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Recommended Suppliers Thread, CSE in Purchasing and Trading; I m taking over a network installed by CSE, any opinions of CSE?...
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    CSE

    I m taking over a network installed by CSE, any opinions of CSE?

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    kill it! kill it with fire!

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    as above, burn it

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    Not the software exactly but the company?

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    burn everything, burn it all, lol. Serious, bad choice to go with!

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    Crispin's Avatar
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    In fairness the servers that were supplied by CSE around 5 years ago have never failed and have not needed a single component changing. However, the switches that were installed were already obsolete at the time of installation, so now, they're ancient.
    Hardware was all good, until they stuck the CSE software on it all and ruined it.

    We're trying to claw our way out of CSE and after the network overhaul this summer, hopefully we'll be able to do that.

    Haven't had any dealings with the company personally so can't give an opinion really..

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    I m taking over a network with CSE stuff on it, seems to be going ok but just weighing up the options

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    Quote Originally Posted by irsprint84 View Post
    Not the software exactly but the company?
    No, burn both... OK... to give a slightly more reasoned argument after a few bourbons LOL.

    * Their software doesn't complement the network, it takes it over. Students don't get a real-world idea of IT because "Workspace Explorer" takes it over.
    * Trying to do anything innovative with your network becomes an akin to Chinese water-torture, as CSE takes away your control.
    * The company are 99% pushy salesmen, and 1% technical.

    CSE, not unlike RM to be frank, hark back to the day when school IT was simple, a few applications, a couple of IT rooms, IT Manager didn't exist, Head of ICT did it all, just needed very simple tools to create users, when something above the day-to-day was needed, quite rare in that set up, it could wait till the company came out to do it.

    CSE is just simply not necessary, wanted, or fit-for-purpose, in modern day IT-centric schools. It lasted about 3 months after I took the job before all their contracts were cancelled, and the network ripped out.

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    CSE

    Hi,


    I represent CSE and would like to correct some of the comments being made.


    Your comments about CSE taking over the network are incorrect. Indeed we have many customers who run a vanilla network and have no tools of any kind. I assume that your views are from the distant past when we had an option to replace Windows Explorer with a secure shell, however this was superseded many years ago.


    Workspace Explorer is now an option which is activated or not by a tick-box. CSE Network Toolkit enhances your control of core components, it does not replace it.


    I completely disagree with your statement that you cannot do anything innovative with CSEís tools on. There is no part of a network where access is prevented by the presence of our tools (Group Policy etc). We have specifically developed our tools to be modular, so customers can use as many or as few of the tools as they wish.


    You are obviously of the opinion that you do not need network tools, and thatís fine, but itís a little unfair to then criticise companies who supply tools for schools that do, particularly when you have had no contact with the company and your views are obviously years out of date.


    I also disagree with the % of our personnel who are sales people; itís certainly not 99%. Indeed we must be one of the few companies in the sector who employ more technical people than sales (63% to 37% if you really wish to have the ratio).


    We have worked very hard to accommodate the needs of all our current and future customers, and wanted to put our opinion across to refute a point of view that is obviously taken from many years ago.

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    Crispin's Avatar
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    CSE has become completely obsolete here.

    Anything workspace explorer has offered us is already available using the start menu and good group policy. Now obviously some schools may not have the time/resources to be doing that and need a quick solution, but at the cost of licensing CSE through a large school? Not for us.
    However the issue that I'm plagued with the most is how damn resource hungry workspace explorer is. It completely sucks the life out of the PC, and with McAfee installed aswell the boxes just grind to a halt. This is the .NET version by the way.
    Now I have said in a previous post that CSE has been good for us in terms of application and printer deployment. But now, with 2008 printer deployment isn't an issue anymore, and a copy of wininstall LE and some GPOs solves the other.

    CSE recovery manager has been unreliable at best, although not the worst backup solution i've seen.

    I never use the network toolkit for users etc.. as I do everything through AD, so you are right when you say CSE doesn't take away full control.

    All in all, its just not necessary for us. I'm sure some people are more than happy with it but I've never really understood a need for it, never liked it, never will do.

    *My opinion, not my employers.*
    Last edited by Crispin; 23rd May 2009 at 07:05 PM.

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    Wow, amazed by the unhappy rantings against CSE here. I've happily used CSE for supply of equipment, cabling and they're currently working on MS licensing and Wifi for us (we'll see how they do).

    The quality of their cabling work is high, with their staff friendly and helpful. Their sales staff are also helpful, doing legwork where needed to ensure you get what you want. And they certainly haven't provided us anything but the best service.

    True, we wouldn't use the software they provide, because we have no need for it, but I would advise people who dislike their software not to judge the whole company on this.

    Edit: One thing that made me nervous about using them 3 years ago was the fact that they were very much a RM like company - they seemed to exist around their software. What moved me to buy from them was the fact that they have moved into more of a general IT provider for education, for example selling HP equipment etc... So, the fact they've moved to more of a sales based existence is actually something I welcome.
    Last edited by localzuk; 23rd May 2009 at 08:41 PM.

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    I would agree run with some comments as regards about CSE but disagree with others:

    I have been using CSE for eight years at two different establishments.

    Good points

    1. Their application deployment software (Prism) works really well & has saved me an awful lot of time.
    2. Internet tracking software again very good.
    3. Printer solution works well.
    4. Their network management Software is again good & can save you a lot of time.


    Bad Points

    1. Workspace Explorer is very resource hungry.
    2. When they moved to Workspace .Net I personally felt this didn't anywhere meet their original ideas for this product & I personally had many issues with this product & even after three years have not upgraded to this version.
    3. I also feel they have provided over the years has degraded & feel their company has become more sales driven, as someone else has stated.

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    Right, time for me to have a say as I have had years of experience with the CSE front end.
    I still use the old version [ ver 5 ] I think of Workspace explorer. Why ? Because it helps me manage VERY easily the front end a user sees. And as we are a prep school with ages from 3 to 13 the vast difference of software to control who uses it is vast.
    It certainly has its faults - [ re-freshing newly created files and folders, not displaying USB sticks, not being able to fire off older apps [ 16 bit ] without a CMD script in place ] but for me the central management aspect makes my life easier.
    I have seen the .net version and will not be installing this because of problems I have heard about. The version we use is out of support now I think but for me it still does the job.
    When we first installed CSE the software we had it running on just under 100 PCs, now I have it running on over 100 PCs and around 60 wireless laptops. I rarely use Prism which is a package installing app - mostly now using AD and images to deploy software.
    As for their support well this is very hit and miss - about 5 years ago [ when I first started at the school ] we had one person coming in every 2 weeks making sure all was ok etc. This went well for a few months, then the scheduled visits started to go missing - ok we got money back for this but it was inconvenient. Then they started sending in very young and in-experienced people. I ended up showing them tricks of the trade etc and sharing my experience. This did not bother me but it bothered [understandably] the network manager. So in the end we stopped the visit / support side.
    During this time I built and installed a few more servers, dumping Sophos, installing WSUS, writing scripts and apps which worked alongside the CSE side of things. [ Forgot to say that CSE also put together the first set of images using Ghost etc ] - these were ok, but could have been better so I soon changed the base line image.
    I have had a few problems with the software, but as I know all the quirks and limitations of it I seem to get by with it.
    The few times I have had to contact them by phone they have been there, ordered a few licenses from them so never had a problem there,
    So just to wrap up for me:

    Nice company, older software good, newer software bad, some good support, I have not had a bad experience.

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