IGEL Secure

IGEL Secure - On the 12th of June some of the Workspace IT gang got to spend the day listening to "front-men" from some of the EUC industries best vendors at the IGEL hosted "IGEL Secure" event. After a day absorbing information and some interesting discussions I decided to write this blog to summarise what i heard.

So lets get into it, after an early start at 6am I headed into London to the venue - 30 Euston Square, London. A great location and a fantastic comfortable auditorium which you will see in the pictures coming up.

After a quick breakfast we headed in to the auditorium for the keynote sessions. First onstage was Darren Fields, IGEL VP Sales, who provided a warm welcome and set the scene for the day.

Next up was Klaus Oestermann, IGEL CEO. Klaus gave an overview of how IGEL have re-positioned themselves within the market and redefined what IGEL's strategy and direction is. Introducing....

IGEL Secure18
IGEL Secure17

What's the IGEL Preventative Security Model (PSM)?
In my own words, IGELs PSM is essentially removing attack surfaces from the endpoint, therefore lessening the risk of a cyber attack due to a by design "hardened" device. The next pictures show some of the differences between using IGEL and other traditional endpoints operating systems such as Windows 11 and the additional technologies and complexities involved to try and manage additional attack surfaces and product integrations.

For more details on the PSM, you can checkout the whitepaper here:

One of the major benefits of transitioning to IGEL and its Preventative Security Model is the impact on cost. Everyone knows cost more often than not provides major influence in any companies strategy and technology. Klaus went on to talk about a customer that has saved over £32M over a 3 year period in equated cost. This was achieved by using IGEL on the customer endpoints allowing the customer to:

Next Klaus moved on to show the current landscape of IGEL Ready partners. The partner ecosystem is changing rapidly with more and more partners on-boarding to the program, each time I see an updated chart there are more and more vendors.

"An exclusive partner program designed for hardware, software and peripheral companies that want to develop verified, integrated solutions with IGEL technologies."

Matthias Haas, IGEL CTO took the reigns from Klaus at this stage and went on to talk about the current state of IGEL OS12, the App Portal and how its showing 25% more velocity in how apps are appearing bringing updates and new features. Local Apps on OS12 were then highlighted allowing more flexibility in utilising the local devices hardware for potential performance improvements - a key feature for me was the introduction of the Microsoft Teams Progressive Web App (PWA), allowing a user to run Teams in a browser directly on the IGEL.

Matthias expanded on more functionality within OS12 such as:

For me personally, a couple of those announcements are a big deal!

First, SSO from the OS level right through to the desktop or application you want to use - No more entering your credentials multiple times.

Second, Microsoft Teams PWA, locally installed on the IGEL. Unified Comms straight from the endpoint.

Lastly, my favourite and what I have been talking with IGEL about for quite some time, Microsoft Intune Enrollment! This is huge! Enroll your devices then apply Compliance and/or Conditional Access Policies to your devices like you would with any other device currently within your tenant.

Next up, Justin Thorogood took centre stage as a referee to chat with Jim Moyle, Microsoft, Spencer Pitts, Omnissa and Gerry Lavin, Citrix. Justin had the red card ready if things were to get out of hand between these tech giants. The panel discussed their views on the current state of their respective companies and gave a bit of insight around the changes since acquisition for the likes of Citrix and Omnissa. Jim caught my attention with his insight on the highly debated "AppV is end of life 04/2026" topic.

I caught up with Jim in-between sessions to quiz him on this subject a little more. After some digging here's what I learnt:

Realistically, the AppV client is going to be around until at least 2030.... maybe more... shhh.

Back into the auditorium and Joe Cleary from Lenovo was on stage to talk about how IGEL and Lenovo are "Securing Devices at the Edge".

This session had some specific use cases in mind such as Point of Sale (POS) devices, Digital Signage and Patient Kiosks and how Lenovos ThinkShield offers a lower layer of protection against Cyber-Attacks - right down to protecting the Firmware and BIOS of the device. For more info, checkout the Lenovo site here.

