|By Mark R. Hinkle||
|December 22, 2003 12:00 AM EST||
Neoware provides software, services, and thin-client appliances to enable server-based computing, a computing architecture targeted at business customers that is designed to be simpler to manage than a traditional PC-based computing model. Neoware's software and management tools power and manage a new generation of smart thin-client computing appliances.
Neoware's philosophy is that the software empowers the thin-client model, which is their primary focus as opposed to hardware thin clients. Their core competency isn't only in the ability to delivery best-of-breed thin-client software but to offer state-of-the-art software solutions to manage those thin clients. They also maintain a platform-agnostic philosophy, choosing to provide thin-client solutions for both Windows and Linux. Currently they estimate 60% of their business comes from Windows systems and 40% from Linux, with both solutions being profitable for them.
The Neoware product line includes the ThinPC client software that converts aging thick client PCs into useful thin-client PCs, extending the useful life of the hardware significantly. For those PC users who are familiar with hobbyist live CD software distributions like Knoppix, SUSE's Live-Eval, or Lindows CD the concept is the same. However, in Neoware's case they have a distinct advantage. ezRemote Manager can administer these thin-client PCs through the use of their management software. This software allows them to configure and set permissions on thin clients through an administrative interface. This is very advantageous for commercial users who can manage access points from a central interface.
Neoware's chairman and CEO Mike Kantrowitz notes that the thin-client market is growing by approximately 27% annually according to IDC. Kantrowitz believes that their greatest value is to organizations that employ large numbers of task-based workers in highly decentralized organizations with no on-site IT staff.
Examples of sectors effectively deploying thin-client infrastructure include health care, all levels of government, call centers, and point of sale. Neoware supplies thin-client solutions to all these sectors. Ardent Healthcare consolidates hospitals into a health care network. With razor-thin margins Ardent realizes the cost savings associated with thin-client computing. Ardent's IT systems reside in the data center, and data and applications are redisplayed to Neoware thin clients, which can be quickly deployed as hospitals are added to their network. This model provides hospital personnel with high-availability solutions giving them access to information in an easily managed, portable computing model. Customers also include government organizations like the Cook County Illinois Circuit courts, who have more than 2,300 users that access thin-client PCs for information lookup and other tasks. Once again, this highly available, portable computing structure helps the courts effectively handle their course load. 1-800-Flowers, a leading e-retailer and florist, requires the flexibility to expand and contract their call centers for holidays like Mother's Day. By deploying a thin-client strategy they can expand their workforce to meet those peak times with ease. Neoware has also seen success in the retail POS market, where they have a strong relationship with GERS Retail Systems (GE Retail Systems). Levin Furniture, a western Pennsylvania furniture retailer, also sees the value of thin client. They deploy their Java-based POS software on Linux servers and then redisplay to Neoware thin clients. Sales professionals in the furniture store can work with a customer in the front of the house and then pull up the same desktop in the back while checking inventory, saving time and reducing errors.
Neoware has witnessed growth through acquisition. Kantrowitz sees the market for suppliers to be limited, and by consolidating thin-client products like Boundless Technologies Capio, NCD's Thin Start, and Pericom's Teem Talk they have become a one-stop shopping solution for companies searching for thin clients in the enterprise.
Despite a number of acquisitions, Neoware is still in a position to acquire additional technologies. With an August SEC shelf filing, Neoware has the ability to issue an additional 100 million shares and with recent presentations to Roth Capital Partners, they should have the flexibility and capital to acquire complementary technologies that further their thin-client offerings should the right opportunities present themselves.
Case Study: Riverhead Building Supply
Using thin-client computing to service branch infrastructure
Since 1948, Riverhead Building Supply has been the supplier of choice for quality-conscious builders, contractors, architects, and homeowners in the Long Island and New York Metropolitan area. Jeff Bailey, network administrator for Riverhead, shares his experience implementing Neoware's thin-client devices to support their distributed branch infrastructure in this case study.
Currently Riverhead utilizes a couple hundred thin-client terminals in their locations to supply desktop computing for the entire organization. Riverhead has been a long-time IBM customer and took recommendations for a thin-client computing model driven by IBM's AS/400 and Citrix. They chose Neoware's Linux-based Eon models because of their speed and manageability, especially over a geographically diverse workforce. Despite their relatively large user base they maintain all their IT functions with a staff of two who can administer any of the thin-client terminals from a central location. In the event of a damaged terminal, users can be back up and running in five minutes. Client software can be flash upgraded through Neoware's management suite remotely, eliminating the need for on-site IT staff. Also, since the computing systems are aggregated in the data center there is only one point to administer all the client's computing needs. This saves travel time and leverages their IT experts.
All of Riverhead's back-end systems are being served by IBM AS/400 and Microsoft Terminal Server with Citrix. However, Bailey notes that they have not chosen to upgrade their Microsoft OSs yet despite being on an older system. He is being compelled to move not due to a computing need, but due to the lack of support for these legacy operating systems. He places a great deal of faith in IBM and is apt to move forward based on their recommendations. With IBM's guidance he would definitely consider moving to a Linux back end with IBM's endorsement.
