FileMaker Pro is a cross-platform relational database application from Claris International, an subsidiary of Apple Inc. It integrates an database engine with a graphical user interface and security features, allowing users to modify the database by dragging new elements into layouts, screens or forms. FileMaker was initially introduced on the market as an MS-DOS based program (in the 80’s), but quickly made the shift to Macintosh. Today, FileMaker Pro is available on prem and as a cloud version (FileMaker Cloud).Read More
XTECHS is a 5 FTE Managed Service Provider based in Roseville, California (USA). They provide End-to-End services to small and mid-sized businesses across the state. XTECHS was founded in 2000 as a PC shop under the name ‘XTECHS Computer Repair’ In 2014 they decided to extend the business into managed services for SMBs. Today, Managed Services for SMBs constitute the bulk of the business.
A lot of Awingu customers are former Citrix users. On occasion we have customers that decide to keep their existing Citrix Netscaler and run it in combination with Awingu. For example for L4-L7 load balancing, SSL Offloader or WAN optimization. Awingu has a very open architecture and is little intrusive; as such allows these combined uses. It’s important to note that organizations must in no way stick to their Netscaler deployment to leverage Awingu.Read More
The managed services marketing and cloud services markets are growing at the speed of light. Analyst company marketsandmarkets expects the MSP market to grow at a yearly CAGR of 9.3% and reach $282Bn in size by 2023.Read More
The Hospital of East-Limburg (Ziekenhuis Oost-Limburg or ZOL) is one of the largest peripheral hospitals in the province of Limburg and employs around 3000 people in staff and is home to over 300 medical doctors. Because the hospital is spread across 3 campuses (a number which will continue to grow as it has recently announced its merger with another hospital, Ziekenhuis Maas en Kempen), they noticed an increasing need to enable mobile work from anywhere, on any device.
Why look for a solution that enables remote work?
ZOL is continuously working on its digital transformation. In line with that is the expectation of its employees to access their data – patient files, hospital-specific applications, etc. – from anywhere and via any device (both managed and unmanaged). In the past, they had a Citrix environment up and running but they were displeased about its level of stability, its complexity and the fact that users were only able to access their data by installing an agent to establish the connection – a rather cumbersome predicament.
‘We chose Awingu because it allows us to, in an easy way, give our users access to our internal systems,’ says Kurt Gielen (ICT Operations Manager, ZOL). ‘And it does that without the need for agents or clients, without the hassle of complicated systems that require a lot of updates and maintenance.’ With Awingu, ZOL gives its users to option to simply log in to their workspace via a web browser to start using all of their applications – be it legacy, SaaS or web.
‘An important driver to choose for Awingu was the cost aspect,’ says Kurt. After comparing Citrix with Awingu, they noticed a cost decrease of 50% – both in terms of licensing and operational costs. The latter became very apparent when talking to the IT support team at ZOL:
That cost decrease is also noticable when it comes to operational excellence: ‘One of the advantages that we’ve seen when switching to Awingu is that we were also able to shrink our server farm. In the past, we needed 20 servers to keep our Citrix environment running. When migrating to Awingu we were able to reduce that number to 8 – or even less!’, says Kurt.
How is Awingu being used?
Initially, the idea of implementing Awingu was to enable their staff and doctors to work from anywhere. To do that, they needed a solution that was as little intrusive as possible – and Awingu ticked that box:
Awingu also helped ZOL in light of their JCI accreditation, which is an industry-wide standard for care quality. In terms of IT, being JCI accredited implies that you can deliver excellent care to your patients at any possible time – also in times of, for example, a major power outage or a disaster. According to Kurt, many hospitals print out every single patient file on a daily basis and construct a gargantuous paper archive to be ‘IT-independent’. However, ZOL found a much more cost-efficient and (definitely) easier way to do this:
How was Awingu rolled out?
Initially, ZOL started with setting up Awingu on their on-premises systems. ‘The goal of that was to offer our employees and doctors an easy access to our medical records software, Chipsoft HIX, and to our most important line of business applications.’ After that, the Awingu-as-DRS-project rolled out, where the Awingu technology was used to give access to the emergency systems which and kept in sync on Azure and that sit completely isolated from the on-prem environment.
