67: IGEL Weekly: ‘Dream Come True’: IGEL Exits Hardware Business

Nov 23, 2022

IGEL, a maker of well-engineered thin client hardware devices for two decades, is exiting that business as part of an all-out drive to make its popular Linux secure edge operating system the standard for Windows workspace computing across any device or cloud.

The decision to stop production of hardware thin clients for the No. 3 provider of thin clients in North America and Europe with an installed base of three million devices – opens the door for lGEL to provide its next gen edge OS exclusively through heavyweight hardware partners LG, Lenovo and HP.

For IGEL CEO Jed Ayres – who has spearheaded the company’s transformation into a secure Linux workspace operating system powerhouse- getting out of the hardware business is the culmination of a “dream come true” that he envisioned when he joined the company as CEO of North America six years ago.

Host: Andy Whiteside
Co-host: Patrick Toner
Co-host: Chris Feeney
Co-host: Sebastien Perusat 
Guest: Jed Ayres

WEBVTT

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Andy Whiteside: Hello, everyone! And welcome to episode. Sixty-seven of Igl Weekly today is uh November twenty second uh twenty twenty-two. I’m your host, Andy White. So I’ve got a big group with us um today, but I’ve really got a special guest. Let me hit our normal host real quick, So Patrick Toner is with us, Patrick. This must be like your uh what? Fifteen twentieth uh episode,

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Patrick Toner: something like that. This is definitely the fullest episode, probably the biggest one. So uh glad to be here today. Uh:

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Andy Whiteside: yeah, big big conversation, your big announcement long time coming. Um, You’ll get to that. We’ll get to that in a second. Chris Feeny is our sales engineer for the Channel. Chris. How’s it going?

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Chris Feeney – IGEL: It’s going great here on the eve of Thanksgiving? A holiday here in the United States. Uh, and it coincides with a huge holiday tour going on. We’re all copied chat about that earlier. So a lot of exciting things happening in the world at the moment. But, uh, but today’s topic is

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Chris Feeney – IGEL: uh near and dear to a lot of people, but uh, very excited to have a very special guest on today. Uh, i’ll let you introduce who that is, Andy

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Andy Whiteside: Well, and I’ve got to Sebastian, for you saw as well with a Sebastian as a king of the community. Sebastian. How’s it going?

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Sebastien Perusat: Doing well? Thanks for asking and help you as well? Um, I mean. Besides the World Cup, we have some excitement regarding the fifth anniversary of the azure community coming up in uh December. So

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Sebastien Perusat: that’s causing a lot of uh preparations on my side. Some funny reports to do, but we will have that on the upcoming podcast. So I was just thinking that it’s the second here now in the role that i’m joining you. Podcast um, still enjoying it. So thanks for joining me joining

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Andy Whiteside: this evening. I I tell you I um every once a while check a podcast, just to make sure that the numbers and things all line up. And uh, an hour later I realize i’m still listening. Um, I I somehow enjoy listening to it over and over again. It’s kind of weird, but uh, I I I learn every time I do it.

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Andy Whiteside: Well, we have our special guest, Mr. Jed Ayers, who uh has been leading the ideal efforts here in the Us. And uh worldwide the last year or so a set of I can’t believe it’s been five years uh you haven’t aged a bit to say that.

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Jed Ayres: And and Jed to be quite honest uh looking at you on the video side of this, which people will eventually see if they go to the Youtube Channel. Uh, you have an aged a bit, either. Oh, yeah, sure. I think I feel like I’ve the Presidential uh timeframe right where they take the before, and after seven years

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Andy Whiteside: I uh I saw a picture myself the other day before the integral started, and it was

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Andy Whiteside: it was shocking. It’s almost as shocking as when you’re out the having a happy hour and having a great time with people, and you walk into the restroom and you catch yourself in the mirror and go. Whoa! Who’s that?

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Jed Ayres: Who’s that guy, little guy? Yeah. Great Here it come from? I can’t believe that this is uh the sixty-seventh episode of this uh in terms of just uh resilience and tenacity and a focus. I just want to say uh on behalf of everybody at Agile Andy. Thank you for uh the partnership right before the call. I heard that you were our first partner in the history of our disrupt franchise to commit to uh to joining us.

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Jed Ayres: So that was exciting news for me to learn that. Um

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Jed Ayres: that you’re going to be present with us in Nashville in April. And yeah, this is a new feature to try to have the whole ecosystem represented there. So uh can’t say enough great things about your team and your company, and you know the level of partnership that you bring uh every day

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Jed Ayres: the agile solution. So thanks for having me on. Now we we absolutely enjoyed it. Jed. What’s your favorite thing to do? What’s your favorite hobby?

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Jed Ayres: Um, You know I actually love cooking. It’s funny. I uh Every time I get stressed out I go Cook and I built a big outdoor kitchen during uh Covid. And uh, right before this call I actually went and brined my turkey. I have a twenty pound turkey. I brian it

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Jed Ayres: for thirty-six hours. And then I inject it, and then I smoke it. By the time i’m done with this thing it tastes like you’re eating docked so I love to cook. How many times have you cooked on your grill. Just do you? Do you know the number?

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Jed Ayres: Oh, I have no idea uh what was funny is during Covid I was gonna get this green egg, and then uh,

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Jed Ayres: uh, it was so back order because of the supply chain problem that I uh. Then I switched it to a big uh a red Joe Komodo that that couldn’t get that, either. And then the barbecue guys called and said, Hey, there’s this aluminum version that the guy barbecue guys, you know. Design. Would you like to buy? And it’s twice the price, And I gritted my teeth that I bought it, and it is become the most legendary tool in my uh arsenal. This uh big aluminum smoker.

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Andy Whiteside: That’s great, and I asked the question I did, because when it’s something you love doing like. I don’t know what podcast we’re on,

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Andy Whiteside: whether it’s this one or some of the other ones, because I have I. It’s just enjoyable like I love doing this we learn, we share, we cut up. We have a good time. I don’t know It’s the fifth one, or the five hundred one I you just don’t know, just like with you with grilling. You just don’t know exactly.

