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Hoppe Holding AG

IGEL Enables HOPPE to Complete Seamless Rollout of Skype for Business®

HOPPE, a family-owned company, leverages the IGEL OS, the IGEL UD3 endpoints and the IGEL Universal Management Suite (UMS) to support the smooth implementation of unified communications.

“We were inspired by how effortlessly Skype for Business was integrated with the help of IGEL. Other providers always failed, but IGEL won us over right away. We also appreciate the ease of management available through the UMS – and we have not looked back since choosing IGEL.”

Gerhard KapellerHOPPE Holding AG


The Costumer

  • A leading international manufacturer of door and window hardware
  • A global group headquartered in Switzerland
  • Seven locations in Europe and the U.S., around 3,000 employees worldwide
  • Around 800 existing endpoint workplaces

The Challenge

  • Rollout of Skype for Business® as the standard IP telephony solution based on virtual IT infrastructure
  • Connection of USB phones
  • Better endpoint security and optimization

The Solution

  • IGEL UD3 endpoints with IGEL OS
  • Firmware support for Citrix HDX RealTime Media Engine
  • Integration in the existing VDI environment and Citrix XenApp
  • Endpoint security and optimization through the IGEL UMS

Key Benefits

  • Sucessful rollout of Skype for Business in the existing VDI environment
  • Simple replacement of existing endpoints with the IGEL UD3
  • Clear and convenient endpoint security and optimization
  • Regular updates of Citrix firmware by via the IGEL UMS
  • Enhanced performance for end-users
  • USB routing for Polycom phones

Existing endpoints impede the UC strategy

“A company can’t survive without modern IT,” said Gerhard Kapeller who with that principle in mind has overseen HOPPE Group’s IT infrastructure for more than 15 years. Kapeller and his team are keen to use cutting-edge technologies whenever they can and began leveraging endpoints many years ago. Today, endpoints account for almost 60% of all systems used companywide, offer access to a Citrix VDI environment via Citrix XenApp, and are an integral part of HOPPE Group’s endpoint strategy that also includes PCs, notebooks and workstations.

“The endpoint is an ideal platform for many areas within our company, and is virtually worry-free to manage and operate,” said Kapeller. After HOPPE had decided at the end of 2014 to transition to Microsoft Lync and Skype for Business as its standard telephony solutions, however, Kapeller and his team discovered that there were some distinctive differences between endpoint manufacturers – some of the endpoints had limitations when it came to supporting the unified communications software. Even though its existing U.S.-based endpoint vendor assured HOPPE that it would be able to deliver the support needed for its unified communications solution, ultimately all of its requirements were not met with satisfaction. This drove Kapeller to look for an alternative solution.

An extensive search leads to IGEL

HOPPE began its search by looking at the offering of another U.S.-based leading manufacturer of endpoints. After initiating a proof-of-concept, HOPPE completed a series of time-consuming tests that spanned almost an entire year. On the end, the project failed.

Next, HOPPE Group’s IT partner, first frame networkers AG introduced Kapeller to the German vendor IGEL. Based in Bremen, with a design and development department in Augsburg, IGEL has always placed great importance solving the challenges associated with software and integrated support for Microsoft Lync via the IGEL OS back. Together, with first frame networkers and IGEL, HOPPE shared the exact requirements it wanted from the solution – the integration of Skype for Business and Polycom USB phones.

Rapid rollout, full functionality

After IGEL provided a test device, all the requirements were fulfilled within two weeks. As a result, HOPPE was able to rapidly plan the first rollout. The big day came in August 2016 when 35 endpoint devices from the previous vendor were replaced with IGEL UD3 endpoints at HOPPE’s headquarters in Switzerland. The deployment happened within a week, and after so many previous setbacks, Kapeller was pleasantly surprised by the smooth rollout. For the first time, end-users were able to take advantage of Skype for Business’s full functionality within their Citrix VDI environment. End-users were also impressed by the voice and transmission quality due to the integration of Citrix’s HDX RealTime Media Engine within IGEL firmware – a prerequisite for enterprise VoIP telephony. Following the successful trial, HOPPE’s existing endpoints were then replaced with IGEL UD3 endpoints at its other locations. Today, the IGEL UD3 is now used by HOPPE throughout its European operations. On a global level, around 250 of the approximately 800 endpoint devices are equipped with IGEL endpoints – and that number continues to grow.

Wide range of applications

HOPPE uses the IGEL UD3 endpoints in almost all areas of the company – from production to administration to its meeting rooms. Gerhard Kapeller has received feedback from several end-users that performance has improved significantly since the company switched to IGEL. HOPPE now has a future plan in place to replace all of its remaining 550 endpoints from its other manufacturer. Kapeller is also working with IGEL on a plan to deploy the UD6 as a replacement for workstations used to execute graphics-intensive applications and CAD tasks. Kapeller is confident in this strategy and believes it further validates the advantages of IGEL’s solution.

Outstanding management

The IGEL UMS management console, which comes free of charge with IGEL’s hardware, also impressed Kapeller from the beginning. “The UMS’ simplicity is unique and it’s easy to distribute updates such as new Citrix firmware, and is in a vastly different class from our previous management software,” he said. In view of the positive working relationship, proven software expertise and consistent support provided throughout the project, HOPPE is convinced that it has made a wise choice in selecting IGEL.

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