Rick Ribas, VP Global Channels at LogMeIn, on the Remote Workforce

In this episode, Max Clark talks with Rick Ribas, LogMeIn’s VP of Global Channels, on how LogMeIn is providing solutions at the forefront of the remote work revolution. Rick offers insight into how LogMeIn has provided additional solutions for its customers in response to the global pandemic.

Episode Transcript:

INTRO: [00:00] Welcome to the Tech in 20 Minutes podcast, where you’ll meet new tech vendors and learn how they can help your business. At ITBroker.com, we believe tech should make your life better, searching Google is a waste of time, and the right vendor is often one you haven’t heard of before.

Max: [00.18] Hi I’m Max Clark and today I’m talking with Rick Ribas, VP of Global Channels for LogMeIn. Rick, thanks for joining.

Rick: [00.25] Thanks for having me, Max. 

Max: [00.26] Rick, at a high level, what does LogMeIn do?

Rick: [00.29] So we are the leader in the work remote environment. So, anything that you need for working remotely, whether it’s video, whether it’s managing infrastructure, obviously voice – that’s just a few of the many aspects that we cover.

Max: [00.47] LogMeIn is a rollup, and you have a lot of different brands that you operate that people might be more familiar with. So, what are those different brands and divisions that you have?

Rick: [00.57] Sure, so LogMeIn has been around for a while, through various acquisitions… Jive would be on the voice side, there’s also LastPass, which is our password authentication password and identity program. Then we have the GoToMyPC, and Rescue brands, which cover management of infrastructure, so someone working remote can still go in, manage your PCs, manage your systems – and those are the core, obviously and the video, obviously that’s huge right now, which is the GoToMeeting platform.

Max: [01.29] I believe you have Grasshopper as well, correct? 

Rick: [01.31] We do, and Grasshopper is more of the… You know, more for the smaller users. It’s a great brand, very simple; it’s not a huge brand for us, but it’s a very easy to use platform. 

Max: [01.44] So we’re talking about distributed password management for enterprises, voice collaboration tools, video tools, webinar tools, remote… You know, that’s a pretty big portfolio. So in general, distributed and remote workforce has been a big topic for many years, obviously LogMein has been positioned around that for a while, and with the COVID-19 pandemic we see a big change in the needs for a remote workforce. So, what have you guys experienced, and what are you seeing, and what have you done to help your customers as it relates to adapting to COVID and going – in some cases – from on-prem to remote very quickly?

Rick: [02.23] Unfortunately we’re in this time of the pandemic to where companies that are offering services like ours are serving a need, and it’s a need that we saw that we thought would really progress a lot in 2021, 2022, and everything’s been accelerated to today’s world. And time will tell, I mean we’re going to see, probably in the next six months will tell, will people be going more into these twenty, thirty thousand dollar — thirty thousand square foot buildings, or will they be splitting it up a little bit and doing more remote or more not? Business has been brisk, obviously. We’re thinking it’s going to be more of a trend that way than not. What we’ve done in the past month or so, is we’ve handed out six thousand emergency working from home kits to various sectors, primarily healthcare, finance, automotive, insurance, and what these are, are ninety day kits that give them everything they need to do to operate at a hundred percent capacity except for the physical in-person meetings. And we may extend it even, depending on how this whole new world goes. Then obviously, the hope is that they’re going to see the value in that, and continue service with us.

Max: [03.43] So let’s talk about the GoToMyPC for a moment, because unlike a lot of other virtual or cloud infrastructure, when you’re talking about desktop and clouds, this application’s platform … You’re connecting to resources or computers that you already have; you don’t require a reconfigure of IT or migrations. Can you give me a little bit of an expansion on that?

