IGEL looks to expand technology partner ecosystem with IGEL Ready program

IGEL has over 90 integration partners already, but this has been managed through an ad hoc system where IGEL developers did almost all the integration work. The new program will allow strategic partners to be more involved in this, allowing IGEL to have many more partners, and ensuring the integrations stay current.

IGEL’s existing ecosystem — which they are looking to expand

Today, end user computing vendor IGEL is announcing the launch of their first technology partner program. IGEL Ready provides a framework for exposing their REST APIs and encouraging related vendors to become involved in working on integrations with IGEL.

It may come as a surprise to some that IGEL, which already has over 90 vendor partners integrated with their platform, has not had this kind of program previously.

“There really hasn’t been anything like this before,” said Jed Ayres, who joined IGEL four years ago as President and CEO of IGEL’s North American subsidiary, and in short order rose to become the company CEO this February. “We have many integrations, but it has been a bunch of one-offs, done one at a time. The benefits haven’t been consistent between partners, and things haven’t been structured in a way to support customers and code the same way. Even though we have 90 technology partners, we haven’t been as crisp as we wanted to be.”

IGEL believe that the environment is now primed for the expansion of the end user computing ecosystem, with Microsoft having launched Windows Virtual Desktop last year. Not only does WVD embrace Linux at the endpoint, with IGEL being Linux-based, but Microsoft being fully on board with virtualized desktops for the first time gives the entire sector a huge boost. The IGEL OS, will allow any x86-64 device to securely connect to any cloud, so that existing hardware can easily be repurposed.

IGEL Ready opens up the IGEL OS through IGEL’s REST APIs.

“While before we did a lot of the embedding work into our OS ourselves, now we are exposing the REST APIs much more clearly, so we can share them with partners, and we can get to a point where we both stand behind the integrations,” Ayres said. “This will speed things up. It’s hard to do this ourselves if our developers have to keep dropping what they are working on to work on these projects. By having partners also work on this, this ensures that as they iterate on their tech, the formal relationship means that we won’t get out of sync.”

Ayres emphasized that this new formalization of the relationships is important on several levels.

“These formalized relationships are also more visible and widely understood within both organizations – including sales and marketing – which should benefit customers greatly,” he said. “They have now been completely defined, so they are visible to our partners and our own people. These relationships are also now clearly defined on our website.”

Ayres said that the ecosystem is critical to IGEL’s growth.

“When I got here four years ago there were 60 partners,” he said. “Having a base in the U.S. deepened our important relationships with VMware, Microsoft and Citrix. These are powerful household names in enterprise software.

“The ecosystem is the accelerant,” Ayres added. “Much like with the iPhone, where the key was the apps for it, with us it’s about the power of the ecosystem. Now that we have formalized this with IGEL Ready, I expect our ecosystem will go from 90 to a couple hundred in the next couple of years. That will create more differentiation and value for our customers.”

All the integrated solutions will be listed in the customer-facing IGEL Ready Showcase under eight categories:  Cloud Workspaces / VDI / DaaS; Communication and collaboration; software and applications; endpoints; peripherals; printers and scanners; security; and analytics.

“We are segmenting them into some very specific areas,” Ayres said. “We can partner with all these guys – and they become a sales and marketing engine for us all by themselves. This program is a maturation of our core value in terms of how we work with our technical partners.”