Now, I need to highlight my favorite presentation of the day, this was delivered by Nathaniel Comer, CEO & Founder of Sun Screen IT Group. What do Sun Screen IT do? I am not a good enough writer to convey the message in the way i received it so I have instead here are some of the slides from the presentation.

Since the event I have spoken to Nathaniel to get permission to provide a snippet of video from what he presented for the first time. The actual video was just shy of 15 minutes, once publicly released, I urge you to watch it.

If you can help or want to get involved please reach out directly to Nathaniel (link above) and he will be more than happy to speak to you about Sun Screen IT and their mission.

Breakout Sessions were next on the Agenda where I headed over to get an update on the IGEL Channel changes. Some exciting changes, enhancements and some insightful Q&A with the presenters, Justin Thorogood (Looking shook!), Ken Millard, Brendan Williams, Eric Kline & Mads Skalbo. Thanks for the update guys! Unfortunately the detail shared here is still to be kept under wraps.

And finally it was time for the the social afterwards to dig into the detail with a beer and some banter. Obligatory selfies with the main man Rene Recker who heads up the IGEL Community. Joe Cleary from Lenovo. And a trip to re-enact the Spice Girls Wannabe music video on the stairs in St Pancreas International featuring, Jim Moyle, Colin Eales & myself (Dan Goss).

Hopefully you learnt something from this post, if not i'm sure you at least enjoyed the Spice Girls reenactment. If you would like anymore information on anything mentioned above to reach out to me, if I cant help I can put you in touch with someone that can. Thanks for reading.

Lenovo Microsoft Budapest Event

Lenovo Microsoft Partner Budapest Event!

What an event!! This week I was lucky to enough to be invited to visit Lenovo’s factory in Budapest to see up close and personal how orders are received, built, packaged and shipped in as little as 5 days!

I decided to write a short blog about what we got up to, saw and discussed while out in Budapest.

After an early 4am start on Wednesday I had my first flight with Wizzair, all in all a good airport experience.

After a quick exit from Budapest Airport I found my transfer and met my first partner of the day Tom. Next stop we arrived at our hotel the “Anantara – New York Palace Budapest Hotel”.

For anyone wishing to visit Budapest in the future, I would recommend this hotel without hesitation, a beautiful hotel inside and out, the food was fantastic and the Eggs Benedict at breakfast was something else! (Had me thinking about the next morning’s breakfast most of the day).

Now to the fun stuff, with no time to spare I checked in with the Lenovo team and we headed straight for some lunch, followed by a quick welcome speech.

Next up, team building with Go Trabi Go!

This was a real highlight, I was expecting the semi-regular let’s go round everyone and introduce yourself, tell us something interesting about you, etc. However not today! We were thrown into the deep end, “get into groups of 2 or 3 for a tour of the city in your very own Trabant” … pick a driver, navigator and a sightseer and off you go.

Team 3 was born!
Rasmas our nominated driver, myself in the navigator’s seat and Tom chilling in the back inhaling all sorts of fumes 😀

Driving was fun, Rasmas was really giving that gearbox some stick. Navigation was challenging, with my shins and knees pushed up against the dash, feeling like I was 10cm from the ground, unable to see past the car in front with this as our map:

This really was a great team building activity, got the conversations going while getting to see some of the amazing sites that Budapest has to offer.

After reaching our final stop and returning the Trabants we headed to the Welcome dinner at Spinoza restaurant – the Hungarian Ghoulash soup was nice and spicy, highly recommended!

A short announcement from the Lenovo team that of course, naturally TEAM 3 WON the Trabant tour and challenges – we were presented with a bottle of Unicum Liqueur that required an immediate palette cleanser!

Thursday Morning - ACTION!