Rick: [04.03] Sure, well we have a couple of different programs that are related. So, we have our Central program which is remote monitoring, managing; we have GoToMyPC, that allows anyone else to get into a PC, whether it’s managed or not, and those are big differences. A lot of times you need to have someone at a PC that’s accepting, giving you the rights to get in, saying, “Yes, I want to let them get in and work.” In today’s work, you can’t do that, because a lot of times these desktops are in an unmanned office right now, but that’s where all the data is. So, we have the GoToMyPC, we also have Rescue, and like I mentioned, that and Central. So, Rescue would be remote troubleshooting of desktops, laptops, phone systems – anything remote. I mean, we’re covering the gambit, you know? It’s interesting – I had a colleague in the industry that – because of my history, we called it frenemies we competed a lot but always stayed friends – and most recently made a great comment and just said, “Hey Rick, did you ever think that in today’s world and when you started this whole process of going with LogMeIn that you would actually be with probably the most relevant company in today’s world that’s out there?” And it’s true, as far as the full package, being able to offer everything.

Max: [05.18] Normally we’d talk about, you know, how would somebody know that they… If they’re not technical and they don’t know a term like UCaaS or DaaS – how would they be able to diagnose that in common English? But now we’re really saying, you know, if you have a centralized – if you have an office, and you can’t go into your office and your computers in your office and you need to work remotely, I mean that’s what you’re enabling, right? I mean there’s… And beyond that, it’s communications, how douy enable phones and how do you enable collaboration, and how do you enable customer communications, et cetera? IOt’s a very interesting – you know, that shift is changed pretty significantly for you. 

Rick: [05.54] It has, what’s interesting is the way the original company was founded, and I’m pretty sure it was the LogMeIn and not the GoToMyPC, the LogMeIn portion. The way it was founded was the owner had an office and he had to keep going, driving ten miles into the office, just to get stuff out of his computer to go back home and finish working, or whatever. And I want to say it was in… It was definitely in Europe, and he developed this program twenty years ago to just be able to get into his own computer, just to make life easier, and who would think as we come into today’s world that it would be just so much more relevant than he probably ever expected, saying, “Well, wait a minute. Surely everyone could and should be able to do this?” 

Max: [06.42] LogMeIn is a very unique program in this space, but when you look at your UCaaS, your collaboration, your video tools, you know, what makes LogMeIn better than other people in the market? What is your actual focus and niche and sweet spot?

Rick: [06.57] I like to say that it’s business grade. So, there’s other brands out there, I’m on them with family and friends, and all. The GoToMeeting and GoToWeb on our platform especially are designed to maintain its integrity, and secure and to make sure that we’re not getting two hundred people on a video and not being able to understand what everybody says. So in the seventeen years of existence, there has never been a breach – that we’re aware of – and the integrity, the quality of the service, and the ease of us, obviously. So that goes on to the GoToMeetings, there’s a GoToTraining, there’s a GoToWebinar version of it. Each one has its own niches, and I’ll tell you, I live on them all day long and it’s bizarre. I tell people the only difference in my world now, from all the meetings, is I’ve got to shower earlier! Because before when I was on the phone, nobody saw me. So now, it’s pretty cool — and then the voice! The Jive platform, again it’s totally – all the technology that we have, we own, which is really key. We’re not dependent on licensing fees and being able to get certain processes and programs approved to make changes, if there’s something that we need in today’s world, we have the team, we own the team, the engineer, the technology, to be able to make those changes, make those improvements, and the reputation of Jive – and I’m not even sure why it was – but it was even my perception before I came here, was for maybe the smallest SMB customers… But actually, a majority of Jive’s business, which is now transitioning to the GoToConnect brand, is enterprise level, and it works amazing, and it integrates with you know, the rest of our systems pretty well. GoToConnect is really that package: it’s the voice, it’s the video, and the various platforms.

Max: [08.49] So can you give me an idea of who your existing customers are? Are you heavy into specific industries, verticals, geographies… How does this break out?

Rick: [08.58] So, finance, legal, insurance, automotive is huge, and education… We are by far the leader in education, K to 12 especially, because our systems will not only integrate with the learn from home, but it’ll integrate with the most popular systems and I’m not — don’t ask me the names of them, I don’t know! But I’ve read the stuff; with their most popular systems, so I mean integrating with everything as far as their PA systems, their emergency announcement systems… So, we literally have experts in-house that just represent those products and those silos. So, if you’re working in a certain vertical, we actually put a team on it that will – that only focuses on that. So we have an insurance team, we have an education team. That’s the next thing: when a partner brings us an opportunity like that, we will run hand in hand with them. We won’t go to them without the partner, unless the partner wants us to, but we will go hand in hand and sell it for them, we’ll do it suited up. 

