Mark Morgan, Intelisys President, sits down with LogMeIn’s VP of Global Channels Rick Ribas to discuss LogMeIn’s positive impact on the remote workforce and the future of business and communications.
Mark: Hi, everyone. I’m Mark Morgan with Intelisys. And today in our Remote Workforce Spotlight, I’m talking with Rick Ribas, VP of Global Channels for LogMeIn. So Rick, how’s it going?
Rick: Great, Mark. Thanks for having me. Excited to be on with you guys.
Mark: It is good to see you again. Last time, you and I talked you were wearing an Intelisys shirt. Ah, there you go, and the Intelisys hat. What made you want to join LogMeIn? Was it me? Did I cause it?
Rick: I can’t say that in public, it’s a great question. I’ve obviously been asked it a lot. As I look at my career I’ve had, it looks like a 10-year itch. So this is only my fourth run in 35 years. And everyone’s gone about 10 years. And I went to the kickoff. So I do blame you. You probably sent me to their sales kickoff. But I went to the sales kickoff and I’ve been calling it a Jetson moment, because I saw the future.
Rick: I saw products and services that aren’t known. I mean, they’re not shouting them from the rooftop and the channel, yet they were available. I’m like, “I’m your largest partner and I don’t know about these.” And conversations just started from there. And I didn’t realize at that time that there was a position available, actually for a while, and the stars just aligned.
Mark: Well, cool. I’ve had a lot of questions. A lot of people called us, asked about you. And one of the key questions that I’ve got is I think most of the channel is, at least our partner channel—Intelisys, they’re familiar with Jive, which Jive is now called GoToConnect.
Rick: GoToConnect, yep.
Mark: Okay, so they’re familiar with those things, but they’re really not familiar with the other LogMeIn offerings. So what can you share with the channel around that? With the partner community around that?
Rick: Sure. Well, to start with, so everyone knows—our channel, our collaboration is… 75% of our business is channel. And the other huge part of that is master agents. So first of all, thank you. Second of all, the product set is really what drew me here. If it was just voice and maybe a little bit of video, I could have gone anywhere if I really wanted to, and done that. But after 35 years or 33 years of doing this, the remote access products such as LastPass Identity, LastPass Enterprise, GoToConnect obviously, RescueAssist. I mean, products like that, Rescue and RescueAssist just in these times—not knowing there would be a crisis in front of us—but with what’s going on in the world, have increased by 400% plus right now. So that product set, knowing that this is where we’re all heading. We thought in 2022, 2024, 28, which has just been accelerated to today’s reality.
Mark: So what does RescueAssist, what is it? What’s the primary advantage it brings to channel? What’s the opportunity it brings?
Rick: Well, everybody now—with everybody working remote, people need to access systems; need to access data remotely; and need to access devices. So this is controlling how people that… First of all, allowing them to access these instruments. How they access it and securing it, so only certain people can access, some obviously with passwords. But there’s also geo-restrictions. You can put on some of these using LastPass, so that you can say, “Hey, I only want people that are within this geography or a hundred miles from this area to be able to access this platform.” So it’s really just controlling… Because obviously, with so many people working remote, having access to systems and data is important, but you need to control it.
Mark: Okay. Well, cool. So yeah, you think about it, I think… I’m not sure if you were… Yeah, you were still with us when we went remote back in… God, how long ago is that, man? I think it’s been since March.
Mark: I think we all are learning lessons along the way. Every opportunity that people are talking about is how do we continue to enable companies to remain in business, as all of their employees go remote. So, how do you see businesses changing as they look to support their remote work strategy? And how do you guys look at the critical elements they need in order to be successful?
Rick: Yeah. Well, again, a lot of people are calling it a new norm. I think it’s just an accelerated evolution of where people were heading already.
Rick: So companies have been working… I mean, LogMeIn, I’ve asked some people recently. I said, “Listen, before COVID, was anybody actually on the good old fashioned telephone?” And they actually weren’t, not too often. I make phone calls just for a break nowadays, right? Just to get out our eyes off of screens. And they’re like, “You’re calling me?” But companies have no choice but to evolve. Years ago, when the CIO made a decision to go with a huge CLEC, and AT&T or Verizon, they were saving their jobs.
