Tech Titan Tarkan Maner To Join IGEL Board
‘What IGEL is doing is forging a true cloud desktop as a service business that is all cloud driven and cloud enabled,’ says Nutanix Chief Commercial Officer and former Wyse Technology CEO Tarkan Maner. ‘It is a hybrid multicloud approach for the hybrid workforce at the end point. This is a new era. I love what IGEL is doing.’
Tarkan Maner, one of the technology visionaries that helped pioneer the VDI market, is joining the board of Linux edge operating system software powerhouse IGEL.
Maner, a 30-year technology industry veteran who is currently the chief commercial officer of hybrid multicloud software platform innovator Nutanix, helped popularize cloud client computing and thin client systems as the CEO of Wyse Technology from 2007 to 2012.
“This is not a pure thin client market anymore,” said Maner, praising IGEL as the foundation for a new era of cloud based digital workspace systems. “IGEL is driving an end user compute OS platform that is hardware agnostic with a software only approach. It is a different ballgame. What IGEL is doing is forging a true cloud desktop as a service business that is all cloud driven and cloud enabled. It is a hybrid multicloud approach for the hybrid workforce at the end point. This is a new era. I love what IGEL is doing.”
[Related: ‘Dream Come True’: IGEL Exits Hardware Business]
After selling Wyse to Dell, Maner, who is considered one of the movers and shakers in Silicon Valley, continued his disruptive technology charge as the CEO of open source software defined storage superstar Nexenta.
At Nutanix, Maner is pushing the hybrid multicloud software envelope. That includes a partnership with IGEL with the integration of Nutanix’s cloud portfolio as a service platform with the secure IGEL OS.
Maner, who is also a board member at AppSec security pioneer Invicti and at the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, said he was attracted to the IGEL board position in large part because of the opportunity to work with IGEL CEO Jed Ayres and his team.
Over the course of the last seven years, Ayres has transformed the one time German thin client hardware maker into a Linux edge operating system software company with a finely tuned channel business model.
“Jed has done a phenomenal job moving IGEL from a thin client business into a subscription software business,” said Maner. “He has made IGEL a global force with a strong channel business. Most CEOs don’t truly understand the channel. Jed gets the channel. He cares about the channel. He comes from the channel. I have known Jed for 20 plus years. He used to be a channel partner of mine. At the end of the day it is about three things: authentic customer and partner experience and intimacy, true IP differentiation and focused operational excellence supported by a great team. IGEL team delivers on all of these with passion. Jed checks every single box. He is one of the best CEOs in this business. I am looking forward to working with him and his team.”
Under Ayres leadership, IGEL, a maker of well-engineered thin client hardware devices for two decades, exited that business last year as part of an all-out drive to make its popular Linux secure edge operating system the standard for cloud workspace computing across any device or cloud.
The IGEL and Nutanix Software Journey
The IGEL journey from hardware maker to software provider mirrors the Nutanix transformation from turnkey hyperconverged hardware provider to hybrid multicloud subscription software provider.
“It’s a lot of work to move from a hardware company to a software company,” said Maner, giving kudos to the IGEL software transformation. “It’s a heavy lift. Nutanix has gone through this over the last decade super successfully. We were originally a hardware company. We are now a pure cloud platform software company. We are now leading in many aspects of the hybrid multicloud software market, providing the ultimate in simplicity, flexibility and affordability to our customers and partners. These are exciting times for Nutanix and our ecosystem.”
Nutanix is pushing the IGEL secure edge OS at the end point with its own enterprise class hybrid multicloud platform approach in the backend. “The channel loves this end to end software approach,” he said. “On the front end you have the IGEL OS and on the backend you have Nutanix running on any platform whether it is Dell, HPE, Lenovo or Cisco. We are agnostic. The channel loves that. It gives customers and partners options with flexibility and simplicity.”
The cloud desktop model is opening the doors to higher margins for partners with a sharper focus on software, integration and recurring revenue, said Maner. “This is a beautiful story for channel partners,” he said. “It’s a huge opportunity for customers, partners and vendors and for the entire ecosystem. This is a perfect storm for vendors like IGEL, Nutanix, Citrix and Microsoft and all the channel partners around the world including service providers and systems integrators. The last pandemic showed us that the hybrid workforce is here to stay and our market leading hybrid multicloud software approach is the answer for this new era.”
Thin clients and VDI were only the first phase of the market, leading to the new cloud based desktop as a service market, said Maner. “With edge computing, end user computing is going to take a new course as it moves forward into the next decade,” he said. “This is a multibillion dollar market. The next decade is going to be bigger than we can imagine. It is not just about thin clients. It is mobile phones, smart devices, iPads, wearables, and every single type of device you can imagine. Even your connected car is an endpoint device. There is going to be a lot of opportunity for partners, customers and vendors. This is just the beginning.”
A Pivotal Moment For IGEL
Mike Strohl, the CEO of E360, an IGEL partner and one of the first solution providers to bring VDI solutions to the market, said Maner’s appointment represents a pivotal moment for IGEL.
“What Jed is doing is not just assembling a board for IGEL, he is assembling a board for the industry,” he said. “Tarkan is one of the lifetime visionaries of this market. Tarkan participated in the creation of this market. With all the changes that are going on in this market right now this is going to ultimately bring the most return to the consumers of all end user compute technology.”
Strohl credited Ayres with forever changing the VDI market by transforming IGEL from a hardware company to Linux software provider to a cloud workspace provider. That transformation is leading to a “cohesion” in the splintered cloud desktop market that was badly needed, said Strohl.
“What Jed has done is built an organization that is a partner of Microsoft, AWS, VMware, Citrix and Workspot,” he said. “IGEL is bringing it all together. That provides a unique opportunity for all of us in this market.”
To that point, IGEL is bringing together the top vendors in the cloud desktop market, including Microsoft, Citrix, VMware, AWS, HP and LG, at its Disrupt conference in Munich on February 14-16 and in Nashville on April 3-5. Ayres and top end user compute executives including Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop/Windows 365 leader Scott Manchester, VMware President Sumit Dhawan and Maner himself are expected to share their vision for driving a new era of cloud desktop sales growth at the Disrupt conferences.
As for the impact that Maner is going to have as IGEL ramps up its cloud desktop software charge, Strohl said: “The addition of someone like Tarkan to help tell the bigger story is where the real opportunity is. That’s the genius of what Jed has assembled. Having Tarkan together with Jed as thought leaders changes the dynamic. This is another genius move by Jed. IGEL is acting as a catalyst that is going to lead to all ships rising in the cloud desktop market. Jed deserves distinction for that.”
Strohl said E360’s IGEL software and services business was up double digits in 2022 and he expects another double digit growth year in 2023 with cloud workspaces momentum growing. “All of the industry leaders are moving to consumption, subscription and managed in terms of how they deliver software licensing,” he said. “The industry is teed up for IGEL to be successful.”
Maner, for his part, said he could not be more excited about the new cloud desktop as a service era that IGEL is powering with its Linux edge OS software. “This is about making applications available to any user anywhere whether it is at home, at work or on the go,” he said. “The IGEL software story is beyond thin clients. It is a complete software approach to the cloud desktop vision. It’s all about simplicity, agnosticity and lowest possible total cost of ownership. It’s a beautiful story. That’s why I am joining the IGEL board.”