The New LogMeIn Channel Program: A Behind the Scenes Look

logmein elevate channel program

In case you missed it, LogMeIn has officially announced a new channel program to help MSPs, VARs, and other outsourced IT service providers better capitalize on the growing shift to cloud-based apps and employee-introduced technology.  The program might be new, but the people behind – and LogMeIn itself – have enjoyed relationships with IT service providers that in some cases, go back decades.  It was this experience and these relationships that attracted many of us, including myself, to LogMeIn in the first place.   So what exactly is the channel program and what’s in it for MSPs, VARs, and IT service providers?

I sat down with Ted Roller, LogMeIn’s VP of channel development, and a former MSP himself, to discuss why this new program was created and how it will help service providers bring on new services for today’s cloud-centric workplace.

Mayer: Why introduce a channel program into the market now?

Roller: Cloud applications have changed the way technology is introduced into the workplace and the way workers look to address their needs around collaboration, productivity and communication.  Nearly 70% of SMBs report the use of employee-introduced apps actively being used at work – something known as the bring-your-own-app (BYOA) trend. 

As the new wave of BYOD and BYOA continues to emerge, IT service providers must realign their management mindset – and related offerings – from simply managing devices on a defined network to managing users. They need to evolve their business to focus on the deployment, management and integration of cloud apps.

With this in mind, the LogMeIn Elevate channel program is dedicated to helping businesses evolve to deliver user-centric IT services in the cloud, empower BYOA and BYOD across their client’s business, and meet the demands of the cloud environment.

M: How will LogMeIn Elevate help MSPs, VARs and other IT service providers do this?

R: Our goals are simple:

  1. Help IT service providers make the shift to user-centric management. We believe the only way to do this effectively is to center IT management on the user, thus ensuring that no matter where they access information or how they share it, IT is in position to enable, secure, and support use on the terms of the business. 
  2. Redefine RMM and how it’s delivered. The monitoring of networks and the devices on them has been a proven profit center for MSPs, but the changing dynamics of today’s workplace threatens to diminish the value of classic RMM. LogMeIn’s Elevate program is committed to helping IT service providers augment RMM to meet the needs of the modern cloud-centric workplace through remote management of cloud apps, devices and users.
  3. Give IT service providers the tools and education needed to deliver productivity benefits, expand their offerings, and create new revenue streams within their customer case. By delivering value-added management benefits atop the dozens of cloud apps at use in today’s workplace, and becoming a trusted source for new productivity benefits, Elevate will put our channel partners in position to increase revenue, margins and influence in the cloud app era.

M:  Upon sign up, what can channel partners expect to receive?

R: We’re rolling this out in phases, but the goal is to help our channel partners create and effectively market profitable services around user support, user management and user productivity.  To help with user support, we’re offering special monthly pricing on LogMeIn’s remote support solution, LogMeIn Rescue + Mobile, giving them options to deliver higher margin services to support users and cloud app usage across personal or work PCs, Macs, smartphones and tablets. Partners will also have early access to AppGuru, LogMeIn’s cloud app management solution, giving them the ability to manage users and policies across cloud apps, no matter where they are accessed or used. In addition they will receive marketing support to help create and sell new managed services, access to LogMeIn’s product and development organizations to influence future channel product offerings, dedicated tech support to quickly resolve issues, and lastly, channel-specific education to accelerate ROI.

A second phase beginning later in 2013  will introduce a reseller program for LogMeIn’s popular collaboration and productivity app, as well as 3rd party cloud app management capabilities through a channel-focused version of LogMeIn’s new IT offering, AppGuru.

Interested in chatting with us about the LogMeIn Elevate program? We’ll be on the road at CompTIA ChannelCon, July 29-31 – stop by our booth if you’re attending!  To learn more information on the program, click here.

         

Your Dropbox Problem is Bigger than Dropbox

fight the fudYet another cloud security scare story has been making the rounds. In this particular case, Chinese hackers targeted users by sharing a malicious file from free Dropbox accounts. While it wasn’t your traditional hack – Dropbox was not compromised and its users’ and customers’ data was never at risk — it was enough to trigger the usual slew of sensationalized stories in the press and it was enough FUD to make business leaders nervous.

Now that the dust has settled, how many IT professionals had to answer the question, “we use that app, so what are you doing to make sure we’re safe”? If you didn’t get asked this time, I’m sure it has happened before. If it hasn’t, it will. It’s an unfortunate inevitability.

The truth of the matter is that the problem here is bigger than Dropbox. Employees are using a number of cloud apps to collaborate, share sensitive information, and get stuff done, from more ‘consumerized’ apps like Dropbox and Evernote to super simple business apps like Trello and Basecamp. The characteristics of these employee-introduced apps represent a much larger issue, a much more disruptive trend that is forcing IT professionals to re-imagine what makes a great business app.

I think we can all agree that we’ve reached a point where employee introduced cloud apps are unavoidable in the workplace. They’re just too darn simple and useful, and the free-to-low-cost price tag certainly doesn’t hurt. But IT pros need a better way to monitor and understand what apps employees are using. This isn’t because they should be playing Big Brother or actively looking to block usage, but rather because they need to be better prepared to respond when these issues arise. And for the apps that businesses choose to endorse and use, there’s a need for robust controls that might help to avoid some of the stumbles and mitigate some inherent risks when using such apps.

For you IT pros out there, have you ever had to respond to the backlash such stories tend to create?  If so, how did you make your boss or business leaders feel at ease with your company’s approach/readiness?