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Andy Whiteside: Well, let me share my screen here, and we’ll jump into today’s uh contents, which is long time coming. Let me uh let me read the article title for the group. Oh, my email pops up! Of course

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Andy Whiteside: I have no idea what that is,

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Andy Whiteside: all right. Um. So the uh article is from the guys at Cr in, and I guess Steven Burke wrote it. I talked to Steven all the time at conferences, and the uh, the title is uh Dream come true. I don’t exit hardware business, and then it’s got a quote

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Andy Whiteside: uh, I think from you, Jed, what’s what’s the backstory here? And then we’ll jump into and how you got here.

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Jed Ayres: Yeah. Well, I I think this is a like, I said, it is a dream come through, and it’s a it’s a a new chapter and a new day, for I gel. But when I joined, I gel in June of two thousand and sixteen, I joined because of the vision that Heiko laid out that you know I gel could be a software company

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Jed Ayres: um, and that, you know, we have this amazing Ip that you know needed to be revealed to the world and positioned and

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Jed Ayres: and and framed as such. And so yeah, that it’s been a a little longer journey than I think I in a few more bumps in the road than I had anticipated. But yeah to be able to say that. Um, you know, we took this sort of fifty million dollar hardware Company and inverted it into a uh a software company and doubled the size of it. Uh, this is not a story that you hear every day. And so it’s Um,

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Jed Ayres: that’s exciting. And I think it’s also.

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Jed Ayres: Yeah, it’s just a It’s a very special thing for us, because we set out, you know, back seven years ago to to move from Number Seven and the Us. To number three, and at that time we were really competing against the same people that we’re now partnering with right Lg. And Lenovo and uh Hp: So it’s It’s kind of an amazing journey right to go from kind of this disruptor

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Andy Whiteside: to now, partnering with these guys.

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Jed Ayres: Well, I was in the end user confute, commute moral for a long time early two thousand. So I actually worked uh for a solution provider. That was one of the largest citrix resellers in the world. And then I uh left that company. I went to a company at Cleveland that was a large Vmware and user compute player right around. The same time Sanjay joined and started reimagining what Vmware could be uh in the end user compute space, and then I joined apps

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Jed Ayres: um and most part of the team there. That um yeah kind of

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Jed Ayres: brought the company to a pretty strong growth position and exited it to land us now a volunteer. So I was. I was literally looking around after I left a volunte for what I wanted to do. And um, obviously there was a lot of smart people

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Jed Ayres: uh that that I was working with that I volunte, and many of which almost all of which actually told me to run as far away from agile as possible. Um, because, if you remember, in two thousand and sixteen, Eliot was in Citrix, and they were in Vmware, and vdi uh wasn’t, exactly a a, a a sexy place we actually had. Position uh absence is more of a security solution than a Vdi solution when we sold it to land desk it. So um

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Jed Ayres: yeah, It took some amount of convincing from Hico to get me to join the company. Um, but what I saw and I did a lot of research. Uh, you know, with different people, partners and

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Jed Ayres: people that have been using the the product. And it was just like, Wow, this is a game changing product. The fact that it’s extensible to other hardware. The fact that it it it can manage at a precise policy level. Um, you know it’s sort of It’s a hidden jewel that’s you know, sitting inside of a very um,

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Jed Ayres: you know, technical hardware uh marketing program until you when I originally started, Andy. I was the I was the Cmo, and also the uh responsible as the Ceo for North America.

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Andy Whiteside: So let me do this real quick. I’ll run around the the Horn here with the group, so they can chime in. Uh. We’ll start with Chris Sweeney. Chris.

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Andy Whiteside: Why did this work? Why Why did this concept of decoupling. Well, let’s forget about that for me. Why did the concept of Igl take off the way it has just give me the the best, most realistic answer you can.

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Chris Feeney – IGEL: So I was thinking about this what Jeff was talking when I first learned about Igl. I I knew about the thing client. But what really still got to me was when they had the repurposing solution. And I want to say, Jed, that was out there, maybe before you joined, but I as a field as he at the time, and in Pravada I was looking at some customers, and I was like, Wait a second.

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Chris Feeney – IGEL: That’s a game changer. And and obviously Jed latched on to that idea that if it’s if you could take a device and turn it into a thin client

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Chris Feeney – IGEL: of sort,

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Chris Feeney – IGEL: you know. Now, that’s you. Don’t necessarily worry so much about the hardware as long as it is compatible.

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Chris Feeney – IGEL: Uh, but that was really what stuck. And then obviously Jed coming in to kind of put some move behind it. I remember when I met Jed.

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Chris Feeney – IGEL: I was the product manager at the time, and I was putting my roadmap together, and the thing that sick out to me was,

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Chris Feeney – IGEL: They’ve got somebody here that’s going to take this, and I believe we need to start focusing on adding more support for a Linux based endpoint. And that’s kind of what I I put my feature out. But it was really that software based focus. Initially, that kind of struck me versus the hardware thin clients.

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Andy Whiteside: At what point did you realize the Igl thing was going to work.

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Sebastien Perusat: I would go back to my history. I was a customer of five still in the year two thousand and twenty-six, something that two thousand and six, if I remember right, I was responsible for the German bookstore, which is called Um, just a part of my story,

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Sebastien Perusat: and we started with Agile as a think. And vendor was a part of software where we’ll just focus on the hardware. What can they have A can deliver? How many lpt one can you deliver. How many display parts will it have? How many memory, how many cpu will it have

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Sebastien Perusat: erez Agmoni? And then over, I would say, six to ten years we saw that the Universe management suite is goring, and the amount of features implemented in that management tool, two hundred and fifty

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Sebastien Perusat: was increasing a lot.

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Sebastien Perusat: Then in the second step we moved. You can’t believe it, but from the first Linux I do Os in that from a time button to two windows. Devices for for my job. So it was really a long, long, long story. But yeah, keeping it short.

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Sebastien Perusat: We saw it when, in my opinion, at least, the least moment where the ideal solution was working better than than before was doing the chip outage. If you’re seeing that different devices different uh needed coming from the customer going from the market couldn’t be for fit anymore because of delivery uh issues regarding chip out and so on. The software was really mattering. Because if you install ours of them any kind of device on every kind of hardware that is derivative on the mind

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it

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Sebastien Perusat: the I to end point the actual hardware is not

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Sebastien Perusat: mattering anymore. And that was the point where I already saw that that’s the least moment where we had to switch from hardware to a software to the window.