“You can’t go wrong if you pick an AT&T,” they would say or something like that. In today’s world, if a CIO doesn’t prepare for remote work, and we have more pandemics or whatever the situation may be, a crisis like this, then they’ll be out of a job. So they really have no choice but to plan for this. But the data coming back right now, internally for us, 92% of the employees are saying that they would rather not come back full-time, obviously. I mean, it makes sense.
But the give and take on this is, from an employee standpoint, if they can be more productive. Not spend hours in traffic. As you know, if you’re in a big metropolitan area–you’re in Atlanta, LA, New York, and you’re dealing with traffic, you’re wasting two or three hours of your time. The carbon footprint we’re leaving behind nowadays, I mean, just that factor alone in the environment was going to lead to this virtual evolution that we’re seeing right now. So companies are adapting, but what they have to remember is they need to keep the culture. Keep people in touch.
Rick: And they can’t just rely on a hundred percent virtual. I mean, I’m chomping at the bit right now to get at a table, and get around an office, and get some things done. But, you also have… Right now, if you’re in your new home, we get to see your new home. I just noticed, you can see my dog back here, right? On the floor just hanging out. You get to learn a lot about your employees and the people you’re working with.
Mark: That’s great. I think all the shyness associated with video, ScanSource and Intelisys, we sell a lot of collaboration products over the years. And it’s interesting to see how this thing has morphed from comfort levels with people on video. How comfortable people are in the environment. Even me doing these videos, I’m a lot more comfortable than I was with the first one that I did. And I think… you brought up a stat that 92%. Yeah, that’s interesting. I haven’t heard that number. If you look at… We do our stats, they’re different, tend to be based on department. How departments need to collaborate and how they typically do that inside an office. Where are you seeing the areas that the hybrid remote work models are coming in, and how do you see your solutions fitting into that model?
Rick: Yeah. So to start with, we had our corporate QBR with our CEO this morning. That’s where I got the stat from. So if it’s wrong, blame him. But that’s what he told me. It is right, because we did send out surveys. And the hybrid model; I mean, people that are in marketing still want to sit down and collaborate. They still want to get together and collaborate. People in operations, people in finance are good… They just need spreadsheets and access.
Rick: Obviously, people in sales have been used to it. I mean, I think a lot of people in the channel have… I have similar DNA to them from doing that this long. I mean, even when I had offices down the street–they were my own offices that I owned–and I was more productive not going in, because you’re getting distracted. And so I think we’re never going to get away from the full brick and mortar. I think that’s necessary, and we spoke about that on the call earlier today. We have, right now, 900 people. I’m pretty sure it’s the number in our Boston office, which is our North American headquarters. And we anticipate only about two to 300 going back, even on a part-time basis.
Rick: It’s a beautiful office too. Bill, our CEO–amazing CEO–he’s a little bummed because he helped design this really cool office with a basketball court and all of… You’d love it. And he’s like, “No one’s going to be in here to use it anymore.” But it’s the new reality. And for employers–I mean, if you look at it, granted they may have this infrastructure in place and the brick and mortar. But my goodness, if they can be more productive and have happier employees that have better lifestyles and enjoy that work-life balance, and don’t take advantage of it. I mean, that is something. As a business, you got to make sure you’re watching out for, as well, that people aren’t taking advantage of this remote work capability, right?
Mark: So, let me ask you a question, it helps pour some thought in the partner community. Give me an example of a quick sharp rollout you guys did that typically takes weeks, or months, or even years to get it deployed. Give me an example of something in a vertical market or an opportunity that you guys faced or a challenge that an end customer faced that you guys did in short order.
Rick: Yeah. Well, thanks for the setup. Even though we didn’t practice it, but it’s a great set up for us. So what we did when COVID first became a reality, I don’t know how else to put it. When it really struck home. We went out and we had these emergency work kits that we deployed for free, and we deployed over 7,000 of them. And they’re primarily in the healthcare, education, and finance verticals. And it just so happens, obviously, we have… It’s a very big strength of ours, those verticals. We have integration experts on staff that work with these types of companies and integrate directly into their software, which makes our deployments pretty simple. So within 30 days we had 7,000 of these deployed.
