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12/8/2010
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Dell Kace Speeds Windows 7 Migrations

K2000 appliance upgrade broadly targets midsized firms with limited IT resources, but may make the most sense for organizations with more than 500 users.

Windows 7 Revealed
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Slideshow: Windows 7 Revealed

"Their pricing is extremely competitive," Brasen said "The challenge comes in below 500 end points." Brasen said that the return on investment (ROI) diminishes as companies approach 100 end points, when compared with some of the per-seat options on the market. As a result, Kace may be best suited for organizations above that 500-seat mark. "I think that's the niche that they're really trying for," Brasen said.

Brasen noted, however, that if a vendor's feature set makes particular sense for an organization, then the ROI may not be strictly a matter of dollars and cents in relation to headcount.

That was true for South Coast Water District (SCWD), which provides water and sewer service in southern California. IT manager Bryon Black said his public agency was attracted to Kace's appliance model and has found success using its scripted installations.

SCWD is about halfway through its migration of around 150 end points. Black estimated that migrating a single user before Kace would take about a half a day, and now that's down to 20 minutes. When weighing the costs of deploying Kace, Black said that time saved was the critical factor.

"We kept a careful eye on how much less work this was going to be for us," he said, adding that SCWD didn't have the resources to hire the additional headcount it would have needed to avoid business-as-usual disruptions during migration. Black's IT department numbers two -- including him. "We've saved a person, at least."

Black did point out that there was a significant learning curve in automating with Kace, but said that's likely the case with any vendor in the space. "That part is painful for anyone, I think."

"With a team of two people, we're knocking out about three [users] per day and keeping up with our regular workload," Black said. "I'm pretty stoked about that."

For Further Reading

3 SMBs Illustrate The Different Approaches To Windows 7 -- And Other Top Tech Issues

Rolling Out Windows 7

Air Force Upgrading To Windows 7

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