‘After those two initial phases, we started actively migrating Citrix users to the Awingu platform’, Kurt says. Right now, everyone at ZOL works in a consolidated way on the Awingu platform when performing external services.
Do you want to know more about how other healthcare institutions use Awingu to achieve cost-efficient operational excellence? Check out our Awingu for Healthcare page!
The new decade is almost upon us, and we’re excited for what the future has in store for Awingu! Times like these also allow us to look back at what we have achieved, how our unified workspace evolved, how our company changed and how the market is evolving. We’ve carefully selected a handful of our over 35 blog posts of the past year to reflect on the past twelve months: these are our highlights of 2019!
IMPROVING THE WORKSPACE: AWINGU 4.2 & 4.3
In respectively June and December of this year, we released Awingu version 4.2 and 4.3. As with every release, we kept true to the core philosophy of our product and focused on developing a workspace that aggregates all your existing IT assets with simplicity, an easy and straightforward user experience and security as top priorities.
Awingu 4.2 focused on improving the UX, extending aggregation capabilities, enhancing security and compliance and improving our platform foundations. That included (but was definitely not limited to) enabling direct links to applications, RDP session merging, additional file and session sharing capabilities, admin-triggered session takeovers, the possibility to use time-based passwords and pre-authentication with an external IDP. Check out our blog post or feature overview video to find out more!
With Awingu 4.3, we’ve added the possibility to fully leverage an external Identity provider such as Okta, Microsoft Azure AD, ADFS or Google Identity. Next to that, we also introduced multi-monitor support and the possibility to hide the Awingu polygon. Read our blog post or check out the feature overview video to learn everything you need to know about this release!
THE DIGITAL WORKPLACE SUMMITS
2019 was the year where we launched our very first (of many to come) Digital Workplace Summits. On May 9th and November 5th, we welcomed you in respectively Ghent (Belgium) and Milan (Italy) for a day full of learning about new technologies that enable you and your employees to work securely from anywhere, on any device. As highlighted in our reasons to attend, work is no longer a place:
The change that work is going through is steered, for the most part, by technological advancement. Tools to enable remote access have been at our disposal for years – maybe even decades – but fully-fledged digital workplaces are only at the dawn of their popularity, and it is more than likely that they will be the game changers of the upcoming years. A digital workplace Is more than the ability to access a file or use an application on a device that isn’t company-managed and connected to the company network. It is more than a digital toolbox but is, in fact, the portable office of any employee. A cloud-based digital workplace is the equivalent of having your office desk in your pocket or suitcase at any time of the day, on any device.
We were happy to welcome a wide variety of speakers, whose talks can be categorized in three main categories:
- The ‘what?’, with industry thought leaders such as Geert Goethals (CIO, Proximus), Patrick Viaene (Modern Workplace Lead, Microsoft), Michel De Coster (Experienced executive leader), Patrick Steenssens (Managing Director Benelux, Tech Data), Luba Manolova (Senior Business Group Lead Modern Workplace, Microsoft) and Silvia Zagaria (Software Division Manager, Tech Data)
- The ‘why?’, with business experts like Stuart Jackson (Director Solution Architecture, BlackBerry), Michael Joffe (Public Cloud Architect, Barracuda), Alessandro Invernizzi (President, Lurisia) and Benny Jacobs (Program Manager Digitization, Belgian Federal Police).
- The ‘how?’ with hands-on expert talks from Awingurus such as Kurt Gielen (ICT Operations Manager, Oost-Limburg Hospital), Andrea Mariotti (System Engineer, Go2Tec), Lorenzo Marotta (Technical Management, Repower), Sergio Casagrande (Responsabile Sistemi Informativi, Villa Berica S.p.A.), Luca Bidolli (IT Manager, Acquedotto del Fiora) and Cristiano Corneli (Head of IT Services, BayKer – Iperceramica).
This year was one where we engaged in many partnerships, either by forming new alliances with meaningful and strategic stakeholders in the IT landscape or by solidifying the engagements we already had.