After an early morning gym session briefly crossing paths with @Igor from Microsoft it was time to head for breakfast before an early transfer to the Lenovo Factory. Now I’m mentioning it again, the Eggs Benedict at breakfast was fantastic, if your ever at the hotel, give it a try, you won’t be disappointed!

After a short 30-minute transfer we arrived at the Lenovo Factory. (Blinded by the sun, I was happy really!)

A quick check-in at reception and we were introduced to Gabor Salamon who was our presenter and tour guide around the factory.

Gabor was incredibly knowledgeable about all things happening in the factory, I was blown away by the thoroughness and knowledge he had of everything going on.

Next stop, a presentation to give us an insight into what happens in the Budapest factory.

Gabor Salamon showing how the Budapest Factory is:

Impressively can build and ship:

A quick look at the products leaving the Budapest Factory destined for End Customers all around the world.

Whats inside a Water-cooled system? The copper providing the path for the water around the components within the chassis.

Now unfortunately, the next part of the tour didn’t allow any phones, wallets, keys, etc as you might imagine. So that means no pictures but if you are interested I have found a short video produced by Lenovo that does offer some glimpses to the inside operations:

We were provided some funky light green coloured clothing to wear which if I remember correct highlighted that we were visitors to the workforce.

The staff all wear something similar but with various colours each with a specific meaning to ensure no time was lost should a shift worker need assistance. Each colour would highlight a purpose such as a Dark Blue meant shift lead.

The processes and thought in this factory as I said earlier was something to behold, there is next to zero wasted time or effort, if there is a better way to do something then Gabor is already on it working on how to improve their processes and adopt it.

After the tour we had a quick group photo before we headed back to the hotel.
Photo credit: @Guido Terni

Back at the hotel and into the Bellini meeting room for some B2B sessions. Presenter no1 – Guido Terni, unfortunately missed the action shot here!

Guido went on to talk about some of the following:

The second presenter was a winner from Team 3 – Rasmus Borch.

Rasmus is part of the Solutions and Services Group and gave us a roundup of the Solutions provided by Lenovo and explained how together Lenovo, Microsoft and Partners can solve any challenge for any customer:

And the last speaker of the day was @Igor Krstin from Microsoft. Igor even struck a pose for the photo!

Igor is a Channel Executive at Microsoft and was giving us his and Microsofts insights into why Windows 11 is different and what the introduction of AI and Copilot means for the future.

We spoke about topics everyone is talking about right now such as the importance of AI in the workplace. Key pain points and top priorities in business today.

We then discussed how Windows 11 is the most secure Windows ever due to:

I think everyone participating in the event agreed that “Now is the time to move to Windows 11”.

Why though?

  1. Windows 10 is End of Life October 2025
  2. Since Fall 2020, Windows 10 has had no OS fundamental improvements, those are only being released for Windows 11
  3. Better performance, connectivity and battery life due to modern chipset innovations
  4. The most secure Windows out of the box
  5. Fresh, intuitive and consistent look
  6. More productive end users with new search functionality, M365 integration and not to mention the coming influx of AI capabilities

Microsoft have openly announced that planning on paying for Extended Support to continue getting updates to Windows 10 post October 2025 is a very expensive strategy.

After a brief Q&A the presentations were finished and we have around 1hr to get ready for the final dinner. During this time myself and Tom flew like the wind to grab some close up pictures of the beautiful House of Parliament, it was well worth the effort, I’m sure you would agree.

After the mad rush back and a quick change of clothes we set off for our final dinner at the Studel House for another very tasty meal. We were shown how Strudels are made and some of the group got to take part in attempting to roll out the dough, some fared better than others…

At the end of dinner, we made our way back to the hotel for our pickups the next morning to start our journeys home, I won once again with the earliest 8AM, the less said about that the better!

And that was it, an uneventful return journey but a fantastic event which I am very grateful for being invited to.

A huge shout out to everyone who organised, led and presented in the event and also to the partners/new friends I got to meet.

I look forward to our next meeting and to my next visit to Budapest.