Technology Reseller v39

The need to work from anywhere is increasing demand for VDI and Desktop as a Service partnerships with hardware manufacturers like LG and Lenovo, it can also be specified at the procurement stage and delivered pre-installed. Simon Townsend, Chief Marketing Officer for IGEL in the UK, points out that the decoupling of the IGEL OS from the company’s hardware has enabled IGEL to profit from demand for virtual device infrastructure (VDI) and the growing take up of Desktop as a Service (DaaS) offerings from Microsoft, Amazon, Citrix and VMware, particularly over the last year as organisations have moved applications to the cloud to support enforced remote working. IGEL’s reinvention as a software company is reflected in its latest results, which show that in 2020 IGEL increased software sales by 52% in EMEA and by 40% in North America. Software and services now account for 64% of worldwide revenue, up from 52% in 2019. IGEL also recorded a 150% rise in recurring revenue from software and services. The fact that in 2020 IGEL’s average deal close rate dropped from 156 days to 76 days and that it saw a 10% increase in billings for deals over $100,000 are UK businesses are at last re-opening their offices and providing shared space where employees can work and interact with colleagues. Not that anyone is expecting business as usual. With the risk of new Covid outbreaks ever present, very few expect a return to how things were before the first lockdown. Survey after survey points to the same thing: the future will be hybrid, with employees spending some time working from home and some time working in an office. This could be a city centre head office or a smaller satellite office in the suburbs closer to where employees live. One company set to benefit from this trend is IGEL. For many years best known for its thin clients – IGEL is still the third largest manufacturer of such devices after Dell and HP – it is arguably now better known for its next-generation edge operating system (OS), which is already used on more than four million endpoint devices to access cloud workspaces and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). Originally only supplied with IGEL thin clients, the IGEL OS has for a few years been available independently for installation on any x86 desktop or mobile device from any manufacturer. Through testament to its suitability for pandemic and post-pandemic workstyles. Strong momentum Townsend is confident that this momentum will be maintained in 2021 as organisations address the challenges of hybrid working by converging separate office and mobile IT strategies and equipping employees with technologies that enable them to work anywhere. “Historically, VDI was designed for task- based workers. If you had 1,000 staff who just needed to input data into an Excel spreadsheet or access a call centre app, VDI was perfect. It was very cost-effective. You could put thin clients out on the edge – cheap ones – with VDI in the data centre; those 1,000 employees would come into the office every day and do very basic tasks on those devices,” he explained. “When Covid came along everyone had to work from home. Now, that’s changed again, and today people need to be able to work from anywhere. This is fuelling an uptick in VDI and Desktop as a Service in particular. In fact, it’s more than just VDI and DaaS – it’s about deploying the digital workspace of the future. When I am at home, in the office, in the coffee shop, I am going to connect to a cloud and get my desktop and applications from it. That is the way the world has gone. “And on this new Digital workspace, I need more than just applications that allow me to input data into Excel. I need to have Microsoft Teams, I need to use Zoom, I need to access a diverse mix of business applications and productivity tools, many of which are delivered from the cloud and some of which require more than just a dumb terminal to access them. “With increased mobile and hybrid working, people are seeing they need the same level of security and management that they have with a thin client on a mobile device. The best way to do this is to go to a Dell, an HP, a Lenovo and buy a laptop, but instead of putting Windows on it, to order a different SKU so it comes with IGEL OS on it. IGEL ultimately turns what would have been a Windows endpoint into a mobile endpoint running IGEL OS, with The move to cloud workspaces is fuelling rapid growth at IGEL. James Goulding reports Onwards and upwards 01732 759725 26 END USER COMPUTING