- In July, we announced our distribution agreement with the Middle East’s leading cloud distributor AlJammaz Cloud, which helps us cover ground in that region. “We are always looking for disruptive cloud technologies and Unified Workspace Solution are ranking high on our Partners’ agenda. We are convinced that Awingu will add significant value to our Partners’ Product and Solutions Offering”, says Asim Saud AlJammaz (CEO). Read the press release.
- Ready Informatica, the Italian distributor and added value leader in virtualization, storage and IT security solutions, has signed an agreement with Awingu for the distribution of its Unified Workspace solution in September of this year. Read the press release.
- Cevi/Logins and Awingu enter a partnership to bring new Cevi/Logins Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings to the market for Flemish local governments. They will replace Citrix with Awingu. In addition to its SaaS offering, Cevi/Logins will also use Awingu internally. Read more!
- 2019 was a strong year for the Awingu & BlackBerry global partnership, as illustrated by the integration of Awingu in the BlackBerry Access browser in May of this year. Furthermore, Awingu was also present(ing) at quite a few BlackBerry World Tour events – check out the testimonial video (with Awingu CEO Walter Van Uytven and BlackBerry CMO Mark Wilson) about the partnership we presented at those events here. As we were awarded the 2019 ISV Execution Award by BlackBerry in October, we are eager to continue strengthening each other in 2020!
AWINGU IN ACTION: REFERENCE CASES
Awingu is being used by companies all over the world and covers a wide array of use cases. This year, we have released a small dozen of Awingu testimonials and reference cases. Click on the logo’s below to read them!
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER: TECHNICAL INSIGHTS
In 2019, our goal was not only to inform you about the need of a unified workspace such as Awingu, but also to provide insights into understanding the more technical realm of this matter – be it either in setting up the right prerequisites, understanding licensing models or making use of the correct tools to optimize your setup. Therefore, we’ve written a multitude of blog posts talking about, among others:
- Demystifying RDP: after understanding what RDP, RDS and VDI are, we help you grasp the complicated licensing structure in our overview that aims to answer the deceptively complex ‘but how much will it cost me?’ question. Aside from that, we’re happy to instruct you about captivating on the benefits of the FSLogix license that comes included with those licenses!
- Windows Virtual Desktop: WVD has been the talk of the online workspaces town in 2019, and for good reason. What is it, and why should you care?
- O365’ing Awingu: did you know that Office 365 is now also supported on Windows Server 2019? Read our blog post to get a quick rundown of what that means for you. In other Office news, Teams now has a fully-fledged web client that you can aggregate via Single-Sign On in Awingu!
- Awingu in a Google world: Did your business make the full transition to Google products (GSuite, Google Cloud Platform, etc.) in the last couple of years, but you’re still stuck with some legacy IT that needs to be incorporated? Smoothly blend it in with Awingu in a full Google setup! We even have a dedicated blog about the benefits of using Chromebooks as a thin client with Awingu!
- Awingu as a secure authentication platform: as a unified workplace solution, Awingu covers many angles. Authentication is one of them. In this blog post, we’ll zoom into Awingu as a platform that enables Single-Sign-On authentication to legacy systems instead of Awingu as a ‘workspace’ platform.
For now, we wish you happy holidays and a fruitful 2020. If you would like to kickstart your decade and grasp the future of work with both hands by enabling your employees to work securely from anywhere on any device – look no further and start your free trial today or contact us for more information!
Thursday December 5th, 2019, Ghent (Belgium), New York (United States) – Today Awingu launches its new product release with Awingu version 4.3. This version will add new functionality in 3 main categories: Single Sign-On (SSO), User Experience enhancements and Admin improvements.
The following gives a short overview of the individual topics. In this blog post, we will deep dive into a subset. More information will be available in this webcast.
- Use an external IdP together with Awingu (SAML & OpenID Connect)
- 3 finger panning on tablet
- Optional polygon
- Context menu in sidebar
- Simplified Application management
1. Single sign-on
Already in previous versions of Awingu, Single sign-on (SSO) was supported. In Awingu 4.3 we’ve added the possibility to fully leverage an external Identity provider such as Okta, Microsoft Azure AD, ADFS or Google Identity.
