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The Auto Club Group

IGEL Delivers Manageability, Scalability and Security for The Auto Club Group

The insurance and travel services leader realizes cost-savings; increased productivity; and improved time-to-value with IGEL’s software-defined endpoint security and optimization solutions

“One of the best things about IGEL is its manageability and flexibility. Like any other technology solution, it can do a million things. However, we needed it to do about 100 things well, and IGEL delivered with flying colors. In less than 24 hours we were able to stand up a server, launch the IGEL Universal Management Suite console, and begin managing our fleet of remote endpoint devices. It was that simple.”

James McVicar, IT Architect


The Customer

  • The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America. ACG and its affiliates provide membership, travel, insurance, transportation, automotive, safety, advocacy, discounts and financial services offerings to approximately 9.1 million members across 11 states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana.

The Challenge

  • Time-consuming and resource-intensive management of laptop computers used by remote workers to access their desktops and applications

Key Benefits

  • Improved manageability, flexibility and scalability
  • Time and cost savings
  • Enhanced security for remote endpoints
  • Greater Time-to-Value

Goals and Objectives

  • Simplify endpoint security and optimization
  • Eliminate security risks
  • Reduce capital expenditures

VDI Roll-Out drives need for improved manageability and security on remote endpoint devices

In 2016, The Auto Club Group was starting to implement a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solution leveraging Citrix XenDesktop on both its static endpoints and laptop computers used in the field by its insurance agents, adjusters and other remote employees. “We were having a difficult time identifying a solution that would enable us to simplify the management of our laptop computers, in particular, while providing us with the flexibility, scalability and security we wanted from an endpoint security and optimization perspective,” said James McVicar, IT Architect, The Auto Club Group.

Some of the mobility management solutions The Auto Club has been evaluating relied on Windows CE, a solution that is nearing end-of-life. “We didn’t want to deal with the patches and other management headaches related to a Windows-based solution, so this was not an attractive option,” said McVicar.

In the search for a mobile endpoint security and optimization solution, McVicar and his team came across IGEL and were quickly impressed. McVicar said, “What first drew our attention to IGEL was the ability to leverage the IGEL UDC to quickly and easily convert our existing laptop computers into an IGEL OS-powered desktop computing solution, that we could then manage via the IGEL UMS. Because IGEL is Linux-based, we found that it offered both the functionality and stability we needed within our enterprise.”

Quick deployment results in time and cost savings; increased end user productivity

After selecting the IGEL UDC and IGEL UMS, The Auto Club Group quickly began converting its existing laptops and within several months had rolled-out around 300 IGEL-OS powered laptops to its remote users.

“We chose to partner with IGEL because they were able to meet our short list of needs – manageability, flexibility, scalability, and security – while at the same time making it possible for us to leverage our existing hardware resources, which also helped to reduce capital expenditures,” said McVicar. “With IGEL, we were able to build out our mobile VDI environment within a very short amount of time, and then turn the management of the laptops and mobile devices over to our operations team.”

McVicar added, “One of the factors that allowed us to deploy the IGEL solution so quickly was the fact that the desktop profile mirrors active directory GPOs. This speeds time-to-value and dramatically improves productivity as the endpoint is up and running again within minutes of any configuration changes via the IGEL UMS.”

End-user productivity among The Auto Club Group’s remote workers was further increased through the compatibility of the IGEL-OS powered endpoints used by employees in the field with the organization’s electronic signature pad solution. “IGEL really stepped up to the plate here,” said McVicar. “The signature pads we were using were incompatible with the firmware, but IGEL was able to inject a device driver into the firmware which in turn allowed us to quickly push the update out to all of the endpoints so that our agents and employees could continue using the signature pads to collect electronic signatures from our members and customers.”

IGEL opens up future possibilities for increased communication and collaboration

As The Auto Club Group continues to expand its operations, it will be rolling out additional IGEL OS-powered endpoints to its remote workers, and expects its deployment to exceed 400 endpoints once the project is complete.

The Auto Club Group is also looking at possibly leveraging the IGEL Cloud Gateway, which will help bring more performance and functionality to those working outside of the corporate WAN. “There are certain features our remote workers have not been able to take advantage of yet with our VDI roll-out including VoIP communications and collaboration capabilities,” said McVicar. “With the IGEL Cloud Gateway, we’ll be able to extend those applications more securely and cost-effectively to our agents and employees in the field.”

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