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Andy Whiteside: So, Patrick, real quick, same question to you. What was the moment you do? This ideal thing was going to work.

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Patrick Toner: Yeah, you know, for me it was very similar to Chris. Um, So I was working uh in healthcare um on the customer side, and we were looking for a thin client solution to connect indoor Citrix environment.

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Patrick Toner: And uh, my boss was a big Lenovo guys. He was like what we wanna we you know. His charter was. Bring Lenovo in, see if we can, you know, replace Hp. And their solution. Um, and the at the time, and this is back, you know, quite a few years now Lenovo was trying to push uh. There was a a software called lateose

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Patrick Toner: which we couldn’t get to work. The thing was just it just didn’t work well. And then they were really pushing us to windows, and we’re like no that’s like that to be the whole purpose of what we’re looking to do. We don’t want to manage windows here and in the citrix environment. Um! And then I I met a couple of guys who worked at. I gel one of them being Jeff Colbert uh

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Patrick Toner: another one. Paul, did guys go. I go way back with um, and they introduced agile into our environment. Um, and it was right away, you know. As soon as I got into the management console started to play around in there. I was used to packaging applications and sec. And it would take me,

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Patrick Toner: you know, a week to get a package working well week to test it, and then an I job just check in the box.

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Patrick Toner: Uh, so for me, right away I saw that I was like, Whoa! This is This is special. There’s something here. Um! And then also right around the same time. And, Jed, you probably remember as well uh that was when you were doing the Tesla giveaway. So the marketing was cool. Uh that video. I think I think, like Jeff Fi, he plays the chairman of the Board. And uh, this is a hysterical video. And so they had the cool marketing campaign and all that. I I was all in.

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Andy Whiteside: So, guys, here’s Here’s my answer to that question. Personally, when I saw somebody who cared enough to know that the thin client world, which was really software anyway, but the thin client world software hardware together needed to get better committed to it, and then most importantly, went to market with it.

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Andy Whiteside: That’s when I realized this thing was gonna work.

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Andy Whiteside: So so Jed um help us understand the engineering concept behind going software and partnering with the the hardware partners that you guys are going to be in with. Now that you’re not going to be a hardware guy for a company.

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Jed Ayres: Yeah. Well, I mean, I like I said earlier, it was. It’s been an amazing kind of like Flip right where you you you’re You’re competing head to head in, deal after. Deal with the same guys that we’re now partnering with right? And so it’s been a uh

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Jed Ayres: remarkable kind of journey to uh to where we are now, right, and it’s it hasn’t hasn’t been easy. We had to work with them to one get contract sign, and get uh get them to a place where they were comfortable loading this Linux operating system on in their factory and certifying it. And yeah, you can imagine these companies are battleships right? They’re huge, and it doesn’t happen overnight. But we uh we’re very persistent, and I think they saw the value uh

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um

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Jed Ayres: in in idel. Right um Lenovo and Hp. And Lg: and you know I among others right there are some other hardware, smaller niche um players in the hardware space. But it’s really been about sort of just winning the hearts and minds at all levels in in these companies. And uh it starts with customers right uh like it should right, Andy. Um. You always got to listen to your customers, and I think there was enough very large customer

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Jed Ayres: customers, retailers, hospitals, um.

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Jed Ayres: You know that we’re We’re basically asking for this. And to the credit of Lenovo, Hp. And Lg: they really listened.

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Jed Ayres: So does this mean that you’re more like Microsoft. And does this mean you’re a competitor, Microsoft, these days. Where where do they fit into this new world of Ijo

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Jed Ayres: Um, compute and data and license, you know, licensing in azure, and um, and new logos and azure, and yes, uh, they may not sell as many uh what windows, you know. Full full windows, clients on the edge.

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Jed Ayres: But in in the era of Satya you know the the what’s driving The value of of um. Microsoft is obviously

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Jed Ayres: azure, and I think you know we’re very excited by the fact that there’s a first party originated solution. Microsoft is putting their, you know, full weight behind it. And you may have seen this week. Scott Manchester is now, you know, uh responsible for both Avd and uh windows three hundred and sixty-five. And yeah, we think this is this is

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Jed Ayres: this is great right? I mean. So it is a little bit of cooperation, I would say with Microsoft. But ultimately Microsoft is about, you know. Um moving the windows workload into the azure is what I believe, and if I, dele can help with that, then that’s where uh the market is headed.

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Andy Whiteside: So I have one comment for you on that, and then one question for that uh, for our listeners. But uh, it says everyone is on M. Three, sixty, five, which means Microsoft still getting their money out of enterprises, anyway. Which is where your solution Enterprise commercial, you know businesses.

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Andy Whiteside: They’re getting their client money, anyway. So why do they care right? They just want that that azure consumption to happen, and whether it’s a windows endpoint or not, it doesn’t matter really to them anymore. And then it’s: Are you guys doing anything special? And you may not have the answer to this one to help with the Vda

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Andy Whiteside: positioning the virtual desktop access license it comes along with, I guess windows is the endpoint, but not

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Chris Feeney – IGEL: I can speak of that. Andy um. So it was that national disrupt that. Um, uh, you know, It was actually October First Microsoft, and announced new licensing options where that had previously been a problem. And um uh where they it basically comes down to the type of Microsoft licensing that you have.

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Chris Feeney – IGEL: And I don’t have the article in front of me at the moment.

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Chris Feeney – IGEL: Um, but it would it fall under certain things? And if you were on that licensing, and it was like e something, or whatever again. It was all specified three and five Right you did that vdi license that you previously need to have what was a non-qualified os on the endpoint is no longer needed, and basically uh, some of the quotes that came out from, you know, resellers essentially was like this is great. I gave some examples like they had some

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Chris Feeney – IGEL: thin clients that this was an issue, and it was all about trying to get the customer into the cloud. So Microsoft has made a switch there to make it easier for that. And this came up with some of our Lars as well as it kind of just educated. It was one of the first things I remember I went to Chicago to just educate on the Ijo Microsoft story,

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Chris Feeney – IGEL: and this is to the folks that are the Microsoft experts inside of that organization. This is the first thing that came up. Now this is pre October.

