Monday, March 19, 2012

LogMeIn - The New Force in an Old Space

There have always been a few serious players in the desktop sharing arena.  Ranging in price and features, these different companies have dominated the online seminar (before we called them "webinars") and the remote desktop support/access space as soon as the ability to have virtual meetings was available.  However, new players have joined the space and crept in slowly to take that market share.  For their protection we'll keep them nameless for now as I don't mean to knock any existing product, only promote the newest to the group of GoTo's and Ex's.

I say new to the group but that's probably a misconception.  LogMeIn has been around for about 4-5 years now, playing a huge role in IT support.  For years we have had LogMeIn Free and Pro versions where individuals across the land have been able to access servers and desktops from anywhere (including Smartphones) for free.  That might be worth repeating -- free I say, free.  Knowing this company for years now, supporting them and being a frequent if not daily user, I've often wondered how they're making money.  Not for me to ask though as I never look a gift horse in the mouth.

I guess the real reason that I say they've finally hit the big time with beating the competition is their newest addition (been around for a little under a year now) in Join.Me.  I had thought that LogMeIn and LogMeIn Rescue was enough, but they decided to even go down the road of the webinar.  Taking advantage of the fun domain registries in Montenegro, they've got an amazing product which is amazingly easy to use and again, free.  Hardest part is getting to the website, but they have made that easier redirecting to the Join.Me URL.  A simple screen prompting to Join or Share is all you need.  One person shares, one or more will join to watch, and there's even the ability to take control or pass control which makes remote desktop support even easier.  I personally use this little web application several times a week for either an online demo or to support my clients.  Are there some limitations?  Sure there are -- you can't copy and paste, certain key strokes aren't captured, and file transfer isn't there.  However, for free, can't we get over those little things?  If not, don't worry there's a pay version where file transfer and other features are enabled at a pretty reasonable cost.

To be fair to the company, I'll also mention LogMeIn Rescue which is most likely their true cash flow product.  A little pricey for the occasional support guy, this one is priceless for any tech support organization.  I'll let them do their own marketing piece here, but if you need a remote support tool (for a call center), do NOT skip this one in your analysis of products that are out there.  There are a slew of other products as well such as LogMeIn Central, Hamachi and LogMeIn Backup as well which are worth checking out.

Usually I write towards trends in the IT world and I want to be clear that's what I'm doing here.  While this is promoting a particular product line (and no, I don't get anything from this), I guess my true point here is beware to the dominant players from yesterday and bravo to the new and inventive players of today and tomorrow.  If anything LogMeIn is keeping the other guys on their toes and making them look towards innovation to keep clients.  Isn't that what better business is about?  A month from now we might be talking about another player in this space, but for now, we've at least got another biggie continuing to challenge all, even themselves.

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