Max: [10.01] I mean, is there a minimum size and a maximum size in terms of seat count? Do you support people that are one, two, ten, twenty employees? And on the upper end, how big do you go?

Rick: [10.15] We have some huge enterprise customers out there, and what we’re trying to do on a smaller end – and everyone is seeing this – it’s an economy of scale where the five, ten seat deals, anything really under fifty seats – they get expensive to implement for the reward at the end. So, we’re really trying to work on more automation tools for the smaller-end customers. That’s high on the roadmap for the company, you know, automation is key, more APIs, more ecommerce for that sized customer… But our focus is definitely on mid-to-large sized enterprise.

Max: [10.48] We’ve talked about a lot of different services here. Can you give me an example of guidance of price points? What are we talking about in terms of seat counts, or licensing structure? How do you price these different things and how would somebody approach that? 

Rick: [11.02] Yeah, so – thanks Max, because I’m two weeks into this role, I appreciate it! I can tell you that the reputation has always been super economical. What I’m seeing out there, obviously it depends on the package, but everything is ranging from… You know, we touched on LastPass, which I would love to talk about, because I really think that’s an advantage that we have. You know, if you’re doing a LastPass Enterprise, you can get it for six, seven dollars a head, then you add some – you get our GoToConnect program that has the voice and the video, and other services on it… You could be looking – depending on the size of the customer – fifteen dollars, to thirty dollars, which includes everything. So, extremely economical. Companies nowadays, we’ve been – you and I have been doing this a long time – and we knew this was eventually coming, but it went from all these services being, “Oh, it’s coming, it’s coming, it’s coming,” to almost being commoditized, and then you have to add the other value adds to it, like our LastPass and the GoToMyPC and such.

Max: [12.01] So, let’s talk about LastPass a little more. It was a very exciting acquisition for me, and it’s a unique capability and service. There’s not a lot of offerings in the space that does what LastPass does. So, what does LastPass do, and what do you get from using LastPass?

Rick: [12.19] So I’m a user —

Max: [12.23] Perfect!

Rick: [12.24] I’ve got to be careful how I say that! I’ve been a user for years, and not knowing it was even part of the LogMeIn portfolio. So the joke was, when I was going through the process here, and speaking with our CEO – amazing guy, great vision – and I told him, “Listen, I’m not sure where this is going, but whatever happens don’t take away my LastPass,” I don’t know my passwords anymore! So, LastPass has a consumer version out there that I really encourage people to try. It goes anywhere from free to two dollars, three dollars; it gives you a sense of what it does. So, it manages all of your passwords: you put in a password, it will ask you if you want LastPass to remember it. Obviously there’s other programs that do simple remembering your password. Well, this has a master password associated with it. It can do facial recognition, it can do fingerprint recognition, it can allow you for single sign on, double authentication… So someone can’t just go onto your PC if you don’t have it set up like that, and log into something. But it also will go – you can download the app on your cell phone, put it on all your PCs, all your laptops – no matter where I am, I’m in a hotel, anything… If I need a password, obviously I’m in a hotel computer let’s say, I’m not going to go and download the app on their computer, but I can go to LastPass.com, log in to my account, and access any of my eighty-four passwords from there. I can search by financial and see all my banking, I can see my insurance… So that’s the consumer version – when you take it another level to the enterprise version, imagine a company that can manage all these. When you work at a company, the typical company has about fourteen different passwords – at a minimum – to get into their HR platforms, and their insurance, and their portals and everything. Well, the company can manage all that with – so all the person needs to understand is one password, it’ll do single sign on from there; if the person actually leaves, they shut it down with one shot, not having to go to every department saying, “Shut it down,” because the person never actually – the employee – never actually knows the individual password that was assigned, they only know that one master password. And then it has… It can be set up by geography. So you can actually set it up so this computer can never log on from anything that’s in my LastPass, outside this radius, or this zip code, or this region. So, it can be set up in various different ways, and the single sign on is awesome. I’ve been using it since I’ve been here, because we’re on the enterprise version, and you know… I just click on single sign-on, and it remembers everything, and in it goes. Now we’ve just released LastPass identity, which goes into more… I don’t have all the details on it, but more identity management, and there’s other programs out there similar, but not that blend of all this together.

