One of the big announcements during the Munich event this week was Heiko Gloge, the founding CEO of IGEL, stepping aside so that Jed Ayres can go from co-CEO (and CEO for the Americas) to being the full global CEO. Ayres, who was instrumental in the company’s pivot starting in 2016 from a hardware-centric to a software-first company, will now lead IGEL’s seasoned team of executive leaders as the company works to align with the world’s most prominent cloud providers to transform end user computing by simplifying and securing the cloud-delivery of all needed applications and resources.
Ayres officially takes over effective April 1, 2020, while Gloge will remain on the IGEL board of directors.
[ WATCH THE VMBLOG INTERVIEW WITH JED AYRES FROM DISRUPT 2020 ]
Gloge said Ayres brings new fire to disrupt and innovate in the cloud workspaces market. Adding, 'Ayres is inviting us to rethink our business.'
If the direction of the company wasn't clear before the DISRUPT event, IGEL CEO Jed Ayres has crystalized the company's current and future path during his opening keynote remarks in Nashville.
IGEL makes a secure Linux-based system that can be put on any x86 device. While this German company started out as a hardware player, ultimately addressing the Thin Client market, they have since transitioned to an emphasis on their software solution.
On the keynote stage, Ayres told audience members, "How do we describe ourselves today?" It certainly isn't as a thin client company any longer. So who exactly is IGEL? And how did Ayres answer his own question?
This is who we are, said Ayres: A next generation edge operating system for cloud workspaces. And what does that look like? It's a secure, highly manageable operating system that you can put on any x86 device that can work anywhere and connect to any protocol.
For many at the event, this clearly summed things up and finally articulated exactly how customers and partners were thinking of this IGEL 2.0 company.
During DISRUPT, Ayres made a bold prediction and firmly put a stake in the ground, saying he has set a goal for the company to break the $1 billion sales barrier as it moves quickly to capture the growing cloud workspaces opportunity with its next generation edge operating system. And they are well on their way. For the year ending December 31, 2019, IGEL realized more than 200% growth, year-over-year, in software units sold and 35% revenue growth, worldwide, supported by IGEL's growing channel partner ecosystem.
"We are a $150 million company today," said Ayres. Continuing, 'We want to be the operating system for these cloud workspaces. We think we can be a $1 billion company, and we think that looks like 10 million IGEL OS licenses.' Ayres said he predicts that at least 50 million more seats of virtual workspace will be sold in the next few years.
Part of the catalyst to helping IGEL meet that goal will be its valued partnerships. And one of those key partnerships is and will be Microsoft.
How do you spell the year of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)? Why it's Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD), the new Microsoft Azure cloud-based Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) solution.
IGEL is helping drive that WVD growth, announcing at DISRUPT 2020 general availability of the first Linux client for Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop. IGEL’s new OS is the first Linux operating system green-lighted by Microsoft for use with WVD.
And executives from both companies believe that enterprises and commercial users will increasingly migrate from traditional client-based PC operating system environments to cloud-based multi-session Windows DaaS, much like they have moved to Office 365 and other SaaS-based applications.
"IGEL is pleased to have integrated native support for Windows Virtual Desktop within IGEL OS to simplify organizations' migration of Windows to the cloud," said Matthias Haas, Chief Technology Officer, IGEL. "This marks IGEL's first manifestation of this Windows Virtual Desktop-verified solution, which will now be a consistent feature of our powerful operating platform as we deliver quarterly releases offering new features and extended functionality for organizations moving their desktops to the Azure cloud."
Using hardware-agnostic IGEL OS, organizations are able to convert any x86, 64-bit device into a Windows Virtual Desktop-powered cloud endpoint - with the ability to run Windows 10 from the Azure cloud. In addition, IGEL OS-powered devices are easy to manage, simple to configure and extremely "lightweight," minimizing the attack surface and offering built-in enterprise-level security with features including two-factor authentication. IGEL OS also includes a complete "chain of trust" verification process from the processor or UEFI all the way to Windows Virtual Desktop services from the Azure cloud, making it extremely resistant to manipulation, viruses and other malware.
"For customers that want end user computing that's simple, dynamically scalable, secure, centrally managed and cost effective, IGEL's Linux-based edge OS and Windows Virtual Desktop are a great combination," said Scott Manchester, Group Program Manager for Windows Virtual Desktop and Remote Desktop Services, Microsoft.
Keep your eyes on IGEL. Ayres said IGEL is currently the number 3 provider of thin client endpoints, only behind Dell and HP. But with revenues doubling and growing every year like they have been, he expects IGEL will surpass both competitors to become the number 1 provider.