IGEL Disrupt 2020: My initial report

Windows Virtual Desktop support is officially available; IGEL is working on Workspace ONE and Intune integration.

I’m spending the first half of this week at the IGEL Disrupt conference in Nashville. The main keynote just wrapped up, so for now, here’s my initial report. There’s a healthy day and half of sessions still to go, so I’ll follow up with any additional news or lessons learned.

(Update, February 5: Here's part 2 of our IGEL Disrupt coverage—head over for news from the European show and more notes from the US version.)

Quick background on IGEL and Disrupt

If one company has been successful with getting their message out, it’s IGEL. By now, everyone knows about their pivot to software and their Disrupt conferences.

I attended my first IGEL Disrupt in early 2019, where the highlights were growing software revenue, plenty of partner activity, and the launch of IGEL OS 11.

At Citrix Synergy last May, we learned that IGEL was working on a Linux client for Windows Virtual Desktop; this was officially announced later at Microsoft Ignite.

In July, IGEL said that revenue for the first half of 2019 was up 47% year over year.

This week’s news

Today’s news is as expected—IGEL’s support for Windows Virtual Desktop is now GA. In other recent news, last week IGEL announced that Login VSI’s monitoring capabilities are now fully integrated into IGEL OS 11.03. (There was a similar announcement about Login VSI on IGEL last year; the difference is that previously, IGEL UMS could push the Login VSI agent into a seperate partition, but now, it’s included in the OS.) Be on the lookout for more news next week at the European edition of Disrupt, in Munich.

On the business side, in 2019, IGEL had over $150 million in revenue, and sold 749,000 copies of IGEL OS (that includes both copies on their thin client hardware and the converter that goes on other x86 hardware).

In the keynote, Jed Ayres outlined their ambitious plans. In 2020, IGEL hope, to become the top thin client vendor, up from their current position of third behind Dell and HP. Farther out, they believe that with the projected growth of cloud desktops, they can be a $1 billion company with 10 million seats.

Several times over the last year or two, I’ve asked IGEL about plans to integrate UMS with other endpoint management platforms. While there are no specific announcements out this week, I learned that IGEL is currently working on integrations with VMware Workspace ONE and Microsoft Intune/MEM. IGEL UMS will function as a middleware service, sitting in between Workspace ONE or Intune and the IGEL OS devices. This is a model that’s used for other operating systems that are closely tied to a particular management platform—for example, Chromebooks use the Chrome Enterprise management service as middleware to integrate with VMware and Citrix.

ARM-based devices, support for the NVIDIA Jetson, and IoT were all topics that IGEL talked about at previous events, however, there was nothing new to share this week.

Impressions of the show

One of the cool things about being at Disrupt is that this is the first chance of the year for the whole desktop virtualization community to get together, and there’s an impressive lineup of speakers.

Now I’m off to catch up with with more industry friends and colleagues and attend sessions through tomorrow afternoon.

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