Peter von Oven – Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Having spent three days attending the IGEL Disrupt 2020 conference in Munich, I thought I would share of of the experiences and event highlights from the Droplet Computing team.
We have been working closely with IGEL, for some time, on integrating our containers with their IGEL OS. So, it was a pleasure to be one of the sponsors of the Disrupt 2020 Munich event, and to see the Droplet Computing logo printed on the lanyard and worn at the event by around 600 attendees.
We attended the event with our founder and CEO Peter von Oven and COO Barry Daniels. Neither had been to a Disrupt event before and stated that it was the first event they’d ever attended that is 100% focused on end user computing.
After a delay at London Heathrow airport, we arrived in time to attend the Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) event hosted by Christiaan Brinkhoff and Jim Moyle – two WVD Global Black Belts no less! They provided a great overview and also a glimpse into the future of virtual desktops from Microsoft.
Wow! What an opening to kick off the event (and to wake those up that might’ve been a bit tired from exploring Munich the night before!) with an amazing rock band called Radar. Their enthusiasm and showmanship really encapsulated the energy in the room of over 600 people. Next up was Chief Story Teller Doug Keely who was the host for the day. Then newly appointed CEO Jed Ayres took to the stage to relay the incredible story and journey that IGEL has been through; from a small German company to a worldwide name and with a plan to become a $1Bn company.
The theme of the event was all about the end user and delivering the next-gen Edge OS for cloud workspaces, and that theme ran throughout the event. Putting the end user first and foremost and giving them what they need to be productive – namely apps. Nathan Hill from Gartner backed this up in the keynote, talking about what Gartner is seeing with customers. In this session we also heard from Microsoft’s Scott Manchester talking about Microsoft WVD and how customers can take advantage of this technology to decrease the cost and complexity of deploying virtual desktops in the cloud.
Finally, Matthias Haas, IGEL CTO, took to the stage to talk about all the new features of the IGEL OS, complete with a live demo of the integration with WVD. The first Linux-based client to take advantage of this new technology.
After the keynotes we had a number of meetings arranged with alliance partners and customers. First stop was AWS to talk to the Amazon WorkSpaces guys around our partnership of enabling customers to take their legacy and modern apps to the cloud running on Amazon WorkSpaces and AppStream. We have already published deployment and integration guides and will shortly be available in the Amazon Marketplace.
Then it was on to the IGEL booth to meet with Christian Werner (IGEL head of product management) to discuss our joint project work in running our container technology locally on the IGEL OS.
People ask how a technology such as the Droplet Computing container helps in a thin client environment. The first thing to point out here is that it’s not really the thin client devices that we are talking about specifically. As highlighted in the keynote by IGEL themselves, it’s all about the edge OS – regardless of the type of physical device. Yes, IGEL did say that they sell hardware too, but ultimately it is about delivering a workspace environment.
So how can Droplet Computing help?
When migrating to the likes of WVD or Amazon WorkSpaces, the OS in those environments is typically the latest version available, but when it comes to a corporate or enterprise business there are still going to be older apps that run on an older OS, yet are still business critical. Droplet Computing takes these apps, containerises them, and enables them to run locally on the IGEL OS.
So now you can not only run these older apps while still connecting to cloud-based workspaces, but also provide the ability to run on the IGEL OS even without a network connection. We call this hybrid client computing and working closely with the team at IGEL we can now deliver this capability to our joint customers.
The next partner meeting was with Dutch company Liquit. Liquit delivers an aggregated or unified workspace along with the ability to automate the update of apps running within that workspace.
Adding Droplet Computing into the solution delivers two distinct benefits. Using our DirectLaunch feature, we can deliver an icon to the Liquit workspace that, when clicked, can launch a locally installed app; in this instance the Droplet Container App. This allows an end user to access their cloud-based SaaS apps as well as any local apps, whether they’re modern or legacy. It also allows those apps to be updated if necessary. The second dimension is to containerise the workspace enabling it to run on other non-Windows devices by delivering a secure corporate environment to a BYOD device.
Finally, we met with Liquidware to discuss how we can deliver the container app using application layering and FlexApp. This enables legacy and modern apps to be delivered to Windows 10 and Amazon WorkSpaces for stateless desktops. The other big advantage with Liquidware is their ProfileUnity solution that manages end user profiles. This means we can dynamically manage which apps end users can access inside the container, along with the resource settings of the container itself.
To start day 3 off we met with Jed Ayres (CEO of IGEL) talking about the journey IGEL have been on and how we certainly follow their message of disrupt when it comes to delivering applications. Following on from that, Jed introduced us to Jeff Kalberg (Technology Evangelist at IGEL) who was super excited about our solution and talked about all the latest IGEL updates.
The rest of the day was spent talking to potential new customers as well as existing customers all with one common issue to solve. They have immediate and urgent opportunities in delivering apps offline but also to deliver legacy apps on larger scales. So regardless of organizations saying they have no old apps the reality is that they are out there somewhere!
Having laser focus on end user computing, Disrupt is a unique and must attend event. The overall message is consistent with the same end goal in sight – delivering the end user experience.
From a Droplet Computing perspective, it was a very productive few days with some great conversations with our key partners and a genuine excitement around what we can all deliver working together.