New IGEL Cloud Gateway software looks to improve support of off-network endpoints

IGEL, which greatly strengthened its presence in North America last year, has mainly ramped up in the U.S. to date, but is planning a push in Canada this year.

Jed Ayres, President and CEO of IGEL North America

Bremen, Germany-based thin client maker IGEL Technology has announced the IGEL Cloud Gateway, a software solution that facilitates easy management of IGEL OS-powered endpoint devices outside of the corporate network through a standard Internet connection.

“This is an add-on to our Universal Management Suite [UMS] that lets you manage any device, the same way you have been able to run devices inside the corporate network with our technology for 20 years,” said Jed Ayres, President and CEO of IGEL North America. Any x86-based device can be converted into an IGEL-powered endpoint with the IGEL Universal Desktop Converter, without the need for a VPN. IGEL also released the IGEL UD Pocket, a tiny mobile device late last year for specific use cases, and the IGEL Cloud Gateway also supports that.

The IGEL Cloud Gateway acts as a virtual tunnel, supporting secure and encrypted two-way communications that is based on open communications standards, including TSL/SSL encryption and WebSocket protocol, authenticating all connected points via public key infrastructure.

“We used some complicated one-off architectures for this functionality before, but they weren’t scalable or productized.” Ayres said. “Developing this was not a top priority until we introduced our 64-bit OS in November. The 64-bit OS allowed a lot of things to open up technically, and that really enabled this. The Pocket release in December drove things further in terms of natural progression of improved management of mobile devices.”

Ayres said that now the gateway software is out, it is the most robust thing on the market.

“Other vendors have already come out with their products, but they don’t have the same functionality and robustness,” he said. “This is solid German engineering.”

Ayres said that the gateway software makes sense for customers with mobile end points.

“It will be a case by case basis,” he stated. “If you have everything all inside a call centre in the corporate network, you may not need this. But most companies have a need to protect some assets outside, even in emergency planning situations to protect people who have to work from home in a disaster scenario. We expect a big percentage of users will turn it on.”

Ayres, a former AppSense exec, was appointed to the newly-created post at IGEL in the spring of 2016, as part of IGEL’s ramping up of its presence and investment in North America. He said that 2016 was a strong year for the company’s North American efforts.

“We finished the year with our software business up 80 per cent and hardware up 40 per cent,” he said. “We are very much pivoting into the software space. The hardware piece is nice, and we will sell more by exposing people to our software, but it’s not as important to have the hardware sales as I thought when I came here. Software is how we take market share.”

IGEL sells entirely though its channel, with its’ key go-to partners being 17 platinum partners in the US, some of who span into Canada. Canada remains an underpenetrated market, although Ayres said that will soon change.

“We are about to hire our first channel development managers in Canada, adding to the 40-plus we have on the ground in the US,” he indicated. “In Canada, we have been opportunistic to this point. That’s because our ground game had been so immature in the U.S., that the focus was getting the right people in place there. We are rounding the corner on that. We have a specific human resource for Canada identified, with whom we are working on our plans there. The plan is to step up in the back half of this year, with a much bigger investment in Canada, and trying to get into the government schedule. You can only do so much so fast.”

The IGEL Cloud Gateway is available now, and can be purchased for either a 1-year or 3-year renewable license.

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