‘India will be a big market for remote access products’

by Abhinna Shreshtha    Nov 22, 2010

Seth Shaw VP sales  marketing EMEA of LogmeinLogMeIn, a Hungarian startup that provides remote infrastructure management and collaboration tools, is looking to take on the likes of Cisco, Citrix, Sybase, etc. by providing innovative and cheaper alternatives. We spoke to Seth Shaw, VP (sales & marketing) EMEA of Logmein to understand the company’s plans in India. Excerpts.

With strong players like Cisco, Citrix already in the market, how does logmein plan to cement its place in the Indian market? Apart from the price differentiation, how is Logmein attempting to differentiate itself from the bigger competitors?

LogMeIn in general and our ‘Rescue’ business in particular have benefited from our early and continued investments in mobile – investments that have helped us consistently address emerging needs just as they are arising within the workplace and the larger population.

For example, as consumer-purchased smartphones began to enter the workplace, support staff suddenly had to contend with with multiple OSes, dozens of device manufacturers, and a seemingly endless array of new device types. Rescue was the first solution to offer remote support of Windows Mobile, Blackberry, Symbian, and iPhone devices, and we recently extended this to support iPad tablets. And yes, Android support is already in the works. This first mover advantage helps us win new business in mobile heavy environments – 4 of the world’s top 8 mobile operators use Rescue in their helpdesks.

Broadband connectivity is a major issue in India. Do you see this affecting adoption of your solutions?

We do appreciate the challenges facing India currently with broadband connectivity, but believe there’s great value in being present as the infrastructure improves and accelerates, and promoting the benefits of remote access, remote support, and collaboration as part of users’ overall online experience.

What are your market share and revenue from India? Do you see this increasing in the near future?

As per IDC, the worldwide market for remote support tools will grow from $171 million in 2008 to $473 million in 2013, representing a five year CAGR of 22.6%. It is observed that this market is niche and growing. Given this market scenario, we see incredible potential in the Indian market – with fleets of customer support desks that can benefit from offering their end-users on-demand remote support. Our strategy has been to secure a few key customers to prove out the benefits this type of solution can have for Indian companies, and then bring the solution out to a broader audience. That said, anyone can take a free trial of LogMeIn solutions at anytime by simply registering on our web site.

Which are the main segments and verticals that you are targeting in India?

In the last six months we have grown our customer base to include some of the larger managed service providers. We want to build up on this initial momentum and are ramping in India by adding more sales and support staff.

Accenture, iYogi, Quatrro are few bigger customers for us in India out of more than 20 enterprises who are using our solutions. The key markets/ verticals that we plan to target in India are managed service providers, outsourced IT services organizations & mobile service providers. Any organization providing technical support to internal & external customer can benefit from our solution(s)

Even though providing solutions for free could help you gain marketshare, won’t it affect the company’s bottomline? How does the company plan to balance between the two?

Our approach is to offer easy to use, fast, and secure solutions that help people stay connected to their devices, data, and each other, and in many cases, we offer these solutions for free. And like many free offerings, awareness of them often spreads through word of mouth from one user to another – our loyal free base is by bar our biggest marketing asset. For users who need additional features or business-level solutions, we offer a series of competitively priced paid products. As previously mentioned our strategy in India has been to secure a few key customers to prove out the benefits this type of solution can have for Indian companies, and then bring the solution out to a broader audience.

What is the kind of investments that will be made in India? In which areas will these investments be made?

It has been almost a year since we started our India operations; we have had a terrific start with several major customer wins during that period. Our investments at present will be made on ramping our sales and marketing presence in India.

Are there plans to start R&D in India?

India has a very large pool of talented resources, but at present we do not have any such concrete plans.

How will the adoption of cloud computing affect your business model?

Cloud computing has proven, thus far, to be beneficial to our business. The most tangible aspect of this is in user expectations and a fundamental change in the mindset of business and consumer users. People now expect that their data, applications and files should be accessible from virtually anywhere and shouldn’t be tied to a single network or device. That’s precisely the type of experience LogMeIn has led the market in delivering.

How do you allay client fear when it comes to security? What kind of assurances are provided to your customers?

At LogMeIn, we take the security and protection of our customer’s data very seriously. Our products are architected with security being the most important design objective. In fact the security standards and encryption techniques used in our products are the same as those used for online banking, for example, we use the SSL/TLS communications protocol, which is also used for online banking. As part of this commitment our datacenters and source code are continually reviewed by independent, accredited third party audit firms to ensure that the information remains confidential.

LogMeIn.com has granular auditing capabilities available under a user’s account security settings. These audit messages will notify users via email when an important change (such as adding a new computer) or a suspicious event (such as an incorrect login) occurs. Furthermore, LogMeIn.com provides extensive reporting capabilities on past remote access sessions. The host keeps a detailed event log specific to LogMeIn. It also writes major events (such as a remote access session starting or ending) into the operating system event logs. The host can also be configured to record remote access sessions into video files for later playback

Any startup that comes out with innovative solutions usually gets snapped up by one of the bigger players? Does that seem a possibility?

As a public business, we cannot comment on future M&A plans. Our immediate and long-term goals are to continue to build our own successful business