LogMeIn Inc., a provider of cloud services for data and devices, recently opened an office in Bangalore, India. Thanks to Mamata Sampath, I had a brief discussion with Anil Sharma, sales director, LogMeIn, India. LogMeIn provides cloud-based remote access, support and collaboration solutions to quickly, simply and securely connect millions of Internet-enabled devices across the globe — computers, smartphones, iPad and Android tablets, and digital displays. For instance, LogMeIn is working to resolve several IT challenges due to enterprise mobility.
First, I asked him about the challenges before enterprises due to the increasing mobile workforce. He said that mobility has become more complex for enterprises, and particularly for multinationals that need to manage the mobility of their staff across many countries. It has been observed that enterprise mobility is the biggest single trend across the tech industry investment, even outpacing the cloud computing trend. The increasing importance of the space is reflected in robust market traction predictions for India as well.
According to Frost & Sullivan, the enterprise mobility market in India was worth about Rs. 346 crore in FY2008-09 and is estimated to reach Rs 1,880 crore by FY 2015-16. Growth rates for the enterprise mobility market in India are estimated to be among the highest in the Asia region. There are simply more users with more devices using more applications.
In addition there has been a blurring of the boundaries between business and personal usage, and many IT managers struggle to enforce company policies while employees demand more consumer-like devices and applications. Their need for support in managing this complexity and cost has never been greater.
Some of the IT challenges faced due to enterprise mobility are: Securing information systems, integrating technologies, supporting devices, containing costs, controlling personal use, training users, justifying investments and limiting use.
When it comes to managing enterprise mobility, it has been noticed that the devices like tablets and smartphones are becoming “access” devices and enterprises are still figuring out how to best ensure data is neither lost nor accessed by unauthorized persons. Enforcing password policies and employing capabilities that allow IT helpdesk to remotely lock a lost or stolen device are musts.
Further, keeping data behind a firewall on the network (where it can be backed up regularly) helps ensure its integrity. Software like LogMeIn’s remote access solution, Ignition, enables users maintain the high level of mobility that they have become accustom to and get access to the data on the corporate network via their tablet or smartphone, without actually downloading or storing that data on the device itself.
How open are enterprises to provide remote access/support technology? According to Sharma: "Enterprises are rapidly understanding that their employees are going mobile whether it’s sanctioned by IT or not. Business users are going to use/introduce the products they want (e.g., iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S vs. BlackBerry, Tablets, etc.). The practices of standardizing IT equipment and environments in order to simplify IT support have become antiquated as businesses change; workers demand mobility, flexibility and choice; and internet-based devices and platforms proliferate. This evolution demands that IT teams and the enterprise keep pace with the business and likewise adapt their processes, tools, and approach to supporting an increasingly dispersed and technologically diverse workforce.
According to IDC, the combined India domestic IT-ITeS market will grow by 15 percent in 2010 to achieve revenues of Rs 1,20,666 crore. The domestic IT market is expected to grow 13 percent in 2010 to touch Rs 1,07,655 crore. Also, 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 percent. It is observed that this market is niche and growing. Several trends are driving this growth: the economy is forcing businesses to do more with less; there is a shortage of skilled IT workers at branch locations, and telecommuters, remote workers and mobile workers are increasing as a percentage of the workforce.
He added: "Given this market scenario, we see an 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. Anyone can take a free trial of LogMeIn solutions at anytime by simply registering on the web site. BPOs, MSPs and telcos are some of the verticals that have witnessed a lot of traction toward this technology."
It would be interesting to know about the evolving trends and challenges in remote access/support technology. Sharma said according to Frost & Sullivan the clientless remote support market is projected to hit global revenues of $588 million by 2014. Several trends are driving this growth: the economy is forcing businesses to do more with less; there is a shortage of skilled IT workers at branch locations, and telecommuters, remote workers and mobile workers are increasing as a percentage of the workforce.
Security is the biggest challenge when it comes to remote access; however, in a world that depends on an increasingly mobile workforce as well as online communications for conducting business, eliminating remote access in the interests of security is counterproductive to say the least.
"LogMeIn is very aware of the growing needs of the large enterprises and provides them solutions that help them remotely support and manage hundreds or thousands of desktops, laptops, servers, kiosks, POS machines and the applications that run on them. LogMeIn also provides cross-platform capabilities which include support for Windows PCs, Macintosh computers and smartphones, including BlackBerry, iOS, Android, Symbian, and Windows Mobile devices," he added.
Recently, LogMeIn published an update to its popular LogMeIn Ignition for iPad/iPhone app that adds Dropbox and integrates Google Docs. Sharma said: "LogMeIn Ignition for iPad/iPhone app blends the best of cloud services and remote access into a single app. Featuring integration with Dropbox and Google Docs, the new Ignition update gives iOS users the ability to quickly and seamlessly view, copy, transfer and save files between their mobile devices, personal or work computers, and popular cloud services. As a result, iPad and iPhone owners can access all of their digital files from anywhere with an internet connection – and never have to worry about forgetting to put a file into the cloud."
The LogMeIn Ignition for iPad/iPhone app gives users the ability to remotely access PCs and Macs from an iOS device – remotely view and control computers or simply access the computers’ file systems. With the introduction of My Cloud Bank, users of Ignition can:
* Transfer files and folders between remote computers and the cloud while on the go.
* View files and folders on their computers and popular cloud storage and sync services like Dropbox and Google Docs on their iPad and/or iPhone.
* Save files from the cloud or remote computers on to an iOS device.
Originally introduced for the iPhone, Ignition has since been extended to other major smartphone and tablet platforms, including the iPad, Android devices and most recently the Amazon Kindle Fire. It consistently ranks as one of the highest rated and top grossing apps on the popular app stores and was named the top grossing third party app for the iPad in 2010.
Finally, what are LogMeIn’s plans for India? Sharma said: "India is a very strategic market to us; we have had a terrific start in India with large managed services providers and technical support organizations deploying our solution at a large scale. Accenture, Quatrro are few bigger customers for us in India out of more than 20 enterprises who are using our solutions.
"The key markets/verticals we plan to target in India are managed service providers, outsourced IT services organizations and mobile service providers. Any organization providing technical support to internal and external customer can benefit from our solution(s). The global clients include Accenture, ACS, Vodafone (not a client in India) CompuCom, Perot systems (now part of Dell), Sony, Quattro, etc."