Business Info - issue 146 magazine 30 END USER COMPUTING 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 virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and Access from all areas cloud workspaces. 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 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 VDI and Desktop as a Service (DaaS) offerings from Microsoft, Amazon, Citrix and VMware, which has grown significantly over the last year as organisations have moved applications to the cloud to support enforced remote working. It is surely no coincidence that in 2020 IGEL’s average deal close rate dropped from 156 days to 76 and that it saw a 10% increase in billings for deals over $100,000. Both trends are testament to the suitability of IGEL’s offering for pandemic and post- pandemic workstyles. IGEL’s reinvention as a software company is reflected in its latest results, which show that in 2020 it 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. 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 and those 1,000 employees would come into the office every day and do very basic tasks on those devices,” he explained. “Then Covid came along, and As organisations update their IT strategies to reflect the new world of hybrid working, many are turning to cloud workspaces, helping to fuel rapid growth at IGEL, provider of a proven operating system for accessing VDI and DaaS. James Goulding reports Simon Townsend The need to work from anywhere is increasing demand for VDI and Desktop as a Service