Q&A with IGEL Community Member David Faynor
We recently sat down with IGEL Community member David Faynor to discuss his experiences working with IGEL's products and solutions.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself, your role in IT, etc. and maybe something fun about you too?
I have been at Pittsburgh Mercy for going on eight years. Currently, I am the Senior Business System Architect, which kind of means I get to be the mad scientist and the R&D department to create innovative ways to move the organization into the future. Sometimes this has its pros, but sometimes this also has its cons. Fun Fact about me, I have been a volunteer firefighter for 18 years. Thanks, I know I don't look that old. I have been doing it since I was 14 years old.
How long have you been working with IGEL's products and solutions?
At Pittsburgh Mercy was have been using IGEL for two years, we currently have about 700 devices and look to expand that to 1100 device total within the next 6-8 months. At that point, we would have converted 98% of our environment from either Windows endpoint or Wyse thin clients.
Was IGEL your first experience with 'thin clients'?
IGEL was the first thin client OS that I love, but it was not my first experience with thin clients. Pittsburgh Mercy was using Wyse thin clients when I came on board in 2012. When I walked in the door, we changed a lot how they were used from manually setting them up and typing in the broker address to creating .ini files on an FTP server (that's still a thing people do ☹). I then met Douglass Decamp at Synergy in 2018, and our relationship with IGEL has been a dream come true.
How do you see IGEL solutions compare and contrast to your other experiences?
See the answer above. IGEL is LIGHT years ahead of everybody else.
How has Covid-19 affected how your company supports its end-users?
I need to take you back two years ago to answer this question. We completely changed what equipment we were deployed to move the company forward. Instead of thin clients and monitors, we purchased Dell All In Ones (Touchscreen, internal Webcam, Internal Mic, and Internal Speakers). Instead of non-touchscreen laptops, we started buying 2-in-1 laptops with (Touchscreen, Internal webcam, Internal Mic, and Internal Speakers) both devices now functioned the same. So when Covid-19 came around, we already had the equipment deployed, and these devices were already converted to IGEL (Whatever you want to call it). So three-quarters of the work was completed, IGEL provided us with the ability since we were already utilizing ICG (IGEL Cloud Gateway) on the laptops to find a teleconferencing vendor that worked on the Native IGEL OS. We now only purchase software vendors, cloud vendors, and hardware that we know will work with the IGEL OS. Zoom Healthcare was the answer, so I worked with people on the IGEL Community to show me how to create a Custom Partition, and we had our staff back up and running remotely from home over a weekend.
Was IGEL able to help? If so, how?
IGEL gave us the ability to push out all configuration changes to our users without needing to touch their equipment, which kept them safe since they did not need to come onsite.
How do you see IT moving forward with and beyond Covid-19?
I see many more companies moving to either a BYOD or WFH model instead of having staff come into the offices. I also see companies move more towards a shared workspace/hoteling/Co-OP model vs. everybody has an office of their own.
What do you feel the most significant challenges relating to working with IGEL have been and where you able to work around these issues?
One of the newest challenges has been around the support channels. I have had too few experiences where there have been no solutions to some of the problems. This is due to what I mentioned in the first question. Sometimes there are some cons. There have been times at Pittsburgh Mercy that we are pushing the hardware and software so hard to do what we want it to do. We have run into bugs, and nobody at that point has found them or completed a ticket for them. When this happens, we often place the issues in the IGEL Community and sometimes come up with a fix, but most of the time, we do it a harder way, which takes more time.
Can you share your experience as a member of the IGEL Community?
Being part of the IGEL Community is amazing since everybody is on the mission of disrupting what edge OS hardware and software are used in the business spaces. When people ask me what version of windows you are running on your endpoints, I reply with none, I use the IGEL Edge OS, which is secure and manageable from a centralized server. It's an excellent way to open the door and get more people to help disrupt the world. The IGEL Community is a great place to talk shop and meet new people from all over the world who are like-minded.
If you had one wish for IGEL, what would it be?
More SWAG… I still have five days out of the week, where I should be wearing IGEL clothing. More devices that come with IGEL preloaded on them.
Special thanks to David Faynor for taking the time for this interview. Truly appreciated!