First; do you want to connect to your automation system via RS232 or IP? I would have thought the latter. Just disable the RS232 port (probably need to use their software to do this). Then connect it up via IP.
Re: the server/client arrangements. I see no reason why both arrangements cannot support bidirectional IR. The doco is not particularly clear but it looks like when the Keene box is a client then anything communicating with it needs to know its IP address. If the Keene box is acting as server it probably connects to clients by the clients sending a UDP broadcast message and the Keene box responding with where it is. I don’t think this has anything to do with the RS232 whatsoever.
Looks like the Kira plugin wants a ip address specified, so the Keene box needs to be in client mode.
This is all just guesswork on my part, so please note; I may be supplying inaccurate information.
What ever happened to RexBeckett? He would know more about this.