December 13, 2019

Q&A: An Exclusive Inside Look from IGEL at What to Expect at #disruptEUC 2020

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If you are involved in End User Computing in any way, shape or form, you absolutely must check out the details on the upcoming DISRUPT 2020 event.  Now in its third year, DISRUPT is quickly filling a void and becoming the standard event to address everything EUC. 

The 2020 DISRUPT events will take place January 27 through 29 in Nashville, TN and February 4-6 in Munich, Germany.  To get the inside scoop ahead of the event, VMblog spoke with Simon Townsend, Chief Marketing Officer for IGEL.

VMblog:  Let's begin by defining exactly what DISRUPT is?

Simon Townsend:  Over the last several years, the largest industry events have shifted their focus away from End User Computing (EUC). This has left IGEL with a tremendous opportunity to lead the charge in filling the void with DISRUPT, a highly targeted technical event focused solely on the EUC space, sponsored and attended by many of the major vendors and community experts in EUC.

Since we first launched DISRUPT in 2018, the events - now held in the U.S. and EMEA, have become tremendously successful. They provide an opportunity for vendors, experts, partners and customers to meet face-to-face and learn about everything EUC.

The events in the U.S. and EMEA this year will focus specifically on the deployment of cloud workspaces. The Year of VDI is 2020, and VDI is spelled WVD. Microsoft WVD promises to change the desktop forever, and we are excited to have the opportunity to share with our partners and customers the how and why around its ability to enable the more cost-effective consumption of VDI.

VMblog:  So, this year you are hosting just two separate events, one in the U.S. and one in Germany.  Tell us a little about each location. 

Townsend:  The U.S. event will take place January 27-29 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn., and the EMEA event will take place at the Infinity Hotel and Conference Center in Munich, Germany from February 4-6. Both events will feature business leaders, technology experts, industry analysts and vendors - all presenting thought-provoking content surrounding the hottest topics in the EUC space through keynotes and a series of breakout sessions taking place throughout the event.

VMblog:  What is the theme for DISRUPT 2020? 

Townsend:  Last year's DISRUPT event laid out a vision for cloud workspaces - this year's focus is all about education and helping YOU make Your Move!

VMblog:  Given the focus of DISRUPT 2020 on cloud workspaces, what do you feel are some of the biggest challenges that enterprises will face in the coming year?

Townsend:  In the coming year, enterprise customers will face a number of challenges when it comes to deploying Windows desktops and applications. Windows 7 is going End of Support. Windows as a service continues to change how migrations are handled and endpoint security is still a concern. For these reasons alone, more and more organisations are looking at moving to VDI or DaaS. But in the world of cloud hosted desktops, the market is moving quicker than ever. New features and functionality are being added every week, and for IT it's difficult to stay up to date in this agile world of cloud.  This creates opportunities for the channel to advise their customers on best practices and strategies for implementation and is also why DISRUPT this year is focused on education and knowledge sharing.

VMblog:  Are there any new trends in the industry that people should be aware of or should keep their eyes and ears on the lookout for anytime during the show? 

Townsend:  Customers no longer want to spend time and money on endpoint management. WVD is set to change how companies can consume VDI more cost effectively... As more companies embrace VDI and DaaS, Linux on the endpoint will continue to become more dominant. 

At DISRUPT 2020, attendees can expect to learn more about how Citrix and VMware will support WVD, understand how IGEL is helping enable DaaS in a more cost effective way and understand from many of the ecosystem partners, the value they add to both DaaS solutions and IGEL. Roadmaps, new integrations, product announcements and training are all part of this year's DISRUPT.

VMblog:  What kind of attendance are you expecting for the DISRUPT 2020? 

Townsend:  This year, we expect more than 700 attendees to join us at each of the DISRUPT 2020 events in Nashville and Munich. What our attendees love most about DISRUPT is the intimacy and the ability to have access to top executives from our sponsors, which in 2020 include Microsoft, Citrix, AMD, CloudJumper, Fluendo, Lakeside, LoginVSI, LGE, PrinterLogic, Goliath Technologies, Teradici and VMware.

VMblog:  What are you most excited about in preparing for this event?