What's interesting is that Riverhead shares a set of traits common to many SMBs whose focus is selling their goods and services and controlling costs. Ideally Linux, with the support of reliable vendors like IBM and others, can become a viable alternative to current Microsoft or commercial Unix models. Also, because of the advantages and flexibility of the operating system, Linux technologies like those used in the Neoware Eon can be leveraged to augment those products used on other platforms.
You may note that this isn't a pure Linux success story, but a case of integrated technologies. This situation seems to be very common in a number of enterprises worldwide. The key is to understand your computing needs and then choose a solution. Riverhead is in a good position because their desktop computing solution offers them flexibility in changing back-end systems whether they are Linux or Windows or AS/400. The key to their future success is that they have choices in moving forward. They are free to choose solutions that best meet their needs, and are keeping an open mind to those solutions available from multiple vendors.
Things are changing so quickly in IoT that it would take a wizard to predict which ecosystem will gain the most traction. In order for IoT to reach its potential, smart devices must be able to work together. Today, there are a slew of interoperability standards being promoted by big names to make this happen: HomeKit, Brillo and Alljoyn. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Adam Justice, vice president and general manager of Grid Connect, will review what happens when smart devices don’t work togethe...
Mar. 29, 2017 06:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,720
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
Mar. 29, 2017 03:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,241
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
Mar. 29, 2017 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,293
SYS-CON Events announced today that Technologic Systems Inc., an embedded systems solutions company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Technologic Systems is an embedded systems company with headquarters in Fountain Hills, Arizona. They have been in business for 32 years, helping more than 8,000 OEM customers and building over a hundred COTS products that have never been discontinued. Technologic Systems’ pr...
Mar. 29, 2017 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 3,835
SYS-CON Events announced today that Auditwerx will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Auditwerx specializes in SOC 1, SOC 2, and SOC 3 attestation services throughout the U.S. and Canada. As a division of Carr, Riggs & Ingram (CRI), one of the top 20 largest CPA firms nationally, you can expect the resources, skills, and experience of a much larger firm combined with the accessibility and attent...
Mar. 29, 2017 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 722
SYS-CON Events announced today that HTBase will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. HTBase (Gartner 2016 Cool Vendor) delivers a Composable IT infrastructure solution architected for agility and increased efficiency. It turns compute, storage, and fabric into fluid pools of resources that are easily composed and re-composed to meet each application’s needs. With HTBase, companies can quickly prov...
Mar. 29, 2017 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 3,293
SYS-CON Events announced today that Loom Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2015, Loom Systems delivers an advanced AI solution to predict and prevent problems in the digital business. Loom stands alone in the industry as an AI analysis platform requiring no prior math knowledge from operators, leveraging the existing staff to succeed in the digital era. With offices in S...
Mar. 29, 2017 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,772
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists peeled away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud enviro...
Mar. 29, 2017 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 7,930
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
Mar. 29, 2017 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,598
SYS-CON Events announced today that Infranics will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Since 2000, Infranics has developed SysMaster Suite, which is required for the stable and efficient management of ICT infrastructure. The ICT management solution developed and provided by Infranics continues to add intelligence to the ICT infrastructure through the IMC (Infra Management Cycle) based on mathemat...
Mar. 29, 2017 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,465
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...
Mar. 29, 2017 10:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,757
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a ...
Mar. 29, 2017 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,369
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Lachapelle, CEO of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), will provide an overview of various initiatives to certifiy the security of connected devices and future trends in ensuring public trust of IoT. Eric Lachapelle is the Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), an international certification body. His role is to help companies and individuals to achieve professional, accredited and worldw...
Mar. 29, 2017 08:45 AM EDT Reads: 964
In his General Session at 16th Cloud Expo, David Shacochis, host of The Hybrid IT Files podcast and Vice President at CenturyLink, investigated three key trends of the “gigabit economy" though the story of a Fortune 500 communications company in transformation. Narrating how multi-modal hybrid IT, service automation, and agile delivery all intersect, he will cover the role of storytelling and empathy in achieving strategic alignment between the enterprise and its information technology.
Mar. 29, 2017 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 7,577
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" ...
Mar. 29, 2017 06:00 AM EDT Reads: 9,096
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound e...
Mar. 29, 2017 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 15,142
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor - all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
Mar. 29, 2017 03:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,203
My team embarked on building a data lake for our sales and marketing data to better understand customer journeys. This required building a hybrid data pipeline to connect our cloud CRM with the new Hadoop Data Lake. One challenge is that IT was not in a position to provide support until we proved value and marketing did not have the experience, so we embarked on the journey ourselves within the product marketing team for our line of business within Progress. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Sum...
Mar. 29, 2017 03:30 AM EDT Reads: 3,281
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
Mar. 29, 2017 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 6,120
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
Mar. 29, 2017 01:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,563