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Chris Feeney – IGEL: This is like in the October or August time dreaming. So a couple of weeks later Microsoft announces this licensing change, and we went back and said, Hey, just want to understand. This is actually a new update. It’s like to make it easier for customers to move forward with. Igl to then consume. You know Microsoft products in the cloud and not have to worry about this extra licensing. So I think that’s a cheap That used to be a Bda tax in in some cases still there, based on the licensing. But that

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Chris Feeney – IGEL: barrier is going away in a lot of cases.

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Jed Ayres: No, I mean, I think one thing I reck really respect about Microsoft is the uh, you know value. They hold on building an ecosystem and trying to make sure that partners and and you know, technology partners can, you know,

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Jed Ayres: can can uh draft off of what they’re doing, and you know we stood on the stage with Scott in two thousand and nineteen when he announced uh the initial. You know um

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Jed Ayres: launch of what was called windows virtual desktop. It’s now a as your virtual desktop. But literally it was. Yeah. We were among a very small elite ecosystem that was part of that original innovation. Um partnership. And yeah, there’s a significant percentage. You don’t have to look very far, I think, to see that the

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Jed Ayres: um, you know, in the in the world of vdi um in thin clients, more than half of those uh devices are shipping with Linux right? And So if you apply that same principle across,

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Jed Ayres: uh, you know the a state of five hundred million Pcs that are out there, that one hundred and fifty to two hundred million that are sold every year. We see a huge opportunity right um to go with a lighter, more secure, easier to manage operating system,

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Jed Ayres: and, you know, consume windows as if it’s an app out of azure.

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Andy Whiteside: So, Ted, i’m looking at the section here. It says a a new idols uh manage services era for partners, which is people like integr. And and we’ve covered the uh the Microsoft um uh azure piece. I would also highlight in that conversation that even I connect to, you know, Integrate Data Center. I’m still running Microsoft. And so it really has taken the Microsoft um uh competition conversation and really damp that tamp that down when it comes to the endpoint, because it Microsoft’s really in care they’re getting paid some way along the way, no matter what

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Andy Whiteside: you know. Straight up, Abd Citrix, talking to Azure Citrix, talking to my data center, Citrix talking to all the above. And we’re talking to all the above. Uh, but then the rest of this article talks about how decoupling from the hardware uh opens up paths, for I gel and me the partner to uh go have Kumbaya with the other hardware vendor of choice without having to start a fight. What’s your? What’s your thoughts on that?

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Jed Ayres: Yeah. Well, I think that um in a world where um talent is uh hard to come by. And this technology can be, you know, uh, somewhat challenging and brittle to manage right? That. Uh, there’s a huge managed service software, Trinity, right? You look no further than what Citrix is doing right where they’re going to focus on their top thousand customers. Right? Think about all the thousands of customers that sit below that right that are going to need support, and um services from companies

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Jed Ayres: is like yours right? And um, so I guess I I see the whole world of V. I to d as sort of

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Jed Ayres: challenging the cost and the complexity of of managing these solutions right, and that there’s a big opportunity for the Channel. There always is right, because you’re trusted you’re close to the technology for you to uh really

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Jed Ayres: be the uh, the become, the the service engine to deliver these technologies right? And that would, you know, get include. I j on the endpoint, you know. Uh, whatever the protocol is that people want to deliver against um. There’s just a huge opportunity for for for for companies to go to trusted sources like yourself,

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Jed Ayres: and by that service from you. Right. If you look at Citrix, the fastest growing part of their business is actually the Csp. Business right? And I think that will become even more of a storyline as they roll into twenty-three and focus on these top thousand customers right? Like It’s

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Jed Ayres: it’s really going to be a an opportunity for companies like yours.

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Andy Whiteside: So you mentioned this was a long time coming. This next section of the article talks about the road to exiting hardware. Uh, I have to assume and tell me if i’m wrong or right here, that the the the current path and the path forward for those all those customers that, like buying igle hardware. That was something that had to be figured out. And that’s what you’re addressing in this portion of the article.

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Jed Ayres: Yeah. Well, I think it was a multi-step process, right? We We really started by uh just projecting hey? I the magic of idols in the software. And um, yeah, you you can repurpose devices you can. You can have uh, even these are uh big partners when we are competing against them that they were still shipping it out of their factory on customer demand. That was kind of the first step. The second step was what we did uh with arrow in two thousand and twenty-one actually right. When we were acquired by Ta, we signed a

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contract with arrow that allowed us to sort of

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Jed Ayres: essentially get out of the uh hardware and logistics business, and the financial capital required to uh to to keep warehouses running in the Us. And in Germany. And so that was a substantial uh, next step, right where we were able to shut down our our facilities and the teams of people that were uh doing light integration and packet packaging and shipping of this and move all of that to Arrow

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Jed Ayres: and Arrow actually has worked with a number of you know, large software companies like pure and new tanks, and doing some of the same kind of things right where you you help them. Um,

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Jed Ayres: take that working capital and put it back to work for us and get software development. So it was A. It was a very big partnership move for us, and they they handled all of the logistics worldwide uh for agile for the past two years, and during that time we built these relationships up with Lg. Lenovo and Hp. And uh, we really have uh made sure that there’s a path out of our current hardware uh platforms to devices

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Jed Ayres: that are, you know, fit for purpose um as good or better than the igl devices. And so that’s that’s been part of, you know. If you go to I dot com slash, Lg: Hp. Or Lonovo. You’ll see the sort of three devices that we recommend. Uh, you know that

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Jed Ayres: the path out of a

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Jed Ayres: th. This has been a you know, sort of a three. That phase process, I say, say, Andy, it was first, Hey, we’re a software company. Secondly, it was like, Let’s get hardware off our books and then. Now where we are today, which is,

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Jed Ayres: you know, we we have these very sturdy tier, one partnerships, and the other thing I will say about these partnerships is that we’re seeing more and more use cases where companies it it, you know it’s fascinating. It’s like an entire retail tire store that just says we’re going to laptops even in the stores, right? And so

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Jed Ayres: we’re seeing more and more uh demand for um,

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Jed Ayres: you know, on box type, but devices that have screen so laptops and all, and once, and of course I gel is never going to succeed Billy a laptop or an all in one right. This is just not a business

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Jed Ayres: focus for us. And so I think that was another big market driver that really pushed us uh towards these tier, one device manufacturers,

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Andy Whiteside: and I think to be take away for customers of I gel, and whatever hardware vendor it is that you’re gonna get the best of the best of the software, and you’re gonna get the hardware of your choice. It’s It’s not totally in my world, unlike what Tesla did, where they gave away all their patents because they really want an ecosystem to grow up around the stuff work they had done,

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Andy Whiteside: willing to share that with everybody and give away that little bit of hardware money

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Jed Ayres: for the sake of where the software was going and the driving of the business for everyone

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Jed Ayres: but um. Ultimately, where we want to be is a um agnostic to hardware agnostic, to protocol, and literally just delivering the most secure, easiest to manage most cost-effective way, to consume. You know, Vi. D. As or staff Um.