To put some structure into Awingu and SSO, we should first identify 2 levels at which SSO occurs. (A) between the user and the Awingu workspace and (B) between the Awingu workspace and the applications/desktops/files running in the back-end. The below pictures shows this.
2 levels where authentication takes place
In (A), Awingu was typically used in conjunction with a classic Active Directory and Windows credentials. Users typically needed to authenticate when surfing to their login URL in the browser. Most Awingu customers have an additional MFA login on top.
Now, in Awingu 4.3, users can authenticate with an external IdP (e.g. Microsoft ADFS, Microsoft Azure AD, Google, Okta) and automatically be authenticated into Awingu also: i.e. users don’t need to add any credentials anymore. Furthermore, all security services (such as MFA, geofencing, …) offered by the IdP can also be used for Awingu. Awingu can connect with IdP’s that support “SAML” & “OpenID Connect” standards.
In (B), Awingu already offered SSO with RDP based apps & desktops, with intranets and internal web applications, with a set of SaaS services*, and with file servers. This will keep being the case when using an external IdP (exception of the reverse proxy and WebDAV).
The below pictures illustrates the overview of scenarios. Contact the Awingu team when you require more information on the technical setup & the different scenario’s.
Different SSO scenario’s with Awingu 4.3
Having full SSO available enables some other interesting scenarios, such as running Awingu in a fully Google operated environment or adding legacy apps streamed with Awingu in the Office 365 interface.
2. UX Enhancements
Awingu 4.3 adds full multi-monitor support while running inside a browser-only session (no local agents/plug-ins/… are required). Up to 16 physical monitors can be used (RDP limitation). Session recording – can be activated for compliance reasons for example – across all screens is supported.
Activating multi-monitor usage is easy via the Awingu ‘polygon’ inside an application session, or via the context menu. The context menu can be activated through a right mouse click on the application icon in the Awingu navigation bar (see below). Note: on touchscreen devices (excl. iOS), ‘long tap’ can be used to pull up the context menu.
Working multi-monitor with Awingu 4.3; example with 2 external monitors connected to a laptop, 3 monitors in total
Noting that Awingu already supported – and keeps supporting:
- Browser screen stretching (e.g. for large .xls documents)
- ‘open in new tab’ for streamed applications (e.g. published version of the Outlook app on screen 1 and published version of Excel app on screen 2)
Hide the Awingu Polygon
The Awingu ‘polygon’ was introduced in Awingu 3.0 (some users call it the Awingu ‘button’) and allows users to pull-up application session-specific features such as working multi-monitor (Display Manager), Copy/Paste (on touch devices), ‘open in new tab’ or share session.
As of Awingu 4.3, the Polygon can be removed via the user actions (click the user icon at the bottom left). This needs to be done by the user, for each of the browsers and can not be pushed by the admin for all sessions/users.
The session-specific functions will become available in the form of a ‘context menu’ in the Awingu navigation bar (left of the screen). The context menu can be requested with a mouse right-click, or, with ‘long tap’ on a touch device.
The state is remembered per browser. It can be changed at any time via the user actions menu (bottom left). Note: The Polygon can not be removed when using an iOS device (as iOS devices don’t allow ‘long tap’ to pull-up the context menu).
How to hide the Awingu ‘Polygon’ and use the context menu
Awingu 4.3 feature overview video
Watch our Awinguru’s explain the details of this release with a live demo via the video below!
Did your business make the full transition to Google Apps in the last couple of years? Have you embraced Chromebooks? Chances are you really like the GSuite experience for productivity, communication, and collaboration, but, you still have some legacy services that are just too hard to migrate to a SaaS alternative in time and budget… Or maybe there just is no suitable SaaS alternative.
- MSP VanRoey.be enables their clients with an Awingu-as-a-Service model
- DEMYSTIFYING RDP pt.2: UNDERSTANDING MICROSOFT’S RDS & VDI LICENSING
- DEMYSTIFYING RDP: UNDERSTANDING RDP, VDI & RDS
- FSLOGIX IS NOW INCLUDED IN YOUR RDS LICENSE, AND THAT IS GREAT FOR YOUR USERS
- Attacks are escalating, what are you waiting for?