with less than about 150 computers to manage.

"This is something you'll hear more about next year," Dell said, showing the silver box briefly on stage. "This will have a really easy-to-use interface and will bring inventory and asset management to smaller organizations."

He also referred briefly to a new Kace technology called "super-disk," which he said will allow organizations to make use of all the disk space around their organizations that is going unused. He didn't provide any details or say when the technology will be ready.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Dellhardware systemsdesktop pcssoftwaresystem management

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Niccolai

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?