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Jed Ayres: And and yeah, that’s That’s where we’re headed right and having our foot sort of halfway in, still producing hardware. This was, uh, it just made it more difficult to build these really good partnerships. One of the core values of I gel is partnership right? And I hope you feel that inside of your organization we we, we like to believe that we understand how to partner

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Jed Ayres: and how to uh approach, win-win partnerships, whether it’s with customers or resellers, or anyone in in our ecosystem, and

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Jed Ayres: having the sort of pollution that uh, having our own branded hardware was creating as we try to lift up these other partnerships. We just realized this is not who we are,

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Andy Whiteside: and I should have done a better job of beginning. I’m. A firm believer in making the following comment: to make sure everybody aware of: There’s There’s thin client operating system, and then there’s then client hardware, which is just pretty much the same stuff, and a different manufacturers box coming from probably the same places, whether it’s high in or low in. There’s the thin client, hardware or think client operating system Once you think of, they think client as being two things the ability to uncouple one from the other, and have an intelligent conversation about one side or the other uh becomes a huge reality.

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Andy Whiteside: We’re we’re kind of ahead of schedule our own time with the podcast here. I want to go go around the one here. I’ll start with the said so based on what we talked about so far. What What would you ask, Jed? What would you like to make sure we cover it? Yet

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Sebastien Perusat: I would say from the question that i’m getting dagger community is, how will the partnership grow over the next years, because one

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Sebastien Perusat: I know from the German market, because you already mentioned it, yet that they are quite traditional. Um approach to say that they’re all buying from one hand. So, having the hardware, the software, the services they were by the vendor itself. But now

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Sebastien Perusat: they are already asking, What are the next steps. I mean, Hp. Linovo are one piece. But what are the next steps that you are planning? Can you tell us a little bit about that?

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Jed Ayres: Yeah, I mean, I think for us it’s really about um. The next chapter of growth is really um building

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Jed Ayres: purpose purposeful hardware with uh, the with Citrix, with Vmware with Microsoft right? And so there’s like a next. The next opportunity, I think, is when you look at Os twelve and the onboarding and unboxing um, and just really leaning into um. You know images that are uh specific with Microsoft or Citrix and tuned for specific uh used cases and workflows.

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Jed Ayres: I think that’s where we’re headed. So So there’s like, you know, a lot of discussion around bundles just making it easier for customers to you know. Embrace this technology. There’s too much complexity. Still to this day, right? We want to make it easier is if we want to get, you know, eighty million people using. I gel uh every day. It needs to be more intuitive, right. It needs to be easier to unbox and just connect to the solutions

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Jed Ayres: today. There’s too much tuning, and you know pocs that last a year, I mean, and you know you know this. Uh, and I know Patrick, you know it, too. Right. There’s too much

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Jed Ayres: work uh that has to be done today to to get some of this stuff up and running. Now, Granted, once you get it up and running. You get all the savings and um, you know security benefits. But I think that’s the next evolution of is, you know we gotta make this easier to consume,

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Jed Ayres: and ultimately, uh, you know more of a mainstream uh a set of use cases,

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Sebastien Perusat: music to my years, and for all the listeners, if you didn’t watch the recording until now. We have a great Os. Twelve story recorded by Marty and myself. So if you want to join videos of azure community dot com. And then we have a great story about the Os twelve topic that just mentioned.

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Jed Ayres: I mean, it needs to be consumer uh simple, right? I think that’s gonna be the model. We gotta get to a place, and I know, Andy, you know we talk a lot about uh benchmarking a gel against the chromebook, right? And just sort of we gotta get the management console into a uh um, You know a frame that’s uh fully hosted.

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Jed Ayres: And um,

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Jed Ayres: Yeah. So we I think that’s where I gel uh can put its efforts now, right? So we we take a lot of the uh lift

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Jed Ayres: an investment that we’ve had over the years that’s tied up. And you know, moving boxes around the world

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Jed Ayres: to really solve uh solving a a scaling and simplicity problem.

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Andy Whiteside: Yeah, for sure. You don’t want you to be tied up in having your debt, your your technology debt in hardware. If you can help it, you can be much more uh progressive in the software world, especially talking to clouds. Um, Patrick. Same question to you. Anything that we haven’t covered um so far with Jed, that you’d want to make sure we called out here.

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Patrick Toner: Yeah, you know, my my question is is along the same lines of what what said just asked, and you kind of touched on Jed. But you know the timing of this right before Os twelve is set to come out.

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Patrick Toner: Um! Is is there going to be uh, you know, like you mentioned like making it easier. Um, for example, to push an easy config He talked through that a little bit like some of that vision, and how it relates to

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Patrick Toner: um, you know, specifically getting out of the hardware business and just relying on the partners like what what type of things um always twelve have that will specifically kind of make that experience better for customers. I I don’t know how much you’re able to talk about it at this point. Yeah, no. I think it’s pretty. Uh, there’s a few key things that I can definitely share that there’s an app portal, right. So one of the things we’re going to do is, you know, all the Linux distributions, and there’s a very long list of them. Uh, and i’d like to believe that we’ve risen to the top of that list.

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Jed Ayres: Um, but all of them uh have been basically delivering kind of a monolithic firmware right where all of these drivers are kind of crocheted into the into into an update right, and that um process is has become challenging right, especially at the speed at which agile development and collaboration apps, and all the things you need to uh be. Have parity with uh, yeah

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Jed Ayres: windows, and and make sure that you address as many work uh loads as possible, right? And so I think, where we’re headed with Os twelve with this app portal, where you can have a base Os, and you can have the key applications that are certified by idle in an app portal, and you can just pull down the things you need.

