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Dell KACE K3000 MDM retires in favor of EMM

Dell Software is quietly retiring the KACE K3000 MDM appliance and pushing its other devices, along with a cloud-based mobile management service.

Dell Software is retiring its KACE K3000 mobile device management appliance and will instead focus on its new EMM platform.

Dell will continue to support the K3000, but some of its development resources are going into enterprise mobility management (EMM), said a source whom Dell told about its plans. Another source with direct knowledge of the company's roadmap confirmed the news.

The K3000 is no longer listed on Dell's website. It remains unclear if the company will help existing K3000 customers migrate to Dell's EMM platform or how long it will maintain support. Dell officials declined to comment on this story.

The move to retire the K3000 comes as Dell places more resources behind its new strategy to provide both on-premise and cloud-based EMM services

Dell’s foray into mobile device management (MDM) started in 2010 when it acquired KACE, a system management appliance vendor. The K3000 debuted in 2012 to help IT pros manage the influx of tablets and smartphones in the enterprise.

Since then, Dell Software has made more headway with its K1000 and K2000 appliances. The company expanded the K1000 to also offer it as a cloud-based service and has integrated it with the EMM platform. The K1000 is designed to help IT pros with system management, while the K2000 is a deployment appliance, allowing IT admins to easily provision and reimage operating systems.

Indeed, Dell's K1000 and K2000 management appliances have a loyal following among IT pros. The KACE product line even spawned its own annual conference, now called the Dell Software User Forum.

As Dell pushes its EMM strategy, the myriad number of its acquisitions makes it difficult to integrate the product lines in a cohesive manner, despite the company's best engineering efforts. In addition to KACE, Dell bought SonicWall, Boomi, Wyse Technology Inc., Enstratius, AppAssure, Credent and others over the years.

 The company also continues to face internal struggles that make it difficult for a smooth transformation from a public to private company, sources said.

For Dell Software integrating the technologies into a unified product offering while competing in a cutthroat EMM space will be a difficult feat, and illustrates its growing pains.

The intent was to integrate the K3000 with the EMM efforts, the source said, but with Dell's investment in an EMM platform, there is little need to have competing products. The KACE K3000 was designed to help with mobile management systems in a bring your own device (BYOD) scenario.

One longtime KACE customer, an IT pro at a community college in Oregon, said the K3000's retirement will not affect his organization.

"MDM is not a real big issue here," the IT pro said. "Our telephone communication people do phone provisioning, and we don’t do anything with tablet provisioning."

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Is a cloud-based mobile management service better than on-premise for your organization?
Over the last year I have found that using a cloud-based mobile management service is much better than our former on-site system. The mobile-based cloud system gives all our staff needed access to valuable information when they are on the go, on set or on production. The cloud-based mobile management has become invaluable, especially when edits are exchanged for last-minute shots. This has saved the company labor costs and time as we do not have to keep as many experts on staff, just the select few who can manage the cloud-based mobile system for our work and business.