Thin client vendor IGEL announces third generation of Universal Desktop Converter

IGEL is also changing the way the system is licensed, moving to recurring revenue model with a choice of one or three year maintenance plans which include the upgrade to the new version.


Jed Ayres, President and CEO of IGEL North America

Bremen, Germany-based IGEL Technology has announced the IGEL Universal Desktop Converter 3 [UDC3]. This software is typically used to put a single OS in mixed environments of PCs, notebooks and thin clients, with a wide range of operating systems, making them easier and less expensive to manage.

“This is the third generation of our converter, which we are bringing to market at the end of the month,” said Jed Ayres, President and CEO of IGEL North America. “The big change with this version is that we are moving to a 64-bit OS. Support for the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface adds a lot more form factors, a lot more devices that it can run on.”

Ayres also emphasized that IGEL isn’t simply selling the UDC as a converter, but also as an OS for specific use cases.

“We are changing the focus of the conversation,” he said. “We are not just talking about converting systems to the single OS. It is an OS. It’s only a converter because each device has an OS that’s already on it. So we are presenting it as an OS to meet specific needs, particularly for endpoints that don’t require a lot of maintenance.”


Jeff Kalberg, IGEL’s Technology Evangelist

“We are a software company, which is why we focus on agents and management,” said Jeff Kalberg, IGEL’s Technology Evangelist. “But as an OS for devices it is huge. It’s tight, secure, centrally managed, and extends the reach of the IGEL OS to more and more devices. It reaches out far beyond the desktop and laptop to tablets, compute sticks, and different kinds of digital media and digital signage. UDC3 brings all these different opportunities under a single pane of glass umbrella. That’s huge.”

The IGEL UDC3 can be installed as the operating system on any device that meets minimum requirements of having an x86-based 64-bit processor, 2GB of RAM and 2GB storage. Using the IGEL UDC3 on these end-user computing devices converts them into an IGEL thin client running the IGEL Linux 10 OS.

“Multiple displays are standard now, and this software will work with that,” Kalberg said. “We also support accelerated hardware out of the box.”

With UDC3, IGEL is also changing the way that the software is licensed.

“Before, it was to the specific device,” Ayres said. “If a motherboard died, that was a challenge. Now we are providing the opportunity to allow customers to move licenses from device to device, while beginning to convert this to a recurring revenue model. You can now move a license from device to device, but there is a small maintenance fee, for a one year or three year maintenance plan.

“We have already sold 250,000 seats of this solution,” Ayres continued. “This makes it easy for the customers to move to Version 3. They don’t have to buy a new license. Instead, they just go to a maintenance plan, and they can move from 2 to 3.”

“This licensing plan is so new we haven’t even given it a name yet,” Kalberg said. “But it’s a more enterprise way of thinking about licensing.”

IGEL has been making a push this year to increase their profile and market share in North America. Their strategy includes better leveraging their channel here, investing more in their core partners and their partner program, and emphasizing the value of their software that they see as a major competitive advantage. Ayres’ appointment this spring was part of that new focus.

“Our business is up 300 per cent year-over-year in the U.S.,” Ayres said. “OEMs are also reaching out to us. We signed one agreement in May with Samsung, and we are talking with others.”