Chantell Comberger – CPC
CPC has been around for a long time, based out of Cincinnati, Ohio. And actually, they have a phenomenal basis of thin client technology which they actually introduced back in 1998. They did the sales. They helped the sales by 25% in North America.
They really have a fantastic foundation with IBM. But back in 2002, IBM decided to get out of the thin client technology arena and so with the number of customers that they had already on thin clients, they wanted to find another offering. And so the journey started for them to look at different offerings of thin client technology out in the world. So, they looked at several, went through a bunch of proof of concepts and they came across IGEL in Germany. They said they were the step above the rest and I really do agree with that. IGEL is a step above the rest.
And it was really based on their management platform. It really surpassed all others so in 2002, they partnered with IGEL and actually brought IGEL in the States and began reselling IGEL thin clients to customers. And, I’ve been a partner with them since 2002 and have really, been an incredible journey and a matter of fact, that’s where I come from. So they actually sold us. We partner with them and they sold the company that I was working with, which was a major retailer, global Fortune 500 company based out of Cincinnati. We purchased IGEL software, IGEL hardware to implement in 5,000 stores globally. And just incredible products, so I decided to make the jump from corporate life over into CPC and reselling IGELs because I just think it’s incredible and having the retail experience, over 18 years of retail experience, it’s really important to protect our customers and to have secure solutions to protect our customers because of the data that we capture.
And, far too often, I’m a consumer myself, and far too often I’ll walk in and if I see a fat client sitting there, I’m really hesitant because I know there’s a full operating system on there, it’s probably not compliant and I’m a little bit more hesitant to give my credit card over. Right? Because I know it’s probably a security risk.
So, I wanted to take the leap and I wanted to partner with CPC to, share my experience and my journey with other retailers in hopes that we can provide them IGEL software or IGEL hardware or the combination of both to really leapfrog them to secure their solutions and to get the data as well as the intellectual property off that fat client back into a secure data center.
Early on in my career at the Fortune 500 global retailer, we implemented fat clients in our stores and you know we were up against data compliance and intellectual property and the difficulty of managing all those fat clients and the management software to go along with that. We were really captive by licenses from software distribution to the actual license on the fat client. And, we went out with commodity hardware as well. So if you take a desktop PC and you put it in a cabinet, it really overheats and so within a year, all of our costs were going up.
So, we went to the drawing board and we said, “Okay. We’ve got to reduce these costs and, more importantly, we’ve got to reduce our security risk.” And so long story short, we had a bunch of proof of concepts. IGEL really was top of mind. They came out on top because of the incredible ease of management but, more importantly, it was a stepping stone for us to take away that data off of that PC and to pull back that intellectual property and that data back into a secure data center environment.
Read-only file system and the limited lightweight operating system, only making available software that’s necessary for the associate to perform their functions, no additional software on there to get us in trouble if you will. That was really critical and I said this to a bunch of folks, it is incredibly refreshing to sit in a meeting room with all other IT departments along with security and security go around the room and say, “Okay, what’s your risk mitigation? What are the dates?” And then they actually get to you and say, “Oh, yeah. In-store technology? You’re fine. You’re compliant.” And that’s all because of the incredible product that IGEL provides.