Making endpoints meet: An interview with UK IT finalist IGEL

clock • 4 min read
'Igel' is German for hedgehog
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'Igel' is German for hedgehog

Refreshing rather than replacing is saving millions of tons of CO2

The UK IT Industry Awards - the technology industry's most important (and glamorous) night of the year return next month. As well as being a prime opportunity to let your hair down at the end of a tough year, they're also a great opportunity to see what's going on in the rest of the industry.

We talked to Simon Townsend, CMO at finalist IGEL, about the last 12 months and the innovation he's looking forward to hearing about on the 10th November.

Simon Townsend

Computing: What is IGEL all about?

Simon Townsend: IGEL is an independent software vendor who develops a Linux-based operating system enabling secure access to cloud desktops, applications and data. Founded in 2000 in Germany as a thin client hardware manufacturer, IGEL has transitioned into a 400+ person international software company. Coupled with IGEL OS, IGEL's management platform allows organisations to deploy remote working solutions that are better for employees, the organisation and the planet.

CTG: What makes IGEL different from other technology companies?

ST: Many other endpoint technology companies focus on selling new hardware and/or managing existing Windows-based endpoints. Microsoft Windows desktops and laptops have served many organisations well for over 25 years, but the cost of new endpoint hardware and complexity in endpoint management is time consuming and costly. With Microsoft desktops and applications now available from the cloud, many organisations have saved huge amounts of capex and operational expense by deploying IGEL OS to their estate of endpoints. Whilst others want to sell net new hardware and solutions which require new devices, IGEL is able to give life to endpoints which otherwise would have been recycled or disposed of.

Our innovation and importantly ecosystem is really what makes us different from anyone else. In 2020 IGEL released the IGEL Ready programme, which has over 100 technology vendors. These vendors embed and validate their solutions with IGEL OS, allowing customers to buy with confidence and deploy with ease.

Lastly, our community, which now has 5000 global members allows people from all over the world to discuss and assist each other in deploying our technology.

CTG: What one company achievement in the last 12 months are you most proud of?

ST: In the UK, IGEL has helped organisations like Standard Life, Pennine Acute NHS and Severn Trent Water move to the cloud, migrate off old versions of Windows 7, save millions in hardware refresh, and to continue operating through COVID-19 while people worked from home. The deployment of our operating system in these environments has saved these organisations from having to acquire new hardware for their users, which in turn has significantly reduced their carbon footprint and had a positive impact on reducing the GHG associated with building new PCs and laptops. In one case, by not buying 'like for like' new desktop devices, a customer avoided embodied GHG emissions of 685,773kg CO2e. In a real world context, this is equivalent to the pollution caused by driving an average car for just over 2,485,000 car miles.

CTG: What are you working on this year?

ST: Over the course of the next 12 months, IGEL will continue to innovate bringing our latest IGEL OS 12 to market. This new version builds on the current simple, smart and secure OS that our 17K customers utilise every day. With new cloud services underpinning our new release, IGEL OS will be pre installed on a number of 3rd party thin clients, laptops and PC's making it even easier for organisations to roll out a secure, cloud-ready operating system; enabling the work from anywhere era.

CTG: Why are events like the UK IT Industry Awards important to the IT industry?

ST: The move to the cloud and continued innovation from technology companies means that our world of IT moves at an incredible pace, which is sometimes difficult to keep up with. The UK IT Industry Awards allow a wide range of readers and IT professionals to be introduced to organisations and technologies that they otherwise may not of been aware of. With a 20 year technical focus prior to becoming CMO at IGEL, technology innovation has always been a focus for me.

The UK IT Industry Awards take place at their traditional home of Battersea Evolution on the 10th November.

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