Townsend:  It's exciting to be able to bring so many evangelists, partners and customers together underneath one roof. We are also thrilled to be welcoming back the members of the IGEL Community which was launched in early 2018. At our Nashville event, we are also pleased to be welcoming members of the Citrix User Group Community (CUCG) and The Inside Track for EUC/VDI VIPs.

VMblog:  Can you talk about any of the sessions or discussions that are expected to take place at the event?  What are the hot topics? 

Townsend:  DISRUPT cloud workspaces Forum events in EMEA and North America will feature many dynamic presenters. Speakers at our events in Nashville and Munich include: 

  • Nathan Hill, Gartner VP of Research
  • Mark Lockwood, Gartner VP of Research
  • Scott Manchester, Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop Group Manager
  • Christiaan Brinkhoff, Microsoft "Global Black Belt"
  • Jim Moyle, "Global Black Belt"
  • Nabeel Youakim, Citrix Vice President of Products and Solutions Architecture
  • Ruben Spruijt, Nutanix Senior Technologist
  • Jits Langedijk, NVIDIA Senior Solutions Architect, Professional Visualization
  • Spencer Pitts, VMware Digital Workspace Chief Technologist
  • Al Solorzano, Entisys360 Vice President - EUC
  • Simon Binder, TrueSec Principal Technical Architect
  • Patrick Coble, VDISEC EUC Security Professional
  • DJ Eshelman, Citrix Architect and Citrix Technology Advocate
  • Thomas Poppelgaard, EUC and VR Expert
  • Benny Tritsch, EUC Evangelist
  • Eltjo Van Gulik, ICT Partners Citrix Technology Advocate
  • Ryan Ververs-Bijkerk, ICT Partners Technical Evangelist
  • Dane Young, Youngtech Owner and Entrepreneur
  • James Lawrence, The "Iron Cowboy"
  • Jed Ayres, IGEL Co-CEO
  • Matthias Haas, IGEL CTO
  • Simon Townsend, IGEL CMO
  • Douglas Brown, IGEL VP of Community

Attendees can also participate in one of our Technical Boot Camps and do a deep dive into Microsoft Windows Virtual desktop. They can also check out relevant workshops, learn about EUC product roadmaps and get insight from Doug Brown, IGEL's global technologist and resident geek speak specialist. 

For a complete agenda and list of speakers, you can visit here:

VMblog:  Who are your event sponsors? 

Townsend:  We have more than 25 global sponsors including Microsoft, Citrix, AMD, CloudJumper, Fluendo, Lakeside, LoginVSI, LGE, PrinterLogic, Clientron, deviceTRUST, dynabook, Gisbo, Goliath Technologies, Sennheiser, Teradici, Transcend and VMware. To see the complete list of sponsors, visit

VMblog:  Anything vendors and attendees of this event should be aware of before they head out? 

Townsend:  Attendees should be prepared for eye-opening sessions from inspirational speakers on technology disruption in business. We are confident they will walk away with a more comprehensive knowledge of EUC and cloud workspaces, and we know they will have a great time! 

VMblog: If someone is interested in attending the 2020 DISRUPT event, where can they find more information and register?

Townsend: We have a great event website set up at where more information is available on the event venues, dates and registration. We encourage prospective attendees to register ASAP as we expect both events to sell out.

David Marshall

David Marshall has been involved in the technology industry for over 19 years, and he's been working with virtualization software since 1999. He was able to become an industry expert in virtualization by becoming a pioneer in that field - one of the few people in the industry allowed to work with Alpha stage server virtualization software from industry leaders: VMware (ESX Server), Connectix and Microsoft (Virtual Server).

Through the years, he has invented, marketed and helped launch a number of successful virtualization software companies and products. David holds a BS degree in Finance, an Information Technology Certification, and a number of vendor certifications from Microsoft, CompTia and others. He's also co-authored two published books: "VMware ESX Essentials in the Virtual Data Center" and "Advanced Server Virtualization: VMware and Microsoft Platforms in the Virtual Data Center" and acted as technical editor for two popular Virtualization "For Dummies" books. With his remaining spare time, David founded and operates one of the oldest independent virtualization news blogs, And co-founded, a publication dedicated to Cloud Computing. Starting in 2009 and continuing all the way to 2016, David has been honored with the vExpert distinction by VMware for his virtualization evangelism.

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