A Linux software firm specializing in improved management across desktops and handheld devices is bringing its technology to the Canadian market through a manufacturer’s rep.

Igel Technologies, based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., said it has formed a partnership with Mississauga, Ont.-based IT

Channel Group. (ITG) to recruit resellers and provide local sales and marketing support for its Clever Clienting software. The two firms made contact at the Real World Linux show in Toronto earlier this year.

Igel’s software is designed to ease the rollout of open source software on a range of enterprise devices. These include PCs but also notebooks, PDAs and cell phones. While many software tools offer basic management capabilities, like screen resolution or connections to the server, Igel’s technology allows device profiling.

When a device running is switched on, for example, the software looks for a profile server, which recognizes it through an encrypted ticket and then gives the device a complete configuration – desktop look and feel, icons that appear on the desktop, connections available to the user and networking options.

“”Imagine how that helps rollout, because now you don’t have to pre-configure the devices,”” said Steve Earle, president of Igel’s U.S. operations. “”You simply take the operating system on there – either on the hard drive or on a bootable flash, or under VMWare – stick it out in the field, (and) a warm body plugs it in.””

Perhaps more significant, Earle said, is Igel’s user profile management.

If enterprise users were visiting a branch office, for instance, they could plus a smart plug into a PC in the new environment and an encrypted token will identify them and configure their PC as if they were in their own office.

ITG president Jerry Diakow said the technology would be of great interest to companies in the financial and health-care sectors which are mulling open source deployments.

“”You’re managing all desktops, all the devices, all though one management system,”” he said.

Igel has already had some early success in Canada. Mark’s Work Wearhouse has installed Clever Clienting across its retail organization and runs Igel Linux on a variety of clients including PCs, point of sale devices and thin client terminals, which Igel also manufactures.

“”There is not a CIO worth his salt today who is not looking at alternative solution,”” Earle said. “”I think the pressure is on to deliver more for less. If you have a large dependency on Microsoft in your environment, I think the pressure to look for an alternative is greater than it might be if you were, say, running an AS/400 application in your environment.””

Diakow said the firm’s Igel Advantage program will offer the channel up to 25 per cent gross margins. “”We’re out and about talking to resellers now,”” he said. “”A lot of them are excited about it, because the solution offers a better value proposition.””

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