IGEL, provider of the next gen edge OS for cloud workspaces, announces today that United Living has selected IGEL OS to extend the life of existing desktop PCs used within the business, provide an easy to manage EUC solution for equipment at numerous temporary site offices and enable staff to work from home. This further supports United Living’s agile working approach post pandemic.
Driven by its strong company values to leave a positive, sustainable legacy behind, United Living is always exploring ways to reduce its carbon footprint. The use of IGEL OS has seen the conversion of around 130 PCs. As a device’s carbon value is typically incurred during the manufacturing process, it can take two years to offset. By extending the life of these devices, United Living has ensured that it becomes incrementally more sustainable. In addition to the actual hardware savings, further costs were realised as a three-year anti-virus software and maintenance subscription was not renewed given the built-in security features of IGEL OS.
United Living provides essential services to the owners and operators of critical UK property and infrastructure assets and creates the communities where people want to live, work and play. The business employs 1,100 staff and has revenues of over £500m.
United Living uses Citrix Virtual Apps to provide a standard desktop for a range of staff who work on projects and temporary site offices around the country. They access standard Microsoft Office applications, Microsoft SharePoint along with the company’s finance system.
John Merrick, United Living’s IT service manager, explains, “We move these desktop PCs around from project to project. Getting a great Citrix experience for colleagues who use them was impacted as the endpoint hardware and associated operating system were old. We were looking for a solution which meant we could reutilise existing investment in hardware while boosting the end-user experience which is why we selected IGEL.”
Supplied by Bytes Software Services, one of IGEL’s authorised expert partners, IGEL OS has been used to convert the PCs into locked-down and easy to manage endpoints.
The PCs at site offices link back to a private cloud environment using Citrix SD-WAN. Merrick adds, “We made the transition to IGEL OS easily, cost effectively and efficiently.”
Users are presented with a desktop with a similar ‘look and feel’ to Windows which has helped with uptake and adoption. IGEL OS also allows digital cameras and other external storage drives to be connected – devices commonly used in the construction industry.
United Living has realised a range of other benefits:
- Converting the 130 desktop PCs was quick, easy and fault free;
- IGEL’s Universal Management Suite (UMS) means it is easy for the IT department to ‘push’ updates to each machine over time, with remote control of devices and support to individuals given when needed;
- Security is enhanced as no data is stored on machines locally as they switch between projects. Granular information is also provided about each device such as who logged in last.
Merrick says, “Ultimately, end-users have commented how much quicker the PCs are – they turn them on and they’re working in seconds not minutes. That’s been the best feedback as no one ever really thanks you for boosting efficiency.”
The use of IGEL OS meant that United Living was able to respond quickly to COVID-19 by loading the OS onto laptops – typically used at the main offices – for staff to then use at home. Merrick says, “We’ve used some of our IGEL licences to mobilise people to work from home. The laptops connect to Citrix NetScaler providing access to our virtual desktop and applications.”
Moving forward, United Living is positive about the future. Merrick says, “IGEL is a trusted partner. We know that when we introduce new technologies or functionalities whether that be Microsoft Teams or a new version of Citrix for example, IGEL will support us.”
Simon Townsend, IGEL’s chief marketing officer, says “Working from anywhere is here to stay. IGEL OS is designed to enable firms to support their staff to do this and the United Living project is an excellent example. Irrespective of whether their staff work at different project sites or from home, our software offers easy management, security, performance and, the best bit, lower EUC costs to the business.”