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Jed Ayres: So you have a much smaller attack Surface and um, I think it just It’s sort of

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Jed Ayres: also helps us from a development perspective, because guess what we’re publishing an Sdk to our partners. And so a lot of the work that we were typically doing now can get uh extended out into our ecosystem. We can have more partners. We can move faster with the updates, and you’re not waiting for, you know, a private build or the main line bill to to show up. So I think that’s going to revolutionize things.

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Jed Ayres: Um,

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Jed Ayres: We also have an insights engine, right? We have. We collect a lot of data on a device. And so I think you’re going to see in the last twelve um some visualization of the insights and some capacity for customer to to see right down to the device level. You know. How is it? How is it working? And

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Jed Ayres: you know, help diagnose some of the challenges that people are having as they manage devices that are all over the place. Um, you know, in concert with some of our partners like control up liquid wear lake side. Um.

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Jed Ayres: So I think, yeah, the the insights, the app portal, and then the onboarding What? I just what I just mentioned. I think that’s gonna be a a big one. Seb probably knows a few others that I’m I’m missing. But those are kind of like the three that I think are are gonna be,

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Jed Ayres: you know kind of revolutionize uh.

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Andy Whiteside: So I want Chris to go. But before he goes I just want to highlight that Jed what you just talked about there, and up, leveling and and and focusing on making the thin client user experience better and more manageable. Those other guys were never going to get there because they just didn’t care now they can go sell their hardware. And a solution that’s driving forward just like windows has been selling their hardware for all these years. I mean that’s just a win win for everybody, and really jumps into the next section where the hardware makers see the big opportunity ahead working with you guys.

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Andy Whiteside: Um, Chris, I promise i’ll come back to you that that says a lot about what what this section of the article talks about, which is where the hardware guys get to come along for the ride.

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Jed Ayres: Yeah, I mean, I think the hardware guys have basically seen that, you know uh it. It it’s a benefit to the whole industry. If we can rally around one kind of leading uh Linux uh platform, and I think it’s more than just the Ls right. It’s really It’s It’s the Os. It’s the management. Console It’s the web services uh that are going to come alongside this. Um, And so

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Jed Ayres: yeah I think they they can focus on what they’re really good at. And um, you know, we can build unique value in into our integrations together. And um,

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Jed Ayres: Yeah, there, there’s a big opportunity, of course, right at this very moment, as we we fully exit, and we sell through our remaining hardware. You know there’s

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Jed Ayres: several hundred thousand devices that we sell every year just in Germany, right? And so um! That’s a a a unique situation, right where all of a sudden, the number one market position is available to one of these uh to to to all of them to kind of go uh carva. So I think that’s That’s a compelling thing, right? I just done a really good job over a long period of time. Um managing this sort of mid market Smb Middle stock, German market.

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Jed Ayres: Um where set up came out of the bookstore typical I gel customer right um in Germany. And so I think this is a very unique situation for Hp. And uh, and Lenovo and Lg. To sort of, you know, to to to latch on to this uh,

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Jed Ayres: you know very valuable customer base that I just had for twenty-one years.

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Andy Whiteside: I I do love the fact that uh you’re gonna help Hp: Lenovo Lg: and others really come up with a solution that fits the enterprise fits the smb fits everybody who’s really playing hard in this um delivered compute space

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Andy Whiteside: versus

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Andy Whiteside: pretty much uh the other solutions kind of solved the enterprise. Challenges kind of sort of uh, but didn’t really seem to care about going any further than that other in your process. Entry level, solving good good point. I mean one of the things we found ourselves doing is actually giving a lot of advice to these hardware guys on the spec that is going to deliver the best experience right especially now that everybody’s got table stakes of collaboration. And so one thing we’ve we why we did so Well, was we kind of understand the software

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Jed Ayres: workload and um, we were able to build hardware. That was at the right time at the right moment, size correctly. And so I think that’s been one of the gifts of getting closer to these guys is helping them, you know. Spec

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Jed Ayres: the right uh, you know memory and and uh Chipset in these hardware devices, so that they can be delivered into the market and not be under power right? Because I think i’m sure you’ve all on this call suffered from customers who have bought devices that just can’t run

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Jed Ayres: the collaboration.

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Jed Ayres: And so yeah, this has been another gift that I just driving into Lenovo and Hp: and and uh, Lg: is

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Jed Ayres: yeah, they in a lot of cases they didn’t even know they were missing features that you guys have had for ten years prior.

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Andy Whiteside: So, Chris, I promise to come back to you. We covered a lot. We got one more section here to cover, which we talked a little bit about already. What What do you want to ask? Jet about this?

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Chris Feeney – IGEL: Um. So i’m sorry i’m in the car. But uh one the things I was thinking about, because there’s you know. Obviously No, this was coming, but um, we we we’ve talked about it, but the un pocket is still going to be available. Uh, from a hardware perspective that that’s the one piece we are going to keep. That’s a really cool uh use case scenario. But

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Chris Feeney – IGEL: uh for Jed, I guess I was thinking about a couple of things. Two-part question, Hey, what’s the General? Reaction? Then, since the announcement went out for both public and then obviously their partners and customers. And then the second part a year from now. What do you see? Where do you see? I. G in in the world, and other market factors that are kind of timing this just right?

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Jed Ayres: Yeah. So the response from the customers have been overwhelmingly positive right? I mean there’s always a little bit of a hand holding around armies, and you know, warranties and things like that, but overwhelmingly, you know, people are like confident with the brands uh that we we’re we’re pointing them out, and the choices that they have there, and in some cases, you know, because of supply chain. They’re they’re even more readily available, and they’re even less expensive than the Igl products. So I think

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Jed Ayres: that’s been, uh, you know, overwhelmingly positive from across the board. And and yeah, a year from now, I mean my my uh aspirations for agile are, you know, significant growth and scale. And uh um

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Jed Ayres: adoption of our operating system. Um, and you know, see, seeing you know, uh uh, Lenolo and Hp. Bring us into some of these, you know, really large enterprise uh accounts. And then also, I I think the other aspiration I have is that um you start to see

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Jed Ayres: I gel being used in more um knowledge worker and kind of, you know, uh laptops type scenarios right? Call centers that are moving into the home uh environment. Just lots of new use cases that um the dazz model and um the work from anywhere

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Jed Ayres: have have have brought for us. So I think that’s ultimately I want to see I. J. Get to a million seats a year, and uh, you know, get get break that barrier, and of course you know um. Just keep keep on this sort of very strong double digit growth,

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Jed Ayres: uh, and you know, break the rule of forty uh that great software uh companies do. And so that’s that’s what we’re as aspiring towards right. And I think all along the way keeping the core values that have made the company so great right which is trust and integrity and partnership and innovation, and and doing it with a servant’s heart. Uh: So yeah,

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Jed Ayres: be showing up in a very authentic way, very approachable and humble, and uh, and driving against uh those core values.

