This year flew by and was a busy year in technology! In the coming weeks, I am going to write a few blogs to recap the year. As a partner, I come across a lot of great companies, and I can present solutions to my clients that fit their needs. Here are five companies I feel everyone should keep an eye on in 2018.

1 – IGEL

IGEL was founded in Bremen Germany in 2001 as an endpoint management company. Many folks use HP (Neoware) and Dell (Wyse) thin-clients, but IGEL has been overlooked, until now. 2018 will be a marquee year for IGEL. I recently wrote two blogs on IGEL highlighting their Universal Desktop Converter (UDC) and their Universal Desktop in a Pocket (UDPocket).  IGEL can also manage your Windows devices with their Universal Management Agent by locking down the desktop and aligning them to your overall thin client strategy. The Thin-Client Platform Market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5.77% from 2017-2021. IGEL is attempted to differentiate itself by offering up BYO and desktop extension solutions. Vendors like Neoware and Statodesk (ViewSonic) are trying to differentiate themselves by offering up Raspberry Pi solutions. Then you have smaller vendors like Devon IT, 10Zig and Clientron. Let us not forget about Norskale’s transformer; it is to be seen what Citrix will do with this technology. In the end, IGEL has the opportunity to unseat HP and Dell because frankly [in my opinion], they have neglected the thin-client market and have become stale. Their strategy to target current desktops will pay off. Finally, if IGEL could devise an excellent Raspberry PI solution, then they become unstoppable!

2 – Ivanti

What a two-year stretch it has been for LANDesk, I mean AppSense, I mean Heat and finally Ivanti. Ivanti has a lot of cool technologies under its umbrella. One hopes they do not turn into the next CA!

Ivanti has some hidden gems and senior management, if you are reading this, 2018 is the time to strike and start playing hardball! For starters, lets come to terms that Ivanti did not acquire RES for RES ONE Workspace, they acquired it for RES ONE Identity and RES ONE Automation (a very under marketed product). If Ivanti is smart (and I know they are), Global Identity & Access Management market is projected to reach $20.87 billion in 2022 and have a CAGR of 14.8%. The cloud-based ITSM market is worth 8.78 billion with a CAGR of 14.8 by 2021. Not look across Ivanti’s portfolio; they have a stack most CTOs and CMOs would dream to have and they own it all! Imagine this: Heat coupled with RES ONE Identity Director (with RES ONE Automation underneath) coupled with Xtraction; you have an IAM, an ITSM, and an automation solution all in one! I am sure the excellent product teams at Ivanti are scheming this stuff up, but time is of the essence! Oh and do not forget to have a SaaS story and cloud story! In case you missed, RES ONE Identity Director snagged the homeland security award in November. Ivanti, the world is your oyster, now execute!

3 – Bitdefender

I know what you are thinking; another antivirus company or better known as an endpoint protection platform.  The endpoint security market is estimated to be a $17.38 Billion by 2020, at an expected CAGR of 8.4% from 2015 to 2020. Another interesting fact is the security as a service market is expected to be an $8.52 billion by 2020 with a CAGR of 22.2%. This market includes tools like SIEM, endpoint protection, DLP and endpoint remediation. Many companies are focused on prevention and protection, but not many are focused on machine learning and remediation. Parallel, Bitdefender can cover mobile, cloud, the hypervisor and IOT devices. Is your renewal coming up with McAfee, Symantec or Sophos? Why not check out Bitdefender where their appliance is simple, or you can use their SaaS cloud. They also have this great consumer device called Bitdefender BOX that can protect all your internet-connected devices in your home.

4 – FSLogix

FSLogix seemingly is one of a few vendors still standing in the ‘User Environment Management’ (UEM) space. What makes them different? FSLogix saw a problem and latched onto it making it seamless to migrate to Office 365 when using Citrix, VMware and Microsoft RDS. End-user computing is tough, but throw in login delays, sluggish Outlook performance, and missing data, now you have an angry end-user cursing Citrix, VMware or Microsoft when in fact it is not their fault. In a non-persisted environment where the user profile is created each time, the end-user incurs a login tax, a performance tax, and a usability tax. Things like online mode for exchange make an end-user want to throw their keyboard across the room or waiting 60 seconds to see their desktop makes the end-user loath IT. FSLogix is simple and takes the user profile/workspace, stores it in a VDH and makes the profile/workspace truly portable. Microsoft even recommends on their documentation site where to use FSLogix. OneDrive does have ‘Files on Demand’ but why not just have the files handy no matter what! OST files could eventually find a way to work better with network storage, but unlikely since OneDrive is Microsoft big focal point. The other bonus, FSLogix drastically reduces your login times, especially with Citrix, VMware and Microsoft RDS environments. Citrix does have Application Layering and ‘Elastic Layers,’ but it is to be seen if they will enable a profile disk. FSLogix has two more great features: Application Masking and Java Redirection. If I am FSLogix, I will look to find an ‘offline’ story and solve browser incompatibility issues leveraging your relationship with PolicyPak Software.

5 – DeviceTRUST

I recently wrote a blog on this small but mighty company out of Germany. Security is top of mind for most CISOs, and in fact, cybersecurity spending will exceed $1 trillion from 2017 to 2021. Let’s put this another way, $93 billion could represent the information security spending in 2018 according to Gartner. Most end-users HATE security and are dismissive where 24% of employees admitted they had used unsafe behaviors to complete a task. The solution is simple, make security user-centric. Security should not inhibit users from doing their job, but the end-user should not do things that expose their company. DeviceTRUST can help by providing context and governance based on over 200 properties. DeviceTRUST works with mobile devices connecting to a Citrix backend and can provide context-aware governance based on various properties of the mobile device. DeviceTRUST recently inked a partnership and integration with IGEL and will have the ability to provide context awareness on IGEL thin-client devices. Couple DeviceTRUST with Ivanti, Bitdefender or IGEL and you ensure security is top of mind but make it user-centric.

On the Radar

Phantom Cyber

I have said it before, I will say it again, automation is king! In 2016, I came across this cool security company call Phantom Cyber. They are ‘security automation and orchestration’ company. Phantom made it their mission to integrate with as many vendors as possible and to build workflows for ALL of them! Keep an eye on these guys, where I feel they will make some big noise in 2018.

Zscaler

Founded in 2008, Zscaler as seemingly flown below the radar and popped up in a big way amidst all the security concerns in 2016 and 2017. 100% SaaS-based, “Zscaler enables the world’s leading organizations to securely transform their networks and applications for a mobile and cloud-first world. Its flagship services, Zscaler Internet Access, and Zscaler Private Access create fast, secure connections between users and applications, regardless of device, location, or network.” (LinkedIn) I am excited about ZScaler and feel they will make a huge splash in 2018.

HIVE-IO

Founded in 2015, HIVE-IO seemed to get the memo that hardware does not matter before Nutanix, HPE Simplivity, and Scale Computing. They acquired the Atlantis Computing technology, so apparently, they have a vision that Atlantis did not see, and Atlantis has seemingly gone into the hardware business. I do not know much about HIVE-IO but what intrigues me is they are blazing the trail for the ‘Sofware Defined Infrastructure.’

I feel 2018 will be the year where the focus will be on security, unifying the workspace and making IT more user-centric. Parallel, the above companies have the laborious task of making themselves known and gaining better brand recognition!