A lot in education. I mean, we actually did a lot for Harvard. We did a lot for some large cable companies. We did a lot for hospitals. Schools were huge. K through 12 is a big specialty of ours. And the bright side, not to take advantage of a pandemic, but the bright side is people then, when they realize this is the way they have to start operating, a little over 40% of them or a little over 25 million in annual revenue have become full-time customers of ours now. And there’s still some that are in the free mode from when they signed up. I think we gave them 90 or 120 days and extended it then a little bit as well. So I think it’s a win-win for them and for us. But it really showed the tenacity of what can be accomplished when you need to.
Mark: So, I think the last question is what can we be doing better to help educate and train the partner community on not just opportunities in general, but also opportunities with you guys? What do we need to be doing? And what tools do you have available that we can get out?
Rick: Yeah, so what I like to tell people, there’s a lot of good UCaaS companies out there. There just are, they’ve been doing it a while. Like us, we’ve been doing it for over 15 years now and everyone knows the good players out there, and they’re managed by good people. But we have what I call premiere unique differentiators and door openers, and that’s LastPass. LastPass, it’s kind of like my baby. I don’t own the product; I sell the product. But to open a door with something like a LastPass, which is password authentication, you can go online and get a free consumer version of it. I’ve been using it for years, not knowing it was part of this. That’s not what we sell. So that businesses, we sell enterprise and identity.
It’s very inexpensive. It’s a door opener. They all need it. It lets them control who’s accessing what, and it’s a different conversation. And once you get that in, we’re actually just finishing up our bundles. So then someone can get a LastPass, and GoToConnect, and Rescue bundle, or whatever they need. We’re also really big, a big differentiator with us–which actually falls into channel which doesn’t always happen–is we have a huge community of resellers. And we have all different flavors of reselling our products. So if you’re working with an MSP they need Rescue or something similar to that, to be able to manage their clients.
So, we have programs that allow us to pass on discounts to them, which then allows them to offer it to their clients. And they can charge their clients. We bill them, they bill the client. But it’s a static number, so it’s not like they have to worry about usage or anything like that. And that’s a huge play for us. So just think outside the box, don’t always think about voice. Video, last quarter, just so you know, we had 5.3 billion minutes in video. It’s gone up. We’ve hit our number in April that we expected to hit for 2020. So obviously it’s a big plane and ours is… It’s commercial grade, let’s put it that way. That 5.3 billion isn’t grandma’s birthday party.
Mark: Right, right. Well, I think I did about half a billion of those minutes. So one last question: You touched on healthcare, you touched on education. What’s another vertical market that may be overlooked by the partner communities that they should be targeting?
Rick: Yeah, good question. I was just reading up on some of that, just got to remember some of it. So finance actually has made a big pivot over to virtual where they weren’t too comfortable with it before.
Rick: Legal as well, obviously. But our sweet spots are insurance as well. Insurance, healthcare, K through 12. We’re the leader by far on K through 12.
Mark: Okay. Well, look, we’re running out of time. Last question for you is… I’ll let my wife call me. Last question for you is: what’s one of the funniest moments you had in a big, large group video call? What’s one of the funniest things you’ve seen happen? Since everybody’s so comfortable with video today.
Rick: Wow. I guess it would be… It was a morning call; it was earlier in the West Coast, and someone’s spouse was walking by behind not realizing they were on a video call. And they were dressed, but barely, and it was a guy. And they were about dressed, but barely, and all of a sudden you see him scooting.
Mark: Yeah, I think it runs the gamut. I’ve seen everything from a big boa constrictor on a sofa to other real crazy things.
Mark: Yeah. Anyhow, we’re out of time. It’s great to see you again. Thanks for your time. And we look forward to helping you guys grow in channel. We appreciate everything you do for us.
Rick: Thanks, Mark. I appreciate you guys as well. Thank you.