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Chris Feeney – IGEL: Yeah, I just wanted to answer the last part that that um mobile platform. Um, I I committed myself once I got an Lg. Gram, and I also got a Lenovo device to carry that with me everywhere I go. And because we were using avd internally,

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Chris Feeney – IGEL: they really kind of hammering on the user experience. Andy and I and Patch. We talked about this a lot with Seb as well. If it’s not usable. If it’s terrible they’ll reject it. And what’s really been amazing is,

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Chris Feeney – IGEL: you know I’ve I’ve experimented this with with Andy had the ken’s integrity kick out last year in Nashville I brought my Lg. Ram with the unie pocket. I I brought up the edge browser and ran the team’s call in the presentation from the idl device. No, Evd. In this case, and it worked really well, and then

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Chris Feeney – IGEL: I was. We were out of arrow a few weeks back, and I had a fiveg connection on my phone using my Avd out of the Netherlands

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Chris Feeney – IGEL: uh doing a teams optimization call with Microsoft and and and other folks from my gel, and it worked just fine. No issues, no latency. And so that’s the user. Experience when you can. And I think when people get a chance to experience that

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Chris Feeney – IGEL: it will be rarely adopted. And obviously the stuff we’re working on to onboard rather rapidly with Os twelve that’s going to be so cool. So i’m been several hundred people that are using igl every day inside of I gel now, and I think that’s uh serving as well in terms of

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Jed Ayres: you know, uh shipping our own champagne, and and it’s great to see uh how quickly uh features get added, and things get fixed when your own people are complaining about them.

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Andy Whiteside: Yeah, see nothing really, says this story. Um, the decoupling the Os. And then giving you options for the hardware better than the mobile device, the laptop scenario. You guys went from a laptop option or two which wasn’t the best hardware on the planet uh in form. Factor. Uh to now, There’s probably twenty uh laptops that are just in the Hp. Lenovo and and Lg: World. Uh they give customers choices, and then there’s a whole bunch more beyond that that are uh outside of those three.

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Andy Whiteside: Uh, that is, is now Ij Already because of the move away from hardware. It it’s a great part of the story.

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Jed Ayres: Yeah. And I think we’ve sent out hundreds of laptops this year, Andy and any of your listeners that you want one. You should go to the Ig Uh: website. And yeah, you can get uh any of this hardware. We’d love to ship it to you, and you know, Have you? Uh test it,

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Jed Ayres: because you know that’s like Chris just said, That’s the best way to experience this stuff. And so, yeah, especially laptops. I think a lot of people

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Jed Ayres: you know. Never kind of realize. Oh, well, if it’s a laptop, I need windows on it right. No, you don’t actually that you. It creates a lot of cost right when you stack a bunch of agents on there, and all the people to manage it. Um put. I gel on it right, and

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Jed Ayres: you’ve You’ve got a lot of good choices like you just said right now, you know.

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Andy Whiteside: So yeah, we’ve talked about it throughout this conversation around where you’re going with the Os. What if What if we left out? If anything,

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Andy Whiteside: that people should expect out of the Ig. Os, and it’s a continued evolution of use cases.

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Jed Ayres: Well, I mean, I can only tell you that they uh the team and Augsburg just continue. We continue to invest there Right? Um, We We actually have two development centers now uh one in uh Carl’s roof. And then we’re moving into a new building and uh Augsburg. And so

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Jed Ayres: I mean, I think you’re just gonna see us continue to double down. Listen to customers. We have an Os twelve uh, you know. Beta, that’s running right now. Kind of an open beta, and we we have customer councils, partner councils. We’re listening to our uh, our constituents, I would say, and this is one thing that’s made this company great. When I got here I was like, How did How did all these features? You know the ten thousand settings that you can manage from the console. How did they get there?

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Jed Ayres: Well, it’s one of the core values of I gel it’s like we’re really good at listening. And so, um, you know, I think, that you can count on us to continue to listen to customers. And um, you know, try to try to create a uh a solution that that can fit their needs.

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Jed Ayres: And yeah, this this is the uh,

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Jed Ayres: The next chapter of scaling of of, I, I think, is going to come through this hardware, these hardware relationships,

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Jed Ayres: and also being in sort of a poll position for innovation, with Linux with Citric, with vmware, with Microsoft, and even with Amazon. Right. Um, We’re still talking to these guys, and there are still use cases where where Amazon can fit um.

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Jed Ayres: And so yeah, that it’s. It’s all about agnostic to hardware. Great relationships, you know. Take to take your pick and same thing with the protocol

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Andy Whiteside: uh a side of it. So i’m gonna have one of the piece today that we haven’t talked about, and that’s just the world of browser-based sas apps you know it’s in the like Npr. Does Uh how I built this podcast series, they always ask at the end, Are you? Are you lucky? Are you good? And a lot of times that lucky and good comes down to timing as well, and I think you guys have timed it

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Andy Whiteside: very well in terms of where the the world of delivered compute going, and is

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Jed Ayres: versus the hypothetical that it would have been ten years ago. Yeah, we’d like to be able to meet customers where they are right. You got people that are still on Prem with V. I. They want to look at that. Okay, we got. We got you covered right. You want to move to the Sas, or you want to mix all three together on the same device. We We can do that for you right, and we can do it across any hardware uh that hardware breaks. You can move that license to another device.

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Jed Ayres: Um, and I will say one thing, you know. I think everybody should be aware of it.

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Jed Ayres: We’re going to make a bigger investment in making sure that um the user experience, whether it’s the end user who’s consuming? Uh, you know, this this environment or the actual it Administrator. We are putting more uh intellect around the you you are.