Max: [15.13] So what I love about your response here is your experience with LastPass predominantly as a user of LastPass, and there’s a lot of security systems in our market that really talk about it, and it doesn’t necessarily make people’s lives easier, you know? But your answer and your response is really that this has made your life easier and better.

Rick: [15.30] Oh my goodness, oh my goodness.

Max: [15.32] And it’s a really, you know, these tools are fantastic when implemented, because people like it. They don’t like having to change their password every ninety days, and like… You know, sequence numbers… Did I use an @ sign or an asterix or an exclamation point? And then of course the enterprise controls of being able to rapidly provision people, rapidly change passwords across all of your IT resources, and not have to… You know, have that interaction with people like, “Okay, it’s password change day, good luck!”

Rick: [16.00] And you know Max, for our sales partners it’s a differentiator, you know? Like you said before, nobody else is offering it. I don’t think any of the other players in the industry have this on their roadmap, and they say, “I want to be a password authentication company,” I can’t imagine it – as a matter of fact, somebody might think we’ll be utilizing it and maybe even offering it in the future. But it’s a differentiator when you need a door opener for a customer. I’m a big believer – as a user especially – that once you go in the door, and when you bundle it with our other services, they don’t – it’s very sticky. They don’t want to all of a sudden say, “No, I don’t want this, I really want to remember my hundred and thirty passwords, thank you.” Not for the price point, it’s not worth it for them to say no. You know, you mentioned something before about different… Having to go in and understand all your passwords; it’ll also change the password automatically at whatever sequence you want. So, you can say, “I want you to change my password to some random, fifteen-digit password every month.” And you’ll never know that. You’re just going in, it’s already loaded. You’ll never even know that password, but it’ll just change it – more security obviously, which is huge on everybody’s mind nowadays, especially working remote, because people are accessing systems that they’ve never accessed remotely before.

Max: [17.20] You know, I don’t know what the exact stat is, but I know a significant percentage of breaches that do occur are because a person has password reuse. That password gets compromised on one platform, and then that password was used on the email system, and that email that has access to other systems and the next thing you know, bad things happen. So, having a system that can track lots of different passwords and manage those passwords for you is extremely advantageous for everyone, and it drastically improves, you know, your security position with very little energy. Somebody that’s thinking about LogMeIn and… Is this a fit, could your services and your different tools make my life better? I mean, what’s their path with you – is there an evaluation, a LastPass, you have a consumer version and you can go to enterprise… How do they try it, how do they look at it, how do they evaluate and how do they move forward?

Rick: [18.11] As a sales partner or as an end user?

Max: [18.12] End users.

Rick: [18.15] So most of our products all have a demo process, so you can get either a free version or a temporary, you know, “Here’s thirty days free.” We do that all day long. I mean, that’s… I think that’s the secret sauce for any of these types of services, and let them try it out. That includes our sales partners! If we have any of our quality sales partners out there, they can get various versions to utilize, because they have to drink the Kool Aid as well, right? It’s easier to sell when you’re using it. Yeah, so that’s the best way. Most of them are online; you know, part of my position here is taking all of our different brands and bringing them all together. Like you said, there’s various different worlds, and it’s having them so it’s one website, one everything, one contract, one program… And there are so many. One of the things that drew me here was the product set. Also, the material that’s out there – so you can literally go onto YouTube and put LastPass in, and there’s a ton of training, demos, you name it in there, and the same thing with the other products. So, I just need to get all that put in one place, but it’s all there. But we’re happy to help anyone that needs that.

Max: [19.22] Awesome. Rick, thank you very much for your time, I really appreciate it.

Rick: [19.26] Thanks Max.

OUTRO: [19.29] Thanks for joining the Tech in 20 Minutes podcast. At ITBroker.com, we believe tech should make your life better, searching Google is a waste of time, and the right vendor is often one you haven’t heard of before. We can help you buy the right tech for your business, visit us at ITBroker.com to schedule an intro call.