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Jed Ayres: And so um, you know, I know, Patrick, you you and Chris have been in about. You guys all spend a lot of time inside of the uh

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Jed Ayres: the user interface, and while it’s very uh utilitarian, and it does exactly what it’s supposed to do. It’s not always the most modern and elegant. So you’re you’re you’re gonna see uh several places inside of the uh product where the user experience is going to get modernized.

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Jed Ayres: Um, through

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Jed Ayres: It’s pretty gray. It’s quite functional, but it’s not really fancy. Let’s call it this way we we’ve. We’ve got some designers. We’re working on it. And I I would just say, I just took over again as our Cmo. And so uh, you know, very focused on the sort of end-to-end journey uh inside of I gel

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Jed Ayres: and uh, yeah, So i’m back to being a Ceo of Cmo. And this is stuff I care about. You asked me what I get to me, excited Andy, picking the right font, the right color getting the call to actions right. And you know having that uh

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Jed Ayres: sort of you great user experience. Uh, from the moment you you know, hit our website to to when you light up the product.

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Andy Whiteside: So I heard somebody yeah the other day on the podcast. Call it the the the secure thin edge, and that includes, you know, Hyper converge in some places that includes the endpoint. At some places thin, secure edge is where all this needs to go, and if you can turn that into a sexy marketing term. So be it.

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Jed Ayres: Yeah, I’m working on it. Yeah, I I love the blog that uh they. They wrote on the bribe Brian Mountain, a web, a website. When when I first started

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Jed Ayres: they uh they

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Andy Whiteside: they had a uh whole thing about about how I gel made in clients sexy again, and that’s probably what I would say. Is I you, if you ask me where I want to go work tomorrow. If I did stop Zintegr, i’d come work for a thin client vendor, which to say that in two thousand and twenty-two almost twenty-three is

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Andy Whiteside: it’s kind of crazy. But uh I I I love what you guys have done by, Andy. I thought you worked for us. No, I’m on the cheapest,

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Jed Ayres: cheapest employee you ever had, kind of. Well, I want to make sure before we end, Andy, that we really invite everybody to what I think is going to be a very special event in April. I know It’s a ways out given that we’re sitting here at the end of November, but April third through the fifth. We are going to have what I think is what the industry needs, and and that’s a meet up of Microsoft, Citrix Vmware, Leno little hplg and yeah, probably about thirty-five to forty other ecosystem

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Jed Ayres: uh partners

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Jed Ayres: all focused on what we’ve been talking about for the last forty-five minutes and user compute. I think there’s events out there that are big and sexy but they all usually are, you know, have a marginalized position for end user compute. Citrix is not doing synergy this year, And so, uh, I I want to invite all your listeners to to register. We’re giving out a um

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Jed Ayres: a special deal right now. It’s one hundred and ninety-nine. If you register before the end of the year for the event. But i’m gonna tell you all your listeners. I know they’re all smart people, So if they type in the code master. They can have it for one hundred and fifty,

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Jed Ayres: and you know this is a a three day event that will have, you know, a lot of great content. It’ll have an expo hall. It will have technical boot camps from Microsoft, Citrix, and Vmware,

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Andy Whiteside: and and that’s really the gist of this whole conversation is when you are pretty much

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Andy Whiteside: able to play along with everybody, including the direct competitors, you really can

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Andy Whiteside: drive an industry event that used to be led by industry gorillas. Now it’s, you know, an ecosystem player that brings everybody together. It’s not. It’s not really an igl commercial. So much it is. It’s an opportunity. We’re gonna have a lot of customers they are telling. You know their story

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Jed Ayres: sharing uh, you know best practices and where they want to see the industry go. So you know, and I i’m gonna enforce this Andy. It’s like If you’re gonna come on the main stage, you’re you’re gonna need to bring a customer in your in your uh lock locked in your arms. We’re also trying to make it a very sustainable event. We’re gonna have a lot of uh conversations around this sustainability.

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Jed Ayres: And uh, yeah, we’re trying to do something so that we don’t burn the environment up. Um, you know, putting fifteen hundred people in Nashville. Um, so look for us to do that, um,

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Jed Ayres: you know, and try to put on an event that has a light footprint, and also drives the conversation which you know we think we’re part of around sustainability.

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Yeah.

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Andy Whiteside: Well, guys, we we’ve used up our time. Uh, but I do, wanna Chris, If you have anything? S. If you have anything uh, Patrick, if you have anything else, is there anything that we got Jed on the spot? We want to ask him somewhat succinctly before we let him go,

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Sebastien Perusat: I would say, as soon as you’re already. I would be happy to have you, but that’s something that you already promise, so to say, to have you joining the community to tell us a little bit more about that decision, because I know that a couple of people are getting scared a little bit about that that change. Nothing that I do personally, but I know from the Central your parent market that it’s a change which calls a little bit of yeah, Let’s say yes, partially so, as

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Jed Ayres: if you would have some some time or uh, or motivation. I always have time for your community. I can’t believe that it’s five years uh in the making. And so yeah, i’d love to do that. And uh any any time. Let’s let’s do it. And uh, what do we have to fear But fear itself

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Sebastien Perusat: definitely, just maybe lack of information. I mean, i’m trying to to share as much as possible of information in terms of the community. But so we have some some customers who are pretty old fashioned. We are not even knowing that as well as focusing on software. Don’t ask me why don’t ask me where the information got lost,

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Jed Ayres: But they Are they thinking we have a we are how a vendor was a part of a software, and that’s still sometimes a topic to bring through

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Jed Ayres: definitely uh love to do that

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Sebastien Perusat: perfect. Thank you very much.

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Andy Whiteside: Yeah, Jed, You need to believe It’s all about the software shirt or something like that. I’m: sure it’s coming. Thank you for the time jet as always. Uh,

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Andy Whiteside: yeah, I love this week, Actually, the year I get more work done this week than any other time. I know you got a couple more hours left on the west coast. But uh, you know, enjoy your holiday, and uh, we’ll talk to this group again in a week. Thank you. Keep up all the good work out there. Thanks. Everybody.

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Chris Feeney – IGEL: Yeah. Happy Thanksgiving. Take care.